Ranked by The Financial Times (FT) as the top executive MBA program in the Nordics and one of the best business schools in Europe, The Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) has been a driving force behind some of the most impactful Swedish businesses of the last 100 years.
Enrolling its first class in 1909, the school has stayed true to its original mission of providing industry leaders with specialized education in business practices and theories in order to help them innovate on a global scale. Today, the Stockholm School of Economics counts more than 110 companies and organizations – including Ericsson, IKEA, and H&M – as partners.
Evaluating working professionals
“The school has a strong connection to business life,” shared Ann-Kristin Bjurström, the Program Advisor for the Executive MBA at the Stockholm School of Economics.
This is especially true for the Executive MBA at SSE. The school's specially developed MBALive® pedagogy, a hands-on style of learning which focuses on making research-driven theoretical frameworks applicable to real managerial issues and solutions, attracts industry professionals with decades of experience in their fields.
“Classes in the SSE MBA are quite interactive and favour live projects over traditional lectures," Bjurström explained. "Working in teams, students select one organization where a group member is employed to work with for their project, giving them access to the organization and the possibility to get real hands-on learning in a live business environment."
"Our program is an academic degree but in our classrooms, the focus is not just on learning the theories but also putting them into practice," she continued. “To succeed in this environment, candidates need to be self-aware and they need to work well with others, whether they’re of a different age group, they work in a different industry, or they have a different set of interests and experiences.”
“Kira Talent helps us ensure that our candidates meet those requirements.”
Inviting the right applicants to interview
As the school’s reputation has grown, so has the global interest in the Executive MBA at the Stockholm School of Economics.
“We have a significant amount of interest in the program, but we are very invested in making sure that we’re bringing the right students into the classroom,” Bjurström shared. “We recruit working professionals who are already successful in their own right, so we need to identify the ones who have a clear idea of how SSE can help them reach the next stage of their career.”
“Kira allows us to assess candidates in a way that more accurately represents the knowledge and skills they’ve acquired throughout their careers.”
Getting deeper insights in admissions
With 2000 students enrolled at the school and around 50 in each executive MBA cohort, the Stockholm School of Economics is able to work closely not only with its students and alumni but also with its applicants.
“Part of what makes the program unique is that we are such a small school,” shared Bjurström. “We’re very engaged with our students and are very high-touch throughout their time at SSE.”
“Our assessment in Kira complements that experience,” she continued. “We screen all of our candidates and verify their qualifications before inviting them to submit an official application. All applicants who are shortlisted are then invited to complete a Kira assessment and schedule a live interview.”
By introducing the Asynchronous Assessment as a pre-requisite to the live interview, the Stockholm School of Economics has been able to capture candid applicant responses in order to gain a more authentic appraisal of the applicant’s personality and experience.
“We can see quite quickly when watching the responses in Kira which applicants are self-aware, confident and experienced as a manager and a leader, and which are not," Bjurström explained. "When we then meet them in the face-to-face interview, we have an idea of how they communicate, and we’re able to follow up with clarifying questions if we feel we haven’t gotten enough detail.”
“Through Kira, we’re able to get a better understanding of our candidates and gather the information we need to dig deeper during the in-person interview to make a final decision on their suitability for the program.”
“In the cases where we have questions or concerns about an applicant, we’re able to share the video recordings in Kira with our academic director to get an additional opinion,” share Bjurström.
“With Kira, we’re able to make more confident decisions on what candidates to recommend to the admissions board.”