Exploring Students’ Preparedness: Insights from the 2023 EFMD Annual Conference


Do today’s students feel future-ready and adequately prepared? In a direct, rapid-fire format, talent representing EFMD schools around the world challenged panellists at the recent 2023 EFMD Annual Conference to respond to the most difficult questions on talent’s minds today.

On 12 June 2023, Highered’s Chief Talent Officer, Dr. Amber Wigmore Álvarez, moderated “The student perspective in 2023” panel at the 2023 EFMD Annual Conference which took place at Emlyon Business School in Lyon, France, attracting more than 600 attendees.

The outstanding lineup of panellists – José Esteves, Dean of Porto Business School (PT), Alejandro Ameneiro, Director of Innovation at IE Business School (ES) and Danielle García Jaramillo, Head of Talent Acquisition & Mobility Branch at Interpol (FR) – responded to the most difficult questions on talent’s minds today.

Check out the video to hear first-hand from 9 students from around the world studying at ESADE Business School (ES), Skema Business School (FR), Otto Beisheim School of Management (DE), Gizma Business School (DE), EDHEC Business School (FR), King’s College London (UK), Bayes Business School (UK), Universidad de Navarra (ES) and Koç University (TR).

The talent featured shared their views and posed challenging questions for the panelists, including:

For the Dean:

  • How do you plan to ensure that the programmes offered to students are effectively preparing them for the demands and changes of the world of work?
  • Do you think what students learn theoretically can be applied to our new world, which is characterised by a high degree of uncertainty and rapid technological advancement?
  • As a student, I often hear about the importance of developing soft skills. In your opinion, what specific soft skills do you believe are important for students to cultivate to thrive in the future workplace?

Breakout session on the topic of “The student perspective in 2023” with Alejandro Ameneiro, Director of Innovation at the IE University, Danielle Garcia Jaramillo, Head of Talent Acquisition and Mobility at the INTERPOL General Secretariat, José Esteves, Dean of the Porto Business School, moderated by Amber Wigmore Alvarez, Chief Talent Officer at Highered EFMD Shared Career Services, during the 2023 EFMD Annual Conference at the EM Lyon campus in Ecully, 12 June 2023.

For the Recruiter:

  • Which profiles are more likely to succeed given the uncertainty of the working environment?
  • With the increasing use of AI and automation in the recruitment process, how do you ensure that the human element is not lost and candidates’ unique quality and potential are accurately assessed when recruiters find themselves in situations where they need to assess whether a candidate is future-ready for a highly technical team?
  • How do you believe academic institutions and employers can collaborate to groom candidates for successful careers?

For the Director of Innovation:

  • How do you foster a culture of creativity and encourage employees to think outside the box to drive innovation within the organization?
  • What future innovation or market trends are more likely to impact the working world and how can one get ready for them?
  • In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, how can universities effectively foster an environment of innovation and creativity among students and prepare them to adapt to constant change and contribute meaningfully to future organizations?


Please be sure to look for yourself and contrast the talent perspective with the results of the 2023 Business School Career Destinations report, echoing perspectives from 3,800+ business school students and alumni.

Students and graduates are welcome to share their views about their job market preferences by accessing this short survey* about career ambitions and ensuring their voice is heard in the 2024 Business School Career Destinations report. Participants will shape Highered’s future and optimise the resources and employer connections provided for talent.

* The study is being conducted by CarringtonCrisp, an independent consulting firm, on behalf of Highered. Any information provided by talent is anonymous and will not be used to identify any individual. Confidentiality of individual responses is guaranteed and none will be passed to any third party for any purpose. Once the survey is completed, Highered will be sharing the views with all participating EFMD member schools.