Stanford LEAD: Can This Online Training Replace An MBA? | Forbes France

What is the Stanford LEAD program?



stanford lead virtual campus


What is the Stanford LEAD program?

LEAD is an acronym that corresponds to Learn, Engage, Accelerate, Disrupt . His promise? Teach new concepts and develop leadership skills in contact with the faculty, wherever you are on the planet. It is meant to be ” selective, original and creative, ” according to Audrey Witters, Stanford GSB Online Program Director.

Concretely, it is a certifying training, of approximately one year, which consists of 8 courses: 3 fundamental (critical analysis, finance of innovation and strategic leadership) and 5 electives. Students take the training at their own pace, as long as they submit the personal work on time and are available for group work and live sessions . They have access to the online platform that allows them to view course videos, collaborate with peers, and interact with faculty.


stanford lead professor peter demarzo in studio


Its cost, much lower than an MBA from a top university, as well as its selection criteria, based more on the profile and experience than on a test performance, have something to seduce. The program’s professors, who are also MBA professors at Stanford, guarantee the quality of the teaching offer and try to duplicate their course online on campus.


What impact can it have on a career?

” Stanford on the resume, it changes everything! “Nathalie Dumas-Lamborghini, alumni of the 2017 promo, is convinced. This entrepreneur of innovation & digital transformation, who has a long experience of teleworking for the Cisco group, has not been hampered by the lack of on-campus experience. ” On the contrary, I was looking for a certifying training, reputed and that does not disrupt my professional and family life established in Marseille. The Stanford LEAD met all these criteria. Nathalie sees only benefits. Following this experience, she feels “better armed and more legitimate”.


The online aspect, not a brake. Really ?

” Nothing beats a handshake, ” says Hosni Zaouali, a lecturer for Stanford LEAD who took the course when it was created. If this creator of a Toronto-based company Edtech is delighted by his experience, he still felt the need for physical meetings with the teaching team, but also with other students. ” I created the Stanford Me2We. This is an event that takes place every year at Stanford and brings together all Stanford LEAD alumni eager to meet in-real-life. “. The 350 people present at the last rally seem to abound in his direction. That said, Hosni claims to have surprisingly stronger connections during Stanford LEAD than during his MBA at Laval University: ” I kept in touch with only 2 MBA students at Laval University. That does not mean that in an MBA we do not network … But it shows that in this training as in any other, we find what we bring. It’s up to us to create our own experience. “.


stanford lead me2we


According to Marineh Lalikian, Director of the Stanford LEAD program, the online aspect is not a flaw, on the contrary ” it is proof that students are endowed with a great autonomy and a great capacity for self-motivation “.


Will online training replace executive education?

” Some people have a preference for the physical experience, others for the online experience . “Says Audrey Witters. According to her, life on campus has a value that many will not want to give up, but mainstream programs are inexorably brought to integrate more and more online interactions: ” The future of education will be made of a combination of two learning modes “. MBAs themselves are integrating more and more online support. On the other hand, the best talents will, for the most part, tend to favor the most elitist and thus the most lucrative degree, the MBA.

In conclusion, this type of training does not completely meet the same needs as the MBA. In addition, traditional recruiters are the most numerous and may not lend as much credit to online training as to an on-site experience. However, the Stanford LEAD alumni attest, the online versions of executive training have a real benefit in terms of learning, network development and career acceleration. If they are still an object of curiosity for the greatest number, they may well become the norm in the future closer than we think …


We thank our interlocutors for their availability.


Audrey Witters, Nathalie Dumas-Lamborghini, Marineh Lalikian, Hosni Zaouali Stanford LEAD program

To learn more about the Stanford LEAD program , visit the university’s official website .