off track Education

Learn while they shop

Students of Lovely Professional University can smoothly transition to the corporate sector, thanks to the on-campus mall that is making them industry-ready

At a time when educational institutions are being criticised for getting students attuned to rote learning, colleges such as Mittal School of Business and Lovely Professional University (LPU), stand out for breaking away from the norm and coming up with innovative ways of learning. LPU is the first university in India to have a mall within the campus. The five-storey UniMall hosts 66 national and international brands, catering to the needs of over 30,000 on-campus students.

UniMall is an outcome of the university’s belief in imparting outcome-based learning and the idea of “learning by doing”. It led to roping in management students to offer them a sense of understanding of different business processes. By taking part in this initiative, students are exposed to the real world through a host of learning opportunities such as mall management, visual merchandising, store management, and more.

These students undergo continuous assessments and surprise inspections to evaluate their performance on the job, and they have to submit an evaluation report and a detailed project report. Immediate superior feedback is also taken into account as it provides a detailed report on parameters such as the footfall generated in store, visual merchandise designed, and more. There have been instances when students have worked on practical assignments ranging from designing a product mix and visual merchandising, to identifying service quality issues.

Currently, some students are working on improving the problems of internal and external shrinkage in retail stores. They have come up with ideas such as flash mobs to increase footfall, and have also conducted research to identify student needs that led to the opening up of the bowling arena, Super Bowl.

The brands have applauded the students’ efforts, as their involvement has improved processes at the retail stores in terms of quality of service, product mix customisation to suit younger audience, inventory management and visual merchandising.

Keeping pace

Such experiential learning opportunities outside the classroom help students understand theoretical concepts better. By involving themselves in the intricacies of the work, students gain practical knowledge that no amount of theory can make up for. Their excitement and attention span also increase exponentially.

Experiential learning, in the form of other industry projects, also enables them to keep pace with the latest industry practices. By the time they graduate, they already have a jumpstart over those who lack industry exposure.

Keeping this in mind, LPU lays emphasis on imparting practical skills to students through different initiatives aligned with its curriculum, like live projects with reputed companies such as Sony, Kelloggs, Big Bazzar, Bikaji, Britania, OYO, Decathlon, and so on.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 9:40:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/learn-while-they-shop/article27696155.ece

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