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Study in Greece Masters of the Week: Professor Apostolos Ballas presents the MSc in Financial Management at AUEB

The web portal Study in Greece is campaigning for the promotion and international visibility of Greek Universities and the comparative educational advantages of our country. In particular, the campaign focuses on the foreign language study programmes that Greek Universities offer to Greek and international students. The initiative is supported by the General Secretariat of Higher Education of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs and the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. In this context, a number of educational programmes and actions are presented in detail on a regular basis, such as undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, summer schools etc, to inform international students about the many foreign language options offered by Greek Universities.

FinMan2 Study in Greece interviewed Professor Apostolos Ballas, director of the MSc in Financial Management at the School of Business of the Athens University of Economics & Business, on the programme’s features and what it has to offer to international students.

Apostolos Ballas is Professor of Accounting at the Athens University of Economics & Business. He is the Director of the MSc in Financial Management. He has collaborated in books, textbooks and book chapters and has had a number of publications in leading journals. He has served as national representative at Management Board of the European Accounting Association.

Please tell us a few words about the history and the basic rationales of the MSc Programme in Financial Management of AUEB.

The MSc in Financial Management is a new postgraduate programme of the top ranked Department of Accounting and Finance of the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB). The programme was established in 2018 (M.D. 5584/ Government Gazette 3841/issue Β’/6-9-2018) and is now about to have its first graduates. The programme is offered in English, aiming to attract international full-time students or business executives who are employed in multinationals based in Greece and wish to develop their skills in the constantly evolving field of Financial Management. The programme offers an intensive, up to date, programme to a small group of highly motivated students, with talent and good prospects. The programme’s curriculum is in line with the latest scientific developments, designed to offer specialised knowledge, focusing on current international trends. The programme includes courses on international finance, corporate financing, investments and wealth management, derivatives markets, commercial and investment banking, and mergers and acquisitions.

Given that the Programme is taught entirely in English, does it attract a satisfactory number of international students every year? From which countries?

As mentioned before, the MSc in Financial Management is a new international programme that has been operating since 2019, thus we have only had two intakes of students, in September 2019, and September 2020. During these years we received many international applications from India, China, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Cameroon, Algeria, United Kingdom, Lebanon, Spain, Turkey, Palestine, Pakistan, Ghana and Jordan. However, the majority of applicants as well as enrolled students are Greek.

FinManintroPlease tell us about the relation between the MSc Programme in Financial Management and the world of business.

Graduates of the programme benefit from the excellent relations that the Department of Accounting and Finance has built over the twenty-five years of its existence with firms in the financial sector. Students graduate well equipped to seek employment and follow successful careers in the private and public sector either in Greece or abroad. It is expected that the programme’s graduates will be recruited by companies and organisations, such as commercial and investment banks, financial institutions, brokerage firms, consulting firms, insurance companies, real estate agencies and shipping firms.

Would you say that the Programme meets the demands of the modern world of business? What percentage of the Programme’s graduates find a job in their chosen field?  

Given that the programme’s first intake of students has yet to graduate, there are no data available concerning job placement. But, taking into consideration the Department’s brand name, we expect that they will be well employed soon after graduating. It is worth mentioning here, that our Department has been offering Masters’ programmes for at least 17 years, with more than 1500 graduates so far, that have proved to be highly employable in Greece and abroad, and a major asset for their employers.

The contemporary revolution of innovation impacts the field of Financial Management. Could you please describe to us how your Programme adapts to this constantly evolving framework?

Considering the unstable national and international economic conditions, as well as the high complexity of financial markets, specific knowledge in the field of financial management is now, more than ever, essential for climbing the executive ladder in any given industry. In this context, the programme prepares its graduates to constructively implement sophisticated and academically rigorous concepts, in order to adapt to the constantly changing needs of a successful career in Financial Management. In the department, faculty and students conduct cutting edge scientific research in most areas of financial management, financial reporting and corporate finance.

FinMan3The Athens University of Economics and Business is located in the heart of Athens, a vibrant modern city with a rich cultural heritage. Do you consider that the Greek capital’s history and character constitute factors that could influence a student’s choice when deciding where to continue his/her studies?

Athens has always been at the crossroads between Europe, Asia and Africa. The unique historical character of the city, shaped overtime by the interaction with a wealth of cultures and civilisations is evident throughout the city’s monuments and everyday life. Athens is one of the most interesting and exciting cities of the world, successfully combining yesterday’s history with tomorrow’s aspirations for a unique environment for any student or visitor alike. Living in Athens will most certainly give the best memories to prospect students. As an AUEB student, one is sure to have a most productive, rewarding and enjoyable time!

N.M. (Images from AUEB’s official website)

The interview was published in Greek News Agenda (GNA) – the online English language platform, issued by the Secretariat General for Public Diplomacy and Greeks Abroad (Ministry of Foreign Affairs): https://www.greeknewsagenda.gr/interviews/innovative-greece-2/7609-fin-management-aueb

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