The online portal Study in Greece is campaigning for the international extroversion of Greek Universities and the comparative education advantages of our country. In particular, the campaign is about the foreign language study programs Greek Universities offer to Greek and foreign 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 programs and actions are presented in detail on a regular basis, such as undergraduate and postgraduate programs, summer schools etc, as to inform the foreign publics about the plethora of foreign language options that are provided by the Greek Universities. In his interview with Study in Greece, Professor Klas-Eric Soderquist, Program Director, presents the MBA International of the Athens University of Economics and Business and outlines its comparative advantages for foreign students.
Could you tell us a few words about the history, and the basic rationales of the MBA International of the Athens University of Economics and Business?
The MBA International was founded in 1999 and is hosted by the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB), the leading Greek University in the areas of Economics and Business Administration. MBA International is a vibrant and innovative postgraduate program offering a personalized, technology-focused and strongly networked educational experience that empowers the future of its graduates. Accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) since 2005, and with graduates working across the globe, the program is highly reputed in the market both in Greece and internationally. The Program is offered exclusively in English.
It is offered as a Full-Time program (16 months duration with daytime and evening classes), or a Part-Time executive program (27 months duration with evening classes only). Some of its key features include:
- A rich, innovative, and dynamically evolving curriculum, which allows students to customize their learning experience to fit their individual interests and professional needs, including opting for specific concentrations,
- A Personal Skills Development Program that helps students improve their soft skills through a variety of pedagogical and hands-on activities,
- Graduation projects in collaboration with companies and organizations that allow students to apply in practice what they have learnt in class and work on a real business challenge,
- A world-renowned resident and visiting faculty, with extensive teaching, research and consulting activity in Greece and abroad. AllresidentfacultyholdPhDdegrees,
- Fast-tracks, through specific elective courses, to international professional qualifications such as PMI (the Project Management Institute), GRI (the Global Reporting Index), and CIMA (the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants),
- Strong bonds with the market through our Business Advisory Council (BAC), which consists of business leaders from Greek and multinational companies, Business Lectures across the curriculum, C-Suite and Alumni Speaking series,
- Personalized career services, supporting students and graduates in their quest for challenging international career opportunities, and highly competitive fees make the MBA International a fast-returning investment.
We look for candidates that are internationally oriented and active pursuers of professional advancement, with high intellectual ability, relevant work experience and strong previous academic performance.
Given that the Program is taught entirely in English, does it attract a satisfactory number of international students every year? From which countries?
Every year a satisfactory number of students choose the Full-Time Program of the MBA International from all over the world. The MBA International has attracted students from more than 30 countries in its history, creating in that way an international multicultural environment in the classroom. In the early years of the Program’s establishment, most of the international students were from the Balkan Region and other neighbouring countries of Greece, but during the last decade due to the great positioning of the Program in international Rankings and the continuously growing brand awareness globally, it has attracted numerous applicants from all continents. Students from Europe, the USA, China, India, Russia and the Middle East choose the MBA International for their studies. The internationalization of MBA International is a priority on our agenda to achieve larger numbers of non-Greek students for a maximum level of multicultural diversity.
What is the relation between the MBA International Program and the market? Could we argue that the Program meets the demands of the modern world of business? What percentage of the Program’s graduates find the job they wish?
The MBA International has excellent bonds with the market-proven by the outstanding job finding and career growth record. The graduates of the Program achieve great career development and thrive in top jobs across the globe in various sectors. Hence, the Program is a stepping stone and accelerator for career development, also internationally. Moreover, students get a strong boost of employability along with access to the Program’s dynamic alumni network, opportunities to attend C-suite lectures, participation in the annual Career Fair and networking opportunities through events and social gatherings. According to the Career Statistics of 2020, in the Full-Time Program, 100% of students found a job before graduation, and 66% of professionals that attended the Part-Time Program had a career change within 1 year of graduation. The MBA International community along with all its stakeholders have created a global network that bridges education and the workplace in a very successful way.
We are living in the era of innovation and internationalization. Could you please describe how your Program aligns to these two trends-imperatives of our times?
Innovation and internationalization are among the main strategic pillars of the Program. The culture of the Program aligns with innovation on various matters such as the course delivery through business games and simulation methods, renewal of the curriculum in order to reflect the continuously changing market trends, high level of operational agility, as in the case of the obligatory measurements that were imposed due to the pandemic and the Program’s instant shift to distance learning methods and virtual fair organization. Innovation, entrepreneurship, international management, geopolitics, digitalization and business analytics are also subject to a specific course, both core courses and electives. Moreover, active engagement on global issues through the formation of student clubs and executive seminars, such as the creating of the Sustainable Development and Circular Economy Club during 2020 and the annual Sustainability Summit that had been running for more than 5 years, are a few of the examples through which the Program innovates and stands out.
Internationalization is at the heart of the Program since its early beginning justifying its own name, as is not just an MBA, but an International MBA. Internationalization is reflected via the participation of international students, the international faculty of the Program, the international orientation of the courses, its international rankings, the international placements and global network of our graduates, such as the network of international ambassadors who are graduates of the program from different countries and backgrounds, working across the globe and acting as ambassadors for prospective students and graduates who seek for an international career. Finally, the MBA International has collaboration and exchange agreements with universities in the U.S., South America, India and Russia.
Athens University of Economics and Business is located in the heart of Athens, a vibrant modern city with a rich cultural heritage. Does this have a positive impact on the life of a foreign student?
International students of the MBA International get the chance to study in a globally recognized Program while experiencing life in the heart of Athens. Athens is a city at the crossroad of three continents that combines in its culture the East and the West. The Mediterranean spirit is blended with antiquity in a modern European city. Living in Athens gives the students the best of student years’ memories as they meet new people from diverse environments and explore incomparable sceneries. MBA International students spend productive, rewarding and enjoyable time at the Athens University of Economics and Business combined with an unforgettable student experience in Athens.
For more information visit the Website: https://imba.aueb.gr/
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-2/7471-study-in-greece-masters-of-the-week-the-mba-international-of-the-athens-university-of-economics-and-business