‘I’m no longer afraid of failure’: the European MBA to help you conquer your fears

There’s no question that an MBA can help advance your career. But what kind of MBA can best expand your skill set and offer you the wider perspective needed to really thrive in an international employment market?

'I'm no longer afraid of failure': the European MBA to help you conquer your fears
Photo: Raluca Rusu

For many people, it’s difficult to find a option that fits in with their busy lives. Here, The Local speaks with two international people who found a solution through modular learning with the ESSEC and Mannheim Executive MBA.

Find out more about your unique chance to learn through six-day modules with the ESSEC and Mannheim Executive MBA. The next course starts in October 2021.

Markets are becoming increasingly international and knowing how to conduct business in this global environment is becoming a key competence. After all, the vast majority of large companies operate globally.

Accordingly, an international executive MBA will prepare you to conduct business internationally across all aspects of commerce ranging from management and finance to marketing and sales and more. The ESSEC and Mannheim Executive MBA, rated highly by QS World University Rankings, is a prime example of an Executive MBA that can offer this international dimension.

A truly international experience

Those embarking on an MBA are usually hungry for fresh perspectives. Raluca Rusu, CEO of R Systems Europe, certainly was.

“I grew up working at R Systems and I learned a lot during the process,” says Raluca, who is Romanian. “But I wanted new learning experiences and I specifically wanted an international Executive program to help me get out of my comfort zone, and to mix with people from other cultures. The ESSEC and Mannheim Executive MBA made a virtue out of the international element of its MBA.”

The international aspect was really emphasised, according to Raluca. “Not only were my study colleagues from a huge variety of backgrounds and countries, but so were the university staff – they were not just French or German and they had such a huge wealth of business experience.

“They hadn’t just worked at one or two companies – they had a lot of experience in consulting many companies. And they had practical experience of working with different organisations, so they provided actionable insights that you could apply immediately to your own company or situation. There was a real sense of active entrepreneurship.”

A significant strength of the program is its collaborative approach with team projects. It differentiates itself from competitors thanks to its group project approach (three types of group projects take place during the program, such as social class projects, entrepreneurial or strategic group projects).

Motasem Al Amour, a strategic executive IT and security expert, who works in technical sales for Aruba, a Hewlett Packard company, agrees that the international dimension was an eye-opener.

“One of the key aspects I was looking for was to broaden my horizons. The Executive MBA had such a strong international flavour, both with the other students, and the university staff and lecturers, that it couldn’t fail to offer me new perspectives,” says Motasem.

“Before the program, I think I saw the world from quite a narrow angle. But I now see things from a much wider perspective, to the extent that some of my work colleagues have actually mentioned it. I am much more open to dealing with, and developing solutions, for change and most of that is down to meeting – and working with – such a variety of international people.”

Read more about what some of the ESSEC and Mannheim Business Executive MBA’s diverse alumni say about the program

(Pic: ESSEC)

Learning in a way that suits your lifestyle

For anyone with a full-time job, and possibly a family, the flexibility of an Executive MBA course is key. The ESSEC and Mannheim Executive MBA offers a modular course which provides students with six-day chunks of learning. This was very important for Motasem.

“When I first started looking around for a suitable MBA. I saw a lot of institutions offering weekend or full-time only courses,” he says. “But I have a job and a family, so those options weren’t possible. However, the modular offering was perfect. Obviously, it was still going to be challenging, but an intensive six-day chunk of learning every few weeks, rather than every weekend, was much easier to sell to both my family and employer.”

Raluca also preferred the modularity of the course. “I really liked the format of the MBA because, instead of weekends, it had six day chunks of learning. A full-time course was not possible and It would have been far too difficult for me to travel every weekend from Romania to Germany or France.”

Raluca also found the length of each chunk of education to be very time-efficient. “Six days allows you to really focus on a subject in a way that you just can’t do over a weekend.”

Ultimately, what really matters with an MBA course is how it enables you to reap the benefits of what you have learnt in your professional life. And it’s here that both Raluca and Motasem are most effusive in their praise.

“It made me much more willing to tackle change,” says Raluca. “I am now much less wary about trying something new. The course gave me more confidence to try things and not to be afraid of failure. That was a great learning experience.”

Motasem attributes his new-found broader perspective to his time on the Executive MBA. “People at work have noticed the change in my mindset – even my immediate boss! I am much more open to change and to trying new ideas. I also communicate better and am much more adaptable – I actively embrace change now!”

But, as with any educational process, it’s also about the people you meet.

“I also have an amazing new network now, thanks to the Executive MBA course,” says Raluca. “We now have a WhatsApp group, on which we celebrate each others’ birthdays and keep in touch. It’s a really great and unexpected benefit of the course!”

Ready to take the next step in your business career? Learn more about how this highly-ranked and flexible MBA could fit into your life. The next course starts in October 2021.

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‘It’s their loss’: Italian universities left off UK special study visa list

The UK is missing out by barring highly skilled Italian graduates from accessing a new work visa, Italy's universities minister said on Wednesday.

'It's their loss': Italian universities left off UK special study visa list

Universities and Research Minister Cristina Messa said she was disappointed by the UK’s decision not to allow any graduates of Italian universities access to its ‘High Potential Individual’ work permit.

“They’re losing a big slice of good graduates, who would provide as many high skills…it’s their loss,” Messa said in an interview with news agency Ansa, adding that Italy would petition the UK government to alter its list to include Italian institutions.

Ranked: Italy’s best universities and how they compare worldwide

“It’s a system that Britain obviously as a sovereign state can choose to implement, but we as a government can ask (them) to revise the university rankings,” she said.

The High Potential Individual visa, which launches on May 30th, is designed to bring highly skilled workers from the world’s top universities to the UK in order to compensate for its Brexit-induced labour shortage.

Successful applicants do not require a job offer to be allowed into the country but can apply for one after arriving, meaning potential employers won’t have to pay sponsorship fees.

Students sit on the steps of Roma Tre University in Rome.

Students sit on the steps of Roma Tre University in Rome. Photo by TIZIANA FABI / AFP.

The visa is valid for two years for those with bachelor’s and master’s degrees and three years for PhD holders, with the possibility of moving into “other long-term employment routes” that will allow the individual to remain in the country long-term.

READ ALSO: Eight things you should know if you’re planning to study in Italy

Italy isn’t the only European country to have been snubbed by the list, which features a total of 37 global universities for the 2021 graduation year (the scheme is open to students who have graduated in the past five years, with a different list for each graduation year since 2016).

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, EPFL Switzerland, Paris Sciences et Lettres, the University of Munich, and Sweden’s Karolinska Institute are the sole European inclusions in the document, which mainly privileges US universities.

Produced by the UK’s Education Ministry, the list is reportedly based on three global rankings: Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings, and The Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Messa said she will request that the UK consider using ‘more up-to-date indicators’, without specifying which alternative system she had in mind.