“SBE will be an even more international place in the beginning of January,” says Euro*MBA Communication Director Diana Berdun Mingo. “Some 60 students from all over the world will be travelling to Maastricht for the Euro*MBA Introduction Seminar and Residential Week.”
In an interview with Talkin’Business, Berdun Mingo explained what sets SBE’s Euro*MBA apart from other executive MBA programmes.
What is the Euro*MBA?
The Euro*MBA is an international executive MBA programme run by by a consortium of six European universities and business schools. The entire programme lasts for 24 months and there are two intakes per year, in September and January.
The main characteristic of the Euro*MBA is that it is a very international programme, not only on account of the personal and professional profile of the students, but also in terms of course content, the various countries involved, and the diverse academic staff.
We have now reached the maximum number of students whom we can accommodate, 60 students per programme. This means that we find ourselves in a luxury position to be able to select our students.
Students get a chance to meet each other and their lecturers face to face during the Introduction Seminar and each of the six Residential Weeks. The main part of the programme takes place online in an e-learning environment.
The Euro*MBA programme is AMBA accredited and also holds AACSB, EQUIS accreditations through the consortium partner schools and universities. Upon graduation, students receive an MBA degree signed by the deans of all six partner institutions.
Who are the students of the Euro*MBA?
The majority of our students are expats who are used to travelling and living in foreign environments. It is not unusual for our participants to start the programme while stationed in one country and end it two years later after a move to another country on the other side of the globe.
Our students usually have an international background and work in an international environment. Although candidates are requested to have a minimum of five years of professional experience at managerial level to join the programme, our students tend to have 10 or 11 years of experience on average. They are about 36-37 years old and often have a technical background. This means that many of them are engineers in managerial positions who are seeking to increase their theoretical knowledge and capacities.
The male-female ratio is about 70-30 percent.
How is SBE preparing for the upcoming Introduction Seminar and Residential Week in January?
The Euro*MBA programme consists in a four-day Introduction Seminar, six Residential Weeks spread among the various consortium partners, 10 distance-learning business modules and a master’s thesis.
We will welcome the new batch of Euro*MBA students from Friday 11 January until Monday 13. Once again, it is a very diverse group of 18 new participants representing 13 different nationalities: for the most part participants from France, the Netherlands, Germany but also from Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary, Canada, US, Denmark. One participant will even be making a two-day trip from New Caledonia.
What can students expect from their Residential Week in Maastricht?
The Euro*MBA exploits the expertise of each consortium partner for the benefit of the programme. Here in Maastricht, our courses revolve around the theme of Organisation and Learning.
We will welcome one teacher from Kozminski University in Poland and another from EADA in Spain who will come to Maastricht to present their courses and establish a personal contact with the students.
A typical study day starts around 8.30 am and ends around 7 pm. Besides attending lectures, students will also work on a project that they will be asked to present at the end of the week. The Residential Week programme usually includes soft skills trainings, which students say they find very useful. Company visits and team building activities are also planned.
In a distance learning environment, it is important to start preparing the Residential Week programme well in advance, often months before, so that participants are given enough time to do the reading assignments and make all the necessary arrangements for the week.
How do students experience the e-learning environment?
It is estimated that the Euro*MBA programme requires about 15-18 hours of self study per week. Some students study every day, while others prefer to do it in the weekends.
Since much of the programme is based on team work, participants are continuously in touch with each other in a way that helps them get to know and learn from each other. Each period is supervised by a team leader, who takes part in a leadership training beforehand and a debriefing session afterwards.
How do students get to know each other?
Our Residential Weeks are very popular, because they offer students the chance to meet face to face and better get to know each other and their lecturers. In spite of the intensive study agenda, students often take part in social activities in the evening. The atmosphere during and outside of courses is informal, open and friendly.
In between Residential Weeks, participants stay in touch through our virtual learning environment and stay updated on the programme as a whole through our regular digital newsletters.
How does the Euro*MBA programme keep in touch with alumni?
The Euro*MBA was founded in 1996 and now counts more than 200 alumni from 35 different countries.
This year we launched a new initiative as part of our life-long learning strategy to help students stay connected with each other and with the various schools. Especially for our Euro*MBA alumni, we have developed a series of short online courses.
We just ran the first course as a Winter School pilot from 25 November until 16 December and offered it for free. Some 50 alumni from various batches registered for the three-week course on the theme of Customer Centric Engagement taught by Professor Clemens Bechter.
There was a lot of interest in the programme: from the moment we announced it in our newsletter, the first registrations started coming in. It was if our alumni were ready and waiting for something like this!