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- About ISM
Redefining Executive Education
I saw the ISM website and I found out that the school was really everything I was looking for. It’s international, for one thing. It’s also based in Paris, which is an enormous business center. I had already lived in a couple other European countries, and I decided I wanted to know France and learn French. What I like are the seminars. You really learn things you’ll use. Other schools teach this unusable information, but at ISM they constantly remind you to apply theory to practice, to make the leap. International Finance, for example, was a real eye opener for me. Some courses are just too short, and that was one of them. An accredited MBA like ISM’s is a real plus in the job market, and it translates to credibility for the entrepreneur. I haven’t decided on my course after graduation yet, but I’m sure ISM will be a plus whichever path I decide on. The thing is, you really do an MBA to meet people, people from all over, people you want to work with. At ISM I’ve found people whose work I respect, whose values I share, and with whom I may eventually collaborate.
The MBA is an American qualification, so I thought the best option would be an American school with an international environment. ISM turned out to be a place where I could learn about other cultures and peoples and discover myself in the process. I’m Irish, but it’s funny how a Kenyan friend of mine, who’s also coming from a former British colony, will think about problems and approach in the same way as I do. French students, or students from French West Africa, will approach it differently. I think my MBA has made me more mobile. Although my background is in financial reporting, I wrote my thesis in risk management, and I know I can transfer to that sector without having to start from scratch.
What I liked from the very first was the flexibility of the program, and how easy it was to integrate myself with the curriculum and the students. There’s an atmosphere in class, where we’re working in our different groups, that makes me think we are being prepared to work well in the real world. There’s an openness to discuss what interests us, what we feel we need to understand. There is no wall between the professors and the students. On the one hand I know I’ve added to my knowledge of finance, on the other, I look at our little community in class, and I’ve found these different cultures and worlds condensed and brought together.
What struck me about ISM’s MBA, as opposed to my BBA program, was its emphasis on professional rather than academic thinking. I wanted to know professionals in the field of export/import and get experience there. I enrolled and it was really like a dream—I got the tools I was looking for. Of course I needed to work hard, but the professors awakened in me a thirst for knowledge, they prepared me for work in ways I hadn’t expected. I felt like they refined me and got me ready for the world. The MBA itself made my present job possible, and it’s a real personal accomplishment. I was working and studying at the same time—looking back I don’t know how I did it—but I’m sure that someone who doesn’t need to work could do even better.
The composition of the ISM MBA class is fantastic. There are people of all different ages, cultures and professional backgrounds. In my view, this provides a huge chance for everyone to gain insights into other cultures and business experiences. Furthermore, working and discussing with people from different backgrounds improves our communication skills. In addition, I appreciate that everyone fits perfectly into the group and contributes to the positive team spirit.
Pursuing an MBA was my dream and I had been pursuing it since I graduated in 2000. I had been looking for schools that had global representation and fit my budget. ISM with its location, global representation and student- teacher ratio perfectly matched my requirements. I spent a year in Paris experiencing a new culture and country while completing my MBA. After this thoroughly rewarding intensive program, I joined HSBC in London on April 1st, 2008 as a Service Manager on a project that involved working on Physical Transformation of Group Management Office. The project required liaising with people across levels and countries, interacting with local vendors, finalizing contracts, identifying creative and cost effective solutions to complex problems. Building relationships, learning new management styles, negotiating diversity, I quickly adapted to the new environment . Post successful implementation, I decided to move on and applied for few roles within HSBC and was called for interview for an Assistant Vice President in Human Resources position based at Hyderabad. Choosing this role meant that I would move closer to home and family. It was a step to the next level with a new set of challenges and new learning, and all in all, a new beginning. Talking to people, presenting my achievements, demonstrating an understanding of business and an ability to work in a dynamic environment, I was able to move into this role with effect on March 1st, 2009. Today, I am a little over a month old in this role and I love the challenge it presents. Sometimes, I think that life has taken me full circle...call it destiny or back to basics...
This last year doing the MBA at ISM was one of the best and greatest experiences for me. It exceeded all my expectations on a professional and personal level. The professors, students and staff were like a family to us. Today I look back in retrospect and appreciate the value added to my life from this enriching experience. I would definitely recommend studying in this excellent business school.
I decided to invest in earning an MBA to take my career to the next level and chose ISM in Paris. My time at ISM was a great experience and overall the best year of my life so far. As for my career development, I am now working at an international development organization called the Rural Development Institute in Seattle. The job is in line with my career goals and my MBA degree from ISM not only made my resume stand out from the pack, but the knowledge I acquired has better prepared me for handling this challenging position. Now I am working for a world-class, rapidly-growing organization that works with governments of developing countries to give land to the rural poor to improve their economic and social opportunities. ISM also paired me with a mentor, Seth Feldman, who helped counsel me when applying for jobs that would give me the opportunity to combine my background in communications with my interest in global development. I would recommend ISM's MBA program to anyone who wants to work for an international company or organization because ISM's professors, student body, curriculum and setting combine to create a global village within the academic environment.
When I first started my MBA program at ISM, I was surprised by the amount of support I received from ISM staff. Literally, they had done whatever they could to provide a calm and professional environment for their students. During my MBA studies I had a real international experience in terms of both culture and profession and that was one of the main motives for me to continue my studies at ISM as PhD student.
During seminars, I have had the opportunity to work with talented professionals from different parts of the world and with the culture of sharing your own personal experiences and knowledge at ISM, the output is always full of learning.
When I look back to my years at ISM, I am happy to see myself empowered with knowledge, new experiences and skills which has answered a lot of issues I confronted at my work in the past and prepared me for professional challenges in the future.
The other important factor at ISM is its flexibility. PhD students are free to choose topics and seminars related to their interests at the well-located campuses.
As a business owner you tend to forget about your own development as your time is mostly spend on developing others and the business in general. When I took the decision to invest in myself and do a MBA, ISM immediately appealed to me, despite the large choice of schools out there.
The small and personal community, the very international environment and the high quality professors were deciding factors for me. I have not regretted my decision for a single moment, although the MBA was probably the busiest year of my life. It has developed me in so many ways, increased my selfconfidence and brought me so much more than just knowledge.
In fact, I can't get enough of it, and that's why I will continue at ISM and do a DBA.