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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...
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.
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.
I enrolled at ISM because I wanted a broader and more holistic approach to international business. That’s what I found, but I learned a lot more than that: I now understand the difference between a good manager and a great one, and what it takes to really motivate people. The most striking lesson I’ve learned is about organizational change and the power of cross-cultural environments. People are at the center of any process of evolution, so you have to figure out what inspires them. In a classroom with 20 students of 18 different nationalities, you learn how important mindsets are very quickly.
My first priority was to study an American curriculum for my MBA. Secondly I wanted to study in France. I’ve always considered France to be such a melting pot, and Paris such an international center. So I was flipping through the Economist and I saw ISM’s ad. I go to their website and I find they have so many different student profiles! That’s really what convinced me: the international mix of the student body. I have to say I was surprised at my first seminar, because the maturity and the experience of the students really surpassed my expectations. Grad school is simply a different kind of education. Coming back to school is like a rebirth; e-learning just wouldn’t have worked for me. And the professors are very diligent in terms of their grading and comments. Going over my own work, I see they were right. The school itself does everything to make your education go smoothly. The payment plans are flexible and the staff is accommodating. I see teamwork being reinforced in the classroom, and that’s a great lesson for the workplace: that several people together can support each other to accomplish something greater than any one could do alone. We are constantly building on team efforts here. Now I am a quick learner. I hate tedium, I hate classes that drag along. The ISM curriculum is flexible enough that you can choose the subjects that interest you and open yourself up to new disciplines. You perceive new levels of thought. In the crisis management seminar, for example, I went through the exercises thinking about a crisis my organization had recently, and if I had known then what I know now, I could have really helped them through that. I can already see the impact of the seminars.
I have been working in the non-profit sector for the last 26 years. I took the ISM IEMBA program from 2005 to 2006 and finished my thesis and graduated in 2007. It was a very good experience and it was important to attend courses in person in Paris as well as New York. I also experienced one on-line course.
One of the highlights of the program was the opportunity to interact with other high-level professionals coming from various parts of the world and working in various industries. I would recommend ISM for anyone looking to improve organizational knowledge and to make new international connections.
At ISM, the aspect I appreciate the most is the diversity of the program: students coming from different cultures, countries and educational backgrounds. What is more, the choice of candidates is excellent. Even if it seems that we are all so different at first sight, we have something in common: the willingness and the curiosity to learn and the academic mind-set to create an even more interesting, and more successful existence by widening our horizons. The ISM professors are trained to meet our (very high) expectations. They all have significant industry experience and demonstrate how theoretical knowledge can be transformed into practice.ISM strives to continuously improve their programs, websites, intranet tools and academic resources in order to adapt to an ever changing environment, to meet the highest standards and to offer the best service to their students. Never in my life have I gained, by academic guidance, so much useful information about how to deal with everyday professional challenges, even in fields I thought I never would understand, like financial analysis! (I work in human resources). This approach of finding the right balance between theoretical knowledge and experience in business makes ISM so unique that upon completing their IEMBA program, I applied and have been accepted to participate in the Ph.D program.
An International Executive MBA is indispensable to me as I have a degree in International Politics and, despite having gained 10 years of important work experience in Italy and abroad, in both non-profit and profit multinationals, I feel there are significant economic and managerial skills that will allow me to navigate more complex and global organisational structures, and comprehend the rules and management systems which govern them.Additionally, in order to make a significant leap in my professional career, I am aware that I will need to strengthen my practical know-how.To address the above, I chose the International School of Management. It offers me the possibility of following a distance learning training course which is calibrated to my working needs, held in English, with an American style curriculum. It also allows the possibility of residencies in New York, Tokyo and Shanghai that provide insight into different local business environments, and access to local business professionals. The in-class sessions across all locations allow for the development of a strong multicultural network. All of the above, fundamental elements when one is keen to play an active role in today’s global world.
I chose the ISM DBA program because of its enrollment standards, flexible program, and the intense focus on international business. Not only could the curriculum fit my schedule, but attending class with other classmates from around the world helped form relationships that will last long after the program. The international and varied perspectives presented in class made for a well-rounded and enriching learning environment. In most things in life, you get out of them what you put in. At ISM, I feel like I got even more than I expected. My operating scope and global awareness increased a hundred-fold through this program. I would highly recommend this program to any of my associates or friends.
I consider myself very lucky to have had the opportunity to study at ISM and continue my postgraduate studies. My DBA program gave me the chance to be one of those successful candidates and establish a good friendship with many students.
ISM is the best school to offer an intensive international program that helped me gained valuable field experience with the right combination of theory.
Because of the flexibility of the program, ISM students take the advantage to continue study without abandon their work. From my own experience I do encourage the candidates who are looking forward to continuing their education to study at ISM.
I found the participants, at the ISM NY Program at St. John's University, an inspirational network of future leaders and self-investors.The professors and students, gathered under one roof for several weeks, provided a world class learning environment. The entire time spent in NY was - in the words of Shakespeare - "A Midsummer Night's Dream".
I thoroughly enjoyed the Advanced Corporate Strategy seminar. Professor Weber was truly inspiring and he made this seminar interesting and motivating. His style of teaching brought out the best in the students, and the classroom format was an excellent mix of lectures, discussion, case studies and student presentations. The materials covered in the course were highly relevant to the work I do and addressed many of today's complex business issues and strategy decisions executives have to make. I also found the pre-reading materials and cases most helpful in preparation for the seminar.