Redefining Executive Education

ISM students and alumni represent more than 90 countries throughout the world. You can choose to view testimonials by country or by program or a combination of both. You can also browse through the testimonials further down this page.

I started working at 21 in order to acquire a certain experience in business and management to use when it came time to found my own company. Since the very beginning of my career, I have worked alongside American companies, but I wanted to get some experience inside one of them, so I joined WRQ. After four years there, I understood that the American way of conducting business really corresponded with my personal values. I had incredible potential opportunities inside the company, but after discussing the matter with the management, I felt I lacked the educational background to take advantage of them. In addition, before applying to a position based either in the US or in Asia, I wanted to present a 100%-clean application. According to the feedback I received from different sources, the MBA program that ISM offered seemed to be the best way to succeed. In fact, it is considered very solid – maybe because it is an intensive program, requesting a real commitment from students – and quite serious due to its international accreditations. One month after I completed my MBA, I was invited to manage the Asia Pacific region for WRQ. That was in June 2000, and I am still enjoying this fantastic experience.

I had already earned an MBA in Russia, but I began working for a Swiss multinational in their St. Petersburg office, and I realized I needed a more international business education. I travel eight months a year, so I needed a degree program with a certain flexibility. I knew I wanted to study in Western Europe, but London was too restricted. I discovered ISM and found that its Paris campus offered the mix of European culture and American faculty that I was looking for to deepen my education. This degree is different from the rest: the professors are teaching to their equals; the interaction is fast and rich; the ideas are conveyed quickly.

ISM offers an incredibly open and flexible curriculum for professionals who don’t have the time to take a sabbatical from their careers. The school makes education available to a certain group of very busy people. Add to that the fact that it’s quite international and you’ll understand why I chose ISM. My experience here has been incredibly positive. The administration is friendly and accommodating; the professors are personable; and the student body is a stimulating group. As a diplomat, I work in the public sector, so a lot of my learning has been gaining insight into the private sector and its striving for efficacy. I think that will serve me as I continue, whether I remain a diplomat for Peru, opt for an international organization like the UN, or make another career change. The learning opens doors.

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.

I needed an executive program with a flexible schedule that would allow me to study in Paris. I’d always felt that an MBA would really improve my ability to manage, even though it’s not a degree that ship captains usually get. It’s taught me a great deal about cross-cultural management, about handling people, and about the nuts and bolts of negotiating. My studies will certainly give me the opportunity to move towards administration on land when the time comes. The long-term impact will be the doors it opens. People expect more of MBA graduates.

The IEMBA enabled me to get into upper management. I chose ISM because I could compress the IEMBA, spend time with a wide range of people from diverse cultures and business experiences, and live in Paris (one of the most fantastic cities in the world). The MBA gave me the confidence that I could match anyone and make the cut anywhere—from there I have gone on to global management roles. I was able to spend time with my family since I took a break from work while I did the degree. The greatest insight I gained was an understanding of how different people can treat and react differently to the same set of facts. 

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 wanted to deepen my knowledge of International Marketing and obtain an MBA diploma in a friendly, student-centered atmosphere. ISM offered me all this and more. My fellow students from all parts of the world exchange ideas, opinions, and beliefs while maintaining their focus on business and entrepreneurship. At the same time, teachers and ISM staff are engaged in enhancing students' education and the International Marketing program.

I would like to seize this occasion to express how very pleased I am to have been given the opportunity to be part of ISM's IEMBA program. I entered the program with nothing more than my deep will to outperform myself, and I am finishing with the feeling that I have met a family and learned more than I could have ever expected.

Thank you for everything. I am now ready to meet the challenges of the business world with confidence.

I selected the IEMBA program predominantly because of the flexibility it allows me in continuing to work while attending school, as well as the diversity in the course offerings which aligns well with past and present professional responsibilities.

As an American, who has lived and worked overseas for the past 15 years, I have learned how important it is to effectively engage, personally as well as professionally, with all cultures, so the fact that ISM is based in Paris, France with reciprocal facilities in Asia and the United States was definitely an added bonus. I have enjoyed meeting and studying with my fellow IEMBA students, and I have learned almost as much from them as I have from the seminars themselves. The opportunity to apply what I have learned since college in graduate level environment, and applying what I learn at ISM in my current work environment makes the overall ISM experience very rewarding.