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- About ISM
Redefining Executive Education
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 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.
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.