European Governance and Integration: Work in Progress

Midweek, Wednesday afternoon May 25. It was the one time that week all MaastrichtMBA students left their small-scale teaching classes to join forces and attend a keynote session by Prof. dr. Michael Kaeding, professor in European Politics and EU Integration.

The atmosphere was great, relaxed, and very lively, so Kaeding felt comfortable to approach the group with an invitation to ask any questions they like. As he guided the students in an intricate network of EU political and procedural structures, it became clear there were different levels of knowledge and EU involvement in the group. Some are familiar with European legislation and regulation in their line of work for export and import of products or services, others just welcomed this workshop to broaden their insight and knowledge.

Marcel Adriaens realised he didn’t know a lot about the political function of Europe until attending this session. “It was very informative. Professor Kaeding started with the basics, which made the information accessible and easy to grasp, and in combination with the lessons in macroeconomics from earlier this week, it provides for a clear picture why a united Europe is necessary and useful. In my work, European policies aren’t really relevant, but understanding Europe is a must for everyone’s general awareness and knowledge and as such, also for mine.”

Food for thought as a main objective

As time progressed, Michael Kaeding now and then abandoned his presentation to answer a number of questions, such as why a nation’s representation on EU level doesn’t necessarily relate to a nation’s national politics or views, which can be very diverse. Some political parties only exist for the purpose of the European Parliament, as there are also national parties whose views and politics are not represented on European level. The position of EU president Martin Schulz was discussed, whether his role has primarily an ambassador or representative function, or bears real influence and power. As far as power is concerned, the roles and dynamics of the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Council were explained and discussed. And how a process of decision-making can be part of political strategy and tactics.

“How do we feel about Strasbourg?”, professor Kaeding asked the group back, and he responded to the different answers with plausible explanations as they exist in the European context. Having explained the basics of the EU, Kaeding took examples of current major issues in Europe such as the refugee crisis, and placed them against potential and possible developments in relation to elections, voting and legislation. He discussed the various parties, the coalitions, and compared past, present and future. He talked about exclusive competence versus shared and coordinated competence. And then there’s of course the importance and significance of the Treaties.

Useful and enjoyable…

Apart from all of these serious matters, there was plenty of room for laughter and humour as the MBAs very much realised how their different cultural and professional backgrounds played a part in their political judgements, which construed this session into a very vibrant and enjoyable one.

May van de Kerkhof: “Professor Kaeding succeeded in keeping us focused. In a week full of micro- and macroeconomic topics, the overall umbrella of the EU helped to create yet another frame. To me the workshop is very useful in the context of my daily work, where CBS (Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek) delivers many statistics for Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, on the basis of European regulations. To get a more insightful picture of how party politics work in the different institutes of the EU, why Euro skepticism is growing and how, for example, to get a majority on a specific topic. It gave me some new insights and takeaways, as a result of which the session was an asset in the programme.”

The Economics Perspective

Prof. dr. Tom van Veen teaches in the MaastrichtMBAIn the week of 23-27 May, our programme focuses on the international environment of business. We talked to Tom van Veen, Professor in Economics of International Education, about what students can expect in this week as well as what kind of issues they may encounter in the context of their professional capacity.

For Tom van Veen the field of economics has always beheld guidelines, solutions and answers to many of the complex issues in our world. As an expert in macroeconomics, he teaches about macro-economic policy in Europe. “We look closer into the environment in which companies operate”, Tom van Veen explains, “we discuss why it’s important for a business to be knowledgeable on the topic of exchange rates, to gain insight in how the European economy develops in connection to, for example, emerging economies, such as India and China. We analyse the phenomenon of economic growth and ask if Europe should be cautious or concerned with new economies on the rise. In what ways will this affect our European economy? These are just a handful of issues I like to look into with our executive students.”

Focusing on our strengths

Huge corporate organisations often relocate their manufacturing departments to countries where the cost of producing goods is low, which makes it less expensive for consumers to buy those goods, if we fast forward to the end of the production chain. Should we worry about our own economical value as a country, in means of opportunities for labour or employment? Tom van Veen says there is no reason for concern. “If companies seek out their comparative advantage and take their business elsewhere, we must focus on our own strengths as a country. The development of the knowledge economy is a good example. If we look at the region of South-Limburg and its history in mining, we see that as soon as they closed the mines they had to invest in new industries, new chances to help building a new economy. Realising a university and other educational institutes has proven to be a good investment. We take into consideration the importance of innovation and technical proficiency. These are just a few of many aspects tied into globalisation, which will always generate winners and losers. It’s a responsibility of governments to find satisfactory solutions”, Tom van Veen concludes. “These topics are also featured during the upcoming MBA week. Dr. Huub Meijers, our Associate Professor of Economics looks into the relations between innovation & technology and economic growth, and discusses options and variables.”

Economic debates from an organisational perspective

Tom van Veen’s task during the education week is to discuss some of the basic yet vital principles of economics and explaining microeconomic relations. How does a market work or function? Is competition a good or bad thing? What is the best avenue to present your product or service? Do funding and grants offer success in the long run? How do economists analyse these issues? He continues by introducing the rest of the programme. “My colleague Erik de Regt, Senior Lecturer, will focus on analysing competition in a corporate environment and competitive industries and its effect on economic welfare in society. In the field of macroeconomics, prof. Dr. Joan Muysken will offer an analysis of the financial crisis as it manifested itself in recent years in Europe. “We don’t think it’s a structural problem that will take another twenty years to solve”, Tom van Veen explains. “So we will look into short term solutions, such as lowering interest rates at our banks or how to enhance purchasing power of consumers. Dr. Huub Meijers has prepared a long term analysis on macroeconomics in terms of economic growth, with examples of where we can be in twenty years.”

Tom van Veen emphasises that this week’s theme is built around the perspective of an organisation. Not in matters of how to compose a successful offer to attract clients, but how to determine one’s course of action as a firm. What would be the best strategy if you’d like to plan for the next fifteen years?

As you can see, there are plenty of challenges ahead in our upcoming MaastrichtMBA week. We hope the executive MBA students will enjoy participating in the variety of elements within our programme. We, of course, encourage them to bring their own expertise and knowledge to the table for applied and active learning!

Investing in Arts or Education?

A Meet & Greet at the world’s most renowned art fair is an event MaastrichtMBA students and alumni wouldn’t want to miss out on. As such we were very pleased to see many familiar faces on Tuesday March 15 for drinks and talks, to both honour the 40th anniversary of UM and celebrate our own achievements in life and work. The group gathered at a designated business stand, which was situated in a strategic and quiet corner of the expo centre’s venue. While some of our attendees engaged in thoughtful or light conversation, others couldn’t help but feel drawn by the lure of the many treasures that surrounded us. Everyone was free to explore the fair at his or her own pace. One by one or in small ensembles, our alumni and students thanked us for the invitation before merging into an eclectic and enamoured TEFAF audience. What’s not to love about art?

More than just an asset!

Art and Business is a topic widely discussed in many different communities. TEFAF itself stands ground with a clear vision in their TEFAF Essentials: Art is more than an asset. From that perspective, if we compare to our very own MaastrichtMBA programme, our students and their ambition towards career enhancement aren’t just assets either. There’s more to it than just a climb to the top, to achieve success for one’s organisation or oneself. There’s an intrinsic value that can’t always be put into words. Like we can’t always describe what we feel when we look at a masterfully crafted contemporary painting, or find ourselves opposite a massive art sculpture created by man in long forgotten eras. But how do we feel about buying art as a secure investment with future revenues expressed in monetary gain?

Adam Lindemann, billionaire and collector, wrote an insightful article with an interesting conclusion, perhaps, for someone with inexhaustible financial means. He once asked an art dealer whether he believed art was an investment. The art dealer said yes, but not always a good one. Mr. Lindemann, at the time, agreed with that statement. Ten years later, mr. Lindemann’s perception and view have changed. “Investing requires cold analysis and objective thinking, and there’s no art in that. Art collecting is a different thing, it requires interest, patience and hopefully some passion, or at least intellectual curiosity.”

Interest, patience, passion and intellectual curiosity

We can relate to that in and for our MaastrichtMBA programme, where students explore and discover the art in themselves, metaphorically speaking. Or maybe it’s a matter of collecting the art within themselves, with interest and patience, passion and intellectual curiosity, while they strive for the next level in life and their chosen careers. How ‘return on investment’ is perceived, can perhaps also be compared to or measured by an afternoon at TEFAF, surrounded by master pieces and art of all centuries, from ancient to contemporary, old and new, tangible and elusive, ground-breaking or traditional, but always professing of what we humans bring forth. And it’s up to each individual whether they opt to invest or collect.

A Personal Recollection of the International Week in Stellenbosch

It’s a special and highly anticipated part of the MaastrichtMBA programme, the International Week towards the end of the year. We invited Francisco De Melo Vieira Jr. (38) to share some of his trip to University of Stellenbosch Business School in South Africa with our MaastrichtMBA network. Francisco is from Brazil. He began his career as a civil engineer, but after his Master’s Degree in Mechanical-Aeronautical Engineering he ventured into the field of aerospace and since then works for an international company, Embraer, the 3rd largest airplane maker after Airbus and Boeing. He and his family relocated to Maastricht in 2012.

“We were with a diverse group of about forty participants from all nationalities, a variety in age and different stages in the programme. I arrived three days earlier and did some sight-seeing in Cape Town before joining the group activities. The week at University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) started on Monday, with a look on the African continent economy in general and South Africa in particular, our host was Prof. André Roux who is a recognized specialist in the subject. It was quite interesting, with a lot of history, facts and figures. Later that day we went to visit SAB Miller, one of the world’s largest brewery companies. It was an interesting tour, we learned about their brewery production and history, but I would have welcomed more information about their position in the market as a business entity, how such a huge company functions and which are their management challenges.”

“This is exactly what I expected from it: stepping into a different environment with what we know, our own knowledge and then to try and apply it into that environment.”

Tuesday morning started with a lecture at USB about social entrepreneurship. Francisco: “Afterwards we went to visit two entrepreneurs in the township Khayelitsha, east of Cape Town. One of them is trying to change the mindset of the people in his community, by offering proper coffee as a beverage. Before he opened his cafeteria Department of Coffee, people were used to drinking instant coffee. He prepares cappuccino, espresso, fresh coffee for his customers. It’s interesting, because he’s not offering the township something cheaper, instead he is trying to change the coffee culture in that community and a way of life by bringing them a premium product. The second entrepreneur was Espinaca Innovations. After learning spinach harvesting, Lufefe Nomjana volunteered at the local hospital, where he saw people with bad nutrition related diseases, such as diabetes. He wanted to make change. Eventually, he developed this idea to sell a better and nutritional bread for the township by adding spinach to the bread recipe.”

“To be in a group with many different nationalities was also one of the highlights of the International Week.”

The big group of students was divided into eight smaller groups assigned to study 4 business efforts in the township. In addition to the cafeteria and the “spinach king” there was a football-club focusing on coaching children from the township and an initiative to collect remains of food to manufacture compost which would be sold for gardening.

Francisco: “Our task was also to interview these four entrepreneurs, bring our own knowledge into the equation and present them with our interpretations of their business. Finally, we had to offer them advice on how they could improve their business, make it more sustainable and ready for the long-term future.” Naturally, there were discussions about the essence and merit of social entrepreneurship, which in these two small enterprises is represented by offering employment to people from the township and launching various projects, such as donating muffins for children (Department of Coffee) and educating people on vegetables harvesting (Espinaca Innovations).

“We humans can always learn a lot when immersed in the experience.”

For Francisco, the whole experience of being in South Africa was worth it. “We had to engage in group discussions and prepare for our presentations on Friday morning. I think that was the most essential part of the week, because it was centered in the way of doing business in South Africa, in particular in the reality of Khayelitsha. This is exactly what I expected from it: stepping into a different environment with what we know, our own knowledge and then to try and apply it into that environment.” There were also lectures at USB about innovation, marketing, corporate governance and other business and cultural visits during this International Week.

To be in a group with many different nationalities was also one of the highlights of the International Week. “I really liked the experience of working with people from different cultures and trying to understand what influence the culture background has on doing business or decision-making. Being in South Africa enhanced our understanding of different points of view on how things work in that unique environment, a way of doing business, and how it can be improved. We humans can always learn a lot when immersed in the experience.”

The MBA Class Experience: Different Backgrounds Bring Different Questions

The MaastrichtMBA programme applies small-scaled teaching, which has proven its merit over the years. Our programme’s Class Experience on Friday the 27th of November practised the MBA vision to its fullest by welcoming three selected prospective students: Fernanda, Fred and Michel. Their background couldn’t be more different as was their motivation to participate in this last Class Experience of 2015. For this edition, Ron Jacobs, our MBA Marketing Manager, invited René Katerberg, executive MBA student, who is currently involved in his concluding Business Consulting Project before graduating. René would share some of his experiences as an MBA programme participant and answer any of the questions the three guests might have.

This time around, the MBA Class Experience was combined with the Taste of Knowledge event, a series of workshops and seminars for the business network of Maastricht University School of Business and Economics. More than ninety participants registered for five different sessions and topics, the Class Experience group was added to Dr. Ad van Iterson’s session about gossip as a potential constructive element at the workplace.

Fernanda (33) is from Mexico, but she has recently relocated to the Netherlands with her Dutch partner. Her background in International Business Administration and having been employed at a large international company, suited her preference for an MBA, as it felt like utilising her achievements so far towards new channels. “I don’t know anyone except my partner’s family,” Fernanda explains, “and apart from wanting to learn Dutch as fast as possible, finding a new job is very important. I love the city of Maastricht and we’ve visited here often. The MBA programme appealed to me a lot because it has a different, small-scaled approach. I definitely feel it would broaden my skills and improve my chances to find a job in the Netherlands. And by going back to school, I will meet new people and be able to build a new network or maybe even find a job.”

Fred’s curiosity as a seasoned business consultant for twenty-seven years and marketing partner for entrepreneurs, made him decide to sign up for a Class Experience. “Ron’s introduction to the MBA programme left nothing to be desired and it’s crystal clear what the programme entails,” Fred responded, “but whether gossip at the workplace can serve as a fruitful tool in business still needs further discussion, I guess”, he concludes, based on the active conversations in Dr. Van Iterson’s trial session.

Michel, the third Class Experience guest, works as a sales manager and sales trainer with an abundance in mileage on his resume. “I have to travel a lot for my job, and since I am in the learning business, I love to broaden my own experience as well, and be able to grow by learning, to improve myself. The MBA programme focuses on topics that would allow those personal improvements to be useful in my work environment. Because of my traveling, I have learned that different backgrounds bring different questions, which adds to a new total of knowledge and information we gain access to.”

Some of the questions René Katerberg had to answer defined the subtle but essential distinction between teaching and coaching. “As part of the leadership development trajectory, coaching is a powerful instrument, and a very personal one. Our teachers become coaches and facilitators rather than being teachers, our own input is valuable and preferred.” For René, as a pending MBA graduate, following the programme has brought him more mental agility and better access to his communicative skills.

As the introduction session slowly morphs into a Class Experience with the arrival of Dr. Ad van Iterson and a dozen registered participants from the university’s business network, everyone’s mental agility is being put to the test. Can gossip at the workplace facilitate newcomers to familiarise with the corporate culture more quickly, or is gossip an accepted affluent in social behaviour, with a primarily negative influence? Opinions and experiences differ and where one mentions keywords such as “inclusion” and “collusion”, others share a positive outcome as they have successfully used gossip as a workable tool to tackle bullying in their organisation.

At the end of the session, multiple thoughts have been left open for discussion and interpretation, with some valuable insights many can agree upon. “It’s about intention and impact” is one of them.

It surely was another fruitful experience as the attendees gained an insider’s perspective on Maastricht University School of Business and Economics, its MaastrichtMBA programme, and its renowned problem-based learning approach recognised through its active conversations and effective co-creation of knowledge and insights by all participants involved.

Thinking in Different South African Boxes

„Thinking out of the box“ is one of those sentences that I totally dislike was Martin Butler’s strong opening statement. The innovation professor was one of the inspiring lecturers during our international MaastrichtMBA week at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. “Thinking out of the box and I am open minded mean usually I am empty minded and I do not have clue” Butler continued. Innovations are the result of a lot of hard work and developing understanding of underlying complexities and the ability to transfer this understanding to a different context. Thus, we need to think in different boxes rather than outside the box in an empty space.

Social and leap frog innovations in South Africa was the overall theme of the week and we approached the topic by looking through multiple lenses or in different boxes. In teams we worked together with young entrepreneurs based in Khayelitsha, the second largest township in South Africa closed to Cape Town. Visiting the businesses in that township and supporting the young entrepreneurs in developing strategic growth plans placed us in one a totally different box and we quickly understood that our eloquent application of our strategic management tool box reached quickly its limits.

From the township we beamed to Launchlab, the start-up incubator of Stellenbosch University, again a jump into a different box. We talked to companies developing satellite and wind turbines technologies. Leap frogging technologies in a country that misses extensive cable networks which we are used to in Europe. While Europe struggles to balance its centralized electricity generation in large power plants with the decentralized generation through small wind parks and solar panels. Those latter technologies bring renewable electricity to remote areas in South Africa creating new opportunities.

Obviously a visit to Stellenbosch cannot miss a wine tasting at one of the many wineries in the surrounding hills. But before we tasted the Pinotage, we learnt how Backsberg Estate become one of the few carbon neutral wineries in the world and how sustainability considerations become an integrative part of a business case. We also learnt that willingness to change is a crucial factor of Backsberg’s success. While they have been winemakers for more than a century they continuously explore other opportunities. About a decade ago they raised pigs but turned to hatching chicken eggs when profit margins in pork deteriorated. Nowadays the land with the old hatching stables is used to grow blueberries, currently the new blue gold in South Africa. One of the secrets of success in South African agriculture is the willingness to break with traditions and deploy existing resources to new and different purposes and find niches in the world market for food.

Moving from the sunny and warm box called summer in South Africa back to the wet and cold box called Dutch Winter was our final and least pleasant shift in boxes, but the rich array of impressions and the engaging discussions with so many people will remain from our journey through the different South African boxes.

A Coffee and Cookie Meeting with MBA Director Dr. Boris Blumberg

Our MaastrichtMBA programme belongs to the 1% of business schools worldwide that have been granted the Triple Crown status. This internationally renowned accreditation ensures the high quality of our professional approach in academic achievement for a practical business-related outcome. Despite being driven and serious about our task as educators and facilitators, the informal atmosphere we like to offer our students holds equal merit. We value people. We value a personal touch. Hence the coffee and cookie meeting with director dr. Boris Blumberg.

Dr. Blumberg is our Academic Director MBA since 1 October 2010. As assistant professor Organization & Strategy, researcher and author, his experience and knowledge regarding entrepreneurship and strategic management fit the MBA programmes like a glove. His role as a director is diverse and working with a small team contributes to the department’s transparency and workability. “Prospects always already have a talk with our admission officers Pia and Chantal,” Boris Blumberg explains. “But they can also have a talk with me, whether in person or via Skype if they don’t live nearby. Of course I would like to get to know our students a little bit better after the first introduction. I’m interested in their motivation, why they decided for the MaastrichtMBA, like how will it fit into their career plans, or what their expectations for our programme are. I always assume they have read all the information available in our brochure and on our website. So what I then try to explain to them in our talk, is the philosophy behind our programme.”

One of the pillars is focus on leadership. “The reason why is because it’s an executive MBA programme. The average of our students have eleven to twelve years of work experience, so the people in the programme are what I would call mid career professionals. They have made the first steps in their career, or have experienced their first promotion. Average age is 37, so they  still have a lot ahead of them. They are given room and time for development and what they usually lack or miss despite their bachelor or marketing degree, are sufficient skills that are required for a leadership position. Now we don’t believe that if you start the programme on Monday and finish it by Friday, you will already be a better leader if you return to work the next Monday. The learning is very much a process. We’ve incorporated this leadership development into the whole 2-year programme with different educational weeks.”

Small scale teaching and Problem-based Learning (PBL) are two other pillars. “We have a different understanding of the role of our teachers,” says Boris Blumberg. “Our students are working professionals and also participants. We encourage them to bring their work experience to the classroom and vice versa, which makes for a new dynamic in work, learning and teaching, or coaching.”

Boris Blumberg also mentioned informal leadership. But if you’d like to hear more about the importance of such leadership, why not request a meeting?

Meeting Professionals in Frankfurt and London

Last month the MaastrichtMBA team went out for a little promotional tour abroad to meet qualified professionals in Germany and England who consider starting their executive MBA on short term; a deliberate move since the MaastrichtMBA is gaining more and more attention from abroad. Over the past 12 months, we have added 18 new nationalities to the programme and it is our ambition to grow the attractiveness beyond the borders even further in future.

Our foreign exploration led to quite some interesting meet-and-greets with professionals in Frankfurt and London who were exploring their options for an executive MBA.

“Maastricht… why should we come to you?”

was one of the very first and frequently posed questions we received. Yes, it is a small city and yes, at first sight it seems too far away for most busy professionals whose time to travel should be kept at a minimum. However, a brief conversation about the MaastrichtMBA has taught our interlocutors otherwise. Maastricht is an international destination with London, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Frankfurt all within a close reach. It is a city that is renowned for its diverse student population, a true “UniverCity”. Coming to Maastricht means meeting professionals that hail from all over the world. Joining the MaastrichtMBA means getting a multinational, multicultural learning experience all around.

“Does the benefit of internationality outweigh the travel distance?”

was the next question that came to mind at most of the fair’s attendees. “YES it does and NO it does not!” would be our answer. For once, there is no real distance impracticality since participants in the MaastrichtMBA only need to visit our campus four times a year for one full week of class sessions. Besides, it is obviously not only the international atmosphere that builds a unique learning experience. Maastricht University School of Business and Economics is renowned for its innovative, small-scale learning approach. Creating a setting that stimulates active dialogues between experienced professionals is what we do best. It is this “co-creation of knowledge” that sets us apart from other programmes. Co-creation through the sharing of knowledge and experience between professionals and translating the implications to their own workplace. And our teaching faculty? We rather see them as coaches that guide the conversations and add valuable insights from ground-breaking research to provide participants with additional food for thought.

After our little MBA tour last week, we still realise that initial conversations won’t suffice to convince anyone, as the proverbial proof of the pudding is in the eating. This is why we cordially invite everyone to give it a go in Maastricht before making a big decision. Join the MBA Class Experience on November 27th and be a MaastrichtMBA student for one afternoon. Afterwards, you are allowed to see for yourself whether the juice of our programme is worth the squeeze!

An Introduction to the GMAT: a Kick-off Session to Offer All-round Preparation!

One of our basics and beliefs is that we never stop learning in life. As such, we highly value every opportunity given to offer education for those who seek to further their career paths or venture new career directions. Professionals aren’t made from a singular mold. They may explore various walks of life before discovering new and unexpected talents. Their true calling can be discovered by detour, or they may even rise to the occasion after a life-altering epiphany. As such, taking an interest in our MaastrichtMBA programme without the credentials of a master’s degree doesn’t mean one’s dream or ambition has to end before it’s even begun. Quite the opposite, actually!

If you don’t have a master’s degree but feel strongly about following our MaastrichtMBA programme, taking the GMAT will be part of your admission process. The Graduate Management Admission Test will address a number of skills that are required to become a successful MaastrichtMBA student and advanced professional. You can expect assessments of analytical reading and writing, solving-problem abilities, critical reasoning and data sufficiency questions. In order to help you prepare for your GMAT exam and give you a chance to learn from our experience and expertise, we occasionally organise GMAT kick-off sessions or workshops, presented by Ron Jacobs, our International Projects Manager. Our last kick-off session was on October 20th.

Like in our MBA programme, we strongly adhere to the added value of small groups. On the 20th, we hosted a kick-off session for six prospective MaastrichtMBA candidates. Ron Jacobs welcomed the group and explained this session’s purpose and the significance of GMAT. “The line of questioning is compatible with the qualities of a business professional. We launched these sessions to help you get acquainted with the test’s structure, answer any of your questions and provide you with a certain sense of control, to help build confidence that you can pass this exam. By preparing yourself thoroughly for the GMAT, you’ll also be reintroduced, if necessary, to the rhythm of having to study again, which is relevant if you’ll start our MaastrichtMBA programme.”

The benefit of working interactively in small groups proves itself in the following hour of the session. As Ron presents each section and its questions, the candidates make notes, discuss the answers and which steps to take to answer correctly. The mathematical input in some parts is just a means to get through the assessments, but it comes highly recommended to brush up on your basic math if you’re not using it at work frequently.

For each section, Ron offers some valuable advice on how to best approach a question and what would be the best format to answer. To carefully read, to be logical and practical is very important and a key to succeeding in passing this test. The participants were glad for having joined this kick-off session that helped them pave the way to a thorough preparation for the GMAT.

Stellenbosch: Here We Come!

Later this month, 38 executives from the MaastrichtMBA are going to Cape Town, South Africa, for a one-week learning episode on a bundle of intriguing topics in the context of doing business in an emerging market. Students will be following lectures on the local campus, visit local SMEs as well as international organisations, meet local entrepreneurs and engage in an intriguing social innovation project.

The international immersion – this time in Cape Town – is a fixed part of the MaastrichtMBA curriculum and is reported as a signature component by many of our MBA alumni. This week’s programme is co-developed and hosted by the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB); one of our highly respected and highly qualified learning partners that – like us – holds the Triple Crown accreditation by AACSB, EQUIS, AMBA.

Going to the University of Stellenbosch Business School is a deliberate choice in terms of location as well as quality. With the international-oriented curriculum of the MaastrichtMBA, we specifically aim at taking participants to an emerging market and high-potential economy; one of the so-called BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). We always carefully select our local partner to safeguard the academic quality of our Triple Crowned MBA programme. In the past, this selection policy also brought us to places like Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV) in São Paulo, Brazil, and theIndian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) in Bangalore, India.