‘I’m no longer afraid of failure’: the European MBA to help you conquer your fears

There’s no question that an MBA can help advance your career. But what kind of MBA can best expand your skill set and offer you the wider perspective needed to really thrive in an international employment market?

'I'm no longer afraid of failure': the European MBA to help you conquer your fears
Photo: Raluca Rusu

For many people, it’s difficult to find a option that fits in with their busy lives. Here, The Local speaks with two international people who found a solution through modular learning with the ESSEC and Mannheim Executive MBA.

Find out more about your unique chance to learn through six-day modules with the ESSEC and Mannheim Executive MBA. The next course starts in October 2021.

Markets are becoming increasingly international and knowing how to conduct business in this global environment is becoming a key competence. After all, the vast majority of large companies operate globally.

Accordingly, an international executive MBA will prepare you to conduct business internationally across all aspects of commerce ranging from management and finance to marketing and sales and more. The ESSEC and Mannheim Executive MBA, rated highly by QS World University Rankings, is a prime example of an Executive MBA that can offer this international dimension.

A truly international experience

Those embarking on an MBA are usually hungry for fresh perspectives. Raluca Rusu, CEO of R Systems Europe, certainly was.

“I grew up working at R Systems and I learned a lot during the process,” says Raluca, who is Romanian. “But I wanted new learning experiences and I specifically wanted an international Executive program to help me get out of my comfort zone, and to mix with people from other cultures. The ESSEC and Mannheim Executive MBA made a virtue out of the international element of its MBA.”

The international aspect was really emphasised, according to Raluca. “Not only were my study colleagues from a huge variety of backgrounds and countries, but so were the university staff – they were not just French or German and they had such a huge wealth of business experience.

“They hadn’t just worked at one or two companies – they had a lot of experience in consulting many companies. And they had practical experience of working with different organisations, so they provided actionable insights that you could apply immediately to your own company or situation. There was a real sense of active entrepreneurship.”

A significant strength of the program is its collaborative approach with team projects. It differentiates itself from competitors thanks to its group project approach (three types of group projects take place during the program, such as social class projects, entrepreneurial or strategic group projects).

Motasem Al Amour, a strategic executive IT and security expert, who works in technical sales for Aruba, a Hewlett Packard company, agrees that the international dimension was an eye-opener.

“One of the key aspects I was looking for was to broaden my horizons. The Executive MBA had such a strong international flavour, both with the other students, and the university staff and lecturers, that it couldn’t fail to offer me new perspectives,” says Motasem.

“Before the program, I think I saw the world from quite a narrow angle. But I now see things from a much wider perspective, to the extent that some of my work colleagues have actually mentioned it. I am much more open to dealing with, and developing solutions, for change and most of that is down to meeting – and working with – such a variety of international people.”

Read more about what some of the ESSEC and Mannheim Business Executive MBA’s diverse alumni say about the program

Photo: ESSEC

Learning in a way that suits your lifestyle

For anyone with a full-time job, and possibly a family, the flexibility of an Executive MBA course is key. The ESSEC and Mannheim Executive MBA offers a modular course which provides students with six-day chunks of learning. This was very important for Motasem.

“When I first started looking around for a suitable MBA. I saw a lot of institutions offering weekend or full-time only courses,” he says. “But I have a job and a family, so those options weren’t possible. However, the modular offering was perfect. Obviously, it was still going to be challenging, but an intensive six-day chunk of learning every few weeks, rather than every weekend, was much easier to sell to both my family and employer.”

Raluca also preferred the modularity of the course. “I really liked the format of the MBA because, instead of weekends, it had six day chunks of learning. A full-time course was not possible and It would have been far too difficult for me to travel every weekend from Romania to Germany or France.”

Raluca also found the length of each chunk of education to be very time-efficient. “Six days allows you to really focus on a subject in a way that you just can’t do over a weekend.”

Ultimately, what really matters with an MBA course is how it enables you to reap the benefits of what you have learnt in your professional life. And it’s here that both Raluca and Motasem are most effusive in their praise.

“It made me much more willing to tackle change,” says Raluca. “I am now much less wary about trying something new. The course gave me more confidence to try things and not to be afraid of failure. That was a great learning experience.”

Motasem attributes his new-found broader perspective to his time on the Executive MBA. “People at work have noticed the change in my mindset – even my immediate boss! I am much more open to change and to trying new ideas. I also communicate better and am much more adaptable – I actively embrace change now!”

But, as with any educational process, it’s also about the people you meet.

“I also have an amazing new network now, thanks to the Executive MBA course,” says Raluca. “We now have a WhatsApp group, on which we celebrate each others’ birthdays and keep in touch. It’s a really great and unexpected benefit of the course!”

Ready to take the next step in your business career? Learn more about how this highly-ranked and flexible MBA could fit into your life. The next course starts in October 2021.

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5 things to do in Paris on Mother’s Day

Mother's Day in France falls on June 4th, here Lost in Frenchlation's Sequoia Alonso offers her five top tips for ways to celebrate in Paris.

5 things to do in Paris on Mother’s Day

Visit a flowery cafe for brunch

Nothing screams Mother’s Day more than springtime and nature. But, what if you want an even greater Parisian experience, and some food to go with it?

Paris is full of corner cafés bursting to the brim with flowers along the building walls and above awnings. Perhaps the cutest example of this is La Favorite – the pinkest café in Paris (and a well-known hangout for Instagram influencers). You can find La Favorite here.

See a stand-up comedy show

Sarah Donnelly is an American who has been living in Paris for a while now, and she knows both the American and Parisian ways of life.

She used to have a show called Becoming Maman, a comedy special about being an American Mom of French kids, which is available on YouTube. Her current show is called The Only American in Paris, in which she talks about her life and motherhood.

You can go see her on Saturday, June 3rd, at the Theatre Saint Bo Martin – tickets here.

View some antique jewellery

A new exhibition opens at L’École, the School of Jewellery Arts, on June 2nd, just in time for Mother’s Day. Called A New Art: Metamorphoses of Jewellery, 1880-1914, it explores and showcases amazing pieces from the era that aren’t regularly exhibited, including some from private collections.

This is a rare opportunity to see some fantastic antiques – tickets here.

Have a theatre trip

Theatres in Paris host numerous English-speaking shows, and there is no shortage of them on Mother’s Day weekend, as well as some opera that is performed with English subtitles in projection.

Shows on June 3rd and 4th include A Brilliant Idea, The Bald Soprano, The Lesson, La Bohème, La Traviata and The Lion King. You can find out more and buy tickets here.

Catch a Mother’s Day film screening

On Mother’s Day itself (June 4th, remember) you could take her to the cinema.

Lost in Frenchlation hosts a screening of Alexis Michalik’s Une Histoire d’Amour, a moving tale of love, family, and overcoming hardships in life. There will also be a special Ciné Balade tour starting at 5pm for a fun and informative new experience in the city, celebrating French and international movies that have been shot around Paris.

The screening will start at 8pm with the bar and pre-screening event opening at 7pm. Located at the unique boat-themed cinema Club de L’Etoile in the 8th arrondissement, this is one of the most interesting experiences you can give your mother for her special day. You can find tickets here.