Leslie Szamosi: The Pan-European executive MBA is designed to integrate a holistic approach

08.04.2021 | 22:26 Home / News / Interviews /

Prof. Leslie Szamosi is a highly sought after speaker in the area of organizational change and the management of change. He is a Professor and the Academic Director of the MBA program at the University of York Europe Campus CITY College and a Founder and Co-Director of the Laboratory for Strategic People Management. He is a member of the Association of MBAs (AMBA) and is regular evaluator and assessor of MBA programs all over the world.

What is the Pan European MBA?

The Pan-European executive MBA is the evolution of our MBA program which we have been successfully running throughout our region for the last 30 years. The AMBA accredited Pan-European executive MBA gives students the opportunity to continue working while simultaneously earning a dual degree from two world-class universities: the leading University of York, a Russell group University and the prestigious University of Strasbourg.  There is no university program in our region that gives students what the Pan-European MBA program offers.

The Pan-European executive MBA has been designed specifically to integrate a holistic approach to business taking into account regional and Pan European business needs within a global system.  Students study in a long-weekend mode (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) for eight units delivered in their home countries or in an online mode while engaging in three international study trips to York, Strasbourg, and Thessaloniki providing both networking and study opportunities.  The program is completed over a 26-month period.  The program also includes a soft-skills development program including leadership career development, negotiation skills, and project risk management.

What is different from other MBAs?

We have developed, I think, a number of unique components to our program. The most unique aspect is the ability now for a student to achieve a dual degree, one from a top British university, the University of York, and one from one of the most prestigious European universities, the University of Strasbourg. These are two leading Global universities that have come together to offer this very unique program in our region.  

Another unique aspect of our program is our pan-European and international perspective – we bring together managers and executives from over 18 countries through our 8 teaching locations (Sofia, Thessaloniki, Belgrade, Kyiv, Bucharest, Yerevan, Tbilisi, etc) and now our blended (online program), world class teaching staff from across Europe and North America, and global industry experts.

Other unique aspects of our program include the Career and Leadership coaching that we offer our students which links to our belief that we need to build both hard and soft skills in today’s MBA curriculum.  Our students also have the opportunity to network with like-minded colleagues from eight teaching locations as well as students who are going to enroll in our new blended learning option.  There will be three study trips for students to participate in including at York in the United Kingdom, Strasbourg in France and in Thessaloniki where students from all of our teaching locations will come together to study, network, and share ideas.  

Finally, students will be able to work one-on-one with a career and leadership coach to aid them in becoming the best of who they want to be!

To whom is it addressed to?

The Pan-European executive MBA has been designed and tailored for individuals looking for a holistic understanding of business and current management thinking. It is intended for people looking to enhance their knowledge, advance their management skills, and develop their careers.  It has been designed for the busy professional looking for a world class educational experience to help them now and in the future.  

What is the benefit for someone to attend it?

There are a number of key benefits for students joining the Pan-European executive MBA.

First and foremost they will be receiving two MBA degrees from leading world class universities. The Cutting Edge knowledge delivered inside and outside of the classroom will help students advance their current and future career goals.  We pride ourselves on giving students the opportunity to network not only with the students inside their particular group but beyond into the wider region. Students will have the opportunity to be taught by leading world-class professors who are experts not only from an academic perspective but also a practical one.  Students will have the opportunity to be personally coached in their leadership and career aspirations.  

Finally, students will become a part of an approximately 4000 person MBA alumni group providing future networking and business possibilities

What would you say to a person who is wondering if now in 2021 is the right time for him/her to enroll in the MBA Program?
If there was ever a time to consider enrolling in an MBA program this would be it. We have seen the impact of the pandemic not only throughout our region but also throughout the world.  We have seen, in real time, how organizations have had to rethink the way they do things and to adapt to forced realities. MBA programs give us a unique opportunity not only to upgrade our skills but also to rethink the way we undertake business and consider options for the future.   Going forward companies are going to have workforce that is able to work from a holistic perspective and be able to adapt quickly to whatever environmental changes are occurring.

How would you comment the ROI from an MBA Program nowadays?

The return on investment from an MBA program comes from a number of different factors.  Yes, one can look at the increase in salary due to the completion of the program and we have data to support this; however, when you look at the return on investment in terms of networking, expanding one's network, and the additional knowledge gained I think these are much harder to quantify but are just as critical. Following the pandemic I think the return on investment is going to be greater not only from a personal standpoint but also from a societal standpoint.
What are the challenges in front of the businesses in South Eastern Europe these days and how is the MBA Program helping the managers and entrepreneurs to meet them?

One of the key challenges for businesses in Southeastern Europe is to come out of this pandemic situation in as strong a way as possible and ready for the new reality. Today one of the big areas that we talk about is the post-pandemic business world and what this will look like. The question for businesses in our region is what does that look like and how will we compete inside this new world order.  

We have now seen that businesses can operate with a remote workforce and I think this is going to bring a series of challenges but as well opportunities in the foreseeable future. From a MBA perspective our connection with the University of Strasbourg is going to bring a unique perspective and unique learning opportunity that will benefit us all as we move towards this pan European, post-pandemic, world.  

Our program has always sought to be a for runner in terms of teaching change management and the various aspects of Crisis management and I think we're going to see our program embed these even further it our new offering with a focus on the societal impacts.

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