Megaklis Petmezas: Pan European Executive MBA programme is our “flagship offer”

07.04.2022 | 22:04 Home / News / Interviews /
Banks.am's interview with Megaklis Petmezas, Vice President for New Developments, Marketing and Recruitment at CITY College

CITY College started activities in Armenia in 2012. What are the main results achieved during those 10 years?

In 2012 when CITY College started its programmes in Armenia, it was the International Faculty of the University of Sheffield and in 2021 we entered a new era of development and became the Europe Campus of the University of York, as well as started the Pan European Executive MBA programme with a prestigious French university, the University of Strasbourg.  

In the beginning we were offering a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes to study in Thessaloniki, Greece.  Since 2012 more than 40 Armenian students were awarded BA and MA degrees. From 2016 we made one more step in our cooperation and launched our Executive MBA programme in Yerevan enabling Armenian managers to study and live in Armenia without a need to leave the country. It is a unique programme that CITY College is offering in 8 countries (including Armenia) that is widely recognized throughout the region for its academic excellence.  To date almost 100 senior executives and managers have been awarded with the MBA diploma.  

We came to Armenia to stay and “after a decade of educating leaders” we feel, based on the feedback from our graduates, that we have been on the correct track.  Students  who studied in the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Thessaloniki appreciate the opportunity to live and study in the international multicultural environment, while the MBA students, who were living, working and studying in Yerevan, appreciated not only the possibility to study in the highly accredited international MBA programme and to learn from world class lecturers without leaving Armenia, but also the possibility to travel to Great Britain and Greece for study weeks and integrate with their classmates from across the region.

Currently all our graduates are high aspiring managers who were determined to get excellent education and that affected not only their personal progress but also benefited the environment they live in and the companies they are working for, as they brought the most updated and intercultural knowledge into their living and working practices thus making a difference in their personal growth and in the development of their surrounding environment and/or organization.  

Do you see opportunities for further growth on the Armenian market?

We provide education and there is never enough growth in the area of education in any market, despite its size. More we learn more we understand that it is not enough. We constantly need to learn and develop ourselves to be able to live in today’s challenging world. Currently the disasters and emergencies have been increasing all over the world and the recent pandemic is a bright example of such a crisis and an educational knowledge and its application are the only effective ways to prevent future disasters or reducing their effects.

By saying education it is not limited to just knowledge from books and textbooks, but also to the knowledge that is obtained through practical experiences outside of classrooms. The education provided today should balance between theory and practice and involve the study of detailed real-world situations.

Education provides stability in life, and it’s something that no one can ever take away from you. By being well-educated and holding a degree, you increase your chances for better career opportunities and open up new doors for yourself. Education provides financial security, especially in today’s society. A good education tends to lead to a higher paying job, as well as provide you with the skills needed to get there. If we are educated, then it’s something that belongs to us, and only us, allowing us not to rely on anyone else other than ourselves. It can allow us not only be financially independent, but also to make our own choices.
 
These things are eternal and are applied to any country and society. Education gives us the possibility to dream, and as we say, “If you can dream it, you can achieve it”. An education is the most powerful weapon you can possibly have, and with it, you can make most of your dreams come true. There are of course certain exceptions, depending on what you’re aiming for, but generally an education will take you as far as you’re willing to go.

And last, but not the least, educated society is crucial for the economic growth of the country and Armenians, because of the land locked geopolitical location of the country it definitely needs to continue learning and researching in order to constantly stay innovative and up to the cutting edge knowledge.

Can we say that the Pan European Executive MBA programme is currently your “flagship offer”?

Indeed, the Pan European Executive MBA programme, that we offer in Armenia and 7 other countries is our “flagship offer”.  It is an innovative programme, which is designed for today’s busy executives and managers and it involves not  only regular teaching sessions, but balances between theory and practice and involves the study of real-world situations and cases thus allowing students to enhance their analytical and decision-making skills. It is joint “product” of CITY College, the University of York, and the University of Strasbourg.

Through the course structure and content it provides students a broad understanding of business and management concepts by providing a cutting edge knowledge on leadership and people management and gives students the opportunities to apply these concepts and tools on their job already during their studies. Students explore the topics of motivation, team building for managerial success, performance management, interpersonal and communication skills, participate in the international workshops on Leadership and HRM Issues, work with a personal coach with whom they assess their current personality type (includes taking the relevant test - instruments), thus getting a possibility as managers to gain greater understanding of themselves and others alike, and the impact their type has on their daily interactions both in work-related and personal issues. Our Executive MBA students participate in the Negotiations Skills seminar (during their study trip in the UK ) which is delivered by a world-class management training organization.

It is a truly international MBA programme and unique in its kind as it is achieved also through three international study trips to UK, France and Greece.  We have a team of more than 50 international lecturers teaching in the programme who come from more than 10 countries and universities and bring in their wealth of academic specialization as well as their consultancy and managerial experience. Our latest cohorts consist of students from more than 20 nationalities and cover the whole region of South East Europe, Caucuses and the Middle East. We simultaneously deliver MBA classes in 8 different cities and our students can attend classes in any of the other cities, other than the one they have been registered in, thus contributing to increased learning experience and benefiting from the value of meeting other executives.

Students of the Pan European Executive MBA programme are able to achieve a dual degree one from the University of York and one from the University of Strasbourg. Is this something unique on the Armenian and regional market?

Indeed the successful participants of our Pan European Executive MBA programme are awarded two MBA degrees from two leading universities from Europe: a top British university, the University of York, and a prestigious French university, the University of Strasbourg, which are constantly ranked among the world's top universities with a global reputation for excellence.

The Executive MBA programme we offer is also accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA), which is the most prestigious international accreditation body in evaluating MBA programmes in the world and this accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement in postgraduate business education.

The Pan European Executive MBA programme is also accredited and approved by other prominent international organizations such as the Chartered Management Institute (UK), which is the only chartered professional body that is dedicated to management and leadership. This means, that our students completing the Executive MBA programme may additionally receive the prestigious Level 7 Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) without having to undertake any extra classes or examinations, as our Executive MBA programme satisfies the aims and learning outcomes of CMI’S most senior qualification.

Thus we can proudly say that our Executive MBA programme is a unique and innovative programme, as it not only gives the opportunity to get two diplomas and two degrees from two worldwide prestigious universities, but it is the only AMBA and CMI accredited programme not only in Armenia, but also in the wider region.

You offer scholarships to Armenian students – up to 40 percent. Can you please tell more about the scholarship programme and who are eligible to apply?

Armenia is a nation with a long history. However, as a newly independent country it needs the resources to develop. When I say resources, people usually think of money. But what I mean is human resources. The people themselves need to be equipped with knowledge and experience to bring about the transformation of economy and society in general and it is our corporate and social responsibility to contribute by offering scholarships to all Armenian applicants. Also, I want to emphasize that we treat Armenian students not as international students but as European Union students. This means that we apply fees that European Union students pay and on top of that we provide partial scholarships for those fees and all the Armenian applicants are eligible to apply for them. This means that we create equal opportunities for every Armenian applicant to apply for our programmes, while if we offer only  few 100% full only few people will have the opportunity to get the education we offer.

What is your message to people who are currently considering applying for study at CITY College?

CITY College Europe Campus is an integrated part of the University of York and an international hub for inspiring learning and advanced research. Based in Thessaloniki, Greece, it is the first campus of the top UK university in Europe, providing highly acclaimed British education in the wider region and presenting an academic gateway for students and scholars, especially in the post-Brexit era. It is an English speaking institution with students coming from many different ethnic and language backgrounds, which offers Bachelors and Masters programmes, as well as the highly acclaimed Executive MBA programme.  Obviously, Armenian students will have benefits by choosing to study at the CITY College in Greece or in the Executive MBA programme in their local city, as they can receive high quality international education at home or at a Mediterranean setting under partial scholarships. This means that they can benefit from a top degree offered at a reasonable cost because of the provided scholarships and the low cost of living, in comparison to Europe or the USA.
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