Innovation and Growth at ALBA

JUL-AUG 2013|BY NIKOLAOS A. MYLONOPOULOS, ASSOCIATE DEAN AND ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS
ALBA has a twenty-year legacy of top quality education and academic research in the fields of business and management.

Its oldest program, the MBA, has been known as the standard of excellence among candidates and recruiters alike. In following with international trends and the changes in the Greek economy, ALBA has introduced several new programs and innovations. This is the story of these innovations over the past few years.

Trends in graduate business education are driven by changes in the job markets. For many decades, the ultimate graduate business program in the USA has been the MBA. In Europe we observed the proliferation of specialized Masters degrees. The latest global trend suggests an even greater demand for specialized Masters programs, even in the US. As more people compete for jobs globally, it is only natural that individuals will seek to distinguish themselves in an area of specialization which best fits their preferences and competencies.

The Greek crisis has produced a similar effect domestically. Young people seek ways in which they can differentiate themselves in a job market which is more competitive than ever. Locally, the shrinking economy has meant that there are fewer opportunities for more people. Internationally, one competes against the best from all countries and all schools.

With these changes in mind, at ALBA we have re-affirmed our strategic focus in five ways. First, to maintain and even further enhance our standards of quality, primarily the quality of academic staff. Second, to ensure that our programs combine state-of-the-art education with very strong links to the professional community which is relevant to each program. Third, to extend our career services internationally. Fourth, to provide structured support services to young and aspiring entrepreneurs. Fifth, to offer a broad range of educational opportunities so that young people can find the specialization that best fits their aspirations.

Indicatively, we have launched no less than 6 new programs in the past 3 years, while we implemented successfully the most radical redesign in the history of our MBA. Notably, the new Executive MBA, taught by world-renowned professors, is designed for accomplished managers seeking the next great challenge in their career. Furthermore, innovative courses such as the ERP Simulation, Marketing Engineering, Creativity Management and others have been introduced. For the first time, we entered into a collaboration with Henley Business School of the University of Reading as equal partners in the design, launch and management of a Dual Masters Degree in International Shipping and Finance.

The table presents the logic of our programs portfolio. To further assist young people identify the program that best matches their profile, we provide a free online diagnostic test that measures career orientation and functional specialization. It can be found at www.alba.edu.gr/AddFocus.

This is a small sample of the fruits of our continuous effort to address the changing needs of young professionals and their companies. Despite the shock that the country is going through, ALBA wins the trust of a growing number of students every year. This is good reason for being optimistic about the legacy that we shall hand over to future generations.

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