MBA Europe

Careers Expert On Tech Innovation, Big Data And The Skills MBAs Need To Land The Top Jobs

Sophie de Lorenzo created the careers department at the International University of Monaco in 2005. Since then, she’s seen advances in tech transform MBA jobs

Written by Marco De Novellis | MBA Europe | Thursday 24th November 2016 09:12:00 GMT


Sophie presenting at IUM's annual networking cocktail party in January this year

Sophie presenting at IUM's annual networking cocktail party in January this year

Digitization has taken the business world by storm. And today’s employers expect MBAs to be more tech-savvy than ever before.

At the International University of Monaco (IUM), MBA students are provided with the skills and the knowledge needed to succeed in 21st century business. And it shows. 80% of them land new jobs within three months of graduation.

40% work outside their native country for top MBA employers like Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Deloitte and Accenture. 25% start their own businesses.

At IUM, MBA students can tailor their experience to match their career goals. The 10-month, AMBA-accredited MBA offers specializations in finance, luxury management and entrepreneurship and innovation. Students engage in real-life consulting projects and have personalized careers support from a dedicated mentor throughout the MBA.

Sophie de Lorenzo created the careers services department at IUM in 2005. Over the past decade, she’s seen advances in technology transform MBA careers and witnessed the steady rise of women in business.

She says modern-day business leaders need to be well-versed in big data analytics and the potential effects of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and disruptive business models like Uber and Airbnb.

What skills do MBA employers look for now that they didn’t before?

Students need to have a strong understanding of how digitization and new technologies - computing systems and artificial intelligence – are changing business today.

They now need a far more analytical and mathematical mindset than before. For instance, in marketing now it’s not just consumer behavior and brand management, it’s a lot about understanding big data analytics and how to execute digital marketing campaigns.

How does the IUM MBA help students to stand out to employers?

The value of an MBA is the unique combination of people from different backgrounds, and a minimum level of experience, working in teams on projects together. For employers, this idea of working collaboratively to develop innovative ideas is very important.

To foster employability, we’ve really emphasized the entrepreneurship and innovation track so students better understand new business models and disruptive ideas. And our students work together on strategy projects for real companies.

How have you seen careers at IUM change over the past 10 years?

Networking strategy is far more important than before. In the past five years, we’ve developed courses on ‘e-reputation’, self-branding on the internet and video resumes. We also recommend students use virtual career fairs to interact with future employers in a time-efficient way.

In terms of the students, we’ve seen more interest in newer concepts like impact investing and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Especially among our master’s students, we’ve seen a younger generation that want to give a sense to their lives; not through the company they work for or the money they earn, but in the way they approach things. They want to have an impact.

What can women do to land executive-level jobs traditionally occupied by men?

It’s not a question of women, it’s a question of society.

On average, people consider doing an MBA when they’re 30-to-35 years’ old. Between 30 and 40 years’ old is when your career really progresses the most; when you have the most value on the market for headhunters, and the energy and experience for managerial positions.

That’s also a time when a woman thinks about having a family. We have a lot of women in our MBA program. But it’s true that women have more difficulty in gaining access to certain positions than men, even after the MBA.

What is the future for women in business?

Everybody recognizes the value of having a more balanced gender diversity within the governance of companies. And step by step it is going that way.

We also have more and more women entrepreneurs. This way women can have wonderful careers without having to count on being recruited by the big employers. 

International University of Monaco

Read more stories about students, alumni and programmes at International University of Monaco.

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