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World’s First Business School Leads New Trend With Flexible General Management Program

ESCP Europe’s GMP takes part-time students through the traditional Executive MBA curriculum in only nine months

By  Scott Kanowsky

Tue Feb 28 2017

Finding a postgraduate degree was a difficult prospect for Colin McDaid—until, that is, he came across ESCP Europe’s General Management Program (GMP).

Part of a trend towards shorter, more focused management courses, ESCP Europe’s part-time GMP takes students through the core curriculum of a traditional Executive MBA in nine months.

The GMP is designed to allow participants to progress smoothly to the full EMBA qualification. Almost 90% of GMP students do so.

Modules are held throughout the year at ESCP Europe’s campuses in London, Paris, Berlin, Madrid, Turin, and in Beirut.

“The GMP method of doing the program was great for me because I could balance it with my very demanding work life,” says Colin, who used his time at ESCP Europe to study in both London and Berlin alongside his full-time work.

A trained accountant, Colin has worked across a variety of sectors including energy, outsourcing, and a finance role in luxury real estate. What impressed Colin when he arrived at ESCP Europe was the school’s diverse, global feel.

“You get to network with a really good group of international students,” he says. “There is only I think a couple of us from Britain, out of 100 students. It’s a real opportunity for Brits to interact with European fellow students.”

Colin joined the program aged 39. Indeed, many of Colin’s fellow students enjoy more than a decade of experience in their fields—the average age of people in his GMP program is 35. This depth of knowledge was a boon for Colin, inspiring him to pursue new ideas and concepts.

“It improves the quality of the conversation,” he says. “When we work in group projects together I know that there are people who have got some pretty good experience.”

ESCP Europe’s GMP is designed to cater to students just like Colin, according to the school’s London-based Executive MBA director Peter Stephenson-Wright.

The GMP allows students with busy working lives to do their first year at their own pace and find out in-depth, exact details about responsibilities inherent in the Executive MBA program. The GMP also helps students better manage the finances of the course.

Along with directing the London GMP program, Peter teaches an introductory module based around solving practical business issues. “It gets people fired up,” he says. “It gives them the tools to deal with the cases and topics they will be running with for the rest of the GMP.”

For Colin, these types of courses have allowed him to forge ahead on a fresh path in an already varied professional journey. He plans to go back into real estate after the GMP, but this time in real estate development.