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MBA Crucial To Success In Business - Says Leading University Dean

Antonella Patras, dean at the International University of Monaco, believes so much in the transformative power of an MBA that she sampled the program herself

Today’s business world is one of increasing volatility. New technologies, disruptive business models, and ever-increasing globalization mean new challenges for senior execs.

Antonella Patras is dean at the International University of Monaco (IUM). She’s been at the university for the last 15 years, dean for the last six. For Antonella, to succeed in business today, an MBA degree is a must.

IUM’s AMBA-accredited MBA - ranked among the top 100 MBA programs in the world by the Economist - is preparing students for future career success.

The university offers a 10-month, full-time MBA as well as flexible part-time and blended learning options, and MBA specializations in finance, luxury management and entrepreneurship and innovation. The intimate, 20-to-25 student MBA class means close contact with tutors and mentors – typically senior executives from the local business community.

In 2016, 77% of IUM MBA students landed new roles within three months of graduation. Around 25% of IUM MBA grads go on to start their own businesses. Over 40% of IUM alumni work outside their native country.

Antonella wants students ready to re-evaluate their careers and step out of their comfort zones. She believes in the transformational power of the MBA. So much so that, in 2009, she enrolled in a ten-month MBA at IUM, and sampled the experience for herself.

What do you look for in your MBA applicants?


IUM aims to educate business leaders from all over the world in a small, stimulating, cross-cultural environment, therefore it looks for international profiles that will reinforce this vision. For example, someone with a clear professional project, looking for a development opportunity to advance within his or her company, or wanting to change career and field.

We appreciate an entrepreneurial spirit, being open minded and ready to embrace new experiences, new people and new challenges. Coming to Monaco often comes with a dream and an image of an easy way of life. In reality, Monaco is a very important business hub. The first challenge for our students is to adapt and learn to think differently and step out of their comfort zone. The majority come from different environments, and as IUM is a small size university their personalities can really shine through.

How have you seen business education change over the past decade?

Business education is continuously changing, adapting its contents and methods to the needs of new generations. In the past ten years, we have seen the importance of MBA grow.

Doing an MBA means learning to be flexible, and learning how to transfer knowledge from one sector to another. It means being adaptable, innovative, and creative. Nowadays, to succeed within a business or to have an international management position, an MBA is a must.

How will business education continue to change?

In a global market, access to talent and skills is becoming independent from geographical regions where people live. New economic models are based on collaborative forms.

MBA students will have to be able to adapt and update their knowledge and skills. Learning to work in a collaborative mode with people from different cultures and backgrounds is essential.

What makes the IUM MBA unique?

The International University of Monaco offers more than just an MBA experience. Its family size atmosphere allows energetic people with a wide variety of professional backgrounds to think together.

We try to build flexibility in different ways. Flexibility in terms of choosing a full-time or part-time path, of studying totally on site or partly online; flexibility of selecting a specialization track from Luxury Management through Entrepreneurship & Innovation to Applied Finance.

Living in Monaco is special too. It’s a unique environment that gives you opportunities that you cannot find elsewhere. The MBA program is delivered in close connection with the local and international business community. It’s easy to make professional contacts here, as well as personal friends.

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