SKEMA Business School’s EMBA is about project management on an international scale.
The flexible, 24-month program combines online learning with week-long, face-to-face classes held bi-monthly at a variety of exciting international locations, including SKEMA’s central French campus in Lille, Shanghai in China, Dallas in the US, Oslo in Norway and, starting in 2017, Belo Horizonte in Brazil.
A third of the program is dedicated to project management, culminating in the “capstone project” where participants work to improve their own company's efficiency, strategize an expansion into a new market, or build a business plan for their own entrepreneurial venture.
SKEMA’s EMBA costs just over $35,000, is considered 100% international (there are no French students), class sizes range from 20 to 45, and participants have an average of 20 years' experience. The leading Grande École waives the GMAT and offers individual scholarships with up to 30% off tuition fees for outstanding candidates.
Nobody joins SKEMA's EMBA without an interview with Carole Daniel, the program's director (pictured below).
What do you look for in your EMBA applicants?
I don’t really care where people come from in terms of job titles.
Open-mindedness is key. Our program is very original. And I pay a lot of attention to people's capacity to work in and contribute to teams.
You can learn a discipline like marketing or operations management on YouTube. The most interesting thing is to learn from each other and share experiences. I really need people to be willing to join in and be motivated.
Why did you decide to waive the GMAT?
Our participants have usually had different senior jobs in their companies. The value that they can bring to a program is their own experience; what they’ve learnt out in the field. What they can tell a sheet of paper is not very important to me.
Nobody joins my program without me interviewing them. We also ask for two letters of recommendation from previous managers they have worked with. So based on that, I can make my choice quite safely.
What makes SKEMA’s EMBA unique?
From the beginning we focused very much on project management. It’s a growing niche and, now, whether you’re a marketing manager or human resources manager, getting involved in projects is more and more common.
What inspired your choice of international locations?
We take our participants to places where other people don’t usually go. Belo Horizonte is not Sao Paolo. It’s a city that’s very much developing.
When we set up a campus we select cities where things are happening, economically speaking. We’re adding the trip to Belo Horizonte in 2017 and in 2018 we’ll probably be adding a trip to the UAE.
Which companies do you work with through corporate projects?
In Lille we partner with Auchan and Decathlon, companies which are very well-known here. In the US we’ve been visiting very strong companies in construction and IT, like Texas Instruments and Dell. In Norway, it’s oil and gas.
How many of your graduates go on to start their own businesses?
In each cohort, between two and four on average. The majority [of those] decide to launch their own consulting companies, but it varies a lot.
I had a Cameroonian participant who launched a make-up brand for African women and someone who wanted to develop a sports center in Beirut. I have a current participant who’s launched a construction company in Saudi Arabia and is pretty successful.
Will the program become increasingly online-based in the future?
We will never go more online than what we are now.
There is something that happens when you meet physically that you cannot recreate online. It’s only with face-to-face contact that you get this notion of team spirit and of belonging to the same group.