Interviu cu Directorul Academic al MBA-ului Sheffield Dr. Leslie Szamosi

Interviu cu Directorul Academic al MBA-ului Sheffield Dr. Leslie Szamosi

Universitatea Sheffield din Marea Britanie este una dintre cele mai bine cotate universități din lume, aflată mereu in top 10 in UK iar în anul 2011 a fost declarată Universitatea Anului de către Times Higher Education. Programul MBA al Universității Sheffield este predat in București, România din anul 2006, dând astfel posibilitatea managerilor din aceasta regiune să învețe într-un sistem educațional de elită. Din punct de vedere financiar, condițiile la aceasta universitate sunt mult mai avantajoase. Deasemenea studenții pot îmbina cu ușurință job-ul, studiile și viața personală. la acest program pot aplica și persoane din Republica Moldova. vedeți mai jos un interviu cu Directorul Academic al MBA-ului Sheffield Dr. Leslie Szamosi. 

- On 2nd of October you will be holding a seminar in Chisinau, Moldova. Why did you accept to come to this seminar?

Over the last year or so we at the International Faculty of the University of Sheffield have had a significant increase in the number of inquiries from Moldova and we now have a strong cohort from the country participating in our MBA program offered in Romania. I do a lot of seminars throughout the region and when it was suggested that I could do one in Moldova it seemed like an excellent way to connect with our current students from the country but also meet potential new ones and ‘give back’ to the countries we work in by doing an open seminar for anyone interested in cutting edge management thinking.

- You presented workshops and seminars for various company's and institutions, such as Heineken, World Bank, Log-IN Systems and other. With what novelty's you come in front of the Moldavian audience?

It is always difficult to explain the ‘novelty’ that one brings to his own workshops and seminars - one can come off as a bit arrogant!! Being of Canadian background and having worked and researched in this area of Europe and taught nearly 1500 executives over the last fifteen years, I believe that I can bring a global view of current management issues with a strong regional and local application. As well, I believe that the research I do focused specifically on our region is also important to what I will bring to our seminar in Chisinau.

- Which activity you enjoy the most, teaching or working as a consultant?

For me there is not one thing that I enjoy the most - both are engaging, interesting and thought provoking for me and who I am working with. In the classroom I am always learning from my students and while consulting, from the companies I work with. During both activities I am able to impart knowledge but also integrate information for the benefit of those I connect with in the future. In this era of information exchange and knowledge sharing both of these areas are complimentary and not mutually exclusive for me.

- In your opinion, how does a modern MBA student looks like?

A modern MBA student is one who is ready to embrace new information, challenge information and the ‘status quo’, and is preparing him/herself for new and advanced leadership opportunities and experiences. During the global crisis there has been a lot of media coverage about how corporations, and MBA graduates in particular, took advantage of the economy and ‘caused’ the downturn; the traditional view of a MBA graduate was one whose goal was to make a lot of money. The modern MBA student is one who is much more sensitive to the needs of society, and the world as a whole, and not simply being profit driven - they are seeking to understand all the areas of business and coordinate these accordingly in to a system that everyone will benefit from.

- When is the perfect moment do make an MBA?

The perfect moment to take an MBA is a very personal issue and there are a wide range of answers. For many it is the need to understand business from a much more integrated, holistic perspective; someone is an expert in a particular area but they want to understand the broader business picture. For others it is way to get ‘higher’ in their current organizations or seen as the key to starting one’s own business. Whatever the situation I believe that one ‘feels’ the need to take an MBA inside them and they simply intuitively know that ‘the perfect moment’ is at hand! One thing I can say from experience is that when one ‘feels’ the time is at hand to do a MBA they are much more successful in completing a program than if they are ‘told’ it is the time to do one.

- How can you categorize the actual teachers in the stuff of your university. Do they stick to the modern tendencies of teaching?

We have been offering our executive MBA program for 21 years throughout the region and are fortunate to have an extremely strong cadre of teaching staff. All of them have both business and/or consulting experience plus a strong academic foundation - the balance necessary in any modern MBA program. Every year we update and continue to advance the way we teach and the information we provide. Education has evolved immensely over the last decade and with the use of more integrated information technology it continues to evolve - we try to stay on this cutting edge.

- What it means to you to be a teacher?

To be a teacher is a huge responsibility. I am educating both the leaders of today and tomorrow and I see it as my role not to ‘tell’ them what to do but rather to provide principles and foundations upon which they can build and decide what they believe is their individualized way of working. I also see my role as a facilitator of knowledge - not simply transmitting what I know but encouraging students to share their knowledge and learn from each other.

- Worldwide economy still has not recovered from recession. In this context, how important is for business managers to go through you MBA courses?

I believe, recession or not, managers need to stay on top of leading and advanced management thinking. Management is something that is always evolving and leading companies and leaders know that they ‘know nothing’ and need to keep learning and pushing the envelope. The recession has again made us rethink management so there is much new information to be integrated into our businesses so that we don’t make the same mistakes again. MBA programs are an important vehicle for transmitting this information.

- What differences are between your MBA course program and others in Europe?

Our MBA program is accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) which accredits MBA programs globally which puts us in an elite group of universities. I am also a member of AMBA’s Faculty which means I am a part of the accreditation process so I have had the opportunity to visit a number of leading MBA programs primarily throughout Europe but also internationally. I think what makes our MBA program unique is our international teaching faculty, the opportunity to study in 5 locations, our study visit to the University of Sheffield itself where we bring all our students together, the opportunity to specialize in a particular area of management, and a true student-centred focus on education. As well, this year, for the first time, we are also offering a certified leadership coach to all of our students who will work with every student on furthering their individualized leadership skills.

- There are already some students from Moldova, at your MBA program. Are they well prepared for the course?

We have an extremely strong group of students from Moldova in our MBA program. I have found them to be very motivated, extremely oriented towards learning and they always come prepared to interact and most importantly to learn and share. I have been very impressed with the foundations they have within their businesses - I am really looking forward to seeing them on their home soil and working with them!

- MBA as an executive master, requires time and effort. Please tell us, from your point of view, how time consuming are these studies for the students?

Anyone who tells a prospective student that they can study for a world class MBA degree, executive or not, and it will not require much time and effort is lying!! There is no reward without effort! Besides the class time, students need to be prepared to devote a significant number of hours over the two years of study. Because our program runs in executive mode, students need to balance their current work lives with postgraduate studies and their family lives - a difficult balance at the best of times. We know how time consuming this is and always work closely with our students to achieve the best they can.

- Even if the studies are expensive, they are a good investment in the student's future and his company. Can a student calculate the recovery of this investment in time?

The answer to this is two-fold - the accounting versus the human perspective. From an accounting standpoint there is a lot of data to support that the costs of a MBA are recovered following completion either through internal promotion, changing companies, or entrepreneurship activities. Yes, financial investments are made and one must look at the ‘hard’ cost/benefits of this. There is, however, the other aspect which is human development; being able to perform at a higher level with greater confidence is also a recovery of the investment. Some may argue that this should translate into greater financial rewards (the ‘hard’ benefit) but I always say to prospective students to not simply quantify things and make a decision - that is the ‘old’ school MBA approach!!!

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