MBAs – What Spain and Portugal Have to Offer

Written by Luisa Mendoza on . Posted in Business Schools

Nowadays, the choice of high-quality education around the world is enormous. Methodologies and schools are constantly competing to attract as many young and not so young minds into the study of business. Furthermore, the selection of the right school is no longer just about the curriculum, the reputation of a school or how long will it take to have a return on the investment but also about the location and the extra advantages that students can get.

Having a business degree is a great start if you are pursuing a career in business, and having an MBA is almost a prerequisite on the path to advancement in management, giving candidates better opportunities and access to better jobs in the future. Every day, more and more professionals are choosing from among the thousands of schools around the world, and traditional leading universities are facing serious challenges due to the emergence of schools with competing offers for future business leaders.

Top of the Class

Written by Jorge Gomes Director of the ISEG MBA Senior Associate Professor on . Posted in Business Schools

A Master in Business Administration is a truly unique educational programme, both in terms of its depth and also its impact on the transformation of the professional and personal life of those who have the courage to study for it. In the case of the ISEG MBA, its uniqueness also stems from the fact that it is the only MBA taught in the entire Universidade de Lisboa, which, with its 18 Schools, has long been the main reference for Portugal among the international rankings of higher education institutions. Its accreditation by the Association of MBAs, together with the ongoing determined effort by the School to obtain another external certification - AACSB, are other factors that contribute to the responsibility which I, as the MBA director, feel I have to the University and to ISEG, the business community in general, and, above all, to our students.

"During the fourteen years that I have been involved with the ISEG MBA, I have had the opportunity to witness a number of changes to the programme, and I have also had the possibility to implement some of these changes."

 In the best tradition of the former Universidade Técnica, this MBA stands out for its solid education in management skills, which include modules on Finance, Marketing, Accounting, and Operations Management, among others.

I should also mention that the course programme has been brought up-to-date, with the introduction of various subjects especially designed for the development of leadership, communication, and team management skills. In fact, today, an MBA is no longer just intended to improve managerial skills, but it also has as an objective the development and education of people management skills, and of knowing how to influence and guide them in the desired direction of the organisation and of its leaders. The last pillar of modernisation of this Master is innovation and entrepreneurship, which reflects ISEG's own vision and mission: ‘open minds for a changing world"

Reflections on Happiness at the Workplace

Written by Bülent Gögdün on . Posted in Business Schools

When organizations and employees think about work satisfaction, they usually consider factors such as the attractiveness of the task, the quality of leadership, the friendliness of colleagues, company culture and brand, career opportunities or compensation and benefits. What is common with all of them is that they are external factors. And the problem with such external factors is that they are exposed to ‘hedonic adaptation:’ No matter how much we improve our circumstances, after a short boost in happiness, we accept them as the new normal, and we demand more.

People with higher and sustainable levels of happiness, on the other hand, work rather on their own attitudes and approaches. They do not make themselves too much dependable on external factors. For them, happiness is a practice. Research led by Amy Wrzesniewski has shown that people within the same occupation can see their work in different ways. Hospital janitors, for instance, can regard their work simply as a cleaning job or they might consider themselves as members of the healing team taking on responsibility for the patients’ well-being, cheering up them, supporting the nurses and doctors, helping visitors and thus expanding the meaning and scope of their work.

Pictured : Bülent Gögdün

This possibility of ‘job crafting’ shifts the attention back to us, to changes we can make with respect to how we define our roles. It is in our hand to add sense of purpose and, as a result, increase our well-being. However, in many discussions I have had with managers, I have found that there are three main issues that affect our happiness at work. The first issue is the continuously rising drumbeat in many organizations to meet ever tougher financial targets. Many executives feel trapped in a rat race that seems to go on endlessly. Furthermore, these financial goals, despite taking so much attention and energy, do not offer inspiration.

Business School: Mecca

Written by Chris Brown on . Posted in Business Schools

 There’s no doubting, given the right course is selected, that an MBA can work wonders, affording prospects for higher pay, richer opportunities and a speedier ascent up the career ladder. Those looking to hone their general management skills and leadership credentials should look to a reputable business school to catalyse their career prospects. For those in general management looking to enhance and enrich their skill set, there is a plethora of executive MBAs and other pertinent courses on the market from which to choose. An MBA Program will enable students to gain a broad range of general management skills, with graduates being held in high esteem by leading corporations. It can enhance a candidate's employability and promotion prospects, with many roles closed to those without such a qualification.

So, while there's no guarantee that gaining an MBA will deliver opportunity, there's also no doubt that employers believe the pursuit of one indicates commitment and a desire not to rest on one's laurels. It is an investment and acts as a differentiator, which is no bad thing in a crowded job market. MBAs are all about team work, and studying in this fashion means entrenched unproductive patterns of working, problem solving and decision-making can be overturned. Collaboration and interaction are indeed the watchwords here. MBAS are for humility, listening, and above all learning, more than they are for forthrightness or students giving peers the value of their own wisdom.

Managing Executive Transition

Written by Henry Martin on . Posted in Business Schools

We speak with Urs Müller Lecturer and Program Director ETP, ESMT Berlin

CEO: What is specific about career transitions at the executive level?

Urs Müller: Every professional transition is unique – at least from the perspective of the person going through the transition. And there can really be many things that make a transition special. But the difficulty of transitions at the executive level is a result of the increasing complexity. Every promotion forces the affected individual to take at least one more stakeholder group into account. For example, think about a new hire working in sales support. She would focus most of her energy on her boss(es) and peers. After being promoted to sales, the customer comes into her picture.

Urs Müller Lecturer and Program Director ETP, ESMT Berlin

The next step might move her into a sales management role, adding the own team/subordinates into the picture. And so on. As a senior executive/CEO, the same person would additionally also need to look out for the interests of shareholders, NGOs, unions, media, governments, suppliers, competitors, other business partners, etc. Quite frequently executives fail because they reach a level of complexity that is just too high. But isn’t this increasing complexity just what executives are looking for when hoping for a promotion?

Illuminate your future with ISEG, Lisbon

Written by the Online Editor on . Posted in Business Schools


Well situated in downtown Lisbon, facing the Tagus river and close to the Portuguese parliament, ISEG is one of Portugal’s leading schools of economics and management. It aims to create and    share knowledge and culture in the fields of economics, finance and business, using a plurality approach that guarantees freedom in intellectual and scientific expression and respect for ethical principles and social responsibility. In carrying out its mission, ISEG contributes to extending the boundaries of scientific knowledge in the fields of economics, finance and business and in teaching, research, community service and the scientific and cultural international exchange of students, academic staff and researchers, thus furthering the socio-economic development of Portugal and its international credibility

1.ISEG has a long history, can you tell us a bit about the School’s origins?

The origins of the Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestão – ISEG date back to the Commercial School (Aula do Comércio), which was founded in 1759, became part of the Lisbon Lyceum in 1834 and was integrated with the Industrial and Commercial Institute of Lisbon in 1869. In 1884, the Higher Education School of Commerce was created, and in 1911 this institute expanded to form the Technical Higher Education Institute (Instituto Superior Técnico) and the Higher Education Institute of Commerce (Instituto Superior de Comércio – ISC), with the latter functioning effectively as of 1913. In 1930, the Higher Education Institute of Commerce amalgamated with the other advanced education schools specializing in veterinary medicine, agronomy and technical subjects to form the Technical University of Lisbon (Universidade Técnica de Lisboa) and were joined by the schools of social and political sciences, human mobility and architecture at a later date. Since becoming a university, apart from its core teaching activities, the School of Economics and Management has developed the areas of graduate teaching and scientific research, in addition to providing other services for society as a whole. Since 2013, when it was integrated with Universidade de Lisboa, ISEG now offers seven undergraduate degrees, over 20 Masters programmes, eight PhD programmes and an MBA, as well as a 30 postgraduate courses.

A Good Reputation – Ernst-Abbe-Hochschule, Jena

Written by Sigrid Neef, Head of Public Relations at the EAH Jena on . Posted in Business Schools

The range and exceptional quality of higher education establishments in Germany means that those looking to study there are often spoilt for choice.

Germany has private as well as state-run universities, and this is also the case with the universities of applied sciences as well as the specialist art and music schools. Some 95 per cent of the country's higher education institutions are government funded and owned, while just five per cent are in the private sector. Most students opt for state universities as these charge low or no tuition fees (source: DAAD).

The Ernst-Abbe-Hochschule (EAH) in Jena was originally founded as the 'University of Applied Sciences Jena' (Fachhochschule Jena) on 1 October 1991. Located in the heart of Germany, it is one of nine state universities in the new, post-GDR federal state of Thüringen.

EAH Jena has experienced impressive growth since its inception. With an ultra-modern campus, the university currently has over 4,700 students, enrolled on a wide range of bachelors and masters degree courses in the fields of engineering, business management and the social sciences. 

This university of applied sciences has a distinctive emphasis for its work: 'Innovation for quality of life – health, precision, sustainability and networking'. Such a mission requires an increasingly interdisciplinary approach, working collaboratively to capitalise on synergies between individual departments. Teaching and research are also ever more inextricably bound for this very reason.

Interview with Andrew Main Wilson, Chief Executive, AMBA (Association of MBAs)

Written by Fergal Hogan on . Posted in Business Schools

1.  Can you outline the history of AMBA and describe its goals?

 AMBA (The Association of MBAs) is the international impartial authority on postgraduate business education, established in 1967 by a small group of business graduates with the aim to raise the profile of business education and the MBA qualification in UK and Europe. The founders saw a lack of awareness in Europe of the value of the MBA degree, which at that time was primarily an American qualification. They decided to form a lobby and membership group to promote the benefits of postgraduate business education, under the name of Business Graduates Association (BGA). The organisation's development helped shape the growth of management education in Europe and the UK and coincided with the setting up and growth of London Business School and Manchester Business School in Britain.

Today, as the only global MBA – specific Accreditation & Membership Organisation, AMBA advises, supports and connects the World’s leading Business Schools, their MBA Graduates, Students & potential MBAs and the World’s leading MBA Employers. Our strategy is to build a larger global network of business schools (currently 219 and rising, and in more countries than ever before) and to accredit top schools in emerging markets (we recently accredited top schools in Kazakhstan, Egypt and Lebanon).

The New AMBA Community – The Ultimate MBA Power Club

Written by Adela Papac Director of Communications Association of MBAs on . Posted in Business Schools

The New Initiative

Every generation, one million MBAs graduate from AMBA’s 220+ Accredited Schools around the world. AMBA’s ambition is to build the association into a dominant, membership-attracting organisation to stand out from any other as the single best membership organisation in the industry.

Culture has a significant impact on how effective AMBA is with this ambition, as the environment and experiences AMBA creates for its members are influenced by our personality as an organisation. They are especially influenced by the organisation’s executives and other managerial staff because of the role in decision making and strategic direction. Culture matters because younger generations are driven by personal happiness. They refuse to engage in a culture that isn’t open to them. This is why we must continually evolve and adapt to suit the needs of our audience.

AMBA is known as the trusted, positive, go-to resource, which has set itself apart as the expert in its field, providing ample resources within its areas of expertise. The areas we will focus on for producing quality MBA experiences for our members are: Networking, Career Development, Events and Learning, Support and Tangible Benefits and Corporate Social Responsibility. 

AMBA’s unique value comes from the global relationship it creates between individuals, schools and employers. These relationships must be built and maintained using the same technologies that global companies use to conduct business worldwide. The need for improved value online is also evident in a now mature online MBA market, which continues to gain traction in a number of school areas as we see students switching from full-time to blended learning programmes due to accessibility.

Value Creator or Destroyer? Keys to Profitable Outcomes

Written by Wharton Executive Education, UPENN on . Posted in Business Schools

History is littered with examples, from AOL and Time Warner to Daimler and Chrysler, Kmart and Sears to Bank of America and Countrywide. Although there is a wealth of empirical evidence that shows an 80 percent failure rate for mergers and acquisitions, organisations just can’t seem to stop themselves from trying.

Companies that don’t want to end up as cautionary tales need to take a hard look at why these deals failed, and gain a clear understanding of valuation. But even then, says Wharton finance professor Itay Goldstein, highly intelligent, experienced senior executives make some very bad decisions. He tells participants in Integrating Finance and Strategy for Value Creation it’s often a case of the classic prisoners’ dilemma: cooperation is clearly in the best interest of both parties, and yet otherwise rational executives fall prey to competition that results in serious — and preventable — negative consequences.

“Many financial decisions get based on Net Present Value [NPV] analyses alone. But those in the organisation who are tuned in to strategy can point out — and rightly so — that NPVs can miss opportunities.”Itay Goldstein, PhD, Professor of Finance, 

The Wharton School Goldstein says these decisions are sometimes the result of managerial biases and those at the top who seek to maximize value for their own agenda rather than for the shareholder. They can also be due to difficult-to-sustain equilibrium. “In some acquisition scenarios, you have two parties who are eyeing a third. They might agree that both would be better off if neither of them acquired the third. But the equilibrium doesn’t last. Both fear the other one will make a move, gaining a competitive advantage that will destroy them, and then they go ballistic.”