Engineering, IT companies, telcos show growing interest in MBA programmes
Can we say that the economic recovery in Southeast Europe (SEE) is affecting investments of local companies in employee education programmes?
Yes, I think that is true. Clearly the recession and post-recession periods have made companies look very carefully at how they spend resources on employee training and education. However, we have seen that individuals find a way into our programmes by many routes and combinations of tactics! By that I mean they personally fund the programme, share the funding or get their companies to fully pay for them. The best and most innovative companies have NOT stopped funding, they realize that this is, in fact, the time to invest in people. People are the number one resource in any company.
Shortage of skilled staff at all levels of company structures is a pressing issue for the local business. Does it result in increased interest in MBA programmes?
I think that many companies do recognise very clearly that they have skill gaps. This not always a shortage at executive or managerial levels. It can be a companywide problem at
all levels. In terms of managerial skills, these gaps can be met in many ways. MBA and Executive MBA programmes like ours are of growing interest and offer many advantages to companies wishing to invest in their employees in terms of expanding knowledge, adding new skills, networking opportunities.
We also offer many 'tailor made' in-house trainings and personal consultations to companies using our international consultants which concentrate on particular problems and challenges companies are facing in SEE. I think that international companies were the first to recognise the added value of the MBA programmes but we see more interest from regional and local companies year by year.
Which of your MBA programmes draws the biggest attention? What are the reasons for this?
Our Executive MBA programme draws the biggest attention. Firstly, it is designed for middle and top management and it is completely tailored to their needs. The modules are held during weekends, therefore managers have minimal absence from work.
Secondly, the programme gathers leaders and managers from the whole SEE region, including, Austria, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia, which provides excellent networking opportunities and knowledge and experience exchange between participants. This is one of the greatest benefits of our programme.
Also, even though the Executive MBA programme is a little more expensive, participants have less difficulties financing the programme, either by themselves or through their companies. As they grow to higher positions, their need for this type of education grows as well. This mix of hard and softs skills is exactly what they need at a certain point of their career.
What kind of participants have a bigger share in your MBA programmes: company-sponsored or individuallysponsored? Does this make SEE region any different from other parts of Europe?
Both have an equal share in our programmes. There isn't a distinct division in terms who will pay for the programme. I think this is the case throughout Europe.
Which countries from the SEE region have the highest number of participants in your MBA programmes and which have the least? Managers from which business sector are most interested in your services?
Because of the difficult economic situation, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina are lagging and we usually have fewer participants from these countries. All other countries have equal representation of participants in our programmes.
One of the core benefits of our programmes is that almost all business sectors are represented and our participants have an opportunity to network with people from diverse business backgrounds. We can categorize our participants as "business people" and as such they all want to develop and become better leaders so there is no such thing as who needs an MBA and who doesn't.
Lately, we can see the growth in interest for our programmes from sectors such as engineering, telecommunications, IT, and legal services.
What are the advantages of COTRUGLI Business School compared to other schools in the region?
I think COTRUGLI has a number of advantages. First of all, there isn't another business school in SEE which draws in so many nationalities and types of students from so many varied business backgrounds.
Secondly, that wide variety of people encourages tremendous networking across and within many industries. Added to that you have the wealth of experience of our international professors and consultants and the theoretical and practical synthesis within all modules.
The most innovative companies realize that this is the time to invest in people.
Accreditation from the Association of MBAs (AMBA) is another proof of quality of our programmes and it assures participants that they have made the right choice. This combination of factors makes us unique I believe.
What is COTRUGLI's scholarships policy?
Every year, COTRUGLI awards Scholarships to the best managers and leaders in each country where we operate Austria, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia. Usually, we offer 12 Scholarships for each country: 6 for Executive MBA programme (5 partial scholarships and 1 full) and 6 for MBA programme (5 partial scholarships and 1 full). Until today, COTRUGLI has invested over 3 million euro in this project as it is a part of COTRUGLI's Social Responsibility Programme, created to encourage positive changes in leaders across the SEE region.
The process might differ in some countries and detailed information is always laid out on our webpage, sometime in March every year. The process usually consists of three main stages: application form, interviews with the Scholarship Committee and Scholarship Finals where top 50 participants for each program compete for the 6 Scholarships.
COTRUGLI Business School is a leading business school in Southeast Europe (SEE) with headquarters in Serbia and Croatia and offices in Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Austria, China and UAE. With these regional operational centres, COTRUGLI is reaching cultures and business environments worldwide, creating strong, diverse and a connected Alumni networks of 13 nationalities: Albanian, Austrian, Bosnian & Herzegovinian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Finish, Hungarian, Irish, Macedonian, Romanian, Serbian, Slovenian and Syrian.
COTRUGLI is offering four different programmes: MBA, Executive MBA, Chief Executive MBA and Doctor of Business Administration. At present, all of our programmes have this prestigious international accreditation from the Association of MBAs. Association of MBAs (AMBA) accreditation represents the highest standard in postgraduate business education and is earned only by the best programmes.
Lynne Montgomery, PhD, has a Master of Arts in Anthropology, a MSc in Applied Psychology and a Doctorate in Philosophy. She is an international professor of academics holding 15+ years of teaching experience at the graduate and undergraduate level. Dr. Montgomery’s expertise also includes nine years of business development, consulting, and PR experience. Dr. Montgomery has held multiple teaching posts and management positions at Universities throughout Eastern Europe. She is an award winning humanitarian. She has authored multiple books and publications, receiving international accolades and attention.