Top B-school alliances - The New Indian Express

Top B-school alliances

Published: 29th July 2013 12:00 AM

Last Updated: 30th July 2013 05:17 PM

Business institutes from across the world are collaborating to offer students global perspectives, formidable alumni networks and distinguished faculty.


The coming together of Lluis Pugés (then dean of ESADE Business School, Spain), Jean Paul Larçon (former dean of HEC School of Management, Paris), Nicole de Fontaines, current general secretary, CEMS Head Office, and some corporates helped CEMS–The Global Alliance in Management Education take wings in 1988. A nonprofit, CEMS is sustained by membership fees and corporate sponsors. Twenty-eight schools are part of CEMS, where membership is by invitation only. “These schools are in target regions of economic importance in the world. The only exception is USA. The institutes have proven that they are the best in the country for academic reputation, boast excellent corporate contacts, are fit to run master’s in management programmes (MIM) and come with enough experience in running international academic programmes,” begins Roland Siegers, executive director, CEMS. “Once schools join CEMS, there are joint quality standards for selection, services and academic delivery, with joint quality assurance systems.”

Guide to MIMs

CEMS offers only MIM courses. “The complexity of running a 1,000-student programme across 28 countries and four continents with corporate engagement is extremely high. Also, we believe that MIM programmes have the greatest growth potential, markets at least outside Europe are not saturated, and launching new programmes offers good competitive advantage possibilities,” reasons Siegers.

Uniform syllabus

The structure of the MIM programme is common at all schools. Every student starts the year with a Block Seminar — an intensive one-week course on different subjects. Schools offer compulsory courses in strategy and cross-cultural management (global management practice from this year) and they offer numerous electives. In Term II, all schools run business projects with participation of companies, where students work in small teams on consultancy-type projects. Students also participate in skill trainings on topics like business communications and team building.

Selection process

The selection of students takes place locally at each school. “CEMS uses common selection criteria to find the best candidates for the programme but partner schools are responsible for running the selection process,” says Siegers. CEMS requires students to have knowledge of three languages — English, a CEMS language (there are 25 choices) and a one of your choice.

The job front

CEMS assists you with jobs as well. “Corporate partners are very eager to offer international career opportunities to CEMS graduates. Students have a range of opportunities to network with corporate partners. They also get to meet representatives of companies at a number of recruitment and social events. The highlight of this year is our annual Career Forum, an exclusive event for CEMS students, alumni (zero-four years after graduation) and CEMS Corporate Partners,” says Siegers. The Career Forum helps CEMS students to meet up with 40+ international companies for prospective employment. For a list of CEMS events. visit

On the anvil

On their future plans, Siegers says, “We hope to grow the membership base in America, expand our brand reach and recognition especially in the corporate world, establish CEMS as the incontestable number one address for top global MIM education and contribute to responsible global societal development by shaping managers of the future.”

While CEMS’ forte is MIM, it also runs CEMS Research and Doctoral Education Committee to strengthen the sharing of knowledge through faculty research, encouraging and fostering student and faculty mobility and relations. “CEMS schools open their doctoral workshops/seminars/courses to PhD scholars. Attendance is on reciprocity and first-come, first-serve basis. Students do not pay fees to attend the courses and can benefit from local student services. In some cases, PhD scholars can also avail local scholarships,” she says. Details at

CEMS Schools

* Aalto University School of Business, Finland

* Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

* Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary

* ESADE Business School, Spain

* Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo-FGV, Brazil

* Graduate School of Management, St Petersburg State University, Russia

* HEC School of Management, France

* HKUST Business School, Hong Kong

* Indian Institute of Management-Calcutta, India

* Ivey Business School, Canada

* Keio University, Japan

* Koç University Graduate School of Business, Turkey

* Louvain School of Management, Belgium

* National University of Singapore, Singapore

* Norwegian School of Economics, Norway

* Nova School of Business and Economics, Portugal

* Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, Netherlands

* Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden

* The London School of Economics and Political Science, UK

* The University of Sydney Business School, Australia

* Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management, China

* UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, Ireland

* Universitá Bocconi, Italy

* University of Cologne, Germany

* University of Economics, Prague, Czech Republic

* University of St Gallen, Switzerland

* Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria

* Warsaw School of Economics, Poland


Another renowned player in the executive MBA arena is OneMBA. Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Tecnológico de Monterrey Graduate School of Business Administration and Leadership aka EGADE Business School, Mexico, Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina, USA, and Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo da Fundação Getulio Vargas alias FGV-EAESP, Brazil, formed the OneMBA alliance in 2002. “Our participants benefit from combined strengths of top-ranked OneMBA institutions. We engage on a daily basis with each other to monitor and facilitate processes. Monthly virtual meetings and face-two-face meetings during the global residencies enable the OneMBA executive committee’s global teamwork,” begins Saskia Treurniet, executive director, OneMBA, RSM.

Global residency

For four weeks, all participants gather at a particular location (the United States/ Europe/ Latin America/Asia) to experience cross-cultural learning. “The 100+ participants meet and engage with their global teammates with whom they will continue to work on projects assigned in the OneMBA global courses once they return to their home locations. The global residencies are a unique opportunity to work and learn with and from their global peers — senior executives from around the world,” says Treurniet. The global residencies provide insight into local business practices versus the global business environment. Renowned academics, executives, policy makers, analysts as well as NGO representatives and government officials spend time with participants.

Projects and internships

As a participant, you will work in global teams on projects in the following areas: Leadership, operations, finance, marketing and strategy. “Each global course features a major assignment which requires team members to convert local projects from each of the regions into global perspectives. This works as an approach where global relevance and local sensitivity come together. With peers working around the world, and bringing in a rich diversity of cultures, expectations and experience, participants work in a unique environment where they share knowledge and enhance global business mindset. Managing cultural differences and logistical issues are some of the take-homes here,” says Treurniet.

An important part of the curriculum is leadership development. “Participants will develop frameworks for guiding critical reflection and personal and professional development. Self-management and managing relationships are key elements in this process. Our executives work on an action-learning change project, designed to add value to their core business,” she says. Details at


The TRIUM Global Executive MBA, an alliance between London School of Economics and Political Science, UK, New York University’s Stern School of Business, USA, and HEC School of Management, Paris, was started in 2001 with an initial class of 28 students. It now enrols over 80 students annually. “A typical student is around 39 years old with over 15 years’ work experience and are majorly C-suite corporate leaders, entrepreneurs, not-for-profit executives, and other professionals,” begins Julia Marsh, executive director, TRIUM, LSE.


What sets TRIUM apart from others? “TRIUM’s unique, international curriculum challenges entrepreneurial-minded, senior-level executives to think and act within a dynamic socio-economic and geopolitical context, where the next decade’s opportunities are emerging from today’s challenges,” says Marsh. She stresses on the following: Their students live and work in more than 35 countries, classes are taught by faculty members from all three partner schools, and TRIUM is the only executive MBA programme to integrate an international socio-political, economic dimension into its entire curriculum.

Tailor-made for seniors

Marsh takes pride in The TRIUM curriculum being tailor-made for senior-level international executive participants. “The modules are designed and delivered by all three schools to build seamlessly upon one another, ensuring that the curriculum, which draws upon the special strengths of each school, is delivered in a unified and complementary way,” she says. Marsh adds that one of the major draws is the fact that their alumni get access to three diverse and powerful alumni networks in addition to TRIUM’s alumni network.


TRIUM draws upon distinguished faculties of NYU Stern, LSE and HEC Paris. “All TRIUM modules are taught by top-ranked faculty members, handpicked for the depth of their expertise in their respective fields. TRIUM faculty in addition to being excellent teachers, are actively engaged in the business life of their home cities, advising local companies and, through their research, generating the knowledge that shapes international business theory and practice. TRIUM-dedicated academic directors from all three universities ensure the seamless integration and intellectual cohesiveness of the programme,” says Marsh.

Programme delivery

The programme is delivered in six intensive classroom modules over a 17-month period at the three alliance schools and also at guest module locations, which are carefully selected to incorporate global learning in emerging markets — Shanghai and Chennai. Topics of study include Business in the global political economy, Global strategies and finance, Familiar concepts, New applications, The rise of China in the global marketplace, Marketing and corporate strategy, Competing and thriving in the 21st century and The challenges of leadership.

Capstone project

Capstone is at the heart of TRIUM, says Marsh. “For this project, our students are encouraged to leverage TRIUM resources, faculty, classmates and alumni to incubate an idea from inception to launch. Students form teams in the third module and start working on their business idea. They work closely with Capstone directors and alumni on forming the business plan and have an opportunity to present them at the end of the programme to an audience of business professionals and academics. A number of such projects have turned into businesses.” Details at

Student testimonial Kalpana Sankar Class of 2012 and presently CEO, Hand in Hand

I chose TRIUM, as I wanted to enhance my skills to manage 3,000 people in different geographies and countries more effectively. In addition to the programme package, the opportunity to learn in varied settings and different countries was also a great experience. I met and learnt from the best faculty from across the world, preparing me well as a global citizen to encounter challenges in the current competitive environment. The three schools I have been taught were very eventful in their own ways. LSE faculty helped us get a macro picture, gain valuable insights into globalisation, the functioning of WTO, IMF and bilateral institutions, an understanding of the struggles faced by emerging economies and the main casual factors for global recession. NYU Stern provided training on basic accounting, financial management and corporate strategy. Studying at NYU was a challenging experience as we came across very experienced faculty. At HEC Paris, I learnt about branding, marketing, luxury products and valuation. Enjoying the scenic beauty and the river cruise along the Seine with all my classmates still remains an unforgettable experience!

The module in Shanghai was an eye-opener, especially for a person like me from India. I gained useful lessons on what India needs to do and why we are lagging behind China; the spirit of entrepreneurship and how China was able to transform in the last three decades. I was happy that the India module was hosted in Chennai, my home city.


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