An interview with the MBA Program Director, Dr. Marika Taishoff
“Our aim is not only to enroll candidates who have perfect MBA profiles from the very outset but, just as importantly, those that will gain and grow the most as a result of the program.”
When you look at the class profile for the class of 2021, what stands out to you first?
As every year, it is the program’s diversity, which is so striking and so encouraging. Participants from just about every Continent, and with backgrounds including financial engineering, brand marketing, the arts and philanthropies, law, accountancy, and even a Ph.D. in Physics.
The new MBA Students arrive on campus. How do you build a culture for students to feel safe to explore new opportunities (and possibly fail) and realize their full potential?
When MBA students join the program, be it in residential or distance mode, they immediately get the feeling of being together, almost of being in a family. We try to encourage this, of course, through the Induction Week, which is streamed live to those students who, exceptionally due to Covid, could not join us in Monaco. We also invite residential students to lunch in nearby restaurants. And, even more indicatively of the sense of family and belonging, this year, there were some second-year Part-Time Monaco MBAs in the area, as well as alumni, and they took the newcomers under their wings, so to speak. The weekend before the Induction Week, many of the new MBAs had already been introduced to Monaco’s iconic spots, thanks to more experienced members of the Monaco MBA program. This sense of family and belonging creates a sense of safety, and breaking out of one’s comfort zone.
What is the best moment in the MBA academic year?
The first week, and the last week. The enthusiasm tinged with fear initially and the incredible sense of professional accomplishment and lifelong friendships at the end.
What qualities are you looking for in an applicant?
Curiosity, an open mind, a desire and ability to succeed as evidenced by previous accomplishments in whatever field: certainly in business and entrepreneurial ventures, but also in the arts, sport, and sciences.
What do you say to prospective students who are considering IUM?
Please set up a call with me, and let’s see if it’s the best program for you and if you’ll be a good fit for the Monaco MBA.