How time has flown since the first Orientation and Integration days, in early September, for the Monaco MBA Class of 2014! The cohort is now halfway through the first term of their program, which will end just before Christmas.  As in previous years, this Fall term is structured entirely around core courses. This means that all the MBA students follow such managerial foundation courses as Financial Accounting, Statistics for Business, Managerial Economics, Marketing Strategy & Management, and Global Strategy & Leadership, to name but a few. And they are looking forward not only to a well deserved Christmas break, but also to starting the new Winter term in January.

MBA class

Why “looking forward”?  Because, beginning in the New Year, they can also begin taking the elective courses that best correspond to their unique professional aspirations. Electives they can select from are offered in three specific career tracks: Luxury Management; Entrepreneurship & Innovation Management; and Applied Finance.

But more than that, the New Year also heralds the beginning of the Corporate Consulting Projects. These projects, worth six credits and so equivalent to two full courses, give students the opportunity to apply the theories and tools they have learned in the classroom to actual situations faced by organizations both in Monaco and further afield. Needless to say, each year’s projects are different, as they are based on the needs and challenges faced by different enterprises across a variety of sectors. Last year’s Monaco MBA Class of 2013 had the opportunity of working on a very diverse set of Corporate Consulting Projects for a broad variety of enterprises:

  • One group focused on assessing the innovation capabilities of a leading hotel here in Monaco, the Fairmont, and designing a set of recommendations to enhance and improve those capabilities. A student who had worked on this project has now been engaged to work on similar innovation projects.
  • Another team worked with the top management of Sotheby’s International Realty France/Monaco to make the brand “top of mind” amongst ultra high net worth Russian and Indian luxury property buyers.
  • A renowned and long established Monaco based entrepreneur entrusted her ground breaking new business idea to six MBA students, asking them to come up with an implementable business plan. Based on that plan, she is now in the process of signing up investors and actualizing the idea.
  • Leading Scandinavian financial institution, Nordea Bank, requested a repositioning plan for one of its divisions. The management team was not only impressed with the repositioning alternatives, but also with the much broader set of recommendations that the students came up with.

And, as in previous years, several Monaco MBA students were driven by their own entrepreneurial visions. In lieu of a Corporate Consulting Project, they pursued their own Individual Projects and accordingly created business plans for them. One young man’s Individual Project was to create a strategic plan for the continued growth of the printing business which has been in his family for generations. Another young woman crafted a business plan for her eponymous company, D’Ora Tokai, then intended to be a Monaco based on-line luxury fashion and apparel company. This company is now a reality and fully operational. Dora is travelling the world meeting with retailers and end users interested in the unique design and concept.

As for the Corporate Projects which this year’s MBA students will work on, several companies and organizations have already approached us with requests and the final selection will be made early in the New Year. We will keep you posted!

By Dr. Marika Taishoff, Director of the Fulltime Monaco MBA and the Executive Online MBA