Day One was Orientation Day. One key characteristic of the Monaco MBA is its great international diversity—this year we have 22 students from 14 different countries representing all corners of the globe. This year’s group also shows great professional diversity, ranging from two PhD holders—one in International Economics, and one in Finance & Economics; a medical doctor who is also a neurosurgeon; several lawyers and bankers; a mechanical engineer; a fashion merchandiser and buyer; and the General Manager of a luxury boutique hotel, amongst many others.
With such unequalled diversity, the aim of the day was not only to discuss the academic facets of the program, but also to introduce students to the unique aspects of living, working, and networking together in Monaco and on the Cote d’Azur. The morning session was dedicated to a discussion of our learning philosophy and the different classes and career tracks students would be following in their program. Students were also introduced to Ms. Sophie de Lorenzo and Ms. Caroline Frisenberg of our Career Services department, who presented the various career, coaching and networking activities which will be held exclusively for MBAs throughout the year.
The afternoon session took on a different tone. Thanks to the enthusiastic participation of some of Monaco’s leading entrepreneurs, government officials, and event organizers, Monaco MBA students learned about the economic and entrepreneurial dynamism of Monaco; about the institutions and laws governing Monaco; about the unique cultural norms and traditions of the area; and about how and where to network so as to meet members of Monaco’s thriving international business and entrepreneurial community.
Day Two was the official Integration Day for Monaco MBA students, which is intended to prepare them for the challenges of the MBA. It was a very different kind of event and day.
For one thing, it wasn’t in an auditorium but instead on the nearby wonderful beach of Cap d’Ail. Entitled “Winning Under Pressure”, the aim of the event, led by leadership and team building consultants, was to forge a true sense of camaraderie amongst members of the Monaco MBA Class of 2014.
Through a variety of exercises, challenges and experiences, students got to know each other, and themselves, and, more importantly, to develop trust in others and in themselves. They also had a lot of fun!
The fun and entertainment continued on Day Three, with a special seminar on Communication & Presentation Skills, delivered by communication consultant and CNN anchorwoman Lola Martinez. The importance of these skills is underscored by recent reports in the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere which highlight that corporate recruiters value presentation and communication skills above all else when it comes to hiring MBAs. Through a variety of exercises and improvisations, Monaco MBA students learned how to present and communicate effectively. By the end of the informative yet highly entertaining day, even the most timid of this year’s Monaco MBA students had begun to shed their fear of public speaking. And, as individual and group presentations are an integral part of the Monaco MBA curriculum, it is safe to say that by the end of the year, all of our MBA students will have honed and perfected their communication and presentation skills.
Day Four was the first official “class” day, with “Economics for Managers”. A few hours later, and once again on the beach, the first week came to a close with the Welcome Get Together Cocktail and Dinner for the entire IUM community. Monaco MBA Class of 2014 students had the opportunity not only to get to know members of the other IUM programs, but also to meet with numerous Monaco MBA alumni from previous years who are living and working here in the area. What better way to appreciate the unique learning and networking experience they are about to embark upon!