This year, IUM is proud to have within its MBA class, Shukran Alakbarov, an Internal Audit Director from Azerbaidjan.

It is not the business school that makes you a star. It is YOU that makes your school stand out.

Monaco MBA program - Shukran-AlakbarovHow did you come about the idea of studying abroad?

By the time I took the most important decision of my life, I had been in the role of the Internal Audit Director for Enel Russia, a Russian publicly held company whose shares are listed on the Moscow Stock Exchanges, for a little over than five years. As the size and complexity of internal audit assignments grew and as the expectations of the Company’s Board of Directors and senior management heightened, I realized that my role required a much broader set of skills and competences to cope with the ever-increasing challenges. This was the driver that pushed me to embark on an MBA program.

Why did you choose Monaco, IUM, and this program?

Since I was a full-time job and considering that I was going to do the MBA program for the benefit of my career and no the other way round (some students pursue the MBA designation to find a better job), I contacted a representative of ACCESS MBA, one of the world’s most significant business school associations, to help me find the school that would fit in my extremely busy and demanding work schedule.

Thus, ACCESS invited me to the Moscow fair of graduate business schools in the fall of 2017 and introduced me to the International University of Monaco (IUM) and several other schools.

That was when I met with Dr. Marika Taishoff, the MBA Program Director of the IUM, who also (as I discovered from her business card) taught such courses as Business Strategy and Marketing. Dr. Marika Taishoff told me that I would be able to study both on the campus and over the online platform and that the program itself was tailor-made to cater to the needs of senior-level executives who are already overwhelmed with their full-time job commitments.

So, by the end of the event, I had already made my mind to apply for the MBA program with the Monaco Business School. I knew that Monaco was a little kingdom between France and Italy, but as the saying goes, “the small is beautiful.” Monaco is the jewel of the French Riviera. I have always admitted the ability of the Principality to retain and maintain its independence and sovereignty from its much larger neighbors.

Tell us more about your previous experience

I have 23 years of professional experience in Public Accounting, Financial Reporting, Management Consulting, and Internal Auditing across several countries (Azerbaijan, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Russia). I have held the various management roles in such multinational firms as Price Waterhouse, KPMG, Eurest Raytheon, Turkcell, and Enel. I am a US Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and have a bachelor’s degree in finance from the Azerbaijan State University of Economics.

What are your key takeaways from this program? Or How did this program help you in the job you are in?

This MBA program has taught me to respect the opinions and work of other students, to learn from the experience of our professors, guest speakers, and fellow MBA students, and to always strive for the best result possible no matter what. The courses were custom-built to teach us to think as if we had run our own business, and the innovation was a key factor to the ultimate success. The skills that I learned from this program helped me boost my confidence, enhance my team building and networking skills, and substantially improve the quality of our internal audit communications.

What are your plans for the future? And what advice do you give to people who decide to study abroad?

When I applied for the program, I chose Venture Capital and Private Equity as a specialty, as I am passionate about helping startups and small ventures find an affordable source of financing. And, maybe, one day, I will set up my own business. Why not? 

The advice that I would give anyone contemplating to study abroad is to stop choosing a business school based on their worldwide ranking. Do not be afraid of choosing a small business school. The less widely known business schools are like startups. They are unknown to the general public, yet they have a considerable potential of growth, whereas the best know schools are already mature, and we all know from the MBA program that it is tough to grow a mature business.

When I chose Monaco as the place to study, many people wondered why. This was because I believed that the Monaco Business School was going to disrupt the education industry by offering an excellent and innovative content for a much lower fee. And we all know that the best investment is the one that gives you the best value for your money (VFM) and has the immense potential of growth. Finally, it is not the business school that makes you a star. It is you that makes your school stand out. Remember this.


If you would like more information about our MBA Program, please look on our website

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