Day One was Orientation Day. As a key characteristic of the Monaco MBA is its great international diversity—this year we have 25 students from 15 different countries representing Europe, Asia, the Mid East, the Americas, and Africa!—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 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 throughout the year; Career Services was also presented, followed by an introduction to the library and online research resources. 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 2013. 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 “Statistics for Business”. 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 2013 students had the opportunity not only to get to know members of the other IUM programs, but also to meet with MonacoMBA alumni from previous years. What better way to appreciate the unique learning and networking experience they are about to embark upon!

Reported by Dr. Marika Taishoff, MBA Program Director