Individual opportunities for international executives


Geneva, a cosmopolitan city and a premier site of global negotiations and critical economic policies, is the prime location to earn a Master’s degree. The University of Geneva (UNIGE) is a highly regarded institution serving an international mix of students and teachers.

Founded in 1559, UNIGE features intellectual heritage and a cutting-edge research centre as well as a fully equipped library and sports facilities. Ranked among the top business schools in the world, UNIGE is Switzerland’s second largest university with 16,300 students representing over 150 different nationalities, and its Continuing Education programme covers a wide variety of fields such as sciences, medicine, humanities, social sciences, liberal arts and law. As an advocate of the digital revolution, UNIGE is a pioneer in the use of digital technologies in all its sectors of activities.

UNIGE Geneva School of Economics and Management (GSEM), created in 2014, offers two unique MBA options, the International Organizations MBA (IOMBA) and the Executive MBA (EMBA), both of which emphasise the university’s key principles and educational approaches: multidisciplinary, quality, international dimension and partnerships. As part of GSEM Executive, UNIGE MBA programmes have built a reputation for delivering high quality executive education over the last 25 years and experienced myriad of changes as a response to the ever-evolving market demands in a dynamic city that is at the intersection of business and international public affairs.

Among the top institutions amidst the league of European Research Universities, UNIGE enjoys a privileged international reputation. This is thanks to its strong ties to many national and international Geneva-based organisations, such as the World Health Organization, the International Labour Organizations and the World Economic Forum.

In particular, the IOMBA is designed for world-class future managers of these international organisations and international non-governmental organisations from around the world, offering 24 modules (90 ECTS) that can be completed in one year (full-time format), or two to three years (part-time format). The modules are divided into three distinct themes: The Global Context – including political, economic and legal environment within multilateral organisations; Business Fundamentals, which looks at management, communication and organisational challenges in international environments and Professional Development, which fosters leadership skills, tools and know-how to succeed in a competitive international environment.

The ideal IOMBA candidate is between 25 and 35 years of age and has at least five years of work experience in either the private or public sector. IOMBA faculty have an extensive and international background working in such prestigious institutions.

The part-time EMBA, designed for aspiring business leaders seeking a career change or professional development opportunities, provides first-class general management education without interrupting their careers. The EMBA track teaches participants to expand their capacity to lead and face cross-functional challenges and to gain leadership training through active participation and a corporate executive philosophy.

Since September 2016 the EMBA offers a compressed block schedule format in addition to the traditional bi-weekly structure. This new, compressed format allows students from across the globe more flexibility when completing courses with only three to four visits per year to Geneva. Candidates take grouped courses every quarter and participate in virtual courses in the intervening months. It is an ideal format for the international student who is mindful of travel time, as well as the local Geneva student with a demanding full-time workload.

During the first year, candidates choose either the traditional bi-weekly structure, wherein students meet on alternate weekends, or the compressed block structure. Upon completion of the 12 core modules in the first year, students join one of the two flagship EMBA curriculum, the ‘International Management’ or ‘Entrepreneurial Leadership’ programme, or one of the 15 GSEM Executive EMBA specializations proposed either in French or English.

International Management provides participants with the specific capabilities and skills required for a higher management position in a multinational company or organisation, while Entrepreneurial Leadership aims to develop participants’ professional agility to seize opportunities and to exploit the digital transformation in today’s fast-moving environment. The EMBA encourages lively interaction between students and professors and stimulates the sharing of knowledge through group work. The participants’ learning experience is further enhanced by corporate work projects, in-class discussions and presentations, which build on their previous experience. Participants receive personalised evaluations and feedback throughout the programme.

Among the other specialisations, it also offers a block format structure as of September 2017: Aviation Management and Commodity Trading.

The Aviation Management programme enables future aviation leaders to better comprehend the challenges and growth opportunities in an industry that shows potential of significant volume growth. The Commodity Trading programme is enhanced by the Geneva area, in that nearly 40% of all international commodity trading takes place in the city. Participants have the opportunity to learn specialised and continual training in this valuable sector. In addition to these distinctive programmes, second-year candidates can also pursue the following specialisations in English: Corporate Social Responsibility, Entrepreneurial Leadership, International Management, Management for Non-Profit Organizations and Strategic Marketing.

The ideal EMBA candidate is between 35 and 45 years of age and has an average of 12 years of work experience. The full EMBA cycle includes 24 modules (90 ECTS) and an EMBA Project, to be completed within 2 years.

UNIGE offers reasonable class sizes (approx. 25-35 students/class) and flexibility of courses, and as one would expect from a university of this calibre, UNIGE MBA programmes are accredited by the Association of MBAs, lending credibility and reliability to today’s candidate in search of a top MBA degree. The learning experience at UNIGE MBA is beneficial to students and businesses alike, as participants invariably face the challenges and changes found in organisations and businesses. Candidates learn to sustain their drive and determination at their jobs throughout their MBA courses, and complete their studies with a renewed sense of purpose and a more marketable skillset.

Quick overview of GSEM Executive & MBA features:

  • A wide diversity of EMBA specialisations (approx. 15 in the 2nd year)
  • Personal Development Program (PDP)
  • Flexibility and modularity of courses
  • Diversity of participants from over 35 different nationalities
  • Wide range of professionals from both the private and public sectors
  • Active alumni networking events
  • Accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA)
  • Excellence of academic staff
  • Over a dozen events organised at the University gathering students, alumni and professionals
  • Two course structures available: traditional bi-weekly format or compressed block structure

UNIGE MBAs participate in various fairs and forums in and outside of Switzerland and organises several info sessions at the university during the fall and spring.

The structure of GSEM Executive programs can help provide the building blocks for a long-term career

Further information
IOMBA: www.iomba.unige.ch
EMBA: www.emba.unige.ch

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