The Wine MBA

An interview with Georges Viala

Dean of Bordeaux Business School

About Bordeaux Business School

Bordeaux Business School was founded in 1873 and has grown to global proportions, offering 2 MBAs, 9 masters, a bachelor's program and executive education programs. With their international reputation for excellence in key management fields, Bordeaux Business Schools programs are built around a solid base of academic excellence and corporate partnership. Its Equis accreditation in 2000 reinforces its position as an international leader in top-level management education.

Could you tell us about your MBA program?

The Bordeaux Business School MBA is an intensive full-time program (12 months), designed both to improve participants' leadership and creativity skills and to enhance their understanding of the international business environment.

The classes are taught in English, start in late September and finish in June. The program combines theoretical courses with practical, real-world projects, including over 750 hours of advanced management classes.
- The core of the program is composed of 500 hours of comprehensive management education, including such subjects as change management, strategy, finance, marketing, economics, personal development and risk management.
- The remaining hours of class time are dedicated to operational excellence and electives emphasizing subjects in strategic areas such as supply chain management, purchasing management, and quality management.
- The Bordeaux Business School MBA also offers a European On-Site Study: In light of the expansion of the European Union in May 2004, this year the focus is put on one of the countries entering the new 25-member Europe, Hungary.

The course includes a company project that runs from December to June, during which a group of participants work with an outside company as consultants to develop a specific project.

As of July, classes are out and all the candidates are on the job working on an International Corporate Mission. They return to school at the end of the year to present their MBA thesis.

What kind of people are drawn to your MBA?

Candidates are attracted to Bordeaux Business School principally because of its international renown in specific fields such as the supply chain, purchasing management, quality and risk. They know that the MBA addresses these key functions in addition to the other traditional subjects.

The implication of professional lecturers in course content and evaluation helps participants:
- Enjoy direct exchanges with practicing managers
- Treat real-life company issues
- Reinforce their corporate network.

The small class size creates an informal atmosphere facilitating these exchanges. The multicultural make-up of the class and the faculty (75% non-French) provides strong international flavor that characterizes today's top MBA programs.

Bordeaux's region is another good reason that our students cite regularly as one of the elements of their decision to join our program.

What type of firms employ your graduates?

Corporate partners include major multinationals such as L'Oréal, Pinault Printemps Redoute, GlaxoSmithKline, Delphi, Michelin, Newell RubberMaid, IBM, Electrolux and many others. These companies provide lecturers, case studies, projects and internship opportunities to our students.

In addition, the Alumni network of Bordeaux Business School is 15,000 strong and circles the globe. Alumni assist with recruitment are a valuable source of information; the alumni association provides on-going career service support, as well as advertises regularly updated permanent positions and opportunities.

Do you have any advice for students looking to get an MBA?

The most important advice that we can give to someone looking to get an MBA is to first determine his/her specific career objectives, on the short term and on the medium term. As you know, an MBA is not the answer for everyone. Each school has its areas of expertise, its principal orientations, its advantages and its disadvantages. It is crucial to ensure that your objectives fit well with the nature of the program you choose.

About Georges Viala

After graduating from Bordeaux Business School, Georges Viala created several companies in the fields of Public Relations and Real Estate. In 1977 he joined the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Bordeaux and created the Bordeaux Freight Center. In 1987 he was named Dean of Bordeaux Business School. He has presided over numerous Associations and is Administrator of three companies. The research subjects which interest him most are business strategy, risk management and sustainable development

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