An interview with Souha Akiki

An American MBA in Paris

An interview with Souha Akiki

Director of Schiller International University, Paris Campus

About Schiller International University

SIU operates in eight geographic locations in six countries: US, France, England, Germany, Spain and Switzerland. In any one semester, SIU serves the needs of approximately eleven hundred students from one hundred nations. The University was founded in 1954, and since its foundation, it aimed to offer undergraduate and graduate students the advantages of an international education, having English as the language of instruction in all campuses.

Could you describe your MBA programs?

The Master of Business Administration at Schiller International University, the Paris campus, offers the students a variety of component courses. The M.B.A. in International Business builds upon previous studies in international marketing, management, finance and economics and relates these studies to real-world international management situations via case studies, business games and computer simulations, research projects as well as in-class discussions of current global issues. The program aims to transmit a broad overview of the business world and the different courses involve theoretical and practical applications, strategic decision-making, teamwork and group mobilization. The objective in this program is the understanding of various interdependent environmental forces as well as the ethical standards, that influence the decision making in the business world. Our MBA program is based on 45-semester credits and may be completed during one year and a summer session on a full time basis. As an option, those who work may attend the program on a part-time basis. The classes are then scheduled for the evenings and the weekends and the program may be completed in 2 to 4 years.

An MBA Preparatory program is also available for those students who lack background in business management and/or in economics.

What kind of people are drawn to your MBA?

We have over 100 students per semester of 30 different nationalities. Therefore, we have quite a multinational and multicultural student body, mainly coming from Europe, North and South America, Africa and the Middle East. Their ages vary according to the program they are enrolled in. Undergraduate students are normally between 18 and 25, whereas graduate students are from 22 to 40 years old. These graduate students usually have worked for some years after earning their university degree and then decide to get an MBA degree. However, some students start the MBA right after getting their Bachelor degree. The MBA students have different academic and professional backgrounds, which is very enriching for the program.

How important is the international dimension of your school?

The mission of Schiller International University, according to its President, Dr. Walter Leibrecht, is to prepare students, personally and professionally, for future leadership roles in an international setting. The educational process puts particular emphasis on developing international and cross-cultural competencies through foreign language training, inter-campus transfer in Europe and the United States, international academic opportunities, intense interaction among people with diverse and personal backgrounds (students, faculty and administration). As our name implies, Schiller International University stresses the international dimension of academic opportunities.

What are the benefits of your location?

The Paris Campus is located at Montparnasse, in the 15th arrondissement (district). The main advantage is that Montparnasse is one of the liveliest areas of Paris on the left bank of the Seine River. Actually, at the turn of last century, Montparnasse was the center of art and Bohemian life. Furthermore, the student district "Quartier Latin", as well as many cafés, book stores, cinemas, shops and sights of Paris are also within walking distance from the Paris campus.

What professional sectors do your students generally enter after graduation?

The chosen professional sector after graduation highly depends on the academic and previous professional background of the students. MBA Students with background in management and economics usually integrate international companies and multinationals in their finance, production, marketing and sales, and strategic departments. Some of them stay in France and some others return to their home countries. MBA students with background in engineering, medicine, psychology or others usually work in their field of expertise, but they take advantage of the business knowledge acquired during the MBA program and can often be promoted to managerial positions.

About Souha Akiki,

Mrs Souha Akiki has an MBA from SIU, she is preparing a PhD in Marketing, topic Merchandising. She teaches Marketing and she used to teach in many other French and American Universities in France.



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