Mr Safwan Masri, Columbia Business School MBA

Read an insightful interview with Mr Safwan Masri, Vice Dean and Samberg Faculty Director at Columbia Business School MBA.

Mr Safwan Masri, Columbia Business School MBA

Columbia Business School was established in 1916 to provide business training and professional preparation for Columbia University students. In addition to its renowned MBA program, Columbia offers successful business managers and company executives the opportunity to enhance their careers and expand their knowledge through the prestigious Executive MBA (EMBA) and non-degree Executive Education programs.

What are your school's mission and values?

The mission of Columbia Business School is to educate and prepare globally competitive men and women to be leaders, builders and managers of enterprises that create value for all their stakeholders and constituencies. To provide intellectual leadership for all constituencies, including students, faculty, other business schools and the practitioner community. Columbia Business School values teamwork and the individual. Our students balance these two concepts in a competitive/collaborative environment. The community also values heterogeneity as evidenced by the wide array of ethnicities, nationalities and backgrounds of the student body. The learning environment is rigorous, providing our students with the tools for an international career based upon ethics and business fundamentals.

How is your MBA program structured?

The first two terms of study consist of the core curriculum. The core is taught in clusters of approximately 60 students, which not only fosters cooperative and teamwork skills but also enables students to learn from the diversity of their peers and to form lasting bonds. This past fall, the school implemented a new model for teaching ethics that infuses the topic across the entire core curriculum from accounting to operations management. The inclusion of ethics across all divisions underscores the deep implications of ethical and leadership issues in today's business world. After completing the core, students are free to choose from more than 150 elective courses at the business school and supplement them with more than 4,000 graduate-level classes offered by the university's 12 other schools. Specialized programs such as entrepreneurship, real estate, social enterprise and media, entertainment and communications provide students the opportunity to focus on cutting-edge issues. Dual-degree programs with other graduate programs within the university are also an option for students whose interests span several fields.

Columbia is widely considered to be one of the top business schools in the world. How do you explain your program's success?

The quality of the students and faculty and the remarkable achievements of our global alumni are the foundations for Columbia Business School's success. The school's distinguished, innovative faculty is also a major strength. Our faculty is comprised of professors from around the globe, including the 2001 Nobel Laureate for Economics, Joseph Stiglitz. 

The success and involvement of our alumni is critical as well. Columbia Business School alumni welcome our students into their professions and wide-ranging networks. Thousands of alumni are just a subway ride away and thousands more span the globe, acting as resources for students in every career path. Columbia Business School has also benefited from being in the most dynamic, hottest growth city in the world in terms of talent--New York City. With thousands of multinational companies, a diverse real-estate market and the major stock, bond and commodity exchanges, the city is a living laboratory for the Columbia community.

What business areas do your students generally enter after graduation?

Our students go into a wide range of industries and functions. Given our close proximity to Wall Street, it is not surprising that many do go into financial services and consulting. But a large number of our recent graduates also go into the manufacturing companies, in addition to the many students who pursue entrepreneurial initiatives.

What advice would you give to potential candidates?

I strongly encourage prospective students to visit the school and talk to current students and alumni from your region. Do your research on the school looking at statistics, but make it a personal decision based upon where you want to study, what you want to focus on and the environment you will most thrive in.

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