About GISMA Business School
GISMA Business School was founded in 1999 as a private, non-for-profit foundation of the State of Lower Saxony. The initiators of GISMA were the German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder and several heads of important German companies. The goal was the establishment of a world-class Business School from the first day. Therefore GISMA established a cooperation with Purdue University's Krannert Graduate School of Management, Indiana, USA, one of the leading Business Schools in the United States. While today GISMA offers the original Krannert MBA programs, it will become an independent school over time. GISMA will hire its own faculty and will build up its own reputation over the years.
Could you give us a brief overview of your MBA programs?
GISMA offers an 11 month fulltime MBA program for students from all kinds of academic backgrounds. The program features core courses in the functional areas of management and various elective courses. The coursework translates theory into application, utilizing techniques that are information technology intensive. Case study presentations help enhance students? communication, persuasion, and team-building skills. With just a short hiatus from full-time employment, students can earn a master's degree in less than a year. The coursework is rigorous, and the solid foundation of core courses is excellent preparation for students career goals.
The GISMA Executive MBA program is a unique two-year course of study offering a creative alternative to traditional part-time programs, both in its instructional delivery system and in its emphasis on an integrated learning platform for the program participants between residential sessions. Participants study an integrated curriculum, drawing on the full range of the functional areas of business and stressing development of analytical skills. The emphasis is on managerial decision-making, particularly as decisions are influenced by the global setting of business. The courses of the programs have been designed by our faculty to have an applied policy-making orientation and use case and other experiential materials extensively. The use of information technology to support the decision analysis is a key component of most courses.
GISMA offers two tracks within the Executive MBA program, one focusing on General Management, the other on Health Care Management. The Executive MBA in Health Care Management program is dedicated to the education of decision makers in the health care industry and offers the premier MBA program in Europe with a specific focus on health care issues.
Who are the participants to your MBA program?
The participants in GISMA's MBA programs are manager or managers-to-be who seek for an American style MBA program with a special focus on European contents. They come from various academic backgrounds and have work experience in all different kinds of businesses. They want to become professional managers in todays global markets.
Students in GISMA's fulltime program are on average 28 years old and have an average working experience of 4 years.
Participants of the GISMA Executive MBA program are individuals who have a record of work experience in positions of increasing responsibility and who have demonstrated the potential for continued growth within their organizations. The typical applicant has at least five years of working experience and has earned a baccalaureate or equivalent “first” degree. That degree, however, need not — and often will not — be in business administration.
What is the philosophy of your MBA program?
In addition to all academic advantages of an American business school GISMA offers its students the benefits of a highly international student population (50%), access to exceptional faculty, to an exceptional information technology infrastructure, to a study abroad program, and to outstanding networking opportunities through our career and student services. GISMA graduates receive their diplomas from Purdue University and become lifelong members of the Purdue University alumni network, numbering 30,000 graduates.
What are the benefits of a partnership with an American University?
Business education has its roots in the United States — and the teaching method taught in leading MBA programs in the US is outstanding. The cooperation with Purdue University has allowed GISMA to offer a world-class MBA program from day one. GISMA graduates can rely on decades of experience in MBA education and on a world-class faculty. A US MBA degree of a renowned Business School, combined with a stay in Europe? s driving force and access to German businesses combines the advantages of two nations.
Do your students get any type of practical experience during their studies?
GISMA students have intensive contact to industry through GISMA's placement activities, guest speakers, Forum Days, and more. Additionally students take part in a project. To access best practices and real-life situations, projects are carried out in cooperation with a partner company of GISMA and/or the Krannert School. Acting as teams of consultants, students work in small groups and tackle a problem of current relevance to the company. The company provides intensive contacts to the students to answer all questions related to the project. A professor is responsible for advising the students and for overseeing the project.
What are the firms which collaborate with GISMA? What is their involvement?
GISMA is supported by 27 sponsoring companies who offer support to the school and to GISMA?s students in different ways. Some companies are offering financial support to students with outstanding qualifications. Many companies are visiting GISMA during recruitment events, or invite students to plant visits. Among others the following companies are sponsors of GISMA: Airbus Germany, Continental, Deutsche Bahn, KPMG, TUI, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Siemens, Dow and VW.
What advice would you offer to a person who is thinking about getting an MBA?
Because there are so many MBA programs offered worldwide a student should analyze the MBA market in details before deciding about where to apply. The first important part of a MBA program is the academic part, but similar important is the reputation of the school and its integration into the business environment. Your future career plans should drive your choice — in which country are you going to apply for your job after finishing your MBA program, which industry or branches are most attractive to you. Does the Business School have a good reputation in this area? Do not only rely on rankings as the only resource of information, but visit schools which are on your short-list, talk to their representatives and students. Nothing is more important that a personal impression on location.