Authenticity and Excellence (Interview)

Everything you need to know about studying International Business at one of the best business schools in Europe.

Authenticity and Excellence (Interview)

Ciara Sutton has studied International Accounting, Finance and International Business in both Australia and Sweden. Her teaching as an assistant professor at Master and Executive levels is in the areas of Strategy and International Business, primarily in Sweden and Russia. Current research interests include global leadership, employee integration, and educational methods in general, with a current focus on context and locally adapted educational approaches in management, entrepreneurship and leadership. This current project includes insights from ongoing studies in East Africa. 

What skills, attitudes and knowledge do successful students bring to the classroom?

The MSc programme in International Business (MIB) at Stockholm School of Economics is designed to prepare students for an international management or business career. The emphasis is on what each individual can contribute in the co-creation of knowledge in the classroom, when combined with theory, content knowledge and facilitation by faculty. This means we look for a broad range of skills and knowledge at intake, although analytical ability and critical thinking are requirements common to all. Attitude is a crucial selection criterion and we are looking for individuals who have the potential to be engaged, generous, compassionate, resilient and mindful, which we see as important characteristics of future global leaders.

Where does your programme place the emphasis in training young professionals – theoretical foundations, practice, interdisciplinary approach, research, projects, etc. and how does this bring value career wise?

Each international cohort is carefully assembled by the programme director to incorporate different personalities and different learning styles. Group dynamics are considered central to the learning process as well as an additional learning outcome. Our programme is firmly grounded in both theory and practice. We incorporate live projects, working on current challenges with our partner corporations, and apply immersion learning to fully capture the importance of context and enhance the relevance and understanding of theory.

How would you describe the learning environment (academic, extracurricular, services) at your school?

The learning environment encourages collaboration though the small-size cohort approach, where students have the opportunity to get to know the strengths of their peers and undertake the learning journey together. Rigorous selection also ensures that this collaborative approach helps each individual strive for personal excellence. The student association at SSE (SASSE) is a vibrant and integrated component of the student experience. There is not only a wide range of social events, but the student association also has close ties to the business community and provides further opportunities for each student to further develop their areas of interest. Being a small school, individualised services are provided by the SSE professional services team and the MIB programme team. We dedicate continuous effort to ensure that the programme’s quality remains at the highest international standard. The programme is currently ranked by the Financial Times as the 12th best MSc programme in International Business worldwide.

How can students customise their individual study experience?

Programme participants have the opportunity to graduate with a dual degree. Students who apply for the Master in International Business (MIB) simultaneously apply to CEMS (The Global Alliance in Management Education). Many of the required components allow students to select freely based on their developing interest areas, for example, the focus of the research project. In the second year students customize their experience through their choice of exchange destination, which can be one of over 30 different countries. Electives can be selected from a wide portfolio from different disciplines. Currently, we are seeing the increasing popularity of digitalisation and digitalisation strategy, including econometrics and coding, as well as continued interest in sustainability.

In what ways have topics such as sustainability and climate change had an impact on the programme or university as a whole?

Sustainability and climate change topics are fully integrated into the curriculum. SSE’s Mistra Center for Sustainable Markets (MISUM) was launched to enhance the understanding of, and create new insights into, sustainable markets and it informs all educational programmes at SSE.

How do international students finance their Masters studies?

We are in the privledged position of offering EU citizens a tuition-free education, and also very competitive fees for our non-EU students. Non-EU candidates can apply for full or partial tuition scholarships.

This article is original content produced by Advent Group and included in the 2019-2020 annual Access MBA, EMBA, and Masters Guide under the title “Authenticity and Excellence”. The latest online version of the Guide is available here.

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