Tout d’abord permettez moi de commencer mon introduction à cette petite série d’été par une confession.
Founded in 1973 in Antwerp, the European University was the first institution offering an MBA program in Belgium.
1992 was an important year to the European University. As many countries joined the European Union, the European University decided to go abroad. They chose Switzerland to set up their first-campus, since they considered Switzerland as being well known for its high standard of living , especially in Geneva, where there are lots of international organizations and boarding schools which makes it an ideal place for their European University campus. As the European University has a global network of campuses since 2000, inter-campus exchanges are encouraged in Western and Eastern Europe, Asia and the United States.
In Geneva, the European University offers courses such as Business Administration, Communication & Public Relations, Leisure & Tourism Management, Global Banking & Finance, Entrepreneurship and E-business. New courses have appeared such as Social Media and Green Business Management.
Interview with Dr. Craen, president of the European University in Geneva.
What kind of people study at the European University?
We have two types of program: The Bachelor program and the MBA program. The Bachelor’s program which is a three year full-time program is intended for undergraduated people coming from high schools or the equivalent. For the MBA program, applicants must have the equivalent of an american bachelor’s degree from an accredited College or University. People between 25 and 45 years old with or without a professional experience are the target of the Graduate / MBA program.
Do you have programs designed for working adults?
Certainly, some master degrees are designed for adults, as I mentioned before, we offer MBA with one year full time or two years part-time programs. We also offer Executive MBA which is for people with a lot of working experiences. The right candidate could enroll without a University degree with a bright career. This program contains social media, conflict management etc.
Which qualifications are most relevant and practical relating to the job market?
You should be respectful, humble and passionate. I am a marketing professor and I teach my students to be respectful and humble. When you respect people, you build trust and after, you gain a good reputation. To be successful at work, knowledge is necessary, but it is not the only condition, you have to put your passion into your job, and you have to believe that you can do it well. When you go for a job interview, the HR is not interested in how many degrees you have or what you have done before, they want to know what you can do for their company. We try to teach students to combine their passion and knowledge with work in order to make their dreams come true.
In the EU portfolio, there are Bachelor and Master Business Administration programs in Green Business Management and Family Business Management.
Why have you launched these programs, compared to traditional programs? What are the advantages particularly regarding future job opportunities after studying these subjects?
We have to prepare students for their future career and we also prepare our students for the future job market. Today, the labor market is very different compared to 80 years ago. Today to get a job, you need knowledge and new technologies; for example you should know how to use an IPAD, know social media and communicate on twitter.
We want to live on a green planet, but we use too many natural resources. We know that we have to change our attitude to our planet. In the past 20 years, some organizations have tried to change society towards a greener thinking with no success; however, today we can see that most of the governments and societies have been changed. They noticed how important it was to protect the earth’s natural environment, and that we need to have people to work for that. In fact in the US, there were thousands of jobs in Green Business Management. One thing we can be sure of is that we can do the same business in a more economical way.
99% of business around the world is family business. Among European University’s students, some come from family businesses. One of our students from India, who studied this program, is now the CEO of his family business. He managed to increase profit 10 times more per year than his father’s generation. He thanks the European University for the education he received.
What would you identify as EU’s strategic and competitive advantages? Do you feel you have a Unique Selling Proposition with regards to other universities?
The European University provides an education that is student-oriented, flexible and personal. The personal touch is very important; we are not only teaching our students to gain knowledge, but also to improve their personal qualities. In business, you need to be proactive. We prepare our students for their future job: not only to take, but also contribute to their company and our society. As EU’s students, they also benefit from EU’s worldwide network, a truly multicultural and multilingual environment. Our aim is to prepare our students as future leaders in enterprises.