MSc International Management is a very exciting programme in our Management Master’s portfolio. The programme is tailored for students with prior business knowledge, either through undergraduate degrees in business or relevant work experience. This means that the programme is designed to further develop students’ skills and fast-track their careers to work at leading companies in strategy, consulting and finance.
In this article, we feature the highlights of the programme that uniquely position the MSc International Management at Imperial College Business School in the management master’s market. Commentary is provided by the Programme Director, Jolande Bot-Vos.
1. Leadership skills
Management theory is one aspect of the programme, but something that is unique to MSc International Management is how it instils solid leadership skills in students. Throughout the programme, there is a dedicated Leadership in Action module designed just for this.
Leadership skills have bigger implications than short-term application. These skills are something as graduates of the programme they can build on and use throughout their entire career. Jolande says:
Although a lot of students who just come out of business school don’t see the immediate need for leadership development, if you talk to people who are in long-term careers, they say this is the most essential part of your whole education. Knowledge is significant, but the leadership skills are more important over the long term.
The module begins with a five-week module on organisational behaviour followed by sessions on different types of leadership skills including giving feedback, teamwork, presentation skills and empathy – all of the things that are crucial to becoming a successful leader. These sessions are taught via experiential learning, which means that students will learn by doing.
After the foundation weeks of organisational behaviour and leadership skills, students embark on their Leadership in Action project. This is a design thinking consulting project with an international trip – more on that later – where students will be working with a company to solve a real problem for them.
Following their consulting experience with the clients overseas, students will work on a reflective piece, which is another key element of their leadership journey.
Jolande says, “To be a successful leader you need to be reflective, you need to be able to reflect on what went well, what didn’t go so well, and what to change next time. This is a skill graduates will have for the rest of their life, alongside skills on leading in teams, conflict resolution, giving feedback, presentations and more.”
2. International experience and a global outlook
As the name suggests, being ‘international’ is a huge component of MSc International Management. So much so, we have four avenues for students to gain international experience during the programme.
Why do we place such an emphasis on international experience? Jolande explains:
Business is a global workplace. If you look at all the companies in the world, no matter how big or small, they have either international suppliers or international customers, as well as international employees. If you want to operate successfully in this environment, you have to be international. If you don’t bring an open, global view to everything, you will not be able to understand what is going on in a company.
All of these elements allow students on the programme to internationalise further, given that the cohort is already very international. All students will attend a two-day European Immersion where they will visit a city in Europe to learn about technology and innovation. This year’s MSc Management cohort visited Berlin and Lisbon on similar trips.
The second component is the aforementioned international trip on the Leadership in Action module. Students of the 2019-20 cohort will work on a project for a company in either Brazil or India, and they will travel to the country where their project is based for a week-long trip to carry out local research and present their findings to the company. Aside from teaching students consulting skills, this project helps them develop cultural awareness of doing business in another country.
Students also have the opportunity to take an optional Global Immersion elective alongside students from other MSc programmes. The Global Immersion is a fully immersive experience exploring the socio-economic factors that influence how business is conducted in another country. This year’s MSc Management students had a choice of visiting Dubai/Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong/Shenzen or New York.
Finally, there is the Study Abroad elective, where students can apply to study at one of our partner institutions.
The programme also values the immense benefits of knowing a second language in this global society. Students who come to the programme only knowing one language will learn another language via an online learning platform.
3. Technology and innovation
In this rapidly changing world where technology is disrupting every industry, it’s essential that all students enter the workplace with the skills to thrive in this environment. This is why technology and innovation is a focal point of MSc International Management.
The management of these new technologies has proved difficult for many companies. Understanding their implementation and management is a vital skill that will give students an edge no matter what industry they’re interested in.
The Innovation & Technology core module, led by Dr Paola Criscuolo, will ensure students understand how companies manage technology and innovation in a company. This module will draw on the experiences of leading innovators.
Students will also learn about technology and digital innovation in the “Tech Innovation in Business” Speaker Series where leading industry experts in different fields will be invited to deliver talks on new technologies and how they can be integrated into a business model. Jolande says:
These talks are about learning what these technologies are, so that when students get into the workplace they understand the potential they have and can work on their implementation into businesses.
At Imperial College Business School, we are pioneers of innovation and education. Our in-house EdTech Lab team have developed a bespoke learning environment and continue to push the boundaries of education technology. Last year they launched the first lecture via hologram – watch to see what went down.
4. Fantastic learning opportunities
This advanced programme is created for students who already come to the Business School with business knowledge, so the way teaching is delivered is going to be slightly different from our other Master’s programmes.
For some modules, there will be flipped classroom situations where students will learn via case studies. This means they will prepare for cases before class and the lecture will discuss the case instead of being lectured about it. There will also be video material on The Hub to help students prepare.
Learning by case studies is a standard feature of MBA programmes. MSc International Management students will be taught in a similar way for certain modules because they come to the programme with a background in business. Jolande says:
We can trust that the students can do the readings or watch the videos and build on their prior knowledge straight away, and then go immediately into case studies.
Blended, active and experiential learning techniques are used widely throughout the programme. This varied approach to teaching is what makes the MSc International Management so dynamic and exciting.
5. Life in London
Of course, one of the big draws of the programme is that it’s located in the heart of London. As well as being ranked the world’s Best Student City in the 2018 QS Rankings, London is also a thriving business hub.
London is home to the majority of the world’s biggest global companies, headquarters and company branches. Jolande says:
If you are interested in meeting these companies, we have close connections with them. Because we are so close, we bring them on campus for career fairs, guest lectures, and it’s also easy to visit them. Your future workplace is nearby and you can easily connect with those companies. That’s very powerful.
On top of the career opportunities, London is an amazing place to live – it’s rich in history, art and culture. Imperial College Business School is located in South Kensington in the ‘Albertopolis’ area. This was Prince Albert’s vision of a mecca of art, music, science, culture and history.
Neighbouring Imperial is the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum and Royal Albert Hall. A short stroll away from campus is the beautiful Hyde Park, perfect for running, picnicking and simply relaxing.