Conversation with Magdalena François-Thurin, incoming Dean of Montpellier Business School’s Executive MBA programme.
Dean of the Executive MBA programme and the RNCP level 1 certification in ‘Manager of business development or operational unit’, Magdalena François-Thurin has had a very international career, working in consulting in Hong Kong, and then for EDF, first in Bangkok, then in Beijing, and finally in Houston, where she was HR Director for North and South America. After 11 years abroad, she chose to come back to France, and specifically to Montpellier, where she is originally from, to join Montpellier Business School.
What made you want to take over MBS’s Executive MBA programme ?
Education, human development, inclusion, diversity, and social openness are important issues for me and are part of my commitment as a citizen and as a community member. So my ties to MBS lie first in the school’s values, and in particular its value of equal opportunities. In my new colleagues I find the same desire to be involved and a passion for education in the largest sense.
What are the main features that make the MBS Executive MBA programme stand out ?
MBS was one of the first schools in France to offer an Executive MBA. In fact, the programme has been around for 25 years. We graduate classes of 30 to 35 participants who then develop the diversity of their profiles. Our teaching is oriented toward strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship, and it’s based on individualised support. Moreover, the programme’s transversal project in strategic business auditing enhances their abilities even further. As for the practical cases, they encourage students to acquire skills, because people learn best by doing and sharing. Challenging your opinions and questioning yourself is part of the programme experience, both for me and for the participants. Education is a job that requires responsibility and above all humility.
You’ve now been at Montpellier Business School for a few weeks. How do you envision the future of the Executive MBA programme ?
The programme is focused on employment – one of MBS’s fundamental missions, as France’s largest Grande École for Management in terms of number of work-study students. We’ll stay on this course: supporting participants in their professional goals and preparing them to build the businesses and the economy of tomorrow. We also want to continue to open the programme to the business world that we already work closely with, and open it internationally. The programme is currently one of the few at this level offered in French. There’s no contradiction between this grounding and the fact that we have dense links with the rest of the world and a global vision of the great planetary challenges. Finally, we’re going to continue to enrich the foundation of skills developed with the faculty members in subjects like digital, collaborative management, the liberated company, or critical thinking.
As participants start the new academic year, what can they expect ?
First of all, this year we can show a very diversified recruitment in terms of profiles and sectors of activity. Collaboration, along with the interaction between teachers, participants and companies, will be the core of the programme, and we’ll increase the bridges with MBS’s other programmes and skill centres. The goal of my entire team is to make participants’ eyes shine, because it’s a unique moment for them, a high point in their career, whether they’re at a company or just getting started.