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The Warsaw Voice » National Voice » June 17, 2010
Portugal in Poland
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Lisbon MBA
June 17, 2010   
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The Lisbon MBA program is a joint initiative by two universities in Portugal and the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States. The Lisbon MBA aspires to become a key educational program for future economic leaders in Europe and beyond.

The 12-month program comprises classes at the Catolica and Nova universities in Lisbon and a summer course at the prestigious MIT Sloan School of Management in Boston, Massachusetts, during which the students learn about American business.

The students also do brief summer internships at one of several European companies which take part in the project. The company and the type of internship are chosen depending on which sector of the economy the students want to pursue a career in after they finish their studies. As they make the choice, they are aided by the Career Management Center at the campus in Lisbon, where they go to meetings and discussions with people working for partner companies and headhunting agencies. Trying to decide on the kind of internship, and thus choose their career path, they can also consult an association of graduates who monitor the course of the summer internships and help students find jobs after graduation.

Learning to work in teams is an integral part of the course. The Lisbon MBA is designed to teach students about teamwork through analysis of business case studies and encouraging joint initiatives in the students’ spare time. For example, as part of one of the most unconventional assignments, the students get to stage plays by William Shakespeare. This is more than a challenge for them as actors, as they have to take care of the whole of the production themselves, from renting the costumes to arranging the venues, rehearsing and selling tickets to the shows. Creativity and team building are the objectives of such projects which are sponsored by leading Portuguese institutions, such as the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

This academic year, almost 38 percent of the Lisbon MBA students come from outside Portugal, which the program’s founders consider to be a major success. The students are aged 29 on average and most of them have five to six years of work experience behind them. Graduates of business and technological studies account for 75 percent of all students. Over 40 percent of them are women. Research conducted by the program’s coordinators shows that 68 percent of Lisbon MBA graduates find jobs directly after graduation. Almost half the graduates take jobs in a different sector of the economy—compared with what they did before they enrolled for the Lisbon MBA program, and 70 percent of the graduates change their jobs. A quarter of the graduates go to work in a different country.

Lisbon MBA graduates can look forward to 25-percent pay raise on average. They earn 55,000 euros per year on average. The managers of the schools taking part in the project say that those enrolling for the program can expect this investment to pay off within three years after graduation.
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