In our second series of “Stories from Abroad”, we have Jessica Fleskes who shares her stories of doing a double-degree at University of Geneve. Here’s what she has to say:
Hi LKY juniors!
If you want to work in an international organization (UN, WHO,IMF, etc) and/or end up establishing a professional career in Europe, I strongly recommend the International Organizations MBA at the University of Geneva. This dual degree option is definitely different than the others with LKY, as it’s a one year intensive MBA where you will be completing 24 modules and a 3 month internship within 12 months. As such, it’s intense! The workload is definitely heavier than at LKY but I think it’s more than worth it. It’s only October but we’ve already had professors from UNAIDS, the World Economic Forum, the ILO and universities around Europe. Since most of our professors are practitioners in their field, the schedule is always different and sometimes you’ll have class for 7 hours in one day. Our classes range in everything from Business Engagement in Society to Financial Accounting (it IS an MBA :/) to International Law, Micro-finance, and Business Economics.
In addition to fantastic lectures, we have meetings and professional talks with organizations from around Geneva (UNDP, UNHCR, McKinsey, Swiss mission to the UN, UNCTAD, WHO, etc.!). And my favorite of all: we have a career advisor for the 16 of us full-time students that is incredible. He helps us with our resumes, does mock interviews, sets us up with contacts and alumni and pretty much helps us in every way possible for our career. He’s very accessible and hands-on.
As far as the class make-up, this year it is small, as there are only 16 of us full-time (and about 15 part-time/certificate students). Just like LKY there are students from all over – China, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, the US, Lebanon, Greece, Zambia, etc. Last year they actually had around 25 full-time so I think it changes every year. While it took a while to get used to the small group, I do love the individual attention we get and the closeness we’ve already come to have (and there’s a lot less drama than what the LKY/CG bubble can breed!).
What else? Geneva is a wonderful and international city – 42% of inhabitants are non-Swiss. Whenever you go out you will meet people from all over and who have the most interesting jobs. In a given weekend I have gone to a Geneva v. Zurich hockey game, a CERN party and then a 6 hour hike in the mountains outside of Geneva. Though I will say that it is expensive (both the city and the program), it’s worth it. Lets also not forget that Switzerland is in the middle of Europe so there is ample opportunity for travel!
I hope this little spiel helped you all. If you have any more questions, feel free to email me. And please tell the seniors that I miss them (especially Sam:))!
PS you need to have taken the GRE or GMAT to come!