The continuing education program International MBA in Management & Communications has been comprehensively and groundbreakingly renewed! With many exciting benefits for the students, the Vienna Management Academy by FHWien der WKW responds to the challenges of the time with this program.
At FHWien der WKW, in addition to smaller, ongoing adaptations to the programs, there are also regular, more comprehensive adaptations every five years or so. In the case of the International MBA in Management & Communications program, this routine was used for a complete overhaul.
We ask Manfred Schieber, Head of Management & Entrepreneurship Study Programs at FHWien and Head of Program International MBA in Management & Communications:
What is radically new about the MBA?
- Starting in the winter semester of 2023/24, there will be individual business cases for students that run like a thread through the program and will be worked through and solved in the corresponding modules.
- In-person attendance will be reduced to a few days of attendance per semester – blocked into two units. Online units will be increased.
- English will be introduced as the language of instruction in order to increase international access – both in terms of teaching, lecturers and, last but not least, students.
- In terms of content, the program was adapted to the challenges and issues of the future – especially with regard to “responsible business” and “sustainability”.
What can you imagine by the “individual business case”?
At the beginning, students define an individual business case, either based on their current professional situation or on a future desired position, and then work through all modules on this case. Their performance review, which takes place at the end of a module, then consists of the practical application of the module’s content to the individual case.
What is the benefit for the students?
This individualization brings the students the great advantage that they can apply the topics they deal with in the modules to their own personal case. This represents a concrete benefit for every student!
Has specialization – instead of broad knowledge transfer – become more important?
Yes and no. We believe that individualization has become more important. This is also reflected in the many online offerings that increasingly rely on the micro-credentials principle – in other words, on evidence of learning outcomes within the framework of a less extensive learning unit. The striking disadvantage of such courses: They lack a view of the “big picture”. We are very well able to convey this in our program.
Does this mean that looking at the “big picture” speaks against cheaper and shorter MBA programs?
Basically, all programs and offers that have been on the market for a certain time have their justification and cover corresponding education and training needs. We offer a framework of contemporary modules following a study plan so that graduates develop basic management competencies. And in addition, there is personal specialization based on individual business cases that students can define themselves. This distinguishes us strongly from other MBA programs, especially from low-cost (online) MBA courses.
What is the biggest difference between this program and other MBA courses?
We want to develop leaders who actively deal with the tasks set. We want to train personalities who can make decisions and take responsibility on the basis of know-how and competencies. An academic title alone does not make a leader!
What’s the deal with the new presence rules?
Students now only come to our campus twice a semester for an attendance block of three days each. In between, there are online events every 14 days. In this way, we are also promoting the internationalization of the program, because it is easier to organize for students and teachers from abroad and from more distant provinces to come to Vienna for a few days per semester.
What happens during the presence phases?
The attendance blocks are to be used in particular to discuss topics among themselves. Because the participants are very interdisciplinary and come from a wide variety of fields and organizations, they benefit enormously from sharing their opinions and experiences. The acquisition of the theoretical framework is done by the students outside of the courses. For this purpose, they are provided with adequate material – in the future exclusively in English, the new language of instruction.
Will only English be used as the language of instruction in the future?
In principle, yes. English will be the language of instruction and the documents will also be in English. This will increase international access, and it will also give us the opportunity to bring more international teachers into the program. And last-not-least, we also want to attract more international students, who will then only have to come to Vienna twice a semester for a few days.
Is English also mandatory for the Master’s thesis and exams?
No. Even though the language of instruction as well as the documents will be English in the future, students have the possibility to write their exams as well as their Master’s thesis in German. The prerequisite is, of course, that lecturers of the relevant modules are also proficient in German.
Keyword “internationality”: What is it about the “Harvard Business School” strategy models?
The so-called “Microeconomics of Competitiveness” module of the Harvard Business School is implemented in our master’s programs, where the focus is on strategy and competitiveness of companies. We have some lecturers with this special training in house, which is why we can also offer the module in this program.
What innovations are there in terms of content?
In addition to the striking changes mentioned above – from individualization and the reorganization of the attendance phases to internationalization – we have also significantly revised the content of the program and adapted it to the new challenges and issues of the present and future. In particular, the topics of “responsible business” and “sustainability” have moved into focus.
What does the focus on “responsible business” include?
This point is particularly strongly anchored in the program. For example, students are asked to analyze business models to find out what responsible business means in certain contexts. In this way, they learn what impact decisions made by managers have at all possible levels, but especially with regard to ecological and social aspects.
Why the strong focus on “responsibility”?
The term “responsibility” addresses the acting persons much more strongly – and less the companies or organizations. This is because the attitude and actions of managers can be used to recognize and measure their responsibility. Thus, the focus is much more on the decision-makers and the topic becomes much more individual and personal.
A company as a framework or construct for economic activities does not make any decisions or assume any responsibility, but it is always the acting, competent persons who make decisions and take responsibility for them.
Who is eligible for the International MBA?
The target group is definitely very interdisciplinary, because apart from the fact that you need a degree and at least four years of professional or two years of management experience, there are no prerequisites. We address studied experts from a wide range of industries and companies who aspire to a leadership position or a management function. With the MBA, you will get the business polish – in addition to management know-how, especially with regard to leadership and communication.
What opportunities does the MBA degree open up?
Students acquire competencies that enable them to take on leadership tasks. The focus is on addressing the essential aspects that a leader needs – from basic management and communication skills to leadership. Individualization also teaches how to approach specific cases, how to solve specific tasks, with everything that entails. Our graduates are qualified to take on leadership tasks at top management level.
You can find all information about the continuing education program International MBA in Management & Communications online on our website.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Manfred Schieber, Head of Program, on 0800 40 00 77-04 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.