Prof. Andreja Cirman has been the LJUBLJANA MBA Program director since 2011, leading the shaping and the coordinating of the program. Apart from her role in the MBA, she is also Vice-dean for Academic Affairs at School of Economic and Business at University of Ljubljana and has also made contributions in various organizations such as the European Network for Housing Research, American Real Estate Society and other professional organizations, publishing articles and research works in her area of expertise – housing, real estate and sustainability.
She shows both great pride and devotion for the participants of the MBA programme, determined to give them an opportunity to learn important managerial skills through the specifically structured programme but also achieve personal growth through various exchange programmes and alumni activities.
How does the MBA programme give the candidates the tools to face the challenges of the real world? What makes it different from other available MBA programmes?
LJUBLJANA MBA’s distinctiveness is its combination of courses from business, economics and leadership. While the core of the program consists of business courses, economic courses are an important part of knowing what are the macro drivers effecting how to do business nowadays, this is especially crucial for small open economies. Leadership courses on the other hand not only build leadership and communication skills, but also shape the well-rounded personality of candidates with strong personal integrity, ethos and sense of responsibility. As an academic institution, strongly involved in research, we support our leadership development trajectory with strong analytics based on traditional as well as neuroscientific approaches.
We have structured the programme in a way that best suits the needs of managers, who need knowledge and tools that they can immediately apply in everyday practice at work. We also implement different approaches to problem solving and decision-making. Creativity is something that leaders nowadays are lacking and that’s why we often push them out of their comfort zone, to avoid their routine way of thinking and try to make decisions and solve problems in a more creative and sustainable way. What also makes a difference at the programe is an in-depth personal approach with participants, seeking and developing their potential and talent.
What is the biggest change you notice among the participants that have finished the MBA programme?
Our MBA participants all have middle to senior management positions. They have to cope with lots of different business decisions on an everyday basis. Based on the experiences that they have shared with us, after finishing the programme they have really improved their managerial and leadership skills, become more effective and efficient, both in their personal and business life.
We are also proud that most students were promoted after completing the programme. Most of all I’m proud that they are making ethical and sustainable business decisions.
How important are the various exchange programmes for the development of both education and growth as a person? In addition, what are the currents exchange opportunities?
For many years our businesses are no longer limited by our borders. We work in a complex, dynamic global environment and therefore it is essential to expand our working and learning environment. LJUBLJANA MBA programme is an international programme in terms of students, professors, practitioners and structure. We also offer our an international exchange opportunity, so called “Leadership Weeks” in Sillicon Valley, California and Hong Kong. In addition to various business courses, the programmes include visits to and from companies and organizations. They are also an integral part of the study content.
Also we offer and host at the same time shorter exchange possibilities with our partner Entrepreneurial school Management Center Innsbruck and MIP Politechnica Milano, which allows them not to be away for a long period of time, but still experience the international environment.
How does Alumni MBA affect its members both in their personal and business life? What are some of the goals that members of the club are aiming towards?
With several events and other meetings during the year, we keep in touch with our participants. We organize different content-based events and social activities to connect different generations of participants together and provide opportunities for networking and sharing experiences. The idea is to foster between generation cooperation, stay connected with other participants and the faculty and thus create new ways and possibilities for future cooperation. We organize lectures, personal and career development workshops, family picnics and other activities, which bring together a well-rounded programme with various possibilities for cooperation. After the participants finish the programme we also stay in touch with them on a professional level where we cooperate with them as business partners.