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plenty of freedom. “Like most of our programmes, this Masters is built on two pillars. On the one hand, we focus on personal development. We guide our students towards a successful future, both personally and professionally. On the other hand, we invest in action learning. Studying at Vlerick is much more than passively absorbing information in auditoria. Our students research, participate, undergo simulations, play games… and travel, of course.” During the Masters in International Management and Strategy, students spend over three months abroad during a European Strategic Tour, a month-long global immersion in China and a two-month Global Strategic Consultancy Project in a country of their choosing. These international experiences combined with the great on-campus programme earned the Masters a global top-30-spot in the Financial Times’ prestigious Masters in Management ranking. In terms of language knowledge and international course experience, they even adorn the global top three.
Best of three schools Vlerick’s academic grand cru, however, is its Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA), a unique PhD programme for which the business school joins forces with the prestigious universities KU Leuven and Ghent University. “This intense four-year programme combines the strengths of all three partner schools: it has a strong scientific base, the flexibility of a Vlerick
Dean Marion Debruyne.
programme and earns you a PhD diploma at the end of the line.” The first two years, you get modules about scientific study and research. The following two years, you spend researching and writing yourself.” Whereas a Doctorate is usually a full-time job, Vlerick’s DBA is meant to be done on top of a career. Ten years of working experience are required to start, yet, the average age of the doctoral students is closer to 40 or 50. “Many successful business people regret not having done a PhD before, to start their career. Our DBA is made for these life-long learners who feel the need to specialise in one aspect of their domain.”
Live, Learn, Leap Rather than offering a linear studying experience, Vlerick takes its students on so-called ‘learning journeys’. “Learning is like going on a holiday. First, you prepare for your trip by researching, exploring and dreaming about what awaits you; next, you have the interactive and exciting phase of studying and gaining knowledge. At most schools, this is where the journey ends. We, on the other hand, add a third chapter: the ripple effect. We want to see our alumni turn their newly gained wisdom into action. Vlerick people are enterprising leaders, who thrive in a fast-changing world.” Flying the flag ‘Live, Learn, Leap’, Vlerick’s journeys surpass the solely academic aspect of education and become genuine preparation for a blossoming career. “One of my favourite quotes is: ‘There is nothing as practical as a good theory’. An academic approach gives you a frame of reference which you can apply in the field, where everything is a bit foggier and less ideal. Knowing how to handle a situation in perfect circumstances is the ideal way to learn how to handle crises and solve problems. Actually, those two worlds are not as distant as you would think.” www.vlerick.com
Issue 74 | February 2020 | 35