France: Audencia Nantes or IAE Aix


I have narrowed my MBA search down to two business schools in France:

Audencia Nantes School of Management
IAE Aix Graduate School of Management

I like the sustainability angle of the Audencia Nantes program. This program would fit well with my background and career aspirations -- I currently work and plan to work in nonprofits.

However, IAE Aix is a bit more affordable and is in Provence, which is pretty much my ideal place to live.

Does anybody know if either would be better in the longrun, in terms of ROI, career guidance, etc.?

Also considering other MBA programs in France, if they are under 30,000 EUR.
I have narrowed my MBA search down to two business schools in France:

Audencia Nantes School of Management
IAE Aix Graduate School of Management

I like the sustainability angle of the Audencia Nantes program. This program would fit well with my background and career aspirations -- I currently work and plan to work in nonprofits.

However, IAE Aix is a bit more affordable and is in Provence, which is pretty much my ideal place to live.

Does anybody know if either would be better in the longrun, in terms of ROI, career guidance, etc.?

Also considering other MBA programs in France, if they are under 30,000 EUR.
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Duncan
How is your French? Do you think nonprofits can afford to hire MBAs? What non-profits are based around Aix?
How is your French? Do you think nonprofits can afford to hire MBAs? What non-profits are based around Aix?
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lssaunde
I am literally just getting started in my year in Provence with the IAE - Aix full-time MBA program, and I also come out of a non-profit background (church work). I have no basis to respond to your question yet in terms of ROI, career guidance, etc., but I'll try to keep it in mind and maybe give you some feedback on the forum here as the year progresses. I will say that cost was a critical factor for me, and I feel very fortunate to be able to enroll in a generally well-regarded program for under 20,000 euros for tuition with some financial aid from the school. I was also accepted at EM Lyon, but the financial aid situation made it an 11,000 euro difference between IAE and EM Lyon, and my gut told me its going to be difficult getting a job no matter where I went, so I went where it was most affordable in the short term; I did not want to take on debt to finance my program.

I will say, not as a criticism, that at IAE I am swimming in a sea of engineers and people with undergrad degrees in areas like business and marketing and econ, with professional business backgrounds. I am the lone member of the class with a liberal-arts, non profit background. I suppose that may change slightly from year to year, but I think in general you will find that profile to the case as several schools. At Nantes, with that specialization in sustainability, you might encounter more people with a similar background to you, but that is pure speculation on my part.
I am literally just getting started in my year in Provence with the IAE - Aix full-time MBA program, and I also come out of a non-profit background (church work). I have no basis to respond to your question yet in terms of ROI, career guidance, etc., but I'll try to keep it in mind and maybe give you some feedback on the forum here as the year progresses. I will say that cost was a critical factor for me, and I feel very fortunate to be able to enroll in a generally well-regarded program for under 20,000 euros for tuition with some financial aid from the school. I was also accepted at EM Lyon, but the financial aid situation made it an 11,000 euro difference between IAE and EM Lyon, and my gut told me its going to be difficult getting a job no matter where I went, so I went where it was most affordable in the short term; I did not want to take on debt to finance my program.

I will say, not as a criticism, that at IAE I am swimming in a sea of engineers and people with undergrad degrees in areas like business and marketing and econ, with professional business backgrounds. I am the lone member of the class with a liberal-arts, non profit background. I suppose that may change slightly from year to year, but I think in general you will find that profile to the case as several schools. At Nantes, with that specialization in sustainability, you might encounter more people with a similar background to you, but that is pure speculation on my part.
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Duncan
Ah yes, now I remember you from an earlier exchange because I studied theology. I also came into my MBA with an arts degree and, actually, it all worked out fine. I do suggest you take the IAE's international exchange diploma if you can stretch to that.
Ah yes, now I remember you from an earlier exchange because I studied theology. I also came into my MBA with an arts degree and, actually, it all worked out fine. I do suggest you take the IAE's international exchange diploma if you can stretch to that.
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Wow, thanks for the info, Issaunde! I will keep that in mind as I consider my options.
Wow, thanks for the info, Issaunde! I will keep that in mind as I consider my options.
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lssaunde
"UserError9" - happy to help, if you can call it that. Not sure how helpful I can be, but I'll try.

I can tell you a little about the life here; whether its much different than Nantes I would not really know. You should also be aware that my perspective is a little different than some because I have come here with my wife and two young children. With that last point in mind, I can say that I found a place to rent for 1000 euros per month that worked for my family situation, about 3.5 km from IAE, in the Provencal country side, with a view of Mt. Sainte-Victoire from my house. There seems to be a reasonable amount of student housing available in Aix itself for much less than that, and the school is reasonably accessible by public transportation, although it is about 7 km outside of Aix. I did not plan on purchasing car at first when I came, due to cost, but in the end we have bought one. I think you could reasonably expect to buy a used car for under 2500 euros. Coming from the USA myself, I had a harder time buying car insurance than the car itself. I would say most students probably don't have cars, so depending on exactly where you might end up living it is either more or less necessary to have. On the housing front, I did find it a little harder to find a place that was available when I was arriving (late August) - many places were not available until September 1 or later, although specific student housing might not have that problem.

For non-French students, there were two weeks of French classes (optional) starting in late August, in which the MBA students and other masters program students were all together for 3 hours a day. Then, the other masters programs got started about September 8, while the MBA does not start until one week later, so MBA students specifically received an extra week of French class. You can continue to take French lessons through the year in the MBA, but on a more limited basis, one hour per week (Wednesdays during lunch, to be specific). The other degree program students receive more French instruction, but it is also often a requirement for their degrees. The MBA French course is not for credit.

The first week of interaction as an entire MBA cohort is a combination of teambuilding exercises and dividing into small groups to play a business game for two days. You could say there is some limited instruction during the week, but seemed to me to be more informal.

Tomorrow I start my first actual class, an intro accounting class. Classes here are often concentrated. For example, the intro accounting class is 6 hours on one day. We'll have more accounting later on, but it is not a schedule like I am used to having, with say 5 classes meeting multiple teams a week over the course of a whole semester.

Well, those are my first impressions. The people have been extremely nice and helpful as well.
"UserError9" - happy to help, if you can call it that. Not sure how helpful I can be, but I'll try.

I can tell you a little about the life here; whether its much different than Nantes I would not really know. You should also be aware that my perspective is a little different than some because I have come here with my wife and two young children. With that last point in mind, I can say that I found a place to rent for 1000 euros per month that worked for my family situation, about 3.5 km from IAE, in the Provencal country side, with a view of Mt. Sainte-Victoire from my house. There seems to be a reasonable amount of student housing available in Aix itself for much less than that, and the school is reasonably accessible by public transportation, although it is about 7 km outside of Aix. I did not plan on purchasing car at first when I came, due to cost, but in the end we have bought one. I think you could reasonably expect to buy a used car for under 2500 euros. Coming from the USA myself, I had a harder time buying car insurance than the car itself. I would say most students probably don't have cars, so depending on exactly where you might end up living it is either more or less necessary to have. On the housing front, I did find it a little harder to find a place that was available when I was arriving (late August) - many places were not available until September 1 or later, although specific student housing might not have that problem.

For non-French students, there were two weeks of French classes (optional) starting in late August, in which the MBA students and other masters program students were all together for 3 hours a day. Then, the other masters programs got started about September 8, while the MBA does not start until one week later, so MBA students specifically received an extra week of French class. You can continue to take French lessons through the year in the MBA, but on a more limited basis, one hour per week (Wednesdays during lunch, to be specific). The other degree program students receive more French instruction, but it is also often a requirement for their degrees. The MBA French course is not for credit.

The first week of interaction as an entire MBA cohort is a combination of teambuilding exercises and dividing into small groups to play a business game for two days. You could say there is some limited instruction during the week, but seemed to me to be more informal.

Tomorrow I start my first actual class, an intro accounting class. Classes here are often concentrated. For example, the intro accounting class is 6 hours on one day. We'll have more accounting later on, but it is not a schedule like I am used to having, with say 5 classes meeting multiple teams a week over the course of a whole semester.

Well, those are my first impressions. The people have been extremely nice and helpful as well.
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mba hipste...
Wow, these are some good first impressions. One hour a week of French doesn't sound like very much to me, but I suppose you get more language input from just being there and interacting with locals.
Wow, these are some good first impressions. One hour a week of French doesn't sound like very much to me, but I suppose you get more language input from just being there and interacting with locals.
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lssaunde
I doubt that I'll remember to share about my experiences each month in the full-time IAE - Aix MBA program, but its been on my mind to update here. I have no idea how this stacks up in comparison to other programs, so just take it for what its worth.

1. We do A LOT of group work; more group work than individual work I would say. I've been in actual coursework for only a few weeks, and already I've completed one group project for our Economics class and one for Strategy, and I both classes have additional group projects due. In addition, I have two other group projects in process for other classes, finance and a seminar on interpersonal growth and leadership. This requires a great deal of time management to meet with the different groups and get assignments actually done. Since I am the lone native English speaker in the program, I get tasked with the editing of written documents, which is fine for me. Courses seem to weight the group projects heavily in the grading - for our strategy course, the two case studies we do in groups are 100% of the course grade. In addition, our one hour a week French class is also heavily focused on small group presentations (2 or 3 people).

2. At the outset, there is not a lot of required reading, but it is mounting as we get further into it. We had six books we were asked to read before the program started. One of them is a finance textbook; the rest are general interest books on marketing, management, entrepreneurship, etc. So far, other than the textbook, there really has not been direct reference by the professors to any of them. I think our strategy professor may refer to one during the course, and we've not yet started marketing, but the marketing book we were assigned over the summer doesn't appear on the syllabus for the class. Anyways, there have been assigned articles and case studies to read - I would estimate perhaps 100 pages so far.

3. I am a reasonably smart individual, and 20 years ago I minored in Economics at university. That said, I am really glad personally that in the last two years I have taken several Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) through Coursera.org that relate to business. I would probably be struggling a lot more academically with mastering the material if I was coming in totally clueless, but as it happened I have taken some free online courses on macroeconomics, finance, marketing. In fact, it was largely those classes that nudged me to pursue the MBA. I can say that in the area of finance in particular, I am glad I am not hearing terms like net present value and internal rate of return for the first time in lecture now, but between having done the MOOCs and attempted to read the finance textbook, I am now hearing the concepts for the third and fourth times, and its actually making sense. Obviously, if you have a finance background it might be less of an issue, but for me the material would be tough understand just going through it once in lecture. If you're interested, I can share the specific MOOCs on Coursera I've taken and which I found most useful to the MBA preparation.

That's all I've got to share for now - off to work on my part of a group project.
I doubt that I'll remember to share about my experiences each month in the full-time IAE - Aix MBA program, but its been on my mind to update here. I have no idea how this stacks up in comparison to other programs, so just take it for what its worth.

1. We do A LOT of group work; more group work than individual work I would say. I've been in actual coursework for only a few weeks, and already I've completed one group project for our Economics class and one for Strategy, and I both classes have additional group projects due. In addition, I have two other group projects in process for other classes, finance and a seminar on interpersonal growth and leadership. This requires a great deal of time management to meet with the different groups and get assignments actually done. Since I am the lone native English speaker in the program, I get tasked with the editing of written documents, which is fine for me. Courses seem to weight the group projects heavily in the grading - for our strategy course, the two case studies we do in groups are 100% of the course grade. In addition, our one hour a week French class is also heavily focused on small group presentations (2 or 3 people).

2. At the outset, there is not a lot of required reading, but it is mounting as we get further into it. We had six books we were asked to read before the program started. One of them is a finance textbook; the rest are general interest books on marketing, management, entrepreneurship, etc. So far, other than the textbook, there really has not been direct reference by the professors to any of them. I think our strategy professor may refer to one during the course, and we've not yet started marketing, but the marketing book we were assigned over the summer doesn't appear on the syllabus for the class. Anyways, there have been assigned articles and case studies to read - I would estimate perhaps 100 pages so far.

3. I am a reasonably smart individual, and 20 years ago I minored in Economics at university. That said, I am really glad personally that in the last two years I have taken several Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) through Coursera.org that relate to business. I would probably be struggling a lot more academically with mastering the material if I was coming in totally clueless, but as it happened I have taken some free online courses on macroeconomics, finance, marketing. In fact, it was largely those classes that nudged me to pursue the MBA. I can say that in the area of finance in particular, I am glad I am not hearing terms like net present value and internal rate of return for the first time in lecture now, but between having done the MOOCs and attempted to read the finance textbook, I am now hearing the concepts for the third and fourth times, and its actually making sense. Obviously, if you have a finance background it might be less of an issue, but for me the material would be tough understand just going through it once in lecture. If you're interested, I can share the specific MOOCs on Coursera I've taken and which I found most useful to the MBA preparation.

That's all I've got to share for now - off to work on my part of a group project.
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Thanks so much for these impressions. I'm also a bit concerned about my grasp of the material, so I think I'll start taking some MOOCs.
Thanks so much for these impressions. I'm also a bit concerned about my grasp of the material, so I think I'll start taking some MOOCs.
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lssaunde
I am only familiar with the Coursera platform for MOOCs, so I can't comment on others, but for my time, I definitely found certain classes to be really well done. The difficulty with Coursera is that 99% of the classes are not offered on demand, but on a set schedule, so finding a particular class being offered at a time that works well for you can be hard. That said, here are the ones I liked:

Corporate Finance Essentials, offered by IESE, currently in session, but almost over.

Introduction to Finance, U. of Michigan, currently in session, probably still time to join. I did not complete this class last winter, but just watching as many of the videos as a I could has definitely been helpful now, as well as having completed some of the exercises. The prof does a nice job of explaining the formulas involved and how to use Excel for doing the calculations. The assignments, if you attempt them, are pretty time consuming. I will say this is DEFINITELY taught at the same level as the IAE curriculum on finance.

Introduction to Marketing, Wharton (U of Pennsylvania) - nice intro to marketing, not too hard to keep up.

New Models of Business in Society, U of Virgina, super easy class on CSR etc., but a decent intro to the topics

Understanding Economic Policymaking, IE Business School, a good intro to macroeconomics with a view of both Europe and the USA. Probably taught at about the level as my macroecon course here at IAE. If its not available, I also took "The Power of Macroeconomics: Economic Principles in the Real World" offered by U. of California, Irvine.

Foundations of Business Strategy, U. of Virginia (Darden Business School) - this was my FAVORITE class on Coursera. Had an assignment that I personally found to be just the right amount of challenge for a free online class, and I thought the professor did a nice job lecturing and explaining the material.

An Introduction to Operations Management, Wharton. I completed this class, and found it moderately interesting. Its geared to learning about efficiency, but not limited to manufacturing. Not a lot of math involved, but more than I would have guessed from the title when I signed up for it.

I've done other classes on the Courersa platform - everything from intro to stats to a course on global health issues. The business and finance classes are generally pretty good in my experience, but with a really wide range of time commitment necessary to actually keep up with the material. Considering that they are free, I just signed up for everything that sounded interesting and tried it out for a couple lectures. Some, like the U of Michigan finance class were just too much time involved for me to do anything more than try and watch the video lectures, but several I was able to complete, and I think there's some value in doing the assignments if you have time.

I will say if you're a little rusty in algebra that a general math review class could be helpful too.

Critical Perspectives on Management, IE Business School. Hard to describe this class - more of a class on the challenges and underlying assumptions of management, questioning several of those assumptions. More thought provoking than teaching hard skills.
I am only familiar with the Coursera platform for MOOCs, so I can't comment on others, but for my time, I definitely found certain classes to be really well done. The difficulty with Coursera is that 99% of the classes are not offered on demand, but on a set schedule, so finding a particular class being offered at a time that works well for you can be hard. That said, here are the ones I liked:

Corporate Finance Essentials, offered by IESE, currently in session, but almost over.

Introduction to Finance, U. of Michigan, currently in session, probably still time to join. I did not complete this class last winter, but just watching as many of the videos as a I could has definitely been helpful now, as well as having completed some of the exercises. The prof does a nice job of explaining the formulas involved and how to use Excel for doing the calculations. The assignments, if you attempt them, are pretty time consuming. I will say this is DEFINITELY taught at the same level as the IAE curriculum on finance.

Introduction to Marketing, Wharton (U of Pennsylvania) - nice intro to marketing, not too hard to keep up.

New Models of Business in Society, U of Virgina, super easy class on CSR etc., but a decent intro to the topics

Understanding Economic Policymaking, IE Business School, a good intro to macroeconomics with a view of both Europe and the USA. Probably taught at about the level as my macroecon course here at IAE. If its not available, I also took "The Power of Macroeconomics: Economic Principles in the Real World" offered by U. of California, Irvine.

Foundations of Business Strategy, U. of Virginia (Darden Business School) - this was my FAVORITE class on Coursera. Had an assignment that I personally found to be just the right amount of challenge for a free online class, and I thought the professor did a nice job lecturing and explaining the material.

An Introduction to Operations Management, Wharton. I completed this class, and found it moderately interesting. Its geared to learning about efficiency, but not limited to manufacturing. Not a lot of math involved, but more than I would have guessed from the title when I signed up for it.

I've done other classes on the Courersa platform - everything from intro to stats to a course on global health issues. The business and finance classes are generally pretty good in my experience, but with a really wide range of time commitment necessary to actually keep up with the material. Considering that they are free, I just signed up for everything that sounded interesting and tried it out for a couple lectures. Some, like the U of Michigan finance class were just too much time involved for me to do anything more than try and watch the video lectures, but several I was able to complete, and I think there's some value in doing the assignments if you have time.

I will say if you're a little rusty in algebra that a general math review class could be helpful too.

Critical Perspectives on Management, IE Business School. Hard to describe this class - more of a class on the challenges and underlying assumptions of management, questioning several of those assumptions. More thought provoking than teaching hard skills.

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lssaunde
Just saw the new QS Top 200 MBA Rankings, which breaks down the rankings by region and weights heavily the opinion of employers and which schools they prefer. I understand that this time around the methodology also included academic strength, so that changed the rankings around a bit in comparison to previous years, so its no longer a straightforward comparison to previous years. For what its worth, Audencia and IAE-Aix are ranked #45 and #46 respectively for the Europe region. Audencia was not present in last year's QS Top 200, and IAE-Aix was at 54. For comparison, EM LYON, a Grande école programme, was at 50 last year and is 41 this year. (you can see the regional rankings at www.topmba.com).

For me personally, I didn't take the rankings into much account in making my decision, but for some people it may be a really important factor.
Just saw the new QS Top 200 MBA Rankings, which breaks down the rankings by region and weights heavily the opinion of employers and which schools they prefer. I understand that this time around the methodology also included academic strength, so that changed the rankings around a bit in comparison to previous years, so its no longer a straightforward comparison to previous years. For what its worth, Audencia and IAE-Aix are ranked #45 and #46 respectively for the Europe region. Audencia was not present in last year's QS Top 200, and IAE-Aix was at 54. For comparison, EM LYON, a Grande école programme, was at 50 last year and is 41 this year. (you can see the regional rankings at www.topmba.com).

For me personally, I didn't take the rankings into much account in making my decision, but for some people it may be a really important factor.
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lssaunde
For anyone considering IAE - Aix, here's a continuation of my summary and perspective on the experiences here since last fall.

1. There are two major group projects: 1 is a business project focused on entrepreneurship and creating and defending a business plan, 2 is a process consulting project within an existing company. We have just finished the 1st and will begin the second at the beginning of April. So how was the business project? Far from perfect, but a good learning experience. IAE - Aix has had a partnership for just two years with the regional French SATT (Societe d'Acceleration des Transferts du Technologie, or something close to that), a French way to try and take research done in public French universities and help create new businesses based on the research. The IAE - Aix MBAs are supposed to come in and do some feasibility studies initially, and then assuming the technologies are actually interesting and ready for the marketplace, to take the second step of creating a plan for business and pitching it to VCs. When I was applying a year ago, this sounded really interesting. However, the reality for our cohort was that the experience of working on the technologies for the SATT is that none of them were really that great and none of our groups recommended moving ahead (this was after working on it part-time for three months or so). Furthermore, many people felt the support from the SATT was lacking, and they did not really value our contributions, etc. At the same time, some individual students had ideas or knew of real new business opportunities they wanted to explore, but could not because of the mandatory relationship with the SATT. However, after each group gave the red-light to the SATT project, we then were all reassigned to the students' own personal projects, but now with only a month (or 3 weeks) to have the coursework and groupwork to write the present the business plan, while more or less also having to go back and do over again the same kind of work we did on the initial SATT projects. I thought the coursework was good, and it was interesting to get to work on students' real projects and ideas, but it was a lot of time spent in the fall on projects that turned out not to be promising that could have been spent on the personal projects and refining their quality. Not sure if the SATT relationship will continue beyond this year. The experience of pitching to real VC guys was good - one of our projects in the end seems like it might actually get some funding.

2. There is not really direct support from the school for creating the consulting projects; students are supposed to leverage their networks and find some to propose. That sounds well and good, except that puts international students at something of a disadvantage realistically. I don't have any business connections in the region to speak of, so I likely will not have a consulting project to propose, and just have to hope that others have interesting ones. We are supposed to start in the next few weeks on them, and I don't know anybody, even French students, who has made much progress yet on getting leads.

I am finding the classes to be pretty consistently well taught, and the overall experience of coming to Aix has been really good, so I don't mean these comments to put IAE - Aix in a bad light at all, just a realistic one; adaptation comes in handy though!
For anyone considering IAE - Aix, here's a continuation of my summary and perspective on the experiences here since last fall.

1. There are two major group projects: 1 is a business project focused on entrepreneurship and creating and defending a business plan, 2 is a process consulting project within an existing company. We have just finished the 1st and will begin the second at the beginning of April. So how was the business project? Far from perfect, but a good learning experience. IAE - Aix has had a partnership for just two years with the regional French SATT (Societe d'Acceleration des Transferts du Technologie, or something close to that), a French way to try and take research done in public French universities and help create new businesses based on the research. The IAE - Aix MBAs are supposed to come in and do some feasibility studies initially, and then assuming the technologies are actually interesting and ready for the marketplace, to take the second step of creating a plan for business and pitching it to VCs. When I was applying a year ago, this sounded really interesting. However, the reality for our cohort was that the experience of working on the technologies for the SATT is that none of them were really that great and none of our groups recommended moving ahead (this was after working on it part-time for three months or so). Furthermore, many people felt the support from the SATT was lacking, and they did not really value our contributions, etc. At the same time, some individual students had ideas or knew of real new business opportunities they wanted to explore, but could not because of the mandatory relationship with the SATT. However, after each group gave the red-light to the SATT project, we then were all reassigned to the students' own personal projects, but now with only a month (or 3 weeks) to have the coursework and groupwork to write the present the business plan, while more or less also having to go back and do over again the same kind of work we did on the initial SATT projects. I thought the coursework was good, and it was interesting to get to work on students' real projects and ideas, but it was a lot of time spent in the fall on projects that turned out not to be promising that could have been spent on the personal projects and refining their quality. Not sure if the SATT relationship will continue beyond this year. The experience of pitching to real VC guys was good - one of our projects in the end seems like it might actually get some funding.

2. There is not really direct support from the school for creating the consulting projects; students are supposed to leverage their networks and find some to propose. That sounds well and good, except that puts international students at something of a disadvantage realistically. I don't have any business connections in the region to speak of, so I likely will not have a consulting project to propose, and just have to hope that others have interesting ones. We are supposed to start in the next few weeks on them, and I don't know anybody, even French students, who has made much progress yet on getting leads.

I am finding the classes to be pretty consistently well taught, and the overall experience of coming to Aix has been really good, so I don't mean these comments to put IAE - Aix in a bad light at all, just a realistic one; adaptation comes in handy though!
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lssaunde
Thought I'd add some final thoughts on my experience at the IAE - Aix FT MBA, although the program as such is going the way of the dinosaurs, with IAE moving its MBA program to exclusively to executive MBA program, granted in two tracks - traditional 2 year track and "fast track" in one year, so basically a 1 year EMBA. I think the Euro MBA is still an option too.

The last portion of the program is heavily weighted to the work of change management and consulting, with a group work of a consulting project in a company that combines the two, or least in which students tackle a process-consulting project (as opposed to providing any kind of technical or expertise consulting). I had no interest at all in consulting, so I admit my heart was not totally invested the project, and I was fortunate to work on a consulting project within a rather interesting French start-up company. The change management aspect was sort of interesting, but it felt to me slightly repetitive after a while, but I think this was more because in the consulting project we undertook we applied a change model, so it just seemed like change management overload.

I am done with coursework and have left a final personal project, due in September or so, which then has to be defended later in the fall. My judgment is that it was a good program, good quality for the price you pay, but if you are considering it, come with eyes wide open - it is truly a generalist MBA (and I think this will not change) - there is no opportunity to specialize other than what you do for your final personal project, and the quant / finance emphasis is minimal.

If I had it to do over again, I think I still would have come here in my personal situation (older student, family, trying to do it relatively cheaply). If I had a different situation - been younger, without a family, or with more of a budget I was working with, then I would probably have made a different choice, and gone somewhere in which I could come out with a specialization.
Thought I'd add some final thoughts on my experience at the IAE - Aix FT MBA, although the program as such is going the way of the dinosaurs, with IAE moving its MBA program to exclusively to executive MBA program, granted in two tracks - traditional 2 year track and "fast track" in one year, so basically a 1 year EMBA. I think the Euro MBA is still an option too.

The last portion of the program is heavily weighted to the work of change management and consulting, with a group work of a consulting project in a company that combines the two, or least in which students tackle a process-consulting project (as opposed to providing any kind of technical or expertise consulting). I had no interest at all in consulting, so I admit my heart was not totally invested the project, and I was fortunate to work on a consulting project within a rather interesting French start-up company. The change management aspect was sort of interesting, but it felt to me slightly repetitive after a while, but I think this was more because in the consulting project we undertook we applied a change model, so it just seemed like change management overload.

I am done with coursework and have left a final personal project, due in September or so, which then has to be defended later in the fall. My judgment is that it was a good program, good quality for the price you pay, but if you are considering it, come with eyes wide open - it is truly a generalist MBA (and I think this will not change) - there is no opportunity to specialize other than what you do for your final personal project, and the quant / finance emphasis is minimal.

If I had it to do over again, I think I still would have come here in my personal situation (older student, family, trying to do it relatively cheaply). If I had a different situation - been younger, without a family, or with more of a budget I was working with, then I would probably have made a different choice, and gone somewhere in which I could come out with a specialization.
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Duncan
Just one other thought: some schools have many other international masters programmes, and sometimes that allows you to specialise through a wide range of electives.
Just one other thought: some schools have many other international masters programmes, and sometimes that allows you to specialise through a wide range of electives.
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Razors Edg...
Interesting, thanks so much for the report out. Did IAE say why they're phasing out the MBA? Was there a lack of interest?
Interesting, thanks so much for the report out. Did IAE say why they're phasing out the MBA? Was there a lack of interest?
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Duncan
The full time MBA is a really hard, winner-take-all market. I was at Ashridge yesterday, which was FT ranked for the MBA. Is is now down to three full time.MBA students. As at Aix, they are taking the EMBA in one year. Of course that was the very successful Henley model. But now the MSc and EMBA are so well established the need for the full time.MBA will really also involve the career services that only large schools seem to deliver well.
The full time MBA is a really hard, winner-take-all market. I was at Ashridge yesterday, which was FT ranked for the MBA. Is is now down to three full time.MBA students. As at Aix, they are taking the EMBA in one year. Of course that was the very successful Henley model. But now the MSc and EMBA are so well established the need for the full time.MBA will really also involve the career services that only large schools seem to deliver well.
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