University of Southern California

A Sea Change for IBEAR
Prestigious One-Year International MBA Program Marks its 35th Anniversary with Ambitious Upgrades
August 21, 2012 • by News at Marshall

Marshall’s IBEAR MBA program will mark its 35th anniversary this year and what a year it promises to be. The IBEAR (The International Business Education and Research) MBA program will be adding three new staff members — a deputy director for promotion, a program administrative person and a career development officer — multiple scholarships, up to and including full-tuition scholarships, a distinguished speaker series, a biannual Pacific Rim Business Forum to be held in an Asian city, and more.

Selahattin (Selo) Imrohoroglu, academic director and assistant dean of IBEAR and a professor of finance and business economics at Marshall, said the influx of funding will give them the tools to take the "entire program to the next level."

"The bottom line is we have a significant amount of funding available to really design and implement IBEAR 2.0 to compete with the top schools. Immense scholarship money, up to full scholarships for multiple people,” said Imrohoroglu. “The punchline is that we are not going to continue business as usual. In fact, we are asked to really raise the level of quality of the IBEAR MBA program going forward and we do not have budget constraints to do that."

In the next few years, thanks to such funding, Imrohoroglu said they will aggressively allocate scholarships and provide a new curriculum with multiple immersive experiences potential participants can not get at other well-known branded business school programs.

IBEAR is an intense one-year business degree program geared toward managers with an average of 10 years of work experience in international business. The typical IBEAR class numbers about 56, with participants of an average age of 34 and mainly from Asia, but usually with 10 to 15 U.S. nationals as well. The 35th anniversary class will be a bit larger than usual, said Imrohoroglu with 58 students, including a female participant from Cameroon and a male participant from Iran.

"Those are two interesting new viewpoints coming into the program in addition to the usual diversity we have from China, from Korea, from Japan from Chinese Taipei and so on, from India and from the U.S," he said. "Their experiences in previous jobs and their cultural viewpoints add tremendously to the educational and practical management experience in the classroom. They learn from each other quite a lot."

The intense nature of the program fosters a close bond among students during the academic year and beyond.

“They are in the classroom from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., almost every day for a year and because of that they become very close friends. ” said Imrohoroglu. “When you talk to the alumni, you get the sense of family and they are so passionate about the program. I’ve had multiple alumni from Japan, from China, from Korea tell me that the best year in their life was the year they spent in my program.”

That was certainly the case for Marina Kotsianas, IBEAR ’94, who was the first graduate to be hired straight from school by the prestigious global management consulting firm, McKinsey & Co. She now holds a position as director of international business projects at USC’s IBEAR MBA, in addition to leading Artia Strategies, her strategy consulting firm.

“It completely changed my life in so many ways,” said Kotsianas, explaining how the program helped her move from a background with engineering software firms in Europe to management consulting. “You grow so much personally and professionally. It completely changed my psychology, my sense of my abilities and my confidence in my abilities. It expanded my knowledge base. I was able to enter the management consulting area, and later become the founder and CEO of a successful venture-funded technology startup. I could not have imagined these possibilities before my IBEAR year. With the new skills and the support of our alumni family around the world, IBEAR can get you to re-imagine your life.”

About the USC Marshall School of Business
Consistently ranked among the nation's premier schools, USC Marshall is internationally recognized for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, social responsibility and path-breaking research. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world's leading business centers and the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall offers its 5,700-plus undergraduate and graduate students a unique world view and impressive global experiential opportunities. With an alumni community spanning 123 countries, USC Marshall students join a worldwide community of thought leaders who are redefining the way business works.