The 2024-25 academic year will see the launch of the International MBA in part-time format, the full-time version having formed a part of emlyon business school’s program offer since 1972. Designed to enable young professionals to resume studies and boost their profile without having to put their career on hold, the program has been conferred full state-recognized Masters status. The Executive Director of the IMBA and a member of emlyon’s esteemed international faculty recount the motives behind offering this new option and the key selling points.

What were the main motives behind creating this format of the International MBA?

Stéphanie Ousaci (MBA Executive Director): “we saw an opportunity that needed to be tapped into by offering professionals the chance to develop new skills and specialist bodies of knowledge without having to leave their job. For some people, taking a sabbatical is either complicated or not an option at all. It’s partly for this reason that the program will be delivered in a blended format, with some teaching taking place remotely online whilst the in-person parts of the curriculum are handily grouped into five blocks of six days held on our Lyon campus.”

Stéphanie OUSACI

What will the program offer in terms of content?


Stéphanie Ousaci: “the aim is to cover all the main business areas that our students can then apply either in the companies where they already work or in setting up their own business, with the main focus on strategy, finance, marketing & ops, HR & Change, and CSR. We will also be nurturing the spirit of enterprise via a six-month Entrepreneurial Consulting Project and giving students the chance to gain specialist knowledge in areas of their choice via a wide range of electives.”

Who is the program designed for?

Handan Vicdan (Associate Professor of Marketing): “we’re targeting high-potential applicants with at least four years of Bachelor’s-level studies and three years of professional experience behind them. The full-time version of the IMBA is 90% international in make-up, representing around 25 countries. The part-time format may well attract profiles more from within France and other European countries, due to the logistics of travelling to our campuses for the in-class learning blocks. In addition, it should encourage a broad range of applicants in terms of gender, culture and professional status. The flexibility it offers to certain applicants whose personal or work set-up means that they require a study format that can complement their family and/or career. The part-time structure means that the program is perfectly suited to their needs.”

How will you integrate the program and the students into the school?

Stéphanie Ousaci: “our goal is for the part-time and full-time formats to dovetail to a certain extent, so that the first cohort of the part-time version do not feel in any way left out and can take advantage of everything the campus, the emlyon network, and their fellow students have to offer. We will be actively seeking to create and foster a genuine class spirit.”


What kind of challenges will the students face?


Handan Vicdan: “first, during the application process, we’ll be asking them some questions about their educational background and professional experience, and what they want to derive from the program. We also want to know about the value they will bring to the cohort and the school. Once accepted onto the International MBA Part Time, they’ll have to deal almost constantly with a dual workload (their studies at emlyon and their current job). Time management and organization are daily challenges in the working world, but they’ll also have to commit to their studies to get the best out of the learning experience. Given we have designed the program for talented high-potential candidates, we’re confident they’ll be up to the task!”

What are some of the features of the curriculum?

Stéphanie Ousaci: “the international component is crucial to the program and no doubt one of the reasons it will attract applicants – by international I mean the fact it will be taught 100% in English, the cultural diversity of the cohort and overall school network and faculty, and opportunities such as the European Learning Trip that will take place in March of next year. In addition, the curriculum has been carefully designed so as to offer an array of foundational courses and electives, providing them with the skills and knowledge they need to advance professionally-speaking. We’ll also offer students access to an array of online emlyon content to enable self-learning.”

What would you say is the key asset of the part-time format?

Handan Vicdan: “If I had to pick out one main quality of the program, it would be the following – not only does this format enable working professionals the chance to add to their skillsets and develop new knowledge without having to put their career on hold, it also enables them to apply these new bodies of knowledge and competences directly within their current company. In case the industry relevance of the International MBA needed any further underlining, it’s not often that you can be simultaneously learning new tools and skills acquired from studies and using them right away in a company. This is one of the main selling points of the program, without a doubt.”