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The Global Alliance in Management Education (CEMS)

Currently I am pursuing the CEMS MIM at the University of Sydney Business School (CEMS home school) and Bocconi University (CEMS host school). The CEMS MIM is often referred to as a double degree as students will receive upon graduation a certificate from their home school and CEMS. The CEMS MIM is the most international postgraduate study program in management on the market and in this section I will explain the following: What CEMS is, the CEMS curriculum as well as my personal experiences with the CEMS MIM so far. 



A global alliance of leading business schools, corporate and social partners

CEMS is a cooperation of leading business schools and universities with multinational companies and NGOs. The CEMS Global Alliance includes 33 academic institutions on five continents, nearly 70 corporate partners and seven social partners (NGOs) from around the globe. CEMS administers delivery of the CEMS MIM degree in its members schools, supports the CEMS Alumni Association (CAA) and facilitates general cooperation among its members.

Vision statement of CEMS

The Global Alliance in Management Education (CEMS)

"CEMS is recognised as a unique global community, comprising the world's finest students, schools, alumni, corporate and social partners, delivering the leading international Master's in Management (MIM) that prepares responsible leaders contributing to a more open, sustainable and inclusive world."


CEMS is a global alliance of academic and corporate institutions dedicated to educating and preparing further generations of international business leaders. Common to all activities is the aim of promotion global citizenship, with particular emphasis placed upon the following values: 

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Academic excellence

The pursuit of excellence with high standards of performance and ethical conduct.

Cross-cultural sensitivity

Understanding and drawing upon cultural diversity with respect and empathy.

Responsible and ethical leadership

Professional responsibility and accountability in relation to society as a whole.


The 33 schools offering the CEMS MIM - a global alliance of leading business schools

Aalto University School of Business

  • Country: Finland

  • City: Espoo

Bocconi University

  • Country: Italy

  • City: Milan

Copenhagen Business School

  • Country: Denmark

  • City: Frederiksberg

Cornell SC Johnson College of Business

  • Country: United States

  • City: Ithaca

Corvinus University of Budapest

  • Country: Hungary

  • City: Budapest

ESADE Business School

  • Country: Spain

  • City: Sant Cugat del Valles

Escola de Adminstracao de Empresas de Sao Paulo - FGV

  • Country: Brazil

  • City: Sao Paulo

Graduate School of Management, St. Petersburg University

  • Country: Russia

  • City: St. Petersburg

HEC Paris

  • Country: France

  • City: Jouy-en-Josas

HKUST Business School

  • Country: Hong Kong S.A.R, China

  • City: Hong Kong

Indian Institute of Management Calcutta

  • Country: India

  • City: Kolkata

Ivey Business School

  • Country: Canada

  • City: London

Keio University

  • Country: Japan

  • City: Tokyo

Koc University Graduate School of Business

  • Country: Turkey

  • City: Istanbul

Korea University Business School

  • Country: Republic of Korea (South)

  • City: Seoul

Louvain School of Management

  • Country: Belgium

  • City: Louvain-La-Neuve

National University of Singapore

  • Country: Singapore

  • City: Singapore

Norwegian School of Economics

  • Country: Norway

  • City: Bergen

Nova School of Business and Economics

  • Country: Portugal

  • City: Carcavelos

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

  • Country: The Netherlands

  • City: Rotterdam

SGH Warsaw School of Economics

  • Country: Poland

  • City: Warsaw

Stockholm School of Economics

  • Country: Sweden

  • City: Stockholm

The American University in Cairo School of Business

  • Country: Egypt

  • City: New Cairo

The London School of Economics and Political Science

  • Country: United Kingdom

  • City: London

The University of Sydney Business School

  • Country: Australia

  • City: Sydney

Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management

  • Country: China

  • City: Beijing

UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School

  • Country: Ireland

  • City: Dublin

Universidad Adolfo Ibanez

  • Country: Chile

  • City: Santiago

University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business

  • Country: South Africa

  • City: Cape Town

University of Cologne

  • Country: Germany

  • City: Cologne

University of Economics, Prague

  • Country: Czech Republic

  • City: Prague

University of St. Gallen

  • Country: Switzerland

  • City: St. Gallen

WU (Vienna University of Economics & Business)

  • Country: Austria

  • City: Wien



Combination of academic theory with business practice

The CEMS MIM has a total workload of 66 ECTS and students are required to complete a minimum of 24 ECTS each term. One of the terms (term 1 or 2) is usually completed at the CEMS home school while the other term is completed at the CEMS host school. CEMS students spend at least one semester abroad at a business school belonging to the CEMS network. The allocation to the CEMS host school is usually based on the admissions ranking of the candidate which is based on intellectual potential & knowledge, attitude & soft skills and global orientation. The third term is an international internship that students complete outside of their home country (usually 8 weeks long but exceptions exist based on the CEMS home school's requirements). In the next section I will explore the components of the CEMS MIM a bit further. 

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Block Seminars, Skills Seminars, Global Strategy course, Responsible Global Leadership Seminar, Global Management Practice course, Business Project and International Internship



The Block Seminar is a one-week course that takes place at the beginning of Term 1. Block Seminars bring together professors and students from various CEMS institutions. Subjects derive from different cultural and academic perspectives; many topics are not part of the universities' standard curricula. I for instance had my Block Seminar on the 'Future of Business' where we discussed the six megatrends that Sydney Business Insights identified: Impactful technology, evolving communities, rapid urbanisation, empowering individuals, economic power shift and resource security. Based on these trends we tried to forecast potential scenarios in the future and how they might impact businesses. The Block Seminar laid the perfect foundation for me to commence with the CEMS MIM. 

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Skill Seminars are training seminars in practical skills. Skill Seminars are offered by the CEMS member schools, very often in close cooperation with companies. Topics for Skill Seminars include: 

  • Business Communication 

  • Strategy skills

  • Personal development

  • Consulting skills

  • Marketing tools

  • Group work abilities

  • Negotiation techniques

  • Career development

  • Presentation skills

CEMS students must attend four Skill Seminar days in total (1 day = 8 hours = 0.5 ECTS). I like the Skill Seminars as they provide hands-on training and complement the academic input. 

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The Strategy course is built around four broad strategic questions facing international business managers:

  1. Whether to diversify the organisation's activities across different countries and/or regions?

  2. Where should the organisation compete?

  3. What form(s) should the organisation's international business activities take?

  4. When should the organisation enter or exit a given geographic market?

My strategy course had a strong emphasis on the application of theory: We for instance analysed the global value chain activities of Ecco (see picture). 

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The Global Citizenship Seminar is a two-day course, and takes place at the beginning of Term 2. The course brings together representatives from Corporate and/or Social Partners, professors and students, for an experiential learning experience. Within the seminar, students will have the opportunity to engage with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through experiential learning (see picture).

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The Global Management Practice course aims at supporting participants in gaining a thorough and deep understanding of key leadership concepts and principles and at enabling the development of their leadership skills for enhanced impact. The course wants to be a valuable resources for increasing students' ability to give valuable contributions to the organisations they will be working at. One of the main takeaways for me is that leadership is a lifelong learning process and the worst that leaders can do is to stop growing.



The Business Project accounts for 15 ECTS and is carried out during term 2. Business projects reinforce the partnership between universities and companies in jointly shaping the students‘ learning process in international management. They are consultancy-like projects designed as a real-life learning experience for students. Student teams work independently and are co-tutored by academic and corporate representatives. I have for instance my business project together with L‘Oreal where we need to come up with a new product launch plan for their Blond Absolu product line in the Italian market.



Internships can take place at a CEMS Corporate Partner, although not on a compulsory basis. They can also take place at a non-profit organisation such as in a humanitarian mission. Students are responsible for finding their own internship. The internship usually lasts for a minimum of 8 weeks.


Around the world: From Germany to Australia to Italy

My experience with the CEMS MIM has been a very positive one so far. You can read about my experience of studying at the University of Sydney (my CEMS home school) here. I will also talk a bit about my experience of studying at Bocconi University (my CEMS host school) below. 



Milan, Italy

Bocconi University is consistently ranked as the top university in Italy in its fields, and as one of the best in the world in economics, finance and management. The university is well-known for its finance and fashion-related courses.The location of the university in Milan as the fashion capital of Italy is particularly appealing to students who want to benefit from the close links of the university to luxury and fashion companies. I for instance mainly chose Bocconi University, because I am interested in the fashion industry and wanted to learn more about this industry. In this regard my expectations were definitely fulfilled at Bocconi University. Most courses at Bocconi University include group projects highlighting the strong practical aspect of the university (I found the teaching very hands-on). The workload is as probably expected high and should not be underestimated. However, the two exam sessions in the end enable you to select the time slot that best suits your calendar and personal commitments. 



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