ALISON KNIGHT Director of recruitment and Development at the International School of Management (ISM)

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You have various responsibilties at ISM, what do you prefer most ?

My role is very dynamic. I have a high level of insight into the student recruitment and admissions process, marketing and communications efforts for the school, and partner relationship management and development. One of the most exciting parts of my role is the level of interaction I have with our global academic community. On today’s schedule, I have meetings with: potential partners in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a current partner in the United States, an applicant fromNigeria, a prospective applicant from Hong Kong, and a new student fromKazakhstan. In addition to the international exposure, I am fascinated by the fast-paced innovation that is taking place in the field of higher education.

What is involved in the student recruitment process?

Our student recruitment process differs from other schools in that it is quite personal. We value a high level of interaction with each applicant. I personally speak with each applicant at multiple stages in the application process, and ensure that they have the support and resources they need in order to succeed. Once a potential applicant shows interest by submitting their CV, they are scheduled for a phone call with me. If it seems like a good fit, I invite them to submit a complete application package and to have a phone interview with one of our professors. I then review their file with the Admissions Committee, and if approved, send an admissions offer.

Can you tell us a little about the demographics of students?

Our current academic community includes students and alumni from more than 100 different countries. The student population includes large percentages from North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia, and increasing figures from the Middle East, Central/South America and Oceania.

The MBA students tend to be aged 25-35, with some professional experience. The IEMBA students areoften a bit older than the MBA students, and have more work experience. They are typically following an executive education model where they are working whileundertaking their studies.

The DBA and PhD students are often high-level, senior professionals who are travelling in and out for their various seminars, while working at the same time. They are CEOs, founders of their own companies, senior government officials, consultants, and academics.

what does ISM offer over other business schools, particularly in Paris?

You are right, there are a plethora of business schools out there and quite a few right here in Paris! There are certainly many great options to choose from. I believe that ISM stands out from the others because it offers a truly international experience. We offer seminars in Paris, New York, Shanghai, New Delhi, Sao Paulo, and Cape Town, where students can learn the fundamentals of international business, as well as the nuanced and crucial information necessary to do business in those specific economies. In addition, our people are one of our most impressive assets. ISM’s professors are hand-picked experts in their respective fields, most of whom who are operating both in industry and academia. Importantly, our student body creates tremendous value when it comes to the student experience. Imagine taking an international business course with 25 senior level professionals, representing 13 different nationalities! That is the typical scenario for our doctoral seminars.

What have past students gone on to do?

Our alumni are spread throughout the world, and many have achieved advancement in their careers and increased opportunities for international mobility. Some notable members of our academic community include: Aminata Touré, a PhD alumnus and the former Prime Minister of Senegal. Mark Esposito, a DBA alumnus and a well-known Business and Economics professor, as well as a prolific author. ophie Edington a current DBA candidate well known as an Olympic swimmer who went on to work for the International Olympic Committee and Samuel Sinayigaye who is a PhD alumnus with a significant professional history of peacekeeping efforts with the United Nations.

For anyone thinking of re-entering education, what advice would you give?

Enrolling (and completing!) a graduate-level degree is a significant investment in your professional
future and personal growth. Life-long learning is a great opportunity to add to your knowledge base and challenge yourself. Importantly, a graduate degree also results in increased career opportunities, by expanding your employment options and justifying higher salary expectations. More than anything, it is an experience that is genuinely satisfying and establishes yourself as an expert in the field. I encourage all of your readers to think about it, and if international business management is a field of interest, to contact me to learn more about ISM.

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