The Magnificent Seven need no introduction. Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, Columbia Business School, MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management are the cream of the business school crop. M7 is the Holy Grail of the MBA Kingdom. Every year, thousands of applicants will apply to the M7 schools, and most will fail to crack the code, because these schools are the most selective in the B-school landscape. Two years at any of the M7 schools will set a student back about $200,000, but there are many scholarships from alumni and employers. M7 attracts the most talented students and faculty, and certainly the most corporate recruiters offering the most sought-after jobs. M7 also boasts highly achieving alumni and valuable networks in nearly every walk of life. But other business schools, such as IE Business School and Webster Athens, provide a similar education at a small fraction of the cost.

Financial Times | IE Business School Corporate Learning Alliance has strengthened its business activities in the Middle East (GCC), introducing its unique approach to customized executive education for senior managers working in the region.


FT | IE Corporate Learning Alliance was formed in 2015 in response to growing calls for more flexible, practical, relevant and timely corporate education. In today’s increasingly disruptive business environment it identified three aspects of corporate learning that needed change:

  • No single learning institution could respond to all business challenges
  • Companies wanted less academic theory and more customised learning, focusing on the real-world issues that businesses face every day
  • Rather than having to choose from pre-existing courses, companies needed programmes that were customised to their specific needs

The Financial Times and IE Business School realised that by combining and enhancing their different skills, they could create a unique learning proposition that met this demand. A corporate learning alliance was created consisting of the Financial Times’ unrivalled global coverage, sector expertise, business intelligence and data; IE Business School’s advanced learning technologies, entrepreneurial culture, international faculty and academic rigour; and a worldwide alliance of specialists in all relevant business-related fields.

Webster University’s master of business administration program is designed for people on a fast track to success. It’s the perfect answer for professionals who want to shape their own destiny, upgrade their credentials, and be strategic players in the world of business. Trump’s rhetoric is channeling international MBA applicants to European branches of American colleges. Webster Athens has an excellent MBA program. Webster Athens is dedicated to fostering a campus culture that embraces and celebrates diversity and inclusion, and promotes international understanding and appreciation. Preparing students for effective, responsible and dynamic involvement in the modern societies in which they live and serve, and for excellence and leadership in their personal and professional lives. The campus is located in Athens, Greece – in the historic district of Plaka. Your Global Learning Experience begins in Webster Athens.

As the world is becoming multipolar and knowledge is set to disperse throughout the globe, embedding oneself in its changes and evolution remains essential. Academic rigor will stay competitive by integrating new teaching methods, program designs, research methods and learning processes. If a school can generate knowledge in multiple locations around the world and blend it to create new insights, it can be assured of fostering a globally-compatible and creative student body.

Whether your interest is management, marketing, or communication, you will be an active learner at Webster Athens.  The classrooms give many hands-on experiences in various cases, and the location in the capital of Greece provides plenty of internship opportunities. With a low student-to-faculty ratio and average class size, Webster Athens makes business education personal. Faculty get to know students on a first-name basis and are readily available to help students when needed. Webster Athens is dedicated to excellence in business teaching, incorporating a global business perspective throughout the curriculum. Every step of the way, students receive the attention and support they need to thrive in business.

The Alliance is additionally supported by a network of 11 business schools based in Europe, the Americas and Asia, 200 Financial Times journalists working worldwide, and a network of specialist academic and non-academic educators.

IE Business School is already known for its Masters in Islamic Finance and Leadership Development programme, launched in November 20915. It has also established the IE Islamic Finance Club, a professional club targeted at contributing to rapidly building and dispersing Islamic Finance Knowledge among its members and bringing about positive initiatives to promote the field of Islamic Finance in general.

Webster Athens offers a fantastic MBA program in a flexible structure which promotes academic depth and encourages business graduate students to explore diverse business interests. At Webster Athens, students have opportunities to build skills and competencies through study trips, conferences, and internships. On the campus, students study in a culturally diverse environment that will create a life-long international network.

Vasilis Botopoulos, Chancellor of Webster Athens, points out: As we look to the future one thing is certain – knowledge will be a key resource and will be highly sought-after around the world. Our challenge is to help to generate ideas that will benefit society, and to educate and train people to work in fields where they will be valued both for their specialized knowledge, and for their ability to communicate and solve problems. To meet these challenges we need to build on the alliances and collaborative partnerships the University has established with business, government, and other institutions. It is equally important that we keep close to our wider communities of interest. This will help to ensure the on-going relevance of our academic programs and the continued excellence of our teaching and learning.

This enhancement of IE’s venture into Islamic Finance as an educational provider is reflected in the ability of FT | IE Corporate Learning Alliance to bring relevant specialized academic knowledge to its customized corporate development programs. Aligned with this is the Financial Times’ expertise in the Middle East through its dedicated journalist resources and published content, which are significant contributors to the executive programs designed and delivered by the Alliance.

A major learning programme was designed and delivered by FT | IE Corporate Learning Alliance in 2016 for the Kuwait Capital Markets Authority. The requirement was to provide a customised learning programme, called the Young Professionals Programme, that provided knowledge, insights and skills to a graduate population that were being considered for employment by the Capital Markets Authority. Over 140 hours of professional training was offered over several months.

FT | IE Corporate Learning Alliance has developed programmes for some big names since its creation in 2015, going beyond the finance sector. Companies have included PwC, Invesco, Santander Group and BBVA.

Nassim Abu-Ershaeds is the Corporate Learning Alliance Vice President dedicated to creating corporate partnerships in the GCC region. FT | IE Corporate Learning Alliance has been created to provide executives and their teams with world-class business expertise which is locally applicable, globally scalable, academically rigorous and relevant in practice. Executive learning programs from the Corporate Learning Alliance are unlike any other.

Botopoulos notes: The greater vision of Webster Athens is to build an excellent educational experience embodying mind, body and spirit through a variety of innovative undergraduate and graduate programs. We offer a solid intellectual foundation as well as an extraordinary opportunity for personal growth and thorough understanding of the subject matter. This is learning with ethos, authenticity, cultural understanding, ecological conscience, and service to others.

Botopoulos says: At Webster Athens we cultivate and build the leaders of tomorrow.  It is our hope that our students and alumni, with ethos and philotimo, will inspire others to live their lives with dignity, integrity and compassion. I invite you to come visit our campus. If you seek learning in a way that is challenging, personal, and meaningful, we would love to have you as part of our community. For more information, please refer to

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