It was a memorable night for MBA International, as it celebrated its 20 years of success on the 21st of January, 2020. Students, alumni, faculty and supporters of the Program gathered at “Hellenic Cosmos“, the Cultural Centre of the Foundation of the Hellenic World, to commemorate this major milestone.
The event began with a greeting by the Rector of the Athens University of Economics and Business, Professor Emmanouil Giakoumakis, who emphasized the importance of the international master programs, that “Today, Athens University of Economics and Business places internationalization on the top of its strategic agenda and the MBA International, along with the other English-speaking Master Programs, are the cornerstones of this strategy”.
Then, Ms. Sofia Kounenaki-Efraimoglou, Vice President of the Foundation of the Hellenic World and Head of the Cultural Center “Hellenic Cosmos” and Ms. Litsa Panagiotopoulou, Secretary General of the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce, addressed the audience as members of the Business Advisory Council (BAC).
Invited guest speakers of the event were two top business executives with longstanding experience from global corporations. Ms. Peggy Antonakou, recently appointed as General Director of Google in Southeastern Europe, talked about her personal and professional choices, the challenges she faced that turned into opportunities and led her to the driving seat of large multinational companies. She concluded with the following advise “Find your meaning in what you enjoy to do and never let any brick walls stop you. Brick walls are there only to make you understand how much you want something”.
The next invited speaker, Ms. Katerina Vlachou, Managing Director Greece & Cyprus at Mondelez International, highlighted that “The need for quality in education is higher than ever” and mentioned that “the existence of programs such as the MBA International makes us feel confident and proud of the level of seniority and expertise, the academic quality, the innovation and methodology”.
Following the keynote speeches, the founder and first Director of the Program, Professor Gregory Prastacos, currently Dean of the Stevens Business School at Stevens Institute of Technology, USA, pronounced a video address recalling the vision and the factors that led to the establishment and successful development of the MBA International Program. Professor George Doukidis continued with a presentation about the implications of digital transformation in employment and business operations, and how these developments are integrated in the MBA curriculum. Thereafter, the former Director of the Program, Professor George Ioannou, currently CEO of the Hellenic Energy Exchange S.A., referred to the challenges and important achievements of the Program during the crisis and emphasized the importance of being “open, listening and thinking outside the box” in difficult times.
In the final speech of the event, the current Program Director, Associate Professor Eric Soderquist, focused on the three key pillars of the Program; vision, reinvention and entrepreneurial mindset, and concluded that “we have to keep reinventing ourselves to continue to serve the management community and the business world”. During the evening, videos with snapshots from the 20 years of the Program and greetings from alumni and faculty across the globe were also shown.
Shortly before the end of the event, awards for outstanding contribution were given to the former Directors of the Program, distinguished alumni and companies who have supported the Program all these years, including Plasio Computers S.A, Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos and EOS Capital Partners.
A reception followed, at the foyer of “Hellenic Cosmos”, where guests, alumni and attendees had the opportunity to meet with each other, network and take commemorative photos.
The event was supported by the “Hellenic Cosmos” – the Cultural Centre of the Foundation of the Hellenic World.
Communication sponsors of the event were: