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KAIST Business School offers quality MBA programs, serving students’ diverse needs in today’s competitive business world
15 November 2009 - 9:00am

KAIST Business School has been the leading Korean business school for the past 14 years since it was first introduced in 1996, and is now attempting to become the number one in northeast Asia. KAIST Business School was the first school in Korea to introduce a full time MBA course and in 2003 was accredited by AACSB (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) before establishing AAPBS (Association of Asia-Pacific Business Schools) in 2004, serving as the headquarter of the organization. KAIST Business School ranked 45th in FT Executive Education in 2009, ranking number two in Asia following China’s CEIBS (19th), and is the first business school in Korea to be given an international ranking. Considering the fact that China’s CEIBS is co-established by the government of Shanghai and the EU, KAIST Business School’s No.2 ranking in Asia is very meaningful as it is the only authentic Asian business school. KAIST MBA is composed of the Techno MBA which offers general MBA courses, Executive MBA, IMBA and specialized courses at the Graduate School of Finance, and the Graduate School of Information & Media Management. Techno MBA, which is a two-year full time course, prefers candidates with at least two years of work experience and provides 11 track programs, emphasizing technology and Operations Management, Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Venture Management, Accounting, Finance, IT Management, Strategy and Organizations, Management and Society, China Business and Climate Change. For those who are especially interested in accounting, KAIST MBA recommends the dual degree program that they are offering with the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Students who take this course will end up with a KAIST Techno MBA and a University of Illinois’ MSA in only two years.

IMBA, a year long, full-time Junior Executive MBA which begins in 2010, targets candidates with at least five years work experience. Students of this program can also participate in the dual degree program KAIST Business School is conducting with the University of Illinois, by adding one more year to the original one year course. The Executive MBA, which first started in 2004, is a weekend MBA course (Fri. & Sat.) targeting executives and mid-managerial level managers with at least nine and a half years work experience. The program’s biggest benefit is that students can work and study at the same time, enabling them to immediately apply their studies to their companies as they go on with the programs. Every year, students take field trips to KAIST MBA’s partner schools, such as the Columbia Business School in the U.S. and the IE Business School in Europe.

The Graduate School of Finance, whose aim is to train and foster financial experts, is also a two-year, full time program, boasting strong ties and network systems among students and graduates who work in leading financial institutions inside and outside Korea. Every year, 10 -15 students participate in the dual degree programs KAIST MBA co-runs with the University of Rochester, Michigan State University and City University London. KSIF (KAIST Student Investment Fund) is the first student investment fund to allow students to participate and directly manage funds themselves. KISF participants learn to develop, apply and manage funds in real life situations using the systems and methods that actual fund management companies use. The fund was launched in February 2008 with an initial budget of one billion won, with KAIST MBA the first in Korea to offer such a program. Students conduct strategy meetings every week and apply and utilize the many different investment methods and strategies they learned in managing their funds. Every single person from KSIF’s first term was employed by a prestigious financial company upon graduation.

The Graduate School of Information and Media Management, which aims to offer the best IT education program, is a one-year, fulltime program, which started in 2006. Students can conduct research and study at the University of Southern California during the summer semesters, while its dual degree program with the Marshall School of Business at USC is popular among students. Students hold the ‘KAIST Media Frontier’ every year in conjunction with experts from each industry, analyzing and studying the media and IT industries of Korea and presenting the industry’s futures and vision to pursue.

The KAIST Business School, striving to create an international campus environment and provide a convenient environment to those from overseas, runs a mentorship program. Helping a student adjust to the new environment quickly and providing a mentor with the opportunity to experience new cultures, the mentorship program is a win-win situation. The program also aims to create channels between local and foreign students so that they can form strong networks even after they graduate and return to their countries. The school also offers Korean language classes to foreign students to prepare them for internship opportunities or job interviews with Korean companies.

The KAIST Business School not only provides special programs to foreign students, but offers several unique programs to all students, such as a ‘Lifetime Free Education for Alumni’, ‘Information & Media Announcer Special Education’, ‘Corporate Networking Night’, and ‘Mentoring Program’. The ‘Information & Media Announcer Special Education’ is especially popular among future CEOs since communication is not only the basis for business activities but also plays a huge role in every aspect of business, such as negotiations, persuasion and networking.

These special programs are quite practical and unique, including programs such as vocalization and breathing, heart attracting power speech, polite expressions and taboo words, etc. The mentoring program is an active 1:1 mentor/mentee selection program that directly connects students and alumni. The program aims to meet current students’ needs for career development and strengthen the school’s networks at the same time. The matching system carefully examines candidates for about two months and finally assigns a mentor and mentee considering their needs, characteristics and other aspects. The school selects and recognizes outstanding mentoring teams and rewards them with certificates, cash prizes and opportunities to participate in future seminars and forums.

Ravi Kumar, Dean of KAIST Business School said, “On top of KAIST Business School’s outstanding regular curriculum, the school also provides its students with diverse, unique programs that no other schools can offer. For future CEOs, our programs will enhance and upgrade their intellectual assets and help them train to become multi-talented in today’s competitive business world.” One way in deciding a business school’s credibility and reputation is its alumni association and alumni’s power. The KAIST Graduate School of Management, Korea’s first Graduate School of Business, with 14 years of history, has about 2,000 alumni already, working as core members at prestigious multi-national companies, such as BP in London, JP Morgan in Hong Kong, McKinsey & Company, IBM, HP and Morgan Stanley, as well as at leading Korean companies, such as Samsung, LG, SKT, KB, Shinhan Bank and POSCO.

Some of the recent graduates of KAIST Business School have been recruited as professors in renowned foreign universities. Lim Young-duk, (Ph.D./Finance, Accounting) was employed by the University of New South Wales in Australia which is considered to be one of the best business schools in Australia. Lim, who has obtained both his Master’s and Ph.D. degrees from KAIST Business School, started teaching financial accounting and financial statement analysis this fall. This year alone, four graduates of KAIST MBA were employed by overseas business schools. Lee Doo-won and Choi Bo-bae, a husband and a wife, started teaching at the University of New Castle in Australia at the same time. Kang Byungwook, also graduated in 2009 recently started teaching at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

On November 16, 2009, KAIST and Thunderbird University (ranked #1 in International Business in the world) launched a Joint Global Leadership Certificate Program. KAIST Business School is expecting to reach out to both Korean and non- Korean students in a shared classroom environment for shared learning, education and networking. The comprehensive workshop series in global leadership is a convenient, non-degree executive program that is offered in an intensive 2-day, six module format.

Designed and taught by KAIST Business School and Thunderbird’s eminently qualified and experienced faculty, this highly structured and interactive seminar series analyzes and discusses culturally diverse and global business issues. The various case studies presented and best practices applied will provide valuable insight into critical issues that challenge companies in today’s global environment. Thunderbird University is considered an ideal partner for KAIST given its international ranking and core competency in international business.

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