In an interview with Monaco Life, Marika Taishoff, MBA director at the International University of Monaco, reveals how the degree is integrating Monaco’s world-renowned luxury and wealth management ecosystem into its curriculum and forming the business leaders of tomorrow.
Marika Taishoff has been Director of the Master of Business Administration programme at the University of Monaco (IUM) for 13 years, and is celebrated for her expertise in luxury sectors, strategy and customer experience management. She is a recognised ‘Top 40 Business Case Writer’ and her impactful career has spanned education, consultancy and keynote speaking.
All considered, she’s perfectly placed to offer detailed insights into the programme’s strategic positioning at the intersection of luxury services, wealth management, entrepreneurship and innovation. As Taishoff explains, the degree has been tailored to leverage Monaco’s unique strengths and to ready leaders to navigate the complexities of the global market.
“We specifically designed our electives around Monaco’s core competencies. For instance, our luxury brand destination management course isn’t just about luxury, it’s about understanding the dynamics of how a place like Monte-Carlo crafts and maintains its luxury status,” says Taishoff, emphasising the programme’s unique approach to integrating Monaco’s world-renowned luxury ecosystem into its curriculum.
“Understanding the pillars of entrepreneurship and innovation isn’t optional, it’s critical”
The importance of entrepreneurship and innovation is deeply woven into the fabric of the programme.
Taishoff highlights, “In today’s business environment, understanding the pillars of entrepreneurship and innovation isn’t optional, it’s critical. That’s why we’ve embedded these disciplines right at the core of our curriculum.”
A distinctive feature of the Monaco MBA is its robust career and personal development coaching, coupled with a mentorship programme tailored to the aspirations of its participants.
“Our one-on-one coaching sessions are transformative as they’re about shaping leaders who can confidently navigate their professional landscapes,” Taishoff explains.
The programme’s commitment to experiential learning is evident in its capstone options: the Corporate Consulting Project or the Entrepreneurial Business Plan.
“We want our students to leave not just with knowledge but with experience. Whether they choose to develop their own business plan or work on a corporate consulting project, they’re applying what they’ve learned in a real-world context,” says Taishoff, before recounting the success of two MBA graduates who, through their capstone project, launched a productivity platform that has since garnered investment and attention from a Monaco-based investor.
Navigating global business with a Monaco MBA
Monaco’s diverse, international setting plays a significant role in enriching students’ educational experience. Taishoff recalls the transformation of a student from the US: “He had never left the US before joining us. Monaco, with its cosmopolitan flair, was a revelation to him. Today, he’s thriving as a CFO in Los Angeles. It’s a testament to the growth we foster here.”
Flexibility is another hallmark of the Monaco MBA, with hybrid learning options that accommodate the changing circumstances of its students.
“We’ve evolved our delivery methods to ensure that no matter where life takes our students, they have uninterrupted access to their education. This adaptability is crucial for today’s professionals,” she notes.
The success stories of Monaco MBA alumni underscore the programme’s impact. Taishoff details several, including: an MBA graduate who transitioned from language translation to leading a real estate agency in Monaco; a Portuguese alumnus who, post-MBA, co-founded a successful trading company in Monaco; and a former professional cyclist who now works for a leading wealth management company as a wealth advisor for athletes.
“These stories are a reflection of our programme’s ability to not just educate but to fundamentally alter career trajectories,” she asserts.
The Monaco MBA programme caters not only to career-focused individuals, but also to those seeking personal growth and new perspectives.
“They might not need a job or have independent means, but they feel like they are missing out on something. It’s more of a question for personal development for some,” says Taishoff, highlighting the programme’s commitment to broadening horizons and engaging with a diverse community.
The Monaco MBA offers a holistic business education, merging luxury, finance, entrepreneurship and innovation to prepare graduates for the global business landscape.