Katarina Vladić Lazić has been part of the COTRUGLI Business School team for the past six years. From E/MBA Program Coordinator to Program Manager, Katarina today holds the position of an Executive Director for COTRUGLI Serbia. Katarina has contributed to the School’s expansion to the Montenegrin market and further expansion into the Bulgarian and Romanian markets. Before joining COTRUGLI, she worked in the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy as Counselor for victims of family violence and human trafficking. She holds a degree in Education for Adults, University of Belgrade (Faculty of Philosophy).
What is MBa?
MBA programme (Master of Business Administration) is a leading standard of business education around the world. The core value of the programme is the applicability of acquired knowledge on different challenges and opportunities in the business world. The programme is designed to take into consideration the most important business aspects and to enable the development of “hard skills” (finance, economics, accounting) and “soft skills” (personal development, leadership). COTRUGLI’s MBA programme enables a systematic and all-inclusive approach to managerial education and, as such, it paves the way for a successful career.
Why is MBa good for someone?
Given the current market situation, more attention is paid to the quality and practicality of the MBA programme, with the biggest accent on a fast return on investment. Investing in yourself and in your knowledge gives you a competitive advantage in the labour market and puts you in a better negotiating position in terms of salary and general conditions.
Why is MBa good for someone’s company?
By sending employees to study the MBA programme, companies are encouraging corporate entrepreneurship and receiving maximum from their employees. In such way, they are securing market competitiveness. Besides, the MBA programme is a proof that an employee has gained competences in all important management roles that exist in modern corporations.
Experience from previous executive MBA (EMBA) students show that the most usual motive to enrol the EMBA is to ensure better competitiveness in the labour market and career advancement. Besides that, candidates who want to start their own or develop an existing business, point out that the main benefit of the EMBA programme is the opportunity to strengthen the entrepreneurship capacity and meet top-notch experts with whom they can share their knowledge and experience. Also, a number of candidates highlight the AMBA accreditation (Association of MBAs) as one of the main motives for enrolling.
What are the most efficient learning methods?
I believe experience exchange is one of them. The core value of the EMBA programme is the applicability of everything you learn on challenges and opportunities in the business world. The case study method allows participants to work on real business cases from around the world, with an accent on comparisons with local markets. Moreover, students are required to work in teams where members come from different business branches. The teamwork method is applied to encourage the experience exchange between participants and provides the most efficient way of learning. After lectures, your workplace becomes a laboratory in which you test everything that you have learned in class.
To fully understand the core of the business
Maja Pešić, Junior HR Business Partner for Supply Chain, Coca Cola Hellenic talks about her personal experience with the COTRUGLI MBA programme. Maja has rich experience in the field of HR, which she further enriched in Coca Cola Hellenic and after a few years of practical work experience she felt like she needed more understanding of business in general. She states that in order to understand, no matter what industry you’re in, you need knowledge of the whole business.
At the moment, she has a totally different view of formal education, thanks to MBA studies at COTRUGLI Business School, and warmly recommends it to future students.
What was the main reason for choosing an MBa programme?
The main reason was the need for a better understanding of the business world, after a few years of practical work experience. At the moment, I have a completely different view of formal education. I think that the effect of MBA studies is much higher when you can connect all things that you learn during lectures with the practice and everyday challenges that you face at your workplace. I chose COTRUGLI MBA programme based on recommendations from Alumni members I know, who are very satisfied with the knowledge and experience they have received.
Did you have certain expectations of the MBa programme? Taking into consideration that the programme is still in progress, have some of your expectations been fulfilled?
Of course I had expectations. Given that only a third of the programme has been completed, it is early for me to talk about the fulfillment or non-fulfillment of expectations. What I can certainly say is that the expectations concerning networking and cooperation with different people are completely satisfied, and that the school is very supportive.
What topic would you single out as the most interesting and useful?
Each case is interesting in its own way; it brings energy, knowledge and linkages to the entire programme. Of all the cases that we have been through, I personally like financial and management accounting the most (the area that I am the least familiar with).
What are the possibilities for networking with other students in the school?
Opportunities for networking are great. As mentioned above, networking is something that the school focuses on the most. This is evident by the way they organize lectures and exams, as well as through informal activities that are taking place very often.
Whether and how the MBa proved to be useful in the work you do?
When you work in the FMCG industry, and take into account the rate of change in the market, it is easy to conclude that in this type of business all employees are expected to be quick and flexible to changes. Also, they should be able to understand the actions undertaken, to lead these actions and to understand the impact of any decision. They fully need to understand the core of the business, regardless of whether you work in sales, HR, finance, logistics or other sectors. To be able to do this, in addition to your current experience, it is necessary to have comprehensive knowledge that MBA provides, as well as a desire to learn.
What would you advise your colleagues who will enroll the MBa programme this year?
Just relax and enjoy the ride!