Postgraduate Lives: George Lewis, MBA student in Monaco

'To enjoy the luxuries of life you need money'
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The Independent Online

George Lewis, 27, is doing an MBA at the International University of Monaco

There has always been a certain stigma surrounding Monaco; people tend to think of it as the playground of the rich, a place of gambling, glitz, glamour and stars. This means that they sometimes don't take the university too seriously, but the International University of Monaco is becoming increasingly known for its high standards, especially for the MBA.

Monaco is a beautiful place to live, on the French Riviera with a population of just 32,500. It's also a quiet location and that makes it conducive to studying, except during the summer when it is inundated by holiday-makers and tourists.

I was born in London, where I went to secondary school, and then studied European Studies at Durham. I chose the subject because I believed that the creation of the European Union would make it easier to conduct business and improve the exchange of information and ideas.

I've always been interested in the business world, and my father has been a businessman since I was born. In order to enjoy the luxuries in life, you need a certain amount of money. So it's fair to say that I have always been attracted to making money, and when I was younger, I always had part-time jobs.

Since leaving university, I've had various jobs, such as working at Saatchi & Saatchi in Kuala Lumpur, developing its Asia-Pacific Guinness campaign, and as a marketing consultant at AirAsia, Asia's first low-fare airline. I decided to do the MBA because I felt that I had gained a fair amount of practical experience but needed the theory to back it up. The MBA gives you the tools to analyse and interpret financial and marketing reports, and gives an overview of the different aspects that create a successful business.

I chose Monaco because of its international mix of students, and because many of the lecturers were successful business people before becoming teachers, which is important when teaching for the MBA.

A normal day starts at 9am and runs through until 6pm, during which we attend three lectures, each lasting for two-and-a-half hours. We give six or seven presentations a week, and this is the most challenging part of the course.

You can specialise in marketing and brand management, or take the more finance-oriented route. We learn how to establish and promote a successful brand, looking at case studies of existing brands and analysing the factors that contribute to overall brand awareness. Monaco isn't a typical student city, but you can live reasonably here. It's hard to study in the summer, but you just need a little discipline.

caitlind1@aol.com

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