Student & Alumni Testimonials

JennetteJennette, Canada (Class of 2015/2016)

« With four years’ experience in a senior management position, I chose IOMBA for itsreputation, renowned faculty, and unique program that was recommended by a college friend and IOMBA alumni. I was looking for an MBA that would apply my current business experience. IOMBA, in particular, has allowed me to understand global issues and bridge the gap in international organization management. This MBA is facilitating my career change to become an innovative, change-maker in organizations that focus on the global good.

IOMBA’s faculty is made up of professors and professionals from around the world with a great breadth of experience. From the United Nations headquarters, Médecins sans frontières, villages in Ethiopia, to corporate giants such as EBay — there is no other MBA in the world that provides the same proximity of experience and knowledge to international organizations that IOMBA provides. The practical, high-level of engagement and projects provide an enriching, real-world experience. Professors develop strong professional relationships with our student body and are genuinely in tune to the needs of the class and the industry.

IOMBA is evolving much like the industry. The administration consults with students and professionals on what is needed in the program to ensure it is providing the most relevant education for the industry.  As students, our opinion and post-module feedback is consistently sought after to promote continual improvement of the program. The administration is also keenly working on creating new partnerships to increase employment outcomes post-graduation.

My experience in the University of Geneva’s IOMBA has been most positive. It has provided excellent opportunities to network and develop myself professionally and personally. More importantly, the program is filling an industry gap that our global society yearns for: effective management in international organizations. »

Jennette is working at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Global Health And Healthcare Industries.

Alexandra LaforieAlexandra, France (Class of 2013/2014)

« I had already made the move from the private sector to the NGO sector, but IOMBA helped put everything into place for me. The subject material of the modules is highly relevant and the quality of the teaching is amazing. And even after 15 years of working in senior roles in the private sector, I have learnt so much. Interacting with such a diverse group of fellow students from all around the world further enhanced the experience. I would recommend this course to anyone thinking of making a career in the IO/NGO sector. »

Alexandra is working for Greenpeace Southeast Asia.


Colin PatersonColin, Canada (Class of 2013/2014)

« I chose the IOMBA program because I was looking for an MBA program that would give me a lot of flexibility in terms of future employment. IOMBA, with its dual focus on both private-sector business practice and international development management, was a great fit. Its strengths were (and are) the almost unparalleled access it grants students to practitioners through professors and guest speakers (as well as its location in Geneva), the quality of its professors, and the breadth and relevance of its content – very few programs, to my knowledge, give their students the range of skills that IOMBA does. Its weaknesses include the small class sizes (in the sense that this makes the IOMBA experience very dependent on the quality of ones classmates), and, throughout its history, a lack of institutional support from the University of Geneva (though this has recently shown signs of being addressed). I believe that my employers have benefited from my IOMBA experience because I have a wide range of skills that enable me to work independently on numerous projects in a number of areas – training in project management allows me to monitor and direct my own work, while my background in finance enables me to set and understand budgets and analyze financial information, while the courses in development projects gives me the skills needed to evaluate development projects and proposals. I have enough of a background in the “language” and tools of both private and international public sectors to allow me to work within and between both sectors, and have a wide range of skills that allow an employer to assign me multiple projects in multiple areas. »

Colin is consultant on Coverage and Equity Program at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.


AlumniSandro, Switzerland/Peru (Class of 2011/2012)

« The International Organizations MBA is a very unique program. This resides not only in the rigorous quality of the academic curriculum and experience of the professors coming from around the world, but also in the rich diversity of the students who chose the program. IO-MBA successfully provides business skills to professionals from the public and development sectors, while at the same time adding an important set of values and development context for those students with a business background. The richness of this program is rooted in the broad range of possibilities it offers to each person who completes this MBA. »

Badri, India (Class of 2009/2010)

“Within a year of completing IO-MBA, I worked with the world’s leading consulting company on International Development and then helped setup an extremely innovative mobile health startup. Do I need to say more?”

Pre-IO-MBA Experience: Bachelors in Technology in IT, Anna University , India.Over 4 years of IT consulting experience in India and the UK leading teams, coordinating delivery and liaising with major clients in the financial sector. Also co-founded an educational NGO in Southern India.



Simon, UK/Canada (class of 2009/2010)

“I knew that I needed a vehicle to retune my professional competencies for the international public sector. However, the International Organizations MBA provided me with a lot more than that! In my current role I draw on a plethora of IO-focused knowledge developed on the program: results-based management, cultural change, strategic choices, governance and management consulting, to name a few. As a parent, choosing to relocate to Geneva was a big decision, but without HEC Geneva’s IO-MBA, I would not have been able to restart my career at this level.”

Program Management Coordinator, World Intellectual Property Organization. Pre-IO-MBA Experience: B.Sc.(Hons) Product Design, United Kingdom.Twelve years of international work experience in the private sector in the fields of Engineering, Project Management and Information Technology.


Shobha, UK (Class of 2008/2009)

“IO-MBA was without doubt the best year of my life. I came away very well-informed onvarious aspects of the working of international agencies, and with the right skills for a career in the international non-profit sector. In addition, it was deeply satisfying time at a personal level as I made some of the best friends of my life amongst the class of IO-MBA 2008-09.”

Director of Programmes with Minority Rights Group International, managing teams of human rights activists in London, Budapest and Kampala who deliver programmes for local communities throughout the world.11 years as a manager in a regional UK charity.


John , Kenya (Class 2007/2008)

“After IO-MBA, I will be looking towards using the skills acquired in the year to play a part in serving the society, especially people living in economically vulnerable and marginalized parts of the world.”

Pre-IO-MBA Experience: BA in Economics and Sociology,Egerton University, Kenya; CPA (Kenya), Strathmore University, Kenya7 years work experience in Financial Management both in for-profit and not-for-profit sectors in Kenya, and 1 year volunteer experience in Vanuatu, South Pacific.


Laureen , USA, (Class of 2007/2008)

“IO-MBA has provided me with ample opportunity to refine my thinking, narrow my focus, and fine-tune my skills.”

Over six years experience in the management of International Development, Humanitarian and Security Assistance Programs with governmental and nongovernmental organizations including USAID and NGOs in East Africa and India.


Alumni - YannYann, Switzerland (Class of 2007/2008)

“The International Organizations MBA program has equipped me with the tools and vision needed to bridge the gap between my professional experience in for-profit and my aspirations toward the non-profit sector. I have been greatly inspired not only by the professors and guest speakers but also by the diversity of my classmates.”  




Ana , Columbia, (Class of 2006/2007)

“In today’s competitive market, having a MBA Degree is a must. However, earning an IO-MBA degree is more than that; it is the asset that will open many doors for me in the corporate world, as well as in the international organizations arena.”

Pre-IO-MBA Experience: Industrial Engineering, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Colombia.7 years work experience as a Business Development Manager, Senior CRM and SAP Consultant.


Gianluca , Italy (Class of 2006/2007)

“My goal is to positively impact the quality of life of poor people. In this regard, the IO-MBA represents a unique opportunity to establish a strategic network for my future career.”

Pre-IO-MBA Experience: Master Degree in Economics, University of Rome, Italy.Over 9 years of professional experience in finance (Probitas Partners, Credit Suisse and UBS) and international cooperation. Board member of a microcredit NGO and currently working in private equity.


Joanne, South Africa (Class of 2006/2007) “My goal is to utilize the management skills attained at the IO-MBA to help improve the South African education (schooling) system.”

Pre-IO-MBA Experience: Bachelor of Commerce with Law, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Management, University of Cape Town, South Africa. Chartered Accountant (Canada). Two years experience working with Endeavor to accelerate small businesses in SA. Four years work experience with a large consulting firm and two years volunteer experience with international development NGOs.

Loic , France (Class of 2006/2007)

“Coming from a background of social and development work, the IO-MBA was a perfect fit for my mid-career break.” Technical Officer, WHO Kobe Center (Japan) Pre-IO-MBA Experience: BA in Ethnology, Master in Social Science, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), France.Former job experience includes Project/program Manager (Danish Development Agency, Swiss development Cooperation, European Union, WHO). Various consultant positions in Project design, planning, management and evaluation in West Africa (Niger) and Europe (Switzerland).

Petra (Class of 2006/2007)

“The International Organizations MBA provided the interesting combination of business management against the backdrop of the United Nations and other International Organisations that have very specific management conditions. Working with fellow students on marketing strategies and business plans put new concepts into action and even generated a published case study. Since its completion, my IO-MBA has provided me with a sound background for management and development of programmes in the UN and proving extremely useful now I’m setting up on my own as a consultant. I would highly recommend it to IO staff and others interested at moving beyond the corporate concepts of a traditional MBA to the more challenging and very rewarding realm of International Organisations.”

Saiqa, Afghanistan/USA (Class of 2006/2007)

“I was attracted to the MPP/IO-MBA by the unique combination of analytical and managerial skills offered by this double degree.”

Pre-IO-MBA Experience: BS in Health Sciences, James Madison University, USA. Master in Public Policy (expected 2007), Georgetown University, USA.Previous experience as Development Coordinator for Population Action  International (PAI), as well as an internship with the World Bank (South Asia Human Development).



Ariel, Israel (Class of 2005/2006)

“It is amazing to see how many of the elements that I studied come into practice in my current position.”

Member of the UBS Philanthropy Team Pre-IO-MBA Experience: B.Sc in Computer Science and Mathematics, Israel.Java software engineer with 5 years of experience working for Cisco and Terayon; An officer in the Israeli Army; Member of the field hospital to the refugees of Rwanda after the genocide in 1994.

Michelle, USA (Class of 2005/2006)
“The IO-MBA experience has opened my world to new possibilities, and helped
me transition to a more socially driven career.”

WWF International – Project Manager Pre-IO-MBA Experience: BA in Spanish from the University of California (Santa Barbara). Three years of private sector experience in finance and accounting as well as three years experience as a volunteer staff member of the American Red Cross Disaster Services.



Rafael, Mexico (Class of 2005/2006)

“The holistic education and broader point of view that IO-MBA provided, gave me an advantage coming out of the MBA gates.”

Consultant, McKinsey and company Pre-IO-MBA Experience: Electrical Engineering Degree from the Autonomous University of Guadalajara (UAG), Mexico. Two years at international electronics manufacturer based in the US as well as two years experience teaching and school administration in Mexico.


Valerie, Canada (Class of 2005/2006)

“The IO-MBA programme career service staff was directly responsible for securing my internship in an international organization in Geneva. I believe that experience was critical in helping me attain the post that I am in now.”

Project Manager, Global Operations, IUCN. Pre-IO-MBA Experience: MSc, Environmental Policy Studies, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), USA, BSc (Hons) Biology and Physical Geography, Queen’s University, Canada Product Marketing Manager, ESRI, Inc. (1998-2005). As a product marketing manager at ESRI, the world leader in mapping and geographic information systems (GIS) software, I was responsible for the development and implementation of marketing plans as they related to the ArcGIS line of software products. Network Facilitator, World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), World Meteorological Organization (WMO).


Antony, USA (Class of 2004/2005)

“In my current position, I need to collect, analyze and synthesize information at a very rapid pace to help my clients keep a step ahead of the game. IO-MBA gave me the extra edge to achieve these high demanding tasks.”

Program Director, Gartner Pre-IO-MBA Experience: Undergraduate in International Business (with minors in IT and French), Stetson University, USA.Over 7 year of experience as an analyst and consultant with companies such as Arthur Andersen, Eagle Technology Consultants, Accenture, Siemens and Gartner.


Ilona, Canada (class of 2004/2005)

“The IO-MBA network and its academic preparation were instrumental in getting me to the position I am in today. IO-MBA was the right choice for me and I would do it over in an instant.”

Reports and Donor Relations, UNICEF, South SudanPre-IO-MBA experience: BA (Hons), International Development & Political Science, University of Toronto, Canada.Private Sector Relations Office, WFP HQ Rome, Pipeline Reports Officer, WFP CAR, Donor Relations Officer WFP Sri Lanka and now my current ‘gig’ in Sudan.


  Riccardo, Italy (Class of 2004/2005)

“Goodwill alone is not sufficient to cope with today’s global problems. This programme has added the necessary skills.”

Portfolio Manager at Merck-Serono. Pre-IO-MBA Experience: MSc in Statistics, University of Rome, Italy.
Work experience both in the private and public sector: pharmaceutical, genetics, public health and environmental conservation. Trainer and guest speakers. Founder and chairman of a cultural NGO based in Geneva.