The Blue MBA: Working in one of the most volatile industries in the world

The shipping industry is one of the most volatile in the world. To thrive in it, you need the skill set to match. Here’s how an MBA in Shipping and Logistics can give you the tools you need to thrive in this challenging industry.

In short

Meet the Blue MBA: A one-of-a-kind MBA in Shipping and Logistics

“The shipping industry is probably the most global industry – it has been for centuries – and it’s very volatile. For executives in this industry, they need the skills from this MBA to stay ahead of the game.” (00:00)

So says Irene Rosberg, who is the Director of the “Blue MBA” at Copenhagen Business School. The Blue MBA is an Executive MBA (EMBA) program specializing in shipping and logistics. CBS is one of very few schools worldwide to offer a program like this. So, what can it offer that traditional MBA programs cannot? Adam Kobren, a graduate of the program, says it is the combination of shipping industry knowledge with business acumen.

“What this program is giving us is basically the bigger picture,” he says. “This program is way beyond the perspective of people working on offshore ships. It’s a completely different point of view.” (00:48)

The course structure of the Blue MBA

Executive MBA programs typically attract older, more experienced candidates, who already hold senior leadership positions in their industry. For this reason, EMBA programs need to fit around their current career. The Blue MBA is no different. It has a flexible program structure, but one that also allows students to work closely with their classmates.

“The program is designed for very busy individuals who are working in this industry, and therefore we’ve made sure they can hold a full-time job at the same time as this program. It has eight one-week modules spread over 22 months. This allows the group to work together effectively and gives us the chance to arrange company visits and networking events,” says Irene. (01:29)

There is flexibility in the course structure and also in the curriculum. Monika Lemajic is a fellow graduate of the Executive MBA in Shipping and Logistics. She says the ability to choose her own areas of study was a big selling point.

“I really liked the fact that you could choose your own topics, so it wasn’t all rigid,” she explains. “Especially because I come from the ship repair industry, which isn’t the mainstream, it was good to hear that everything I did I could relate back to ship repair.” (02:06)

The learning outcomes of an Executive MBA in Shipping and Logistics

Much like Adam, Monika believes this Executive MBA in Shipping and Logistics gave her a more holistic view of both her job and the industry itself. She now appreciates the implications her decisions can have on the global shipping infrastructure.

She says, “My biggest takeaway is just to think on a global scale. We’re talking about wind farms and sustainability. I’ve been up in the Northern hemisphere in the Baltic seas and I’ve learned to understand how that’s affecting my decisions down in Australia – in my little yard in Sydney!” (02:21)

In 2016, Hanjin Shipping – the biggest shipping carrier in South Korea – went into receivership. Trustees were appointed to save the financially-troubled firm. This sent shockwaves throughout the global shipping economy which are still being felt today. That kind of turmoil can place doubts in the mind of anyone working in the industry. Adam says this MBA is a chance to arm yourself with the skills and knowledge to help the industry not just recover, but propel it forward.

“The industry I’m working in has just gone through probably its worst downturn in history, and that makes everybody think: What else could happen? How can we make it better? How can we move on? I believe this program can give everyone a great set of tools to work in this industry at any level,” he says. (02:51)

As Irene said earlier, the shipping industry is arguably the most globalized in the world. An MBA in Shipping and Logistics could help you understand the global shipping infrastructure and give you the tools you need to launch your own career in the industry.

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