Education Programs In Latvia Becoming More International

Thursday, July 12, 2018

WDI’s executive education programs, delivered in partnership with the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) in Riga, are attracting more international participants, bringing diverse opinions to the classroom and thereby adding value to the programs.

In past years, participants in the executive education offerings from WDI’s Education initiative at SSE Riga are citizens of host country Latvia and one or two neighboring Baltic countries. But for this year’s spring programs – the flagship, 10-day Strategic Management Program (SMP), Supply Chain and Logistics Management and Advanced Negotiations – drew participants not only from Latvia but also Russia, Chile, Estonia, Lithuania, Germany, Ukraine and even from as far away as Canada.

Santa Zeidaka, program manager at SSE Riga, said a key selling point is that its offerings are highly ranked in the Nordic and Baltic regions. She also said SSE Riga leverages its alumni network to spread the word on its programs and promotes them at conferences and on social media.

Zeidaka said a more international classroom benefits all the participants.

“Having an international group helps people open up more,” she said. “Participants get to see the problems from more diverse perspectives and this pushes participants to open their minds more, which is valuable when people work in international companies.”

For the popular SMP – also known as a “mini MBA” – participants came from Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Canada. The program, tailored for high potential, mid- to senior-level managers, features four modules – strategy, finance, marketing, and leadership – and is structured around an integrative strategic framework. The program, held in May, combines lectures, discussions, cases and exercises. Participants also conduct group work, which enhances their critical thinking, decision-making and teamwork skills.

Amy Gillett, vice president of WDI’s Education Initiative, said the fact that the SMP drew participants from four countries speaks to its strong reputation. She said participants around the world are recognizing the great value of this program.

“The Strategic Management Program is greatly enriched by having such a global audience,” she said. “Since the program is highly interactive with participants sharing their experiences, these diverse viewpoints spark new ideas and connections. Next year, we expect to attract participants from even more countries.”

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