The AMBA MBA Awards

MBA Blog / 11th February 2016

ALBA Graduate Business School and students from IE and The Lisbon MBA are announced as winners of AMBA’s (Association of MBAs) three annual Awards

ALBA Graduate Business School at The American College of Greece is honoured as the most innovative MBA programme in the Association of MBA’s (AMBA) Awards 2015.

Cecilia Rodríguez Alcalá, MBA student at Madrid’s IE Business School is the 2015 Independent MBA Student of the Year.

Meanwhile Luís Martins and Kiruba Eswaran, graduates of The Lisbon MBA (run jointly by Catolica Lisbon and Nova School of Business & Economics), received the MBA Entrepreneurial Venture Award for their company Zaask.

AMBA’s annual MBA awards celebrate MBAs and Business Schools at the forefront of leadership excellence, recognising the talents and contributions made by accredited schools and their students to the MBA arena and the wider community.

The MBA Innovation Award is presented to the AMBA-accredited MBA programme which best demonstrates its dedication to new practice, risk and creativity.

ALBA Graduate Business School was recognised for two new MBA modules: ‘Creativity & Innovation’ and ‘Management Acts: A Theatrical Integration’.

Both use creative processes to help students develop their management practice. In the former, student groups direct, edit and produce a “Creativity Chronicle”, a short video that artfully narrates a story of creativity.

In the latter they explore the notion of management as a performance of roles, casting light on the inner and outer performance dimensions of leadership. Students are introduced to theatrical tools and learn dramaturgical methods to craft their characters, prepare and enact their roles.

“The goal is not to teach MBA students how to become artists”, says Kyriakos Kyriakopoulos, Associate Dean, Academic Director of the MBA, ALBA Graduate Business School at The American College of Greece. “The goal is to help them… enact their role as leaders.”

AMBA CEO Andrew Main Wilson comments: “ALBA’s innovative ‘Creative Experience in Business’ programme has drawn on theory and practice from humanities, philosophy and the arts to equip students with new models for creative thinking, risk-taking and experimenting that will impact positively on their abilities as business leaders. It’s a novel and unusual approach.”

MBA student of the year Cecilia founded the Paraguay Educa Foundation, creating the first ‘digital city’ in Paraguay. The group provided around 13,500 children with laptops, access to the internet, and programming skills. In collaboration with youth organisations and journalists she was also able to mediate in Paraguay’s billion dollar Trust Fund for Education Excellence.

She comments: “It’s very important that you take advantage of not only the classroom experience but also the extra-curricular… In any business school you have a credibility that allows you to be in touch with decision makers and that’s really important.”

AMBA CEO Andrew Main Wilson comments: “Cecilia is an inspirational leader and a tireless campaigner. Through her drive and passion she rose to be top of her class and became a motivational figure for her peers as well as providing support and inspiration for future generations of young leaders; her focus on technology, education and social inclusion projects in Paraguay have deservedly earned her great respect and public standing. She is an excellent ambassador for her school, her country and for MBAs worldwide.”

MBA Entrepreneurial Venture award winners Portuguese Luís Martins and Indian Kiruba Eswaran met while studying The Lisbon MBA and went on to found Zaask. The ‘online marketplace’ gives users a platform to obtain and compare quotes, and hire from a diverse range of rated service professionals, including decorators, tutors and wedding planners.

Launched in 2012, it now provides a community of over 8,000 professionals to its registered users and operates in Portugal, Spain, Germany, the UK and Brazil.

Anabela Possidonio, Executive Director of The Lisbon MBA said: “It was fantastic just to have this capability to join people that have this entrepreneurial spirit to create a company.”

AMBA CEO Andrew Main Wilson comments: “The success of Zaask is a reflection of the truly global nature of the MBA. The Lisbon MBA brought together Luis and Kiruba, two entrepreneurs from different parts of the world who, by identifying a gap in the market and utilising innovative technology, have created a company that is growing rapidly on an international scale.”

Full List of Winners and Those Commended by the Judges

The Independent MBA Student of the Year Award

Winner: Cecilia Rodríguez Alcalá, IE Business School 

Highly Commended: Simon Cooper, Cass Business School 

Highly Commended: Pedro Correia da Silva, Porto Business School  

Highly Commended: Lindsey Nguyen, UCD Michael Smurfit GSB

Commended: James Peacock, Bradford University School of Management 

Commended: Suraj Prakash, Institute of Management Kozhikode 

MBA Entrepreneurial Venture Award

Winner: Luís Martins and Kiruba Eswaran with Zaask from The Lisbon MBA 

Highly Commended: Matan Ganani with Never Empty from IE Business School

Highly Commended: Tim Mazajchik and Yasin Amani with Heartbeat Strategy from Nyenrode Business Universiteit 

Highly Commended: Tshibvumo Sikhwivhilu with Lamo Solar from Wits Business School 

Commended: Panagiotis Sfikas with Bloode from Athens University of Economics and Business 

Commended: Manjuanth Talwar with Hiree from Institute of Management Kozhikode 

MBA Innovation Award

Winner: ALBA Graduate Business School at The American College of Greece – for the Creative Expression in Business 

Highly Commended: IEEM – for the Senior Executive MBA Programme 

Highly Commended: IESA – for the Support for Tuition Payment 

Highly Commended: Imperial College Business School – for the Global MBA Programme 

Commended: Open University Business School – for the MBA Student Recruitment Tools with MBA iPad App and on-line Business Case Builder 

Commended: Politecnico di Milano School of Management – for the Digital Learning Beyond MOOCs: Smart Learning @ MIP


About AMBA

AMBA is the international impartial authority on postgraduate business education and the only global MBA-specific accrediting body. Established in 1967, it sets the global standard for accrediting MBA, DBA and MBM programmes. The Association currently accredits programmes at over 230 schools in over 70 countries worldwide. AMBA is also a professional membership association with thousands of MBA members in over 150 countries, connecting MBA students and graduates, accredited business schools and MBA employers worldwide.


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