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MBA Alumni Profile: George Kardiakidis, Fuqua School of Business

MBA Alumni Profile: George Kardiakidis, Fuqua School of Business

Greek MBA George Kardiakidis first considered an MBA during his undergraduate studies. He tells TopMBA.com why.

“Having an engineering background and being more interested in general management, an MBA course was the obvious alternative for accelerated business education,” says Greek MBA George Kardiakidis.

A graduate of The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, Kardiakidis says his MBA proved to be ‘a unique opportunity to interact with a group of individuals having similar high career aspirations and a hugely diverse cultural and business background.’

“I first started considering pursuing an MBA even during my last two years in my undergraduate studies,” says Kardiakidis. “That was when I started looking into the different programs. I can understand that not all students at that age have clear thoughts about pursuing postgraduate MBAs, but it was definitely easy for me to seek the necessary skills and to acquire the necessary experience that would allow me to apply to demanding programs.”

Kardiakidis says business education, but especially MBAs, are highly regarded in Greece. “Because of the excess offerings the market has appreciated a classification of MBA programs,” he says. “Therefore, degrees from different schools enjoy different levels of recognition.”

When it came to choosing which business schools to apply to for his MBA, Kardiakidis says the first challenge he faced was whether to apply to schools in the US or Europe. “This proved to be easier than expected because I was more excited in being exposed to a different market and mentality than the one I had experienced until then.

“As everyone does in the beginning I looked at rankings. Fortunately, as soon as I started looking into the schools and the programs, I realised that there were huge differences with regards to the schools’ focus, culture, strengths etc, which, at the end, is always an issue of individual fit. This is something that many applicants still overlook.”

Kardiakidis had the choice between three MBA programs - that was after sitting the GMAT which, he says, was the easy part of the application. “It [GMAT] is neither closing nor opening doors and one can perform better proportionally to the time he or she dedicates to preparing. On the contrary, essays are very important and applicants should spend the most time in demonstrating all their personal skills and strengths. Essays are actually the only opportunity for people who evaluate prospective candidates to see if they could be a possible good fit for the respective program.”

Looking back on his MBA, Kardiakidis says he was fortunate to achieve his initial goals at the beginning of his second year. This made the final ten months much more relaxed. “I managed to have, and accept, an offer with the company I was most interested in and am truly happy,” he says. “I believe that there is not a great balance while at school between study and personal life, but this is also how it is supposed to be. Studying, following up with deadlines and projects, and most importantly following up with the recruiting companies, is very demanding, but at the same time is extremely motivating and rewarding. At the end of the day, one’s personal life is very closely associated with study-group teammates and people tend to bond very closely together.”

Up until now, Kardiakidis has been following a career path in management, but in the next ten years he believes he will be pursuing senior management positions. “It is said that MBA graduates, understanding business risk, have a lower percentage in entrepreneurship. I expect though, that after accumulating significant experience and combining it with the fundamental business understanding from the MBA, I will be engaged in building a business operation on my own.”

Written by QS Blogger
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