Bath MBA will help me expand my family’s olive oil business
Stamatis Foteinogiannopoulos has almost ten years of financial and management experience in the software, banking, and legal industries. For him, like many others, a full-time MBA degree is setting out a path to take on greater responsibilities in a chosen sector.
But, for Stam, the full-time MBA is also preparing him to achieve a much bigger dream.
In 1965, Stam’s grandfather planted 100 young olive trees in a southern Greek peninsula to meet his family’s needs. Known as ‘green gold’ for its superior quality, olive oil production has an ancient history in the country. Now, Stam wants to see his family business spread from his native region to the rest of the world.
Stam believed that the Bath MBA would provide him with opportunities to step out of his comfort zone, learn to apply latest management techniques, and integrate within a network of global business professionals.
He decided that studying at a well-ranked university – the Bath MBA is ranked in the top-31 programmes of its kind in Europe by the Financial Times – would give him greater confidence and flexibility for his future career.
First, he’s gunning for a career in finance. Around 26% of MBA graduates from Bath School of Management progress to careers in finance, while approximately 96% of students are employed within three months of graduating. Then, he’s going to put his family olive oil business on the map.
What are your plans for your family business?
Today, the family business is based in the Peloponnesus region of Greece, and trades only in a limited geographic area. My company’s mission is to educate people about healthy eating. I have already decided how to expand in Greece and position my product over competitors. Now, I am working on finalizing the business model and defining long-term objectives. I believe that in the next five years, you will be able to find my olive oil in London!
Why did you choose Bath School of Management for your MBA?
Choosing the right MBA isn’t an easy task, and I spent a lot of time and energy deciding where to do the programme. The main reasons why I selected Bath were the small size of the cohort (no more than 60 students), the diversity of the class, and the programme’s unique structure.
Rather than a dissertation, Bath provides the opportunity to gain additional practical experience with live clients through five different projects. The programme also has a great reputation, and is based in one of the most beautiful and safest cities in the UK.
How is the MBA preparing you to achieve your goals?
My short-term goal is to be an executive in an investment company managing bank portfolios. Excelling in operational execution and strategic management is not enough. Success means developing new services and responding rapidly to new challenges. The Bath MBA gives you real-life examples of how companies are reacting to the latest developments in business.
In the long-term, I want to expand our Greek olive oil business. Through the ‘Entrepreneurship in Action’ course, organized by Dr Bruno Oliveira, I was given a clearer idea of how to do so.
What stands out from your MBA experience at Bath School of Management?
Undertaking an MBA is an enormous challenge. Class diversity emphasizes the range of perspectives different to yours. Participating in competitions with other top universities was an unforgettable experience. A global residency in Silicon Valley which included visits and speakers from Google and Dropbox gave me the opportunity to learn and experience the internal environment of some of the world’s best companies.
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