I enjoy overseeing my students delivering a practical real business plan on ideas they have.
Mr. Antonopolous, how has your career started? Have you always been interested in the fields you are now in?
I started my career as an electrical and electronics engineer in the early/mid 90s while also studying for my PhD. Several years later, being a mid level manager in a US multinational, I was offered the opportunity to start my MBA. Soon after my graduation I started with my first company and a few years later, in 2005, I also started teaching Entrepreneurship in MBA programs. Several years and a few companies started later and with many years in startup investing behind me as well I have enhanced and improved my Entrepreneurship class to be as impactful and practical as possible.
In 2020 UNYP and GEA College from Ljubljana, Slovenia are starting their partnership in MBA program, Empowering Future Leaders. What are your expectations as a lecturer?
My expectation is an enthusiastic class which will have the thirst to learn and be exposed to the opportunities that high growth entrepreneurship can offer to them whether they would like to pursue a new venture themselves or if it were simply for the purpose of improving their business skills and understanding for advancing a corporate career.
What is your role at UNYP?
I am the Rector of the Institution and I also teach Entrepreneurship related courses in our MBA programs.
What is it about Entrepreneurship that you love to teach?
The most exciting aspect of teaching Entrepreneurship is my continuous exposure, in covering, analyzing and presenting in class some of the most breathtaking and innovative new venture products and services that are changing the way we do business and the way we live our lives. In addition, it is the experience of overseeing my students working on and delivering a practical real business plan on ideas they have. I am very happy and proud to have had several of my students
starting new ventures based on projects they prepared for my class, some of which I helped them obtain funding from an investment fund I am associated with.
You too have an MBA degree. Has MBA changed through the years? How have MBA programs evolved through the years? Can you compare your students experience to nowadays?
It has changed substantially in terms of diversity of courses, methods of teaching and student engagement. At the same time, there is still a core base of generic business courses and theory that is a key and indispensable part of an MBA delivery.
What skills are MBA students mostly after? What skills do you like to teach the most that will be relevant in the future?
Many start their MBA program looking for specialized, relevant and advanced business skills development. What they discover on the way is that, in addition to the above, there is the importance of critical thinking skills development as well as the importance of a different and much broader understanding of how business is conducted that they pick up on the way.
How does the worth of an MBA reflect in companies and society?
For companies the value is immediate and substantial as the graduates who work for them can apply a lot of the theory, understanding and skills they develop during the program directly into the operations of the company. It helps them develop talent and achieve results. Society benefits from more efficiently run companies as well as managers with better business ethics and social responsibility understanding, which are both covered in good MBA programs.
What is the most attractive benefit of an MBA?
Simply put, it changes the way you think and the way you understand business, to the better! It also equips you with skills and knowledge that can really positively impact your career and your life.