Member Spotlight: Marina Karban – SKOLKOVO

Member Spotlight: Marina Karban – SKOLKOVO

UNICON has over 100 member institutions worldwide that are committed to the development and advancement of executive education. To celebrate our member institutions, we will be sharing spotlights and interviews of some of our members within the UNICON community.

Member Interview: Marina Karban, Director of Executive Education, Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO




Please describe your role at your institution.

I have been working in Executive Education for 12 years, as Director of Executive Education department since 2015, and was responsible for sales, design and delivery of corporate programs segment, which has historically been a fundamental part of SKOLKOVO overall portfolio.

Now I am a member of the Executive Board of the School, and lead the Educational Programs Unit as Associate Dean for Programs, focusing on providing unified approaches to methodology of programs design, setting up knowledge management system for programs initiation and development & performing departments’ management for the full range of SKOLKOVO programs from Degree to MSB, from Start-up Junior to Executive Coaching, etc.


How long have you/your institution been a part of UNICON?

Since 2010.

I had my first experience with UNICON in 2014 at the Director’s Conference hosted by HKUST, Hong Kong. I was very impressed with the HKUST teamwork and the balance achieved between the cultural and business part of the conference. In addition, acquaintance with the university turned out to be significant, since a cooperation agreement was signed several years later, and today HKUST is a strategic partner of the school.


What UNICON activities and resources do you engage in the most? Which activities and resources do you find the most valuable?

I have always been passionate about learning new approaches used in business education in the world and integrating them into the Russian market. Hence, thanks to a large number of diverse events, such as conferences, studies and global researches, UNICON has been a unique means for SKOLKOVO of exploring the best practices, new directions, innovative courses and formats in Exed. For such young business schools like SKOLKOVO this is an amazing opportunity to learn in order to integrate the best practices into the market.

Besides, I would particularly emphasize the importance of annual Teams’ Development and Directors’ conferences that contribute much to building an atmosphere of trust between the members making a global impact on development of executive education, including launching academic partnerships and joint programs. And networking and personal mentoring are worth mentioning indeed.


Please describe your institution’s approach to executive education.

Our mission is to thoroughly analyze the challenges our clients’ businesses face. We also seek to help employees to reveal their potential, to feel the core sense of what they are doing and to prepare them to be ready to find the solutions for new non-standard tasks via promoting individual long-life learning track development when each participant/stakeholder/company is an active partner in the learning process. Moreover, we feel responsible for social impact the school imposes on people and companies leading to the transformation of the whole country thus reinforcing the role of the School from just a business school to an active player in the social-economic landscape.

Today, when management education has been facing unprecedented disruption over the past few months, affecting all aspects of our lives, it is even more important to look beyond management and get ideas and inspiration for truly innovative and future-oriented new management education solutions.


How has your involvement with UNICON made an impact on both your professional career and the executive education program(s) at your institution?

The best international experience accumulated in UNICON and promoted via different activities has facilitated a lot to applying the best practices in Exed programs in the Russian market. Partly owing to this, SKOLKOVO has got EQUIS accreditation last year, thus confirming the school’s compliance with high international standards. A great honor for SKOLKOVO was the opportunity to host Directors’ Conference in 2019. We enjoyed sharing insights on the topics of innovation, disruptors of executive education and how culture can help define new ways of thinking on executive education. This exclusive event highlighted the possibilities the international cooperation gives and promoted the Exed department within the School.

Moreover, our respected partners have always inspired us by the compliance with the highest standards of education, which contributed to the fact that we have entered FT 2020 rating and become No. 1 in Eastern Europe by the quality of custom programs and No.1 in the rating by the growth of open enrollment programs.


How do you see executive education changing in the next few years?

Executive education has always been dynamic, now the importance of flexibility and readiness for change has increased even more. University-based institutions are becoming partnership oriented, expanding the network of partnerships with corporate universities, consulting companies and online courses. In fact, business schools should become the center of learning ecosystems attracting global networking of business schools, business clients and academic community. We should also pay special attention to the strengthening of the trend of individual learning path development, which tells us about the need to come up with new formats and models of executive education.


If you would like to be featured in our member spotlights, please reach out to site editor, Dan Collins: or UNICON administrator Taryn Streed:


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *