A word from the new BME programme head

Dear students,

Welcome to the website of Business Analytics undergraduate programme at Zagreb School of Economics and Management. In less than two decades since the school was established, we’ve come a long way. According to the prestigious Eduniversal ranking, ZSEM is ranked as 3rd best business school in Eastern Europe and best business school in Croatia multiple years in a row. Moreover, ZSEM has been ranked within the TOP 200 in the QS Global MBA Rankings 2020, reaffirming its position as a truly international school recognized worldwide. Our school is also the only private school in the region accredited by renowned Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business(AACSB), an accreditation held only by top 5% business schools in the world. We were first accredited in 2013 as the first school, be public or private, to be accredited in the Balkans.

A business school would not be worth much without exquisite academic staff. More than 40% of professors have attained PhDs from respectable universities abroad. Some of our former staff and alumni now hold tenure-track positions at the University of Amsterdam, Hanken School of Economics and the University of Denver, while others continued their doctoral and postdoctoral studies at the University of Oxford and Princeton University, to name a few. According to Web of Science, the papers of our scholars have accumulated more than 3,200 citations, much more than any of our competing schools.  ZSEM is also the only business school in Croatia offering a foreign doctorate in Business Administration in collaboration with Sheffield Hallam University(UK), but also Masters double degrees with Tilburg University, KEDGE Business school and others. We are proud of our student exchange partners spanning more than 150 universities worldwide, with more international partners than any other school in the region.

Our past and current professors, alumni and students have won annual Hanžeković prize for best regular or student economics paper ten times since the prize was first introduced in 2000. Some of the job placements of our past students include European Central Bank, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, European Parliament, European Commission, KPMG, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Amazon, to mention a few.

To address the challenges of business in the age of Big Data and digital technologies, we’ve tailored an undergraduate programme in business administration and economics that harnesses the power of STEM (science, engineering, technology, and mathematics). STEM orientation in education is one of the prime reasons behind the rapid economic ascent of China, but also Singapore and Japan, where more than 50% of students pursue a STEM degree. STEM is also at the heart of value and wealth creation; according to a study by MIT Center for Digital Business, data-driven management and decision making increases productivity by 4% and profits of companies by 6%, effectively giving companies a competitive advantage. Future managers will be expected to apply tools of modern data science, optimization, and machine learning to solve real-world business problems. Many US universities such as MIT, Duke University, Notre Dame or Boston University have started to integrate STEM designation into MBA studies. We say – why wait until graduate-level to learn crucial skills needed in 21st-century workplace? Why not start right away?

Business Analytics programme combines economics and business administration with data science. Our lecturers are the best possible experts from academia alongside the best practitioners from the financial and business industry, such as digital marketing, financial security, and Fintech, to mention a few. The first two years include a rigorous curriculum in applied mathematics and statistics, coupled with core courses in economics and essential computer science skills. Third-year gives a solid foundation in management, marketing, and finance but also builds advanced STEM skills needed for optimization, machine learning, network analysis and business intelligence. Fourth-year is reserved for cutting-edge applied subjects such as digital marketing, econometrics of Big Data or behavioural economics. Students are encouraged to join a research project with a staff mentor or propose their own and publish at least one article before graduation to boost chances at admittance to top universities abroad. For those bolder among you, grant money awaits to be awarded to new business ideas, should you want to create jobs rather than wait for one. Our staff will both instruct and guide you in this endeavour.

Perhaps it is best to conclude with one of my favourite quotes from W. Edwards Deming, one of the titans of data-driven management –

“Without data, you are just another person with an opinion.”

Don’t miss this opportunity to join us as a student. Start your STEM career early.

Boris Podobnik, PhD 

Head of the undergraduate program in Business Mathematics and Economics