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Leading through challenges, exploiting opportunities

MBA in International Business

MBA in International Business empowers your leadership competencies

To profit from international opportunities, business owners and managers also need to be proactive, risk-taking, and innovative. Thus, internationalization intensifies the trend that leaders need to be more entrepreneurial to improve their firms’ competitiveness and to advance their personal careers.
But not only markets and customers become more international, greater international connectedness leads to more cultural diversity also within firms. This requires leaders to have strong cross-cultural leadership competencies.

Main programme features

  • Obtain a holistic understanding of international business beyond functional boundaries. 
  • Become an entrepreneurial thinker and actor.
  • Grow into a responsible leader who understands the cross-cultural impact of your actions. 
  • Learn through hands-on, interactive, and evidence-based teaching ensuring relevance and practical applicability. 
  • Participate in field trips to gain first-hand experience.
  • Profit from close ties between the programme and industry demands.
  • Learn from distinguished professors and guest lecturers from renowned firms and start-ups establishing close ties between the programme and industry demands.
  • Working with young scale-up firms in an Amsterdam-based incubator fosters your entrepreneurial attitude. 
  • Apply knowledge in an interactive software-based business simulation. 

Beyond the core curriculum, the programme offers various opportunities to deepen and broaden professional skills (e.g., intercultural communication or negotiation) and to profit from professional career services such as workshops to develop an own brand or individual career coaching.

Teaching approach

  • Evidence-based Education: Teaching is supported by state-of-the-art research evidence otherwise unavailable to professionals.
  • Mixed classroom: The programme attracts participants with diverse backgrounds and offers valuable opportunities for mutual learning among peers.
  • Interactive methods: Teaching consists of a combination of traditional and interactive ‘flip-the-classroom’ based elements (e.g., presentations, discussions, teamwork, software-based business simulations).
  • Relevance: Inspirational guest speakers plus “real-life” case studies developed in close collaboration with renowned firms and start-ups foster close ties between the programme and industry demands.


Distinguished professors from VU's School of Business and Economics will lead the courses. They will be supported by renowned academic subject-matter experts, executive coaches, and former and current executives and entrepreneurs, who will share their expertise and experiences with the participants, ensuring close ties between the programme and industry demands.

Dr. Florian Zapkau

Dr. Florian Zapkau

Dr. Florian Zapkau is the program director of the MBA in International Business. He is an Associate Professor of International Business with the School of Business and Economics of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. In 2019, he worked as a visiting research fellow at King’s College London, UK.
Before joining VU Amsterdam, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Düsseldorf, Germany. Florian obtained his doctoral degree from the University of Giessen, Germany. Prior to becoming a researcher, he co-founded a university startup firm. Florian has teaching experience on the undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate and PhD level as well as in executive education. His main research interests are International Business, Entrepreneurship, and International Entrepreneurship.
Florian’s research appears in academic journals such as Journal of Management Studies (JMS), Journal of International Business Studies (JIBS), or Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice (ET&P). He is an editorial review board member of Journal of World Business (JWB) and Management Review Quarterly (MRQ). Florian is currently also involved in an interdisciplinary project on stress prevention in small firms funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. 

Dr. Florian Zapkau
Florian Zapkau