Interview with Tibor Mandják

“I think they have to be open minded, curious, balanced and sometimes creative”

Tibor Mandják, Head of Management of Cultural Interactions Axis, Normandie visited the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration between 11th April and 6th May 2016. Professor Mandják held lectures for Master’s students concerning Business Relationship Management - he was asked about his life and experiences after one such occasion.

Mandják TiborTibor Mandják is a researcher ofB2B marketing, international B2B marketing, project marketing and management of business relationships. He is a member and opponent of the IMP (International Marketing and Purchasing Group), and an author of more than a hundred Hungarian, English and French publications. He has over 17 years of work experience in the field of external trade and spent 5 years in Algeria. Professor Mandják has taught students as professeur sénior at the Bordeaux École de Management, HEC, EM Lyon, ESSCA and at the Université François Rabelais Tours. He has been a professor at EM Normandie since 2013.

Could you please tell us a bit about yourself? Where were you born? Where did you grow up?

I was born in Budapest in 1953. I’ve spent all of my childhood in Budapest, more exactly in Buda, not far from the Margaret Bridge.

What was your dream job as a child?

It’s a nice question. Certainly not to become a professor! I had several dreams: I wanted to be an engine driver, an astronomer or a chemist.

Would the 20-year-old you like the person you are now?

Frankly speaking I don’t know. Perhaps yes but at that age I did not have any clear idea about what I wanted to do.

What kind of research were you doing when you first started?

As I’m coming to the academia with more than 17 years of experiences in international business, it was the field of business marketing and I’m still working on this field all the time.

What do you think about the differences between students coming from different countries?

I like it so much. It is good for the students and also for the teachers.

Could you please tell us about your university?

Actually I’m a research professor at EM Normandie, one of the best French business schools. We have BSc and MSc programs and the school is quite international.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced at work?

It depends. Sometimes it is the motivation of the students, sometimes it is the need to help them deeply understand some important issues like the business networks.

Is there anything you would do differently if you could go back in time?

Generally not but I would read many more classic books and would perhaps learn Latin.

Are you a strict professor? Do you allow students to postpone the deadline?

I’m not very strict but generally I’m serious about deadlines. However, it is possible to negotiate a little bit but only before the date!

Mandják Tibor

Should students start their masters’ as soon as they get their bachelor degree or take 1 or 2 years off in order to gain some work experience?

It’s a difficult question. I think both have some advantages and disadvantages as well. From a pedagogical point of view a mixed audience is more interesting while a homogeneous one is easier to teach.

What are the 3 thing you like the most about your job?

Research, students, new ideas

What characteristics do students need for a successful future marketing career?

I think they have to be open minded, curious, balanced and sometimes creative.

Something special about Professor Mandják

Favourite football team:
Manchester United
Favourite scientist:
Károly Polányi, Hakan Hakansson, Marx, Thomas Piketty
French, English, Hungarian
Music instrument:
Unfortunately not

He preferes...

Teaching or research?
Tokaj wine or Palinka?
E-book or book?

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