Get to know Ioannis Bellos, academic director of Mason’s MBA Program


Ioannis Bellos, academic director of Mason’s MBA program and associate professor of information systems and operations management at the Donald G. Costello College of Business at George Mason University joined Mason in 2012 after graduating from Georgia Tech, where he completed his PhD in operation management.

Ioannis Bellos
Ioannis Bellos

Passionate about MBA education, Bellos enjoys facilitating connections between MBA students, Mason faculty, and MBA alums. He has also experienced firsthand the large number of Mason MBA students who were able to significantly advance their careers during the program because of the skills and knowledge the program imparts. Recently we had the opportunity to chat with Bellos to learn more about his insights on what makes Mason’s MBA program All Together Different.

What brought you to Mason?  
I wanted to pursue an academic career and the location was definitely a big draw. However, what "sealed the deal" was the collegial and collaborative culture at the school. This is something that permeates across departments and programs. That's why our faculty and staff know our students on a first-name basis not only during, but also after their studies.

What do you appreciate the most about Mason?
The mindset of "let's make things happen" no matter the limitations or resource constraints. Accessibility is a big part of this as I feel everyone's (virtual) door, from staff to faculty and leadership, is always open.

What are your responsibilities as the academic director of the MBA program?  
At the highest level, I am a hub facilitating the connections of MBA students with MBA faculty and MBA staff. That's a fun job because I always get to interact with different stakeholders who are all passionate about MBA education.

Why did you want to hold the position of academic director for the MBA program?
I jumped into MBA teaching early in my academic career and loved it. I loved being able to teach and learn from working professionals.

Many prospective MBA students have been impressed by your engineering background. How has that experience contributed to your role as director of the MBA program?
One of the first things that I tell prospective MBA students is that you do not need to have a business background or prior business education to do an MBA Program! My engineering background has allowed me to gain an appreciation of the importance of having a good mix of quantitative and soft skills. My engineering experience allowed me to invest in my quantitative skills but my PhD and experience as an MBA faculty and program director have given me the opportunity to grow my soft skills, which are the hardest to grow. And this is one of the goals students can achieve through an MBA program: to improve both their quantitative and soft skills.

What does the future of Mason’s MBA program look like?  
More options, more flexibility, and more opportunities for our students! One thing will remain the same though, our students will always be taught by world-class, award-winning faculty and passionate staff.

As the professor of the Operations Management course, what is your teaching strategy?
I am a strong believer in the case method and experiential learning. The case method allows students to study real-world managerial problems and put themselves in the shoes of decision-makers at a time when they have to make some difficult decisions. I also use simulation games that allow students to "get their hands dirty" and appreciate how what we do in class can solve complex managerial problems. My favorite part though is connecting groups of students with companies to work on applied projects during the duration of my courses. This is a lot of work, but very rewarding.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.
I am originally from Greece. I came to the US in 2007 to start my PhD at Georgia Tech. The 12-hour flight from Athens, Greece to Atlanta, Georgia was the first international flight I had ever taken.

What is the academic project, study, or publication you are most proud of, and why?
One of my early papers studied how manufacturers can use business models that focus on selling services as opposed to products to improve their economic and environmental performance. This was published in a premier academic journal and I feel it signified the preamble of what later became known as “the sharing economy.”

Tell us a bit about your current research.
I am working on several projects in the space of green mobility, in particular on electric vehicle adoption and issues around the business model of ride hailing.

George Mason University's MBA program is known for its commitment to academic excellence, as evidenced by its AACSB accreditation. Prospective students will appreciate the program's flexibility, with options for full-time, part-time, and online study to accommodate various schedules and career goals. The program offers specialized tracks, enabling students to focus on their preferred areas of expertise. Furthermore, George Mason University's strong ties to local businesses and government agencies provide students with valuable networking opportunities. The emphasis on innovation and technology equips graduates with the skills necessary to thrive in today's ever-evolving business environment. George Mason University's MBA program offers a comprehensive and impactful educational experience for those seeking to advance their careers.    

If you’re interested in learning more about George Mason University's MBA program, register for an upcoming info session or request more information about the program here.

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