From making pizzas to Doctor of Management Science — thanks to the FIA 1 apprenticeship programme! Dr Benjamin Mira, who earned his master’s degree in 2012, teaches microeconomics to MBS bachelor’s students.


At just 30 years old, Dr Mira has followed a path that’s both unusual and exemplary in equal measure. This young academic, with a 2012 master’s degree and a PhD in management science, has recently joined the faculty of the MBS bachelor’s programme to teach microeconomics. Personal experience.

He admits it himself. There’s nothing self-evident about his path, which makes him that much more proud to have recently obtained his doctorate in management science, after spending four years working on his thesis, “Coopetition in Small Companies: the Case of Estate Agencies”. “After I got my master’s degree in 2012, I kept going with a doctorate on a subject that fascinates me”, Dr Mira explains. “The University of Montpellier happens to have one of the most important coopetition research laboratories, led by Professor Frédéric Le Roy, who is also an associate professor at MBS. During the first two years spent working on my thesis, I was a research assistant at Montpellier Business School, and my thesis advisers were Frédéric Le Roy and Marc Robert, Assistant Professor at MBS. Then, I was in a short-term teaching and research position at ISEM of Montpellier (Institute of Business and Management Sciences), which is now MoMa (Montpellier Management) after its merger with the AES (School of Economic and Social Administration). I taught project management and microeconomics there for two years. Finally, in December, I defended my thesis and, as of two months ago, I’m now a doctor of management science!”

“I’m very proud, because my family and friends were there on the day I joined the ranks of my peers. That’s when I realised what I had just achieved”, he adds. “If someone had told me, back when I was working as a pizza maker or a bricklayer, that I’d one day get a doctorate, I wouldn’t have believed them! Anything’s possible, and in my case, I’m here thanks to MBS’s Policy of Equal Opportunities.”

Just a few years ago, Dr Mira was a thousand miles away from defending a doctoral thesis. “After leaving school in 2004, I spent three years living on odd jobs. I was a pizza maker, a bricklayer, a house painter... Then finally, in 2007, I decided to go back to school, starting by getting a BTS (Higher Technical Certificate) in Estate Agency through an apprenticeship. I got a taste for school again, and I passed the FIA 1 (Initial Dual Course) entrance exam to join the MBS master’s programme. I wanted to keep going beyond the BTS, but I had to do so while working as an apprentice in order to fund my education. Thankfully, MBS offers a 100% apprenticeship programme. The values of equality of opportunity really spoke to me, and I arrived in 2009 with a three-year apprenticeship contract as a real estate agent at ORPI, in Avignon. Those three years were great, and I’m happy to come back ‘home’ to have a go at teaching here.”

Since 31 January, Dr Mira has been teaching microeconomics in the L2 bachelor’s programme. “It’s not entirely new for me, since I taught this subject before at the University of Montpellier. Roughly, it involves explaining economics at the level of individuals and companies. It’s the relationship between what individuals consume and what companies produce. The aim is managerial, not just economic. I’m very happy with the welcome I’ve received from the students. They’ve even surprised me with how eager they are to learn. They’re very motivated, and the more tasks I give them, the happier they are.”

A young teacher with his future ahead of him, Dr Mira doesn’t intend to stop here with his research — his next goal is to become a teacher-researcher!