Is it better to study an MBA abroad?
Where should you study your MBA?
- UK universities do offer a range of options, but with business now being the most global of career pursuits – plus fees in the UK for an MBA now touching £50,000 at some universities – it might well be worth looking further afield.
MBA courses – those accredited by AMBA, AACSB and EQUIS – aim to prepare students for a life of business management, preparing for senior roles.
- It is not a traditional Masters in offering specialised knowledge in one field. An MBA crosses all business boundaries, as well as covering other useful fields, including psychology, philosophy, economics, and possibly a foreign language.
Firstly, why should you study an MBA?
Before we debate the pros and cons of travelling the world, have a look at why you might consider an MBA.
Benefits of studying an MBA abroad
By living and studying in a foreign country, you’ll gain an understanding of your new heritage, culture and values.
Confidence anywhere in the world
Three are many traits required for success in business that are inherent in studying abroad – independence, self-reliance, confidence to name three. Learning how to be confident in a country you may end up doing big business with in the future is a must.
The experience of living in a different country comes with the opportunity to take on that nation’s language. Interacting with the native population, business leaders and fellow international students in their dialect will make you a more aware and savvy businessperson. It’s a great skill to have generally too.
Experience different ways of doing business
It may seem obvious to say, but no two countries are the same, and neither are the ways they run their business. You will learn how to work with different leadership and business styles, which will ultimately benefit you when you have to lead a probably ethnically diverse team.
Be at the forefront of emerging markets
Studying an MBA abroad will stand you out from other candidates with the skills that can only be gained through international experience. Additionally, if you study in a country with an emerging economy, you will know an evolving market or industry.
Benefits of studying an MBA in the UK
Most employers in international corporations continue to consider an MBA from the UK’s best business schools as the most valuable qualification.
UK at the top of the world
It is seen as almost a guarantee of that individual's high skills. MBA universities in the UK can offer the highest level of education and training for real world situations.
Some of the institutes offering MBA in UK are the finest business schools in the world. Among the world’s highest ranked institutions are:
- Imperial College Business School
- Lancaster University Management School
- London Business School
- Manchester Business School
- University of Oxford
- University of Cambridge
- Warwick Business School
Getting you through your exams
Though there is immense scope for career progress, MBA graduates should understand they aren’t guaranteed a job. Most schools require you to take the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) in order to enrol for an MBA.
It is based on your GMAT – a digital exam – score that you can apply to business focused universities and colleges, and they are relevant when applying to jobs.
What fits your personality?
The best way to find out whether an MBA is right for you as a student, is to listen to the testimony of the students themselves.
Here's a selection of tweets about social media, covering experiences and advice on studying:
Does MBA but my Mom is worried about me because my rotis are not round! Who will marry me ! #IndianFamilyProblems— Bomb♡Bae (@shrustyle) September 15, 2015
CFA or MBA are not passports to a career. Pursue it for the right reason. #jrfinancesummit2— Mai☪a Fernandვz (@maicaisowlsome) September 12, 2015
Why an MBA is invaluable for people starting their own business http://t.co/Scj2rdqM5K— Inc. (@Inc) September 14, 2015
You can spend $250,000 and 2-3 years of your life to get an MBA or spend a day watching these videos. Your choice. http://t.co/PMP1PXbWLI— Paul Carrick Brunson (@PaulCBrunson) September 15, 2015
"High-quality entrepreneurship classes, experienced professors and talented classmates all played a part in developing my vision. Students are always eager to help others, faculty are open to brainstorming and alumni respond quickly to queries for advice. For me, the defining feature of the programme was the support – support that helped me navigate the concurrent challenges of building a start-up and completing an MBA."
Brynne Herbert, an American who came to study an MBA at London Business School. Now Founder and CEO of MOVE Guides. Quote from London Business School website.
“Questioning the Status Quo is something my MBA will really help me to do. In the oil-and-gas sector, dominated as it is by big companies, innovative thinking can be challenge."
Tom Spooner, originally from the UK, studied his MBA at Berkeley-Haas at the University of California. Now Strategy Advisor at Shell. Quote from Berkeley-Haas website.
Some of the best courses from around the world
Whichever MBA you choose, make sure it's a good one that's right for you. How do you know which is the right one? Here's some quotes from some of the best courses around the world:
"The Durham MBA has been designed with future leaders in mind. Study with us and learn to inspire, motivate and mobilise teams. Gain credibility from Durham’s academic rigour. Become skilled at applying theory to the real world through practical engagement with employers."
Canada – Rotman School of Management, Toronto
Europe/China – China Europe International Business School
"CEIBS aims to create business leaders with a broad skill set as is required for a global and constantly changing environment. CEIBS focuses on ensuring students are able to adopt a global and local perspective, capable of dealing with complex change and are skilled in leading innovation. CEIBS achieve their aims for students by combining solid business training with team collaboration and open communication."
Hong Kong – University of Hong Kong Faculty of Business
"The University of Hong Kong (HKU) MBA is an intensive 14-month full-time MBA programme offered with the option of three streams: the London Track with the London Business School; the New York Track with Columbia Business School; the Hong Kong/China track with Fudan University."
"After completion of the program at IUJ, graduates have not only an MBA, but a unique global perspective, real-world international management experience, and a powerful business network in Japan and in the 80 other countries worldwide where IUJ alumni are government and business leaders. This is the IUJ advantage."
France/Singapore – INSEAD
"INSEAD operates its MBA programme over the course of ten months, across campuses in Europe and Asia. INSEAD uses a combination of study groups, classroom exchange and other techniques including case studies and computer simulations to challenge students’ thinking and change their outlook."
USA – Columbia Business School
"The first year focuses on completing the core curriculum, which provides the foundations for building success in any field. By the end of the first year and throughout the second year students select from a number of electives which offer insights into specialisation areas of expertise."
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