Business studies are a way for young graduate professionals with considerable work experience to get new, up-to-date knowledge that is not available in many classic-style university study programmes.
What does an international MBA offer that a degree from a home-grown institute doesn’t? Does the word ‘international’ mean only attending B-schools in the U.S. or Europe? If it does, then why do European & US students reach out to business schools in other countries to do their MBA?
Many in the field will explain this word (‘international’) by way of diversity among students in the class. Universities would be wary if their student pool had the majority of students from one particular culture, community or country.
So, you’d notice almost all the B-schools will more or less be open to sharing the diversity of their students in terms of gender, nationality, culture, and the like. Even US and European students prefer to pursue their course from a place that gives them the opportunity to study in a more multicultural environment. Then you can basically work with just about anyone, anywhere in the world.
And then, of course, it looks good on your CV as well!
Now, let’s come to the point. What are the benefits of an international MBA degree? Quite a few. Let’s go through this one by one. For all of you out there, one reason could be more important than others so this list is definitely not in any order of priority.
1. Hands-on approach
As a rule, people with academic degrees and a clear vision of business conduct found business schools, resulting in a learning process that combines academic knowledge and practical applications. Business schools are usually located in modern buildings in the very heart of big cities such as Washington, California or New York.
Business schools usually provide a wide range of degrees and specialities, including programs such as:
- MBA Programs with various specialisation. These include MBA dual degrees offering two diplomas for the completion of a single study programme.
- Master’s programs in International Business, Finance, Marketing and International Law, including dual degree programs in International Business and Finance.
- Bachelor’s programs allowing students to enrol during the 1st and 3rd year of study.
- Professional programs in Financial Accounting, Management Accounting and Marketing and more.
- Short-courses and business seminars.
- Training programs in English.
Most business schools like N.L. Dalmia in Mumbai provides a comfortable study environment, in spacious classrooms equipped with the latest technologies and huge libraries. All students have access to the modern databases that include business-related materials as well as diverse scientific works.
2.Part of a Global Network
Classes with a reduced number of students are another advantage offered by business schools. Students receive maximum attention from teachers, a chance to speak their minds and many opportunities to test their skills in class activities.
Most business students are 25 to 40 years old. Apart from the useful exchange of information between students, business schools hire teachers working as managers in international companies. Some universities have successfully established relations with world-renowned brands and corporations, many of which offer student internship.
Business school students become part of a global network system, a community exchanging experience and knowledge with peers around the world. Business school graduates may even start partnerships based on relationships and connections created during their years of study.
3.Employment as an integral part of education
Business schools offer great attention to the employment needs of their graduates. Many people looking for a career change enrol in business schools in order to receive occupational retraining. Such educational institutions have a large database of employers and promote graduate employability to companies. Business schools also organise periodic job fairs, which are an excellent opportunity for students to meet potential employers.
The target audience for business studies is employed people who do not have time to follow a study programme abroad. Recently, many educational institutions are implementing online education methods. Distance learning is becoming increasingly popular among students and, according to recent statistics, the annual growth of online programs worldwide is more than 300%! Classes are delivered through interactive learning platforms, specially developed by the business school.
5.Gets you closer to your dream job
Most students who enrol for an international MBA, are professionals. They have a few years of work experience post which they opt for higher study. So, they are already earning a decent amount.
Yet a foreign degree shines brightly on your CV giving you an edge over other competitors at the workplace. Higher the ranking of the B-school you graduated from, better chances of your dream company hiring you. And in a leadership role! You stand in good stead to take over a role in senior management, as that’s what an international MBA degree trains you in.
Following a global curriculum in terms of business, marketing, management, sales and operations along with understanding the various facets of leadership from an international perspective makes you understand business in a different way. You get the confidence to work in any organisation in any part of the world. The Financial Times says as of January 1, 2015, almost 31% of the world’s 500 largest listed companies by market capitalisation are led by an MBA graduate.
6.Expands your professional footprint
For many professionals, stagnation sets in quite early in the career. After a year or two of learning, it generally more of the same in the years to follow. The biggest culprit is the lack of variety at work.
For bosses, it’s more productive to get an experienced employee to continue doing what they have been doing for years. This is why the learning stops and the daily routine becomes a mechanical chore.
One big advantage of an international MBA degree is it gives you the chance to expand your area of interest. From a business operations profile, you can learn about business development, or from manufacturing, you can go into consulting. The program is developed in such a manner that it ensures you get an overall perspective and necessary training to shift your career focus.
7. Gets you back into school
Talk to the MBA aspirants, and you’d know that one of the reasons why they want to ditch their job or life they are living, is to take a break and do something constructive in the period.
There’s nothing better than going back to being a student – sitting down in a room full of people who don’t know you, jotting down informative content, looking up at the professor with eyes full of awe at the knowledge that s/he is spewing.
Well, you do end up spending a fortune on this experience, but actually taking time off work is could give you a much-needed break from all the corporate baggage you’ve been carrying all along.
You don’t have to carry your office with you anywhere, no late night office calls, no travel for work. There will be time to think of that business idea you have been toying with in your head. You can chit-chat with new friends and do not feel the urge to network with them for work. It can be quite an experience being a student again.
8.Expands your network
As a business professional, one of the key requirements of your job is to network with people from various industries. In fact, almost all companies encourage their employees to network with people other than their colleagues. You never know which connection gets you more work.
And while pursuing an international MBA, you have the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals from various industries, from around the world. It is the best setting to make lifelong friends and extend these partnerships beyond the classroom.
Some of them may just go to head some top-notch organisation later in life. And that’s not all. B-schools like N.L. Dalmia tends to nurture their alumni so as to have an extended network of their wards. You’d have access to such a huge alumni network too who can always counsel, mentor and even help you find a good job.
The professors and guest lecturers from various disciplines and industries to shoot up the excitement factor of these degrees. You can learn so much from these accomplished people from various walks of life. These will be invaluable connections.
9.Feeds your entrepreneurial ideas
Most B-school students and even those working in the world of business, keep getting ideas about starting their own business. Some of them do pursue them and also are successful, but some fail at it.
An international university environment gives you a first-hand experience of meeting such a diverse crowd who come from various nationalities, communities and languages. You can learn from them the hows, whys and whats of starting a business and being successful at it. You’d know what may work and what wouldn’t in your kind of environment.
The course curriculum dissects the phenomenon of entrepreneurship and offers opportunities to students to work together in teams on some such projects. That would be almost like getting practical training in starting your own business someday.
10.Gets you out of your comfort zone
On your MBA application form, you’d list down reasons that make you competent enough to be considered eligible for admission. These would invariably include having studied at some of the best institutes in your own country, work experience with a coveted brand, and your role in the growth of the company. That’s really good.
But when you go out there in a foreign land, you’d see that you are not alone. There will be students as successful as you (if not more) all around you. That will be your OMG moment.
You’d have to do everything to prove yourself to you once again, probably unlearn what you already know, and learn a new skill every day. Maybe learn a new language. But the good thing is, you can expect your fellow students to be wiser and mature with their past experience, hence there will be a lot of teamwork, cooperation and knowledge sharing. There will be more opportunity to learn how to manage a diverse team. Learning in such an atmosphere can be really satisfying.
There are other benefits that we haven’t covered (like a high compensation package that could cause your peers to go green with envy). All these come with strings attached and there are no guarantees that you may reap some (or any) of the 6 that we’ve covered here. We’ve covered these in other articles. Read them as well, rather than getting bedazzled for these reasons.
Look at the decision from your personal point of view and decide if you should or shouldn’t go for an international MBA.