As business careers become increasingly global in nature, prospective students are more concerned than ever about the extent to which their graduate business degree will provide them with opportunities to develop international exposure and experience. A European MBA allows students to obtain a global education that will give them an edge over some of their peers who graduate with degrees from less diverse business schools.
European business schools’ geographical locations, diverse student bodies, and alternative approaches to teaching technical and professional skills offer some advantages over their US counterparts. As a continent, Europe is inherently multicultural, representing a vibrant mixture of nationalities, customs, and languages. US programs, for example, may consist mostly of a single culture with classes of 60% domestic students, whereas European programs range from 85-90% international, with as many as 35-40 different nationalities in the class. In such a diverse atmosphere, students tend to learn they have so much to teach – as well as learn from – the various other cultures represented in the program.
Most European MBA programs have smaller class sizes with programs between 50-70 students. Tight-knit classes and short time frames translate to quick turnaround projects designed to mimic the actual workforce. “Students are expected to work closely in groups to complete projects in as few as a couple of weeks”, say Rick Doyle, Global Marketing Manager at ESMT - Berlin, “...some programs require students to travel in groups to complete their projects. Working in small groups at such a fast pace which allows students to breakdown barriers and explore their strengths as well as identify weak areas that can be focused on throughout the program”.
Finally, European MBAs are also typically shorter than the two-year model offered by most US business schools. Graduating in just 11-18 months minimizes the opportunity cost of pursuing an MBA and allows MBAs to return to the work force sooner. In today’s economy, this structure is very beneficial for candidates who want to minimize risk associated with leaving a job to invest in a full-time graduate business program.
In an increasingly interconnected global market, companies often must do business beyond their borders in order to maintain a dominant presence. Multinational companies recruit heavily on European MBA campuses, recognizing the need for their future global business managers to have a real awareness and understanding of multicultural issues. If you are energized by a multicultural, interconnected world and have a passion for learning about different ways of life and conducting business, you may be the ideal candidate to pursue an MBA in Europe.
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