Choosing an MBA is the business
Help us choose the best business school for you
Embarking upon MBA study is not something that you can choose to do on a whim, it needs meticulous planning, right from the minute you decide to sit the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) to the finishing touches to your robe at gradation.
Remember when you studied your undergraduate degree and it was perfectly acceptable, and somewhat revered, to be lackadaisical and languid? Relish the past, bask in it, for the MBA is not going to mollycoddle you…it means business.
If you are planning to do an MBA, you need to ensure that the course you choose is right for you. As the MBA itself requires a great deal of investment in your time, energy (and especially) your finances, choosing the right MBA is crucial. Researching the institutions and course you are considering taking is paramount to making your final decision, here are some of the things you need to take into account when deliberating over which degree is best for you:
Where should I study?
There is of course a financial incentive attached to studying close to home, especially when you already have significant costs to take into consideration, in relation to the course itself and living expenses which you will accrue on top of that.
Broadening your horizons is generally looked on favourably by prospective employers, therefore if there is course which is suited for you, in a university abroad, many professionals may advise that you opt for that one over one in your home country. If that is not financially viable, or if the MBA in your home country is markedly better than others on offer, then pursuing an internship abroad is advisable. In today’s global world, having international experience outwith your comfort zone, whether it be from work or study, is going to make you that bit more of a desirable candidate. Moving abroad and simultaneously starting an MBA can be daunting, visit the Just Landed website to take the weight off your shoulders, we’re here to help.
In this instance it is worth researching the specific university you are interested in, as they may have partnerships with other universities abroad.
Lone-wolf or social animal
An MBA isn’t always just about what you learn, it’s also about who you learn it with. Making contacts while you study can be essential for networking in future business. When you are choosing where to study, you should be asking questions related to what professional experience fellow students have, and where their interests lie in order that you can maximise your learning environment.
Choosing universities with strong links to their alumnus can be beneficial as this may stand you in better stead with future employment, as you automatically become part of a ‘club’. Take a look at the latest league table, created by The Economist, which ranks business schools according to their alumni. This being said, a university with a strong reputation will also count for something. Look at MBA league tables when deciding what institution will be worthwhile looking into, remember to look at the breakdown of figures as each institution has strengths in different areas!
Tuition fees at London Business School will set you back a massive £67,750. Although LBS is a highly regarded school, and there will be more reasonably priced schools available, fees for MBAs are always going to be dramatically higher than those of undergraduate study. It is important to be prepared for this eventuality. As studying for an MBA is an expensive undertaking, planning how you are going to finance it can be is just as important as planning which MBA to study.
Every individual situation is different, some people may take on an MBA while in full-time employment and may also receive sponsorship from their employer in exchange for commitment to the company. If eligible, MBA students can apply for scholarships, these can be supplied through the university, or through independent bodies, and always worth looking into when applying for your course. Pre-2008, banks and building societies handed out loans to most prospective MBA students, this is a practice which is slowly but surely beginning again, yet is not as straightforward as it had been been.
How can I broaden my horizons if I want to study in English?
There is an ever increasing number of English-taught MBAs which you can choose from and in order to remain competitive many European universities are now offering their MBA courses in English as standard. To make your search a little easier, and succinct, we have compiled a list of the European MBAs which we consider as the best on offer at the moment.
As a prominent country in Europe, Belgium is a great choice for studying an MBA. It attracts students from all around the world as a result of its educational, social, economic and political prestige. We have selected two MBA programmes offered in Belgium which we feel will help accelerate your professional progression.
Located in Brussels, Belgium at Solvay Brussels School, The Solvay Executive MBA is completely executive-friendly. Having focused courses in the evenings and on weekends, it gives you total freedom to complete your degree in one year or two. If your business goals are on the fast-track, the one-year program is ideal by focusing classes in just two week-ends per month.
The course mixes theory and practice with real case studies, group work, field trips, and more. The classes are kept small so that each student fully engage in meaningful discussion and develop personal relationships with professors and fellow students.
The Executive MBA is based on a strong foundation of core courses combined with Solvay Labs and the Career Advancement Program. Those three parts complement each other in a virtuous process, so that you can immediately start applying what you learn in the classroom to the real world.
Many Solvay students find jobs or start new ventures while they are taking classes. As an executive MBA program, their goal is to see you simultaneously thrive in business and in the classroom.
Rated number 1 by the Financial Times for Best Business School 2014 in the Benelux region, studying at Vlerick is a smart choice. Belgium is small but plentiful and at the Vlerick Business School there are three Belgian campuses available, so you can choose which part of Belgium suits you best and which schedule meets your needs in: Gent, Leuven or Brussels. There is also a campus situated in St Petersburg in Russia. Vlerick Business school offers an 18 month course which focuses on leadership development and management capabilities. In order to gain international experience and enhance multicultural communication skills: trips to USA, Brazil, China or South Africa are expected as part of the curriculum.
Germany is an ideal location to study an MBA; its unrelenting focus on high quality education and the fact that it is the powerhouse of Europe, make it an enviable choice for an MBA destination. Germany has an inviting atmosphere for foreign professionals and students alike. We have selected the Kellogg WHU EMBA as the best MBA on offer in Germany.
This 21 month MBA programme is a joint effort between the WHU in Germany and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, USA. The benefits of this partnership is that the style of business taught is an integration of European and American systems, so international learning is at the fore of the programme.
This MBA is ranked as the number one MBA programme in Germany and among the EMBA programmes available in Europe, the Kellogg WHU is ranked within the top fifteen, and twenty five worldwide.It has a strong emphasis on general management in order to develop its professionals into capable, global leaders. They have upcoming information and interview days for which you can register for on their website.
Not only are there be opportunities to study at the US campuses, in Chicago and Miami, there will also be opportunities to study a term or two at one of the Kellogg WHU has partner schools in China, Israel, Hong Kong or Canada.
Studying abroad in Russia will diversify your CV incredibly. Not only will you have the opportunity to learn Russian, you will be able to immerse yourself in an altogether different business culture, something which will make you stand out from the crowd and undoubtedly add to your appeal.
Vlerick Business school offers a 20 month course which focuses on leadership development and management capabilities. The course is structured in such a way that it makes full-time work a possibility whilst studying.
In order to gain even more international experience and enhance multicultural communication skills, trips to USA, Brazil, China or South Africa are expected as part of the curriculum. Studying in St Petersburg is a great way to expand your network, as you will meet some of the most dedicated and serious professionals studying here, the renowned Vlerick Business School has strong connections to local and international businesses, perfect for professional development,
Vlerick Business School, St Petersburg has three other campuses in Belgium.
Studying in Spain is perfect if you wish to learn a new language while enjoying one of the most enviable, and enjoyable, lifestyles in the world. Quell the mañana myth by seeing Spanish businesses at work: longer days don’t necessarily equate to longer lunches followed by sleepy siestas. Spain is the bridge between Europe and the burgeoning economies of Latin America, so it is an excellent choice for MBA study.
At Toulouse Business School in Barcelona you have all the benefits of a French education, while situated in one of the most beautiful and cosmopolitan cities in Europe, Barcelona. TBS offer an MSc in Finance or an Msc in Marketing as part of their business masters programmes. The semester of the masters programme will be taught between Toulouse and Barcelona, yet the subsequent semesters can be spent in Barcelona. There is an emphasis on skills based learning at TBS, the masters programmes available have a strong focus on work experience earned as a part of the programme and skills which can be developed from that. The programmes are full time and run from 18-24 months depending on which programme of study you select.
The student profile is young professional and aspiring management. TBS has EQUIS, AMBA, AACSB accreditations while also having contact with more than 145 institutions worldwide, ensuring your business network is plentiful.
If these countries all sound fantastic and you’re not sure where you’d like to go…why not look into the Euro*MBA. Revered as one of the best distance learning programmes, this will allow you to take in the culture and business that all of Europe has to offer!
This is the best course for those who wish to travel while studying; are working full-time or have familial commitments which make full-time on-campus enrolment impossible. Additionally, it is also an ideal course for international experience.
A high importance is placed on multicultural learning, teamwork and different business practices within the global world. The course lasts 24 months and can be done as a distance learner. The Economist rates this course within the Top 4 of Distance Learning MBAs. This MBA is inclusive of several different countries within Europe which makes distance learning easier and international experience essential as they offer 6 week residential placements which take place at one of its partner schools in Europe. The business schools the Euro*MBA incorporates are the following:
- AUDIENCIA Nantes Ecole de Management (France)
- EADA – Escuela de Alta Dirección y Administración (Spain)
- HHL – Leipzig Graduate School of Management (Germany)
- IAE Aix Graduate School of Management (France)
- Kozminski University (Poland)
- Maastricht University School of Business and Economics / Postgraduate Education (The Netherlands)
This course also boasts AMBA (British accreditation), AACSB (American accreditation) and Equis (European accreditation). So you can take your pick of which university and where you would like to study!
Wrapping it all up…
If you are still undecided or set on somewhere, attending is a great way of consolidating information on prospective universities, find out when and where your nearest upcoming event is. If attending one of these fairs is not feasible, then The Economist is hosting a virtual MBA Fair between the 12th – 14th May for which you can register now.
Sometimes the process and the product are a lot to handle, especially if you are juggling other commitments with your studies., here are some useful MBA graduate testimonials and articles to show that you’re not alone:
- Go Abroad!
- Application Survival
- The long and difficult road to business school
- How to choose an MBA
- Interested in studying for an MBA?
- FT MBA Blog
- From MBA to CEO: what business schools CEOs attended
It’s a lot to take in, we know. We just hope that the Just Landed team can help you wherever you plan to go. From the logistics of moving to the essentials of where to source a good eatery, we’re here.