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LOOK TO THE FUTURE: AN MBA ABROAD - IS IT AN OPTION?

With the 2008 meltdown it is more apparent than ever that 'the global economy is undergoing somewhat of a seismic shift at the moment, as the old powerhouses of Japan, Europe and America are chased down by the rapidly growing economies of China and India'. One of the considerations when choosing an business school at which to study must be, how many overseas students from these economies will you be able to rub shoulders with whilst completing your degree or masters? China, in particular, is popularly seen as to be the nation that is "coming to the fore in the global economy". "In the near future [lets say now], it is (going to be) the place to do business with and if someone has experience with or contacts in Chinese business, they are bound to be sought after. So how can UK [US or European] MBA students gain that vital link to the increasingly important Chinese economy?"

I guess the first consideration however is to find out which business schools have the best reputation. According to graduateshotline dot com this is the list.


Best Management Schools, Top Business Schools

Top MBA programs outside USA

1. INSEAD, France
2. IMD, Switzerland
3. London Business School, UK
4. Toronto (Rotman), Canada
5. Western Ontario (Ivey)
6. Rotterdam School of Management (Erasmus)
7. IESE
8. University of Oxford (Said)
9. Instituto de Empresas, Spain
10. SDA Bocconi, Italy
11. Warwick Business School
12. University of Cambridge (Judge)
13. University Manchester Institute of Science & Technology, UK
14. Queen's, Canada
15. Manitoba, Canada
16. University of Melbourne, Australia
17. York University, Canada

UK

1. London Business School
2. U Manchester Institute of Science & Technology
3. Warwick
4. London School of Economics
5. Lancaster

Australia

1. University of Melbourne
2. University of New South Wales
3. University of Adelaide
4. Macquarie University, Macquarie Graduate School of Management
5. Monash Mount Eliza Business School

Top Business Schools USA

1. Harvard Business School
2. Stanford
3. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
4. Northwestern (Kellogg)
5. Columbia
6. Duke (Fuqua)
7. Virginia (Darden)
8. MIT (Sloan)
9. University of Chicago
10. University of Michigan
11. UNC Chapel-Hill (Kenan-Flagler)
12. University of California?Berkeley (Haas)
13. Dartmouth (Tuck)
14. UCLA (Anderson)
15. New York University
16. Yale University (CT)
17. Carnegie Mellon
18. Texas-Austin
19. Vanderbilt (Owen)
20. Indiana University?Bloomington (Kelley)

Now that's one heck of a list to choose from however how many overseas students are there at each institution. I checked one school "8. University of Oxford (Said)" -2009- and they stated on there site that "14% of undergraduate students at Oxford are international, currently representing 130 different countries", which different countries they didn't specify. You will need to do your research when contacting those institutions and you must if Asia is in your sights ask that question. One note of caution: Before you decide that China is the future for you you should also seriously consider India as another option. Having worked in both I believe you will likely find it easier to assimilate in India. Now if you haven't been to India the country itself is a dramatic culture shock however, most of the business people speak English which makes the critical issue of communication a little easier to cope with.

Again as another writer puts it: 'One of the easier ways to build up your contacts with future business leaders from India or China is to meet them at one of the leading UK [US or European] schools, MBA training or an executive education [should include this type of contact/exposure]... so attending one of these schools creates good networking opportunities.' Well this may be true however remember cultural differences and general mistrust by foreign students who tend to stick together will mean you will have to work hard to make meaningful long lasting and profitable relationships with 'foreign' students. Another thing to consider is to choose an MBA course that allows for a semester working in say China (or India) itself to help develop vital language skills and 'network with Chinese or Indian companies and individuals'. According to China's Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU) "Every foreigner that has studied Chinese has heard the name Beijing Language and Culture University. This school's fame comes from the fact that it is China's only university specifically designed to teach foreigners Chinese language and culture. This school has more international students than any other institution in China." the university boasts "partnerships with 157 universities from 31 countries in the world". Again according to one writer on the subject 'graduates from such courses are in demand as they are presumed to have the skills required to work well in an alien culture' and "needless to say, the salaries paid to graduates with such expertise are higher". Best of luck in your search for the right place to gain your overseas exposure and opportunities.

So as you sit there staring at the blank qualifications space on your resume form which university's MBA do you think will serve you best?




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