Friday, May 3, 2013

Getting a European MBA: A Unique Experience

When choosing between business schools in Europe and the United States,  the  main  thing  to  keep  in  mind  is  that  the decision is very personal. Take a good look at the available options and do not let yourself be influenced by rankings. If your background fits in better with a school that may be a little outside the top 10, 20 or 30, don't let that worry you. Here are some of the advantages European business schools have over their overseas counterparts. 

Less Expensive. The two-year program is still considered to be the American standard for the full-time MBA. In Europe, the duration of an MBA program is one year or eighteen months, which becomes less expensive than a two-year program and entails lower overall living costs. Nevertheless the quality of the programs can be very high, which explains the growing number of triple-accredited business schools in Europe.
More Specialized MBA Programs. Europe boasts schools that are known for certain specific  core competencies. Ranked the best European business school by the Financial Times in 2012, IE Business School is, for example, the perfect place to develop your career with its focus on  innovation, diversity and  entrepreneurship.

A More International Network. Reports by GMAC state that 38% of participants in US business school are from foreign countries. The percentage of international  students in European  MBA programs is 83%. Due to this, the teaching language at most business schools in Europe is English. University alliances and exchange programs contribute to  highly diverse and international student bodies, and ultimately expand personal networks and ability to work on a global level. IESE Business School, which offers the fifth best worldwide MBA program according to The Economist in 2012, has between 26 and 28 exchange partners including 16 top US schools, such as Columbia and NYU-Stern. In 2010, IESE became the first European school to open its New York City campus. 

High  MBA Salaries. During times of economic growth or in times of crisis, it is important to have a diploma that employers favor. 87% of the European business school graduates of the class of 2012 was employed after graduation, according to a GMAC survey. Getting a European MBA is also a great opportunity to change careers or find a better job, as 43% of graduates found new employers after graduation. The median starting salary for all management program graduates in the Old Continent is higher by more than US$22,000. Last year, MBA employees in Europe were even better paid than in America – US$108,355 compared to US$100,000.

Better Return on Investment. The Financial Times value-for-money  rankings show that European schools are doing  better than  their  American counterparts. With  all due  critical attitudes towards such calculations and lists, the top 10 European and American  schools would be as follows: The  first  10 are  made  up  of  European institutions and the second 10 are American. The question of business  school quality is open  to debate, and  can  never  be fully resolved. Although, in terms of ROI,  the European MBA seems to be gaining the upper hand.
More Experienced Classmates. The  age  of  MBA students in  Europe is generally   higher   than that of American schools. This   may   give   experienced  professionals who  want  to  go back to school an argument in favour of  the  Old  Continent. On  the  other hand,  US  institutions accept more  a larger number of students in their  programs.

Smaller Classes,  More   Individual Attention. The size and culture of a school are often  overlooked when  considering business schools. In general, US business schools are larger, with  an average intake of 287 full-time MBA students, compared with  124  in Europe. Professors in the US may therefore have a limited amount of time for individual work  with each  student compared with professors in Europe.

Better  Career Mobility. Thanks to the Bologna higher education accord,  European degrees are  recognized in most  countries within the  Eurasian continent, giving unprecedented access to career opportunities worldwide. This  also  means that  MBA  graduates are  not  confined to  working in  the country they  graduated, but  can  benefit from  the pan-European job market.

Cultural Diversity. Cultural differences between European countries shouldn't   be underestimated   when  considering the added value of an MBA program. Historically-built   attitudes  and   social  order  vary greatly and create a secondary learning environment outside the classes.

Language Learning Options. It is a well  known fact  that  a new  language is most   efficiently learned when in the foreign country.  Even   though English is  the  teaching language of MBA programs, students have  the option to perfect their  language skills with native speakers outside of the classroom.

Thinking about a European MBA?  We invite you to learn more by attending the Access MBA One-to-One event on Wednesday, May 22nd 2013 from 4pm to 9:30pm at the Warwick New York Hotel.  Learn more at

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