Canadian considering MBA in Europe


emaychbe

Hi, hoping to get some of your perspectives or ideas. I'm overwhelmed with the options across Europe to be honest, and I don't have a lot of close contacts who have completed an MBA, especially not relocated for an MBA in Europe.
I'm a Canadian citizen, academic & professional background to-date are in agriculture / food science / agribusiness / ag-tech / "green" ag. English is my native language, French is ~B2, Spanish is ~A1. My bachelor's & master's degrees are both from Canadian institutions. I'm 36 and pretty flexible as far as duration and structure of an MBA program could go (this will be determined somewhat by the size (cost of living) of the city, so the larger the city, the more likely I'd prefer eMBA).

My rationale from most to least important are:
-gaining the formal knowledge & business acumen; I've been working increasingly so in the last couple years at the periphery but I get thrown into situations with CEOs or presidents of co's and although some concepts are intuitive, I want to take a hiatus and just focus on strengthening this area of knowledge because I usually sense I'm "in over my head." But I prefer the business aspects more than the scientific/technical.
-cost: 20-25,000 euros. I know, you "get what you pay for" usually, but I've spent a lot on education already.
-European network: I've spent a cumulative ~year in Western Europe to-date, mostly for personal trips, so somewhat familiar. But I'm not able to grow networks there from where I am at the moment. Since I have few anchors where I am now, I want to relocate. The history, climates, lifestyles, attitudes, proximity to other countries, etc... these are all very attractive to me. Maybe lifestyle shouldn't be a factor but it is. I'm tired of -40C winters and extreme consumerism. 
-improving language proficiencies. I want to achieve C1 in both French and Spanish, although maybe I could with French in Quebec, I'd still contend with the weather and lifestyle. I would consider Quebec but much lower on the list than European options.
-potential to work in industries other than agriculture/agri-food, and/or stay working across Europe after.
I haven't written the GMAT and I'm looking at options that don't necessarily require the score. The MBA will be more of a supplement to my work/education experience, rather than the shining beacon on my CV. 

Another question you could ask is, why not just get a job there? I've applied to several, but I still want to strengthen my business related skill set. In my experience, European employers are much more "by the book" - in other words, what the job ad says it's what they want, whereas here, descriptions are vague and I could still get an agribusiness position but feel incompetent the entire time. Right now, my CV says "researcher" much louder than anything else, and I want to get away from that.

The wild card in all of this is how national economies will be recovering from the pandemic, although maybe over ~1 year it shouldn't be a deciding factor...

So, some obvious choices are in Spain & France. The IAE schools in France look appealing, especially somewhere like Nice. I recently applied to one in south Spain but found out some questionable history about their integrity. I gravitate towards the Mediterranean, but there are some interesting "Canadian MBAs" in Warsaw and Bucharest. Budapest is also attractive.
Here are a few I'm looking at:
uc3m (Madrid)
CEU (Madrid)
eserp (Barcelona)
IAE / uni. cote d'azur (Nice)
CEMBA (Warsaw)
Corvinus (Budapest)

Any thoughts would be appreciated.



Thanks!

[Edited by emaychbe on May 06, 2021]

Hi, hoping to get some of your perspectives or ideas. I'm overwhelmed with the options across Europe to be honest, and I don't have a lot of close contacts who have completed an MBA, especially not relocated for an MBA in Europe.<br>I'm a Canadian citizen, academic &amp; professional background to-date are in agriculture / food science / agribusiness / ag-tech / "green" ag. English is my native language, French is ~B2, Spanish is ~A1. My bachelor's &amp; master's degrees are both from Canadian institutions. I'm 36 and pretty flexible as far as duration and structure of an MBA program could go (this will be determined somewhat by the size (cost of living) of the city, so the larger the city, the more likely I'd prefer eMBA).<br><br>My rationale from most to least important are:<br>-gaining the formal knowledge &amp; business acumen; I've been working increasingly so in the last couple years at the periphery but I get thrown into situations with CEOs or presidents of co's and although some concepts are intuitive, I want to take a hiatus and just focus on strengthening this area of knowledge because I usually sense I'm "in over my head." But I prefer the business aspects more than the scientific/technical.<br>-cost: 20-25,000 euros. I know, you "get what you pay for" usually, but I've spent a lot on education already.<br>-European network: I've spent a cumulative ~year in Western Europe to-date, mostly for personal trips, so somewhat familiar. But I'm not able to grow networks there from where I am at the moment. Since I have few anchors where I am now, I want to relocate. The history, climates, lifestyles, attitudes, proximity to other countries, etc... these are all very attractive to me. Maybe lifestyle shouldn't be a factor but it is. I'm tired of -40C winters and extreme consumerism.&nbsp;<br>-improving language proficiencies. I want to achieve C1 in both French and Spanish, although maybe I could with French in Quebec, I'd still contend with the weather and lifestyle. I would consider Quebec but much lower on the list than European options. <br>-potential to work in industries other than agriculture/agri-food, and/or stay working across Europe after.<br>I haven't written the GMAT and I'm looking at options that don't necessarily require the score. The MBA will be more of a supplement to my work/education experience, rather than the shining beacon on my CV.&nbsp;<br><br>Another question you could ask is, why not just get a job there? I've applied to several, but I still want to strengthen my business related skill set. In my experience, European employers are much more "by the book" - in other words, what the job ad says it's what they want, whereas here, descriptions are vague and I could still get an agribusiness position but feel incompetent the entire time. Right now, my CV says "researcher" much louder than anything else, and I want to get away from that.<br><br>The wild card in all of this is how national economies will be recovering from the pandemic, although maybe over ~1 year it shouldn't be a deciding factor...<br><br>So, some obvious choices are in Spain &amp; France. The IAE schools in France look appealing, especially somewhere like Nice. I recently applied to one in south Spain but found out some questionable history about their integrity. I gravitate towards the Mediterranean, but there are some interesting "Canadian MBAs" in Warsaw and Bucharest. Budapest is also attractive.<br>Here are a few I'm looking at:<br>uc3m (Madrid)<br>CEU (Madrid)<br>eserp (Barcelona)<br>IAE / uni. cote d'azur (Nice)<br>CEMBA (Warsaw)<br>Corvinus (Budapest)<br><br>Any thoughts would be appreciated.<br><br><br>
Thanks!
quote
smartcanad...

As a fellow Canadian, I wish you best of luck on your goals!

Some things you might want to consider though:
1) Taking the GMAT will expand your options.  What have you got to lose? You don't even need super high scores unless you are targeting elite European schools.  At worst, you get a low score and then go back to your existing options.  
2) Eastern Europe pays really low salaries.  There's a reason why there are a ton of Eastern European immigrants in Canada and the US.   If it is the allure of a Canadian MBA, then why not just study in Quebec (per one of your other options).  
https://www.topmba.com/jobs/career-trends/mba-salaries-central-and-eastern-europe  

As a fellow Canadian, I wish you best of luck on your goals!<br><br>Some things you might want to consider though:<br>1) Taking the GMAT will expand your options.&nbsp; What have you got to lose? You don't even need super high scores unless you are targeting elite European schools.&nbsp; At worst, you get a low score and then go back to your existing options.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br>2) Eastern Europe pays really low salaries.&nbsp; There's a reason why there are a ton of Eastern European immigrants in Canada and the US.&nbsp; &nbsp;If it is the allure of a Canadian MBA, then why not just study in Quebec (per one of your other options).&nbsp;&nbsp;<br>https://www.topmba.com/jobs/career-trends/mba-salaries-central-and-eastern-europe&nbsp;&nbsp;
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emaychbe

Well, re: GMAT, I haven't spent time preparing to write it, I don't care too much about qualifying for the top schools, and there are options for MBAs without a score. Plus, the cost to write it would be equivalent to fees to apply to ~2 schools. I suppose there are a few affordable options in Canada (like HEC) that still require the score, but my priority is EU. Lastly, to prepare, then schedule & write it - might delay to the point that I miss most deadlines at schools of interest to me.
True about east europe salaries, but I wouldn't necessarily stay forever in the place where I study. Then it gives me the experience of living in a new culture that I wouldn't otherwise get staying in Canada.
Thanks!

Well, re: GMAT, I haven't spent time preparing to write it, I don't care too much about qualifying for the top schools, and there are options for MBAs without a score. Plus, the cost to write it would be equivalent to fees to apply to ~2 schools. I suppose there are a few affordable options in Canada (like HEC) that still require the score, but my priority is EU. Lastly, to prepare, then schedule &amp; write it - might delay to the point that I miss most deadlines at schools of interest to me.<br>True about east europe salaries, but I wouldn't necessarily stay forever in the place where I study. Then it gives me the experience of living in a new culture that I wouldn't otherwise get staying in Canada.<br>Thanks!
quote
Duncan

Did you complete high school in Canada? If so, you have spent several years preparing for the GMAT. It's not like you need to spend 50 or 100 hours on the GMAT, especially since European GMAt scores are generally lower, and you'll probably have better skills than most European in English, which is the language the GMAT is conducted in

Did you complete high school in Canada? If so, you have spent several years preparing for the GMAT. It's not like you need to spend 50 or 100 hours on the GMAT, especially since European GMAt scores are generally lower, and you'll probably have better skills than most European in English, which is the language the GMAT is conducted in
quote
emaychbe

I did yes. I guess that's a good point. 

Any thoughts about those specific schools listed? At this phase of life and career, I just can't justify another CAD 40-60k on a top level school.

I did yes. I guess that's a good point.&nbsp;<br><br>Any thoughts about those specific schools listed? At this phase of life and career, I just can't justify another CAD 40-60k on a top level school.
quote
Duncan

You don't have clear career goals. I suspect that you need a state university's year-long intensive language programme rather than a management degree. For example: https://iefe.www.univ-montp3.fr/fr/cours-semestriels 

You don't have clear career goals. I suspect that you need a state university's year-long intensive language programme rather than a management degree. For example: https://iefe.www.univ-montp3.fr/fr/cours-semestriels&nbsp;
quote
emaychbe

It's to move out of technical into management/leadership within the same industry, in an English-speaking organization in a European geography. 

It's to move out of technical into management/leadership within the same industry, in an English-speaking organization in a European geography.&nbsp;
quote
Duncan

Like the World Food Organisation? 

Like the World Food Organisation?&nbsp;
quote
emaychbe

I like the scope of their operations, but I prefer private industry and also a smaller, less bureaucratic type of organization.

In my experience, there are few connections between academic researchers, and groups that can actually do something with the technology. So some role related to business development, but demanding deep understanding of ag/food/biotech/ag value chains, in a global context: Anticipating where technologies are shifting, and how current and upcoming regulatory changes will fit together. (a timely example would be carbon reductions and impacts/opportunities on-farm, infrastructure implications, economic impacts and changes related to them, etc).

I like the scope of their operations, but I prefer private industry and also a smaller, less bureaucratic type of organization.<br><br>In my experience, there are few connections between academic researchers, and groups that can actually do something with the technology. So some role related to business development, but demanding deep understanding of ag/food/biotech/ag value chains, in a global context: Anticipating where technologies are shifting, and how current and upcoming regulatory changes will fit together. (a timely example would be carbon reductions and impacts/opportunities on-farm, infrastructure implications, economic impacts and changes related to them, etc).
quote
emaychbe

As Spain is my first choice, I've noticed some weird things on some MBA course sites. Here's an example: https://barcelona.euruni.edu/programs/mba-barcelona/mba-in-international-business indicates their MBA is a combination of 2 others, including UCAM's (which on its own is half the price). UCAM is also affiliated here http://isae.es/international-mba-100-english/. I came across some sketchy operations of UCAM in the past, has there been some noteworthy changes or is each institution regurgitating the same program? 

As Spain is my first choice, I've noticed some weird things on some MBA course sites. Here's an example: https://barcelona.euruni.edu/programs/mba-barcelona/mba-in-international-business indicates their MBA is a combination of 2 others, including UCAM's (which on its own is half the price). UCAM is also affiliated here http://isae.es/international-mba-100-english/. I came across some sketchy operations of UCAM in the past, has there been some noteworthy changes or is each institution regurgitating the same program?&nbsp;
quote

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