Hanken or SSE Riga for EMBA?


Good evening. I have spoken to both Hanken, and SSE Riga about their EMBA programs, and both seem very good. I am from the US, and will be attending either program in person - while continuing in my current job here, until I am well into either program and it makes sense to re-locate. My primary goals are: Network in northern europe, scandinavia, and the baltic - as this is where I would like to end up settling after the programs conclusion. I am in a director level role at my current company (energy industry), looking to make the jump to working in the region of both programs, hopefully making my way into the C-suite as a result.

The SSE Riga EMBA is a bit cheaper, has better name recognition (for me in the US anyway), and is in a far more affordable location - so it currently sits atop the list if choosing between the two.

However, I know Hanken is a joint venture with SSE, and I imagine it has a great reputation regionally as well?

If choosing between the two, are there any big differences I should be aware of in terms of reputation regionally or in Europe? Or any big differences in the programs themselves that could potentially sway me in one direction or the other?

Thank you all,

Good evening. I have spoken to both Hanken, and SSE Riga about their EMBA programs, and both seem very good. I am from the US, and will be attending either program in person - while continuing in my current job here, until I am well into either program and it makes sense to re-locate. My primary goals are: Network in northern europe, scandinavia, and the baltic - as this is where I would like to end up settling after the programs conclusion. I am in a director level role at my current company (energy industry), looking to make the jump to working in the region of both programs, hopefully making my way into the C-suite as a result.

The SSE Riga EMBA is a bit cheaper, has better name recognition (for me in the US anyway), and is in a far more affordable location - so it currently sits atop the list if choosing between the two.

However, I know Hanken is a joint venture with SSE, and I imagine it has a great reputation regionally as well?

If choosing between the two, are there any big differences I should be aware of in terms of reputation regionally or in Europe? Or any big differences in the programs themselves that could potentially sway me in one direction or the other?

Thank you all,
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Duncan

Hanken, of course, is not a JV with the SSE. It is a free standing business university that has some joint executive education initiatives with the SSE. 

SSE Riga is separate from SSE and its graduates are not alumni of the SSE itself. 

PS These are profoundly national schools. I doubt that either has much of a brand in the USA. 

[Edited by Duncan on Jan 16, 2021]

Hanken, of course, is not a JV with the SSE. It is a free standing business university that has some joint executive education initiatives with the SSE.&nbsp;<br><br>SSE Riga is separate from SSE and its graduates are not alumni of the SSE itself.&nbsp;<br><br>PS These are profoundly national schools. I doubt that either has much of a brand in the USA.&nbsp;
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Duncan, thank you for the quick response. 

You are correct that there isn’t a brand for either here in the US. However, my main focus is the networking and experience piece in the region in which the programs are taught - with the hope of employment there post graduation. 

With that in mind, does either of these programs stick out to you? They are at the top of my range in terms of both $ and academic quality. I won’t be taking the GMAT, and my undergraduate GPA was nothing to write to mom about. 

Thanks, 

Duncan, thank you for the quick response.&nbsp;<br><br>You are correct that there isn’t a brand for either here in the US. However, my main focus is the networking and experience piece in the region in which the programs are taught - with the hope of employment there post graduation.&nbsp;<br><br>With that in mind, does either of these programs stick out to you? They are at the top of my range in terms of both $ and academic quality. I won’t be taking the GMAT, and my undergraduate GPA was nothing to write to mom about.&nbsp;<br><br>Thanks,&nbsp;
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Duncan

No, I think you have some mistaken assumptions. I don't think either of these would be the most effective investment of time and money to meet your goals. 

No, I think you have some mistaken assumptions. I don't think either of these would be the most effective investment of time and money to meet your goals.&nbsp;
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Duncan

There isn't a single labour market across these countries in any meaningful way. There are  substantial differences in language and culture. I have to assume you are a US resident of Baltic heritage with the right to work in the EU but without professional fluency in a regional language.

There isn't a single labour market across these countries in any meaningful way. There are&nbsp; substantial differences in language and culture. I have to assume you are a US resident of Baltic heritage with the right to work in the EU but without professional fluency in a regional language.
quote

No, I think you have some mistaken assumptions. I don't think either of these would be the most effective investment of time and money to meet your goals. 


Okay, thank you for the input. Do you have any suggestions as to which programs in the region could potentially be better for my goals? 

I have spent a significant amount of time in the region yes. I speak fairly good Russian, and have studied in St Petersburg. I have some strong connections in the region in terms of personal friendships, and love that part of the world, however I do not have a professional network there. 

SSE Riga and Hanken stood out initially because of their prestige in the region. As I understand it SSE Riga falls under the SSE umbrella and is therefor included in their FT ranking. Although this could be for advertising purposes only and not carry much real world weight? 

Any push in the right direction would be helpful. With transitioning into expat position in Scandinavia / the Baltic’s in mind as an end goal. 

[Edited by LandCruiserX on Jan 16, 2021]

[quote]No, I think you have some mistaken assumptions. I don't think either of these would be the most effective investment of time and money to meet your goals.&nbsp; [/quote]<br><br>Okay, thank you for the input. Do you have any suggestions as to which programs in the region could potentially be better for my goals?&nbsp;<br><br>I have spent a significant amount of time in the region yes. I speak fairly good Russian, and have studied in St Petersburg. I have some strong connections in the region in terms of personal friendships, and love that part of the world, however I do not have a professional network there.&nbsp;<br><br>SSE Riga and Hanken stood out initially because of their prestige in the region. As I understand it SSE Riga falls under the SSE umbrella and is therefor included in their FT ranking. Although this could be for advertising purposes only and not carry much real world weight?&nbsp;<br><br>Any push in the right direction would be helpful. With transitioning into expat position in Scandinavia / the Baltic’s in mind as an end goal.&nbsp;
quote
Duncan

Given your self limiting choices about the GMAT and budget, I think you need to pick one country, learn a local language and consider MBA alternates. For example, learn Danish and take the HD at CBS. 

Given your self limiting choices about the GMAT and budget, I think you need to pick one country, learn a local language and consider MBA alternates. For example, learn Danish and take the HD at CBS.&nbsp;
quote
Duncan

SSE games the ranking by including EMBA graduates  from its daughter schools in St Petersburg and Riga, whose earnings are boosted by PPP and thus lift SSE in the rankings. That doesn't mean Latvian employers will hire from the EMBA.

Your degree would not be from the SSE itself, but from a similarly named school that has never been part of SSE, and whose alumni have a rather tenuous connection to the SSE (which plays a very different, elite, old-money role in Sweden, rather like the HSG in Switzerland or Nyenrode in the Netherlands). In that sense, both brand position and in terms of independence,  it's unlike Henley Finland or Vlerick in St Petersburg, which are mere subdivisions.

I have some experience working in the former USSR, in the Baltic region and Ukraine, and speak some Russian. My experience: Speaking Russian and not the indigenous language puts expats into the parallel Russian ecosystems where patronage is key. Your mileage may differ. 

[Edited by Duncan on Jan 16, 2021]

SSE games the ranking by including EMBA graduates&nbsp; from its daughter schools in St Petersburg and Riga, whose earnings are boosted by PPP and thus lift SSE in the rankings. That doesn't mean Latvian employers will hire from the EMBA.<br><br>Your degree would not be from the SSE itself, but from a similarly named school that has never been part of SSE, and whose alumni have a rather tenuous connection to the SSE (which plays a very different, elite, old-money role in Sweden, rather like the HSG in Switzerland or Nyenrode in the Netherlands). In that sense, both brand position and in terms of independence,&nbsp; it's unlike Henley Finland or Vlerick in St Petersburg, which are mere subdivisions.<br><br>I have some experience working in the former USSR, in the Baltic region and Ukraine, and speak some Russian. My experience: Speaking Russian and not the indigenous language puts expats into the parallel Russian ecosystems where patronage is key. Your mileage may differ.&nbsp;
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Thank you for the valuable information once more Duncan. 

Are there any MBAs in the Baltic that hold more weight than SSE Riga? Networking being at the top of the list. Or should the region just be avoided all together for this? 

It seemed initially that Hanken would be a solid choice with its Triple Accreditation but I am having second thoughts on that as well. 

Are there any good Scandinavian options I have potentially missed? I do often sell myself short - in the sense of which schools are potentially feasible for me to gain admission to. 

Thanks, 

Thank you for the valuable information once more Duncan.&nbsp;<br><br>Are there any MBAs in the Baltic that hold more weight than SSE Riga? Networking being at the top of the list. Or should the region just be avoided all together for this?&nbsp;<br><br>It seemed initially that Hanken would be a solid choice with its Triple Accreditation but I am having second thoughts on that as well.&nbsp;<br><br>Are there any good Scandinavian options I have potentially missed? I do often sell myself short - in the sense of which schools are potentially feasible for me to gain admission to.&nbsp;<br><br>Thanks,&nbsp;
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Duncan

You will have seen that people from the Nordic and Baltic regions generally go out of the area to take a full time MBA. In terms of MBA networks CBS, BI and NHH have dominance in the Nordic and Baltic regions, and the Norwegian schools dominate the energy industry. Almost any of the top 20 European b schools will have a better network across those regions than niche players that serve the one city, like Riga, or one niche, like Swedish Finns. 

You will have seen that people from the Nordic and Baltic regions generally go out of the area to take a full time MBA. In terms of MBA networks CBS, BI and NHH have dominance in the Nordic and Baltic regions, and the Norwegian schools dominate the energy industry. Almost any of the top 20 European b schools will have a better network across those regions than niche players that serve the one city, like Riga, or one niche, like Swedish Finns.&nbsp;
quote
Duncan

But, per dollar and per hour language courses will totally give you a better lift than an MBA. 

But, per dollar and per hour language courses will totally give you a better lift than an MBA.&nbsp;
quote

But, per dollar and per hour language courses will totally give you a better lift than an MBA. 


Great information, exactly what I was looking for. 

Thank you for the feedback and hope this can be of help to others in a similar situation. 

[quote]But, per dollar and per hour language courses will totally give you a better lift than an MBA.&nbsp; [/quote]<br><br>Great information, exactly what I was looking for.&nbsp;<br><br>Thank you for the feedback and hope this can be of help to others in a similar situation.&nbsp;
quote

After more research this weekend I am still left with some questions. 

Duncan, I am failing to see the disconnect between SSE Riga and SSE you speak of? I have looked through every article I can find online, every ranking, review, etc. In all of these rankings they are viewed for that purpose as SSE - with Riga and SPB under the umbrella. The cost, name, and websites, certainly suggest the same.

I understand from the factor of networking in the purest sense that SSE Riga, is NOT SSE - in that it is a satellite campus. However as part of the EMBA you do modules in both Stockholm at SSE, and SPB at SSE SPB. 

If an American were to do their EMBA at SSE Riga, and look for work in Sweden post-graduation, would there really be some huge disconnect and nose turn up at the credential? 

In terms of programs in the Baltic, are there any other reasonable alternatives to SSE Riga? It seems far and beyond better than its competitors in the region. 

I have also looked into the EMBA at Aalto, but based on your feedback thus far that one might be a wash as well. 

After more research this weekend I am still left with some questions.&nbsp;<br><br>Duncan, I am failing to see the disconnect between SSE Riga and SSE you speak of? I have looked through every article I can find online, every ranking, review, etc. In all of these rankings they are viewed for that purpose as SSE - with Riga and SPB under the umbrella. The cost, name, and websites, certainly suggest the same.<br><br>I understand from the factor of networking in the purest sense that SSE Riga, is NOT SSE - in that it is a satellite campus. However as part of the EMBA you do modules in both Stockholm at SSE, and SPB at SSE SPB.&nbsp;<br><br>If an American were to do their EMBA at SSE Riga, and look for work in Sweden post-graduation, would there really be some huge disconnect and nose turn up at the credential?&nbsp;<br><br>In terms of programs in the Baltic, are there any other reasonable alternatives to SSE Riga? It seems far and beyond better than its competitors in the region.&nbsp;<br><br>I have also looked into the EMBA at Aalto, but based on your feedback thus far that one might be a wash as well.&nbsp;
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StuartHE

You are mistaken. It is not a satellite campus. It is a different school, with different ownership and different accreditation. If I study at 
the University of Texas at San Antonio, I am not an alumnus of UTA, am I?  Will people who hire normally from UTA turn up their noses at an MBA from UTSA? 
 

You are mistaken. It is not a satellite campus. It is a different school, with different ownership and different accreditation. If I study at&nbsp;
the University of Texas at San Antonio, I am not an alumnus of UTA, am I?&nbsp; Will people who hire normally from UTA turn up their noses at an MBA from UTSA?&nbsp;<div></div><div>
&nbsp;</div>
quote

You are mistaken. It is not a satellite campus. It is a different school, with different ownership and different accreditation. If I study at 
the University of Texas at San Antonio, I am not an alumnus of UTA, am I?  Will people who hire normally from UTA turn up their noses at an MBA from UTSA? 
 


Now THAT makes sense. 

I was not aware it was another school entirely in terms of as an institution and accreditation. And that fact makes the MBA rankings (which include Riga and SPB with SSE Stockholm) laughable.

For what its worth, yes, I have turned my nose up at several UTSA alum in favor of the UTA grad. So your analogy drove the point home quickly. Haha. 

 Any thoughts on good alternatives in the region? Are you within the same line of thinking in regards to Hanken? 

[quote]You are mistaken. It is not a satellite campus. It is a different school, with different ownership and different accreditation. If I study at&nbsp;
the University of Texas at San Antonio, I am not an alumnus of UTA, am I?&nbsp; Will people who hire normally from UTA turn up their noses at an MBA from UTSA?&nbsp;<div></div><div>
&nbsp;</div> [/quote]<br><br>Now THAT makes sense.&nbsp;<br><br>I was not aware it was another school entirely in terms of as an institution and accreditation. And that fact makes the MBA rankings (which include Riga and SPB with SSE Stockholm) laughable.<br><br>For what its worth, yes, I have turned my nose up at several UTSA alum in favor of the UTA grad. So your analogy drove the point home quickly. Haha.&nbsp;<br><br>&nbsp;Any thoughts on good alternatives in the region? Are you within the same line of thinking in regards to Hanken?&nbsp;
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StuartHE

Honestly, the Baltic is a sea, not a region. I think you have good advice above. The only schools with premium value in both the Baltic states and the Nordic countries will be the ones where top full-time MBA students from those countries go to: Insead, LBS, HEC, Oxbridge, IESE etc. If you want to work in Finland, go to Aalto, Oulu or Henley unless you have a specific focus on Swedish-speaking Finns (Hanken's audience).

Honestly, the Baltic is a sea, not a region. I think you have good advice above. The only schools with premium value in both the Baltic states and the Nordic countries will be the ones where top full-time MBA students from those countries go to: Insead, LBS, HEC, Oxbridge, IESE etc. If you want to work in Finland, go to Aalto, Oulu or Henley unless you have a specific focus on Swedish-speaking Finns (Hanken's audience).
quote
StuartHE

SSE Russia awards a Swedish MBA from SSE. SSE Riga does not: it issues its own Lativan degree. Indeed, the school's name in Latvian [Rīgas Ekonomikas augstskola] means Riga School of Economics.  

[Edited by StuartHE on Jan 19, 2021]

SSE Russia awards a Swedish MBA from SSE. SSE Riga does not: it issues its own Lativan degree. Indeed, the school's name in Latvian [Rīgas Ekonomikas augstskola] means Riga School of Economics.&nbsp;&nbsp;
quote
StuartHE

The other thing about the SSE Riga: it's primarily an undergraduate school that could not survive without the Swedish government's development organisation paying the fees of students from the former USSR who come to Riga. The MBA is tiny: a couple of dozen students.  

The other thing about the SSE Riga: it's primarily an undergraduate school that could not survive without the Swedish government's development organisation paying the fees of students from the former USSR who come to Riga. The MBA is tiny: a couple of dozen students.&nbsp;&nbsp;
quote

SSE Russia awards a Swedish MBA from SSE. SSE Riga does not: it issues its own Lativan degree. Indeed, the school's name in Latvian [Rīgas Ekonomikas augstskola] means Riga School of Economics.  


Thats a really interesting point. I had originally looked at SSE Russia, due to having previously lived in SPB and speaking decent Russian. However it seemed far more competitive, and if I’m not mistaken even the entry requirements were perhaps a bit more stringent. The degree issuance piece would explain that. 

It’s a bit shocking that some of this is not a bit more widely known. However, for many it probably does not make much of a difference. An MBA from SSE Riga is better than many alternatives in the region, if there isn’t another viable option for locals. 

[quote]SSE Russia awards a Swedish MBA from SSE. SSE Riga does not: it issues its own Lativan degree. Indeed, the school's name in Latvian [Rīgas Ekonomikas augstskola] means Riga School of Economics.&nbsp;&nbsp; [/quote]<br><br>Thats a really interesting point. I had originally looked at SSE Russia, due to having previously lived in SPB and speaking decent Russian. However it seemed far more competitive, and if I’m not mistaken even the entry requirements were perhaps a bit more stringent. The degree issuance piece would explain that.&nbsp;<br><br>It’s a bit shocking that some of this is not a bit more widely known. However, for many it probably does not make much of a difference. An MBA from SSE Riga is better than many alternatives in the region, if there isn’t another viable option for locals.&nbsp;
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Duncan

I don't think any reasonably curious person could not notice that these are separate schools with a common parent rather than one school. 

I don't see what goals are meet through the Riga EMBA that are not met better by a superior school with a better network in the Baltic. I mentioned the HD at CBS, for example. It could have a better network and higher brand equity in the Baltic States, and certainly will have across the Nordic region. There are no AACSB or AMBA accredited schools in the Baltic States. If I wanted a degree that was accepted in the US, I would certainly look for that. 

I don't think any reasonably curious person could not notice that these are separate schools with a common parent rather than one school.&nbsp;<br><br>I don't see what goals are meet through the Riga EMBA that are not met better by a superior school with a better network in the Baltic. I mentioned the HD at CBS, for example. It could have a better network and higher brand equity in the Baltic States, and certainly will have across the Nordic region. There are no AACSB or AMBA accredited schools in the Baltic States. If I wanted a degree that was accepted in the US, I would certainly look for that.&nbsp;
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