MBA in Europe - How "Transferrable"?


Sevay86

I'm an American looking to get an MBA in Europe (2 yrs exp now, should be 4 when I start). The reason for Europe as opposed to the schools here is that I'd like to work in Europe after the MBA - easier to do so when you've got a foot in the door. How "tied" are MBA schools to the countries in which they're located? Spain, for example, has some highly-ranked MBA programs, but the economic situation in Spain scares me right now, and I wouldn't want to get pigeonholed into that job market. I'd like to end up in either France (stronger economy than Spain), Germany (ditto), or possibly Russia (very interested in the country and the economy); would getting an MBA at the Spanish (IESE, ESADE, IE) or English (LBS, Oxford, Cambridge) schools still be worthwhile if I had no intention of remaining in either of those countries?

PS Gmat score currently unavailable - I'll get that posted in a few weeks if need be.

I'm an American looking to get an MBA in Europe (2 yrs exp now, should be 4 when I start). The reason for Europe as opposed to the schools here is that I'd like to work in Europe after the MBA - easier to do so when you've got a foot in the door. How "tied" are MBA schools to the countries in which they're located? Spain, for example, has some highly-ranked MBA programs, but the economic situation in Spain scares me right now, and I wouldn't want to get pigeonholed into that job market. I'd like to end up in either France (stronger economy than Spain), Germany (ditto), or possibly Russia (very interested in the country and the economy); would getting an MBA at the Spanish (IESE, ESADE, IE) or English (LBS, Oxford, Cambridge) schools still be worthwhile if I had no intention of remaining in either of those countries?

PS Gmat score currently unavailable - I'll get that posted in a few weeks if need be.
quote
Duncan

Hi there.

Well, I think it's much like the US: there are schools with international, continental and regional reputations. The schools you mention are all world-class, and the sort of businesses that tend to recruit MBAs will be familiar with them.

There's a nice but imperfect list here:
http://www.eduniversal-ranking.com/business-school-university-ranking-5palms.html What I like a Eduniversal is that it's looking not only at MBAs but at the schools as a whole, which is important in Europe since the MBA is really and English-language thing and local-language masters-levels programmes are still well established.

If you're looking at France, Germany, Russia... well, I think a good idea is to look at which countries they trade with. Also, do consider that language is really important. Spain is a great place to study if you want to work in Latin America. Britain and France stand out as countries with a well-developed MBA market, and the top business schools have a great reputation in Germany and Russia. German and Russian MBAs are still not really understood in their domestic markets and they have weak alumni networks.

Since you are an American and thus will benefit from being out of the English-speaking world my suggestion would be an MBA programme in either France or Germany which allowed a semester in the other. I think that means HEC, HHL or ESCP - and especially the double degree options at ESCP and HHL (http://www.hhl.de/discover-hhl/international-relations/double-degree/). Then look at the schools they have exchange programmes with, especially those who allow alumni status (I know HEC gives alumni status to exchange students).

Mannheim and EM Lyon, are worth looking at too. Those two have exchange programmes with Spain and the UK which might interest you.

Hi there.

Well, I think it's much like the US: there are schools with international, continental and regional reputations. The schools you mention are all world-class, and the sort of businesses that tend to recruit MBAs will be familiar with them.

There's a nice but imperfect list here:
http://www.eduniversal-ranking.com/business-school-university-ranking-5palms.html What I like a Eduniversal is that it's looking not only at MBAs but at the schools as a whole, which is important in Europe since the MBA is really and English-language thing and local-language masters-levels programmes are still well established.

If you're looking at France, Germany, Russia... well, I think a good idea is to look at which countries they trade with. Also, do consider that language is really important. Spain is a great place to study if you want to work in Latin America. Britain and France stand out as countries with a well-developed MBA market, and the top business schools have a great reputation in Germany and Russia. German and Russian MBAs are still not really understood in their domestic markets and they have weak alumni networks.

Since you are an American and thus will benefit from being out of the English-speaking world my suggestion would be an MBA programme in either France or Germany which allowed a semester in the other. I think that means HEC, HHL or ESCP - and especially the double degree options at ESCP and HHL (http://www.hhl.de/discover-hhl/international-relations/double-degree/). Then look at the schools they have exchange programmes with, especially those who allow alumni status (I know HEC gives alumni status to exchange students).

Mannheim and EM Lyon, are worth looking at too. Those two have exchange programmes with Spain and the UK which might interest you.
quote

Hi Duncan,

In general, consider that if you are doing an MBA, it will be recognized almost anywhere if the B-school is international enough. Of course language is important, but usually MBAs are international courses, that prepare you for a broad range of experiences. Moreover, if you are from U.S. and you are seeking an international career or, at least, in an international context, the fact of choosing a European MBA is going to provide you a very good advantage in understanding cultural differences and international dynamics.

Hi Duncan,

In general, consider that if you are doing an MBA, it will be recognized almost anywhere if the B-school is international enough. Of course language is important, but usually MBAs are international courses, that prepare you for a broad range of experiences. Moreover, if you are from U.S. and you are seeking an international career or, at least, in an international context, the fact of choosing a European MBA is going to provide you a very good advantage in understanding cultural differences and international dynamics.
quote
Duncan

True, but there's a difference between someone who has used English as their main language coming to study in an international MBA in an English-speaking country, on the one hand, and in a country where they also have to learn a second language and understand a really different other culture -- more more different than the US is from the UK. I went to LBS, and it's a great school, but I also applied to EM Lyon, ESADE, HHL and RSM because it's really valuable to get into a different business culture.

True, but there's a difference between someone who has used English as their main language coming to study in an international MBA in an English-speaking country, on the one hand, and in a country where they also have to learn a second language and understand a really different other culture -- more more different than the US is from the UK. I went to LBS, and it's a great school, but I also applied to EM Lyon, ESADE, HHL and RSM because it's really valuable to get into a different business culture.
quote

Totally agree, that's exaclty what I meant!

Totally agree, that's exaclty what I meant!
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Sevay86

Thanks for the ranking site - it's interesting to see the different perspective. I have two questions: 1) Is there a listing on the website of how the schools actually performed on the different metrics, and 2) I'm a little unsure of how exactly to treat the data. What does having a "5-Palms" rating translate to for the student of the business school?

Thanks for the ranking site - it's interesting to see the different perspective. I have two questions: 1) Is there a listing on the website of how the schools actually performed on the different metrics, and 2) I'm a little unsure of how exactly to treat the data. What does having a "5-Palms" rating translate to for the student of the business school?
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Duncan

You can see the methodology here: http://www.eduniversal-ranking.com/methodology/ but you cannot get the base data. Imagine: the data include the scores that b-school deans give to other schools. That really would be embarrassing to publish!

What this ranking indicates to me is how far a school has a major international profile and recognition. Looking at Germany, for example, there are two small and very high quality schools (ESMT and GISMA) with really outstanding MBA programmes, but they get into the third tier because the schools are small, new, with weak alumni and recruiter connections and a low profile in research. If you are rooted in a national market, and expect to get a job through your personal network then it's fine to choose a outstanding MBA like that, even if the schools doesn't have an outstanding brand. But if you don't have local roots and you want to get into larger companies with formal, international MBA recruiting programmes then that means going to schools with stronger reputations and, of course, which are relatively large. MBA recruiters want lots of choice and means, for example, that ESADE (which is a MBA programme on a campus with just the MBAs) is at a disadvantage from HEC (which is one a campus with thousands of business school students, making it more of a draw).

You can see the methodology here: http://www.eduniversal-ranking.com/methodology/ but you cannot get the base data. Imagine: the data include the scores that b-school deans give to other schools. That really would be embarrassing to publish!

What this ranking indicates to me is how far a school has a major international profile and recognition. Looking at Germany, for example, there are two small and very high quality schools (ESMT and GISMA) with really outstanding MBA programmes, but they get into the third tier because the schools are small, new, with weak alumni and recruiter connections and a low profile in research. If you are rooted in a national market, and expect to get a job through your personal network then it's fine to choose a outstanding MBA like that, even if the schools doesn't have an outstanding brand. But if you don't have local roots and you want to get into larger companies with formal, international MBA recruiting programmes then that means going to schools with stronger reputations and, of course, which are relatively large. MBA recruiters want lots of choice and means, for example, that ESADE (which is a MBA programme on a campus with just the MBAs) is at a disadvantage from HEC (which is one a campus with thousands of business school students, making it more of a draw).
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Rankings are good for everybody and good for nobody. What I mean is that I'd suggest you asking yourself:

Where do you want to end up?

What's your short-term and long-term career goal?

Which Country in Europe you want to live in?

Katherine Watson

Rankings are good for everybody and good for nobody. What I mean is that I'd suggest you asking yourself:

Where do you want to end up?

What's your short-term and long-term career goal?

Which Country in Europe you want to live in?

Katherine Watson
quote
Sevay86

Well, I basically outlined the geography answers in my first post: France, Germany, Switzerland, or (possibly) Benelux or Russia. Logic would suggest that I apply to business schools in these areas, but I wouldn't want to sacrifice the quality of an MBA education merely for geographic inconvenience. For instance, the ESADE and IESE consistently rank above anything offered in Germany or Benelux - say what you will about the arbitrary nature of these rankings, but there's something to be said for (nearly) all of them placing one program above another. However, I come from this as an American, where even the best schools largely recruit regionally (i.e. across 2-3 states at most). What this means is that it seems like companies recruiting MBA students in Spain would want to place them in Spain - a place that, for whatever reason, does not appeal to me at all. Is there a way to get more detailed job placement statistics for these business schools in regards to the geographic placement of the graduates? Simply saying that however many people ended up in Western Europe doesn't say much - were they non-EU citizens, or were they citizens of those Western European countries to begin with?

Well, I basically outlined the geography answers in my first post: France, Germany, Switzerland, or (possibly) Benelux or Russia. Logic would suggest that I apply to business schools in these areas, but I wouldn't want to sacrifice the quality of an MBA education merely for geographic inconvenience. For instance, the ESADE and IESE consistently rank above anything offered in Germany or Benelux - say what you will about the arbitrary nature of these rankings, but there's something to be said for (nearly) all of them placing one program above another. However, I come from this as an American, where even the best schools largely recruit regionally (i.e. across 2-3 states at most). What this means is that it seems like companies recruiting MBA students in Spain would want to place them in Spain - a place that, for whatever reason, does not appeal to me at all. Is there a way to get more detailed job placement statistics for these business schools in regards to the geographic placement of the graduates? Simply saying that however many people ended up in Western Europe doesn't say much - were they non-EU citizens, or were they citizens of those Western European countries to begin with?
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Duncan

Almost all these schools will publish employment reports. A nice summary of top European schools' employment outcomes is a http://sites.google.com/site/envisionmba/Home/programs/mba/European-MBA-Programs/2010-europe-employment-report/2010EUEmploymentReport.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1

Almost all these schools will publish employment reports. A nice summary of top European schools' employment outcomes is a http://sites.google.com/site/envisionmba/Home/programs/mba/European-MBA-Programs/2010-europe-employment-report/2010EUEmploymentReport.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1
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ANYONE KNOWING ABOUT THE PROGRAM,,,,EAE BUSINESS SCHOOL IN MADRID?INFORMATION WOULD BE APPRECIATED.

ANYONE KNOWING ABOUT THE PROGRAM,,,,EAE BUSINESS SCHOOL IN MADRID?INFORMATION WOULD BE APPRECIATED.
quote
sally

Most of the schools publish placement statistics and you can see what countries tend to get jobs in. If you can´t find the information, ask a recruiter and they can probably get it for you.

I am an IE student. At IE, the vast majority of job leads for those of us in the English program are not in Spain. This is largely because most Spanish companies won´t hire people who aren´t fluent in Spanish. Actually, most European countries want you to know whatever the local language is. So, what happens is that most of the job leads are for the UK.. or for markets that harder time attracting talent, like Asia and Latin America (although in LA they usually want at least some Spanish, which is why they are recruiting at IE..)

In my case, IE helped me get an internship at a renewable energy company in Spain. Since the company has a lot of business in the US, much of the communication is in English... in fact renewable energy is a huge growing industry in Spain, since the government is really supporting it. So.. I guess depending on what sector you are interested in there are opoprtunities everywhere!

Edit: I should clarify that at IE we do get companies recruiting from other countries in Europe but they tend to have language requirements. There was one job IE told us about in Sweden, that I was really interested in and they required you know at least one Scandinavian language!! In fact, many jobs want you to know English, the local language, and at least one other langauge! So, in general langauges are really important in Europe....

Most of the schools publish placement statistics and you can see what countries tend to get jobs in. If you can´t find the information, ask a recruiter and they can probably get it for you.

I am an IE student. At IE, the vast majority of job leads for those of us in the English program are not in Spain. This is largely because most Spanish companies won´t hire people who aren´t fluent in Spanish. Actually, most European countries want you to know whatever the local language is. So, what happens is that most of the job leads are for the UK.. or for markets that harder time attracting talent, like Asia and Latin America (although in LA they usually want at least some Spanish, which is why they are recruiting at IE..)

In my case, IE helped me get an internship at a renewable energy company in Spain. Since the company has a lot of business in the US, much of the communication is in English... in fact renewable energy is a huge growing industry in Spain, since the government is really supporting it. So.. I guess depending on what sector you are interested in there are opoprtunities everywhere!

Edit: I should clarify that at IE we do get companies recruiting from other countries in Europe but they tend to have language requirements. There was one job IE told us about in Sweden, that I was really interested in and they required you know at least one Scandinavian language!! In fact, many jobs want you to know English, the local language, and at least one other langauge! So, in general langauges are really important in Europe....
quote
sally

Also, Samrat, for some reason I am not able to respond to your private message... anyway, yes I have heard of EAE but I don´t know much about it. I don´t think it´s such an international program and you might have a lot of Spanish classmates, as well as Spain focused recruiting. This might be a good thing depending on what you are looking for.

Two tips for asking people for advice: 1) Don´t use all caps, it looks like you are yelling. 2) Ask toughtful questions, don´t just say "give me information" .. obviously there is general information everywhere, you can find it yourself... ask exactly what you want to know, considering what the person might be able to offer.

Also, Samrat, for some reason I am not able to respond to your private message... anyway, yes I have heard of EAE but I don´t know much about it. I don´t think it´s such an international program and you might have a lot of Spanish classmates, as well as Spain focused recruiting. This might be a good thing depending on what you are looking for.

Two tips for asking people for advice: 1) Don´t use all caps, it looks like you are yelling. 2) Ask toughtful questions, don´t just say "give me information" .. obviously there is general information everywhere, you can find it yourself... ask exactly what you want to know, considering what the person might be able to offer.
quote
Rhino

In my opinion, in Europe, the main barrier to enter the job market is (i) language and (ii) work permit. In the past, I was considering Spain, France, Switzerland for my B-school but every time I ask the B-School representatives about the work permit, they were ambiguous about the permit there. Note that I am not from developing country (OECD). If I were from U.S., U.K., Canada maybe they have special trade agreement that allow temporary work permit.

In my opinion, in Europe, the main barrier to enter the job market is (i) language and (ii) work permit. In the past, I was considering Spain, France, Switzerland for my B-school but every time I ask the B-School representatives about the work permit, they were ambiguous about the permit there. Note that I am not from developing country (OECD). If I were from U.S., U.K., Canada maybe they have special trade agreement that allow temporary work permit.
quote
sally

Yeah, that´s absolutely true. Work permit is a huge issue, even for Americans and Canadians. (UK people have no problem because they are from Europe though). Basically you have to have to find a company that really, really wants to hire you so that they will sponsor you for the work permit. Otherwise they will always choose a local candidate over you because they don´t come with the red tape... however, if you are studying in a country you are typically authorized to do a short term internship for pay. In theory, once you get your foot in the door you might be able to leverage that into a full time offer with sponsorship. Also, a friend of mine who went to ESADE was able to get the school to help her get extended permission to do an internship.. so she is working in spain several months after her MBA in this loophole sort of situation!

Yeah, that´s absolutely true. Work permit is a huge issue, even for Americans and Canadians. (UK people have no problem because they are from Europe though). Basically you have to have to find a company that really, really wants to hire you so that they will sponsor you for the work permit. Otherwise they will always choose a local candidate over you because they don´t come with the red tape... however, if you are studying in a country you are typically authorized to do a short term internship for pay. In theory, once you get your foot in the door you might be able to leverage that into a full time offer with sponsorship. Also, a friend of mine who went to ESADE was able to get the school to help her get extended permission to do an internship.. so she is working in spain several months after her MBA in this loophole sort of situation!
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bianca

I'm an American looking to get an MBA in Europe (2 yrs exp now, should be 4 when I start). The reason for Europe as opposed to the schools here is that I'd like to work in Europe after the MBA - easier to do so when you've got a foot in the door.
If you're lookig for an "insurance policy" in case your European adventure turns sour and want to go back to USA knowing your b-school degree will be of value, then I strongly success you investigate double degree options between US and European schools. For instance there's a dual degree between NYU and HEC (here: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/AcademicPrograms/FullTime/Academics/DualDegrees/index.htm#8).
That way, you do manage to get your foot in the country and start looking for a job there, while having the assurance that you can always get back home with your US degree. A bit like having dual citizenship I suppose.
Would getting an MBA at the Spanish (IESE, ESADE, IE) or English (LBS, Oxford, Cambridge) schools still be worthwhile if I had no intention of remaining in either of those countries?
If you're serious about France or Germany and have never lived in these countries, then I strongly suggest you to study in the country you will be in.
Classes are one thing and, to be fair, I think that once you're in the world's top 20 you'll get only marginal differences in quality of teaching, but you'll learn much more from "experiential learning".
Basically having to face the rigid French administration, live through the regular strikes, feed yourself on baguette and cheese and talking with the French students of HEC who will gladly share their thoughts and ways of studying (also applicable to working) will teach you a whole lot of tacit cultural rules that no class can match and will help you navigate the local system in a very practical manner.
Europe is a place where national culture is extremely important and very different from that in the US. Learning about it should be your first step into finding a job there.
In my opinion, in Europe, the main barrier to enter the job market is (i) language and (ii) work permit.
Everybody faces the same problem once they start looking for international positions outside of bordering countries which have trade agreements. And it is totally unrelated with being OECD or not. Schools will not give you a clear answer because it's always a case by case basis. You'll have to prove to your future employer that you're worth them paying to sponsor your visa. Yes, competition is tough and the opportunities are hard to get. But everybody is in the same boat.

<blockquote>I'm an American looking to get an MBA in Europe (2 yrs exp now, should be 4 when I start). The reason for Europe as opposed to the schools here is that I'd like to work in Europe after the MBA - easier to do so when you've got a foot in the door.</blockquote>If you're lookig for an "insurance policy" in case your European adventure turns sour and want to go back to USA knowing your b-school degree will be of value, then I strongly success you investigate double degree options between US and European schools. For instance there's a dual degree between NYU and HEC (here: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/AcademicPrograms/FullTime/Academics/DualDegrees/index.htm#8).
That way, you do manage to get your foot in the country and start looking for a job there, while having the assurance that you can always get back home with your US degree. A bit like having dual citizenship I suppose.
<blockquote>Would getting an MBA at the Spanish (IESE, ESADE, IE) or English (LBS, Oxford, Cambridge) schools still be worthwhile if I had no intention of remaining in either of those countries?</blockquote>If you're serious about France or Germany and have never lived in these countries, then I strongly suggest you to study in the country you will be in.
Classes are one thing and, to be fair, I think that once you're in the world's top 20 you'll get only marginal differences in quality of teaching, but you'll learn much more from "experiential learning".
Basically having to face the rigid French administration, live through the regular strikes, feed yourself on baguette and cheese and talking with the French students of HEC who will gladly share their thoughts and ways of studying (also applicable to working) will teach you a whole lot of tacit cultural rules that no class can match and will help you navigate the local system in a very practical manner.
Europe is a place where national culture is extremely important and very different from that in the US. Learning about it should be your first step into finding a job there.
<blockquote>In my opinion, in Europe, the main barrier to enter the job market is (i) language and (ii) work permit.</blockquote>Everybody faces the same problem once they start looking for international positions outside of bordering countries which have trade agreements. And it is totally unrelated with being OECD or not. Schools will not give you a clear answer because it's always a case by case basis. You'll have to prove to your future employer that you're worth them paying to sponsor your visa. Yes, competition is tough and the opportunities are hard to get. But everybody is in the same boat.
quote

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