Pursuing an MBA as a career change- France, UK or rest of Europe- better job prospects?


ria basu

Hi everyone!

I am a lawyer, based out of India. I have nearly three years of work experience in corporate law in my home country. I want to move out of the legal space and move into marketing (drastic, i know). While I do not have prior experience in marketing, i am interested in pursuing a career in it. Based on my preliminary research, I was really impressed with the HEC Paris, EDHEC and EmLyon MBA programs because their marketing courses look great. However, I have gathered that you need to be pretty fluent in French to get a job out of these colleges and I do not have any fluency in French (though I am willing to learn it). I am limiting my search to countries which offer post MBA job search visas. Would it be prudent for me to go to a French university, or any other European university for that matter? I gather that Germany (Mannheim) and Netherlands (Erasmus) , both of which offer post study work visas have the same language inhibitory issues. Should I try the UK? if yes, which universities would be good for marketing as a specialisation? I am slightly skeptical of the UK because I've been told that post MBA job opportunities may be difficult to find for non UK/EU citizens, though I am sure this caveat applies to the rest of EU too.

Alternatively, should I go for an Msc in Marketing instead of an MBA? My only issue with that is that I already have three years of work ex, albeit not relevant work ex. How much does relevant experience matter in finding a job? Will an MSc in marketing be a viable option for someone with no relevant work ex to find a job in a foreign country?

I do want to stress that finding a job post the MBA is a huge factor for me. I would be very grateful if anyone could suggest colleges based on what i mentioned above!

Thanks a bunch in advance :)

Hi everyone!

I am a lawyer, based out of India. I have nearly three years of work experience in corporate law in my home country. I want to move out of the legal space and move into marketing (drastic, i know). While I do not have prior experience in marketing, i am interested in pursuing a career in it. Based on my preliminary research, I was really impressed with the HEC Paris, EDHEC and EmLyon MBA programs because their marketing courses look great. However, I have gathered that you need to be pretty fluent in French to get a job out of these colleges and I do not have any fluency in French (though I am willing to learn it). I am limiting my search to countries which offer post MBA job search visas. Would it be prudent for me to go to a French university, or any other European university for that matter? I gather that Germany (Mannheim) and Netherlands (Erasmus) , both of which offer post study work visas have the same language inhibitory issues. Should I try the UK? if yes, which universities would be good for marketing as a specialisation? I am slightly skeptical of the UK because I've been told that post MBA job opportunities may be difficult to find for non UK/EU citizens, though I am sure this caveat applies to the rest of EU too.

Alternatively, should I go for an Msc in Marketing instead of an MBA? My only issue with that is that I already have three years of work ex, albeit not relevant work ex. How much does relevant experience matter in finding a job? Will an MSc in marketing be a viable option for someone with no relevant work ex to find a job in a foreign country?

I do want to stress that finding a job post the MBA is a huge factor for me. I would be very grateful if anyone could suggest colleges based on what i mentioned above!

Thanks a bunch in advance :)
quote
Duncan

There's a lot to unpack in your situation and keywords like Indian, marketing, culture, language and acculturation will help you to search through the board. 

In a nutshell, marketers need both understanding and the ability to communicate with great nuance to their audiences. A fluent speaker of French from Pondicherry, placed in Paris, offers limited value. The opportunity is to identify where they initially might offer the most value, and how to increase their value. So, for example:
- Which French firms sell the most in India, and what can they do better to help their sales channel and clients in India that their colleague in India cannot?
- Are there skills gaps you can fill? France has higher quantitative skills than many European countries, but perhaps there are issues of international law that matter in France? Perhaps international commercial law could offer you the opportunity to work in France while you acculturate.
- Is there some B2B marketing role supporting the internationalization of some legal marketing activity?

As an alternative to a costly MBA, I would suggest a year in a state university's intensive language programme followed by a specialised MSc like https://neoma-bs.com/programmes/msc-marketing-french-excellence/

There's a lot to unpack in your situation and keywords like Indian, marketing, culture, language and acculturation will help you to search through the board.&nbsp;<br><br>In a nutshell, marketers need both understanding and the ability to communicate with great nuance to their audiences. A fluent speaker of French from Pondicherry, placed in Paris, offers limited value. The opportunity is to identify where they initially might offer the most value, and how to increase their value. So, for example:<br>- Which French firms sell the most in India, and what can they do better to help their sales channel and clients in India that their colleague in India cannot?<br>- Are there skills gaps you can fill? France has higher quantitative skills than many European countries, but perhaps there are issues of international law that matter in France? Perhaps international commercial law could offer you the opportunity to work in France while you acculturate.<br>- Is there some B2B marketing role supporting the internationalization of some legal marketing activity?<br><br>As an alternative to a costly MBA, I would suggest a year in a state university's intensive language programme followed by a specialised MSc like https://neoma-bs.com/programmes/msc-marketing-french-excellence/
quote
ria basu

There's a lot to unpack in your situation and keywords like Indian, marketing, culture, language and acculturation will help you to search through the board. 

In a nutshell, marketers need both understanding and the ability to communicate with great nuance to their audiences. A fluent speaker of French from Pondicherry, placed in Paris, offers limited value. The opportunity is to identify where they initially might offer the most value, and how to increase their value. So, for example:
- Which French firms sell the most in India, and what can they do better to help their sales channel and clients in India that their colleague in India cannot?
- Are there skills gaps you can fill? France has higher quantitative skills than many European countries, but perhaps there are issues of international law that matter in France? Perhaps international commercial law could offer you the opportunity to work in France while you acculturate.
- Is there some B2B marketing role supporting the internationalization of some legal marketing activity?

As an alternative to a costly MBA, I would suggest a year in a state university's intensive language programme followed by a specialised MSc like https://neoma-bs.com/programmes/msc-marketing-french-excellence/


Hi Duncan, thanks a lot for your reply. It certainly brings about a fresh perspective on the MBA search.

While I agree with most of things that you've outlined above, the one thing i need clarity on is the scope of a Msc in marketing for someone with no relevant work experience in marketing. The reason as to why I was heading the MBA route was that it seemed to work better for professionals looking to change their careers, which is what I am about to do, because of its (comparatively) more general nature than a Msc. As highlighted before, my main priority is finding a job in the country of my studies. If you could explain your preference for a Msc over an MBA, it'll be very helpful.

My last question would be the prospects of finding a job in the UK with a MBA or an MSc. Universities in the UK are very popular in India (due to obvious historical reasons) but I have been steering clear of the UK due to the lack of job prospects. However, would it be more prudent for me to study in the UK and then look for a job there or take a year learning french and then apply for a MSc/MBA? I am willing to do either, even though the French universities do seem to have better marketing programs in general.

Thank you again for your time! I really appreciate it :)

[Edited by ria basu on May 17, 2021]

[quote]There's a lot to unpack in your situation and keywords like Indian, marketing, culture, language and acculturation will help you to search through the board.&nbsp;<br><br>In a nutshell, marketers need both understanding and the ability to communicate with great nuance to their audiences. A fluent speaker of French from Pondicherry, placed in Paris, offers limited value. The opportunity is to identify where they initially might offer the most value, and how to increase their value. So, for example:<br>- Which French firms sell the most in India, and what can they do better to help their sales channel and clients in India that their colleague in India cannot?<br>- Are there skills gaps you can fill? France has higher quantitative skills than many European countries, but perhaps there are issues of international law that matter in France? Perhaps international commercial law could offer you the opportunity to work in France while you acculturate.<br>- Is there some B2B marketing role supporting the internationalization of some legal marketing activity?<br><br>As an alternative to a costly MBA, I would suggest a year in a state university's intensive language programme followed by a specialised MSc like https://neoma-bs.com/programmes/msc-marketing-french-excellence/ [/quote]<br><br>Hi Duncan, thanks a lot for your reply. It certainly brings about a fresh perspective on the MBA search.<br><br>While I agree with most of things that you've outlined above, the one thing i need clarity on is the scope of a Msc in marketing for someone with no relevant work experience in marketing. The reason as to why I was heading the MBA route was that it seemed to work better for professionals looking to change their careers, which is what I am about to do, because of its (comparatively) more general nature than a Msc. As highlighted before, my main priority is finding a job in the country of my studies. If you could explain your preference for a Msc over an MBA, it'll be very helpful.<br><br>My last question would be the prospects of finding a job in the UK with a MBA or an MSc. Universities in the UK are very popular in India (due to obvious historical reasons) but I have been steering clear of the UK due to the lack of job prospects. However, would it be more prudent for me to study in the UK and then look for a job there or take a year learning french and then apply for a MSc/MBA? I am willing to do either, even though the French universities do seem to have better marketing programs in general.<br><br>Thank you again for your time! I really appreciate it :)
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StuartHE

Are the job prospects really worse in the UK than in countries where you don't speak the language? Is Ireland an option?

Are the job prospects really worse in the UK than in countries where you don't speak the language? Is Ireland an option?
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ria basu

Are the job prospects really worse in the UK than in countries where you don't speak the language? Is Ireland an option?


I may be biased in my view based on the trend i see with people from my country going to the UK and being unable to secure jobs. If there is an objective indicator of graduate employment from UK colleges, do let me know! However, Universities such as ISB, Imperial, Edinburgh and even Trinity for that matter do not seem to offer much  prospects for students who want to pursue an MBA with a marketing specialisation, at least that's what their website seems to suggest. 

[Edited by ria basu on May 17, 2021]

[quote]Are the job prospects really worse in the UK than in countries where you don't speak the language? Is Ireland an option? [/quote]<br><br>I may be biased in my view based on the trend i see with people from my country going to the UK and being unable to secure jobs. If there is an objective indicator of graduate employment from UK colleges, do let me know! However, Universities such as ISB, Imperial, Edinburgh and even Trinity for that matter do not seem to offer much&nbsp; prospects for students who want to pursue an MBA with a marketing specialisation, at least that's what their website seems to suggest.&nbsp;
quote
Duncan

The MBA is a general management degree. A master's specialised in marketing is an MSc, almost always. The issue with Indians finding marketing jobs isn't smaller with the UK than with countries where they have lower language skills and worse acculturation. If you want to do marketing, focus on your skills gap and look at what you need to add value. UK marketers don't have or need MBAs, generally, and the CIM PG Diploma can be taken inexpensively online to give you a huge step forward. 

The MBA is a general management degree. A master's specialised in marketing is an MSc, almost always. The issue with Indians finding marketing jobs isn't smaller with the UK than with countries where they have lower language skills and worse acculturation. If you want to do marketing, focus on your skills gap and look at what you need to add value. UK marketers don't have or need MBAs, generally, and the CIM PG Diploma can be taken inexpensively online to give you a huge step forward.&nbsp;
quote
ria basu

The MBA is a general management degree. A master's specialised in marketing is an MSc, almost always. The issue with Indians finding marketing jobs isn't smaller with the UK than with countries where they have lower language skills and worse acculturation. If you want to do marketing, focus on your skills gap and look at what you need to add value. UK marketers don't have or need MBAs, generally, and the CIM PG Diploma can be taken inexpensively online to give you a huge step forward. 


I understand your point about MBA being a general management degree, but I looked up the CIM PG Diploma and I do not see how only doing the certificate course will help me land a job in the UK, especially with no prior marketing experience. Now, my guess is, doing this certification or any a CIM certification with a MBA or an MSc in Marketing from the UK might help with my prospects as an international student trying to find a marketing job. The CIM certification on its own shall not make be eligible for post study work visa in the UK. So just doing the certification does not make much sense to me. 


[quote]The MBA is a general management degree. A master's specialised in marketing is an MSc, almost always. The issue with Indians finding marketing jobs isn't smaller with the UK than with countries where they have lower language skills and worse acculturation. If you want to do marketing, focus on your skills gap and look at what you need to add value. UK marketers don't have or need MBAs, generally, and the CIM PG Diploma can be taken inexpensively online to give you a huge step forward.&nbsp; [/quote]<br><br>I understand your point about MBA being a general management degree, but I looked up the CIM PG Diploma and I do not see how only doing the certificate course will help me land a job in the UK, especially with no prior marketing experience. Now, my guess is, doing this certification or any a CIM certification with a MBA or an MSc in Marketing from the UK might help with my prospects as an international student trying to find a marketing job. The CIM certification on its own shall not make be eligible for post study work visa in the UK. So just doing the certification does not make much sense to me.&nbsp;<br><br><br>
quote
StuartHE

You've been given some good suggestions on how to think about how to use your experience to identify the sort of roles where your background will be an asset rather than a liability. Marketing is very hard to get into, especially if you are creating customer materials if you are not acculturated to the market. So, more technical roles will help, like analytics and digital, and roles where you can leverage your B2B experience. No, a CIM qualification will not by itself get you a job, but the CIM is the most respected marketing qualification. You can study it by distance learning now and then start to put more effort into thinking specifically about where you can add value in Europe. This isn't easy, but don't ask for guidance if you don't want homest answers. 

You've been given some good suggestions on how to think about how to use your experience to identify the sort of roles where your background will be an asset rather than a liability. Marketing is very hard to get into, especially if you are creating customer materials if you are not acculturated to the market. So, more technical roles will help, like analytics and digital, and roles where you can leverage your B2B experience. No, a CIM qualification will not by itself get you a job, but the CIM is the most respected marketing qualification. You can study it by distance learning now and then start to put more effort into thinking specifically about where you can add value in Europe. This isn't easy, but don't ask for guidance if you don't want homest answers.&nbsp;
quote
ria basu

You've been given some good suggestions on how to think about how to use your experience to identify the sort of roles where your background will be an asset rather than a liability. Marketing is very hard to get into, especially if you are creating customer materials if you are not acculturated to the market. So, more technical roles will help, like analytics and digital, and roles where you can leverage your B2B experience. No, a CIM qualification will not by itself get you a job, but the CIM is the most respected marketing qualification. You can study it by distance learning now and then start to put more effort into thinking specifically about where you can add value in Europe. This isn't easy, but don't ask for guidance if you don't want homest answers. 


While I appreciate all the guidance that I have been given, (and trust me, I do appreciate it a lot given the fact that I am Asian and the European market is very alien to me) I do not think it is fair to say that I do not want honest answers or that I am not looking for them. I am merely trying to process things from my point of view, as i am sure you are trying to give me advice from your point of view. Also, the cultural differences and age differences may make things harder/ more confusing to understand but I am pretty sure anyone in my position who is looking to potentially uproot her entire career and start a new one in a different country would want to hear all perspectives and assess all her options before taking such a leap. Certifications are not looked upon in a positive light in India, and people who want good careers do not resort to certifications as a means of career advancement. They either do a masters or an MBA. Now, I do not know what the value of certifications is in UK or Europe. If i have come across as ungrateful or dismissive, I am sorry, that was not my intention at all. But I do not think your last statement is fair on me or what I am trying to achieve through this exercise. 

However, your response as a whole is very enlightening. I will definitely look more into analytical and digital roles in marketing, and I do agree with you that technical roles will surely help. Thanks a lot for your advice! :)

[quote]You've been given some good suggestions on how to think about how to use your experience to identify the sort of roles where your background will be an asset rather than a liability. Marketing is very hard to get into, especially if you are creating customer materials if you are not acculturated to the market. So, more technical roles will help, like analytics and digital, and roles where you can leverage your B2B experience. No, a CIM qualification will not by itself get you a job, but the CIM is the most respected marketing qualification. You can study it by distance learning now and then start to put more effort into thinking specifically about where you can add value in Europe. This isn't easy, but don't ask for guidance if you don't want homest answers.&nbsp; [/quote]<br><br>While I appreciate all the guidance that I have been given, (and trust me, I do appreciate it a lot given the fact that I am Asian and the European market is very alien to me) I do not think it is fair to say that I do not want honest answers or that I am not looking for them. I am merely trying to process things from my point of view, as i am sure you are trying to give me advice from your point of view. Also, the cultural differences and age differences may make things harder/ more confusing to understand but I am pretty sure anyone in my position who is looking to potentially uproot her entire career and start a new one in a different country would want to hear all perspectives and assess all her options before taking such a leap. Certifications are not looked upon in a positive light in India, and people who want good careers do not resort to certifications as a means of career advancement. They either do a masters or an MBA. Now, I do not know what the value of certifications is in UK or Europe. If i have come across as ungrateful or dismissive, I am sorry, that was not my intention at all. But I do not think your last statement is fair on me or what I am trying to achieve through this exercise.&nbsp;<br><br>However, your response as a whole is very enlightening. I will definitely look more into analytical and digital roles in marketing, and I do agree with you that technical roles will surely help. Thanks a lot for your advice! :)
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Duncan

Let's play nicely, people :)

Let's play nicely, people :)
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