International Experience Becoming Essential for MBA Programs

Source: Canadian Business via Academica

International business experience is quickly becoming an essential part of an MBA graduate’s CV, reports Canadian Business. As a result, more of the country’s MBA programs are adding international exchanges and fellowships to their curricula. Some major business schools that have recently added these components are the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University, the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto, and the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba.

Business Dean Calls for Adaptive MBA Programs

Source: University Business via Academica

MBA programs must capitalize on innovative educational technologies and rethink their traditional student bodies if they wish to keep pace with the changing demands of the international business world, writes Judy Bullock, University Dean of Business at American InterContinental University. For Bullock, a major part of this new shift will be for MBA programs to use part-time and online learning models to open their offerings to a broader range of students. These efforts will help MBA programs get past the paradigm in which they are reserved for “the elite, accessible only to those of a certain academic or professional pedigree who could dedicate themselves to a traditional, full-time program.” To this end, MBA programs need to “recognize the different learning styles, needs, and experiences” of those who can bring value to the business community.

Own Business Now Big Lure for Fresh MBA Graduates: Survey

Source: Times of India | March 17, 2014

NEW DELHI: Fresh B-school graduates are increasingly shunning the security of a steady job and striking out on their own. A worldwide survey of B-school alumni reveals that 45% of those who graduated between 2010 and 2013 preferred self-employment — that’s almost double the proportion of their seniors who opted to pursue their own dreams in the 2000-2009 period. The survey, conducted among nearly 21,000 alumni representing 132 institutions from 129 countries, covered batches from 1959 to 2013. It showed a steadily growing preference for self-employment among fresh graduates. In the 2000-2009 period, 25% of graduates opted for it while in the decade before that the figure was 14%. 

The survey was carried out by Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), which conducts the GMAT exam for admission to more than 6,000 graduate management programmes worldwide. 

The US remains the most preferred job location for alumni from B-schools worldwide with Chinese and Indians taking the lead. As many as 38% of Chinese graduates preferred to work in the US, while 23% of Indian B-schoolers landed up in that country. The survey revealed that a quarter of B-school alumni across the world don’t work within their own country. While almost all B-school graduates from the US (97%) are likely to work in their own country, a majority of the Chinese are likely to work overseas (52%). 

Canada leads the table for annual median salary at entry level with US$ 75,000, but it is the US which pays the highest mid, senior and executive-level salaries. The pay package for B-school alumni in India was among the lowest in the 18 countries listed in the survey. 

“This is a robust survey results in this debut effort from direct collaboration with 132 business schools in 29 countries. A fascinating highlight of this year’s alumni survey is the wide reach of salary data. Seeing earnings data by job level for graduates of business school who work in India is helpful information to consider in one’s career planning and expectations,” said Michelle Sparkman Renz, director, research communications, GMAC. 

As for B-school education, 77% of the alumni said it was financially rewarding. Old students also ensured that they keep in touch with the alma mater be it for mentoring scholars or for recruitment. Nearly 34% of recent alumni have kept contact with the faculty, while 28% attended alumni events. Around 43% of old students visited their alumni website, and an even higher 45% followed their B-school on social media. 

The survey also revealed a shifting preference in functional domain. Since 2000, finance and accounting has been the dominating sector, overtaking the tradition general management. Emerging trends show that marketing, sales and consulting are the new areas of aspiration.

TCS Insights: Business students are currently more inclined to start their own businesses around the world than in years prior. International experience will play a critical role to those looking to succeed in this pursuit. Those aspiring to do business in North America after they graduate should attempt to spend time studying there to develop a knowledge of the culture along with their network of contacts.
‘This experience is something that no classroom can teach you…’

‘This experience is something that no classroom can teach you…’

By Sparsh Sharma

A group of 19 MBA students from Université Laval – located in Québec City in Canada, a city recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site – were on a study tour to India. This is the fourth time in five years that a team from the university came to India. Given their success in the previous years, the university decided to come back again this year.

The students travelled to different cities in India mainly to meet companies and promote their products and services and perfect their knowledge of India. The Canadian students represented 19 different companies in varied sectors like education, foods, manufacturing, IT, entertainment, beverages, etc.

Geneviève Marcotte, coordinator of the tour and a participant, answers some questions about the group’s visit:

How would the knowledge be useful to the group and the companies they represent?
GM: This experience is something that no classroom can teach you; after doing in-depth research before coming here and then meeting with your contacts on the field makes us realise the fruit of our labour, which is most certainly rewarding.

I believe that all students should take part in a trade mission like ours, as the experience shows you how small the world really is, and how accessible international markets are. International trade is important to both Canada and India. All the resources offered, in Canada and on the field here in India, were extremely useful for my future career of working in international business development as they were for all students involved in the study tour.

What was the methodology behind the study tour?
GM: Université Laval acts as a non-profit organisation that offers Canadian companies the opportunity to develop their international market. Our team is young, dynamic and benefits from accumulated knowledge of our 16 years of existence. Over 400 companies such as Bombardier, Maison Simons, Philips Lumec, etc. have already used our services. Our agents not only receive training from field experts but also work year-long to perfect their knowledge about the country abroad, its culture, economy, politics and language(s). Before getting into a trade mission like this, they do a market study to be sure about the best way to penetrate that particular market. It is a good opportunity for companies that desire to penetrate new markets and obtain professional, personalised service at an exceptionally competitive price. The University of Laval Commercial Missions is here to facilitate a period of transition to these new markets. From market potential evaluation to importation and exportation logistics, possible entry modes, technical representation as well as searching for distributors and clients, development agents, or the MBA students this time, worked three weeks in India to reach all goals of Canadian enterprise. Companies wanting to participate in our trade missions pay an amount which covers only cost for mission such as hotel, per diem and transport.

Would the products be marketed focusing on the Indian market?
GM: I think the business opportunity in India is immense but foreign companies must be very careful while entering this market. Though marketing is an important process in selling most products, the cultural challenges and political barriers are numerous. Obtaining permits can take long, finding the right distributor can be difficult and finding the right logistic strategy to make it all work is the key. Marketing will come once you have everything else in place, and if you have done all other things correctly, the publicity and advertisement will find results by itself with minimal effort.

Did your group’s impression about India change?
GM: It’s my second time in India and every time I discover a wonderful country with people wanting to learn more about us and teach a lot about their culture. It’s amazing. We thought India is a misinterpreted country: the advances that have been made, the technology available is impressive and the stereotype of ‘poor India’ is misleading. Businesses, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs) all across the country, offer a wide range of high-quality products and services, and I think many people confuse lower production prices to lower quality. When you look at a giant like Tata, and all of the industries they are able to thrive in, it gives you a great example of the wide range of available knowledge, and its influence on the global scale.

Nader Daher: “India is a very sense-awakening place. Doing business here is a full human experience.”

Jonathan Bouvrette: “India brings a model of cooperation through open-mindedness”

Simon Lemay-Roux: “India is an incredible experience – business-wise as well as personally.”

Marie-Pier Michaud: “Canada and India are so different that every aspect of India becomes so impressive.”