Are all Grand Ecole programs equally rated???

General Forum
  • Posted by taras on 10/01/13 5:43am

    Hello Thomas,

     I would like to know about the Grand Ecole programs of France.How good are those programs?I agree some of them are in the top-tier category like the HEC,ESSEC and all,but what about the other Grand ecole programs?Do they have the same kind of reputation and job prospects like the HEC and ESSEC?Also can you explain me a little bit about the program?I am from India with a bachelors in engg degree,am I eligible for the program??What could be the minimum gpa and GMAT score for the grand ecole programs??They do have a gap year system in this particular program so that students could find some kind of a job in that middle year,will it be useful and how often is it possible to get a job in between year i.e in the gap year?How difficult is it to find a job in France given we would be pertained to only 6 months of stay back after the studies?I have a gpa of 6.67 with first class division but had around 20 backlogs in total during my 4 years of engineering studies but I have cleared everything now,will that be a big problem in my applications?Can I apply for the top 20 MIM programs with this profile if i could somehow score a GMAT score of 700+??Would be kind of you if you could provide me the answers as I am at the moment very skeptical with my profile?

    Clarifications would be appreciated,

    Kind Regards,
    Sarat

    • Posted by Thomas Graf on 10/04/13 3:43pm

      Hi Sarat,

      thank you for your question. The grandes écoles are indeed the top schools in France. But as your questions already suggest, 20 business schools - that belong to the grandes écoles - cannot be the same.

      First, though these schools have an outstanding reputation within France, they also have a rank-ordering among themselves. In other words, French people and employers do not perceive and value these schools as the same but rank some of them higher (e.g. INSEAD, HEC, or ESSEC) and others lower.

      • If the French job market is important for you, I recommend taking to French people and ask them about the specific reputation of each individual grandes écoles business school.
      • You may ask some of the schools' admission departments to bring you in contact with students, for instance.
      • You may contact your embassy in Paris.
      • You may talk to organizations that work in culture exchanges between others countries and France or contact French education or culture departments.
      • In general, I am confident that you are creative enough to find out this information - now that you have a direction for your question.

      Second, a separate issue is the schools' reputation outside of France. A ranking, as you mentioned, can indeed create an international exposure for a specific school. I recommend broadening your view beyond a specific ranking, however, and include other management education rankings (such as MBA rankings) as well. The reason is: A school can be great and still not be listed in a specific ranking - not because the program is of low quality but because the Financial Times requires it to run for 4 years in a row before it becomes eligible for the ranking.

      • The London Business School MIM. for instance, is not in the ranking although the LBS is a great school and I have no doubt that its MIM is great as well.
      • Similarly, the IE MIM did not make it in the ranking until it ran for 4 years - and then it immediately achieved position 6 and now 5.
      • If you look at other rankings as well, you can find a better idea of the general reputation of a school in the area of management education.
      • Finally, the question is how internationally renowned does YOUR school need to be. Not everyone needs to study at a number 1 school. If you want to work in France, for instance, the national reputation and rankings may be more important than the FT Ranking, for example.

      "I am from India with a bachelors in engg degree,am I eligible for the program?"
      You can find this out by visiting the schools' admission websites. About one fifth of all MIM programs requires a first degree in business or economics. Hence, 80 percent are targeting you. You can search for the latter group, for instance, by setting our search filter on "First degree in busine NOT required".

      "What could be the minimum gpa and GMAT score for the grand ecole programs?"
      As a rule of thumb, I recommend a minimum score of 600. Some schools may also accept 550 or not require the GMAT at all - you can find this out easily by visiting the schools' admission websites or send them an email.

      "They do have a gap year system in this particular program so that students could find some kind of a job in that middle year,will it be useful and how often is it possible to get a job in between year i.e in the gap year?"
      Personally, I think this is very useful. You may get paid in this gap year, you gain exposure to the real business world, and you may find your future employer. But indeed, you raised the key question: How many of the students end up working for THAT employer after graduation?

      • Again, this is a question for the individual school - in this case, probably the career office.
      • The first step is always to pose the right questions.
      • The second step is to address them at the right people.
      • The third step is to analyze the answers. Do the schools answer you politely, in time, and such that your question is fully answered? If not I would consider NOT investing my money in them.

      "How difficult is it to find a job in France given we would be pertained to only 6 months of stay back after the studies?"
      Again, a very important question. I recommend these steps:

      • Screen the websites for career statistics. Often times schools publish how many people found a job within 3 months of graduating.
      • Ask the schools' admission departments if you can't find it.
      • Try also to find out how many students with your nationality are enrolled - if no one from India is enrolled, the school may not have much experience with placing them in France.
      • Ask the school to bring you in contact with a student and even with an ex student from India. By this you get hands-on information.

      "I have a gpa of 6.67 with first class division but had around 20 backlogs in total during my 4 years of engineering studies but I have cleared everything now,will that be a big problem in my applications?"
      The GPA may become a problem for those programs that are highly selective such as HEC Paris. They focus strongly on academic achievements and may prefer other applications with higher GPAs. At the end of the day, you need to find it out by yourself, however, by applying (or asking them upfront). The good news is, however, that there are many institutions out there, many of the in rankings and many of the internationally accredited, so that you will find a program that satisfies you.

      "GMAT of 700?"
      That would be excellent. 650 or more is great.

      Best wishes
      Thomas

      by Thomas Graf

    • Posted by taras on 10/05/13 7:50am

      Hai Thomas,

        Thank you very much for your reply.That was really very helpful.But I would like to know a few more details about the German MIM programs.What do you reckon which are the top 10 german MIM programs for non-business graduates?How would you rate KLU and ESMT's newly induced MIM program?Will it be comparatively a fruitful idea to invest in the tier-2 German colleges rather than the super impressive Grand ecole programs of France?I have a strong desire to work for at least a couple of years in Europe after my MIM?So do you find Germany to be the safer option as compared to the French because they do have 18 months of stay back option and a good promising economy;also keeping into consideration the low un-employment rate compared to other European countries?Can you give a general idea of the good B-schools in Germany which have a good reputation among the German employers?Do they have any ranking systems within the country for the business education?Would like to see  some idea of yours creep-in into the matter and if possible give a list of atleast 10 very good MIM programs in Germany according to some rankings and better job-prospects in Germany.Also do you have any idea how much is the stay back option in Austria after the MIM as I am not able to acquire the informations here in India.

      Clarifications would be of immense help,

      Kind Regards,
      Sarat

      • Posted by Thomas Graf on 10/08/13 1:42pm

        Hi Sarat,

        thank you for your question. As in my earlier answer on France, I try to provide you with some tools that you can use to find the best answers by yourself.

        "What do you reckon which are the top 10 german MIM programs for non-business graduates?"
        This question depends on your definition of "top-10". If you mean business schools in terms of their position in internationally recognized rankings, you need to check the respective German schools in the FT MIM Ranking (maybe also in other management rankings). As a start, I recommend you using our Search Engine with the following filters: Program type: General Management; Teaching mode: Full-time; Country: Germany; "Entry requirements: No first degree in business or economics required". This gives you 15 programs. Now which of these programs is in the FT MIM Ranking?

        If you check the FT ranking also for German schools beyond these 15 programs you will find some of them, even in the top ten - but they all require a first degree in business.

        "How would you rate KLU and ESMT's newly induced MIM program?"
        Both are renowned schools and have their advantages. But both are different as well. Now, I don't want to do your job - so let me turn it around. How do you rate them; putting it differently: How would you analyze them? My tip is: Try to develop a list of criteria and then compare the schools and programs.

        "Will it be comparatively a fruitful idea to invest in the tier-2 German colleges rather than the super impressive Grand ecole programs of France?"
        This depends on what you mean by "fruitful". If fruitful means "getting a job in Germany" in further depends on where. For big players in Germany, international companies like the Deutsche Bank or McKinsey, an internationally recognized institution such as the HEC Paris may be the better option. If you are interested in a regional network to German companies, however, for example to SME's a German business school may be better apt. MY tip: Clarify in advance what your ideal employer would be and then analyze which firms come to the campuses of your French or German target schools. You can find this out by screening the websites of the schools and by contacting the admissions offices of the schools. You can also ask them about where their graduates started to work. If a school does not provide that information, I would not apply there.

        "I have a strong desire to work for at least a couple of years in Europe after my MIM. So do you find Germany to be the safer option as compared to the French because they do have 18 months of stay back option and a good promising economy;also keeping into consideration the low un-employment rate compared to other European countries?"
        With "save option" you mean "getting a job", right? Again, I recommend to become more specific here. Personally, I don't see a saver option "in general" here or there. It all depends. As mentioned before, I recommend to clarify your ideal industry and employer first and then check which schools has the best network to these industries or employers. The logic is What does the German economy help you if you don't find a MIM program for non-business graduates that has contacts to your target employers?

        Here is another advice: Try to find out MIM programs where people of your nationality studied. The reason is: The career offices of these programs likely have experience with placing people of your nationality. If you find some programs in France or Germany with students or alumni of your nationality you can ask the career offices where they started to work and also ask them to bring you in contact with thee students. Such an approach is "saver" for you than rather general and vague ideas of France or Germany as a whole.

        "Can you give a general idea of the good B-schools in Germany which have a good reputation among the German employers?Do they have any ranking systems within the country for the business education?"
        Yes, we have a national ranking: the CHE - check it out. It will be interesting for you to analyze this carefully so that you can a better idea of he German education system.

        But as mentioned before: I always recommend to go beyond general evaluations and instead visit the individual websites of the schools and starting a dialogue with the admissions or career managers, after having prepared the right questions. My goal here is to make you aware of this logic and to provide you with the right questions.

        "Also do you have any idea how much is the stay back option in Austria after the MIM as I am not able to acquire the informations here in India."
        You should easily find this out by using the following approach: (1) Contact the business schools' career offices or admission offices (contacts on the websites). They should be able to answer this. If not, ask them who could be able to answer this. Also ask them to bring you in contact with students from India (or Asia in general). Then (2) contact the students. (3) Contact your embassy in Vienna.

        Best wishes
        Thomas

        By Thomas Graf

  • Posted by Farhan Munir on 07/02/19 4:18am

    Hi Thomas,
    I was searching for the information on Grand Ecoles in France and stumbled upon this thread. It gave a general idea about my queries however looking at the detailed answers, I would like to ask some questions.
    I recently got an offer from IESEG School of Management in the MSc Big Data Analytics for Business program. Where does the IESEG School of Management rank in Grand Ecoles? Can you give me an idea of IESEG in the French job market, specifically for their MSc graduates? Also, how is IESEG perceived in the international market? I tried getting in touch with some French students but they were not able to give me a convincing answer so I want an expert opinion from you before I start my program in Sept 2019. Thanks in advance.

  • Posted by thomas.graf on 07/02/19 3:32pm

    Hello,

    thank you for reaching out. I don't know where the IESEG ranks among the Grandes Ecoles but I am sure you are clever enough to find it out quickly.

    In general, asking for a school's reputation in a French job market is a very broad question. I recommend to become more specific instead and ask: How much benefits will the program give me so that I reach my personal career goal of wokriung for employer XY or in the XY industry?

    The Reputation of a school in A SPECIFIC INDUSTRY or AMONG SPECIFIC EMPLOYERS can esasily found out and I provide several tips in my MIM eBook. For instance: Just check which employers recruit on the campus. There are more ways to find out about career opportunities though.

    The same for "THE INTERNATIONAL MARKET" whatever you mean by that. Always be as specific as you can and you will find it easier to get useful answers. Again: Follow the tips in my eBook.

    By the way: " I tried getting in touch with some French students but they were not able to give me a convincing answer" - then you should continue getting in contact with the RIGHT people (e.g., students and alumni from your target school). If no one is able to give you a good answer then maybe it is the wrong school...? Just a thought.

    Best wishes,
    Thomas

    By Thomas Graf
    Author of the MIM eBook