Choosing Business School to succeed in International Business or Entrepreneurship :S

School selection
  • Posted by Ed on 04/26/13 2:35am

    Hi everybody!

    First of all, I would really like to congratulate the creators of MIM compass for the website (in my opinion one of the best in the matter), and especially to you, Thomas, for your always well argued advices. I have read several of them and I always think they are quite inspiring.

    Second, I will try to sketch my profile and my doubts.

    25 Spanish architect. 1.5 years experience after graduate+1 before graduate
    Interested in pursuing a career in international management or entrepreneurship in building related business.
    Spanish and Portuguese speaker. (English in progress; ielts 7.0).
    GMAT starting to prepare (scoring low yet, maybe because my medium English level)

    I want to study a Msc in Management to acquire, in the short term, business knowledge and skills, which I have not acquired in my degree, in order to start a career in international management or set a new venture in the sustainable building field.

    I’d would like to do ( A ) and/or ( B ):

    ( A ) Work for a company and get a high salary, whether in Europe (first option) or Latin America (due to the great future perspectives in the construction business) but just in Spanish, Portuguese or English speaking countries(I would like to avoid, if it was possible, have to learn another language).

    ( B ) Start a business, whether in Spain(despite the macroeconomics perspectives) or Brazil (I have some network there)

    I will list my choices, with the strong and weak points that I think they have for me:

    1_Already accepted in:

    Msc in Management in Nova SBE Lisbon
    (+)good partners for exchange/double degree. Maybe I could get in EAESP-FGV, the best network in Brazil; low fees, wide range of tracks and electives
    (-) medium ranked, No English speaking country. No good salary perspectives.

    MBM in Strathclyde
    (+) good rank. Possibility to conversion in MBA(=>good salary). English speaking country.
    (-)no entrepreneurship focused. Short network focused in my country preferences. No choice for customizing (virtually no electives)

    Msc in Entrepreneurship & Intern. Business in Aston
    (+)good rank. Good entrepreneurship prestige, English speaking country.
    (-)Short network focused in my country preferences. No data about prospective salaries.

    2_ Not accepted yet. (if I get good GMAT results next month, planning to apply for)

    MiM in IE Madrid // MiM or MEI in ESADE Barcelona
    (+)top schools of Europe=>amazing salaries, entrepreneurship prestige, broad network in my country and Latin America
    (-)fees. Difficult to entry?(No data about GMAT score requirements for MiM)

    Msc in Intern. Manag. SME in Maastricht
    (+)really good value for money, entrepreneurship focused, good salaries; large programme
    (-)Short network focused in my country preferences

    Well.. I would like, if it was possible, get opinions and advice about what I should choose.
    If you think there is better options not taken in consideration yet, please don't hesitate to point them.
    If you need some further details about my profile, just ask me back.

    Thanks so much. :)

    • Posted by Thomas Graf on 04/26/13 1:56pm

      Hi there,

      thank you for your question. I need to congratulate you: You really seem to have reflected your goals and options a lot. The result is a short list with schools and program that all seem to meet your needs in one or the other respect. And you even have been accepted by them. That’s really great.

      As for your goals, you may need to further specify the job or employer profile you are looking for. I guess you have something in your mind already – but let me nevertheless emphasize that schools differ in the firms that come to campus to recruit or the jobs offered. If you want to become an investment banker, for instance, and you screen the websites of your schools for employers (or ask the career service team) you probably will find some schools where JP Morgan & Co. are recruiting while others don’t.

      • Bottom line: If you know today the type of industry you are looking for – or if you even have some favorite employers – you can use this information as a filter. Just re-rank the schools along this criterion (which one is the most promising with respect to your target employers or industry?).

      My second thought is: You seem to have a general desire in building up management skills but specific preferences regarding geographic region. A school’s network and reputation within a specific geographic environment can have a huge impact on your career (given that 90 percent of the MIM graduates start to work in the country of where they studied).

      • Bottom line: Clarify for yourself again (you basically have done it already) how important a certain region is for you and re-rank the schools according to this.

      My third thought: How important is it for you gaining entrepreneurial knowledge and being involved in an entrepreneurial environment, culture, and network? If this is important, then I would clearly watch out for school with venture labs, a business plan competition, and entrepreurial networks.

      • Bottom line: Reflect again how important entrepreurship after the master really is for you. Maybe it is really important, then a master should be linked to it. Maybe it is just a vague idea, an option for the future that you keep in your mind without necessarily pushing it further right now - then I would ignore this for the moment and for the next year.

      Final comment: As you have seen already, you need to make decisions and overcome trade-offs. For this, it is important to thoroughly reflect your goals and rank them such that on position 1 is the goal most important for you after the MIM program. At the bottom of this list is a goal that you have in your mind for your future but not necessarily being associated to your job directly after graduation. If you follow this approach I am confident that eventually 2, 3, or 4 schools will be left on your list.

      What's the final step? Your final step then will be to listen to your gut feeling. I always recommend to visit the campuses even if it takes some hundreds of Euros to do so. Ask yourself: Do you want to stay here one year of your life? Are these the people you want to spend time with? How profesional is everything? Are you terated liek a number or like a huma being? How important is that for you? Keep in mind that a master is more than just a tool to make money. It is a period of your life - and you can gain lots of experiences with it, beyond career issues.

      Best wishes

      By Thomas Graf

    • Posted by Ed on 05/04/13 7:23pm

      Firstly, I want to thank you so much for your comments. I really appreciated them.

      As you say, I have reflected a lot, but not enough as far as I am not decided yet... so I still need a push to make some decisions :)

      Therefore, I gonna retake the key points that you stated before:

      About job profile:
      According to my current industry (despite I wouldn’t mind to change towards another), the employer profile could be either a real estate consultant (such as CBRE, Jones Lang LaSalle, Cushman & Wakefield…) or a big construction/architecture company (such as Skanska, ACS, Foster&Partners, etc). The issue is that, I never see this kind of recruiters as frequent recruiters in general management masters (and specialized ones are not my goal)… I tried to search in linkedin and asking directly to the universities but the conclusion was not so clear…does anybody know something about the preference schools for these recruiters?

      About geographic region:
      As it can be seen, I have some preferences for Iberian countries to end developing my career there , but excluding top business schools, the value of northen schools seem to be higher comparing with schools in theses countries (best reputation=>highest salaries, etc..) Therefore, I wouldn't mind to work in other European countries in order to get more experiences and some savings for the future.

      I have seen some masters (concretely in UK), where European network is virtually inexistent, which makes me move backward. But again, some schools published some data, but others don’t. Do you know if indeed, these trends really exist? I mean, some schools focused in specific geographic network? (For instance, Strathclyde has just published some data where it can be deduce that they really focus in asia networking)
      Could you give me some clue about that?

      About entrepreneurial knowledge:
      As you pointed, this is a really key point in a long term perspective. However, despite I maybe don’t decide to start a business straight away after finish my degree, I think it would be quite important to feel myself involved in a environment like that, in order to get inpiration.
      I just know a couple of business schools that indeed, have a strong entrepreneur focused (namely, IE and Lyon), but with my current gmat level (scoring 550 in non official tests), it could be difficult to get in.
      Note: Further information is welcome :)

      About gut feeling:

      Indeed, I really believe visiting the schools is the best idea to feel how they suit myself, and this was the main reason why I am asking for help here. I am planning to visit some school this month. So, because my budget and time is limited, I need to decide, limiting my choices… However, paradoxically, sometimes the list get bigger instead of smaller…

      Thanks so much for your help. :)

      • Posted by Thomas Graf on 05/04/13 10:10pm

        Hi there,

        I cannot understand this paragraph. Can you please clarify?

        "I have seen some masters (concretely in UK), where European network is virtually inexistent, which makes me move backward. But again, some schools published some data, but others don’t. Do you know if indeed, these trends really exist? I mean, some schools focused in specific geographic network? (For instance, Strathclyde has just published some data where it can be deduce that they really focus in asia networking) Could you give me some clue about that?"

        Best wishes

        • Posted by Ed on 05/05/13 12:08am

          Sorry about my writing.

          Basicly, I was wondering if something like this is roughly the usual composition of masters in UK.

          It seems to be really good if you want to broaden your network towards Asia but I am sceptical about whether is good if you want to work in Europe.

          Do you have some data about this?

          • Posted by Thomas Graf on 05/05/13 12:23am

            Hi there,

            well, that's a good question. To what degree is the internationality of the student cohort and the proportions of countries a proxy for job prospects with that degree?

            Having lots of non-European students in the class can mean that placements in Europe are rare at this school IF these students go back to Asia afterwards. But it can also mean that the school has experience with placing non-European students in Europe. In other words, you cannot automatically deduct that a European COMPANY network is not existent just because of a weak European STUDENT network.

            However, having 80 percent of non-European students in a Master in Management program is not typical or representative for MIM programs as a whole. Europeans represent about two thirds of MIM students worldwide.

            I understand your doubts and I think that your critical approach is justified. But before building an opinion to fast I would contact the schools and ask them:

            • Where do the MIM graduates find a job? (country, industry, firms)
            • How many percent found a job within 3 months after graduation?

            Then you have the information you need. Additiunally, you can ask the school to bring you in contact with European students and simply aks them how they feel about their job prospects and the schools' firm networks.

            Best wishes

            By Thomas Graf

            • Posted by Ed on 05/05/13 7:13pm

              Thanks Thomas.

              I really liked the point of maybe it would be a better idea to not study a master in entrepreneurship, but to study a general management master in a school with entrepreneurship environment around, and take advantage of this in the same way.

              And yes, I feel quite sceptical about the MBM in Strath, but it is also a good advice don't make premature assumptions. I will research more about that.

              By the way... Do you know another program which the master level could be converted in a MBA? I think this is the key point why I really like Strath.

              Thanks a lot :)

              • Posted by Thomas Graf on 05/05/13 9:06pm

                Hi there,

                as far as I know Hult offers a similar option. You study the Hult MIB and can use some of your courses for doing the MBA later.

                Best wishes

                • Posted by Ed on 05/05/13 9:28pm

                  Well, it seems just a "little" more expensive. :)

                  Thanks anyway.

                  Best wishes

      • Posted by Thomas Graf on 05/04/13 10:29pm

        Hi there,

        here are some more thoughts:

        Your paragraph "About job profile:"

        You could contact your favorite employers (or their competitor) directly and ask them if they have favorite schools where they recruit from or degrees they are looking for.

        The alternative is – give that you signaled some openness to other industries as well - that you do a Master in Management or Entrepreneurship even in the absence of your favorite employers. Just make sure that you can imagine working at some of the employers that recruit at the respective campus.

        Your paragraph "About entrepreneurial knowledge":

        Well, you need to decide where you want to study ideally. If you have found two or three schools than apply. The IE is a good example of a school that is open to acknowledge more than only grades or GMAT scores.

        You can also re-do the GMAT. I did it myself and had first 590 and then 660.

        Moreover, you can search for Masters in Entrepreneurship using our search engine) and apply there.

        Finally, you can study a Master in Management at a school that also offers a Master in Entrepreneurship. It is very likely that you can profit from the school’s entrepreneurship competence even if you study a different degree.

        Your paragraph "About gut feeling":
        Try to make decisions at some point. You cannot do everything – so you need to prioritize and narrow your choices down.

        Finally, I would consider a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in yor case. We have 2,000 programs researched at the MBA Compass - and with 2.5 years of work experience at the start of your studies this seems to be a valid option.

        Best wishes

        By Thomas Graf