Forum: School selection (3 Comments)

Help appreciated for program and school selection

  • Posted by - Dirk - on 16 September 2012 - 5:37pm

    [size=small]Hello everyone,

    first of all I would like to congratulate everyone on this outstanding forum, providing plenty of great information about the Master in Management and MBA programs.

    After thinking endlessly about my options, I decided to post my case as well, hoping to get some feedback and assistance for my upcoming decission, that deals with my next career step. First of all, here is a short summary of my profile:

    . 26 years old with a Bachelor in Business Management and 3 years of work experience until now
    . Have been a project manager for events at a German premium automotive brand
    . Looking to continue my business education starting next year, most likely during fall season

    In this situation, I have the following questions, for which I am hope for any answer or assistance that is out there:

    1. Should I rather pursue an MBA or an Master in Management looking at the fours years of work experience I will have by the beginning of my studies?

    2. Which are the best business schools for MBA/ MIM with an true international program, since one of my major goals for the Master is to spend part of my education in at least one different country outside of Europe, preferably at an American Business School or in Asia?

    3. Are there any programms that provide such an international outline combined with a strong entrepreneurial outline and curriculum, since I could very well imagine to work in a start up or become a freelancer after my studies?

    I would be tremendously happy about any information that could help me answer these questions for myself, since they have been bothering me for quite a while and are very essential for my next step in business education.

    Of course, if you have any further questions regarding myself, just drop a line and I will help you out.


    • Posted by - Thomas Graf - on 17 September 2012 - 2:36am

      Hi Dirk,

      thank you for your questions.

      Clearly you should go for an MBA. The Master in Management (MIM) is for graduates or for people with only little work experience. You, in contrast, are the perfect MBA candidate. During the MBA studies, you will learn a lot from your peer group and their work experience as they will learn from you. An alternative, however, could be a Master in Entrepreneurship (cf. below).

      As for your second question "Internationality", here are some thoughts that will help you finding answers.

      Campus location?: In which area (e.g. Europe or North America) do you want to spend the majority of your study time? Clearing this first narrows down the number of schools to look at.

      Studying on a second campus?: Do you want to spend parts of your studies on a different campus than the main campus of your school? I have the impression that you want to study outside of Germany - e.g. in the UK - and on top of that avoid staying on that single campus for the full MBA time. Instead, you seem to look for a program where you can stay some weeks or even months on a second campus in another country. If that's true, it narrows down your potential target school selection even more.

      Where shall this second campus be? Now, the next task is to clear the potential regions or countries that you would like to spend parts of your studies - outside of your main campus. A potential study track, for instance, could be that you spend 80 percent at a school in France and 20% in the UK.

      Finally: How much time do you want to spend on the second campus? Just some weeks or a full semester?

      You can use these questions as a lens through which you screen the internet and schools' websites. What fits into that scheme deserves a closer look. What does not fit into that scheme can be ignored immediately.

      Of course, my role here is not to recommend you specific schools as I am in a neutral position. But to provide you with some examples that come to my mind:

      Here is a list of schools where you spend a longer time on a second campus:

      • INSEAD has a campus in Fontainbleau (France) and in Singapore
      • Hult operates campusses in San Francisco, Boston, Dubai, Shanghai and London and allows for interchanges during the studies
      • Mannheim, Warwick, and Copenhagen operate a common MBA program by which you spend half of the program on one campus, 25% on a second, and 25% on the third
      • ESCP Europe operates a program with different "routes" through their campuses in Berlin, Madrid, as well as places in Italy and the UK
      • etc.

      These are just examples - there are many more schools with such offers. And many schools have partner schools. Their programs may not allow you to spend a longer time (e.g. a full semester) there but maybe some weeks. Just screen carefully the program structures of the schools in your favorite country to find this out.

      As for your last question - entrepreneurship - I would do three things:

      First, narrow down the number of schools according to the second question (internationality). While taking this as the lead question, I would ALSO look for entrepreneurial elements in the curricula, e.g. venture labs or business plan contests.

      Also have a look on the school's statistics and where the MBA graduates start to work after the MBA. In the case of INSEAD, for example, I just read recently on their website that a high number of their MBAs start their own business afterwards.

      Second, I would approach it from the entrepreneurial perspective and google for "MBA entrepreneurship". Maybe you find some interesting programs that provide internationality as well.

      Finally, you could use our search filter and look for Masters in Entrepreneurship. Keep in mind that an MBA is a general management education. If you are speifically interested in Entrepreneurship maybe a Master of Science in Entrepreneurship is better suited for you as it deepens your knowledge in THAT specific area and may provide you with a useful network to other entrepreneurs and venture capitalists or business angels.

      Best wishes

      • Posted by - Dirk - on 17 September 2012 - 9:34pm

        [color=#000000][size=small]Hi Thomas,

        first of all I would like to thank you so much for your valuable and very immediate feedback on my inquiry - i never expected that. After doing plenty of research on this topic, I really know appreciate your lead questions and ideas, which will guide me through this process very well.

        During this week, I will take the time to go through your answer in detail and try to find some answers to your questions. Maybe I will get back to you on this topic if there are any further questions that might come up from my side.

        Until then, keep up the good work! I will definitely spread the word for your forum, since I think it is a very valuable resource for everyone dealing with the big MBA questions.

        Take care