Our friends from BusinessBecause.com are back with another guest post. Editor, Maria Ahmed, explores whether it still makes sense to consider an MBA program from the UK, Spain, France, Switzerland, Germany or for that matter, any European country.
Why do an MBA in Europe?
With all the doom and gloom coming out of Europe, does it still make sense to do an MBA there?
The answer is: it depends! Even in the current climate, there are still plenty of examples of Indian nationals who have used an MBA from a European school to go on to great roles in leading firms or start their own companies in the “old continent”. Read on for some examples of Indians who are making their European MBA work for them!
Post-graduation employment is the top concern of most people applying for an MBA abroad. It’s worth considering that there’s a lot of variation in unemployment rates between European countries. In Spain it’s an eye-watering 23.6%; in France, 10%; the UK, 8.3%;Germany, 6.7% and Switzerland, only 3.1%.
One major challenge if you want to break into a job market other than the UK, is the language barrier. While English is the global language of business, in practice you need a decent knowledge of the local language to land a job in France, Germany or Spain. All good business schools offer language training alongside the MBA but you need to be prepared to study hard!
Another point to note is that there’s a shortage of people with an engineering background in Europe in general, and the UK in particular. If you have a first degree in engineering, supplemented with an MBA, it’s a great combination to land a job in project management, analysis or operations. You may not get to a front office or strategy role straight away, but you’ll be off to a great start.
And let’s not forget, doing an MBA in Europe is a great thing in itself! You’re building an international network, learning about a new culture, and boosting your business skills and knowledge.
The costs of full-time MBAs in Europe vary a lot. The costs of the MBA programs mentioned in this article can be found on each business school’s profile page on BusinessBecause. You can also check out the MBA rankings table on BusinessBecause to compare post-graduation salary increases of different programmes, job prospects, and several other criteria to take into account alongside the tuition cost.
So, as promised, here are some success stories…!
Debarshi Das graduated from the full-time MBA at France’s EMLYON in 2010. His first degree was a BEng in Chemical Engineering fromJadavpur University in Calcutta after which he worked in increasingly senior roles as IT consultant for Tata Consultancy Services, Thomson Reuters and Actis. Following his MBA he made the switch out of IT, into the role of Senior Business Analyst at medical devices firm Abbott Vascular in Belgium.
Over in Switzerland another techie, Nitin Misra, is using the MBA at the University of St Gallen to learn about the challenges tech companies face in integrating business, technology and design. St Gallen is a great place to do this, as the University has a prestigiousDesign School as well as a business school. Nitin earned a BSc in Computer Science from Northern Maharashtra University and worked in project management and consulting roles for HCL Technologies, Accenture, and Oracle Corporation. He wants to return to the IT industry with cutting edge business ideas to boost his career.
Vishal Desai, whose first degree was a Bachelors of Engineering in Computer Science from Mumbai University, has no regrets about opting for an MBA at Manchester Business School. Before he started the 18-month MBA in 2009, he had worked for software firm Amdocs in India for five years, ending up as Product Lead. While on the Manchester MBA, Vishal did three major strategy consulting projects: the UK National Nuclear Labortory; iPlato, a mobile healthcare technology firm; and pharmaceuticals giant GSK. He is now a Strategic Marketing Manager at electronics firm RSComponents, based in Oxford. This transition from a tech to a strategy role, and from India to the UK would have been impossible transition if he hadn’t studied in the UK and built a network there.
Finally, there are also examples of Indian MBA grads taking the bold step of setting up their own businesses in the UK.
Kerala native Manoj Krishnapillai graduated from the MBA at Lancaster University Management School in 2010. He had already set up one very successful business in India, while studying a Masters in Electronic Science at the Mahatma Gandhi University. His video and photo-sharing application MobMe was named by the Wall Street Journal as one of India’s most exciting start-ups in 2008.
While at Lancaster he teamed up with two fellow students – an MBA and a PhD scientist – to develop an eco-friendly water purification technology. Their business plan reached the finals of the Rice University Business Plan Competition in Houston, Texas, and Manoj is now working on the enterprise full time.
From water treatment to ethical handicrafts… Aston Business School MBA Swati Randev Verma has two degrees in Microbiology, but she’s on a mission to launch her e-commerce social venture, Ahem Asmi. The not-for-profit social enterprise will give small-scale handicraft producers from India a global platform to sell their products. She’s using her MBA to build and test her business model, and is negotiating with NGOs, factories and smaller handicraft makers in India for the launch of Ahem Asmi when she graduates this summer!
Maria Ahmed is Editor of BusinessBecause.com, a professional network for the business school world. Check out BusinessBecause for interviews with all the people mentioned in this story, and useful information about MBA jobs, MBA Rankings and fresh daily editorial including the Why MBA series.