It’s a fact that many Indians who already have an MBA from India under their belt feel the need for an international MBA at some point of time during their career. These candidates may have already gone through the rigorous two-year MBA program quite early, sometimes immediately after completing their undergraduate studies. They may also have a good brand name (like IIM) on their resume. The need for a second MBA after IIM (or any of the numerous other MBA colleges in India) stems out from the fact that an international MBA differs greatly from what our local MBA institutions have to offer. So rather than getting a second MBA from ISB, those who already have an Indian MBA prefer going abroad.
Firstly, the idea of going for an MBA without any work experience, though common and a popular trend in India, isn’t the norm for an MBA abroad. Many of the best international MBA programs make work experience mandatory. Those who do get in without formal work-experience have something really unique to add to the diversity of the MBA class profile.
Though the candidate would have benefitted greatly from an early MBA, due to lack of industry knowledge, the ability to relate business concepts to the real world would be missing. International MBA programs focus on the diversity in the class. This means that you get to interact with a lot of professionals from various countries as well as a variety of academic and professional backgrounds. This enhances the learning experience and helps develop networking ties across the globe.
For those who wish to change career track after a few years of working in a certain field and move on to highly demanding and competitive fields like strategy consulting or investment banking in the top-tier firms, a second international MBA may look like the need of the hour.
The other reasons may include a desire to relocate abroad, get some international exposure and obtain a global perspective.
Though all international business schools may not open their doors to 2nd MBA aspirants, there are still a sizeable number of top schools which accept second MBA applicants. These candidates need to do a good job at being able to justify the need for a second MBA when they already have one. The essays (and specifically the ‘Why second MBA’ essay) need to be well-thought-out and you need to clearly outline how a second MBA would help you achieve what an earlier MBA couldn’t.
Michigan Ross School of Business, MIT Sloan, Stanford, Wharton School of Business, NYU Stern mention on their website that those with a previous MBA degree may apply. However candidates need to provide sufficient reasons for doing their same.
Darden School of Business admits student for a second MBA provided the previous MBA was from a non-AACSB accredited institution. Majority of the Indian MBA institutions do not come under this category, so candidates can apply.
At the Columbia Business School, candidates with a previous MBA degree can apply to the Columbia Executive MBA Program.
At Johnson (Cornell University), those with an advanced degree are recommended the one-year accelerated MBA program.
Kellogg is another top brand that accepts 2nd MBA candidates for their one-year accelerated MBA program.
Smeal College of Business does not accept U.S. MBA grads. However international students may be considered eligible for applying to the program.
At Goizueta Business School, U.S. MBA grads cannot apply. Though the website mentions that exceptions would be considered on a case-by-case basis, there’s not much information provided regarding international applicants.
Kelley MBA also accepts second MBA applicants. Our friend Nitin, just confirmed this in the comments below.
Rotman MBA might also consider 2nd MBA applicants on a case-by-case basis. (Thanks for the input, Ashish)
There are schools outside the U.S. that open to 2nd MBA applicants. For instance a second MBA from INSEAD (from their Paris & Singapore campus) is a definite possibility. So’s a 2nd MBA from ISB.
Some b-schools like Berkeley Haas School of Business, Tuck School of Business, Vanderbilt Owen graduate school of Business, Duke Fuqua, Michigan State Broad College of Business and Illinois clearly state that they would not be able to accept candidates with a previous MBA degree.
A lot of other top MBA universities, though known to admit international candidates already holding an MBA degree, do not provide clear information about this. So the best bet would be to send across a query to the admissions team informing them about the institution you have done your first MBA from and check with them if you’re eligible to apply. Go ahead only after receiving a confirmation. This would save you a lot of heartburn later.
Before you apply, be sure of what your expectations from a second MBA degree would be. This will also help you frame your Why second MBA essay in a convincing manner.
– Would an extra MBA make a real and significant difference to your career profile?
– Would it be worthwhile investing a whole lot of money and another one or two years when you have already gone down that road earlier?
If you are wholly convinced that a second MBA after IIM (or other Indian MBA universities) is certainly going to be beneficial, do your research on the colleges where you would best fit in and where you would be able to meet your career objectives.
As always, do not assume that this post is comprehensive or accurate when you are reading this post. So whether you are planning for a 2nd MBA from ISB or from an international MBA program abroad, use this list as a starting point and carry out your independent research before applying.
Here’s the story of one of our friends who got a scholarship for his second MBA abroad from the prestigious Sloan Fellows program.
Are you aware of other international programs within the U.S. and in Europe that accept second MBA applicants? Please share them in the comments section below.