MBA placement opportunities abroad for International students

Why can’t I get multiple job offers in international business schools abroad when I can get them easily in IIMs? If I come back to India after my MBA, will the degree be recognized?

These are the top MBA placement related questions that Sudershan ‘Suds’ Tirumala (Regional Director, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth) addresses in this article.


MBA placements & opportunities abroad for international students

Top MBA career and job related questions

 

Top 10 MBA Admissions Officer - SudsWe’ve tackled a number of questions in this series of blogs aimed at developing a more informed applicant base in India, when it comes to business school applications.

Sometimes, I may have reinforced what is common belief, and some other times, I may have debunked the usual suspect theories that tend to float around when it comes to business school admission process.

In case this is the first time you’ve run into my blogs, then look up the rest here.

This blog post will explore some of the common questions posed by applicants as they pertain to career placements and general advice on that topic.

Since enhanced career opportunities are one of the primary drivers of a candidate’s desire to pursue an MBA, start your business school research from that angle. Some of the questions you should be answering for yourself are:

  1. Which schools have a highly approachable career development office?
  2. Which schools’ CDOs have some interesting policies when it comes to on-campus recruiting that I can take advantage of, as an international student?
  3. In which schools am I competing with relatively fewer Indian students, so I have a better shot at that dream career? (Think 15% of 1000 Vs. 12% of 500 Vs. 10% of 250 and so on.)
  4. Even among these numbers, which school has the most supportive CDO?
  5. What kind of answers have I got from current students at these schools about their recruiting experience?
    • Because of competition, have they had to compromise on the quality of the company they were targeting?
    • Have they been able to find their way around and get into that career they were so looking forward to at the outset?

These are all questions you’ll need to think about and get answers to, if you’re serious about figuring out the school where you should be matriculating from.

Let’s evaluate some of the questions that come up in my discussions with applicants more often than not.
 

1. How many Indian students return to India after completing the MBA abroad and how many stay back?

 

The answer is, “It depends on the person.” Some candidates really want to get the overseas work experience which they believe will stand them in good stead if and when they decide to get back to their home country. Some others believe that the cachet of the overseas MBA is best put to use if they return to their home country right after the MBA and demonstrate their commitment to making a difference in their own country.

All said and done, the percentage of students coming back to India right after getting an international MBA is fairly small, although the number of such individuals coming back to India after a few years of working abroad is trending upward year after year.
 

2. Why can’t I get multiple job offers in business schools overseas when I can get them easily in IIMs and other Indian MBA colleges?

Honestly, I don’t know how to answer this question since at Tuck, Indian students (and more generally, international students) often end up with multiple internship/job offers and they get to pick and choose what they want to pursue after due consideration and discussions with their potential employers, alumni, faculty, CDO, etc.

And in cases where they are very specific about the industry and the kind of work they want to do, they will target their recruitment in such a way that they ultimately get to the destination. So I don’t see the situation as much different.

Having said that, companies sometimes may not want to hire international students because they don’t want to get entangled in the whole issue of visa uncertainty. In spite of this constraint, I’ve seen Indian students get multiple offers, so you just need to be smart about how you want to approach the whole recruiting process.
 

3. The million dollar question I’m always asked is about the H-1B visa and how that’s going to impact the candidates’ ability to work in the US in the future.

Now, that’s a question that even US Senators cannot answer with any degree of certainty. In the election year, rhetoric is always high and in other years, things get back to a sense of tempered expectations – the realization that high-skilled workers are indeed needed in the US and that’s something the country cannot simply ignore. So lottery or no lottery, visa cap or not, Indian students who have studied in the US have, for the most part, been able to make things happen for themselves.

Again, no one can say with any sense of certainty about how things are going to evolve. Suffice it to say that it’s a systemic issue and has nothing to do with which business school you go to. It all ultimately boils down to how well you impress your boss and the company you work for so that they’re going to bend over backwards to retain you, in spite of visa related setbacks.

I’m a believer of examples since that’s where the rubber hits the road, so to speak. Let’s talk about this Tuck student who went to work for McKinsey in their Chicago office after graduation. He did really well there, the company applied for his H-1B visa – not once but twice – and didn’t get through both times.

The company didn’t want to lose him, so they came up with the idea of placing him in their Sydney, Australia office for a few years, and then bring him back to the US office. And that’s precisely what they’ve done. This is not a bad outcome by any means!

Not only from a company perspective, but even the Tuck CDO follows up with students (who are now alums) to makes sure there are no visa-related problems that are cropping up. And if they do find out that there are some issues, they will do whatever they can, to help/advise the candidate in question. That’s where it helps to have a CDO that is invested in the success of not only the current students but also the alumni.
 

4. If I come back to India, will the brand be recognized?

This is a question that I’d like to turn on its head. Maybe, this is a question that merits its own blog post. In any case, what is a brand? An MBA will give you a toolkit, a set of frameworks, a network you’re a part of for the rest of your life.

More than anything else, it will give you the confidence that you can take over the world if you believe in yourself. How you leverage all of these and how you make things happen for yourself is up to you. The school will be there in the background. It’s you who’s got to make things happen.

In that sense, who’s the brand? It’s not the school. It’s YOU! The school is simply an enabler. You’re the one who’s on the front lines. And through your brand, you will help the school’s brand to improve in the part of the world you’re in. When you rise and shine, so will your school.

You are the brand builder. You are the brand!


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Sudershan Tirumala //
Sudershan Tirumala
Suds' association with the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth (an Ivy League university) as Regional Director has given him rich & unique insights about international & Indian applicants that very few admissions officers have. In an exclusive series for MBA Crystal Ball, he writes on a wide range of topics from MBA admissions to careers.

11 Comments

  1. Jahanzaib says:

    Hello,

    I am Jahanzaib from Pakistan. I have done B.com (2 years) from Punjab University. My marks are approximately 90 %.
    I want to do MBA from abroad. Am i eligible for it.
    please help me. i am tense for it.

    Thanks in advance

    • Suds says:

      Hi Jahanzaib,

      You mentioned your B.Com is a two-year course. Is that a common occurrence or did you finish in two years? Normally, I’ve seen undergraduate courses to be at least three-year degrees. Schools in the US expect at least 15 years of education (some even ask for 16 years). To satisfy that criterion, you might want to complete a graduate level degree such as M.Com or something similar to be considered a serious applicant. Also, you didn’t mention how much work experience you have. As long as you maintain your academic record in M.Com (or similar course), and do well in GMAT/TOEFL, and have good work experience, nothing stops you from going for an international MBA. So no need to get tensed about it!

      All the best,
      Suds.

  2. Jahanzaib says:

    Thanks a lot Brother…….

  3. anjani says:

    Hi,
    I have completed MBA and i m having one year job experience . I m interested in working aboard .please suggest how to search for MBA jobs in aboard.

    • Suds says:

      Anjani,

      Since you’ve already completed your MBA (I assume you’ve done that from India), if you want to work abroad, the most straightforward option I can think of is to work with head hunters and see if any opportunities fit the bill for you. Typically though, they’ll need you to have more experience before placing you overseas. Either this or you pursue another master’s degree overseas with the intent working there after graduating. That’s the best I can suggest. Hope that helps.

      Best,
      Suds.

  4. Pavithra says:

    hello sir..i have completed my BE in Cse…i have 18 months of work experience including 6 months of internship in sales and marketing from a flourishing recognized start up in india…iam really interested to study mba from tuck school..i have 95% in both 10 th 12th and cgpa of 8.5..my gre score is 306 and toefl score is 89.Do i have a chance to get into your school…considering my less work experience and scores.

    • Suds says:

      Hi Pavithra,

      Thanks for your note and question. Tuck requires a minimum of 2 years work experience at the time of matriculation, we count internship as part of that, so it seems like you’re able to apply. We don’t have a long history of accepting GRE scores, and we don’t require TOEFL as long as the medium of instruction in school and college in English. We’re truly holistic in our application review process (please be sure to read the many blog posts by yours truly on this platform). If and when you decide to apply, make sure you put your best foot forward and make the strongest application you possibly can. All the best with your future endeavors!

      Suds.

  5. Vishnu says:

    Respected Sir, This is Vishnu, I had pursued BEeng Mechanical Engineering from University of Greenwich and have 3 years of experience in the Merchant navy. I am currently sailing as a 4th Engineer and I am very ardent to Shift to shore job. Thereby I need your guidance in what type of MBA should I pursue (For eg. Supply chain, marketting, logistics etc.). And also please tell the way for moving ahead with the particular type of MBA that your good self would suggest me. It will be highly appreciable if you could guide me with this question.

    • Suds says:

      Vishnu,

      Thanks for your query. What type of MBA you should pursue is up to you – I encourage you to think long and hard about what you’re good at and how you want to leverage your strengths to grow further in the future. There are sector-specific MBAs, general management MBAs, global MBAs, local MBAs – the flavors abound. At some point, you’ll need to give your GMAT. All things considered, which flavor of the MBA fits you best is something only you’re equipped to answer. So get going with the thinking hat on!

      Best,
      Suds.

  6. Gokkamokka says:

    Hi Suds,

    I am a corporate lawyer with more than 5 years experience in transactional work (i.e. mergers & acquisitions etc) thinking of a transition to MBA. I have been researching on Tuck and trying to speak to Tuckies (notoriously difficult without common contacts!). How does Tuck look at lawyers (especially if they are Indian applicants). In most cases, lawyers tend to be wedded to their jurisdictions and may not necessarily have international experience (unless they are trained as international lawyers), is it a major factor? Thanks

  7. Suds says:

    Gokkamokka,

    Thanks for your note and question. I’m quite surprised you’re unable to connect with Tuckies. If you haven’t you should sign up on Tuck Connections and you’ll be connected with a current student/alum that matches your criteria. Tons of Indian applicants connect every year with students and alums, through this program. International exposure doesn’t only mean you have to be based outside India. Have you worked on cross-border deals? Have you interacted with teams outside India as part of your work? How have you impacted the parties through your input? Think along these lines. And no, we don’t look at applicants with a law background any differently than we would look at any other applicant. It all boils down to how well have you researched the school, how well you have thought through your goals and how well you have articulated them. Good luck!

    Best,
    Suds.

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