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Tips to get a job abroad after MBA

Many who sign up for an MBA program do so with an eye specifically on one goal – international work experience. It’s a great career move for many reasons.

One, considering the astronomical sum spent on acquiring an MBA degree in, say, the US or Europe, it makes good financial sense for Indians to find work overseas, so that they can repay student loans.

Another reason to work abroad post-MBA, for a few years (if not longer), is to start building an international career, or at the very least, to get some exposure working in a culturally different set-up.

This is an invaluable asset in your resume as it speaks to your ability to work in a global environment while also suggesting that you have the soft skills and survival skills needed to make that happen.

Today, most companies and industries work in an international environment, and having a manager with overseas work experience on board makes you a top candidate for a plum post.


Optimising Your Overseas Job Search After MBA

With an MBA in hand, the world is indeed your oyster but landing a suitable job overseas takes strategising, planning and foresight. Here are some guidelines that will maximise your chances when you put yourself out there.


Hone Your Interpersonal Skills

Working in a new culture demands strong interpersonal skills and the soft skills needed to get along with a variety of people. Remember, you are not on home turf and this brings its share of challenges at the workplace.

Leaning on your interpersonal skills is a good way to go as employers look for soft skills like the social perceptiveness, active listening and excellent written or oral communication.

Strong interpersonal skills are also critical for networking, and networking and communication are key ingredients for success in an increasingly connected world.

Since a large percentage of Indians who acquire an MBA degree abroad are proficient in English, this helps plenty when looking for jobs overseas, when competing with candidates from other countries where English is not their first language.


Research Market Trends

At different times, different countries or markets exhibit a greater or lesser tendency to hire talent from overseas. These trends change over time and directly influence your quest. On similar lines, industry too reflects the same trends.

Traditionally, domains such as technology, finance, consulting and manufacturing are partial to hiring international applicants. Aligning your goals with market trends will, naturally, increase your chances of hitting pay dirt.

Often, larger companies are more open to hiring culturally diverse candidates as they are more global in their outlook and also have international operations, so they can place these candidates in field offices across the geographies.

But don’t give up on smaller firms. While they may seem reluctant to hiring international candidates, that can change quickly if convinced that you will be an asset.


Maximising Your Strike Rate

Another valuable tip is to use a three-pronged approach and build a long list of target companies you would like to apply to. These three ‘prongs’ would be: companies in the US, companies in other countries and your home country.

Also, although you may have a very specific job profile in mind, remain open to other opportunities that are available.


Choosing The Right Country

When selecting your MBA program, think not only of the reputation of the business school you hope to enroll with but also of the state of the economy, job scene and your specific career prospects in that country. Of course, you can always move to a job in another country after you get your degree but it always helps to be aware of your chances.

The US is every MBA hopeful’s first choice and rightly so. It boasts the largest number of business schools and the world’s best, apart from a handful outside its borders.

Although the UK sees a steady stream of Indian students every year, questions are being raised about its MBA programs (as the cost of a UK MBA is much higher). The country’s new visa regime and the growing uncertainty about getting MBA jobs in England are further deterrents but the country remains a good choice for shorter duration, one-year MBA programs.

Apart from the biggest MBA brand in the UK, London Business School, there’s Cambridge’s Judge Business School and Oxford’s Said Business School for you to consider.

Canada is not as popular as USA when it comes to MBA programs but it offers a strong bait to MBA students – work permits ranging from 1 to 3 years. But here’s a country that’s finding itself on an increasing number of MBA hopefuls’ lists in India – Singapore.

The top MBA programs here are National University of Singapore and Nanyang apart from INSEAD’s Singapore campus. This means you can still get a top-notch, global MBA degree in Asia and reduce your overall cost.

Besides, Singapore is only a few hours from India and you can easily get by with English, making it an even more tempting choice among Indians.

Overcoming Cultural Challenges

Candidates who work abroad after their MBA studies face many more challenges than those who work in their home countries.

Many feel homesick, at least initially, and most others wrestle with adjusting to a new culture. We have some advice to help you avoid taking cultural missteps that could derail your plan to work overseas.


Hop, Skip or Leap?

There are two ways to pursue an international profile with your new-found MBA status – you either change both your industry and geography in one go (leap) or one of the two (hop and skip), and take baby steps.

For many, opting for a new industry as well as an overseas posting could be overwhelming, what with all the adjusting it entails. It might be more prudent to choose a posting abroad but stay the course in a familiar career domain.

That way, you can use all your work experience to succeed at your new job and impress your new employer. Another option would be to work with a global company in your home country and then seek a foreign assignment in time.


Watch Out For The ‘U’ Curve

Typically, when you start living and working in a new country, you are feeding off a euphoric high as you are enamoured of your new environment, people and workplace.

But soon enough, feelings of homesickness filter in and the challenges of living in a completely alien environment and culture begin to overwhelm you. For many, this levels off and they begin to climb out of the ‘U’ curve.


To get you through this tough time, develop a strong sense of self-awareness and a keen cultural awareness. Be aware of your feelings and remain sensitive to the people around you. Also, just wait it out.

Individuals who have studied and/or worked overseas more than once are especially adept at making these adjustments.

If you are still finding it hard to adjust to a new culture, give it at least six months before you decide to make a move or else you can hurt your long-term career prospects.

Also read,
How to select the right career after MBA

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Sameer Kamat
About Sameer Kamat
Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here's more about me. Follow me on: Instagram | Linkedin | Youtube

19 thoughts on “Tips to get a job abroad after MBA”

  1. Hi Sameer

    I am really thankful to google that it droped me on your website as I am really in a need of counsling.

    First let me introduce my self. My name is siddharth and I am currently working in BPO BOH my age is 25. I am pirsuing B tech eqvi degree in IT stream.

    I am a average student from school days my scorecard is not exciting as others. I am always stressed about my future due to my less scores. Some times I also go in depression.

    I want to ask you that should I change this bpo sector as I am finding it very irritating job. If yes then where should I try next i.e. Gov sector, business or any other. I cant think about those big jobs like IAS IPS or manager level jobs because my grasming power is not that good. Yes I love to work in computer fields like database management or graphics designing. I want to choose a path with your help I am ready to do whatever is needed. Please suggest me some paths so that I can decide my goals.

    For you to understand my problem I am giving you my scorecard

    Ssc 49%
    HSC 52%
    B tech till now: 55%
    I am actually persuing AMIETE course which is eqvi to btech

  2. Hello

    This is regarding my current H1b Status, I was working with one of reputed firm on H1b from 2011-sept 2013. I left US in November 2013. Now, I have couple of question to seek your advice on it.
    1) I want to apply for F1 and F2 (spouse) for Fall 2016, will this cancels my present H1b valid till six year? If not than will I am able to apply for transfer of h1b before completion of my masters?
    2) I do not have any CPT and OPT period left from my previous masters course I pursued. Will this affect my new Masters course I applying for?
    3) Can some1 shift from PHD to master if he dosent like course curriculum once he is in USA?
    Happy New Year and thanks in advance for all your help….


  3. Hi,

    I have done my graduation in pharmacy and worked in medical device sales for a year.. For some reasons, i didnot like my job profile and particularly to change my field i took admission for a MBA course in marketing in Mumbai university..
    It has been 2 years now, i am working with market research agency and unlikely my first job profile, i like my current job profile…
    To make a growth in professional path in terms of learnings as well as financial benefits and to make a career in international market, i am thinking of doing some course in abroad on consumer insights / media research..

    Which courses i can opt for? Will i get a job in abroad for sure after completing the course?

    • Hello Kedar. I’m persuing BSc botany (H) from delhi university. And I’ll be planning MBA in marketing after that. Then some sort of diploma abroad so that I can settle over there. Can you please guide me through this? As you have practical experience.

    • i am too worried about this.. getting job abroad because most likely they hardly hire indian employees who had their degree from their hometown. If you have any views. Feel free to share

  4. Hi,
    I am a third year student and preparing for my cat 2016 but I am planing to switch to Gmat for MIM course.I will be graduate in 2017.I have no plans of settling abroad. if I come back after gaining some work experience will I get job in India??What are the chances and the value of MIM course??

  5. @Sid: Instead of juggling too many balls (job, studies) in the air, why not focus on completing the degree first. Once you have that, hopefully other doors will open. Getting a new job at the cost of the degree may have longer term repercussions.

    @AJ: We aren’t the right folks to advise on visa matters.

    @Kedar: Since you like your current job, stay in it for a few years and pick up some good skills that are valued by employers not just in India but abroad as well. Think about an international degree after 1-2 years.

    @Grishma: An MiM course from a good university will give you international exposure, which most Indian MBA graduates won’t have. But don’t rely only on that to get placed in India, since the degree is relatively unknown here.

  6. Hi sameer,

    I would like to know about the job opportunities in US for MIM.
    I am a IT professional with one year experience.

  7. Hello sir i have completed my mba in finance from a decent college recently. I have receive a job as business executive(sales of financial product).But i am interested in core finance profile (Analyst). i will also be appearing for CFA level 1 in dec. i would like to move into core finance profile after working for 1 year as business executive. Will it be a problem to move from sales profile to core finance proflie ? or should i look for finance job now itself along with working as i am not want to remain idle. How should i deal this situation ? please help me its very urgent

  8. Hello sameer sir,
    Iam on my Final year of BBA and Iam intrested of doing my MBA in US with a job at the same time so is this possible to do both the processes at the same time in ua Institutions??
    I would love to join if so!!

  9. Sir
    I am chandan raja
    I have done my 12 in 2015.and now I pursue in BA ( eng ) .
    I want to do MBA please tell me is it good for me and also tell me will it affect my salary. When I will get job.

  10. Hi sir,
    I have completed by BE in information science engineering and got placed in CTS as well . I am currently waiting for my joining and simultaneously preparing for my GRE . I do not really have a bond for the company so I can leave it anytime . So please tell me is it worth going for my higher studies at this point in time and trying for a job there …or work here for a while and then do my masters?

  11. @Sowmika: We’ll be publishing an article on this soon.

    @Harsh: Yes, it will be a challenge to move from a sales role to finance. But no point waiting indefinitely for the dream job either. Set a deadline for yourself and take up what you have in hand.

    @Arbaz: That’s possible with part-time and executive MBA programa, not will full-time MBA.

    @Chandan: Don’t think about an MBA at this stage. Finish your education and get a job first.

    @Chandra: Unless you are sure about the career path you want to take up, it won’t be a good idea to choose some MS in US program just to put a tick mark on your list.

  12. Hi Sameer,
    Well im 30 years old with a btech background and work ex of almost 9 years in dot com firms with a programmer profile. currently working as a Senior Technical Manager. Well Im thinking about doing an mba from canada next year and for this I have cleared ielts and due for my gmat next month.
    I want to ask if this step is ok for me considering i want to leave pure technical profile and want to relocate to canada. Will i be able to land myself a descent job on a non technical profile?
    Is there something that i should consider before taking this big step? Some people here keep telling me that its not easy to shift a career profile and country together….please advise!!

  13. hai goodmng, i have completed my MBA in human resource , at present engaged with phd (6months) not got good job , planning to go to abroad for job simultaniously for related further study , can u help me regarding this?

  14. Hello ..
    I guess m the youngest of all… I m in 10 standard and I study in KV. To be honest I wanna work in foreign country and that’s y I thought I should apply fr MBA bt my parents r against of this (unfortunately). I just want to know one thing is it easy? I mean I can dream anything bt in the last I have to do my best. My father said in outside world MBA is nothing! there is no value of mba in outside world….Is this really true?

    M asking this coz I don’t want to regret in future fr wat I have done…. so thank you
    and yr article is awesome

    • @Rikka: I’d love to answer your question. Well, the fantasy of working in a foreign land might seem tempting until we are shocked with the cultural differences. To be fair to the degree, MBA is still one of the highly coveted degrees in the world and top companies constantly look for talents with an MBA to fill up their managerial requirements. But the best you can do right now in order to better prepare yourself for an MBA is to grasp the mathematical and grammatical concepts in your textbook. Those will strike hard once you prepare yourself for GMAT! I’d suggest you to go out of your way and learn them in a way never to forget. GMAT is officially the first step towards your MBA (and then landing up in a job abroad). Good luck

  15. I am a practicing Advocate since 2014. I applied for MBA(FT) in various B schools in UK. I have already received offer letters from Strathclyde, Sheffield, Cardiff, Nottingham Trent, Newcastle and Bradford B schools. I may get similar offers from Lancaster, Leeds, Birmingham, Edinburgh B schools.
    I am a bit confused which school to choose. Will you please advise me which school would be best for me with my legal background and what will be my future scope.
    Kind regards


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