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6 Benefits of getting an international MBA degree

Governments around the world spend a huge amount of money on education every year. This includes setting up institutes of higher education or expanding the reach of the ones that already exist.

Yet, given a chance, every single student wishing to pursue their MBA from the likes of Stanfords and Harvards of the world will jump at the opportunity. With growing popularity of international MBA, students have more options to choose from, and not limit themselves to only the biggest names alone.

What does an international MBA offer that a degree from a home-grown institute doesn’t? Does the word ‘international’ mean only attending B-schools in the U.S. or Europe? If it does, then why do European & US students reach out to business schools in other countries to do their MBA?

Many in the field will explain this word (‘international’) by way of diversity among students in the class. Universities would be wary if their student pool had majority of students from one particular culture, community or country.

So, you’d notice almost all the B-schools will more or less be open to sharing the diversity of their students in terms of gender, nationality, culture, and the like. Even US and European students prefer to pursue their course from a place that gives them the opportunity to study in a more multi-cultural environment. Then you can basically work with just about anyone, anywhere in the world.

And then of course, it looks good on your CV as well!

Now, let’s come to the point. What are the benefits of an international MBA degree? Quite a few. Let’s go through these one by one. For all of you out there, one reason could be more important than others so this list is definitely not in any order of priority.

6 Benefits of an international MBA degree


1. Gets you closer to your dream job

Most students who enroll for an international MBA, are professionals. They have a few years of work experience post which they opt for higher study. So, they are already earning a decent amount.

Yet a foreign degree shines bright on your CV giving you an edge over other competitors at the work place. Higher the ranking of the B-school you graduated from, better chances of your dream company hiring you. And in a leadership role! You stand in good stead to take over a role in senior management, as that’s what an international MBA degree trains you in.

Following a global curriculum in terms of business, marketing, management, sales and operations along with understanding the various facets of leadership from an international perspective makes you understand business in a different way. You get the confidence to work in any organization in any part of the world. An impressive stat shows that one third of all Fortune 500 companies are led by MBA graduates from around the world. For instance, Mary T. Barra of General Motors is a Stanford GSB MBA, Mark Bitzer of Whirlpool Corp. is a St. Gallen alumnus, David B. Burritt of United States Steel Corp. has an MBA from UIUC, Tim Cook of Apple has an MBA from Duke, Jane Fraser of Citi is an MBA alumnus from Harvard, Michael Hsu of Kimberley-Clark has an MBA from Chicago Booth, Ramon Laguarta f PepsiCo is from ESADE, Wlamart’s Doug McMillon’s MBA is from Tulsa’s Collins College of Business, Mastercard’s Michael Meibach has an MBA from Passau Germany, Doug Parker from American Airlines Group got his MBA at Vanderbilt’s Owen, Sundar Pichai of Google is from Wharton, PayPal’s Dan Schulman is an MBA from NYU Stern, Darren W. Woods of ExxonMobil is from Kellogg Northwestern, and more.

2. Expands your professional footprint

For many professionals, stagnation sets in quite early in the career. After a year or two of learning, it generally more of the same in the years to follow. The biggest culprit is the lack of variety at work.

For bosses, it’s more productive to get an experienced employee to continue doing what they have been doing for years. This is why the learning stops and the daily routine becomes a mechanical chore.

One big advantage of an international MBA degree is it gives you the chance to expand your area of interest. From a business operations profile, you can learn about business development, or from manufacturing, you can go into consulting. The program is developed in such a manner that it ensures you get an overall perspective and necessary training to shift your career focus.

3. Gets you back into school

Talk to the MBA aspirants, and you’d know that one of the reasons why they want to ditch their job or life they are living, is to take a break and do something constructive in the period.

There’s nothing better than going back to being a student – sitting down in a room full of people who don’t know you, jotting down informative content, looking up at the professor with eyes full of awe at the knowledge that s/he is spewing.

Well, you do end up spending a fortune on this experience, but actually taking time off work is could give you a much needed break from all the corporate baggage you’ve been carrying all along.

You don’t have to carry your office with you anywhere, no late night office calls, no travel for work. There will be time to think of that business idea you have been toying with in your head. You can chit-chat with new friends and do not feel the urge to network with them for work. It can be quite an experience being a student again.

4. Expands your network

As a business professional, one of the key requirements of your job is to network with people from various industries. In fact, almost all companies encourage their employees to network with people other than their colleagues. You never know which connection gets you more work.

And while pursuing an international MBA, you have the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals from various industries, from around the world. It is the best setting to make life-long friends and extend these partnerships beyond the classroom.

Some of them may just go to head some top-notch organization later in life.And that’s not all. B-schools globally tend to nurture their alumni so as to have an extended network of their wards. You’d have access to such a huge alumni network too who can always counsel, mentor and even help you find a good job.

The professors and guest lecturers from various disciplines and industries too shoot up the excitement factor of these degrees. You can learn so much from these accomplished people from various walks of life. These will be invaluable connections.

5. Feeds your entrepreneurial ideas

Most B-school students and even those working in the world of business, keep getting ideas about starting their own business. Some of them do pursue them and also are successful, but some fail at it.

An international university environment gives you a first-hand experience of meeting such a diverse crowd who come from various nationalities, communities and languages. You can learn from them the hows, whys and whats of starting a business and being successful at it. You’d know what may work and what wouldn’t in your kind of environment.

The course curriculum dissects the phenomenon of entrepreneurship, and offers opportunities to students to work together in teams on some such projects.That would be almost like getting practical training in starting your own business someday.

6. Gets you out of your comfort zone

On your MBA application form, you’d list down reasons that make you competent enough to be considered eligible for admission. These would invariably include having studied at some of the best institutes in your own country, work experience with a coveted brand, and your role in the growth of the company. That’s really good.

But when you go out there in a foreign land, you’d see that you are not alone. There will be students as successful as you (if not more) all around you. That will be your OMG moment.

You’d have to do everything to prove yourself to you once again, probably un-learn what you already know, and learn a new skill everyday. May be learn a new language. But the good thing is, you can expect your fellow students to be wiser and mature with their past experience, hence there will be a lot of team work, cooperation and knowledge sharing. There will be more opportunity to learn how to manage a diverse team. Learning in such an atmosphere can be really satisfying.

There are other benefits that we haven’t covered (like a high compensation package that could cause your peers to go green with envy). All these come with strings attached and there are no guarantees that you may reap some (or any) of the 6 that we’ve covered here. We’ve covered these in other articles. Read them as well, rather than getting bedazzled with these reasons.

Look at the decision from your personal point of view and decide if you should or shouldn’t go for an international MBA.

If you’re confused about the decision and want to be sure you’re taking the right decision (before spending $150K-$200K on the degree), here’s something that may help: Career counselling

Read these related articles:
How to get into the best MBA programs in the world
MBA Programs with the most international students
How international student exchange programs work
7 Reasons when an MBA is not worth it
Things to do once you are in the MBA Program
Experience of a candidate who competed with top-tier MBA to make it into Google

And for an outlook during the uniquely challenging Covid pandemic times – MBA during COVID pandemic

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10 thoughts on “6 Benefits of getting an international MBA degree”

  1. Hi sameer,
    I did my bcom in 2010 and have 5 years of experience with 2 MNC’s TCS and Microsoft…planning for Executive MBA however confused a bit shall I go with regular or part time …plz help

  2. Hi Sameer,

    I am a B tech Graduate passed out in 2013, I have more than 2 years of Work Experience in IT field providing consulting,training and support for different Technical Teams.Now, I plan to pursue higher education with MS in Management Information Systems, Keeping my work experience in mind, is this course suitable for me for a career in IT Consultancy/Management?


  3. Hi Sameer,

    I am 40 years old, working with one of the top MNCs of the world, and managing projects (non IT) of over billion dollars in Canada. I have already done Masters of Engineering and a full time MBA from a top university in Canada. My total experience is 15 years with 10 years in international locations.

    I am finding a glass seal now, especially after this role getting an higher role is much more difficult. Although, I am doing good in my current role but promotions are very slow in my field.

    I am thinking of moving back to India and doing a MBA from IIM A. My last score five years ago before MBA was 720, I guess I can get the same score again.

    The main aim for me is to get a growth and entry in my field or related field. I am not planning to change my field.

    Do you think it will be difficult to get admission in IIM A for pgpx due to my age and will it give me a growth I am looking for in India.


  4. Hi, sir
    I am Saurav from kerala. I currently doing my bba @ bharathiyar university Coimbatore.
    I am planning to go abroad straight away once I finished my degree.
    Sir can you guide me and tell me a proper direction.
    I scored 74.2℅in class 12 is there anything I should do while I am doing degree.
    Sir kindly reply.

  5. @Paras: Go for a full-time degree if you can, and from a good college. The market value and the learning are both very different from part-time MBA courses.

    @Shamrose: Yes, an MS can help you if you plan to stay in the same field for at least 4-5 years more. Since that’s the time you’ll need to reduce/repay the education loan and get some real benefit of the MS degree.

    @Bobby: More than whether IIMA will be easy or difficult to crack into, you need to think what it can really do for you career at 40, that the earlier 2 Masters degrees couldn’t. Don’t hop onto the gravy train assuming it’ll all be hunky dory when it’s time to get off.

    @Saurav: What do you intend to do there, you haven’t explained. If it’s an MS degree, it may be ok, but only if you are really sure about the specialisation. An MBA is a no-no at this stage since you don’t have experience.

  6. Hi Sameer,
    Need to know about benefits of joining an MBA degree/diploma for me who is working in a Manufacturing oriented PSU for last 10 years at a Senior Engineer position.Worked in Europe for a few months on my company project.Also ,I have work ex. of private industry for 2 years .
    Please guide me about ways/(probability) of getting admission into Tier-1 Indian or US Ivy league colleges.——–Thanks

  7. Hi Sameer,

    After my India MBA program ( Tier 2 Bschool), I worked for a MNC for 2 years and quit to join a start-up ( Product based IOT – Internet of things start-up) as partner. However that company is no more functional after 3 years as we couldnt raise investments to take in to next level. After that I joined 2 start-ups, 1 startup wound up with in 9 months due to lack of funds and am continuing in the other start-up which as an entrepreneur myself sensing the company would not survive too long.

    I have decided to do foreign MBA ( top 20 Bschools of 1 year Programs) with global exposure, stabilize my career working for some of the biggies of the world.

    Would I be at a disadvantage while applying for foreign MBA as I would not be having any substantial recommendations nor proofs for my start up company experience to furnish during application. All I can show is 2 years of experience on paper and recommendations from that MNC for which I worked out of my total 6 years experience.

    Please throw some light on how admission groups of foreign colleges would view my failed entrepreneurship experience and will I be standing a chance against my competitors who already having MBAs from IIMs and working with some of the best companies in the world.

    If am at disadvantage kindly guide me as in how can I show this my entrepreneur experience in a better way to be in the race.


  8. Hi, I just graduated from BITS Pilani Dubai campus with B.E (Hons.) in ECE with 8.4 cgpa. I got placed in a good project based company in india and its mostly consulting and dubai has no technical jobs right now and sales i didnt wanted to go for so went for this company instead but i got to know growth in this sector is really slow and salary is not much and I have always wanted to go for management. So I am thinking of getting some experience and do MBA but i am very confused of doing an MBA from abroad or ISB-hyd because after getting an international exposure in indergrad and not getting placed there i am not sure of spending so much again. Please guide

  9. Hi Sameer,

    Do you have any idea that getting any MBA in Europe, then coming back to India to get yourself prepared for the C suite in longer term is a good idea.

    I know India has reputed institutes( IIMs , ISB …) but top 50 FT Ranked MBA and coming to indian job market will make a heavy weight?/
    guidance please.

    My work profile is into Business Analysis, FP&A, I am an Indian chartered Accountant and the ultimate goal is to hang the hat at CFO door.


  10. Hii Sir , I completed my graduation in IT stream in 2012. I have 3.8 years of experience Of Team leader and Two year of experience of Adminstrative Officer . But I want a growth in my career . Should I opt for MBA international? How can this course help me to get a growth in my career ?


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