“When deciding on an MBA programme, consider the opportunity to gain global business experience,” said Michael Langley, Associate Director, MBA Admissions & Corporate Outreach at the Eller College of Management, University of Arizona.
Business schools throughout the world are now offering global MBA programmes. So what exactly is this MBA and how is it different from other MBA types? Read on to find out.
What is a global MBA?
“While there is no single factor that defines an MBA programme as ‘global’, there are some characteristics to consider in evaluating the global nature of a school,” says Peter Zemsky, Deputy Dean of Degree Programmes and Curriculum at INSEAD. On the other hand, Michael Lu, spokesperson for Hult International Business School, says, “the term ‘global’ has been overused in business school marketing literature, but a truly global MBA needs to offer students a good deal of international business experience.”
The syllabus of a global MBA programme has certain similarities with that of a regular MBA, however, the focus is placed on developing an international outlook amongst students. Another important aspect of this programme is the global business experience, which helps students with cultural immersion, understanding of international business challenges, and assessing return on investment (ROI) with regards to a business organisation.
Due to constant globalisation, it is becoming increasingly important for MBA programmes to provide students with an international perspective. A global MBA degree provides students with a taste of new cultures, foreign businesses, and innovative leadership and business strategies.
What is the importance of a global MBA?
There are several factors that play a vital role in building the importance of a global MBA degree. Take a look at some of these factors below:
- Expands professional career: Professionals can easily start feeling stagnated in their line of work if it doesn’t feature diverse and challenging experiences. However, workers with global MBA degrees are often able to escape the monotony as they have a larger variety of roles available to them. For example, specialising in business operations can help a professional enter the manufacturing field, business development, or even consultancies. This type of MBA provides students with an overall perspective that helps them in their future careers.
- Assists students or professionals in bagging their dream job: Usually, people who opt for a global MBA are professionals who have at least three years’ work experience. Earning this degree provides professionals acquire an edge over their competition, and it opens up numerous job avenues for them. This degree also provides them with greater opportunities to obtain leadership roles in firms, which ultimately assists them in obtaining their dream job.
- Expands professional network: In an international MBA programme, there are like-minded students from all over the world, coming from multiple backgrounds. Students get opportunities to get to know different cultures and understand various business strategies, and coming in contact with a large variety of people certainly helps students further their knowledge as well as their professional network. In fact, many business schools have alumni societies where one can interact and make contact with other former students.
- Provides inspiration for innovative business ideas: Many of those in the business world harbour the dream of starting their own business. An international MBA helps students in learning the intricacies of starting a new business. Additionally, if students have entrepreneurial ideas, earning a global MBA degree will assist them in polishing and improving their ideas.
Global MBA syllabus
The syllabus for this type of MBA degree includes wide-ranging management topics that are studied from a global viewpoint. The focus of this programme is to equip students with skills and knowledge that will benefit them in their global careers. Fundamental management principles and techniques are taught from an international perspective to help students understand concepts and issues from a global point of view. Take a look at some examples of topics approached in global MBA syllabi:
- International environment: International macroeconomics and geopolitics;
- Auditing and accounting: Managerial auditing and international financial accounting;
- International management: Intercultural management and international negotiations;
- Management and sustainability: Risk management and sustainability responsibility;
- International business law: Introduction to law and corporate governance, and contract law;
- Technology management: Innovations and operations management;
- International marketing: International marketing and case studies;
- International corporate finance: International financial market and investment decisions;
- Strategic management: Logical decision-making framework and competitive models;
- Management project: Research project carried out under the guidance of a mentor.
These MBA courses also offer a variety of specialisations such as digital marketing, international business development, global finance, innovation management, global management consulting, luxury brand management, and global logistics and supply chain management.
How is a global MBA different from other MBA programmes?
As an international MBA is meant for professionals who have relevant work experience, this course teaches them about business administration from an international perspective. Students will learn how to manage international businesses based on agreed guidelines. These MBA courses also include other management focused modules and content that are taught on a global scale with the focus on decision-making, ethics, data modelling, communications, and digital marketing.
On the other hand, a regular MBA is designed to keep in mind those students who want to have a professional career in organisations that have limited international exposure. This course does not have a global viewpoint, but instead focuses on the fundamentals for a domestic business. Students on these courses will learn skills that will be valuable for them as managers, such as marketing management, strategic planning, and business planning. The course does not place such a heavy emphasis on global business rules and regulations, ethical requirements, and global financial issues and concerns. If students are interested in learning about these subjects, then they should opt for an international MBA course.
Who can pursue a global MBA?
People who are interested in pursuing this degree have to keep certain entry requirements in mind while applying for these programmes, such as:
- An undergraduate degree with good marks;
- At least three years of relevant work experience;
- English proficiency:
- TOEFL: Minimum of 240 points in the computer-based exam and 587 points in the paper-based exam;
- IELTS: Minimum score of 6.5 with a score of at least 6 in each section;
- Cambridge Proficiency Exam (CPE): A,B, or C grade;
- Pearson Test of English (PTE): A minimum score of 63.
- GMAT requirements vary from case to case. If taking a GMAT is required, candidates have to score a minimum of 550 points.
Career options after earning a global MBA degree
Graduates from these MBA courses get job opportunities in multiple global industries, such as logistics, consultancy, marketing management, finance, and trade regulations. On completion of this degree, students can choose from a variety of MBA careers. Here are some examples:
- International marketing manager;
- Global supply chain manager;
- International management consultant;
- International trade policy advisor;
- International business development manager;
- Digital marketer.
If you are interested in pursuing a global MBA, you should check out the Grenoble MBA programme, delivered at GISMA by the Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM) and the Magellan MBA programme, delivered at GISMA by Porto Business School.
GISMA’S mission is to empower management professionals to respond to the special challenges and stringent demands of today’s highly global business environment. GISMA is based in Hannover and Berlin.