Choosing an MBA programme can be a really tough challenge. There are a very wide variety of different opportunities out there, and knowing how to sort out the wheat from the chaff can mean the difference between a programme that is good and one that is great. Excellent MBA programmes help prepare the leaders of the future for the challenges that they will face in the working environment. That means that their courses and programmes are not static but are ever changing with the needs of the working environment in mind. Some of the best programmes consider aspects of leadership such as entrepreneurship and globalisation which really seek to meet the needs of today’s business environment. Obviously the fees are
In light of the difficulties in picking out a great programme, writing for Nerd Wallet (2012) Joseph Audette prepared a summary of the programmes that he considered to be the best of the bunch. As Joseph explains, his focus is on:
“…the innovative qualitative programs that are successfully training tomorrow’s global leaders”.
On that note, the first MBA programmes that he highlights are the crème de la crème of International MBA courses. Typically international programmes combine study with international learning and travel and rotation between schools to help students to understand in greater depth the challenges of developing nations and also to help them to think about how those challenges can be solved. As Joseph explains, one of the best MBA programmes that is very frequently highly rated in this regard is the Thunderbird Executive MBA Program. This programme has particular characteristics that set it aside from other programmes that are similar. One of these differences is that students may experience field seminars in any of the BRIC countries and the Middle East. The programme also requires students to achieve proficiency in a second language. There are eight languages to choose from, of which two are Mandarin and Arabic.
The other highly recommended international programme is that offered by Georgetown ESADE, through its Global Executive MBA (GEMBA). This programme has six modules that are delivered in four different continents. While studies kick off in Washington DC, students must also study in China, India, Spain and South America. In fact half of the student’s time is in emerging markets. In this way students gain a cultural understanding as well as a clearer perspective on the political economy that the countries operate within. As one can expect, the fees are extremely high, and to give you an idea, the full program fee for 2014/15 was $148.625 USD.
The following video follows the life of a group of students attending the MBA for a day.
Entrepreneurship is an increasingly valued skill among students that seek to take MBA programmes. In fact many students take an MBA so that they have the skills to be able to start their own business. As a result programmes are developing to meet this need. In this market Joseph first highlights the University of Michigan’s Zell Lurie Institute of Entrepreneurship Studies. The reason for the selection of this programme is that students on this course are involved in managing three student-led venture funds, and this gives students real life experience of managing venture capital. They are able to understand the details of how investments are made and what venture capitalists are looking for. The three funds are focused on social enterprises, the local community and early stage investment. Another example of excellence in offering students a grounding in entrepreneurship according to Joseph is at the Northwestern Kellogg School of Management. Kellogg offers a number of programmes that are designed to aid students with building up their entrepreneurial ideas.Top Innovative MBAs Intelligenthq
A third area that is considered to be of increasing importance for MBAs today is social welfare, due to the growth of corporate social responsibility and a growing number of students that hope to change the world for the better. One that combines social welfare with an international focus is the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. This institution has a GLOBASE programme that pairs up MBA students with NGOs and businesses in India, Ghana and Guatemala, and students are encouraged to help these businesses grow their competitiveness. The Monterey Institute of International Studies allows students to specialise in social entrepreneurship and sustainable business, and students may live among indigenous communities as part of their studies for between two and six months. This is a part of the Frontier Market Scouts Program and students selected for this work as investment managers to help build entrepreneurial skills in the community as well as to create opportunities and develop business plans.
Paula Newton is a business writer, editor and management consultant with extensive experience writing and consulting for both start-ups and long established companies. She has ten years management and leadership experience gained at BSkyB in London and Viva Travel Guides in Quito, Ecuador, giving her a depth of insight into innovation in international business. With an MBA from the University of Hull and many years of experience running her own business consultancy, Paula’s background allows her to connect with a diverse range of clients, including cutting edge technology and web-based start-ups but also multinationals in need of assistance. Paula has played a defining role in shaping organizational strategy for a wide range of different organizations, including for-profit, NGOs and charities. Paula has also served on the Board of Directors for the South American Explorers Club in Quito, Ecuador.