Tag Archives: international applicants

Business Master’s Programs Aren’t Replacing MBAs

Although interest in specialized business master’s degrees continues to rise, findings from the Graduate Management Admission Council’s (GMAC) newly released 2017 Prospective Students Survey Report show that the MBA remains the predominant program format considered by …

Although interest in specialized business master’s degrees continues to rise, findings from the Graduate Management Admission Council’s (GMAC) newly released 2017 Prospective Students Survey Report show that the MBA remains the predominant program format considered by candidates with both prior business master’s degrees (61 percent) and non-business master’s degrees (86 percent).  In fact, three in 4 prospective graduate business school candidates who hold a prior master’s degree are considering enrolling in MBA programs.

“These findings demonstrate that a business master’s degree is not necessarily the end of graduates’ business education,” said Sangeet Chowfla, president and CEO of GMAC. “For many, their business master’s degree is a stepping stone to continued professional development that may include an MBA down the road, in either a full-time or part-time format.”

The findings of the mba.com Prospective Students Survey Report show that globally 22 percent of prospective business school candidates have a prior master’s degree, with considerable regional variation. While 2 in 5 European candidates have a prior master’s-level credential, the same is true of just 14 percent of U.S. candidates.

Growing Demand for Business Master’s Programs

Fueled by growing candidate demand, non-MBA business master’s programs continue to proliferate. Globally, the percentage of candidates considering only business master’s degrees — such as Master of Finance, Master of Accounting, and Master in Management — has increased from 15 percent in 2009 to 23 percent in 2016.

This rise in interest has been particularly strong among candidates from East and Southeast Asia and Western Europe, where now more than 2 in 5 candidates report considering only these program types.

Non-MBA programs and MBA programs attract distinct candidate pools seeking different outcomes. Candidates considering non-MBA business master’s programs skew younger and the majority have little to no prior work experience.

Compared with MBA candidates, individuals preferring business master’s programs are more interested in developing their technical skills. MBA candidates are typically older, have more years of work experience, and are more interested in developing their managerial and leadership skills.

International Study Demand Remains Strong

Nearly 3 in 5 prospective business school students (59 percent) intend to apply to programs outside their country of residence, up from 44 percent in 2009. Most candidates seek study opportunities outside their country of citizenship to receive a higher-quality education (63 percent of respondents), to increase their chance of securing international employment (58 percent), and to expand their international connections (51 percent).

One-third (34 percent) of candidates who prefer to study outside their country of citizenship intend to seek employment in the country where they prefer to attend school.

U.S. Remains Most Preferred Study Destination Though Candidate Preferences Are Shifting

Consistent with past research, more than 9 in 10 U.S. candidates prefer to study domestically (96 percent). Globally, among full-time MBA candidates looking to study outside their country of citizenship, 58 percent prefer to study in the U.S., down from 61 percent in 2009. Since 2009, there has been an increase in MBA candidates preferring to study in Canada (4 percent in 2009 vs. 7 percent in 2016).

There has been a similar shift in preferred study destinations among non-U.S. candidates interested in business master’s programs. In 2016, 47 percent of non-U.S. prospective students interested in business master’s programs expressed a preference for study in the U.S., down from 57 percent in 2009.

Over time, a greater share of these candidates have shown interest in applying to programs in Western Europe (34 percent in 2016 vs. 30 percent in 2009), Canada (7 percent in 2016 vs. 4 percent (2009), and East and Southeast Asia (7 percent in 2016 vs. 4 percent in 2009).

Immigration Policy Changes Impact International Study Choices

Recent shifts in immigration policies may impact candidates’ study destination preferences in 2017. Anticipated changes in U.S. immigration policies and last year’s Brexit vote in the United Kingdom may make it more difficult for non-citizens to obtain student visas to study in those countries or to obtain work visas after graduation to seek employment, one of the main reasons for studying in those countries.

Since November 2016, a growing share of international candidates say they are now less likely to pursue a graduate business degree in the U.S. due to the U.S. presidential election results. The percentage of non-U.S. citizen mba.com registrants who say they are now less likely to study in the U.S. has grown from 35 percent in November 2016 to 43 percent in April 2017.

Early indications are that the British Brexit vote to leave the European Union may negatively impact international candidate demand to apply to U.K. business schools. In December 2016, among nearly 1,300 non-U.K. GMAT test takers surveyed about the Brexit vote, 45 percent indicated that the Brexit vote has made them less likely to study in the U.K.

A country-level analysis reveals that Indian candidates are the most negatively influenced by the Brexit vote, with 58 percent reporting that it has made them less likely to study in the U.K.

GMAC launched a second survey of non-U.K. GMAT test takers on March 29, the day the U.K. triggered Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, which allows the U.K. to unilaterally quit the European Union. This survey closed on April 7 and showed the same percentage of candidates would be less likely to study in the U.K.

Education Costs Continue to Weigh Heavily on Candidates’ Minds

The predominant reservation candidates have about pursuing a graduate business education revolves around costs. Approximately half of surveyed candidates indicate that not having enough money available to pay for their education (52 percent of respondents) and potentially having to take on large debts (47 percent) may prevent them from pursuing a graduate business degree.

The two most important financial aspects that candidates evaluate when deciding where to apply are total tuition costs and scholarship availability. Compared with 2009, candidates, on average, expect to cover a greater share of the cost of their education with grants, fellowships, and scholarships and a smaller share with parental support, loans, and employer assistance.

Analysis in the 2017 mba.com Prospective Students Survey Report is based on survey responses provided by 11,617 individuals who registered on mba.com between February and December 2016.

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Guidance for International MBA Applicants

Recent changes to immigration procedures have caused some confusion and concern among international MBA candidates applying to business schools in the United States. To help clarify matters, the Graduate Management Admission Council has created a page …

international MBA applicantsRecent changes to immigration procedures have caused some confusion and concern among international MBA candidates applying to business schools in the United States. To help clarify matters, the Graduate Management Admission Council has created a page on its website mba.com to help alleviate some of these concerns.

Here you’ll find resources and information that apply to international students, including an overview on applying for a visa to study in the U.S., and information from leading GMAT-using schools for students navigating U.S. travel and immigration policies.

If you’re looking for how to convert your grades to the GPA scale, want to hear from others who have chosen to go abroad for their MBA, or simply interested in general tips for successful international study, bookmark this resource today.

You may also be interested in:

3 Common Hurdles for International MBA Applicants
Show International Experience When Applying to Business School
Advice for Business School Applicants from Asia

Image credit: Flickr user Fedecomite (CC BY 2.0) 

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Considering a Second MBA Degree?

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com The idea of pursuing a second MBA degree may sound strange, but it happens with a small number of applicants during every admissions …

get a second MBA

Applicants who received an MBA abroad can use a second MBA to strengthen job prospects.

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com

The idea of pursuing a second MBA degree may sound strange, but it happens with a small number of applicants during every admissions season and can make sense under the right, very specific, circumstances.

Some applicants consider a second degree after earning an MBA from a for-profit university or an unaccredited program. They may find they have hit a ceiling with their employment prospects as they vie for positions against candidates from better-known schools.

More often, people who seek a second degree are international candidates who have discovered that their professional dreams cannot be fulfilled with their current degree alone.

In India, for example, it’s common for a student to jump into an MBA program straight out of university, which makes for a very theoretical learning experience rather than a practical one in which to contextualize management problems. Once these MBA grads get into the workforce, they discover they must further develop various skills to become strong business leaders.

For professionals working in international firms who aspire to relocate abroad, a degree earned in-country will not open doors the way a highly ranked MBA from a name-brand university will. A second MBA is seen as an efficient way to move out of a stagnant career and enhance their competitiveness, allowing the degree holder to shift into a new function, industry or geography after completing their studies.

Creating a rich classroom experience through diversity is a huge focus of the top business schools, offering students the opportunity to interact with peers from an array of countries and professional backgrounds. While the educational component of the degree in South Asian business schools, for example, may sometimes rival their international counterparts, the ability to create networking ties across the globe is nowhere near as strong. For career switchers looking to break into competitive industries such as finance or consulting, earning an MBA from a globally recognized brand becomes paramount.

As with any blip or oddity in candidates’ background, they need to think through their story as they prepare application essays.

What did you not get from a prior MBA that you can get this time around? How is the target program different, or a better fit? Or maybe it’s a matter of timing, and the first one was a mistake you need to acknowledge. What skills are you looking to gain, and why couldn’t you acquire them with your first degree? An applicant needs to show why it would make sense to repeat the same degree from a different school. It can be a hard narrative to flesh out and tell in a compelling way, but it’s not impossible.

When I first read through the profile for our client Vijay, I saw strong academic numbers, volunteer involvement, an interesting entrepreneurial venture – and that he already had an MBA from one of the Indian Institutes of Management. My first question was the same any admissions committee member would ask him: “Why do you need a second MBA?”

Vijay entered an IIM program when he was a university student to supplement his engineering coursework. While he had received an MBA credential, he considered the degree as an addendum to his undergraduate diploma. Also, his degree did not provide the same career advantages he would get from one of his target schools in the U.S., which were the MIT Sloan School of Management, the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania and University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

For his career goals essay, we discussed exactly what this second MBA degree would do for Vijay’s career. We also used the optional essay to clearly outline how specific coursework in entrepreneurship, international experience and networking opportunities at each program made a second MBA absolutely necessary. His hard work and compelling argument paid off, and Vijay pursued his second MBA at Sloan, where he made some great contacts for future entrepreneurial ventures.

Many top business schools in the U.S. and Europe welcome applicants who already hold an MBA degree. If your first MBA is from a smaller international school, the elite programs are well aware of their advantages over the initial degree. Fortunately, your prior MBA degree won’t be a problem for on-campus recruiting, though you should be able to explain why you needed the two degrees. Assuming you have a solid story, the emphasis will be on your work experience and skills. If you are admitted to a strong program, the degree — combined with your skills — will enable you to land a great job come graduation.

Contact the admissions department at the programs you are interested in to find out the specifics for each school, and be ready to make a rock-solid case for why a second MBA is the next logical step for you.

Image credit: KMo Foto (CC BY 2.0)

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Business School Trends in 2015

              The MBA degree continues to evolve, as more and more business schools expand their focus to include greater numbers of women, international opportunities and experiential learning requirements, and …

MBA trends 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The MBA degree continues to evolve, as more and more business schools expand their focus to include greater numbers of women, international opportunities and experiential learning requirements, and new formats like online degree programs and free MOOCs.

Current and prospective applicants always seem interested in the latest trends related to graduate management education. I recently spoke with John Dodig at the education website Noodle to talk about what’s going on in the world of MBA admissions these days, and want to share some excerpts from our conversation here.

You’ve talked about how “white spaces” — or the things between the listed items on someone’s resume — can convey just as important a story as the bullet points on a person’s MBA application. Do you think that your “white spaces” along the way are typical of someone with an MBA?

I think a lot of people apply for MBA programs, and they kinda want to fit into one of four traditional types of jobs — like marketing, consulting, banking, entrepreneurship — and as time goes on, seeds are planted during the program. Whether it’s immediate or gradual, there are often a lot of twists and turns. So, in a way, it’s typical to have a lot of these twists and turns and to end up finding yourself. Yes, I would say I was typical in the sense that there isn’t really any typical.

Do you work with a lot of American students who are interested in going to business school abroad? Or, on the flip side, do you work with a lot of international students interested in studying in the U.S. for an MBA?

We do both, for sure. I would say probably there are more international students who want to come to the U.S. than the reverse, but we’re definitely placing plenty of Americans in international programs. And that is something that I think has grown a lot over the past 10 years — the growth of different types of programs, different options, and the increased popularity of programs outside the U.S.

Is there any big advice that you give to international students who want to come here for business school?

I think there can be challenging logistics for people who are coming from abroad to go to school in the U.S. In the beginning, things are a lot harder, ranging from financial aid, to finding housing, to overcoming some culture shock and finding their way. It’s very common for someone in the States to have friends in their class, you know, people they know from college, or just throughout life. But coming internationally, they may know no one. It can just be more challenging.

My advice would be, in the beginning, be realistic. Take it slow. Being careful and clearing all those hurdles can lead to a very, very rewarding experience.

To read more of my Noodle interview about the state of MBA admissions in 2015, please follow this link to the original article.

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Admissions Updates from Michigan Ross

Yesterday, October 7th, marked the Round 1 deadline at Michigan Ross School of Business, and Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid Soojin Kwon posted some information on her blog today that will be helpful …

admissions updates at Michigan Ross

Yesterday, October 7th, marked the Round 1 deadline at Michigan Ross School of Business, and Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid Soojin Kwon posted some information on her blog today that will be helpful for R1 as well as future applicants.

Perhaps the biggest news is for international candidates, who applied in greater numbers this year and will be able to take advantage of a new non-cosigner international student loan by Prodigy Finance, available to Ross students as well as admits to 15 other top business schools in the pilot U.S. program.

In a departure from many business schools, Kwon notes that this year’s required essay questions don’t touch upon the most common queries of all: What are your career goals? Why an MBA? Why Ross? It isn’t because the program isn’t interested in hearing about these subjects. Rather, the questions will be addressed during the MBA interview instead.

“This more closely replicates the experience you’re going to have as an MBA student going through the recruiting process,” Kwon explains. “And, asking those questions in an interview enables us to ask follow-up questions.”

The admissions director also highlights upcoming events this week at Ross, including UpClose, a diversity preview event October 10-11th for more than one hundred prospective students and alumni. Ross will also host a Social Innovation Summit this Friday, featuring speakers working in social entrepreneurship, impact investing, food security and urban farming, and workforce development.

Finally, Kwon encourages applicants to connect with the Ross Student Ambassadors, who can provide the inside scoop on what student life at Ross is like. This may be especially helpful for those unable to come to campus and attend an admissions event in person.

You may also be interested in:

Michigan Ross MBA Essay Tips

Michigan Ross Students Launch Private Equity Club

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Target U.S. Business Schools as a Latin American MBA Hopeful

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com International students typically make up 25 percent to 40 percent of MBA cohorts at top U.S. business schools. It’s not surprising that the overwhelming …

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com

International students typically make up 25 percent to 40 percent of MBA cohorts at top U.S. business schools.

It’s not surprising that the overwhelming majority of applicants from Latin America want to pursue an MBA degree in the U.S. According to data from the most recent QS Top MBA Applicant Survey, more than 70 percent say the U.S. is their destination of choice, followed by Canada at 30.3 percent.

The poll also confirms that Latin American applicants place a high value on specializations – higher than any other world region – in order to meet their individual needs. While all b-school hopefuls should tailor their school selections to those that will enhance their career, this is particularly important for students who plan to return to their home countries after graduation. Latin American applicants should research the strength of each potential school’s international placement records and alumni network before applying.

[Overcome three common hurdles of international MBA applicants.]

Travel expenses can make campus visits difficult, so applicants from Latin America should not miss the opportunity to participate in local “coffee chats,” which are typically organized and led by current students while visiting their home countries during winter break.

In an April post to the Daytime MBA Student Blog of the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, Joaquin Brahm of Chile calls coffee chats “a must” in the application process.? These informal events, often held in homes, are a great resource for applicants to hear firsthand? about all aspects of the MBA experience, including personal questions about everyday student life.

“We received only good feedback about coffee chats in Latin America,”? says Yonathan Lapchik, admissions cabinet member of the Latin American Student Association at Fuqua. “Prospective students found it a very useful step in their application process. Our idea is to continue developing these kinds of events in the future and establish them as another resource for applicants in their pathway to Fuqua.”

Many MBA programs offer incentives and scholarships to applicants from Latin America, and some schools are introducing efforts to attract potential candidates. Last year, the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School launched a Latin American Visitor Program ?designed to encourage prospective full-time MBA students from Latin America to visit the campus.

The program provides a travel subsidy of $600 and waives the $145 admissions application fee for up to 20 sponsored students. Kenan-Flagler also offers up to 10 full-tuition fellowships to applicants from Latin America each year as part of the new Fellowship for the Americas award.

As I often write on this blog, the admissions committee wants to get to know each applicant beyond their resume, and the MBA essays are the perfect opportunity to share unique personal or family background information that would allow the reader to understand your core values and motivations.

One of my clients discussed being the first from his family to go to college, and the intensity of breaking family tradition and moving away. This made for a much more interesting essay than merely naming the school that he went to. In other words, that back story – the discussion of the decision – was the most interesting part.

Another client also wove family into her application by addressing a brother’s serious illness and how it affected family relations, events and her personal and professional goals. Don’t be afraid to open up with details of experiences that set you apart and have shaped the person you are today.

Since English likely isn’t your first language, it’s important to demonstrate a high level of fluency that will allow you to contribute actively to class discussions. This you can do during your MBA interview.

Whether you interview over the phone, by video chat or in-person, make sure you practice beforehand with a native English speaker or someone who has lived in the U.S. for a long time and who can provide feedback on American business etiquette or your English language usage.

Once on campus, you’ll gain access to a network stretching across the U.S. and around the globe. Try to network with Latino alumni who hold leadership positions in the U.S. and are often looking to groom the next generation.

During recruiting, keep in mind U.S. companies may not want to hire someone if it involves helping them obtain an H-1B visa, since the employer must prove it has searched extensively for a qualified U.S. citizen or permanent resident and that the international candidate is the best option.

However, if the company is an international firm and you’re willing to relocate elsewhere in Latin America or to a region where visa sponsorship won’t be an issue, ask about hiring options outside of the U.S. Your American MBA will put you leagues ahead of local applicants.

As business relationships across the Americas continue to expand, MBA applicants from Latin America can rest assured they have much to contribute to the U.S. business school classroom, particularly where cultural differences, language issues and differing business practices come into play.

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