Do You Have an International Education Plan?

Whether you’re a first-year in business school or still in the application stage, it’s never too soon to think about how you can globalize your MBA education. A recent post on the Center for International Business blog hosted by the Tuck School of Business stresses to all incoming students that a global career is inevitable, so you must embrace the global opportunities you encounter.

Lisa Miller, executive director of Tuck’s Center for International Business, suggests that students ask themselves the following questions as they map out their educational arc:

Ӣ What do you want, career-wise? Where are the international components?
Ӣ Look at individual companies. What are the global opportunities?
Ӣ When is it the right time to take an expat assignment?
Ӣ What experiences are you missing that might be attractive to employers?

“I urge students to make a plan. MBA students need to plan in advance, and they need a Plan A and a Plan B.,” she says. “I tell students to always have a backup plan just in case something doesn’t go exactly as expected.”

Like Tuck School of Business, most MBA programs offer courses that incorporate international travel or take a deep dive into global topics.  According to a post on Leadership’s New Direction, published on the Harvard Business Review blog network, young leaders are creating opportunities across sectors ”” and borders.

Business leaders will be forced to recognize and serve a broader community of stakeholders than in previous generations. This “broader community” transcends both sector and geographical boundaries…Simply understanding national surroundings will no longer be sufficient.

Miller says she’s seeing a slow evolution among MBA students at Tuck, where it seems the global message is finally hitting home. “I fear that some students don’t fully realize the immediacy of globalization when it comes to their careers. Some might think that global opportunities will come 5 or 6 years after graduation, but not necessarily so,” Miller cautions.

In The MBA Exchange Rate, MBA student Emily Branton says international exposure and experiences abroad are key for MBA students in a competitive job market.

“Going oversees to study is a huge investment,” Branton acknowledges, “But from a professional standpoint it shows employers that you are serious about expanding your horizons and adds substantial value to any firm you are working for.”


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