5 chances you’ll only get by studying for an MBA
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5 chances you’ll only get by studying for an MBA

“You’ll have plenty of chances to earn big bucks- enough to stop you caring that you’ve had to sell your soul to THE MAN.”

“You’ll increase your chances of getting a job tenfold! Shame you’ll have no time for a personal life.”

“You’ll have the chance to choose your dream career- you only ever wanted to work in corporate management, right?”

How many times have you heard this sort of comment when you’ve voiced an interest in studying business? Thought so. Don’t worry- it’s time to set the record straight. Remove such myths from your mind; wipe your mental slate clean.

Once upon a time, most believed that an MBA or similar business qualification represented a one-way ticket into a soul-destroying job made bearable by a Ferrari-shaped salary; many continue to believe the same today. Of course, those with business expertise have a healthy chance of falling into the path of an attractive pay package– but the parts of business education that really stick with graduates are, in reality, unlikely to be purely financial. When was money ever there for you when you actually needed it?!

As it turns out, the path through business education is littered with opportunities– many of which most students haven’t even considered. So, here goes: five chances available to business students that are both undersold and underrated…

1. A chance to realise how little you know about the world- then do something about it

Picture the scene: you’ve been accepted into Business School. You believe that you are, in short, hot stuff. You’re not wrong! You are, however, also still extremely young and relatively inexperienced. You might have been top of your class at school; you might have the highest IQ in your year; you might even have already held down a job for a while. In terms of business education and global business knowledge, however, you’ve still got a long way to go. But it’s okay- you’re in the same professionally-orientated boat as your peers, and you’re all enrolled on a course that can put a sizeable dent in your understandable ignorance at high speed.

2. A chance to learn how to make a group of driven over-achievers work as a team

A significant part of courses offered at most Business Schools involves group project work. This is hugely important, not only as part of business education but also as part of successful operation in a real-life professional environment. Think about it: you’ve all done incredibly well, worked hard and achieved highly to earn your place at Business School- so now you all want to be the boss! Step back and learn how to work with other talented, motivated individuals to achieve goals efficiently and make progress. While perfecting the arts of cooperation and collaboration will take longer than the duration of a business degree, starting early never comes amiss.

3. A chance to explore today’s global economy and global marketplace- and actually figure out what they mean

So, you’ve been on holiday, you’ve backpacked abroad, and you’ve even worked overseas. You’re completely globally aware, and you’ve seen it all- right? Wrong. As a young, fresh-faced student, it’s all too easy to exist within your own familiar bubble, mistaking brief excursions abroad for worldliness and global knowledge. Again, it’s okay- everyone does it, and a business qualification will help you to burst that bubble and see that it’s a huge, diverse world out there, full of complex international trends and relationships. Time to stop believing that eating spaghetti and shopping on Swedish/British/Chinese/Indian websites count as ‘developing global economic understanding’; a business degree will help you to understand how to make a profit out in the big wide world- and how to make it sustainable.

4. A chance to learn how to step up to the podium and move a crowd

To succeed as an entrepreneur, you’ll probably need to walk the walk, but, more often, you’ll certainly need to talk the talk. Regardless of whether those in front of you are your team of staff or a board of directors, the ability to move a crowd is serious currency in the corporate sphere- and many people just can’t do it. Thus, the Business programme comes into its own by providing countless opportunities to develop and improve public speaking skills both inside and outside of the classroom, before a variety of audiences. The art of persuasion could take you far further than you thought possible.

5. A chance to form an international network of like-minded friends and contacts in business

There’s no doubt about it: lasting networks of friends are formed on virtually every degree course all over the globe. Business alumni associations, however, are an entirely different ball-game. Not only do business students go through the trials and tribulations of gaining a qualification in an extremely challenging discipline together; they are also like-minded and keen to enter the same internationally orientated professional sphere. Business friends are, on one hand, good people (probably); they are also, on the other, sounding boards, potential partners and invaluable contacts. Keep your rugby friends close (they’ll make good bodyguards when you’ve made your millions); keep your business friends closer.

Convinced? Excellent. As luck would have it, we have information on six institutions that offer some of the world’s best business education. Read on to learn more…

Illinois State University’s College of Business (COB) prides itself on being a hub for the acquisition of business and professional skills, the brokering of life-long connections in the business world, as well as a hotbed of opportunity and innovation. With a talented, internationally-focused cohort of students and alumni, and an impressive body of teaching staff, prospective learners can be guaranteed of a vibrant, stimulating environment that will provide them with the opportunities required to launch their careers. Read the full profile.

Wilfrid Laurier is one of Canada’s leading universities for business education, with an impressive cohort of over 5,500 students enrolled in a broad range of business concentrations. Laurier balances its innovative teaching philosophy with a tailored approach to kick-start countless unique and fruitful careers for its graduates. The University’s new $103-million Global Innovation Exchange (GIE) building, set for launch in 2015, is sure to solidify the reputation of the Laurier School of Business & Economics (SBE) as one of the top business schools in Canada. Read the full profile.

Globally renowned for academic excellence and dedication to student support, the University of St. Gallen’s Executive School of Management, Technology and Law (ES-HSG) provides world-class post-experience and executive education activities in management, economics and law. All those enrolled at the Executive School have the opportunity to enjoy a global network of over 100 partner institutions and a truly international community of students and professors. The full and part-time MBA programmes are internationally accredited by AACSB and EQUIS. Read the full profile.

Consistently ranked among the top 100 institutions in the world by the QS World University Rankings, Sheffield University Management School maintains a reputation for producing remarkable, high-achieving graduates who have reaped the benefits of its academic rigor, stimulating research environment and global outlook. As a Triple Crown-accredited institution, the Management School has been endorsed by AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS, establishing its place in the world’s top 1% of business and management schools. Read the full profile.

With 21,000 students and 1,500 employees, Copenhagen Business School (CBS) is one of the largest Business Schools in Europe and one of eight world-leading Danish universities. Offering a number of high-quality business programmes which include qualifications in International Business Relations and Business Start-up and Environment, the School provides a stimulating environment in which tomorrow’s leaders can excel. Not only has CBS achieved CBS Triple Crown accredited status; it also welcomes over 5,000 international students every year. On their arrival at the institution, all overseas students are encouraged to attend CBS’s Welcome and Introduction Seminar and are provided with support relevant to their specific personal and academic needs.

Hosting a diverse, lively student community of more than 17,000 postgraduates studying across 36 masters and 6 PhD programmes, Adam Smith Business School is dedicated to providing all those enrolled with the support they need to pursue prolific professional careers. The School, which is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), is home to world-class research facilities that make a significant contribution to academic and theoretical progression. Offering challenging courses across Accounting and Finance, Economics, and Management, Adam Smith is an excellent option for students keen to broaden their horizons and carve an innovative path through their chosen field.