Top 5 MBA for General Management

MBA in General Management
An MBA in General Management provides you with a well-rounded management education, where you cover the entire range of management functions, but specialize in ‘management.’ There are two major advantages of such a focus. One, it provides graduates with all the tools required to oversee a company – the perfect route to reach the top of the management rung.

Most CEOs tend to have majored in one of the General Management disciplines. The second advantage is that it opens up an entire range of industries and verticals as careers options, offering possibilities of career flexibility and sector switching. For MBA aspirants looking to reach the top with a wide choice of career paths, here are our picks for the top five General Management MBA program:

5. Ross MBA

Ross’ 2-year MBA program has a combination of core and electives that impart a strong General Management skill set to MBA graduates. From the required Core courses, Leading People & Organizations, and the experiential learning component of the Ross MBA - Multidisciplinary Action Projects (MAP) are two instances that would be relevant to General Management.

The famous Ross Leadership Initiative (RLI) that beat the likes of Harvard and MIT Sloan for the #1 spot in Leadership Development Programs (2011 – 2012) received a generous gift of $20 million in 2015 from Stephen and Karen Sanger. The initiative is now transformed into the new Sanger Leadership Center (SLC). If Leading People & Organizations in Core motivated you to pursue a career as a C-Suite, SLC’s Impact Challenge is the best platform to test your true mettle. The one-day workshop is intense where the team of consultants will work on solving a real crisis. You can gain hands-on General Management experience through the Multidisciplinary Action Projects (MAP), which has students tackle outstanding projects in places like São Paulo - Brazil, London - U.K, Dhaka - Bangladesh, Madrid - Spain, Mumbai – India and Ruli – Rwanda.

In 2015, 6.4% of the graduating class was employed in General Management functions with salaries that ranged from $70,000 to $140,000 with a median salary of $111,500. For summer internships, 2.2% were picked for General Management, with an annualized median base salary of $7,800 per month.

4. Wharton MBA

Wharton offers excellent General Management proficiency with its 2-year MBA program. The fixed core has a few General Management Courses: Foundations of Teamwork & Leadership, and Speaking & Writing. From the 19 majors, the courses in the flexible core and the 200+ electives would allow you to Major in General Management or Double Major in a related field of expertise.

From the Majors, you have the traditional 'Management' major, but to navigate the complexities of a Global Enterprise, a double major in Multinational Management would prepare MBAs for roles as Managers, in organizations that compete in a highly volatile market where geopolitical developments of the region dictate market demand.

The Center for Leadership and Change Management is a vast resource center for students and offers the Wharton Leadership Ventures – experiential leadership development programs that have included the Quantico USMC Program, the Antarctica Expedition, and the Kilimanjaro Mountaineering program. Career Treks are held both in the USA as well as to locations in Europe, Asia, and South America. The Wharton International Volunteer Program has student teams going overseas for 2-4 week development projects.

During the summer internship in 2015, 5.6% of the class was involved in General Management tasks with a median salary of $7,350. With regard to final placements, 5.1% of the class of 2015 chose a career in General Management, with a median base salary of $115,000.

3. Kellogg MBA

Kellogg’s MBA program is a 2-year program that focuses on General Management with the major. The core curriculum is divided into Majors and Pathways. From the 7 majors, students planning to build the foundation in General Management can choose Managing Organization that includes some interesting courses: Leadership II, Managing People for Competitive Advantage, Leading and Managing Teams, Negotiations Fundamentals, Cross-Cultural Negotiations, Managing Organizations for Growth, Managing in Professional Service Firms, and Leading and Managing Diverse Organizations.

From the 7 pathways on offer, the Growth & Scaling Pathway is an opportunity for General Management MBA students to understand the multiple challenges leaders face while scaling their Business. They will have a deeper perspective of how strategy, marketing, finance, operations, and HR interoperate. For anyone, planning to take over the C-Suite role or are in line for succession in a Family Business, the Managing Organization Major, and Growth & Scaling pathway is an ideal combination.
The school also offers experiential learning through The Global Initiatives in Management (GIM) program that starts with the 9-week research on an international project, followed by 2 weeks spent meeting corporate heads and government leaders all over the world. Annually, 250 students take part in the initiative with the recent visits covering China (Consumer Goods, Luxury, Technology), Korea( Automobile), Japan (Hospitality, Luxury), India (Consumer Goods, Manufacturing), Latin America (Supply Chain, Education)  Middle East(Global Energy), and Nicaragua (Social Impact).

With the 2015 Summer Internship, 3% of the class entered the General Management stream with an average salary of $8,490. 8% of the graduating class of 2015 chose careers in General Management with base salaries ranging from $85,000 to $150,000, and the median base salary at $115,000.

2. Harvard MBA

Harvard University’s 2-year MBA program offers a top-class General Management learning by focusing on an intermix of courses focused on developing your leadership, managing technology, and communicating in an age of distraction. Courses include The Arts of Communication, Managing Change and Transformation, The Moral Leader, Brand Strategy (Millennial Version), The Business of Aesthetics, Computer Science for Business Leaders, Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovations in Education, General Management: Processes and Action, and Introduction to Technology Sales, Law, and Management and Entrepreneurship.

Harvard Business School runs two initiatives that focus on various aspects of General Management - The Global Initiative and The Leadership Initiative. The Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development (FIELD) is a compulsory course that helps students gain experiential knowledge on a new product or service development project that helps them learn about business opportunities in emerging markets. Harvard MBA students have worked with Global partners in 600+ projects across 17 countries that include visits to Accra – Ghana, Johannesburg - South Africa, Beijing – China, Ho Chi Minh City – Vietnam, Istanbul – Turkey, Buenos Aires – Argentina, Sao Paulo – Brazil and Mumbai – India.

The Field course and Immersion Field course designed for General Management job function include Underserved Markets and Finance, HBS Neighborhood Business Partnership, Innovating in Health Care, Social Innovation Lab, and Hollywood: Distribution and Marketing Challenges in a Digital World.

Among the graduating class of 2015, nearly 14% opted for General Management functions with a median salary of $120,000 while for the class of 2016, 8% interns earned $7075 per month on a General Management job function.

1. Stanford MBA

Stanford University’s 2-year Full-time MBA is the standout choice for those seeking a career in General Management. The first year of the program is divided into three groups - General Management Perspectives, General Management Foundations, and Global Experience requirement. The courses covered include Leadership Labs, Managerial Skills, and Managing Groups & Teams.

The second year curriculum builds on this strong foundation with electives such as Global Management, Leadership, Managerial Economics, Operations, Public Management and Strategic Management. Research centers like The Center for Global Business & the Economy and The Center for Leadership Development & Research help students develop contemporary general management skills.

Part of the MBA program is a mandatory Global Experience Requirement, for which students can take up the Global Management Immersion Experience (GMIX) and go on Global Study Trips to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, India, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria/Ghana, Netherlands/Belgium/England, Poland/Ukraine, Qatar/UAE, Saudi Arabia/Qatar, and Spain.

For the class of 2015, 12% chose the General Management function, with salaries ranging from $60,000 to $225,000 with the median at $125,000. As for summer internships for the class of 2016, 7% worked in General Management functions, earning a median salary of $5,600 per month.

Further Reading
Comprehensive MBA Research Guide
Want to see where you would fit? Subscribe to F1GMAT's Basic Profile Evaluation Service

RankingMBA% of ClassMedian Base Salary (FT)Graduating Class
1Stanford University12$125,000 2015
2Harvard University14 $120,0002015
3Northwestern University (Kellogg)8$115,000 2015
4University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)5.1 $115,0002015
5University of Michigan--Ann Arbor (Ross)6.4$111,5002015

Inside Comprehensive MBA Research Guide

Top MBA Programs by 19 Specializations:
General Management
Operations Management
Supply Chain Management
Luxury Management
Information Systems
Hospitality Management
Leadership Development
Military &
Extensive Comparative Analysis of Top MBA Programs

Download F1GMAT's Comprehensive MBA Research Guide