Interview with Access MBA Founder Christophe Coutat

F1GMAT: One of the most time consuming task for an MBA candidate is researching about Business Schools. What are some of the best practices an MBA candidate should consider for this?

Christophe Access MBA The best way to search for a school is to take as much time as possible to think about the right selection criteria for you. There are plenty of choices, but you don’t need to consider hundreds of schools. It is probably more useful to first think about what you need and then eliminate the schools which are out of your scope. There are six or seven questions that need to be answered clearly. What kind of ranking do you really need: top 10, top 100 or a local school? Do you need an international or local network and of what kind of people? Do you need general management knowledge or strength in entrepreneurship or finance? What are your realistic chances of getting a high Gmat score and which schools are likely to admit you? Where do you feel at ease in terms of location and do you have any interest in pursuing your career in a specific country or region? These questions are linked to one: how do you see your career within a couple of years and basically what do you need from an MBA? When this is clear, five to no more than 10 schools will appear. You should then meet their alumni and make your choice out of the best three.

F1GMAT: What are some of the trends that you have seen with this year’s registration?

Christophe: Compared with 2009, this year we see that the candidates are more orientated towards an Executive MBA. During the negative influence on the employment rate because of the economic downturn many people showed a bigger interest towards a Full time. Now, as more and more countries are starting to recover from the financial crisis, people can keep their jobs but still they want to pursue an MBA. That is why all part time and especially the Executive programs have a higher demand. Comparing the quality of the candidates, it hasn’t changed from last year’s one, but it usually depends on the country.  Candidates from countries with lower GDP and GDP per capita can set aside a smaller budget for an MBA degree. Of course there are always exceptions, but this is the main trend.

F1GMAT:  One big criticism that is leveled against MBA Tours is that MBA candidates get very few minutes to talk to Business School representatives. Has Access MBA taken any steps to mitigate this disadvantage?

Christophe: Definitely. At our One-to-One events, candidates speak to Admissions representatives in individual 25-minute meetings. This allows all candidates, regardless of their application stage, to have an effective conversation with the B-school – whether it takes the form of an advances pre-admissions interview or a casual, informational meeting about the different programs that each school offers.

F1GMAT: What are some of the steps that an MBA candidate should take to efficiently utilize the MBA Tour?

Christophe: A student should first do some research before coming to an event, in order to get an idea of what type of MBA he could eventually do. We provide a free profile evaluation on our online candidate service, MBA Reach, in addition to a school finder. For an MBA One-to-One Tour, candidates should prepare their meetings with admissions officers by looking up the key features of the school online.  This will ensure that the 20 minutes interview is dedicated to the most useful questions.  Furthermore, a thorough preparation can make the difference and leave a good impression on the admissions team.

About Christophe Coutat

Christophe Coutat is the founder and CEO of Advent Group, an international media agency which organises events and delivers services for business schools and candidates around the globe.  Advent Group has 30 employees, of various nationalities, based in two different locations in Europe. Having obtained a Masters in Philosophy and a DESS in Marketing from the Sorbonne University in Paris, Christophe Coutat worked for 10 years in the advertising sector for human resources and then spent four years as a manager at Publicis, one of the top five worldwide communications agencies, before founding Advent Group.

With 80 per cent of the company’s clients based abroad, cross-cultural projects accounting for 90 per cent of annual turnover, and employees originating from over 12 different countries, Christophe Coutat works on a truly international scale

Access MBA

Access MBA Tour holds 55 MBA events annually in over 40 cities worldwide. Access MBA is a project of Advent Group, a Paris-based media agency that coordinates educational and recruiting events throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas.

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Scholarships in France
External Funding 

+ MBA in the UK (2018)
Top Industries in the UK   
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New Visa Rules: Post-Brexit

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