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Top 5 International MBA: How to pick the Best, Type of International MBAs and More

International MBABusiness is now a global affair. Markets in the developed nations have become saturated with very low growth rates. USA grew at 1.7% in 2011. Germany, among the EU's better performing economies grew at 3.1%. In contrast, China's growth rate for 2011 was 9.2%, growing at 7.2%. The 6 countries that registered double-digit growth in 2011 are a few unexpected diverse set of countries - Qatar (18.8%), Mongolia (17.3%), Turkmenistan (14.7%), Ghana (13.6%), East Timor (10.6%) and Panama (10.6%). Companies seeking high profits should look beyond the traditional growth markets. US businesses have already invested $4.3 trillion abroad as FDI. China alone utilized $116 billion in 2011, to total nearly $781 billion invested since the Chinese markets opened up. What's more, the US exports $ 1.5 trillion worth of goods and services, while Germany exported $1.4 trillion. China exported $ 1.9 trillion worth of goods and services and imported goods worth $1.7 trillion.

The money and goods changing hands require specialized management, marketing, supply chains and other strategic services that can be best provided by an MBA with an International focus.

Type of International MBAs – How to Pick the Best?

The Best International MBA programs are of two kinds. One is an MBA at a typical top Business School that offers exposure to International Businesses. The other is an International MBA where every aspect of the program is oriented towards business on a global scale.

A dedicated international management degree is best suited for those who necessarily want a career abroad, while an MBA with international opportunities is best for students who would like to leave their options open. A dedicated iMBA also emphasizes on learning new languages, and prefers to admit students with extensive international experience like the Peace Corps and international non-profits. Students looking at international careers should pick a school based on curriculum, international travel, global projects/internships, diverse class profile and international placements.

What Questions should you ask?

When it comes to International MBA jobs, the questions students ask is not just - 'What to do?' but 'Where to do it?' Business firms as well as governments require personnel who are well versed in global trends and can make seamless shifts between cultures and languages. MNCs are the favored employment option for graduates. MBAs also find employment in the consulting and financial industries. The roles typically include marketing, finance and supply chain management.

Here are the top 5 International MBA

1) Thunderbird School of Global Management

Thunderbird’s Full-time MBA in Global Management is completely oriented towards an international business education. On average, 46 countries are represented in the MBA class, and the entire campus boasts of representation from 74 Countries with an average of 1.6 languages spoken and experience of 4.8 years, living outside the native country. Students who do not have proficiency in a language other the native tongue must become proficient in another language before graduation. Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish are the languages taught on campus. The Summer Language Abroad course includes 2 intensive weeks in Arizona, followed by 6 weeks in Argentina, France or China for the Spanish, French and Mandarin tracks respectively.

Even the research centers are globally oriented.  Global business programs with a global mindset, Center for Global Energy Studies, Garvin Center for Cultures & Languages of Global Management, Najafi Global Mindset Institute, Lincoln Center for Ethics in Global Management, Thunderbird Global Private Equity Center and Walker Center for Global Entrepreneurship.  

The core MBA subjects are taught from a global perspective involving lessons on cross-cultural communications & negotiations, international relations, global business plans, innovation and regional studies. Students can earn concentrations in Global Development, Global Entrepreneurship, Global Finance, Global Management, Global Marketing and even a Custom option.

Notable Courses: Some notable courses include Arab-Islamic Communication, Asia Pac Rim: China, Hong Kong, India, Business and Culture of Dubai/UAE, Conflict Management and Social Change, Country Risk Management, Global Brand Management and Thunderbird Emerging Markets Lab. The curriculum covers business environments all over the globe, and includes all the emerging markets.  

Global Experiential Learning: The school also offers a gamut of experiential learning opportunities. Winterims & Summerims are 2 to 3-week courses that teach real-world global processes that are relevant in corporations as well as government sector. These study trips have in the past included visits to South Africa, Middle East, Asia and Europe. With Modules Abroad, students can learn core courses at an overseas partner institution like Czech Management Center and Peking University. Another interesting global experience is the Regional Business Environments - a 1-week seminar, usually held in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe.

Internship and International MBA Job Opportunities: International internships facilitate actual job offers and provide invaluable experiences. In 2012, The Proyecto Salta Internship gave 6 students 12 weeks of learning in Peru, where they helped 192 women entrepreneurs with 1,700 hours of one-to-one consulting. In 2012, 17% of the class found employment abroad. The class had an average base salary of $84,564, with $16,094 as the average sign-on bonus.

2)  Wharton

Wharton offers an MBA with immense potential for global exposure and learning. The potential for peer learning is also very high, with 37% of the class comprised of international students, represented by 71 countries. The primary teaching methodology involves multi-cultural clusters, cohorts and learning teams, giving students the opportunity to thrive in an international environment. Wharton's Global Modular Courses, a 3-6 days international course, gives students exposure to course concepts, local immersion and emerging issues in an international location. Current courses include Building Future Markets (Cape Town), Finance in Europe (London), Global Supply Chain Management in China (Shanghai, Shenzhen & Hong Kong), Energy & Infrastructure in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro) and Understanding and Marketing to the Indian Consumer (Mumbai).

Notable Courses: The core curriculum offers courses like Global Strategic Management and Macroeconomic Analysis & Public Policy. Students can major in Multinational Management or take up an individualized major. Wharton offers 200+ electives with a host of international options like Geopolitics, International Development Strategy, Privatization: International Perspective, International Finance, Political Environment of the Multinational Firm and Private Equity in Emerging Markets.

Global Experiential Learning: The school offers exchange programs with 17 partner schools in 15 schools, as well as Global Career Treks to destinations in Asia, Europe, and South America. The Global Immersion Program (GIP) is an elective course that imparts extensive knowledge of the geo-political, economic and cultural drivers of a region's economy that are linked with the global economy. It involves travel for weeks, faculty lectures, meetings with local business leaders, governments, as well as alumni. Participants learn about the business environment, culture and get the opportunity to network extensively. GIP's in Fall 2012 were to India, Israel &Turkey, while the schedule for 2012 includes China and South America.

Internship and International MBA Job Opportunities:  Wharton's Global Consulting Practicum (GCP) started in 1978, pairing Wharton M.B.A. students and faculty with those from partner universities around the world. Together, they consult with a company for the U.S. or international market. As of now, GCP has created $400 million of additional revenue for the clients. The class of 2012 had 24.3% of the students gaining international placements. The median salary was $120,000, and the median sign-on bonus was $20,000.

Click Here to Read - Top 5 International MBA: Language Options, Internship and International Job Opportunities

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