What is the average work experience that MBA schools generally look for in prospective students?
Three to four years is the average, although all schools differ. Business schools are heavily focused on peer to peer education, where the strength and experience of the MBA students is as important as the strength of the teaching staff, and schools therefore look for people who have some real experience. This doesnat have to be in management and can be from almost any background or industry. Diversity is the key for business schools so donat rule yourself out just because you havenat worked in finance for four years.
With the current situation of the rupee weakening against the dollar, what does the actual cost of pursuing an MBA abroad work out to be?
There is no cost, only a various areturn on investmenta. Most students from rapidly developing economies like India will look at the acosta of pursuing an MBA abroad and think that it rules out all but the incredibly wealthy. However, as Paul Danos, Dean of Tuck Business School in the US, told me recently, aNobody ever got rejected from Tuck because of money.a There are countless opportunities to fund MBAs, including loans and scholarships and schools will find ways of getting the right candidate onto their courses. Instead of looking at the acosta Indian MBA candidates should be looking at the areturn on investmenta from their MBA. How long will it take to repay and what salary can they expect to earn post-MBA. Getting a loan may seem impossible, but it isnat, and the opportunity to vastly improve your salary and international employability for the rest of your life will outweigh this initial outlay.
Which country would give me the best study abroad experience - in terms of a good international exposure, a welcoming atmosphere as well as low tuition fees and living expenses?
This is either the million dollar or the one rupee question. Everyone wants to know this, however every person has entirely different interests, skills, specializations and so the best country or school for me to study in will not be the same for you. Instead of this, think hard about your personal aims and ambitions then research schools on an individual basis, not by country (as there are a variety of schools in any given nation). Visit the QS World MBA tour, talk to as many alumni and students there or online, as most schools have internet forums and are happy to help. Think hard about where you want to work, what industry you want to be in, what languages you want to learn, where you want to be in five and ten years time. Do you want to return to India or remain overseas? Do you think consultancy is for you or marketing in general industry?
Out of interest, the top ten nations of interest to Indians attending the QS World MBA tour in 2008 were, one to ten: USA, UK, Canada, Singapore, India, France, Australia, Germany, Switzerland and Spain,
With the global recession would an MBA in Finance still be a good bet? If not, which other specializations can a student look at?
Firstly, the MBA is regarded as a general business degree where you will cover all points from finance to marketing to leadership to operations. Although aMBAs in a subjecta do exist, itas worth remembering that youare doing an MBA for general education and not to specialize in finance (in which case please consider a masters in finance). Regarding the recession, this is a good question but there have been no permanent recessions in history. I argue that now is the perfect time to do an MBA or to specialize in finance with a masters degree, as this will allow you to ride out the recession in school and emerge after a year or two into a flourishing market. Actually this is a trend we are already seeing.
With the rate of interests for educational loans expected to rise and the situation is expected to worsen, how difficult would it be for students to repay their loans?
Everyone appreciates that times seem harder than they did a year ago, but I return to the point that after every downswing is an upswing and that return on investment for MBAs remains very high. Most banks know that MBAs are going to be among the highest earners within a short space of time, so rates are quite preferable in most countries and can be repaid over a long period of time, well within the reach of MBA graduates. Researching how to finance an MBA takes a great deal of work and effort and research but I would urge any interested parties not to be put off by this. Oppositely to trends in the worldas economy, business schools and MBAs flourish during a downturn.
QS TopMBA Scorecard allows you to compare
return on investment at over 350 top business schools worldwide.