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  • The next step for An Indian Graduate looking at Management Abroad

    An Indian Undergraduate from Engineering to Management or Liberal Arts to Social Sciences is broadly looking at 3 options ahead of them; one, taking up a relevant or unrelated job, second, looking at a Post Graduate Diploma in India or abroad and finally looking at a Masters program in India or abroad in a Management field. The value of all three is extremely different and it depends on the individual’s choice based on their short and long term goals.

    Let’s first debunk the myth
    that a fresh graduate can pursue an International MBA program. Largely, this is not meaningful, since most Top 100 Schools Internationally (even beyond 100
    actually) do require a minimum of 3 years work experience. A few others might accept
    2 years and just about a handful do not mention work experience as an Admission
    Criteria but their application pool is extremely competitive and they have a
    very small quota of fresh graduates in their class.

    In India, it is quite possible
    to get a Post Graduate Diploma (which is technically not an MBA) even from the
    Indian Ivy Leagues. However, outside India, the schools that have a classroom
    of fresh graduates learning MBA prescribed modules might not be the safest or
    best bet for a drastically positive career graph curve or leap as per your
    aspirations.

    Hence, the million-dollar
    question for fresh graduates with less than 2 years of work experience is, what
    can I pursue internationally that might hone my managerial skills in the early
    stages of my career? Well, very few will actually ponder that. The real
    question might be framed rather differently; like, how do I get out of
    Engineering (since I am not interested in it) and move into management
    outside India? Of course others may simply ask, how do I get out of India for
    a few years as a fresh graduate? Many others might actually want to understand what
    can they study if they are not yet sure which job function under management is
    the right one for them?

    The answer to all these
    questions (and any other similar ones you might have) is Masters of International
    Management (MIM) or Masters of International Business (MIB) (somewhat simply called Masters of Management (MM) or something similar).

    Why was this Program created?

    Ok, a little bit of a history
    lesson here – for obvious reasons, the program was invented roughly in 2001 since
    there was a huge gap in the market to groom early skills of fresh graduates
    that might well equip them for the job market and become young leaders. The key
    to this invention was to help fresh graduates fill in operational roles in
    organizations and to be strategically competitive in the global marketplace.

    Who is this Program for?

    This program is for anyone
    with a Bachelor’s Degree in any field (even if its not management with some
    exceptions) who is looking to work in a managerial role in the short and
    long-term. For USA many schools would require a 4-year Bachelor’s Degree while
    some like Duke will accept 3-year Degrees as well.

    What does the Program teach
    you?

    This Masters Program specifically
    caters to core management modules such as; Finance, Accounts, Marketing,
    Operations, Strategy, Human Resources and the likes. You have the opportunity
    to specialize in usually 2 Majors and between 3 – 4 Minors. Parallel to the
    program, most Schools also conduct Leadership and other soft skill developing workshops
    which amount to credits in the form of teamwork and assignments in many cases.

    Which Schools are the best for this Program?

    Since this program was
    primarily developed in Europe to begin with, many European Schools are best
    known for these programs such as: University of St. Gallen, topping in the list
    in most rankings, followed by London Business School, HEC Paris and ESSEC amongst
    others. You can easily look up these rankings on Financial Times and other
    sources. What is rather surprising is that not many USA names come up in these
    rankings and truth be told there aren’t many schools in the USA that currently
    have this program. Yes, there are a few given in the below table but largely European
    schools are most known for this program.

    * – Kellog’s 1-Year program is only open to Northwestern Undergraduate students

    Both Michigan & Notre Dame
    started their 1st batch of these programs in 2014 hence are still in
    their nascent stages; however, most of these European programs are older than 5
    years and hence, have more credibility specifically in terms of placements after the degree.

    Consequently, GMAC (Graduate
    Management Admission Council) has reported that MIM programs showed a gradual
    increase in applications in Europe over the years and USA schools with MIM
    Programs showed a 58% increase in applications as well.

    What is the basic Admission
    Criteria for MIM?

    A good GPA (each school has
    its own specific criteria), a GMAT score (many accept GRE) and IELTS or TOEFL
    exams are the minimum criteria for this Program.

    What are the post-degree work
    prospects?

    Many Top European Schools show,
    as per their statistics, that candidates post their programs either get in to
    Consulting (Finance, Strategy & IT mainly) and other Corporate sectors such
    as FMCG, Internet, Retail, Media, Entertainment and the like. Many schools
    boast of over 95% employment within 3 months of Graduation and an average of $40,
    000 (excluding bonus and incentives) post-MIM. According to FT, the average
    salary post MIM was $77,451 in 2014.

    The biggest question of all
    is; What is the difference between an MIM & an International MBA Program?

    One of the critical differences
    is, teaching styles; an MIM is for fresh graduates with little or no work
    experience. Hence, mostly, there is an inward, one-way learning whereby the professor
    will teach you intricate management concepts, fundamentals and the class will
    understand, learn and relate to them through real-time business examples.
    Hence, the assignment and examinations difficulty level will also be basic and
    suitable for anyone who might or might not have learnt management as part of their
    graduation degree. The course in itself is quite intense and challenging but a high output and response level can be achieved rather easily.

    However, an MBA class teaching
    style is critically interactive.  The
    professor will pose a managerial situation and the class is expected to bring
    solutions based on their prior experiences. This could be based on working with
    various cultures, and its ethical compasses and working in varied industries at
    different levels of hierarchies. What is truly taught in class is working in and
    for large-scale corporations, maximizing and innovating given resources and
    working in or creating truly globally integrated economies. The assignments and
    exams are based on case-studies whereby capabilities involved in developing new strategies, new
    product development and innovations, revenue generation ideas and managing large
    teams across various business laterals globally while working as a professional
    team player and a thinking-leader are tested.

    The other difference is
    leadership skills. An MIM program inculcates basic team player and leadership
    skills in young candidates and gives them an international perspective to
    business, cultures, working styles and ethical values. This makes an MIM
    graduate more job-ready than regular graduates as they are expected to have acquired hands-on
    skills during the MIM programs. But for an MBA candidate, the MBA experience
    refines their already existing leadership skills and helps them think from a
    birds-eye view for the organization’s and their best interests. An MBA graduate
    is expected to use his peer and university networks to further his professional
    short and long-term goals. It is said that an MBA is a tool to use the brand
    name of the school and your peer & professional networks to achieve your
    next aspirational career goal.

    There are many other
    differences such as the actual curriculum; the MIM teaches basic management
    modules but the MBA curriculum consists of advanced modules and various
    intricate specializations all focused directly or indirectly towards building
    varied management styles and leaderships.

    Amongst other differences are
    classroom average age, average work experience years and most importantly; the
    individual’s goals.

    An MIM graduate most likely
    aspires to have a meaningful first job in the real world, with real
    responsibilities and contributions and a real designation with a rather good
    pay package for a fresh graduate.

    Many MBA candidates are either
    looking to switch industries or job functions or both along with or without a change
    in location. On the other hand, others would like to accelerate their careers and hence, they
    are fully aware that an MBA is a milestone for their career advancement whether
    it is in terms of job role, designation, pay package or city/country he/she
    would like to work in.

    My Opinion; if you are an
    Indian graduate who doesn’t feel ready to work just yet, can afford this international program, would like to obtain some hands-on skills to compete
    for jobs in the global marketplace, perceives themselves as a future global
    leader then I would highly recommend this program as an alternative to the PGD
    in India or a job straight after graduating.

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