Imp advice for MBA aspirants @ 2nd tier European B schools

Figure out where you wish to apply
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###Note - If you want to do an MBA just for fun or just to enhance your skills or just to make new connections or for anything else but a good job after graduation, you need not follow this post. You will enjoy anywhere & everywhere.
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* Firstly, b-schools in Europe which are considered 2nd tier b-schools for an MBA are as follows - Essec, Aston, Emlyon, Bradford, Leeds, Hult, Edhec, Grenoble, Birmigham, Durham, Trinity, Emlyon, Tias Nimbas, Nyenrode, Solvay, Edinburg, Strathclyde. I may be missing 2 or 3 more.

* Getting into these schools is comparably easier than getting into other top tier schools. Most of these schools are represented in the world Top 100 MBA rankings (FT, Economist, Forbes etc) and their MBA programs are generally very good in quality, almost at par with most 1st tier schools but with slightly lesser student quality. Overall a very good package depending on your needs.

* HERE IS THE CATCH - Most of these schools, despite offering a valuable MBA experience, have very poor to horrible Career Services. Schools outside the UK are worse in this regard. Schools in France have the worst career services. Contrary to whatever they mention on their websites, schools like Essec, Emlyon & Edhec have pathetic career services with no focus on international students & MBA graduates as a whole. Edhec is the worst of them all with no services at all.

* ANOTHER CATCH - My advice is "Know Yourself inside out". If you have an ordinary work history with an average to poor Gmat score, no good business school will ever give you a place in it's MBA program and if you have got one, rest assured it's a school with an ordinary MBA program, which is trying to fill its empty spots. It is simple. You will not achieve much from it, especially if you are non-European and wish to work in Europe after your MBA. Getting into a good MBA program at a good b-school is always very competitive. If a school is wooing you by giving you a scholarship during the last application cycle when your GMAT score is 560 and you roughly have 3 years of OK experience, the school is just trying to fill the vacant spots in the program or is trying to internationalize the MBA class at the expense of student quality. Avoid this trap. No good to very good MBA program will ever do it. During my research, i found that a couple of such things are prevalent at a few of these 2nd tier schools in Europe.

* HOW TO FIND THE BUG - If you are targeting a 2nd tier b-school for xyz reason and wish to find a job in the country after graduation, make sure you do these 4 things to find the BUG amongst the BEES and get along with the bees.

1) Look if the school has posted proper placement statistics from a MBA class not older than 2 years. So if want to join in 2012, you should know the job placement/salary statistics of the class of 2010, preferably 2011. If just a section like 'Recent Recruiters' with the names of 10 to 20 good companies has been mentioned, it could be misleading. Ask the school for the exact names of the companies which hired MBA students in 2010 & 2011 and you will be shocked at the school's reluctance. The school may give you details of the companies which hired students from other programs like the Msc or MA programs. Beware of that & ask for MBA recruiters specifically. All worthy & concerned b-schools which helped their MBA students find good jobs, maintain such statistics and generally put them on their websites. You will not just benefit from the school's reputation as there are several reputed schools in Europe. What you need is strong Career Support from the school with multiple channels to help you find the right job amidst a dwindling economy. What i mean by channels is a well knitted career platform with multiple services. Most schools only provide 4-6 seminars on Job hunting techniques & a few free registrations on job portals. It is certainly not enough for international students. Even highly reputed schools like Emlyon offer tremendously poor career services to its MBA students and despite the school's strong reputation of quality in the region, many local & international students get blinded.

2) Ask the school to put you in touch with at least 2-3 past MBA graduates from recent batches and with at least 2-3 from the current batch. If the school hesitates, use Facebook & LinkedIn to find & connect with them & ask questions. Don't be very formal if you need candid & true responses, no one wants to defame his/her own school but if you show curiosity, many will open up to tell you the truth. I did the same and believe me, it saved my **s. No one can give you a better picture of the school than a recent or present student. Write to the school with whatever feedback you get & if it is -ve ask them for an explanation. You will be happy & will thank me that you did this exercise when you will uncover the truth about the quality of Career Services in many good schools. Try to find out MBA students with profiles & post MBA aspirations similar to yours and if possible from your own cultural background, it will help you get candid.

3) Contact HR Managers of companies that you wish to work in the region and ask them if they have recently hired an MBA student from the school you are targeting. You have to be clear about MBA students and not students from any other program at the school. MBA hiring is different, MBA graduates command higher salaries & mid to senior level positions depending on their past work experiences. Contact the school with the findings and you will be amazed at their vulnerability.

4) Try to avoid a b-school which does not provide an opportunity to do an internship during the MBA. Nearly half of all post MBA recruitment globally happens through internships. Many schools offer MBA projects with the program in place of an internship. This may be a good opportunity, but if the project is not a paid project, it certainly has no value. Ask the school if the companies which offered projects to MBA students in previous cohorts actually paid them for their work and how many of them actually hired a MBA student. Any good school should boast of at least 30% - 60% final placement through internships & MBA projects. Of course an offer will entirely depend on your performance but there should have been a history of that at the school. Avoid any school which doesn't provides this opportunity. If you do not follow this advice, you will surely think of me when you will graduate.

MBA is one of the most important decisions & one of the biggest investments of your life. Do a lot of research before taking the final decision. I did it & avoided the trap. I am ready to help anyone who wants to make this informed decision.

PS: Why study in dieing Europe. Go to Australasia and feel the vibes. I know it is more difficult to get an MBA seat in Australasia but for a safe future & a platinum class MBA experience (better than most 2nd tier European schools) go & experience life in Asia. You will never regret it.

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by \'manpreet singh » Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:55 am
Hi ,

Its a informative post!!

I have also found the same as i researched although european schools looked very tempting, i am now considering schools in CANADA mostly, can you tell me b-schools there with good career services for international students as i plan to settle there after study.

Thanks in advance!!

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by OnlineStudent » Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:28 am
Hi mbaguy2012, your post offered me new insights with regards to European B-Schools. It sounds like a personal recounting of your experience with these schools; may I ask what prompted you to do such a thorough inquiry on B-Schools and their career services?
mbaguy2012 wrote:###Note - If you want to do an MBA just for fun or just to enhance your skills or just to make new connections or for anything else but a good job after graduation, you need not follow this post. You will enjoy anywhere & everywhere.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* Firstly, b-schools in Europe which are considered 2nd tier b-schools for an MBA are as follows - Essec, Aston, Emlyon, Bradford, Leeds, Hult, Edhec, Grenoble, Birmigham, Durham, Trinity, Emlyon, Tias Nimbas, Nyenrode, Solvay, Edinburg, Strathclyde. I may be missing 2 or 3 more.

* Getting into these schools is comparably easier than getting into other top tier schools. Most of these schools are represented in the world Top 100 MBA rankings (FT, Economist, Forbes etc) and their MBA programs are generally very good in quality, almost at par with most 1st tier schools but with slightly lesser student quality. Overall a very good package depending on your needs.

* HERE IS THE CATCH - Most of these schools, despite offering a valuable MBA experience, have very poor to horrible Career Services. Schools outside the UK are worse in this regard. Schools in France have the worst career services. Contrary to whatever they mention on their websites, schools like Essec, Emlyon & Edhec have pathetic career services with no focus on international students & MBA graduates as a whole. Edhec is the worst of them all with no services at all.

* ANOTHER CATCH - My advice is "Know Yourself inside out". If you have an ordinary work history with an average to poor Gmat score, no good business school will ever give you a place in it's MBA program and if you have got one, rest assured it's a school with an ordinary MBA program, which is trying to fill its empty spots. It is simple. You will not achieve much from it, especially if you are non-European and wish to work in Europe after your MBA. Getting into a good MBA program at a good b-school is always very competitive. If a school is wooing you by giving you a scholarship during the last application cycle when your GMAT score is 560 and you roughly have 3 years of OK experience, the school is just trying to fill the vacant spots in the program or is trying to internationalize the MBA class at the expense of student quality. Avoid this trap. No good to very good MBA program will ever do it. During my research, i found that a couple of such things are prevalent at a few of these 2nd tier schools in Europe.

* HOW TO FIND THE BUG - If you are targeting a 2nd tier b-school for xyz reason and wish to find a job in the country after graduation, make sure you do these 4 things to find the BUG amongst the BEES and get along with the bees.

1) Look if the school has posted proper placement statistics from a MBA class not older than 2 years. So if want to join in 2012, you should know the job placement/salary statistics of the class of 2010, preferably 2011. If just a section like 'Recent Recruiters' with the names of 10 to 20 good companies has been mentioned, it could be misleading. Ask the school for the exact names of the companies which hired MBA students in 2010 & 2011 and you will be shocked at the school's reluctance. The school may give you details of the companies which hired students from other programs like the Msc or MA programs. Beware of that & ask for MBA recruiters specifically. All worthy & concerned b-schools which helped their MBA students find good jobs, maintain such statistics and generally put them on their websites. You will not just benefit from the school's reputation as there are several reputed schools in Europe. What you need is strong Career Support from the school with multiple channels to help you find the right job amidst a dwindling economy. What i mean by channels is a well knitted career platform with multiple services. Most schools only provide 4-6 seminars on Job hunting techniques & a few free registrations on job portals. It is certainly not enough for international students. Even highly reputed schools like Emlyon offer tremendously poor career services to its MBA students and despite the school's strong reputation of quality in the region, many local & international students get blinded.

2) Ask the school to put you in touch with at least 2-3 past MBA graduates from recent batches and with at least 2-3 from the current batch. If the school hesitates, use Facebook & LinkedIn to find & connect with them & ask questions. Don't be very formal if you need candid & true responses, no one wants to defame his/her own school but if you show curiosity, many will open up to tell you the truth. I did the same and believe me, it saved my **s. No one can give you a better picture of the school than a recent or present student. Write to the school with whatever feedback you get & if it is -ve ask them for an explanation. You will be happy & will thank me that you did this exercise when you will uncover the truth about the quality of Career Services in many good schools. Try to find out MBA students with profiles & post MBA aspirations similar to yours and if possible from your own cultural background, it will help you get candid.

3) Contact HR Managers of companies that you wish to work in the region and ask them if they have recently hired an MBA student from the school you are targeting. You have to be clear about MBA students and not students from any other program at the school. MBA hiring is different, MBA graduates command higher salaries & mid to senior level positions depending on their past work experiences. Contact the school with the findings and you will be amazed at their vulnerability.

4) Try to avoid a b-school which does not provide an opportunity to do an internship during the MBA. Nearly half of all post MBA recruitment globally happens through internships. Many schools offer MBA projects with the program in place of an internship. This may be a good opportunity, but if the project is not a paid project, it certainly has no value. Ask the school if the companies which offered projects to MBA students in previous cohorts actually paid them for their work and how many of them actually hired a MBA student. Any good school should boast of at least 30% - 60% final placement through internships & MBA projects. Of course an offer will entirely depend on your performance but there should have been a history of that at the school. Avoid any school which doesn't provides this opportunity. If you do not follow this advice, you will surely think of me when you will graduate.

MBA is one of the most important decisions & one of the biggest investments of your life. Do a lot of research before taking the final decision. I did it & avoided the trap. I am ready to help anyone who wants to make this informed decision.

PS: Why study in dieing Europe. Go to Australasia and feel the vibes. I know it is more difficult to get an MBA seat in Australasia but for a safe future & a platinum class MBA experience (better than most 2nd tier European schools) go & experience life in Asia. You will never regret it.

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by OnlineStudent » Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:51 am
mbaguy2012 wrote:PS: Why study in dieing Europe. Go to Australasia and feel the vibes. I know it is more difficult to get an MBA seat in Australasia but for a safe future & a platinum class MBA experience (better than most 2nd tier European schools) go & experience life in Asia. You will never regret it.
I'd like to add on to this point that you made, it resonates with me because I've many Singaporean friends who have been spellbound by the romantic prospect of studying in European country that they fail to do proper research on its job market and the economic situation - many of them return to Singapore after their studies because they found it impossible to make a living there. If I had to make a personal recommendation for people who are looking to study an MBA (or any other degree programs) in Asia, I'd strongly propose that they do so in Singapore - why? It's because this country is really one of the most conducive places for education, we spend a lot of money supporting people who want to study and excel (related: look at how many scholarship programs we've got - https://www.coursesinsg.com/2012/06/scho ... r-mba.html), and if you are academically adept, you'll earn a good living here. Also, Singapore is highly meritocratic, the country is essentially the size of a big city, and many of the people you meet here are multi racial and modern - racism is a non issue - I can't say the same for Asians who go over to other Australasian countries to study, a few of my friends have returned from Sydney Australia because the racism is really bad there - they were refused entry to some places because of the colour of their skin, they've been threatened and asked to go back to their own countries.

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by mbaguy2012 » Mon Jul 02, 2012 1:00 pm
Hi Onlinestudent,

I did this intense research because some of my Asian American friends, who studied an MBA in Europe, told me that it isn't worth it and being a European and a professional who needed an MBA degree badly to propel his career but didn't wanted to take a bad decision, i postponed my MBA plans by one year and contacted as many schools as i could. My first experience with a french school that i was targeting for two years came as a shock, which motivated me to do a thorough research. I focused my research heavily on the career services & was seriously disappointed by most of them.

I invested my time in it & now i feel its worth it.
Last edited by mbaguy2012 on Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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by mbaguy2012 » Mon Jul 02, 2012 1:17 pm
Hi Singh

Canada is a good choice though not the best, American schools have fared better internationally in the past. I don't have extensive information about canadian schools but as an MBA information seeker, i found that Rotman & Ivey are the very best. Rotman has had issues with its careers department in the past but its location & very strong reputation helps. Also inquire if you will get a 3 year work permit after Rotman, this is something that attracted me. Ivey is wonderful, great reputation, top quality of students & strong networks. But both of them are very expensive. Queens is very reputed and has a very strong class profile with great networking opportunities.

Sauder, Alberta & Macgil are good schools if location is your preference but finding a job could be a little difficult. Aim for Alberta if you are interested in a career in Bio Technology.
Avoid Hec & Concordia if you have the profile to get in to a better school.

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by \'manpreet singh » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:09 pm
mbaguy2012 wrote:Hi Singh

Canada is a good choice though not the best, American schools have fared better internationally in the past. I don't have extensive information about canadian schools but as an MBA information seeker, i found that Rotman & Ivey are the very best. Rotman has had issues with its careers department in the past but its location & very strong reputation helps. Also inquire if you will get a 3 year work permit after Rotman, this is something that attracted me. Ivey is wonderful, great reputation, top quality of students & strong networks. But both of them are very expensive. Queens is very reputed and has a very strong class profile with great networking opportunities.

Sauder, Alberta & Macgil are good schools if location is your preference but finding a job could be a little difficult. Aim for Alberta if you are interested in a career in Bio Technology.
Avoid Hec & Concordia if you have the profile to get in to a better school.

Thanks mbaguy2012 for candid feedback.
I am currently very keen on university of Alberta(mostly for Mba in leisure and sports-management as I have been a national level sportsperson).Can you throw some more light on this university if you have some specific information.
Yes money is a big concern for me due to which I am hesitant on applying to expensive B-Schools.
Moreover I am interested in settling in CANADA after graduation so job and work permit after the degree are vital elements in the decision.

Whats your suggestion on this?

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by mbaguy2012 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:46 am
Hi Singh,
I know University of Alberta's MBA is a 2nd tier Canadian MBA but with a strong reputation in the region (Alberta), however most well paid jobs in Canada rest around Toronto so you should give this a consideration. If you are targeting schools with lesser Tution then obviously Rotman, Schulik & Ivey are out of the picture. My honest advice is that you should explore the country's market and find out if a sports related MBA is actually given the value it deserves, otherwise get into a good school and you could opt for a few sports business related electives during your MBA program. MBA is a General management degree, i wouldn't advice you to narrow down your options like this, i wouldn't have. Also if i were you, keeping in mind that i don't know your background, i would aim at Queens, Alberta & Sauder and hope for the best. Rest assured that the Career Services at Alberta & Sauder will no where be close in quality to these services at Queens & Ivey.

Also keep in mind that a better school generally paves way for a better career at least when you are starting you post MBA career so investing more in a top b-school MBA is a better choice than going for a cheap 2nd tier MBA as it pays less in the long run. Think over it.

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by \'manpreet singh » Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:55 am
Thanks mbaguy, i will definitely think over it and maybe do some more research on it. :D :)

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by albert001 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:13 pm
In case anyone is not aware, Canadian MBA - MBA Programs In Canada is a very good site with links to and brief ideas about all top MBA programs in Canada. From here you can go the individual school sites to learn more.

After doing some research, I have shortlisted Sauder Business School at University of British Columbia to apply to.
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by WouldBeCrazy » Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:17 am
Highly appreciate your enlightening post. I just started the process and was shocked with the response that I got from one of the French school.

As many pointed out, Singaporean somehow prefer anything else except local schools. Probably that has something to do with how a local degree is treated against an overseas degree, does not matter 3rd grade school in UK or AU.

Job is UK is an issue, a major issue for Asians and if you are not from the top 3 in UK. France, Spain, Italy will have even worse case.

Will you be able to rank UK schools based on Job scope for Asians? It will be really helpful for me to decide on.

Appreciate your response.

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by mbaguy2012 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:23 am
There cannot be a specific list of good schools for Asians in the UK. However in this uncertain economic climate and with the recent laws put in place to curb Asian immigration into the UK, i don't think its a good time to study in the UK until & unless you go to a top school like LBS, Said, Judge or to a certain extent to Imperial & Cranfield. You can & should avoid all other schools if you have the profile & the Gmat score to get into any of the top schools.

You are someone with an above average profile try schools like Copenhagen Business School in Denmark or aim at top schools in South East Asia. That is where future is.

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by WouldBeCrazy » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:04 am
mbaguy2012 wrote:There cannot be a specific list of good schools for Asians in the UK. However in this uncertain economic climate and with the recent laws put in place to curb Asian immigration into the UK, i don't think its a good time to study in the UK until & unless you go to a top school like LBS, Said, Judge or to a certain extent to Imperial & Cranfield. You can & should avoid all other schools if you have the profile & the Gmat score to get into any of the top schools.

You are someone with an above average profile try schools like Copenhagen Business School in Denmark or aim at top schools in South East Asia. That is where future is.
Thanks buddy,

I am from SE Asia and seen SG and HK quite closely. As you know, locals love 'Ang-moh' schools for some unknown reason.

I thought about German schools but dropped the idea due to limited jobs for non EU people. IMD is toooo expensive. Not sure about CBS or RBS. The response that I got from some of the EU school is 'COLD' to say it positively. I had closely worked with admission teams in two of the great uni in Singapore and I know how positively we respond to each and every enquiry.

It is a strange feeling that I have not yet commited my money to them ... if they are behaving so cold now then what can I expect when I land there and I have no other options.

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by \'manpreet singh » Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:14 am
Hi,

I had posted earlier,but in this post i am briefing a few more points,of what i am looking at right now and also expect some guidance.

I have some concerns regarding school selection,i am from india and have a 3 year experience in a reputed telecom firm,have done my engineering in Electronics and communication.

My major concern is i am really tight on budget, personally i am interested in doing my MBA from Europe.I require guidance regarding some schools in Europe with good ranking,which are not very expensive.my budget is around 15k euros.I am trying my best to score more than 700 in GMAT to get scholarships too.

I heard about Warsaw University of Technology (IMBA) being cheap and Poland being open to international students,also it seems to have good rank in QS(topmba)rankings.Please let me know about this option as i am curious.

Other countries which i am considering are Spain, Germany and Belgium.Apart from Europe i am interested in Canada,In Canada i am interested in programs in Schulich and Alberta(here there are some programs which i like).

Awaiting a response soon!!
thanks in advance

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by dvinoth86 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:48 pm
Hi Friends,
I am having a tough time deciding on a MBA program. Initially when I started preparing for GMAT, my only target was Great Lakes,Chennai,India.
I am a little hesitant in pursing MBA from abroad because of the cost angle. But i would like to keep the options open in case i get a scholarship. Is it possible to get scholarship in singapore or canada B-schools with this GMAT and profile.

GMAT 640 (44Q,34V)
Profile: 4 yr work exp
2 years in TCS (9 months as module lead)
1.7 years in Operations Management in IBM for one of the largest telecom operators in India.
Recently I have joined another top tier Indian IT company's Center of Excellence team.