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Alumni Network, Globalisation and B-School Location

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Alumni Network, Globalisation and B-School Location [#permalink] New post 30 May 2012, 01:23
Hello,

I invite you to express your views on the topic.

First, my share of ideas: Business schools pride themselves for having a large number of alumni occupying high positions throughout the world. Supposedly, the wide network should be one of the most valuable take-aways from a business school. I admit that it's a nice sounding marketing gimmick, but I am wondering how much this proposition is actually relevant for an alumnus later in life.

It sounds plausible that getting MBA in New York, Boston, San Francisco or London metros and subsequently continuing career in the vicinity is a good combination. But what about schools and/or careers that are not located in the hubs? And what about having an MBA in one hub, but later relocating to another?

In other words, I am trying to understand how does the alumni network work in practice. Is it reasonable to expect than an alumnus whom one has never met on campus would be more willing to talk than if a complete stranger were calling?

Yet in other words, it seems to me that the notion of a global career is somewhat a misnomer. Just as dubious seems concept of a network of acquainances scattered throughout the world. I remember from the times I was in AIESEC that people from all over the planet would attend a conference; become really good friends and colleagues; make vows to keep in touch. Yet once the cycle of conferences ended, the promises seemed to expire.

To back up my reasoning, here are the some employment statistics for 2011 from b-schools:

Of Harvard's graduates ~20% went abroad; ~50% stayed on East Coast.
Of Stanford's graduates ~20% went abroad; ~50% stayed on West Coast.
Of Darden's graduates ~7% went abroad; ~70% stayed on East Coast.
For non US schools the numbers are more skewed towards global careers.

So it is my tentative opinion that alumni network as such is not enough, even from a top institution. What matters no less is the physical proximity to that network. Or does "out of sight, out of mind" not apply when talking about b-school alumni networks and even friendships?

I am starting this thread to get more perspectives on the topic. I've not attended b-school yet so I am curious to know how attending one may influence ilfe afterwards. May be it is more reasonable not to aim for top schools globally (what do I do with friends/colleagues whom I see once every 5 years?), but to top schools in the country or in the region at widest.
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Re: Alumni Network, Globalisation and B-School Location [#permalink] New post 30 May 2012, 06:44
Don't overthink it. :-D

Find a company and role you're interested in.
Google, LinkedIn, or school database search for an alumni that has previously held or currently holds that position.
Make contact using your school as common ground with the intent of setting up an informational interview of some kind.

And yes, alums will respond. 90% of Michigan alums have responded to my requests, and that probably holds for most of the top programs.
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Re: Alumni Network, Globalisation and B-School Location   [#permalink] 30 May 2012, 06:44
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