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

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Imp advice for MBA aspirants @ 2nd tier European B schools [#permalink] New post 29 Jun 2012, 15:39
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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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Re: Imp advice for MBA aspirants @ 2nd tier European B schools [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2012, 03:32
Great read, thanks for the effort.
Only one remark. I don`t think it is fair to say that if a school offers you a scholarship and you have 560 on GMAT you should reject it because it means that the school "is either terrible one or it is trying to internationalize the class at the expense of poor student quality".

Don`t you think that if one actually has 560 , it means that he is most likely a poor student quality and that offer is pretty much the best he can get ?
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Re: Imp advice for MBA aspirants @ 2nd tier European B schools [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2012, 10:52
Dear Ivan91,

Statistically and from the research i have done, no good to excellent b-school offers a scholarship to someone with a GMAT score of around 550, even if it is true, it is very very rare.

Secondly i wanted to convey that if one has an 'ordinary profile' in line with what i mentioned in my previous post and then you are offered a scholarship, it only means that the school did not get enough good applications to fill up the class and even if they did, most of them were applications from local candidates. A lot of schools specially in Europe, try to internationalize the MBA class by accepting poor quality international students who otherwise would never have got a place in a good international b-school.

Also i wrote that if one belongs to this category of 'ordinary profile', you need not waste your money & time on such an MBA, instead try to look for better schools in your home country. Such schools do nothing or in fact do not have the resources to help international students. I got this valuable feedback from a couple of international & local students studying at a few 2nd tier b-schools in Europe. Being a European and proud of European schools, it came as a shock to me.
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Re: Imp advice for MBA aspirants @ 2nd tier European B schools [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2012, 08:07
Hi,

I plan on applying for Rotterdam and I am srprised it isnt anywhere in your ranking, since it is been ranked quite highly in the FT. They only demand 600 as a minimum GMAT score, and virtually any European can enter there if they so wished (1.800 euro per year, one year masters). Still, it manages to rank quite high and have a very international profile: they are Dutch, after all.

Now you made me have second guesses. I will research further, but I am quite sure those you menioned are expensive private schools. As an European who obtained a first bachelor in Spain and a second one in the Netherlands, I have heard only bad prejudiced opinions about private schools: IE, ESADE (highly ranked as well), Tias Nimbas and Nyerode. Most people tell me that with such a good education system in Europe, going t private schools means you belong to a rich family and just want to "buy a title". I am notsaying I do agree with that, but since it is obvous that you do need the money, I wonder wheher the success comes from the school's educational achievements or from a high-class person's ability to nework better.
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Re: Imp advice for MBA aspirants @ 2nd tier European B schools [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2012, 11:58
Hi Alicia,

The important thing here is not just the course fee or a person's ability. A smart person does well anywhere & everywhere but if a smart person go to a really good school & gets the career support that only good schools provide, it helps the guy to get even better career opportunities. I found that many of these schools that i have listed tend to say a lot about their facilities but in reality the facilities are far below standard. I contacted a lot of international students because they need these services more than the local European students because of visa & work permit issues and rely a lot on what the schools write on their websites & say during the MBA promotion tours. I attended such a MBA tour in London recently and asked the school for an explanation about what a few recent graduates told me, silence was the only reply. You have to be weary of the school's marketing gimmicks.

I will insist that you contact a lot of recent graduates & current graduates of the school that you wish to attend. If you wish to pursue an MBA, this exercise becomes very important. Btw, Rotterdam is a 1st tier MBA school in Europe & has a strong reputation in western Europe but not much influence beyond European boundaries. Its MBA curriculum is very strong & up to date. Career services as a whole are average but the opportunities to network, as provided by the school are very good. Even amongst the 1st Tier MBA schools for like RSM, Said, Judge, Manchester, Imperial, Smurfit, Vlerick, Cranfield, ESADE, CBS, HEC, Manhiem and Cass, schools in the UK tend to have much better career services than other schools in continental Europe. As far as the FT & other MBA rankings are concerned, these rankings consider many factors which could be related to the overall experience at the school but at times it doesn't matter much to an MBA student. For e.g having a triple accreditation is no where a guarantee that the school's MBA is excellent, it just means that the school fulfills all the requirements required to be granted a triple accreditation and such requirements could be as basic as the size of the campus & the number of programs run by the school (including many new & worthless programs) etc. MBA is an expensive decision, i only suggest that study your targeted school inside out to find the truth so that you could be proud of your school later in life and not write hate blogs about your MBA experience as many i have seen popping up lately.
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Re: Imp advice for MBA aspirants @ 2nd tier European B schools [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2012, 10:10
Hello,

I am a software engineer, with bachelors from india, masters from gerogia tech [ 4th rank in CS ] and now working as a software engineer in a top tier company for 2 years now in US.

My question:
I would like to change career to more strategy/ consulting/ operations.

I am ok with doing my MBA in US / Europe / Australia

what are the best schools for changin careers, what should i be concentrating when i am researching about universities.
How hard is to get a job for international student in Europe.
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Re: Imp advice for MBA aspirants @ 2nd tier European B schools [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2012, 22:27
Hi Fauxpaus,

US leads the world in terms of business school quality & post MBA careers. No where else but in just a few top European schools like Lbs, Said, Judge, Insead, Imd, IE, Iese & Hec can you get equivalent quality & support. In this uncertain economic period i will recommend you to avoid Europe until and less you go to one of the mentioned schools. Even quality 2nd tier schools have failed to match up to the career aspirations of most of their international students & the situation is very sensitive.

As i have been recommending in my posts, i would advice you to go to South-East Asia & make use of the abundant opportunities there. Explore top Asian & Australian schools like Ceibs, Hkust, Nanyang, Nus, Agsm, Mbs and Isb. These schools will be able to help you achieve your career dream more than any other American & European school at present. Europe is dead and US has started to decay again, its Asia where the opportunities are. But if you can make it to any of the big league schools anywhere in the US or in Europe, you will be successful.
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Re: Imp advice for MBA aspirants @ 2nd tier European B schools [#permalink] New post 24 Jul 2012, 10:09
Thanks! for the quick response.

I have one more question [ I am pushing my luck here by asking so many questions :) ]

I am planning to give me GMAT after a year and apply the year after.

As of now, i have started researchin and by research I mean going through websites and forums like gmat club.

My Question:

What additional things should i do to get more information ?

From your earlier post, i saw you recomended asking previous or present students. how frequently do they reply ? is there any websites or resources that i should consider ?
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Re: Imp advice for MBA aspirants @ 2nd tier European B schools [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2012, 00:53
Hi fauxpaus,

Thats a good question. I would advice that if you are targeting a tier 2 school, research it inside out before making a final decision. The best way, as i have mentioned before, is to contact recent & past graduates & seek their opinion. Ask the school to put you in contact with them, if the school isn't very supportive try social networking sites. If you reach out, they will give your opinion. Try contacting local companies in the region where you wish to work & find out if they have recently hired from the school or if at all they would consider the school. Forums could be very subjective but the 2 exercises mentioned above will lead you to an informed decision.
Re: Imp advice for MBA aspirants @ 2nd tier European B schools   [#permalink] 07 Aug 2012, 00:53
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