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MBAs are a smart bunch. They have to be with all the reading, case studies and preparations for mock business scenarios that they do. But who ever said business education can only be had in the classroom? As the world continues to grow increasingly digital, creative and global solutions are needed to tackle everyday business problems. To break free from the old-fashioned way of doing business, MBAs are embracing travel as education and they are reaping huge benefits.
More and more MBA students are taking advantage of international study abroad programmes and international internships in order to gain insight into how the world runs business. The time spent overseas offer MBAs international exposure and often an in-depth look at how businesses in a variety of markets operate. Knowing the inner workings of international corporations and businesses also provides a diverse perspective on what works and what doesn’t within a given market. These observances can later translate into finding solutions for future case studies and tough corporate situations, as well as better decision-making and managerial skills.
Study abroad programmes can vary between short, three-day intensive case studies to entire semesters and both provide invaluable information and appreciation for international business and customs. Some internships can lead to full-time job offers and other lucrative career opportunities overseas, an especially attractive feature given the current job market in certain regions.
MBAs who have international exposure and experience are viewed favourably by recruiters because companies are looking for people with excellent communication and leadership skills. Nothing teaches someone better communication and leadership skills than to be thrown into unfamiliar territory, language and customs. Well-heeled MBAs also exude a confidence and independence that is often rare in those who haven’t spent significant time abroad. These qualities make for very attractive candidates, not to mention top management leaders.
The world is indeed getting smaller, but the opportunities for MBAs with international experience and expertise are limitless. While there’s still no substitute for a solid education from a top-notch business school, some time spent outside the classroom getting to know the world will offer skills and lessons that just can’t be matched.
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