Studying for an MBA has become a viable means of dodging the effects of the recession, by taking time out to study and returning to the employment market with fresh skills and increased employability. Pretty much all universities offer some form of MBA program, yet the value of that program, and that of any resulting degree, often depends on the reputation of the institution itself. The Financial Times (FT) conducts an annual ranking of business schools, based on factors such as value for money and both the salary and career progress of alumni. The following guide is based on FT’s Global MBA rankings.
Situated close to Regent’s Park in the heart of the British capital, the London Business School has established itself as one of the world’s most respected providers of business qualifications. The School’s global MBA program is ranked number one in the world by the FT. Students have a chance to study in one of the world’s most important financial centers and arguably Europe’s most multi-cultural capital.
Find out what London Business School has to offer by visiting their website.
The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia is home to the Wharton Business School, which was established in 1881. Offering a range of BS, MBA, PhD and diploma qualifications, Wharton has been consistently ranked as one of the world’s leading business schools. The fifth largest city in the USA, Philadelphia is a major commercial and cultural center with architecture that beautifully reflects its colonial history.
Wharton remains one of the most comprehensive sources of business knowledge in the world. Explore their website.
The oldest institution of higher learning in the USA, Harvard University has established itself as one of the world’s great academic institutions and its Business School is equally well known around the world for the quality of its two-year MBA program. Often eclipsed by livelier East Coast cities such as New York, Boston is nonetheless an energetic place to work and study and is a commercial and political center for New England.
Find out what Harvard University has to offer through their website.
Across the continent from Harvard, the Stanford Graduate School of Business offers a two-year MBA program and a ten-month Sloan Master’s program, as well as executive education and summer institutes. The school prides itself on its progressive approach to business education, designed to equip graduates with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in a rapidly changing commercial environment. One of Stanford’s greatest claims to fame is its location in Silicon Valley, which places it at the heart of the US technology sector.
Find out more about Stanford’s curriculum by visiting their website.
One of the world’s largest graduate business schools, Insead was founded in 1957 and is based in France with campuses in Singapore and Abu Dhabi, as well as a research center in Israel and an office in New York. Insead’s MBA is world-renowned. The school also offers PhD degrees and a range of executive training courses. As a place to study, Fontainebleau straddles the urban lifestyle of Paris and the renowned beauty of its surrounding forests.
Discover why Insead is renowned as ‘the business school for the world’ by visiting their website.
Crossing the finish line
KPMG in Canada senior consultant Karine Forget recently completed an MBA. We talk to her about the experience.
When the time came to study for an MBA, Karine had no doubts about her choice of business school. Prior to joining KPMG, she had graduated from Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) in Montreal. “In my opinion, it’s the most well known francophone university in Quebec to study for an MBA,” she says. “And that’s where I wanted to study for mine.” In addition to being an institution of quality, the fact that Karine was credited half her MBA as a result of her previous degree was further incentive to return to her old school.
The decision to study for an MBA was driven by the requirements of Karine’s role at KPMG. Having joined as an accountant, she transferred to the Advisory practice after three years in Audit, a change that introduced her to project-based work mainly in public/private partnerships and business planning areas. “Before I transferred it was clear in my mind that with my new role, an MBA would be a great asset,” she says.
The course itself was divided into required work and elective components. Karine opted to focus on financial, management and operations management. “I wanted to improve my background in management,” says Karine. “And the course enabled me to do just that.” Indeed, much of the work revolved around a study of cases, giving students genuine experience of real-world problems and solutions. “We also did five weeks on a supervised consultancy project. That was a real business case and it was interesting applying the knowledge I’d gained on the course,” she says.
KPMG lent an enormous amount of support during Karine’s study. In addition to paying for the course, the firm helped with references ahead of enrolment and provided Karine with time off to study and take exams, helping her achieve the MBA she wanted and providing KPMG with yet another qualified professional.