Considerations for studying an MBA

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There are many benefits of applying to an MBA programme

Considerations for studying an MBA

What is the value of an MBA in today's world?

Especially on the European (and perhaps even more so on the German) market an MBA may enjoy a challenging position among the variety of other academic degrees. Especially in academic systems that see many students reach directly for a doctorate as they approach the end of their academic career after finishing school, why would one look into an additional Masters degree?

An MBA fulfills many aspects that are important building blocks in modern business: On the one hand, it provides wealth and breadth of management knowledge inside one programme that is highly applicable in the real world of work. On the other, it gives those studying a universally practical toolkit of eclectic approaches to management and business challenges that other degrees by their nature cannot. As a third element, especially Executive MBA’s tend to include a considerable amount of personal development activities (at Henley this is part of our DNA and is firmly anchored in everything we do and teach) to ensure that the person completing such a programme will be a more completed manager and leader, capable of creating a meaningful impact in their environment.

Looking at the world today, an MBA not only teaches about management theory and applies it to practice. Most participants of MBA programmes find that the greatest impact was only felt after finalizing the degree. They quickly realized that they are part of a bigger, and sometimes exclusive, network of people that have gone through the same challenges, they speak the same lingo, they form ideas in a relatable way and communicate stronger. They are now part of a network that can help them advance their career well beyond what the degree could do on its own.

What becomes important to note here is therefore the choice of the school you wish to pursue an MBA with. Is your business mostly local, does your network form around your hometown, your region, your country? Do you have ambitions to stay active within this network? In that case going with a school that can provide you this experience will be most likely the right choice. You may not even require an MBA but another degree possibly to advance you in your field with more focus.

An MBA still today is a degree that has intrinsic international value. It is a degree that originates from the Anglo-Saxon / Anglo-American world, where it still today enjoys invaluable recognition. Global business enjoys management approaches that were formed within this discourse and thus learning these management approaches, learning to use them and learning to understand them will be of tremendous value to the individual practitioner as well as their organisations. Comparing the combined GDP’s of the United States, the UK, India and China (yes, technology and industry design may have been imported or copied from countries such as Germany and Japan, but management practice was quickly adopted from the US!) to the GDP of, say, France or Germany shows a true value of MBA-thing and the potential an MBA can unlock for people with international outlook. In those countries, still today an MBA will be more valuable than any other specialized degree because it demonstrates an approach to thinking and reasoning that is relatable and of international importance.

Christoph Raudonat

Head of Henley Business School Germany