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What is a Global MBA Program?

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By Abhi Sharma, via Wiki Commons 

9 in 10 of prospective MBA students often get confused about the difference between a global MBA and a traditional International MBA program.

It’s not uncommon to hear these students ask, what’s the difference between an International B-school program and one classified as a Globally oriented program?

Fact is, though, there’s a truckload of similarities between both programs; they still have underlying differences that set each apart from the other.

First, each – that’s both a Global and International MBA programs – is designed to prepare students for the task of running a business in the real world.

So, what exactly is a Global MBA Program?

To understand what makes an MBA program Global, let’s take a look at some of the characteristics that have overtime defined the global nature of a school.

The reason for this approach is that no single factor defines what a global is or is not. So, taking a holistic view of the program, the b-school, the student body, and several other factors would help in understanding whether an MBA program is genuinely Global or not.

To start, you’d ask how diverse is the student body?

Diversity is a crucial marker that a business school is truly offering a global program. Often, programs with a worldwide focus, strive to maintain a diverse mix of students from different countries a good example of this; is the global MBA at Bologna business school.

With a good mix of both local and international students the school provides an environment that is as culturally diverse as the real business world. Students are much more encouraged to build relationships with their colleagues; ask questions to understand the culture and business etiquettes of their fellow students; hence preparing them for an increasingly globalized corporate world.

Also, in addition to the striving to maintain a diverse student mix, the faculty is not left out.  It’s a best practice for Global business schools to have in their employ a faculty that’s made of people from a diverse background as much as possible.

The emphasis on diversity means that classroom and group discussions are as rich and as varied as the student body and not just anchored on the business practices of a single country.

Does the program offer an exchange program?

True global-focused MBA programs offer some form of exchange programs with other international schools in other countries. The more exchange options available, the better as a student can select a region of interest for understudying.

The exchange program tends to afford the student an experiential learning process as it provides more depth in learning. The student can see firsthand the business practices, regulatory issues, and the entrepreneurial environment of the country so selected for the exchange.

Is the curriculum truly global?

Schools claiming to offer a global business program often let that reflect in their coursework. Aside from the basic courses expected in a b-school, they also include unique study focus that can be said to be global.

The objective of this approach is to prepare students with the adequate skills required to fit in and operate perfectly in a globalized business world.

So, there you have it, as more and more business schools claim their program to be global look out for these factors to guide you make the best decision.

 
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