"The world is small and you need to think global from the word go," says Randi Bussin, an American graduate of INSEAD School in France. Founder and president of Aspire!, a career coaching solution for professionals, Randi wanted to concentrate on international business and expose herself to different cultures, hence her attraction to study for an MBA in Europe.
"I was able to gain a number of skills by studying overseas that I wouldn't have gained by staying in the US, such as communicating clearly, both written and orally, with diverse groups of people, and those with different backgrounds," she said.
Randi is one of thousands of MBA candidates who are pursuing their business school qualification abroad. Statistics from the 2008 QS TopMBA.com Applicants Survey, of over 2,000 international MBA candidates, show 22.5% of American MBA candidates wish to study in the UK 16% would like to study in France, 14% in Spain and 7% in Italy. American candidates also expressed interest in studying in Australia, Canada, Germany, Singapore and Switzerland.
Nunzio Quacquarelli, managing director of the QS World MBA Tour, which visits 41 countries during 2009, beginning with four cities in North America says there are a variety of reasons as to why MBA candidates are choosing to study abroad.
"International recognition of qualifications is top of the list for many candidates considering an MBA abroad, but cultural interest and lifestyle, scholarship and financial aid availability and the opportunities to create networks are also important."
INSEAD's international network is one spin-off of her time studying abroad that Randi has found invaluable.
"INSEAD has a very strong network worldwide, and I always tap into it. I belong to the local group in Boston and many of the INSEAD groups on LinkedIn. The real benefit is the partnership with Wharton and with the other top 10 business schools."
Many top international business schools will be in Boston on Thursday 26 February 2009 as part of the QS World MBA Tour. Now in its 15th year, the Tour brings admissions officers from IESE, IE, ESSEC Melbourne Business School and Warwick School, as well as top US schools including Boston University, The Fletcher School, Pepperdine and Cornell for candidates to meet face-to-face with and discuss study, scholarship, and admission options.
The Boston fair also provides candidates with a taste of the MBA classroom during the MBA MasterClass in Entrepreneurship, delivered by renowned Professor Peter Russo of Boston University.
Candidates interested in pursuing an MBA should think globally as the world of business continues to operate on an international level, and as Randi said: "I would recommend studying abroad for your MBA to anyone. It was one of the best experiences I have ever had."
The trend towards specialist MBAs – programmes designed for specific groups of professional people, and usually one year in length - appears to be thriving in Europe and the USA.
You may have thought age discrimination was a thing of the past but unfortunately you could be underestimating the extent to which your age can affect the direction of your career.
The UK is at full employment, particularly due to the implementation of the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme, the visa regime that is favourable to MBAs of almost any nationality. Spain and Italy have growing numbers of finance and technology companies regularly recruiting MBAs, as well as a growing consulting industry.