Graduate Management News

April 2016

The Newsletter of the Graduate Management Admission Council

Add Global Business Experience to Your MBA Program

Differentiate your graduate business program by having your students take a journey during their academic progression.

Global Experience in MBA thumb

MBA prospects have more choices today than ever before, with part-time, online, and now Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) that allow them to integrate MBA-level thinking into their study routine with little-to-no interruption to their lives. Due to an uncertain economy, this level of flexibility and choice is especially important.

Given all of these options, how are you differentiating your MBA program in a way that allows you to rise above the competition that may be only a few miles away?

One of the unique aspects about our program at Eller MBA is that each of our students goes on a journey—both literally and figuratively—during their academic progression in the program. In addition to the skills our students acquire in the program, they are able to take advantage of a Global Business Experience (GBE) that influences their worldview and impacts their perspective on business.

Recently, students in our Evening MBA program traveled to Dubai for their GBE. Below are just a few of the key benefits that programs and students can take away from experiences:

  • Real-time ROI. In addition to the cultural immersion that takes place, students have mentioned they are still absorbing the knowledge they received from  Emirati business leaders they met and have applied certain components of the region’s business philosophy into their own respective workplaces.
  • Challenge leadership status quo. Recent studies have shown that having a more “open network” may be the biggest indicator of future success, in addition to intelligence, experience, and skill-level. According to Business Insider, embracing diverse perspectives allows “you to gain the ability to escape a single group's echo chamber and avoid errors caused by groupthink."
  • Talent retention. The traditional workplace has seen a shift over the years due to various factors (e.g. renewed emphasis on work-life balance, increased agility spawned from technology, enhanced global interconnectivity), which is especially true for the ambitious Millennial worker. A recent Global Millennials survey from Deloitte1, suggests that these workers felt "[i]nsufficient opportunities to develop their leadership skills... As many as 63% of respondents said their leadership skills are not being fully developed." Immersion programs like GBE develop the leadership skills these employees desire before they become disengaged and end up costing an organization more time, more resources, and more money.

It's important to stay ahead of your competition by equipping your graduates with the skills and diverse thinking that will prepare them for tomorrow's challenges as well as to create a tangible and sustainable impact on these future business leaders.

We work diligently to attract the most diverse cohorts possible in our program. Our Global Business Experience has been a huge testament to our continued success and I would encourage all b-schools to embrace globalization within their MBA programs.

1 Millennial Survey 2016, Deloitte. Retrieved April 12 from 

About the Author

Michael LangleyMichael Langley is associate Director, MBA Admissions & Corporate Outreach, at the University of Arizona, Eller College of Management..