In Quest for an MBA
By Shola Adenekan
Corporate insiders say there are good signs that big corporations and even smaller companies operating in Europe, America, Africa and the Caribbean will be recruiting more MBA graduates in the coming years.
In Britain and the United States, more and more companies are keen to reflect the increasing diversity of their communities in their middle-management rank and their boardroom.
While in Africa and the Caribbean, multi-nationals want to recruit local talent to reduce the cost of relocating expatriates.
Recent trends in job placement suggest that an MBA, as well as an MBA online is one of the most valuable post-graduate degrees to have. An MBA can earn you a six-figure salary straight out of business school. It can also put you in a great position to launch a successful business of your own.
In America, a recent survey of Fortune 1000 companies carried out by the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management found that an astounding 86 per cent of them plan to hire even more minority MBAs.
In Britain, studies suggest that many FTSE 100 companies are equally eager to have Black faces in their senior rank.
Dr. Phyllis Scott Buford, the CEO of the consortium believes that diversity has become a critical requirement in Corporate America.
Some companies, he points out, value the unique perspectives people of colour can offer, while other companies believe that Black MBAs can help them connect with their multi-cultural clients.
So, who should study for an MBA?
There are various reasons why many study for the MBA. However, business schools say that MBAs are for people who have interest in learning the core foundation of business and how the various functional areas of the discipline will assist them in their chosen career.
An MBA student will normally have a first degree along with a significant managerial experience. Many, if not most, have reached a point in their career where their job horizons have narrowed.
An MBA qualification might seem a ticket to a high-flying career but potential students need to be sure it is the right choice for them.
Career advisers believe that to capitalise on an MBA you need to have experienced some of the tensions, dilemmas and paradoxes that managers have to deal with at first hand.
Experts say that MBA students have often peaked as experts in some professional fields and they have a detailed knowledge of a particular industry but lack the generalist skills to take on greater responsibilities.
“The MBA is a degree that benefits people over the lifetime of their career,” says Maria Graham of the prestigious Columbia Business School in New York. “The skills learn in a good MBA programme will grant people greater flexibility in mapping their careers.”
Ken Russell, MBA director at Bristol Business School in England, said potential students need to decide if this is the right time in their career and personal life to start an MBA.
For example, can you capitalise on the new found learning? Will your partner support you? Can you find the necessary time to devote to study for the MBA?
What are you prepared to sacrifice short-time and how will this affect your work-life balance?"
Start all these processes early so that you are not rushing any decisions, and you will have time to get prepared both mentally and physically for the MBA.
Tomorrow: Things to ponder before choosing a business school
Adenekan publishes the New Black Magazine. He is a journalist and has covered education and career stories for BBC News Online, The Guardian (UK), The Christian Science Monitor and other publications all over the world.
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