Saturday, December 23, 2006

MBA: The international experience

To take a major in business administration anywhere in the world is not an easy task. In order to provide a quality education to the students, universities have to take into account that businesses around the globe are becoming more international and, in fact, in some years time having an international focus to manage organizations and companies will be a must, regardless of the size of the organization or the markets in which it is present. Why? The reason is very simple: Everyday, there are more commercial agreements and communication tools that make it much easier to provide products and services in different markets... and which are able to bring international competitors to our own locations as well.
At Yale university, they think that they're offering a state-of-the-art MBA program that, among other features, includes a mandatory international trip to either Costa Rica, Tanzania or Singapore. The purpose of this trip is to live real international situations that will help students involve more easily and effectively in the role of decision making, but with a more international scope.
About this "revolutionary" method, Joel M. Podolny, dean of Yale's School of Management, says: "We are at the beginning of what over the next five years will be a tremendous change in business education".
Yale is not the only institution that is thinking of implementing such program. According to the same source, other high class universities in the United States, such as Stanford, are realizing the importance of having some international experience to provide students with a complete business education. They can therefore be adopting the same kind of programs in no time.
Guess what? There are universities that have taken a step before the institutions I mentioned before. There are universities in Canada that have been applying international experiences for at least three years; the results haven't been very surprising: Students have stated that such trips have enormously contributed to their formation during the MBA and, among other things, some of them regard that type of activities as necessary in a program of this nature.
So I guess that universities like Yale or Stanford are right when thinking of requiring international experiences in their programs. That's the way the businesses will move worldwide in no time. But those universities shouldn't make quite a thing of revolutionizing the way of teaching an MBA, take into account that it's a Canadian invention!

Thanks to Allen for the information for this post.


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