If you are a determined and ambitious professional, then at some point you will probably think about climbing the career ladder and moving to a high leadership position.
An MBA degree can prepare you for career advancement and add credibility to your leadership potential. According to the latest survey by the Graduate Admissions Council for Management, 91% of recruits plan to hire an MBA.
Rafael Vega Valtierra furthered his career with an MBA degree from Fudan University School of Management. Mexican Rafael graduated from Fudan’s International MBA (IMBA) in 2017 and is now the Regional Director for Mexico and Latin America at travel technology company, Shake to Win.
Here are five ways an MBA can improve your job prospects.
1. The MBA will improve your career prospects by giving you global business experience
In the interconnected world of business, knowledge across cultures is vital to today’s leaders.
The IMBA at Fudan is run in association with the MIT Sloan School of Management in the United States, and up to four visiting professors join the IMBA at Fudan each year.
MIT modules include Innovation and Effective Manager, while Fudan’s elective electives cover global topics such as the challenges of globalization, global strategic marketing, international financial management, and macroeconomics.
A professor from MIT gave one of Raphael’s lectures on intercultural communication, in a class made up of about 30% international students and 70% local Chinese students.
“With this kind of context, you have the opportunity to compare knowledge with practice, and that’s what gives you great value while studying the MBA,” explains Rafael.In the picture below), speaking during a recent BusinessBecause webinar.
2. An MBA degree will improve your employment prospects by building your professional network
The students you share in an MBA class form the basis of a lifelong professional network.
The Fudan IMBA program usually consists of students with 2-10 years of work experience and above. They come from a range of industries such as financial services, education, consulting, logistics, medicine, governments and NGOs.
At Fudan IMBA, full-time MBA students communicate with Executive MBA students and part-time MBA students throughout their studies.
Your MBA network can open doors to careers in specific industries or provide advice if you’re looking to focus on specific specialty areas.
Raphael is currently working on a project in China that is being managed in cooperation with the United Nations World Tourism Organization. He got involved in the project through fellow MBAs he met.
“This is because of Guanxi, which are Chinese language networks, and it is very important if you want to increase business opportunities in China,” he explains.
Watch: How an MBA degree can improve your job prospects
3. The MBA will improve your career prospects by giving you a real consulting experience
Students in Fudan’s IMBA program take a mandatory three-module iLab Project course, which sees groups of a maximum of five students act as consultants solving a real problem for a real client.
Raphael has worked on a project with the Finnish company Ekolet, which makes sustainable toilets. His group was tasked with developing the company’s entry strategy into the Chinese market.
“I think the iLab consulting project is a very productive experience because it allows you to apply what you learn in the classroom,” he says. “It’s a really global experience as well, because you learn by working with your Chinese colleagues, as well as an Executive MBA student, which also helps you grow your network in China.”
After presenting his group’s discovery to Ekolet’s management team, the company contacted Rafael to ask him to help them enter the Mexican market – he still collaborates with them today.
“iLab is also a way to enrich your employment and career opportunities after you graduate from Fudan University,” he asserts.
4. An MBA degree will improve your career prospects by giving you personalized career advice
The Career Development Office (CDO) in Fudan brings together students with an alumni and career mentor. During the two-year study period, they give students advice on careers as well as build their industry knowledge.
“I think the CDO plays a really key role in your career journey during and after the MBA,” Raphael says. “In my case, it helped me identify roles I could take and directed me toward networks that could revitalize my job search and career journey.”
He was in contact with the Vice President of Human Resources at DHL Shanghai, who helped develop his professional career plan, while CDO provided CV writing workshops and helped prepare for interviews.
5. The MBA will improve your career prospects by offering you international study trips
Fudan IMBA students may enroll in a one-year exchange program at MIT Sloan, Yale School of Management, or York’s Schulich School of Business as part of the school’s second-degree programs.
Students can also participate in a semester exchange with one of Fudan’s 90 partner schools, through the Partnership in International Management (PIM) exchange programme. After that, there is a week-long immersion abroad, which typically includes four days of core study, one for cultural visits, and one for company visits.
Rafael traveled to South Korea during IMBA and visited companies such as Kia, Hyundai and Samsung.
“I never imagined being able to experience first-hand visits to some of the most important companies in South Korea,” he explains. “I also had the opportunity to share a study trip with a part-time and Executive MBA, which puts you in touch.”
There is no guarantee that studying an MBA will automatically lead to a new job or position. The hard work begins when you enroll, and it’s up to you to make the most of the opportunities available to you while you are in business school. But by pursuing an MBA degree, you can prepare yourself for an improved career path and improved job prospects.