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How To Choose An MBA Program

So you’ve decided to go for an MBA? Good choice! Having an MBA under your belt is highly likely to boost your chances of success in the professional world. It’ll boost your business knowledge and help you to climb up the career ladder. But choosing the right MBA program is a little harder, and there are so many courses options to decipher. An MBA is tough, so it’s important that you think long and hard about the type of course that you choose, and the structure it will give you. Luckily, we’ve put together a guide on how to choose an MBA program, so you can make sure that you’re making the right decision.

Types of MBA Program

There are lots of different MBAs to choose from, and they all offer something different in terms of course content and teaching style. It’s important that you choose an MBA that’s suited to your industry specialism and your level of experience.

For example, an Executive Master of Business Administration (or EMBA) is better suited to experienced professionals with over 10 years of professional experience. You’ll learn in small classes where networking with other professionals is a priority. Whereas you can expect a more general MBA program to focus on providing students with professional experience. These MBA programs tend to act as a launchpad and offer a wide range of global and professional networking opportunities to help students grow their portfolio of contacts.

MBA Structure

MBA programs can be structured in many ways, providing students with a variety of teaching styles and lifestyles. The most common MBA formats are full-time, part-time and online. If you study full-time, you can expect the course to be full-on and a lot of hard work. On the other hand, studying part-time may suit students that want to study while they continue to work. Online or ‘distance learning’ MBAs can be studied completely independently, and offer virtual classroom and networking rather than in-person teaching.

The type of MBA that you choose will depend on your desired lifestyle, and your existing work or family commitments. If you’d like to travel, consider studying a Global MBA Program. This will take you to a wide range of countries, and provide you with a unique insight into international business operations.

Accreditations

Gaining accreditation is a great way to prove the quality of your MBA education. When researching MBA programs, you should consider whether the course or university/ education provider carries an accreditation or has links to a professional body. The most common MBA accreditations are AACSB, AMBA and EFMD. By choosing a particular MBA, you may also gain membership to these professional associations. This will set you up with a network of professionals in your industry for when you’ve completed your course.

Costs

An MBA isn’t cheap. But there is help out there to help you finance your studies. You should consider whether you’d like to keep working alongside your MBA, to help reduce the costs of living and studying at university. Are you going to need to travel to the university to study for your MBA? If so, you must factor in the costs of travel and accommodation. If you’d like to complete an MBA, but can’t afford it, you could consider online or distance learning. For these courses, you’ll still have to pay tuition fees but as you’ll be studying from home, this can reduce a lot of the external the costs.

Enjoyed this article on how to choose an MBA program? Read our article on Why Study an MBA Program – AMBA Collaboration.

How to Make Business Connections After Graduation

In the business world, developing great relationships with professionals in your field as well as in affiliated fields is essential. These connections can be used for everything from getting great deals on products and services to providing you with helpful advice, and more. So if you have recently left university, here are our top tips on how to make better business connections after graduation.

1. Develop your personal “infrastructure”

Before you think about getting more business connections, it is important to spend time reflecting on your technological infrastructure. Do you have the right business internet and phone service to foster great communications? Do you need to upgrade your smartphone or tablet for easier contact management? Should you invest in a client-relationship management program? Are your social media pages up-to-scratch, and reflective of your abilities as a business professional? These factors can all affect your ability to track and communicate with your contacts. With the right tech behind you, connecting with other professionals will become easier.

2. Attend trade shows

A great way to meet new players in your field and in related fields is to attend trade shows. Initially, focus your effort on trade shows that will be in your area. Other professionals that work in your industry will be keen to reach out to you as well. So look for in-person networking opportunities and go to as many as you can. Getting your face out there will make a huge difference.

Consider the benefit of travelling to other cities for larger events as well. Travelling beyond your community is generally only necessary if you work in a field with a larger service area or base, rather than in a localised position.

3. Participate in local organisations

Another great way to meet more people in your field is to research related and affiliated organisations and trade associations in your area. These associations may have networking events for members, such as luncheons, networking happy hours and more. Find active associations and join them to start participating in these events more regularly to meet with competitors and new members as well.

Joining social media groups will also provide you with a community of professionals that work in your industry. These professionals will understand what you do for work and can provide a great support network if you’re looking for advice.

4. Think outside the box

There are many ways to make great connections with others in your field. For example, you can find top players through industry chat rooms and you can reach out to them personally through email or a phone call. You may attend a social event and make business connections randomly. Because you never know when you will make a connection, you should always have business cards or your cell phone on hand. Be sure to update your online accounts and become active on many different sites.

The most successful individuals are those who know all the top players in the industry and who work with them regularly. As an aspiring professional who has recently graduated, you have a lot of relationship-building in front of you.

Special thanks to Eileen O’Shanassy for providing us with this article. Eileen is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking, and you can find her on Twitter @eileenoshanassy.

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From Global MBA to global citizen: Olivia’s career in TV Journalism

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Olivia studied her MBA at SP Jain School of Global Management and now works in TV Journalism. This is her story.

Olivia is originally from Indonesia, but she now lives and works in Singapore for Channel NewsAsia, part of MediaCorp. I could tell that she oozes confidence and professionalism by the way she conducted our interview – walking through the busy streets of Singapore after work. I wanted to know more about her, and how she got into the world of TV Journalism.

The World of TV Journalism

“I’m currently a Senior Journalist at MediaCorp which is the biggest media group in Singapore. I work at the English news station, Channel NewsAsia, also known as CNA. At the moment I am assigned to write business stories, working Monday to Friday. I also follow market news in Singapore and around Asia.

“Being the only Indonesian reporter in the office, I felt very privileged that they sent me to cover the Indonesian general election. It was only my first month in the office. I also got to do a follow-up story on how the business community reacted to the re-election of the incumbent president, Joko Widodo.”

How did you get into TV Journalism?

“Before my Global MBA, I was working for CNN Indonesia, which is part of the big CNN international franchise. I was a news anchor for about two years, and before that, I was working for Bloomberg TV Indonesia (although that has now shut down). Before that, I mostly worked for local TV stations. I guess having Bloomberg and CNN on my CV, plus my recent MBA and experience are what helped me progress my career in Singapore. It’s a highly competitive place.”

Growing up in Indonesia

“I’m a reasonably happy person because I always see things from the bright side. I try to think positively at all times, although I had quite a sad childhood. I was raised by a single mum as my dad passed away due to cancer when I was 10, leaving me and my two little brothers pretty much struggling. My childhood years in Jakarta were, I suppose, full of limitations and sorrows. And my mum had to work very hard to make ends meet and feed the three kids.

“I think that’s how my spiritual journey started, out of those limitations, and I now lead an amazing life. Thankfully, I got into the best schooling on a scholarship, and I got to do my undergraduate degree in New Zealand on a scholarship as well. And for my master’s degree, I got another scholarship. I’ve been really blessed throughout my life. Getting access to high-quality education at an affordable price has shaped who I am today. I was never the smartest kid in the classroom, I just got lucky. I am very blessed. This is all God’s grace. I was not academically exceptional. I was not like number one or number two in the class, but I was always a happy and positive person.”

Check out our reasons why you should complete an MBA programme.

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Olivia’s MBA abroad at SP Jain School of Global Management

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Olivia did her Global MBA abroad at SP Jain School of Global Management, Australia.

Olivia Marzuki currently lives in Singapore, where she works as a senior journalist at Channel NewsAsia, part of MediaCorp. I wanted to find out more about her time studying for her Global MBA abroad, so I asked her to introduce herself.

“Hi, I’m Olivia. I was enrolled at SP Jain School of Global Management in 2018. The Global MBA program included travel around the world, to three different cities. Originally I’m from Jakarta, Indonesia, but I did my undergraduate degree in New Zealand. I worked for various organisations, including a bank and the Australian State Government of Queensland’s Trade & Investment Office, before joining TV. I’ve travelled quite a bit, I guess! I would consider myself a global citizen.”

Why study a Global MBA abroad?

“I was busy enjoying my life and working in interesting jobs, but I wanted to do further study so I always kept it in the back of my mind. One day I received a great offer – to apply for an international student scholarship from SP Jain. So I just gave it a try, and I got pretty much full scholarship! Because it’s a very global program and includes studying in three different cities as part of the course, I didn’t think twice!

“Having spent most of my working life in business journalism, I felt that a business-related masters would enrich my knowledge and sharpen my skills. And, in fact, I found the course very effective. SP Jain really opened my horizons. The course brought me back to the core fundamentals of business – profit and loss, balance statements, that kind of thing. Things I didn’t really study in my undergrad years. Studying a Global MBA abroad really helped sharpen my business journalism work professionally.”

Check out our reasons why you should complete an MBA programme.

The SP Jain Global MBA – 1 course, 3 cities

“Studying my Global MBA abroad exposed me to how business is done in different international continents – the Middle East, Australia and Asia. This gave me a new perspective on how to approach things and taught me to take things like cultural nuances into consideration. Now, because I have been there, I know how things are done, so it really gave me a different perspective. And it makes me a global citizen.

“I don’t see any other universities doing the same type of model. SP Jain claims to be one of the top four universities offering this kind of one-year international MBA program. So they’re right up there at the top of the list of Forbes ranking. We went to Dubai for the first semester, January to April. Then four months in Sydney for the second semester. And finally, we went to Singapore to complete the final semester. This gave me the opportunity to find a job in Singapore, and that’s where I’m still working now.

From Dubai to Sydney to Singapore

“Dubai was very interesting. We went there in January so it wasn’t that hot, but it was becoming warmer. It was interesting because Dubai starts the week on a Sunday so their weekends are Friday and Saturday. The day seems longer there for some reason and there is sand everywhere, so we were always covered from head to toe! We were taken on excursions as part of the tuition, including a desert safari trip and a trip to Ferrari World. They took us to places outside of the classroom, which we really enjoyed. In Sydney, I rented a vehicle and headed out to the beautiful countryside of New South Wales – to Wollongong and the beaches. In Singapore, I was working to complete my MBA that’s where I started looking for a job.

“I think the Global MBA abroad program was great because it was challenging. As a business journalist, I am quite well versed in business topics, so all of the case studies were a walk in the park for me. But there are parts of business studies that I found difficult, like corporate finance because I’m not very strong with numbers and mathematics. I felt like I was really starting from zero because I had never studied corporate finance or accounting before. At the end of the day, I learned about new fields in business and gained a lot from the experience.”

Find out more about Olivia’s life as a TV Journalist here.

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Ligia’s study abroad experience in Australia

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Ligia is a marketing professional working in Sydney. She came to Australia from Brazil to study her MBA at Western Sydney University. This is her study abroad experience.

Do you want to study abroad in Australia? Ligia has put herself through plenty of challenges as an international student and emerged from them all triumphantly. We caught up with her to chat about her time as an international student in Australia, and the events in her life that got her there.

Putting family first

The first thing Ligia wanted to talk about in our interview was her family and what they mean to her, which speaks volumes about the kind of person she is.

“I think firstly I have to mention that I have a “special” brother. His name is Vitor and he was born with cerebral palsy. I am just starting off with this because this makes my family’s dynamic slightly different from everyone else’s. I’m very attached to my family. It may sound cliché, but everything that I do is based on what’s better for them, not just for me.”

family graduation photo
Family graduation photo

Throughout our interview, these remarks hold special significance as it becomes clear just how much Ligia missed being close to family and to Brazil. Illustrating just how determined and resilient she is. Ligia has been familiar with the world of business from an early age as her dad works as a customer success manager for an insurance company in Brazil. She quickly realised that she needed to do something that would earn her enough money to support her family. But she also wanted a good job, a career and to uphold her commitment to them.

“I chose to do my bachelors in Brazil when I was 17 and straight out of school. So I started studying at a great private college called ESPM, which translates as ‘Superior School of Advertising and Marketing’. I did an undergraduate course in Advertising and Marketing, which is consistently ranked as one of the best in Brazil. I guess everything started there in terms of my career and my relationship with business and marketing.”

Find out more about Ligia’s MBA at Western Sydney University.

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Ligia’s MBA in Australia – Western Sydney University

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Ligia graduated with an MBA from Western Sydney University in 2018. She now works in Sydney as a Marketing Manager. This is her story.

Why an MBA in Australia?

I studied a degree in Communications, Advertising and Marketing in Brazil, but what I really wanted to do was study English in Australia. So I did, and after four months in Australia, I started studying for a diploma in Business. Then I realised that if I wanted to stay in Australia, I had to enrol on a postgraduate course in order to qualify for a visa. So, I decided to just go for it and apply for an MBA.

I had wanted to do a Masters anyway because it was the next level for me after my degree in Brazil, so it seemed like the next step. I also wanted to stay in Australia because I knew it would offer me a lot of opportunities in terms of working and career progression.

Check out our reasons why you should complete an MBA programme.

Why Western Sydney University?

I made contact with Isis Kowaliauskas – a fellow Brazilian who works for the international department at the university. She has now become a colleague, but at the time we met through a Facebook post in one of the Brazilian communities. After looking at her Facebook post about Western Sydney, I knew I wanted to go there and see what it was like. In the beginning, it was just what I needed because I didn’t know anybody else. She was so sweet and helpful. She introduced me to the whole university and the whole course and everything. And then I said, yes, that’s where I want to do my masters.

I went through all the modules and did all the research, and then I went to the campus and could immediately see myself studying there. It was like falling in love. I know that sounds romantic, but that’s what happened: it felt right. I think it was the biggest factor for me because I’m very into feelings – they are important when making choices.

Scholarships

Then there were the practical reasons. I’d say that Western Sydney University was the most cost-effective out of Sydney’s biggest unis (UTS, Sydney University, the University of New South Wales and Western Sydney). Among these, in terms of price, it was the best option. Western Sydney University also offers scholarships for international students, as well as their public scholarships. I was nervous but it was like any university thing, I needed to just go for it. So I applied to try and be the lucky one, and I was!

Click here for our top 5 government-funded scholarships for international students.

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