The Online MBA in Global Management Explained
By now you're probably well aware of the realization that the world is flat. This is, of course, a reference to Thomas Friedman's best-selling book on the globalization of the marketplace. Thanks to technology, including and perhaps especially the Internet, businesses can reach potential customers all over the globe. As our world continues to get smaller, the responsibilities of executives get larger.
Companies need leaders who understand business in multiple parts of the world, which often means speaking more than one language, learning about other cultures and their business practices, and immersing one's self in different places. Traditionally, MBA programs in the United States had been mainly focused on the domestic market. But in the last two decades, there has been an emphasis on giving all MBA students some international awareness and experience. Many top programs -- both online and off -- have taken this a step further and now offer concentrations and degree programs in global management.
What does an online MBA in global management entail?
For starters, you need to consider the delivery of any online MBA program. Most will have you working on a platform that features videotaped lessons or live lectures attended via videoconferencing, as well as forums and other means for interacting with professors and classmates. Often, you have group projects that require getting in sync by coordinating schedules and ideas with people in various parts of the world. To keep things simple, professors conduct class in either English or the native tongue of the home school. Sometimes, students are required to study another language or two to earn the degree.
Of course, students will experience core studies in subjects such as finance, strategy, and operations management through the prism of international affairs. Courses such as cross-cultural management and international trade are also typical offerings. They may be rounded out by electives that include study of technology or negotiations in different countries.
Brick-and-mortar programs, on the other hand, are going to include the same type of course material, but it will be delivered live and in person. Many of these traditional programs feature immersions in other countries. Some are a result of a partnership with a foreign school, while others have their own campuses abroad. Sometimes, students also end up with internships in foreign countries. These kinds of experiences are not exclusive to those in brick-and-mortar programs. Online MBA programs in global management, particularly those geared toward executives, sometimes include face-to-face meetings in different parts of the world to ensure students are truly gaining a firsthand look at globalization.
Who is a good fit for this program?
Deciding between delivery methods comes down to your needs. Someone who needs to stay put and requires the convenience of creating his or her own schedule may find an online program more appealing, whereas someone looking to make a big transition, who can afford to leave a full-time job and move to another place, might prefer a full-time, in-person option.
The global management MBA, regardless of the delivery method, is the right choice for a particular kind of person. Someone who is open to different cultures and willing to move just about anywhere will have a better chance of finding success in this niche. A desire to speak more than one language and immerse yourself in a world that is different from your own also doesn't hurt. Many times, students in this program already have some experience studying, working, or living abroad. The potential to acquire skills such as quickly converting large sums of money from one currency to another, navigating the cultural nuances necessary for negotiating and deal-making outside your borders, and managing employees across time zones are among some of the things that may be expected of those who enroll.
What are the admissions requirements?
Admissions requirements vary by school. Most of them will be looking at your work experience up to this point, to see if you have the chops for dealing with an international market and the gumption to lead and unify people who might come from very different places. As usual, schools may also look at standardized test scores, recommendation letters, and essays (in your own words) to determine whether you have what it takes to succeed both during the program and once you graduate.
Sharing your experiences abroad or your desire to conduct business in foreign lands will be a necessity both in essays and any admissions interviews in which you participate. Admissions committees will also look to see demonstrations of leadership, especially with multicultural teams. After all, the schools are looking for people who have a global mindset and the potential to lead multinational corporations in an ever-shrinking world.