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International Students in the Know Seek MSMS

Among graduate degrees, management MBA programs have become newly popular with international students who have business experience -- and some who don't. The ability to customize a management education is one of the features that draws applicants from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Between June and July 2011, the Graduate Management Admission Council conducted its yearly Application Trends Survey. The GMAC surveyed 649 programs from 331 business schools and faculties worldwide. Nearly 70 percent of master in management programs reported an increase in applications.

Students without business experience rely on master in management programs that are designed to teach them the principles of business to enter the corporate world or MBA programs. Students with professional experience attend master in management programs--developed to position them as experts on particular business fields--to differentiate themselves in the job market. Master in management programs are so popular worldwide that the MIT Sloan School of Management even awards these degrees to international students who complete the second year of their foreign MBA or master in management degrees in-house.

"The Master of Science in Management Studies or MSMS Program is intended for top students at non-U.S. business schools to study at MIT Sloan and obtain a degree," Chanh Phan, program manager, said. "The program complements the overseas MBA or equivalent master's education and allows students to focus on a particular area of management that they're interested in."

A master in management for experienced international MBAs

Master in management programs have a number of benefits. For instance, they allow students with professional experience to customize their management education. At MIT, Phan said, MSMS students can take elective courses in different departments, including MIT Sloan, Media Lab, Entrepreneurship, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, and Engineering. Students can also register for courses at Harvard Business School, the Kennedy School of Government or Harvard Law School.

Master in management programs also allow experienced students to demonstrate their proficiency in specific business disciplines. Students may write theses on topics of interest with the backing of faculty members who are authorities on these fields. MIT's MSMS theses focus on a variety of topics, according to Phan, including behavior based segmentation and price discrimination, China's stock market, the frozen food industry in Morocco, electronic payments, and online advertising.

Master in management programs accept a variety of students as well--from undergraduates without experience to MBAs with professional experience. They could also focus on providing international students management education from a U.S. perspective. Besides welcoming second-year international students, Phan said, MIT's MSMS also accepts international MBAs or master in management graduates who seek additional education on a particular management area to excel professionally. Areas of study could include strategic marketing, entrepreneurship, energy, or a specialized area of finance. Students can also benefit from access to MIT's alumni network, career coaching, and recruiting activities.

MSMS student follows his passion from Paris to Boston

HEC Paris student Léonard Bouygues has opted to study the second-year of his master in management degree at MIT--which has in place a dual degree arrangement with the Parisian business school. Once Bouygues is done with his education, he will obtain master in management degrees from HEC and MIT. Bouygues was primarily drawn to MIT's master in management program for international students like him because he could specialize on fields he is passionate about: technology and entrepreneurship.

"I have classes on how to create an enterprise; I work on projects with high-tech start-ups in the Boston area; I get to create a business plan," Bouygues said. "There is a lot of work, but it is so interesting that it is really pleasant."

Bouygues was also drawn to the MIT master in management program because it would allow him to discuss real-life cases with professors who are experts on the fields and students from multiple nationalities and experiences. Furthermore, he would be able to complete a thesis on the subject of his choice.

"I believe that this is an incredibly valuable asset of the program," he said about the thesis. "Imagine how useful to a career this can be."

Bouygues already possesses a Master of Science in Aeronautical engineering from Imperial College London and professional experience as an energy consultant at Capgemini Consulting and as an industry analyst at Google. After obtaining the master in management degrees from HEC and MIT, he would like to focus professionally on technological innovation, entrepreneurship and strategic management. In the meantime, the French student is already promoting the benefits of studying a master in management at the renowned U.S. institution to his peers in Paris.

A versatile master's degree to boost career opportunities

Whether you are an undergraduate or international graduate with professional experience, the master in management degree could provide an additional edge to your career. General or specialized management knowledge and a substantive thesis should better prepare you to make a positive difference in your professional life.