Written on 07 October 2011.
All business schools now do MBAs. Why offer this subject and what does an MBA bring you?
There are, indeed, several thousand MBAs around the world. Why so many? Because MBAs give Business Schools visibility at international level. Even in France, where MBA programmes are not yet very well known, they are developing quickly. Concerning Full-time MBAs, they are aimed either at 27-30 year-olds, or at older profiles; around 35 years. Their purpose is to teach the fundamentals of management to people destined to become managers or business leaders. They must learn to "speak the language" in all areas of the company (finance, marketing, etc.).
What are the specificities of EDHEC's Global MBA?
With its full-time MBA, EDHEC aims to allow significant individual and personal development for its participants. It wants to help them "grow".
Many programmes recruit at 26-27 years, because one of the criteria for evaluating MBAs is the change in salary before and afterwards. At EDHEC, we choose candidates with an average age of 32 to 34 years, because we are looking for people who have a good first professional experience (representing 1/3 or 1/4 of their career). We then allow them to take step back and look forward to the next 15 years. Our aim is to give them confidence, and make them want to manage people and become a leader.
The other specifics reside in the fact that students of the programme have a one-year break, like an immersion course. They come to us wanting to reflect on society and the global environment. It is in this context that we offer them, for example, classes in philosophy or geopolitics, which is very rare for an MBA.
We have also set up an individual support system for those who want to develop specific skills (public speaking skills, for example). We implement what we call "360-degree feedback", which is group support with self-assessment of each student on identified leadership criteria.
The main strength of our programme is its diversity. In The Economist's 2010 ranking, EDHEC's Global MBA was ranked 49th in the world, but no.1 for diversity! This diversity is a baseline to help people to change: Working in an environment with people from completely different professional and cultural backgrounds inevitably changes you.
The teaching body also features around twenty different nationalities. In conclusion, it is undeniable that our programme's main strength is that it really is what we call "a life-changing experience", which is a veritable foundation, representing around 30% of the course content.
What are the new aspects of the Global MBA for the 2011-2012 academic year?
Five years ago, we took a major change in course by putting diversity and personal development at the heart of our MBA. The 2011-2012 academic year is another turning point, with the following objectives:
- To grow, with classes of 50 to 60 students, while reinforcing diversity and communication
- To widen the course's scope, with the creation of optional specialisation courses for this new academic year. One in finance, with three specific classes and a trip to London, in the heart of the city, to understand how it works in real life. One in global leadership, with a general approach, to answer the following question: "How can I become a leader in a globalised context?" with classes on emerging markets and a study trip to Singapore. And finally, an option in entrepreneurship and innovation, with a trip to Silicon Valley.
Whatever the option chosen, all students from the class of 2012 with go on a study trip to South Africa, in order to study the issues of change and sustainable development.
And finally, to conclude on the new elements for 2011-2012, the team has been strengthened with the arrival of one person to manage careers and another to deal with recruitment and marketing for the programme.