The Tuesday Q&A: Getting A U.S. Job From a Euro B-School

MBA FAQ, MBA frequently asked questions, bschool questions, mba questionsQuestion:

I am really into the idea of going into a European MBA program, but I want to work in the U.S. after that. Does going to a Euro b-school hurt my chances of getting a job in the States?

Answer:

Aw yeah, another great question, and a VERY important one to folks looking into the European MBA programs. They worry that people in the U.S. won’t have heard of their Euro program or won’t have as much cred in the market, even though their school might be the highest-ranked program on the globe. So, let’s discuss.

In all likelihood, going to a Euro b-school won’t HURT your chances, but that’s not really the issue here. What it does bring up is the wisdom of the plan itself. Except for some specific cases, it doesn’t make all that much sense to do your schooling on one continent when you want to work on another, at least in the cause of Europe to the States. Looking at INSEAD, for example, only about 10% of their graduates go to the U.S. to work afterwards. So, as you can see, it’s TOTALLY possible, but I don’t know if it makes much sense (unless maybe you got into a much better school in Europe).

Now, this will also depends on your background. If you are American, it’s likely going to be waaaay easier to return home and find a job. If you are not, on the other hand (especially if you’re not European, either), finding an employer and then getting a visa, etc. is likely to make things more difficult for your short- and long-term plans, which will also weigh heavy on the minds of the adcom at your prospective European programs.

Plus, there are the advantages of being in/around the countries where you’re going to work while you’re in b-school. First, it’ll be WAY easier to find a usable internship opportunity if you don’t have to go globetrotting to get there. Send, and perhaps more importantly, you’ll be on the ground meeting people and building your professional network. If only 10% of your fellow students plan on going to the States to do business after graduation, how much useful networking can you do with them? Now, if you’re going to the U.S. to do INTERNATIONAL business and want to have contacts abroad, the networking thing could still work out for you.

So, the answer to the question really depends on your short- and long-term goals, but taking this particular path won’t necessarily hurt you.

–Jon Frank

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