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1. My question is regarding work visas. I have heard many stories of how American students cannot secure
visas to work abroad. Also, I have heard European schools have weaker placement in America. True?

Kyn Chatervedi: It is likely very true that people coming out of European MBA programs will have a
tougher time finding a job in the US unless theyve gone to the INSEADs of the world. However
management consulting groups like McKinsey actually hire a larger proportion of their staff from
INSEAD than the Top 5 in the U.S. So it really depends on Industry and company. That said, if you want
to have a better shot of getting a job in the US post-MBA, youll want to get your MBA in the US.

Sally Radwan: The visa thing differs from country to country. In the UK for example, you can usually get
a post-study work visa for a year, which will enable you to look for a job. And if you have a job offer
your employer can sponsor your work visa, which is valid for several years. I know that to be the case
in Germany as well - sometimes they'll even give you permanent residency right away. That is usually
independent of the student's country of origin as most non-EU citizens are treated the same way in
Europe. But immigration rules keep changing all the time, so it's best to check at the time of
application what the work visa rules of that particular country are. B-schools will always have the most
up-to-date info.

As for the second part of the question, it depends on the school and the company. I know many of
my American classmates have returned to work in the US with no issues at all. If youre worried, do
some research on the types of companies you would like to work at after graduation and see if they
value international experience and/or have a preference for a US-based MBA. I know it's much harder
for non-US citizens who got their MBA abroad to go work in the US, but for US citizens it shouldnt be a

Ehsan Soroush: By and large, European schools don't have the name recognition of American schools
to American employers. Alumni populations are also lower in the US for European schools compared
to their American counterparts. However, the top European programs, such as London Business
School, London School of Economics, INSEAD, Oxford, Cambridge, etc., have name recognition,
particularly in large US cities such as New York, Washington and Chicago. Furthermore, employers
wanting exposure to Europe may prefer European school candidates.

2. Given the 1-year duration of the programs, can career changes benefit from them, especially those who plan to
change both industry and function?

Sally Radwan: Some European schools offer 2-year programs and some offer 1-year ones. In general, I
would say it's better to go for a 2-year course (e.g. LBS or IESE) if you're looking to change both industry
and function. The big plus is the opportunity for a summer internship, which gives credibility to your
career aspirations.


Mark Lellouch: Definitely. But you'll need to show the adcom that you already have many of the skills
needed to be successful in that new industry and/or function. So put yourself in the shoes of someone
applying to your ideal post-MBA position: why should they hire you over the next guy who may
already have experience? That's what you need to articulate in your app. Same as for two year
programs, only even crisper.

Ehsan Soroush: There aren't discernable differences between a 1 or 2 year MBA, other than internship
implications (one-year programs may not have them). An MBA is an MBA and a highly ranked 1-year
program, such as INSEAD or Oxford can provide the same opportunity for career and industry
changes as do 2-year programs. Ultimately, it is up to you and what you want to gain from the

3. In terms of the education caliber would you say these top European schools rank the same as some of the top
American schools?

Sally Radwan: Well, if you look at the overall international rankings for MBA, you will see LBS
consistently ranked in the top five, even #1 worldwide according to some rankings. IESE, INSEAD and
IMD usually rank high as well. In general I would say the difference of education caliber is non-existent
among the top 10-15 schools, no matter where they are. They all recruit from the same pool of
professors and offer the same standards. But the type of education differs from those only using case
studies to those with a more classical lecture-based approach.

4. While salaries at top European colleges are at par with top-20 US colleges, employment at graduation or 3 months
after graduation is not as attractive in Europe apart from LBS, INSEAD and IMD. Is it worth pursuing programs that are not
those top 3?

Kyn Chatervedi: IE, Cambridge, and a few other programs still provide solid level salaries comparable
to the Top 20 school. So, yes, absolutely worth pursuing!

Sally Radwan: I would strongly advise against making decisions based on general statistics. It all
depends on where you are and where you want to be. If your post-MBA aspirations are to work in a
certain country, in a certain sector, in a certain function, then research a particular school's strength in
supplying graduates to that area. Different schools have different strengths and relationships, so again
it's hard to make a sweeping argument. But if your aim is to target the traditional post-MBA careers,
i.e., banking and consulting in the top firms then of course getting into the highest possible ranking
school gives you the best chances, especially considering that some of those firms won't even visit
schools outside the top 5.

Ehsan Soroush: It can depend on industry and preferred location of work. Some schools specialize or
have higher representation in certain industries than others. For example, if you want a career in
logistics or even oil and gas, you wouldn't be poorly served doing an MBA in Rotterdam, due to the
Netherlands propensity as a shipping hub.

5. European programs prefer international experience - what constitutes international experience? Does working with
teams in other countries count (if you've never actually been)? What about visiting other countries?

Kyn Chatervedi: Any experience working with teams who are not from your home country would
count. Even if remotely. However, obviously, if you have moved abroad or spent time at an offshore
facility/client facility, that adds significant weight. Simply visiting a country as a tourist is more like a last
resort unless it's part of your lifestyle to roam the world. But even then, these programs are looking for
work experience typically.

Damon Chua: All that and more living abroad (even if temporarily), speaking other languages,
working in an international environment, etc. Many European schools are asking themselves: Is this
guy/gal a global citizen? If so, his or her chances would go up.

Sally Radwan: What they usually mean by that is demonstrated interest in international affairs. They just
don't want an American student who has no awareness of how the world works outside of the US.
Living and working in a different country is preferable of course, but in the absence of that, evidence
of repeated travel abroad for tourism or education (just to show that you're interested in learning
about other countries), and evidence of working with people from different cultures and across
borders, leading to insights about how these cultures think and work, might be enough. Most
European schools will look at the overall caliber of the candidate and if he/she is strong on other
aspects, then they might not be too fussed about the international experience.

Mark Lellouch: Visiting won't cut it, unless you have some really good stories to tell that relate to your
short- and long-term goals. But working on teams with folks in other countries will, even working with
foreigners in your own country, if you do it right. The key is to show that you've got first-hand
experience with the global dimension of your industry and the challenges of working on international