Value of hiring an MBA

Many organisations and employers around the world are uncertain of exactly what the MBA postgraduate degree is. As the international impartial authority on postgraduate education, the Association of MBAs aims to promote the value of an MBA, the value that an accredited MBA graduate can bring an organisation and the way in which recruiters can access this immense talent pool.

What is an MBA?

The Masters in Business Administration is recognised internationally as the leading postgraduate business degree. For AMBA accredited programmes it is much more than simply an academic business degree. It is a career development generalist programme, taking into account all major functions and practices of business, for those who have significant post-graduation work experience on which the learning process explicitly builds.

What is the Association of MBAs?

Established in 1967, the Association of MBAs (AMBA) is the globally recognised impartial authority on postgraduate business education. With an international reputation for excellence, it accredits programmes at over 200 Business Schools in 72 countries globally. Just over a third of all UK Business Schools have AMBA accredited programmes. The Association of MBAs is the only professional membership association connecting MBA students and graduates, accredited Business Schools and MBA employers in over 110 countries.

What can an MBA graduate from an AMBA accredited business school bring to your organisation?

MBA graduates from AMBA accredited schools present a pool of talent with substantial work experience.

MBA students on AMBA accredited programmes are required to have a minimum of three years' relevant work experience, a first degree or, exceptionally, be a mature and experienced manager with the potential to meet the learning requirements of the MBA. Overseas students (who typically make up over 70% of an MBA class) are required to have a strong understanding and fluency in English.

During their programme the student is equipped with both a holistic view of all business functions and processes and a strong overview of international business strategy. In addition, students are taught a range of ‘soft’ skills which include, but are not restricted to: ability to manage change; communication; leadership; teamwork; dealing with ambiguity; negotiation; problem solving; critical thinking; values.

Employers can expect AMBA graduates to:

  • bring the latest business thinking to your organisation
  • create, scrutinise and exploit opportunities
  • have well-developed interpersonal skills, including the ability to communicate effectively and to interact with groups and individuals at all levels
  • apply consistently in-depth knowledge and understanding, based on previous work experience and advanced study, to complex business situations
  • have an holistic understanding of all key business concepts and functions, including financial management
  • apply strategic management skills at a senior level in changing business environments
  • transform organisations through strategic leadership, intellectual rigour and professional ethical values
  • understand and have experience of global issues
  • lead and develop others in an organisational context
  • make sound judgements with incomplete data and communicate conclusions clearly to a range of audiences
  • be self-directed and able to act autonomously in planning and implementing projects
  • responsibility for continuing to develop their knowledge and skills

The highly international flavour of all MBA classes from AMBA accredited schools, and ready access to their alumni associations, ensures that MBA graduates are highly networked internationally.

Many MBA assignments are carried out in groups and the international composition of an MBA class promotes a broad understanding of international business issues, cultural awareness and contexts.

For these reasons, businesses not only choose to hire MBA talent into their organisations, but may also sponsor current high potential employees to pursue MBA qualifications as part of their development, typically on part-time Executive MBA programmes.

Are all AMBA accredited MBA programmes the same?

No. Although all programmes are united by the theme of management development, and all typically teach a range of foundation courses followed by optional modules, each will differ in terms of methods of delivery, range of modules, emphasis on personal development and types of project based work.

Although by its nature an MBA is a generalist programme, each business school will allow the student to specialise in particular areas of business through their choice of modules and projects. Most Business Schools differentiate themselves through particular areas of focus and research.

Are all MBA students the same?

No. Although they are united by their ambition and wish to invest in their careers, MBA students and graduates vary significantly through diversity of geographic and industry background, level of experience and career aspirations. About half of all MBAs wish to develop their career through a change in either their job functional, industry sector or geographic location.

Different MBA graduates seek to develop their careers in different industry sectors - not just finance and consultancy - but also in not for profit, social enterprise and public sector roles, in start-ups, SMEs and large multinationals.

How can employers and recruiters access this talent pool?

Posting job vacancies directly to our online careers portal

The Association of MBAs offers the only professional networking body of over 5,000 accredited MBA students and graduates, business schools and MBA employers across over 110 countries. This portal is the perfect place to post both local and international jobs, specifically designed for experienced MBA graduates

Search talent through our online CV database

Search and filter a database of hundreds of CVs online, using targeted criteria to conveniently and efficiently access top MBA talent globally.

Branding and Sponsorship opportunities

Prospective and current students and graduates regard the Association of MBAs as the globally recognised impartial authority on postgraduate education. The strategic alignment of corporate organisations with the core values of the Association can help raise organisational awareness and reputation as an MBA employer of choice.

Career Trek

Career Treks usually take part in an organisation’s central office and last for approximately 2-3 hours. These visits provide students with access to companies or divisions that they may not have had access to in the past, build industry knowledge and foster a stronger job search network. They also allow organisations the opportunity to access AMBA members, specifically chosen to match your requirements and from a wide range of accredited business schools.

Attend recruitment events on-campus

All AMBA accredited business schools welcome discussion with organisations wishing to access their talent pool and will offer tailored services to meet the recruiting organisation’s needs. The following services are common to many AMBA accredited schools:

  • CV yearbooks, available in hard copy and/or online
  • Facilities for making on-campus presentations or holding informal workshops
  • MBA career fairs

Offering a tailored MBA level programme

A small number of companies offer an entry programme aimed specifically at the MBA market. Such programmes typically last for 1-2 years and have a strong management development emphasis. They often include a rotational element to their structure.

Such programmes ensure that the company’s profile is substantially enhanced within the MBA community and they encourage the MBA talent pool to regard the company as a recruiter of choice.
AMBA would be delighted to discuss the business school community’s perspective in the creation of such programmes.

Attracting MBA applicants as part of your Experienced Hire strategy

Attracting MBA applications need not require a change in recruitment strategy or significant marketing effort. Most companies will work with AMBA and Business Schools to encourage applications from MBA students and alumni to supplement the candidate pool for roles globally. Sometimes these roles are advertised as MBA "preferred" or "required", but not always.

Working with MBA students through project work

There are numerous opportunities to work with MBA students as part of their curriculum or supplementary projects.

Each business school will have a slightly different format for their industry based student projects but common to most schools are the team-based consultancy project and the individual dissertation based project, which is usually carried over the summer. Some MBA students are also required to carry out an internship.

All curriculum-based projects offer the host organisation the opportunity to not just benefit from the student’s research and consultancy output but also, through working closely with the students, the opportunity to assess potential hires.

Team-based consultancy projects usually look at a strategic business issue offered by the host company, with an outcome in the form of a business report and presentation that outlines recommendations and an implementation plan. AMBA is keen to work with organisations wishing to implement this type of initiative also. The individual student project, which normally takes place over the summer, often has a stronger research flavour to it.

When are students and alumni available to take up an opportunity?

Most full-time MBA programmes are 12 months in duration, starting in the early autumn and finishing at the end of the summer (typically the end of August). Thus, most students are looking to re-enter the jobs market in early autumn. Business schools typically encourage their students to start their job search strategy from the moment they arrive. Alumni will be seeking roles at all times throughout the year.

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