MBA Experience

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This section provides information about MBA life, with a strong emphasis on issues for International MBA students in the US.

10 Best MBA Programs for Minting Billionaires

Where should you go to get your MBA if you want to be a billionaire? Likely one of these schools, the top 10 when it comes to number of billionaire alumni. With 64, Harvard University is No. 1 when it comes claiming the most graduates who are now billionaires, according to a ranking by Wealth-X, a high-net-worth intelligence firm. Harvard produced nearly three times more billionaires with MBA degrees than Stanford University, the runner up and more than four times as many as Columbia University, the No. 3 ranked school. Of the 2,325 billionaires in the world, two-thirds have received a tertiary education, with approximately 21% of those getting their MBA degrees. Half of those have obtained their MBA from one of the 10 institutions named on the Wealth-X list. Top universities in the U.S. aren’t the only schools producing billionaires. Three international institutions made the Wealth-X list – France’s INSEAD, Switzerland’s International Institute for Management Development and the London Business School. Curious about the MBA programs that produced the most billionaires? Click through to see which schools can make you filthy rich. 10. London Business School Number of Billionaire MBA Alumni: 4 Notable Billionaire Alumnus: Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of Aditya Birla Group, one of the largest conglomerates in India. Net Worth: $9.2 billion. 9. International Institute for Management Development (tied with No. 8, University of Southern California) Number of Billionaire MBA Alumni: 5 Notable Billionaire Alumnus: Susanne Hanna Ursula Klatten, daughter of German industrialist Herbert Quandt. Net Worth: $15.3 billion. 8. University of Southern California (tied) Number of Billionaire MBA Alumni: 5 Notable Billionaire Alumnus: Ivan Glasenberg, CEO of Glencore Xstrata, the Swiss commodity trading and mining company. Net Worth: $5.9 billion. 7. New York University Number...

How to survive an MBA

Russell wrote last week to say he’s signed up for next year’s MBA and could I please supply some survival tips. I think I know how he feels. This time two years ago I was in a state of high panic, thrilled I had quit my job for two years of freelance work while I aimed for my first degree; terrified that I wouldn’t be able to do it, having left school at 16. It’s difficult to remember now just how scary that was. I think I felt that if I put in enough work, anything was possible, unless I just didn’t understand what anyone was talking about. That was the real concern. So Russell, here’s what I’ve learned about how to get by. Others will have different ideas and priorities. I know most of the engineers in my class sweated the writing and breezed through regressions. I thought my writing skills would help me succeed, but was swiftly relieved of that belief. Making friends with your colleagues early really helps – you’ll need them for motivation when the going gets tough and someone is always better at a subject than you are. Ask for help. Here are my top six tips for surviving an MBA. Ignore them at will. 1. Never drink the night before an exam. It was Economics, a subject I thoroughly enjoyed but one that required all of my concentration. As social history it was incomparable, and our lecturer, Professor Tim Hazeldine, rewarded clever answers with muffins. I, however, turned up to the final exam tired and emotional. A friend’s birthday the night before was not the right event for a 9am, three-hour written exam. I had left behind most of my notes. I had...

Building a network just as valuable as the MBA degree itself...

If I had to choose one takeaway to share as I make the transition from my MBA into the corporate world, it would be that relationships matter. Period. Looking back on my journey submerged in textbooks, case competitions, formulas and all-nighters puts a smile on my face. I acquired a top-calibre education, instilled the proper work habits, refined my teamwork aptitude and, most importantly, expanded my network in all the right ways. Mission accomplished, right? Absolutely. To me, my network is everything. But let’s rewind and unravel this topic further. It’s fascinating how what’s important changes based on immediacy and circumstances – and both graduate school and life thereafter can certainly attest to this. Let me give you an example. As a sales and marketing professional now, my to-do list is far from building pro formas, balancing income statements or calculating the EBITA of a potential investment. But a few months ago this stuff was important and consumed me. It’s incredible how fast-paced and volatile life and business are these days. Having a quality, diverse and expanded network with meaningful relationships can act as your foundation no matter the flavour of the week. A constant and stabilizer, if you will. The old saying “it’s not what you know, but who you know” is fundamentally changing the way we conduct business. I make sure to invest, cultivate and nurture my network every chance I get by keeping up-to-date. There’s really no point in having a network if you only reach out to it when you need something. Relationships take work and attention, and your circle of colleagues and acquaintances is no exception. I jumped into an MBA to gain business acumen and came out with the network, tool set and...

The 25 Most Successful MIT Business School Graduates...

The Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has powerful connections throughout the world, as evidenced by the 92% of the Class of 2013 with job offers within three months of graduation. Sloan was founded in 1914 and is named for Alfred Pritchard Sloan, the MIT grad who drove General Motors to dominance in 23 years as a CEO. The school turns out private and public sector leaders like former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Microsoft chairman John W. Thompson. Here are 25 of the most successful Sloan grads: John S. Reed, Class of ’65, served as the CEO of Citigroup and the chair of the New York Stock Exchange. Today he’s the chair of the MIT Board of Trustees. William A. Porter graduated from Sloan in 1967, and he changed market history in 1982 when he founded ETrade. A 1971 Sloan grad, Donald Fites served as CEO of Caterpillar, Inc. from 1990 to 1999. Kofi Annan graduated from Sloan in 1972. He served as Secretary General of the United Nations from 1997 to 2006. Judy Lewent, Class of ’72, became the first female CFO of a major corporation when she joined pharmaceutical company Merk & Co. in 1980. A 1975 Sloan grad, Philip Condit served as the CEO of Boeing from 1996 to 2003. Benjamin Netanyahu graduated in 1976, and he’s gone on to be elected prime minister of Israel three times, a position he currently holds. Keiji Tachikawa got his MBA in 1978. He’s president of Japan’s version of NASA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Magid Abraham got his MBA in 1981. He founded Comscore, the market analytics company, in 1999. A 1982 Sloan grad, Alan...

The 25 Most Successful Harvard Business School Graduates...

If you want to be an executive, billionaire, or US president, it’s a good idea to graduate from Harvard Business School. Founded in 1908, HBS was the first institution in the world to grant a Masters in Business Administration. The Harvard MBA has since been a hallmark of the elite, with George W. Bush, Mitt Romney, and Michael Bloomberg all earning the degree. We sifted through HBS’s sterling history to find the most powerful, prominent, and financially successful grads that came out of Cambridge: Walter Haas, Jr., Class of 1939, succeeded his father as the CEO of Levi Strauss & Co. He grew Levi’s from a regional California brand to one of the world’s biggest apparel companies. 1939 MBA Robert S. McNamara served as the US Secretary of Defense during the Vietnam War. After nabbing his MBA in 1942, Philip Caldwell took over as the first non-Ford to run Ford Motor Company, where he led one of the biggest turnarounds in American business history. Stephen R. Covey, Class of 1957, become tremendously influential after publishing his bestselling book ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.’ Robert Kraft, MBA graduate of 1965, is the chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group, which most notably owns the New England Patriots. He’s worth an estimated $4 billion. Michael Bloomberg finished his MBA in 1966 and went on to found financial data company Bloomberg in 1981 and serve three terms as New York Mayor. He is worth an estimated $34 billion. George Kaiser graduated from HBS in 1966 and is the chairman of BOK Financial Corporation. He’s worth an estimated $10 billion and his foundation donates over $40 million a year, mostly to early childhood education. Henry Paulson finished his MBA in 1970,...

MBA Advice: What I Wish I’d Know

Bloomberg Businessweek asked its social media fans and followers to reflect on their own MBA experiences and to share snippets of advice with new the students and applicants Thousands of new MBA students are about to start class, and thousands more are beginning the B-school application process. With that in mind, Bloomberg Businessweek asked its social media fans and followers to reflect on their own MBA experiences and to share snippets of advice with new the students and applicants. We asked “What advice do you wish you’d been given when you were first starting your #MBA program?” on both @BWBschools and @BW Twitter feeds and on our Facebook page. Here are some of the best answers: @zarrasstelios: 1)start networking immediately, 2) tailor your story @zarrasstelios: have good answers when the ask you why you came back to bschool, what have you done professionally so far, etc @cutyourlosses: Before starting Wharton, I wish I focused more on my passion. Following your passion and applying it to your community = happiness @MBAmoms: Don’t choose an elective based on professor’s rep alone. If you’re not truly interested in the subject you WILL regret it! @Cooleysean: network with group of different people with different skills and start something @Bryanytl: Advice for starting out: Smile, be nice, be open – you never know who will be your next business partner, mentor, or best friend! @Bmrothenberg: Don’t do what others think you should do, or what everyone else is doing. Decide what you want and hustle to get it…Read full...

5 things MBA students must do before they graduate...

Graduating this year? You are still five steps away from getting that dream job India has more than 1,500 business schools as of now. Barring the top 50 to 75 colleges, most of the MBA colleges have very little to offer in terms of skills required to meet the demands of the job market. Since MBA is a professional degree, all we do during MBA should revolve around building a good career for ourselves. Students must strive to catch up with the industry needs and getting placed well. Here are five tips for MBA students to focus on in order to make themselves more employable. 1. Brush up your language skills Communication skills, undoubtedly, play a real important and crucial role in professional life in corporate India. For a fresh MBA graduate, it becomes all the more important from the campus recruitment viewpoint. If you are an MBA student, focus on polishing your communication skills in English and also learn a second language. It’s not a bad idea to join a finishing school to develop your personality, body language, inter-personal and social interaction skills. 2. Develop corporate awareness What a recruiter likes to see in a candidate is the application orientation. Students in B-school study the concepts of management in their classes but hardly understand how this knowledge can be applied in real business scenario; there is thus a gap in application. As students, it is imperative to understand what business is all about and how you can contribute to the growth of any organisation. That’s because if you can justify how your skills are going to add to the growth of the organisation, then chances are that the interviewer will consider you right-fit to the organisation…Read full...

Before you leave for the US to get an MBA

What you need to do before you travel Read carefully (and save) the acceptance material sent by the B-School/University. It usually contains most of the information you will need to get settled, including travel information, Visa processing, housing details, and more. It should be your primary source of information. Pay the deposit to ensure your place. Visit the Campus if you didn’t visit it for the interview (and if you can afford it!). The earlier you visit, the better – you might be able to get the most sought after apartments. Many schools invite accepted students for a campus visit – it is very useful for networking, and also a lot of fun! Check the School’s web page regularly – many have a section especially designed for recently admitted students, where you can find plenty of useful and updated information. Talk to your friends, family and colleagues. Let them all know what you are up to, and strive to keep in contact with them. Remember, even if you are planning on working in the US, maintaining a network in your country is extremely important (e.g. you job in the US could be related to your home country). Try leaving your employer in the best terms possible, even if returning to work for them is out of the question. Get your Visa. This is usually pretty straightforward: you provide proof of having funds to cover for tuition and expenses, the University issues an I-20, with it you get your F-1 Visa at your local US Consulate. The Admissions office and/or the University’s International Center should be able to help with any exception and/or problem you might encounter in this process. Carefully plan your trip. A few things to keep in...

Your first weeks in the US for an MBA

Before classes begin Find a place to live – if you have done so, check in at your new house. Sign the lease and move in. Check in with your school and/or International office. There is usually information you need to get, paperwork to fill, and so on. Locate and check in at your country’s nearest consulate. Find them at Foreign Consular Offices in the United States. They are the ones to contact for travel information, emergencies, voting, and so on. Arrange your medical insurance – at the International Office. See Your Health Arrange all the utilities: Power and water – usually just a phone call away. Often arranged by your lanlord. Phone – some local phone companies will want to verify your credit record. Since you probably don’t have one, you will need to fax them a copy of your passport. It will take a couple of days. Cable TV – will usually take a few days (or weeks!). Even more annoying – you have to be there for the installation, and they will tell you the day, but not the exact time they’re coming. Buy furniture and appliances. Before you buy, consider renting (e.g. furniture) and pay a visit to all the garage sales you can. Where to buy: Furniture.com Buy your B-School tools, books and supplies: Palm Pilot: An almost mandatory tool to keep up with contacts, interviews, and so on.   Palm IIIxe Our Price: $249.00 Palm Vx Our Price: $399.00   Computer: Although all B-Schools have big and modern computer laboratories, most students choose to buy one. With current prices, most students can afford it. Many schools now require students to have a notebook, which by the way are very useful. Computer: Dell Computers/Software:...

Your finances during the MBA

Taking care of your money while in the US Personal Finances Resources: Although it may not be very high in your to-do list, taking care of your personal finances is extremely important. The following sites should help: Understanding and Controlling Your Finances, by Marshall Brain Quicken.com The Money section at Edupass.org Financial Aid: Although limited for international students, new programs and opportunities are emerging to finance your MBA. Make sure you check regularly the Financing your MBA section and you keep in touch with the Financial aid person at your school. Keep in mind that new financing opportunities arise frequently when a country or region is going through a financial crisis. The checking account: The checking account and its ATM/Debit card are the center of your finances. Keep the following in mind: Consider online banking at Compubank. Online banking is convenient, safe and inexpensive. Other online banks include Net.B@nk. Check Gomez Advisor’s on-line Banking ranking If you still prefer old fashiones banking, choose a well known bank (FDIC insured), with a branch near the School or near home. Find an account offering automatic payments. This feature will let you pay your bills online, directly from your account, simplifying your finances significantly. Learn everything you need about banking @ bankrate.com Building credit: Credit is extremely important in the US, especially for young professionals.If you decide to stay in this country, you will need it for everything from financing your consumer spending (credit cards) to buying a car and a home. It is a must to build and keep a good credit standing. Once you get your social security number, every transaction involving some sort of credit will be monitored by credit bureaus. To build credit: start with a credit card...

Your Health during the MBA

Staying healthy while in the US Insurance: Not only it is extremely important to have medical insurance coverage (medical treatment is extremely expensive in the US), but it is also a requirement for your student’s visa. The International office will recommend an adequate insurance program, and arrange the paperwork. Medical care: Make sure you understand who to turn to in case of a medical problem: If you have a life-threatening emergency, call 911 (anywhere in the US, anytime). They will contact the paramedics, police, or the appropriate person. If you have a medical emergency, go to the location recommended by your insurance plan – usually the University’s infirmary or the Emergency Room at the local hospital. For other consultations, your insurance plan should provide you with a list of physicians and/or nurses to visit. Food: One of the major complaints foreign students have is the food. Compared to other nationalities, Americans tend to eat more fast or junk food. However, with a little discipline, you can maintain a healthy diet: Ask about the University’s meal plans – they usually provide healthy, balanced food. Look for healthy food – most restaurants and supermarkets now offer healthy food choices (low fat, low cholesterol, low sodium). Do as much cooking at home as possible. Not only home cooked meals taste better, but are less expensive. Fitness: Staying fit is extremely important, even if the tight schedule seems to make it impossible. Fortunately, the MBA environment makes it relatively easy: Try walking or biking to school Participate in the B-School sports events Participate in University wide sports events (a typical US University has teams and facilities for most sports). Read full...