Are European MBA Programs A Good Fit For You? Are European MBA Programs A Good Fit For You?

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Are you applying to business school in 2015? If so, are you including European MBA programs on your target list? Here are three reasons to consider applying to European programs:

  • If you don’t want to spend two years out of the workforce.

Most European MBA programs run for 12-18 months, as opposed to the classic two-year full time American MBA. The condensed European format means that you spend less time out of the workforce. This can be advantageous financially, both because there is a diminished opportunity cost, and also because the European programs are less expensive in an absolute sense.

  • If you want a truly international career.

While both domestic and European programs draw students from all over the world, the top European programs have an eclectic, diversified student body. (At Tuck, for instance, around 33% of the class is international, while at London Business School the average is 89%.) Students in European programs benefit from learning and building relationships in a truly global community. Schools like London Business School, INSEAD, HEC and IESE also have global brand recognition, which can help graduates find employment both domestically and abroad after graduation.

  • If your GMAT or GRE is somewhat low.

The average GMAT at Harvard Business School is 730, while the average GMAT at INSEAD is 702. At London Business School, it’s 700. While these are still impressive numbers, European programs tend to place less emphasis on test scores, and have historically accepted strong American candidates with test scores that don’t reflect their potential. Nevertheless, the caliber of student and of instruction is exceptionally high at the best European programs, and graduates receive an education that is comparable to the top American programs.

I definitely encourage my clients to consider applying to European MBA programs. Depending upon your profile, goals and priorities a European program may be the perfect fit.

Karen Marks is the founder and president of North Star Admissions Consulting. She has more than 10 years of experience evaluating candidates for admission to Dartmouth College and to the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Since founding North Star in 2012, her clients have gotten more than 3.6 million dollars in scholarships over the last two years.

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