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Return on investment - why it pays to have a Global MBA

The main motivations for studying an MBA are universal. Greater salary prospects, faster routes to promotions and the opportunity to switch career paths are top of the list for many candidates. But does the investment of time and money pay off? We spoke to two alumni from University of London’s Global MBA programme about how their experiences have impacted their careers and ambitions for the future.

Written by Allie Fitzgibbon |

Woman studying at home.
As well as developing a core business skillset, studying the Global MBA will give you access to a wealth of careers resources and guidance.

Whether large pay packets are a key incentive for you or not, having an MBA can significantly increase your salary, with almost two-thirds of global MBA alumni more than doubling their salaries in 2018. Accelerating up the career ladder is also often listed as a benefit; in 2019 a quarter of CEOs working in FTSE 100 companies had MBAs, while a third of Fortune 500 CEOs held the qualification.

Having an MBA…really works as an indicator of the skillset that many recruiters look for.

Laura Brammar, Senior Careers Consultant at the University of London, said: “Many of the students on the MBA programme are already established professionals but they may be looking to move from mid-management roles to senior executive positions. Others want to either shift within their sector or potentially make a more significant career change. The key point is that having an MBA can be a successful addition in all of these scenarios and it really works as an indicator of the skillset that many recruiters look for.”

Neka and Rhea Shah are sisters from India who both completed the Global MBA this year. At present they work for their family’s financial investment company, though they both have entrepreneurial ambitions in the future. For them, the biggest benefit of the MBA programme is the global perspective it has given them on business.

This programme gave me a comprehensive view of businesses ethics and administrative practises all over the globe. It motivates you to analyse from a deeper perspective.

Rhea said: “When I first began the programme I was just starting out in my investment career and I had only a brief idea of the global market. The MBA syllabus from the University of London includes case studies and examples of so many businesses from around the world and goes into real detail looking at everything from how they started to their marketing and growth strategies and even the mistakes they have made. This has given me such a valuable global perspective so that now when I am considering whether to invest in a company, I have hundreds of international examples I can compare it to.”

Neka said: “This programme gave me a comprehensive view of businesses ethics and administrative practises all over the globe. It motivates you to analyse from a deeper perspective. After graduating and procuring professional qualifications in my home country I was looking for a degree that would add a feather to my cap and challenge me. It expands your horizons and pushes your limits, and was a big change from the Indian education system, which is still quite book-based. Apart from being a learning experience, I really enjoyed the programme – there are few programmes you can say that about.”

Both Rhea and Neka have plans to establish their own companies in the next five years and agree the new skillsets they have gained from the MBA will help them to achieve their ambitions.

Neka said: “We both chose to specialise in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which is an area that very few programmes offer. People have asked me ‘how can you teach innovation?’ but the programme pushes and encourages you to use your mind in innovative ways.

“As well as expanding my investment portfolio I want to open my own business. It will be a diversion from my finance career as I want to move into design and manufacturing.”

Speaking of the global network of MBA alumni they have now joined, Rhea said, “As part of the programme you are put in teams with people from around the world and that helps you build new contacts and connections. We’re all part of a group on WhatsApp and I know that if I have any problems I can put it to the group and get help easily. Even if I wanted to get a job in London or in the US I now know people who could help me.”

Whatever career you’re in this will definitely add to your knowledge.

As well as developing a core business skillset and gaining access to an international network, studying the Global MBA at University of London will give you access to a wealth of careers resources and guidance. Laura described the number one piece of advice she would give to any MBA student as: “Amplify your relevance. Whatever your career motivation the key aspect which you need to emphasise to future recruiters or investors is that what you’re offering is relevant. Make time to really understand what skills, qualifications or experience are required and then concentrate on articulating how you are the best fit for that opportunity.”

It’s an amazing opportunity to connect with teachers and students from all around the world on a single platform.

Asked if they would recommend the Global MBA to others, both Neka and Rhea agreed. “Whatever career you’re in this will definitely add to your knowledge,” Rhea said. “The syllabus offers such a broad spectrum – from marketing to finance, economics to human behaviour – it’s a whole package of skills.”

Neka concluded: “It’s a beautifully designed programme and is ideal for people who are looking to strike a balance between work and study. It’s flexible and friendly and offers you everything a campus programme would offer without the burden of being present on campus all the time. Thanks to advancements in technology the world has become smaller place – it’s an amazing opportunity to connect with teachers and students from all around the world on a single platform.”

Find out how you can invest in your future with a Global MBA from the University of London.