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A world of opportunities: optimise your career with your Global MBA

With many MBA graduates finding faster routes to promotion, high salaries, routes into new sectors and fresh business enterprises, it is easy to see why the MBA qualification is valued so highly by students and employers alike.  But how can you ensure that you translate your MBA into real career success? We spoke to the University of London Careers Group about how they can support you to maximise your potential.

Written by Allie Fitzgibbon |

Hong Kong corporate lawyer
The average starting salary for MBA graduates in the US is now $115,000 and globally MBA graduates report a salary increase of around 50 per cent.

Completing an MBA is an investment – both of time and money. Graduates expect to see a significant return on that investment in their career prospects and latest research suggests you won’t be disappointed.

According to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) 2019 Corporate Recruiters Survey, 76% of the organisations they spoke to planned to hire an MBA in the coming year – with tech and consulting firms continuing to lead the recruitment drive. The average starting salary for MBA graduates in the US is now $115,000 and globally MBA graduates report a salary increase of around 50%.

Laura Brammar, Senior Careers Consultant with the University of London’s Careers Group, has been working with students on the Global MBA programme for a number of years. In addition to a programme of webinars covering a wide variety of topics – from improving your CV to sharpening your influencing skills – Laura and her team also offer additional support for students looking for specific career advice.

Whatever your reasons for joining the programme, having the MBA is an indicator that you have the right skill set that companies look for, particularly in senior and leadership hires.

Laura said: “Global MBA students are often working professionals before they begin the programme – in fact the reason they’ve chosen the online degree is because they’re holding down significant jobs at the same time. Their motivations vary – some want to move from junior to senior management roles, some want to move within their sector and others are looking to move careers altogether or perhaps gain investment to start their own business.

“Whatever their reasons for joining the programme, having the MBA is an indicator that they have the right skill set that companies look for, particularly in senior and leadership hires.”

Laura has been working in her role with the University of London for over 15 years, during which time she has worked with many undergraduates and postgraduate students. She was also an instructor on the University of London’s award-winning Enhance your Career and Employability Skills MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), which attracted over 90,000 participants from across the world.

Amplify your relevance,…it isn’t enough just to state on your CV what skills, qualifications and experience you have – you have to apply them to the role you want.

So what is her main piece of advice for students on how to make the most of the MBA potential?

“Amplify your relevance,” she said. “What I mean by that is no matter how you want to use your MBA – to get a promotion, to find work with a competitor or to get investments for your own business – make sure that you showcase your relevance to that specific opportunity. It isn’t enough just to state on your CV what skills, qualifications and experience you have – you have to apply them to the role you want.

“I think because many MBA students are experienced professionals, people might assume they would find it very easy to get a new job, even in a different sector or business function. However, it is important to make an effort to explain clearly to recruiters why you want to make a shift in your career, from accountancy to strategic consultancy, for example.

“My role is to work with the students to look at what’s needed for the role they want. So if, for example, we know the company is looking for problem-solvers, relationship builders and a broad business knowledge, it’s important that the student selects the best examples of those qualities, from both their MBA studies and wider professional experience, and illustrates those examples on their CV and in interviews.”

Trends suggest that Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft will be among the main employers of US and European MBA graduates in 2020.

While management consultancy firms are still a major recruiter of MBA graduates, the tech sector is increasingly looking for fresh business talent. As digitisation spreads across almost every industry and hybrid sectors such as fintech, healthtech and agritech continue to blossom, the MBA skillset is becoming more and more relevant to the tech sector giants.

Trends suggest that Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft will be among the main employers of US and European MBA graduates in 2020 as companies look to invest in business operations, strategy, and product management.

Laura’s final piece of advice is to use your CV to do the hard work for the recruiter.

She explained: “One of the biggest mistakes candidates often make is submitting an untailored CV or application. You can’t amplify your relevance if you bury the most important information for that role on page two of your resume. Make sure you understand exactly what the role requires and then put that front and centre on your application. Make it easy for the recruiter to see why you’re relevant for that role.”

Find out more about how you can maximise your career potential with a Global MBA from the University of London.