Meet The MiM7+1: The Top European Master In Management Programs

Swiss school St. Gallen has the top Master in Management program in the world according to The Financial Times. File photo

University of St Gallen, St Gallen, Switzerland

This little program, with just over 50 participants, is a big-hitter. The proof? It has topped The Financial Times’ prestigious Master’s in Management ranking list for nine years in a row. It’s worth pointing out that — like all positions in all ranking lists — this achievement is at least partly an artifact of the ranking methodology.

Being based in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, graduates from the HSG-SIM are well-placed to land jobs in either the lucrative Swiss or German markets. Given that salary-related figures make up 30% of the FT ranking, that benefits St Gallen. That said, the school is (rightly) always keen to point out that the FT’s use of purchasing power parity mitigates against this somewhat.

Still, you can’t argue with the long consistency of St. Gallen’s MiM, and for recent graduates who know that they want to work in this region, it is hard to see what would be more appealing. Anyway, it’s not all about money. Simmies, as course participants and alumni are known, salivate about the Simagination project, on which they apply their skills to a problem in a developing country. As the top school in Europe’s wealthiest market, St. Gallen casts a halo effect on alumni that will remain for many years.

In 2019, for the first time since 2013, HEC Paris was atop The Financial Times‘ composite ranking of European schools. HEC Paris photo

HEC, Paris, France

Its campus in a tranquil greenfield site just outside Paris is ideal for reflection and study, but it has the benefit of being just a stone’s throw from the bustle — and job opportunities — of Paris.

With 250 people per year, and over 60 nationalities (including 50 percent from outside Europe) in a standard year, HEC’s MiM is a seriously good way to build a network at the beginning of a career. Bear in mind, that with an average GMAT of 708, this is a select bunch, though. The quality is reflected in HEC’s top spot in the Economist MiM list.

HEC splits its MiM into two parts. The first, called M1, includes the usual general management courses as well as intriguing electives with names like Wine Marketing and Cyborg Thinking: Questioning Digital Transformation. M2 has 10 specialisations to help participants narrow focus, or double degrees with a number of international partner universities and business schools in niche subjects like public affairs, cognitive science. Students with an entrepreneurial bent have access to Station F, a state-of-the-art incubator in Paris.

Around a third of HEC’s MiM candidates have business or management degrees, and 30% from engineering backgrounds. After their MiM, 37% go into consulting, and 28% into financial services — 40% land jobs outside their own country.

WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management in Germany. File photo

WHU, Vallendar, Germany

Not every business school can boast that it is set within a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management in Germany, in the central German Vallender region on the banks of the Rhone, stands shoulder-to-shoulder with quaint, centuries-old town centers, vineyards, and improbably fancy castles. Being around 100km from both Frankfurt and Cologne, though, WHU allows students to zip into some of the most vibrant business cities in Europe in no time.

WHU’s MiM, which ranks seventh on the Economist’s list, is firmly aimed at recent graduates with a business-related degree. About three-quarters of the 110-or-so MiM students each year are German, but the remaining group is extremely diverse — it included 40 nationalities last year.

This is a high-quality, full-spectrum MiM, which includes an internship, a semester abroad at a partner university and a thesis. Electives are divided into nine concentrations, such as innovation, and strategy & leadership, allowing students to clearly demonstrate to employers where their interests lie.

The jewel in the WHU crown is its careers service, which for the past seven years has been ranked first or second in the FT’s MiM ranking, based on student feedback. Over 90% of MiMs have a job within three months of graduating, and in the most recent group 44% went into consulting.

CEMS students at Cornell University. File photo

CEMS, various locations

CEMS is an unusual beast, an international MiM run by a global consortium of 32 mostly European schools, plus 70 corporate and seven social partners (ie, NGOs). Several of the schools in the MiM7 also offer a CEMS option — some instead of, and some as well as a standard MiM. CEMS certainly basks in some reflected glory, but also stands on its own two feet: it is eighth on both the FT’s and Economist’s most recent MiM lists.

A CEMs cohort is huge — over 1,200 students — and amazingly international, consisting of people from 80 countries. This is a MiM with a seriously global footprint. The 15,000-strong alumni work in 108 countries, almost half of them in a country other than their home one. Eighty-two percent of graduates have worked for five years or more outside their home country, in two to three different countries.

CEMs students spend half the course at their “home” school and the second half in another, giving them immersion in at least one new country. The global theme extends to a focus on corporate responsibility, and a highlight of the program is a mock UN Convention on Climate Change.

It’s worth noting that the cost of a CEMS MiM varies. Some schools, such as the Rotterdam School of Management, give extremely generous discounts to students from EEA countries. For wannabe globetrotters, CEMS is worth a look.


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