‘SUCH A DIFFERENCE IN PRICE POINT’
Price was also top of mind for Vanessa Gore, first-year MBA student at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. “When I started to look at schools overseas, seeing such a difference in price point made me realize that I could actually afford to do this,” she says.
Prior to beginning her MBA, she says she felt that she was getting “stagnant” in her career. “It was too early in my career to feel this way,” she says. “I knew I was going to do an MBA, it was just a matter of when.”
Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Gore researched MBAs in her home state before looking at international options. Upon realizing the astronomical prices of American MBAs, she packed her bags, sold her belongings, and moved across the world to Edinburgh for a considerably cheaper, hybrid-style MBA. This model has her in class two to four hours everyday, with the rest of the content delivered online.
In total, Edinburgh’s one-year, full-time MBA cost her £35,000. But with the shorter completion time, she’ll only have to put her career on pause for a year rather than two. Plus, getting a scholarship made it even more financially feasible.
A DIVERSE CLASSROOM — IN-PERSON AND ONLINE
Another factor that drew both Dhasani-Bhaktavatsalam and Gore to UK MBAs was the desire for a diverse classroom. “There are so many quality business schools in the U.S.,” says Healy. “But the classrooms are generally very U.S.-dominated. When the program is online, you’ll get a more internationally diverse candidate pool, which makes for more diverse conversations.”
Dhasani-Bhaktavatsalam aspired to make global connections. For him, it was important that he find a program that would help him build his professional network. In his cohort of 30 people, each person is from a different country. “That’s the best part about this MBA,” he says. “Students are from Canada, the UK, Africa, China, and some have become my good friends.”
Through building an international network, he’s looking forward to leveraging unique opportunities to collaborate with the people he meets. “I have classmates who are CFOs. You never know, down the line we could all start our own company together,” he says, excitedly.
But online MBAs aren’t the only places where diversity thrives; in Gore’s hybrid program, her class is made up of 59 students from 21 different nationalities. Only one person is from Scotland; the rest are international students, including five Americans. “It’s amazing to get to know each other and learn everyone’s reasons for coming here,” she says. “It offers a great shift in your personal perspective as well as in your professional perspective.”
Wendy Loretto, dean of the University of Edinburgh Business School, says diversity is the number-one thing past students have praised about the school’s MBA.
“Perhaps more than any other aspect of the MBA, they praise the international diversity of the cohort and the ways in which they learn from each other,” she explains. “When you have more diversity in the classroom, you’re enriching what it means to be an MBA student.”
‘YOU’RE GOING TO GROW SIGNIFICANTLY AS A HUMAN BEING AS WELL AS A PROFESSIONAL’
Post-MBA, Dhasani-Bhaktavatsalam’s long term aspiration is to be an entrepreneur and start his own, multinational company. Because of this, he’s on a mission to learn more about global operation and strategic management. “These concepts are going to help me go to the next level in my professional career,” he says.
When he graduates, he’s open to getting a job in the UK job market. “I’ve been living in the US for over ten years,” he explains. “In the future, if I get a better opportunity somewhere in the UK, I’m open to moving there.”
Gore plans on staying in the UK one she graduates in 2023. Since the UK has recently introduced a post-study graduate visa, American students can get up to two years following their studies to live and work there.
She advises that anyone considering getting their in-person MBA at a UK school to “just go for it.”
“It sounds extreme when you tell someone you just sold your entire life to move to another country,” says Gore. “But I think if you’re looking for an opportunity to move abroad, school is a great avenue to do so. If you do something like this, you’re going to grow significantly as a human being as well as a professional.”