The AGSM MBA: What You Need To Know
Melbourne is Australia’s cultural capital, and Canberra is its actual capital. But Sydney is its world-class city of cities, and that’s one of the big draws for students considering an MBA at the Australian Graduate School of Management, part of the Sydney-based UNSW system.
Location is always key in choosing a school, but rankings matter, too. In Australia, only the Melbourne Business School is ranked higher in the Asia/Pacific Rank; meanwhile, AGSM is moving up the world rankings, landing 66th globally in 2016 according to the Financial Times, up from 75th in 2015. That reverses a slide the school had been on: It fell from 41st in the FT rankings in 2012 to 48th in 2013, and then to 62nd in 2014.
Forbes has AGSM at 24th in its most recent non-U.S. rankings; US News ranks the school 55th in the world.
“Our full-time MBA program is regularly ranked in the top 100 business schools in the world,” says Alison Avery, head of AGSM brand and marketing communications, pointing to “our outstanding academic content and the quality of our students from around the region who contribute to our program. AGSM’s teaching professionals understand the changing needs of business and offer relevant up-to-date insights into what leadership qualities are needed to thrive in uncertain economic times.
“As an educator of the next generation of managers, entrepreneurs, and leaders, AGSM at UNSW Business School is integral to the global business conversation and well-placed to convene these thought leadership discussions.”
Key to this global business conversation is diversity in leadership, Avery says — and here again, graduates of AGSM’s 16-month program are poised to lead the pack.
“As part of the recruitment process, we scour the globe to ensure a diverse mix of participants in our bespoke full-time program,” she says. “While we require a minimum GMAT for entry (in 2016 the average was 630), we look very carefully at a participant’s country of origin, work experience level, type of work experience in terms of sector and function, community involvement, and how they could contribute to the group of students as a whole. Having a credible, integrated, and diverse cohort is critical to the success of our program.”
While the program is sequential in Sessions 1 and 2, Avery says, in Sessions 3 and 4 participants are able to choose seven electives from a suite of 18 courses. They have the opportunity to join an international exchange program with leading schools from Asia, Canada, Europe, the UK, and the U.S.; AGSM currently has exchange partnerships with 30 elite international business schools.
“AGSM has recently undergone a digital revolution which signifies an important step into the next era of applied learning experiences,” Avery says. “In that way, we have introduced new electronic course content alongside the distribution of new iPads to deliver a more interactive, technologically enabled experience using significantly less paper. Our goal with this offering is to provide a useful tool that will allow greater flexibility and the opportunity for increased productivity as you move through your MBA educational experience.”
Founded in 1977, AGSM places 86% of MBAs in jobs within three months of graduation, largely in consulting, banking, and finance, but in recent years increasingly in entrepreneurship, business development, and strategic planning,” Avery says. The school “has been committed to providing the best career outcomes for our MBA participants,” she says.
To that end, the AGSM Career Development Centre offers support and guidance through initiatives such as mentoring and coaching. “Through our extensive industry partner network, we provide opportunities for students and graduates to hear from, meet, and work with Australia’s top companies as well as global organizations,” Avery says.