Is an MBA a good stepping stone into Asia? The founding director of the Kellogg–HKUST EMBA program shares some thoughts.
What should prospective MBA or EMBA students look for in an Asia-focused program?
There are definitely not enough Asia-related components in most US MBA programs. The need for that depends on an individual student’s career plan. My advice to prospective students is to be very open to global opportunity which will almost certainly require some time in Asia. Asia is such an important business destination for big and growing companies. An Asian component will be critical now more than ten years ago. Having an Asian base is also very important. This is where the growth is.
Prospective students need to make an assessment in terms of their skill path, career level and opportunity. This requires some research, from the websites, rankings, and publications. I encourage a candidate to find their match, not to “blanket” apply to ten schools. Students should look to find their dream school, 2-3 maximum, make sure that they are qualified and pursue that school. MBA forums can also be helpful. I recently attended forums in Hong Kong, London, and Dubai, and can report that the numbers are up and interest in Asia is also up.
A caution: Language skill is very critical especially in China, and without those language skills opportunities will be far less.