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How An EMBA Can Lead To A Global Business Career

From Libya to Germany, Thomas Perterer was able to kick-start an international career in business after a Global Executive MBA from Austria’s WU Exec Academy

It’s no secret that globalization is rapidly changing the face of business.

As such, business education has had to become more internationally-orientated in order to keep up. Today, 83% of alumni from Executive MBA programs report international travel as part of their business school experience.

And that experience helps EMBA students land international jobs. Alumni whose curriculum had a global focus enjoy stronger career outcomes, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).

Thomas Perterer proves testament to this.

With a background in technical consulting and operations management in engineering, Thomas realised that his specialized industry knowledge wouldn’t be enough in order to move up the corporate hierarchy.

Expanding his management know-how and personal and professional network was the way to do it, and this is where WU Executive Academy’s Global Executive MBA (GEMBA) came in.    

He chose the 16-month part-time program because of the school’s Financial Times ranking—45th in the world and in the top 25 in Europe—as well as what he describes as the promising mix of curriculum content and internationally-renowned professors.

A professionally and internationally diverse cohort was also top of his list to maximise the exchange of ideas and broaden his business outlook.

The GEMBA is 71% international with 35% women. Industry backgrounds vary too; 19% from finance, 16% manufacturing, and 11% telecommunications. 7% come from construction, like Thomas.

After his EMBA, Thomas was propelled into his role as a general manager for a construction company in Libya, before becoming a consultancy manager in Austria working on projects in Saudi Arabia, and finally ending up at industrial firm Lhoist in Germany where, after being a plant director in Cologne, he was promoted to director for Western Germany.

He describes his EMBA experience as instrumental in helping him achieve his subsequent global success.

“The GEMBA provided a chance to get fresh thoughts and out-of-the-box approaches to corporate challenges,” he enthuses, “the collaboration of people from different backgrounds and nationalities on solving case studies or discussing business ideas proved a priceless experience and nurtured my ambition to expand my professional playing field to international grounds.”

The 360 global vision of the program is bolstered by the residencies in South America, Asia and the USA. EMBAs delve into Latin American economics, looking at Brazil, the largest economy in the region responsible for nearly 40% of the areas GDP.

In contrast, students also explore Argentinean economic growth and collapse, aiming to understand the reasons why the country became a case study for the delicate balance between populism and liberalism.

In China, at the City University of Hong Kong, EMBA students visit companies including Google and Microsoft and study the unit ‘Managing Globalization’ to understand the challenges of the Asian market and how companies can become profitable in some of the most important economic landscapes of modern times.  

Students on the Global EMBA at WU Executive Academy also receive a double MBA from the Carlson School of Management in the USA. The residency in Minneapolis focuses on global innovation strategies of large US enterprises, setting students up well for promotion post EMBA as well as giving them access to an extra 50,000 plus alumni network spread across 78 countries.

Thomas is quick to highlight that, because of the diversity and internationality of the program, the EMBA’s modules are not just something to work through and tick off.

“For me, it was a journey through a broad range of topics, explored, discussed and challenged with a knowledgeable, highly diverse, and senior set of people, whether it be guest speakers, professors, or fellow EMBAs,” he recalls.

Classes in Business, Government and Macroeconomics highlight alternative systems of economics and political values, and the cultural conflicts affecting the business sector, providing the optimum environment for lively debate, widening EMBAs eyes to how business is done around the world.

Thomas avers that his GEMBA is a pool of experience which he regularly dips into as a regional director, and that people were the highlight of his Global Executive MBA experience at WU Executive Academy.

“There are big highs and lows in the program but the best thing is that you share all of it with your peers: you celebrate your successes together and support each other when the going gets tough.”