The benefits of living and working abroad are no secret. On a personal level, getting to experience different cultures and meet new people can be an eye-opening experience that expands your worldview.
But there is also plentiful evidence that making the move abroad, even for a short period, can have positive effects for your career.
The Harvard Business Review found that students who had lived abroad had better problem-solving abilities, and a study of business school students in 2014 found that even spending less than a year abroad vastly improved MBAs’ employment rates after graduation.
At Maastricht School of Management (MSM), faculty are throwing open doors to the rest of the world by providing these opportunities as part of a roster of MBA, EMBA, and MSc programs offered in partnership with schools in 13 countries around the world.
“The degrees are fully MSM’s to award and match our course requirements,” explains director of education and executive development at the school, David Cass. “We provide our own faculty to teach 50% of the coursework, and the partner institution teaches the other 50% using theirs.”
These partner institutions span from Peru, to the US, to Kazakhstan, to China, giving students a slew of options for where to gain international business experience.
“We have a partnership with RWTH Aachen University [in Germany] so that some 110 students spend a semester with us as part of their two-year M.Sc. course,” says David.
“Whilst here we concentrate on business and leadership skills, which complement the engineering-specific skills they are learning at Aachen. Students also come here from Nichols College, Massachusetts to attend business courses as part of a double degree program.”
Nora Luquer is the assistant dean of professional studies at Nichols College—she says that the chance for students to network with other students from 23 countries was a big draw for creating the double degree MBA/MM program with MSM.
Like David, she believes that the leadership teaching available at Maastricht School of Management helps to define the course as a one-of-a-kind opportunity for students.
The course takes only one year to complete, but leaves students with two graduate degrees, from MSM and Nichols College. For students at Nichols, it's a great option after the end of an undergraduate program, as it provides them with additional academic teaching and international qualifications that other graduates don't have.
“Between our two institutions, MSM and Nichols College, there is an alignment of mission, vision and values,” Nora explains. “We integrate leadership into each course and program—the world needs fewer managers and more leaders.”
Kerry Calnan, the executive director of graduate and professional studies at Nichols, agrees. “Our students gain valuable experience to set them apart in the job market when they finish,” she says “This program is one I would encourage my own children to do. This provides the value and the return on investment of a direct fifth year of study.”
This feeling is shared across all of the partnered programs at MSM—for example, the International MBA, launched in collaboration with CENTRUM Católica Graduate Business School in Peru.
Cristina Catacora, a current student on the International MBA with CENTRUM, believes that the opportunity that MSM provided to network with big companies across Europe will be invaluable in her job search post-graduation.
“I found in [the program] a challenge to keep growing as a professional, have a complete knowledge in administration, and pursue better job opportunities,” Cristina says.
“It has allowed me to exchange cultural, academic, and professional knowledge, and given me the opportunity to complement academic learning with real experience during the work visits.”
For David, this is what the global programs at Maastricht School of Management are all about.
“A student from the USA told me that one of the best friends he had made during his time at MSM was Iranian, and that as a North American, this had ‘totally surprised and delighted him,’” he recalls.
“I think that captures the success of MSM in not only teaching a quality MBA, but also educating and preparing people to better work together in a global world.”