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How A Business Master's In Europe Can Progress Your Global Career

Here’s how five graduates from Africa and the Middle East took their careers to the next level with a graduate business master's degree in Europe

Thu Apr 4 2024

Home to some of the world’s leading business schools, Europe combines educational excellence with unparalleled opportunities for career progression.

Yet with a range of scholarship opportunities and lower tuition fees than North America, getting a master’s degree in Europe is much more achievable than you might think.

We spoke to five graduates from Africa and the Middle East to learn about their experiences studying in Europe, and how it helped them reach the next stage in their career.

From Kenya to Norway with a Master of Science in Business

Name: Donald Kariuki

From: Kenya

School: BI Norwegian Business School

Program: Master of Science in Business—Major in Finance, class of 2020

Job before prior to master's: Investment analyst at Norfund, Kenya

Job today: Senior investment associate at Norfund, Norway


"I aspired to specialize in investments—given the broad nature of my bachelor's degree—and a master's program presented an avenue for that focused expertise. Moreover, observing that many senior professionals in the organization held master's degrees, I deemed it essential for career advancement.

"Having completed all my prior education in Kenya, I sought to immerse myself in a new cultural environment and explore diverse approaches to education.

"Obtaining my master's degree in Europe was pivotal in shaping my career trajectory. The key career advantages gained from the master's program included honing technical skills in programming and investment analysis, gaining insight into global issues like climate change and sustainability, and establishing valuable connections through an alumni network that can be leveraged for further professional development.

"The education has not only enhanced my expertise, but also opened doors to new opportunities and increased my marketability in the professional landscape. Overall, the master's has been a catalyst for my career advancement."

Reflections on studying in Europe: "Studying in Europe has been a transformative experience, exposing me to diverse cultures and perspectives while fostering personal and academic growth."

From Nigeria to Spain with a Global MBA

Name: Abimbola Raji

From: Nigeria

School: IE Business School

Program: Global MBA, class of 2021

Job before prior to master's: Senior technical professional at Halliburton Worldwide Services in Muscat, Oman

Job today: Global technical development manager at Halliburton in Houston, United States of America


"My decision to pursue an MBA was fueled by my corporate mentor. He had advised me how much impact it had on his career progression. I also felt like I was losing a bit of myself as I was so immersed in the technical world of my expertise and wanted a change.

"IE was referred to me by a close relative. This turned out to be the best decision I had made in my professional career journey. I learnt a lot that inspired a better version of myself across the board.

"I had always been a A** employee in my organization, however understanding what the success meant helped me position myself better and fostered impactful engagement with the Global Leaders. I also learned my strengths and used that to advocate for myself when the opportunities presented themselves.

"Learning about other industries through my peers was enlightening. I also learnt how to speak in the language of the leaders."

Reflections on studying in Europe: "100% certainty is not required, and decisions do not have to be made alone. We always need a community cheering us on."

From Lebanon to Switzerland with a Master in Strategy and International Management

Name: Elie Challita

From: Lebanon

School: University of St.Gallen

Program: Master in Strategy and International Management (SIM), class of 2015

Job prior to master’s: Engineering student, Ecole supérieure d'ingénieurs de Beyrouth (ESIB), Lebanon

Job today: Principal at Oliver Wyman in Canada


"During my undergraduate studies, I had the chance to do a summer internship at a university in Fribourg, Switzerland. It was there that I fell in love with the country. As I researched various master’s programs worldwide, my desire to return to Switzerland and apply to the University of St.Gallen grew stronger.

"Professionally, SIM provided me with a valuable set of management skills that complemented my engineering background. It also allowed me to collaborate closely with colleagues and alumni from around the world, building a strong community. Through SIM, I gained access to top employers and had the opportunity to pursue internships in various industries and determine which career path I was interested in the most. It was at SIM where I first discovered consulting and had the chance to closely interact with top-tier consulting firms through workshops, campus presentations, and coffee chats with alumni working in the field.

"On a personal level, it was the people who made SIM a memorable chapter in my life. The program intentionally fosters a strong SIM community, evident in the carefully selected candidates and the emphasis on group work in classes, to the abundance of activities and events throughout the program."

Reflections on studying Europe: "The SIM program at the University of St.Gallen is truly exceptional. I highly recommend it to anyone considering pursuing a master’s degree in management."

From Nigeria to Ireland with an MBA

Name: Blessing Ehinomen Ebare

From: Nigeria

School: University College Dublin Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School

Program: MBA, class of 2023

Job prior to master’s: Compliance officer at Access Bank in Nigeria

Job today: Data protection officer and product expert at Phonovation in Ireland


"I was searching for a study destination that not only provided globally recognized education but also embraced cultural diversity. Ultimately I chose Ireland in Europe, as it perfectly met these criteria and offered the advantage of being an English-speaking country. 

"During the MBA, I fell in love with cybersecurity, which seamlessly complemented my prior experience in compliance. The MBA helped facilitate a smooth career transition in a new country, expanding my skill set and professional opportunities. It cultivated a diverse and dynamic network, offering invaluable connections across various industries and cultural backgrounds. 

"The MBA has catalyzed my career advancement, unlocking doors to higher-level opportunities and enabling me to progress along the professional ladder as I had envisioned. Overall, the program's blend of skills development, networking, and career prospects has been instrumental in shaping my trajectory and in achieving my career goals. 

"Earning a master's degree from a globally recognized institution (UCD) enhanced my credibility and competitiveness in the global job market. It also demonstrated my commitment to continuous learning and professional development, positioning me as a qualified candidate for advancement and leadership roles within my field."

Reflections on studying in Europe: "Studying in Europe was challenging as well as exhilarating because it immersed me in a new culture, environment, and industry. Despite the hurdles, I succeeded by beginning with an end in mind and maintaining diligent effort."

From Burkina Faso to France with a Master in International Business

Name: Chinwendu Nuetsha

From: Nigeria

School: ESSEC School of Business

Program: Master in Strategy and Management of International Business (SMIB), class of 2024

Job prior to master’s: Business development consultant at Wend Panga (WP) Solar in Burkina Faso

Job today: Strategy consultant


"I chose Europe for its top-quality education, opting for a specialized one-year program that not only promised academic excellence but also provided a unique opportunity for an enriching travel experience and language immersion, fostering a holistic learning environment.

"The master's degree has provided me with invaluable insights into strategic planning, organizational behavior, and decision-making processes. Exposure to real-world case studies and real industry projects has developed my critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, and developed my capacity to analyse complex business challenges and develop effective solutions. In addition, the program has enabled me to expand my professional and personal network, and has empowered me with the confidence to pursue my career dreams.

"The program enabled me to expand my professional and personal network, empowering me with the confidence to pursue my career dreams."

Reflections on studying in Europe: "Studying in Europe has been a transformational journey, and I feel very enthusiastic about my career going forward."

So how can you access these opportunities and kickstart your business school journey in Europe? Find out more about the GMAC Study in Europe Initiative here.