Re-entering the workforce after taking a year out for an MBA can be daunting. But for most MBA students at Maastricht School of Management (MSM) in the Netherlands, the transition back into work is a smooth one.
Naveen Kumar stepped straight into a job at an HR consultancy after graduating from MSM in 2017. He cites the school’s careers services as one of the primary reasons for his success in transitioning back into the world of work, describing the support as “full and to-the-point.”
In addition to a dedicated careers service at the school, the MBA program itself provides students with careers support in the form of the Careers and Personal Development Track (CPDT).
The CPDT is an optional course that runs alongside the MBA’s specialized tracks—in Entrepreneurship and The Digital Economy for example—designed to prepare students for their dream careers post-MBA.
As part of the CPDT, MBA students get to talk to HR managers and representatives of MSM’s corporate partners who are looking to hire. They also take part in workshops to improve students’ CV-writing and presentation skills.
“The company visits [they organized for us] were aligned with what they were teaching to us [at the time],” Naveen says, “so it was a really hands-on experience.”
In fact, it was during one of the CPDT’s networking sessions that Naveen came across his current position—a job as an associate partner for Copper Bird, an international HR consultancy with offices in China, India, and the Netherlands.
This job marks a pivot in Naveen’s career, as he came to Maastricht School of Management after 10 years in engineering in the energy sector.
“I decided to do an MBA outside of India to get global exposure, to meet people from different countries, and to learn in a new environment,” he says.
MSM was ideal for realizing this goal. Out of 31 MBA students in 2016, 16 nationalities were represented, and the school aims to foster international bonds between students by hosting a yearly international student dinner.
Being based in Maastricht in the Netherlands also means that it’s easy for MSM students to experience nearby Belgium and Germany, as well as other cultural centers in Europe. At another annual dinner organized by the school, students get the opportunity to visit companies in the cross-border region and network with regional business representatives.
“The whole experience was unique for me,” Naveen continues. “It was the first time I’d come out of my comfort zone of India. To adjust to a different country and culture [could have been] very difficult, but the colleagues I had there were very supportive and friendly, so that made it easy!”
The international character of the MSM MBA primed Naveen for his current work in an international consulting firm, and the course material itself expanded his financial and technological expertise.
In addition to the courses on his chosen specialization stream—Accounting and Finance—Naveen was able to tap into MSM’s significant entrepreneurial streak. Students of all specializations were treated to a program of lectures and events around design and innovative thinking that fostered entrepreneurial knowledge and ambition.
“It was very unique compared to what I heard from my friends on other MBA courses around the world,” Naveen recalls.
Ultimately, the most significant thing that Naveen has gained from his time at Maastricht School of Management is confidence in his own ability to drive innovation forwards—crucial for his current role.
“You have to be patient; do not lose hope—this was my most valuable lesson,” he says. “Being patient and confident in your ideas is key for any business to grow.”