Two out of three graduate management programs reported an ‘increase in applications’ in 2020, according to research undertaken by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), demonstrating the enduring appeal of the MBA.
Claire Hewitson, head of careers services at Copenhagen Business School (CBS), says that an MBA can help focus career goals from the onset, prepare students for a career transition, offer valuable networking opportunities, and provide MBAs with access to hands-on learning.
Here are five ways that an MBA can accelerate your career:
1. It’ll take you out of your comfort zone
Whether it’s networking with influential business people at school events, or testing out your public speaking and negotiation skills, there’s one thing for sure: your MBA will push you out of your comfort zone.
“I wanted to gain the experience of a full-time MBA that would direct me out of my comfort zone. To further my personal development, it was clear that I needed to complete my MBA journey in an unfamiliar country,” says Linda Mitschang, a CBS MBA graduate and category lead buyer at FMCG firm Danone.
Linda worked in the aviation industry in Germany before choosing to study the CBS MBA for its people-oriented focus.
To succeed in business, she says, you’ll regularly need to push yourself out of your comfort zone. The confidence, independence, and global contact-base you’ll gain when studying abroad for your program will pay dividends in your career after your MBA.
2. It’ll help you gain valuable practical experience
Ever wanted to problem-solve a real-life business issue? An MBA is a great place to hone your skills through hands-on experiential learning.
Copenhagen Business School offers projects where, in small groups, students act as consultants by working strategically on a company issue. While MBA internship opportunities allow students to get stuck into a business more closely, by working one-on-one with a company.
“These immersive projects allow the company to understand what value an MBA brings to their corporation, and the students get to witness a challenge that the company is facing and apply the skills they've acquired on the MBA,” says Claire (pictured right).
You’ve got tons of options too. CBS MBAs may work alongside startups, or Danish pharmaceutical companies such as Novo Nordisk, and energy company Ørsted.
3. You’ll work alongside peers from different industries
In your career after your MBA, you'll work alongside people from all walks of life. Similarly, during your MBA, you'll often collaborate with others from various cultures, backgrounds, and industry experiences on valuable team projects.
"An MBA is a great equalizer of people of all ages, experiences, and nationalities," says Fabrizio Tararbra, CBS MBA graduate and executive advisor and project manager in risk and compliance at Nordea. Fabrizio is also a military veteran who served as a commander for the Italian Navy Special Forces before his MBA.
Through an exchange of ideas, you'll learn and draw inspiration from your classmates with varying backgrounds, explains Fabrizio.
Linda adds that working alongside a motivated and diverse team during her MBA at CBS has helped her to thrive in her current position at Danone.
Moreover, you mustn't underestimate the potential MBA job opportunities that you’ll gain by working alongside those with links to various industries.
4. You'll learn leadership skills
Always wanted to find out what your leadership style is? According to Linda and Fabrizio (pictured right), an MBA is a perfect way to nail your leadership skills in preparation for job opportunities after an MBA.
Fabrizio entered the MBA classroom as a seasoned military leader with over 15 years of experience leading in high-risk areas like Iraq and Afghanistan. His "transformative journey" from the Navy Special Forces into the corporate world via the CBS MBA is testament to the value brought to a business by the leadership skills developed in the military. Fabrizio cites a Norwegian government program that combines the forces, industry, and education to ensure the armed forces at all times has the best resources and competencies as an example of the crossover value between business and military leadership.
The Copenhagen MBA's Leadership Discovery Process runs alongside all modules you study at CBS, with multiple touch points that help you discover your unique leadership style. You’ll learn about your brain function and team dynamics, all while mastering interpersonal, teamwork, and communication skills through hands-on learning.
“I was able to identify my values and working style, which I could then compare with my classmates’ different styles of leadership. To find out who I was as a person, and whom I wanted to be as a leader, was one of the best experiences of my MBA,” says Linda.
After just one year as a senior consultant at a consultancy, Linda put her leadership skills to the test when she became a project manager, before taking on her current role.
She says that she has reaped the benefits of the leadership skills that she acquired during her MBA journey throughout her career: "I can now execute my role how I wish to execute it."
5. You can make a career change
Thinking about changing career? Maybe you're looking to maximize your salary, or perhaps a chance to give yourself more of a challenge. In an MBA, you’ll learn the ins and outs of different industries, all while upping your knowledge in subjects like finance, strategy, marketing, and accounting.
Fabrizio chose to enrol on an MBA at CBS in hopes of broadening his horizon and familiarizing himself with the business landscape.
Now thriving at Nordea, Fabrizio has shown how an MBA has helped him apply his skills to advance his business career. He credits his MBA with helping him to enhance his analytical, process, and delivery skills—acquired during his military career—and build on his business, financial, and economic awareness.
“The challenging but rewarding MBA helps you make this transition from a different career and to supplement the skills you’ve already acquired," he says. "The MBA helped me transfer my existing skillset into [industry] to advance my business career and support senior management in a corporate environment."
Copenhagen Business School (CBS)
CBS: efficient international network
CBS has always been ranked among the best universities in Europe and this means that it has become a sign of professionalism and success. The academic level is great thanks to the good teachers and the atmosphere is proactive and challenging. Lots of events are planned every week and this helps you to find your own way. CBS is not only a business school, it is a great and efficient international network.
Good academic career
I did my Bachelors at CBS and their academic excellence and career opportunities led me to pursue my Masters in Accounting, Strategy and Control. I was very lucky to go on an exchange in Singapore for one semester it boosted me to get a career in a global firm. I like that it is super modern and has all the facilities for the business student in 2019. Especially, I liked the library and Bitlab where I spent most of my time studying. However, note that it is very demanding and studying here is no joke. Everything is very competitive and you are among the most excellent business students in the country. The interaction with international students helped me to see different perspectives in business and culturally and I was lucky to make friends from any part of the world. CBS is like a brand in Denmark. Every serious business company prioritizes us over any other Danish university and also it is free for European citizens. Overall, I have a very satisfying experience at CBS and I'm looking to continue my academical career even further.
CBS is one of the best!
All I have to say regarding my experience at CBS is that it is AMAZING. Having been tutored by world-class academic staff, I can definitely support that I am receiving the best of quality regarding my studies in Digital Marketing. Staff is very friendly and easy to approach. In addition, the facilities we enjoy are top class and meet any demands. Keep in mind that, EU citizens do not pay any fees. Student life might be non-existent here, but the location of the University in The very center of Copenhagen has a huge variety of choices to offer to students regarding their entertainment. Accommodation might be a problem, but early research of the market can be very useful. In addition, the University promotes diversity. In CBS University you can meet people from the whole world which is quite interesting. I definitely suggest CBS for any student who he's interested in pursuing a career in marketing or business.
The ideal business school
I have been enrolled in this university for 2 semesters. What I took from this experience is that there is nothing better out there for those looking for professional growth while being guided by some of the top-notch professors in Scandinavia. They have a really strong focus in technology and digital transformation and they are up to date to guarantee you land a job in the modern fast-evolving world. They also embrace diversity which means many students come from any part of the world and it takes the entire learning experience to another level. You simply learn from every other student cause everyone has different experiences and background which makes you open your mind and see the world from a different angle. In Denmark, even businesses prioritize people who graduate from CBS as it's commonly perceived as the most prestigious university for business graduates.
A Place of Personal Growth
In CBS you can expect an environment of proactive thinking and growth. The university staff is always open to help and to debate. The teaching methods balance theoretical knowledge and practical skills enabling the student with capacity and confidence to enter the job market successfully. The existence of students from all over the world stimulates discussion and promotion of different cultures, ideas and perspectives. I highly recommend this university for students in business-related areas.
The environment here is really great. Despite the well organized buildings and libraries, there are also places for students to just stay and relax also even study in the corners of each campus. The professors are mostly really nice and try to interact with students a lot. So, to sum up, the environment is really nice for studying here.
Quality education where it emphazises the importance of academic. No finger to put on this aspect of the school. However, sometimes the administration and IT can be lacking a bit, but in general a really good choice for education!
Classes are challenging and conducted in a professional manner. CBS offers a wide range of possibilities to develop outside of the classes! Libraries and other facilities on the campus are very well adjusted to the student needs.
A heavily theory-based curriculum combined with an ever-stimulating environment
I am currently a Master student at CBS, but I have also completed a Bachelor's Degree in this university. I am quite satisfied with my studies and the teaching level. However, when compared to other business schools, it becomes apparent that most courses at CBS strive to find a good balance between theoretical insight and real-life examples. Compared to my exchange university, the projects that I have found myself writing at CBS have a far less practical application and also leave little room for creativity. If the teaching is heavily theoretical, on the bright side, the university arranges a number of events throughout the year to encourage students to apply their knowledge, in the form of career fairs, case competitions, and other events organized by student associations. In my experience, teachers are very easily approachable and happy to answer your questions. A foreign student like me will find a more international environment at Master level, since the number of international (or at least non-Scandinavian) students enrolled in the Bachelor programs is quite low. However, all communication (both oral and written) from teachers and the university offices is always in English. Administrative offices, student guidance services, the career center, and the international office are definitely worth a mention. All of the requests that I have had throughout the years have always been met with kindness, promptness and efficiency.