The last few months have undoubtedly been a difficult time for many people as the economic downturn takes a firm hold. However, it’s important to remember that there are constructive lessons to be learned as the hard times descend. When the good times roll, there’s little point in contemplating change - as the old maxim says ‘if ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. But once the chips are down – as they are now, in spades - the motive is there for people to get creative, be proactive, and think long-term.
The current wave of dramatic changes is driving many people to plan for the future and take direct action to improve their surroundings. Perhaps this is best evidenced by the number of business professionals who’ve been exploring their options, namely applying to study for MBA degrees.
The recession has impacted on the job market but sent MBA submissions into the stratosphere people look to invest in themselves through education in troubled economic times - and an MBA is always a good investmentAmerican MBA courses are moving more towards European teaching methods
Pursuing an MBA degree remains a popular option for many business professionals, and a recession that has impacted the job market has sent submissions into the stratosphere. It was recently reported that applications to the University of California Davis Graduate School of Management's two-year Daytime MBA program are up 50% from last year. "We were expecting an increase, but this is larger than we'd anticipated," said James Stevens, assistant dean of student affairs at the school. "When the economy cools down, applications heat up: More people look to invest in themselves through education in troubled economic times -- and an MBA is always a good investment.
More people look to invest in themselves through education in troubled economic times — and an MBA is always a good investment. Conversations with applicants and academic research also make it clear that our new building is a major draw. Students want to be in the first class in the new facility.” UC Davis isn’t alone in seeing a spike in attention. About 77 percent of America’s business schools have reported a boost in applications in 2008, compared to 64 percent the previous year, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council. The economic downturn is promoting practical and strategic changes to people’s careers. Adverse conditions are triggering innovative thinking, and causing a surge of people returning complete their studies hoping to find themselves well-positioned to advance as the economy begins to recover.
British business schools have surged in popularity, but reputable Asian business schools are also growing in number a growing number. The Asian model of business learning might help bring about innovative change in MBAs in the same way as European business schools brought about developments like the one-year MBA program which suited students and employers alike. In fact, the Financial Times recently reported in their annual review of MBA courses that American schools are moving more towards their European counterparts in teaching methods, co-opting fellowship programmes and overseas projects. The Ivy League institutions like as Stanford, Columbia and Yale have all freshly updated their curriculum to incorporate these pro-active elements.
The Brooklyn-based St John's University already enjoys the best of both of these worlds, however. St John’s already has an international reputation for academic excellence which is augmented by a parallel faculty the University operates in Italy. The Rome Campus offers students –who enrole from all over the world - a distinctive international education, and St John’s is fast becoming one of the world’s best schools for MBAs in International Business, Finance, and Marketing Management.
Accredited by the AACSB, AMBA, and Equis, the European School of Management’s (Escp-Eap) MBA programme represents the current high water mark of personal improvement, however. Considered one of the best business schools in Europe, the ESCP-EAP has campuses in five major European cities: Paris, London, Madrid, Berlin, and Turin. In 2008, the ESCP-EAP’s core degree, the Master's in Management, was ranked 2nd best in the World, and the school boasts many former students – including the former French prime minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin.
The MEB course is a 12-month, two-country pre-experience postgraduate program leading to the award of an ESCP-EAP Master degree in Management. Students are given the choice to study in Europe on one of the five ESCP-EAP campuses and in our partner institutions across the world: MDI, Gurgaon, India; AIT of Bangkok, Thailand, and TEC of Monterrey, Mexico. The MEB offers an unrivalled opportunity to learn about business reality and professional behaviour in an international context.
The global downturn calls for global solutions, and MBAs like the ESCP-EAP’s offering give the broadest possible perspective and with it expansive skills and maturity. Nobody knows for certain what the future holds, but one thing’s for sure – studying for an MBA in these trying times isn’t likely to hold you back once the good times roll again.
Staring At the Abyss – top tips for Personal Improvement:
• Assess your situation - Identify the weak spots in your repertoire and work toward bridging these gaps. Acquire and develop critical skills needed in your current and target positions. For example: do you need to polish your communication skills, or learn a new language.
• You only need to stand still to be left behind. Enquire whether your company will sponsor training and take advantage of the opportunity. If not, look at the alternatives – invest in yourself with severance pay. You might need to get away to get ahead.
• Flexibility is key. Learn to work with what’s available, at least temporarily. Bide your time until your options are broadened.
• Use your connections. An active network of friends and colleagues can provide opportunities and leads – whether in person or online. Keep your ear to the ground and stay connected.
• Don’t get comfy. If the downturn has taught us one thing, it’s that no job is safe forever. Stay on your toes, travel light, and be prepared for all eventualities.
• Read the signs. Be aware of where your industry and company are going.. Don’t wait for the ship to sink. And don’t sink with the ship – you are not the captain of the Titanic.