Do one-year specialized business degrees have the ability to disrupt the business education status quo? A report published by the General Management Admissions Council (GMAC) in April 2019 found that, for only the second time in the last decade, 47% of candidates prefer the idea of pursuing a one-year MBA compared to 45% who would prefer to study a two-year MBA program.
One-year study formats with integrated international study and work experiences are becoming increasingly popular, so we spoke with Katherine Campbell and Samy Ahmed, both graduates of the M.S. in Global Commerce at the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce about their experiences and how the M.S. in Global Commerce is making waves in the world of business education.
You can earn two degrees and one certificate within a year
There’s often a lot of talk about how the graduate job market is getting more competitive each year. As a result, many prospective students want their degree to offer unique learning opportunities, from internships with global organizations, to innovative technologies that offer the most up-to-date learning experiences.
While some institutions offer the opportunity to study a dual degree or double degree, there aren’t many that offer the possibility of graduating with three qualifications – all within the space of one year.
Bringing a fresh twist to the business school education landscape, the McIntire School of Commerce allows recent graduates with relevant undergraduate business degrees to earn an M.S. in Global Commerce from the University of Virginia in the United States, as well as an M.S. in Global Strategic Management from Esade Business School in Spain and a certificate in International Business from Lingnan (University) College in China. Phew!
“It’s hard to name another program that can offer students such an invaluable experience,” says Samy. “From leadership development classes to marketing analytics lectures, the M.S. in Global Commerce represents a solid choice for students and young professionals interested in expanding their knowledge on different but complementary aspects of doing business in a global scenario.”
You’ll be able to launch yourself into a global career trajectory
Before you’re even accepted onto a particular graduate business degree program, you’ll be expected to have at least two years’ worth of professional experience under your belt.
Although it’s not impossible to get the experience before embarking on further education it can be a relief to learn that some graduate business degrees, such as the McIntire’s School of Commerce M.S. in Global Commerce, require little or no work experience at all.
Institutions constantly reimagine their degree programs and curricula to meet the demands of a constantly evolving business landscape in order for students to enhance their knowledge and understanding of global business, markets, and strategies.
McIntire is no different; the program is designed to offer students a practical skill set that is immediately available to them upon entry to the workforce.
“I wanted to be a doer, a problem-solver, and a people person,” says Samy. “The M.S. in Global Commerce gave me ‘a stage without a ceiling’ to pursue my dreams, shape my professional life, and craft my career goals. In a world that is profoundly interconnected and desperately in need of international managers, this program gives powerful analytical tools to prepare students to become effective professionals and global leaders.”
At the McIntire School of Commerce, for example, 92% of students have gained access to 300+ hiring companies across a wide range of global corporations in the United States, Asia, and Europe, students have gone on to work at global companies like Amazon, Rolls-Royce, Google, Vodafone, GSK, Volvo, and Marriott International.
After graduating from the M.S. in Global Commerce in June last year, Samy joined Lenovo as a Senior Global HR Strategist as part of the company’s Global Future Leader Program – a five year-long accelerated leadership development program.
“I joined this tech giant three months ago and embarked on an eight-week business trip across the globe to recruit top talent to support our organization,” Samy says. “I have a very hectic schedule that really excites me. Today I’m in San Francisco, tomorrow I could be in Chicago, Beijing, or New York City! I have to credit McIntire for the two main skills I use on a daily basis at work: being very flexible and open-minded.”
Samy says that at Lenovo, new technologies are rolled out every month. “Being able to quickly adapt to new changes represents a big competitive advantage you need to succeed in such a fast environment.”
“My time at McIntire has helped me stretch my boundaries and question what I wrongly believed were indisputable truths: Nothing is forever,” he says.
You will gain cultural competencies that will set you up for a global career
Studying abroad is no longer a novelty in business education. With more business schools offering study abroad opportunities than not, how can you make sure your study abroad experience provides you with the skills, knowledge, and expertise that’ll really make you stand out to potential employers?
While a lot of study abroad experiences focus on cross-cultural competencies, the unique format of the M.S. in Global Commerce takes you to three world-renowned business schools across three continents: the United States, China and Spain.
The immersive learning experience allows students to live and study together across the globe as they gain a full understanding of how different cultures operate inside and outside of the workplace.
“Thanks to the M.S. in Global Commerce, I’ve traveled across three different continents, cultures, and lifestyles, and I’ve realized there are actually very few people who can understand and appreciate the cultural and geopolitical similarities different cultures have,” Samy says.
It’ll help you build and expand your global network
The ability to tap into the various global business frameworks used around the world and work effectively in an international setting within cross-cultural teams is crucial, as everything which goes into business is inherently global, from resources to operations, financial capital to knowledge capital.
“When I originally applied for the program, I was hoping to expand my global mindset and learn to work with people from various cultural backgrounds in preparation for a global career in business,” says Katherine. “While the program allowed me to achieve these goals, it also provided me with seemingly never-ending opportunities through the colleagues and alumni networks at all three schools.”
After graduating from the M.S. in Global Commerce in June 2018, Katherine began her career in consulting, moving from Charlotte, NC, to New York City, where she now works as a financial services consultant for Ernst & Young.
When asked how the M.S. in Global Commerce has contributed to her career, she told us, “The program is all about adaptability, which is something that has been significantly applicable during my time in consulting.
“On the more technical side, I’ve used many of the concepts taught in the Excel course on a daily basis on my current project,” she adds.
Business and international relations go hand in hand, so for many aspiring business professionals, having a degree with an international component can enhance your learning massively.
McIntire offers an unparalleled experience that allows you to spend one year growing personally and professionally while traveling the globe, moving between varying business environments and cultures, as well as positioning yourself to work in a global context early in your career.
This article originally appeared on QS Top Universities, “4 Ways this Master’s in Global Commerce is Disrupting Business Education.”