Paul Danos, Dean Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth
All politics may be local. But in the increasingly integrated world of business-where international markets are enmeshed and intellectual capital flows across borders -the focus is decidedly global. Whether you've just embarked on your two-year journey or are fresh off a summer internship, recognizing this new world order is critical to leveraging the full potential of your MBA.
The implications are profound and cut to the very heart of why you're here in business school. An MBA education offers unparalleled career opportunities. The most sought-after companies pay a premium for high-caliber students. But as you work toward leadership positions in those organizations, enhancing your personal global profile is as important as anything you'll learn the classroom.
Virtually every company that hires an MBA student is engaged in the global marketplace in some capacity. Achieving leadership roles in these organizations will require not only a demonstrated comfort level in cross-cultural settings, but also a willingness to go wherever the work will take you. Everything we hear from recruiters supports this. For leading business schools, career placement has become a global activity.
So what to do? Tuck, for example, already offers a number of opportunities to globalize. In addition to our Tuck offerings, there's the Tuck Global Consultancy, a global field studies program organized bythe Center for International Business that has so far placed 150 Tuck students in 70 different countries. The CIB also co-sponsors the annual Interstate Programme, which brings together MBA students at top schools in the United States and Europe to discuss transatlantic business relationships. Second-year students, in addition, have the opportunity to take part in an international exchange program with one of 17 partner MBA institutions.
But I also encourage you to be proactive in broadening your international experience. This isn't difficult at an institution like Tuck, where 37 percent of the class of 2009 comes from outside the United States. My advice is to absorb all that you can from your fellow students. Take them up on their offers to travel abroad for spring break. Expand your reading list to include international publications. And learn everything you can about your future field of play.
Do you really understand, for instance, how the World Trade Organization works? Are you familiar with the EU governance structure? Why isn't Great Britain in the European monetary regime? Why did Mattel apologize for the glitches in their Chinese supply chain? Being well versed in global business and related government policies makes for more than just good conversation. It sends a strong signal to recruiters that-MBA in hand-you're ready to be productive anywhere in the world.