Business Schools Abroad

Harinarayanan Shaji is a Model Engineering College graduate of the 2021 batch and is currently studying in EDHEC Business School in Lille, France. He spent 4 years studying engineering, wondering whether he was really learning anything and whether at the end of it he ever really did learn anything.

“Switching to Business isn’t really that radical a change”

Nothing you learn will be wasted. Even if there aren’t many correlations between Business and Engineering, you may still use the things you learnt during Engineering while learning and doing Business. Studying Engineering is not an investment you’re losing when you take up a Masters in Business but a valuable asset you can use in almost everything.

How to Choose a College

When you decide on your college, you need to realise and figure out Your parameters. Everyone has been exposed to different things, has different goals, and is in different situations financially, personally, academically, etc making their parameters distinct.

  1. Grade Point Average (GPA)
    For a good MBA course, you don’t need more than 8.5 GPA. That doesn’t imply getting a higher GPA means your efforts will be wasted. In Europe, more than how high your GPA is, they care about how it affects you and why it matters to you.

  2. Cost
    It is the tuition fee, cost of living, etc. The tuition fee is cheapest in Europe, cheaper in the UK and usually the most expensive in the USA

  3. Language
    In Europe, it’s very unlikely that you will find someone who speaks the same language or understands English. They can be very nationalistic about their language and you should be able to adapt to speaking in their tongue.

  4. Alumni Outcomes
    It consists of data regarding the alumni of a college that graduated after completing a course like what they are doing currently, whether they are in research or not, if they are happy, what kind of skills they have learnt, their location, job title, etc.

  5. Climate
    This is something people always underestimate. Depending on the country it can be cold throughout the year, constantly cloudy, and can even be going through a heatwave. Living in a colder country can be expensive too with the heating and winter clothing.

  6. Student Associations
    There could be hundreds of Student Associations in each college in Europe but the ones that are accessible to non-native speakers are very limited.

  7. Sector
    There are certain industries, fields or sciences that a country will be promoting or be superiorly developed in like France is famous for fashion marketing, Germany is good for Automobile companies, etc.

  8. Job Percentage
    It signifies how many people get a job after finishing the course.

  9. Internships
    Employment status is extremely beneficial in Europe. Any work experience that you have gained outside of Europe is usually taken lightly and doesn’t hold much value when applying for jobs in Europe. Internships usually range from 2 weeks to 12 months in Germany. In France, there is a legal limit on Internship duration to a maximum of 6 months.

  10. Other Income
    Getting part-time jobs in Europe is extremely difficult if you don’t know the native language fluently. Most of the part time jobs require you to talk and deal with the locals and citizens, so language proficiency is necessary.

  11. Scholarships
    There are National and University level scholarships. In EDHEC, there are 10%, 15%, and 30% scholarships which reduces that much percent from your fees. Applications for Scholarships usually is done in rounds and applying earlier means your application is more favourable.

After you dissect and factor in all of these parameters, you group the colleges you’ve found into three categories :

  1. DREAM
    Colleges you think will only take applicants with a perfect profile and perfect scores and you’re going to need a lot of luck to get in. These are the ones that will be hard to attain financially and academically that you keep as an Ideal case.

    Colleges that you think you will get into with hard work and not a lot of luck. These are the ones you try to get into by getting better exam scores and good essays.

    This is like your bedrock. The colleges that you are sure you will definitely get into.

The reason you segregate the colleges you are considering into these categories is because of the application fees. Each college has an application fee that can be around 100 euros. It’s a very expensive process and the money is in most cases non-refundable. You have to be able to choose which colleges you’re applying to carefully based on these categories as applying itself is a big investment.


Some Resources that you can use while you prepare for GRE :

English is usually extremely hard in comparison to maths in GRE especially for us, after all the mind-racking JEE and KEAM prep. You need to make sure you do a lot of Mock Tests


Some rankings that you can use for reference while you look for Colleges :

  1. Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings
    They show you a lot of courses that you may also be interested in. It’s a good site to explore and find out exactly what you wanted to do.

  2. Financial Times
    They have the most descriptive rankings and they explain a lot of parameters and data regarding the course.

An Engineer from India is the most basic portfolio you can have. You have to work hard on diversifying and specialising in niche interests that make your profile more noticeable. Especially when applying to Europe, they take more value in personality and how you will be able to benefit and make use of the course.

Going abroad is not the rosey escape you think it is. It requires a lot of planning, hard work and introspection. Harinarayanan has given us a detailed overview of his experiences. We just need to learn to manage our expectations and plan accordingly as we take our studies to the next level.