When choosing where to study for an MBA programme, you might have to ask yourself a few questions. Knowing where you would like to work and live in the future, or being aware of the different prospects and industries you will find in one country are all relevant when deciding where to apply. This is especially true if you are hesitating between Europe and the United States.
However, there are several advantages to choosing a European MBA rather than one in the USA. By providing international experience and enabling students to learn in a multicultural environment, studying in Europe has convinced more than one MBA student. Three of ESCP’s MBA programme students tell us about their experience and why they chose a European MBA rather than an American one.
What drew you to choose an MBA in Europe rather than in the US?
Francesca Conti, Class of 2022: “I was eager to further expand and develop my professional network in Europe. I often worked with homogenous teams and ESCP‘s multicultural environment enabled me to work with individuals of diverse backgrounds, who all provided unique perspectives. Having spent the majority of my academic and professional experience in New York City, I was keen to further delve into the European tech ecosystem, and this would not have been possible within the US.”
Diego Romero, Class of 2021: “I lived in Colombia (South America) until I was 12 years old. It was around this time that my family migrated north to the United States, settling near New York City. I chose to migrate east and further experience another hemisphere, Western Europe. I work in diplomacy and I have been lucky to experience many parts of the world but only for short durations of time. Coming to Europe to study would further expand my work and personal experience. After some research in the summer of 2020, I decided to apply to ESCP mainly for three reasons: it had a pedigree in business (there were European credentials I couldn’t ignore), I would be able to live in two different countries throughout the programme, and, finally, I would do all of this in only 10 months.“
Hannah Robinson, Class of 2023: “I chose to get my MBA in Europe rather than in the US because I have always felt close to the European mentality and way of life – specifically when it comes to work-life balance – but most importantly, I wanted a programme that would give me international exposure, with a multicultural student body that a typical MBA programme in the US cannot offer. I was convinced an MBA in Europe would be an ideal way to officially launch my life and career in Europe, which has been my dream ever since studying abroad for my bachelor’s degree. I was even more enthralled knowing that ESCP allows you to study on two campuses. I chose London and Paris for a dynamic duo! I wanted to experience the UK (after Brexit) and Europe. In the US, most programmes last two years, and most Americans likely end up working in the US afterwards with similarly minded people – which didn’t excite me as much as the outcome of getting international exposure and the opportunity to work anywhere in the world.
As an American student, what aspects of your European experience at ESCP stand out to you the most?
Francesca Conti: “The ability to live in two European powerhouse cities was particularly enticing to me. Distance and proximity played a pivotal role, as I was able to network and meet with individuals from various countries, all of which could be easily accessed in person.”
Diego Romero: “I chose Paris and Madrid as my two campuses because I love both countries and their cultures. While I did speak some French, being in Paris helped me further practice and strengthen my language skills. I can personally say I built lifelong friendships in Paris and being new to ESCP’s programme, along with the fact that the Covid crisis was still happening, really brought our cohort together. Moving to Madrid halfway through the programme was great as well: the campus staff is amazing and the city allowed us to further grow as friends and colleagues. The pandemic receded a bit and we cherished being able to attend all of our classes, plan outdoor activities and play sports. We even enjoyed interacting with other business schools on a professional level during this time.”
Hannah Robinson: “As an American student, the ESCP MBA in International Management is, to my mind, the ultimate experience for someone looking to enrich and expand their perspective on various cultures, business mindsets, and life abroad overall. The pairing of core classes and electives in an environment where multinational collaboration is encouraged and group work is a standard part of every day, enhances learning and drives deeper discussions. On any given day, I am working in a group that would make the United Nations proud! No day is boring when you are constantly around people from all over the world and hearing what everyone is thinking about the same topic – it makes life fun.
The diversity of the student body and faculty has enabled me to expand my perspective on multicultural business practices and interactions. Moreover, ESCP’s Company Consultancy Projects, networking events and seminars, resonate with me as an American looking for a global perspective in the business world.”
Did you or will you stay in Europe after graduation? Why?
Francesca Conti: “I chose to stay in Europe because I am passionate about expanding the tech ecosystem, especially as it applies to underrepresented figures in the entrepreneurial setting. Working in an investment role in Europe allows me to collaborate alongside tomorrow’s changemakers in an impactful way.“
Diego Romero: “As for me, I decided to go back to the US after graduating. There were multiple reasons for this choice. One of them is that I had my government job waiting for me in America, but I also want to start my startup. So I decided to come back to the US to get organised, pay back some of my expenses, further grow my professional network and better prepare to fully pivot away from my present career field. The United States is also a breeding ground for ideas and entrepreneurship so I am diving further into that sector. In the short term, I plan to start my own venture, based in the US but hopefully with a European angle as well.”
Hannah Robinson: “After graduating, I see myself working and living somewhere in Europe, or in London. My career objective is to obtain a senior-level role in marketing and brand strategy, such as Chief Digital and Marketing Officer or Vice-President of Digital Projects, at a multinational corporation or a creative start-up agency. Alternatively, I would like to turn the marketing agency I founded 5 years ago into a multinational corporation. I could certainly hire some of my classmates to help! After just a few months of studying at ESCP, I can truly say that I cannot see myself anywhere else, and I am thrilled with my decision to pursue an MBA in Europe.”
If you too are wondering whether an MBA in the US or in Europe is more relevant to your aspirations and career goals, feel free to reach out to our admissions and career services, or one of our student ambassadors. They will be happy to help you clear any doubt!