Nov 21, 2016 at 12:00am ET By Joanna Hughes

One year. One MBA. Three global cities. While this may sound impossible, it’s very much a reality -- if you choose the right program, that is. While it’s true that one-year MBA programs are accelerated, they’re also designed to be comprehensive in terms of the curricula they offer to students. But does this leave room for “extras” like time abroad, and does international exposure even qualify as ancillary anymore in our evolving borderless economy?

Hult International Business School believes that the cultivation of a global perspective is a critical part of the MBA experience. Because of this, its one-year MBA program gives students the opportunity to study in not one, not two but three premier cities.  Let’s take a closer look at why one-year programs like Hult’s work, along with highlighting the benefits of international immersion for tomorrow’s business leaders.

 

Less Time, Superior Quality

There’s a reason why applications to one-year MBAs are on the rise: Because they’ve been carefully designed to offer all of the benefits of a conventional two-year program within an abbreviated time frame.

Perhaps Forbes summed it up best in concluding, “The benefits of one-year programs are obvious: Getting the same degree in half the time brings considerable savings in tuition and fees, room and board, and the lost opportunity cost of not having a job for two years. And despite the shortened academic experience, MBA employers tend to award one-year grads the same starting salaries they pay MBAs of two-year programs.”

Grads of one-year programs agree. Hult grad Joy Merigini, who works as a business analyst product manager in Boston, says he was initially drawn to Hult by the promise of getting a world-class degree in just one year. “Most of the other schools offer the MBA in two years…this was a good way to save time and it gives you more return on your investment.”

Merigini further asserts that a good business education is not about how long the degree takes, but about the context of the degree. He cites coursework at Hult which not only introduced students to business strategy, but also addressed how they could use it to impact their own careers. He explains, “I liked that the curricula focused on mixing hard skills, like finance and economy theory, and soft skills, for instance how to do a presentation efficiently or how to work in a team.”

 

But That Doesn’t Mean Staying Put

One might assume that choosing a one-year MBA program means putting your nose to the grindstone and not seeing the light of day until 12 months later. Hult, winner of the Association of MBAs’ 2014 MBA Innovation Award, takes a completely different approach, proposing that “for the global generation, the new way to learn about the world is to experience it.” 

Hult’s accelerated degree program let students gain uniquely global perspectives by rotating between multiple major global cities, including Boston, San Francisco, Dubai, London, New York and Shanghai, during their brief but beneficial time in business school.

For Merigini, who spent nine months in Boston and three in New York, “The best part of studying in different cities is that they each have different flavors...Education is about traveling so I think it is very important to see different places and different cities.” To this end, each Hult campus is centrally located at the heart of global commerce giving students unparalleled exposure to -- and interaction with -- local business knowledge.

Furthermore, the value of the connections made on Hult’s various campuses cannot be understated in today’s unbounded business landscape. Merigini says, “[Hult] broadens your horizon. In my class, there were 40 nationalities from Russia, Germany, UK, Côte d’Ivoire, Brazil, Peru, China… Now I have contacts everywhere in the world and this is great.”

 

Globally-Oriented Employees are In-Demand

Of course, it’s not just about the experiences students have while at Hult, but also about what they take with them when they go. And they take a lot, going by their sought-after status with leading employers all over the world.

According to Hult’s VP of Global Career Development Katharine Boshkoff, a full three-quarters of international MBA students who studied on the school’s US campuses in 2015 went on to find employment in the U.S. in total, Hult’s 2015 grads secured jobs at 800 companies in over 60 countries.

And Hult is there with students every step of the way, providing the specialized career counseling and development they need to maximize their global career potential in the intensely competitive contemporary job market. Access to Hult’s Career Fast Track program, meanwhile, begins before students even step foot on campus by putting them in touch with the Hult Connect alumni portal, job board, and international networking events. 

All of this makes Hult grads top candidates for global employment, according to Munir Kamil, Director of Human Resources at L’Oreal, who says that Hult students are consistently at the top of their recruiting efforts because of their “years of international experience and a strong sense of entrepreneurial spirit.”

Just as all two-year MBA programs aren’t created equal, nor are all one-year degrees. Programs like Hult’s distinguish themselves from the rest by not just providing students with core business knowledge, but also the harder-to-come-by ability to transition this knowledge to the global business world.

Joanna worked in higher education administration for many years at a leading research institution before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She lives in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire with her family.

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