I have just landed in Berlin on 2nd January 2017 as an MBA student of GGSB MBA’19. I have experienced suspicious brows when I say MBA in Germany. Germany is always seen as hub for an MS after the US. Germany is one of the most insulated Economies in Europe, it houses quite a few Fortune 500 companies and most importantly it boasts of a Multi Cultural Society.

I did not however prepare for Germany as my MBA destination; I would like to call it a happy accident. I started preparations a year and half back. All I was sure about is that I would do my MBA from Europe. Undoubtedly Europe is one of the best places that can offer you exposure to an array of cultures. I initially considered Institutions from UK, France, and Portugal (yes, Portugal). One of the guideline to check the quality of a MBA programme is its accredition from Equis (European Standards) or AMBA (UK Standard) or AACSB (US and International Standards) and there are programmes which carry Triple Accreditions.There are few reputed B-schools in Germany as well, but my selection was based on the Curricula it offered.

I also started my GMAT classes simultaneously. Most MBA programs demand a mandatory GMAT and minimum 3-5yrs work experience. Although very few schools waive depending on the experience or Academic excellence or simply because one graduate from their country or University. But no exceptions are given for Work experience.

One another prerequisite which will not be exempted is the language test, in Europe IELTS is accepted almost everywhere. Although many Schools do not need any European languages for MBA programs, an additional foreign language is a huge added advantage.

Contrary to popular belief the admission process is not a very stressful or cumbersome process – if one has done considerable pre-work. There is a timeline for every step, right from application to References to Personal Interview. We must be alert about the deadlines of different universities.

I applied to universities and business schools in the UK and France but my priority was France due to Visa flexibility on working after graduation. I was selected by Grenoble Ecole de Management for September’16 in late May2016. However I was given the option of doing the same course from Berlin. That was the most irresistible offer. It promised an avenue to explore the best of both the worlds.

When I got my Unconditional Acceptance to the programme there was one thing that I had not given considerable importance. That of learning a language, and a European language. I did some study with Alumni across Institutions and countries, and the one similarity in almost all information was the importance of knowing any European language.

An MBA programme only needs English, but to get an internship and even a potential job offer, an additional language will always strengthen our prospects. The move to Berlin campus (Jan’17 intake) however gave me sufficient time to work on that issue. Though my program allows me to study Core subjects in Berlin, there are some Specialisations that can be done only in France.

Learning a foreign language is an absolute must – and I am going to Berlin armed with a B1 in German.

Shyam is a Computer Application graduate. He has worked in sales and in HR and has work experience of about 8 years. He is extremely passionate about travelling, enjoys reading and discussing topics related to Politics, Economics and History. He will be starting his studies at GGSB MBA (Grenoble Ecole De management) in Berlin in January 2017.
You can reach him at shyamkumar.valiyaveetil-paramel@grenoble-em.com
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