How International Business program is different from any other program


While preparing for my MBA entrance examinations, the most important question candidates avoid seeking answers to is what specialization/program they want to join. Back then I also didn’t have a proper answer in mind and used to judge based on terms like ROI, diversity, etc. I didn’t have a particular specialization in mind rather I had decided what not to pursue and kept the other options open. Once the shortlists for PI started coming and the choices, priority had to be made for the colleges offering multiple programs, I came across the Post Graduate Program in International Business (the then International Management). Despite not having a clear idea and a lot of ifs and buts this program seemed to be unique. As I was open to multiple specializations with an inclination towards Human Resources, I decided to put the PGP-HRM as my first choice(MA-HRM from TISS was my first love), the PGP-IB as second, and PGPM as the third.

The COVID situation led to alteration of admission processes and the colleges were able to publish their results after mid-May. The candidates were having a mixed feeling facing the rejections, waitlists, and selections. Similar was my feeling when the final shortlist from MDI Gurgaon was declared and I had made it to the PGP-IB program there. With other offers from the tier-1 colleges I had to choose the best one and found the International Business Program to be unique and different from all others.

This is a dual degree program offered by MDI Gurgaon and ESCP Business School, Europe. MDI Gurgaon provides the PGP degree with the specialization in International Business and ESCP Europe provides the master’s in management degree with the choice of your specialization. ESCP Business School is the oldest b school on earth and has campuses across Paris, Berlin, Madrid, London, Turin, and Warsaw. The master’s in management program offered by the ESCP has been consistently ranked in the top 10(6th by Financial times 2020) across the globe. And the course has been designed in such a way that you get to study in both the premier institutes and learn from their pedagogy. For the first two trimesters, you’ll be studying in MDI Gurgaon with the subjects that will create the base for the MBA and prepare you for the studies in ESCP. The 3rd to 5th trimester (including internship) you’ll be studying in any two of the Paris, Berlin, Madrid, London campuses of ESCP. For the last trimester, you need to get back to MDI and at the same time, you’ll be sitting for the final placements with the students from other programs.

It’s been more than 9 months and I have completed my two trimesters in MDI and the first semester in the London Campus of ESCP. If I were to critically examine this course in comparison to the other courses, I would do on the basic points one wants to pursue MBA from a premier institute.

  1. Brand Value: If MDI Gurgaon is a brand name in India, ESCP Europe is a brand across the globe specially Europe. Having both the names on your CV is certainly going to add a premium brand value to it.
  1. Diversity & Peer Learning: The best thing about MBA colleges is the diversity of their student and the perspective they bring with themselves. It not only contributes to a healthy class discussion but also contributes to the exchange of skills while working on the projects together. In case of International Business, is one of the most distinguishing factors. Students from across the globe with distinguished backgrounds are going to be a part of the classroom and eventually your study group.
  1. Networking: One of the biggest factors that contribute to the success of your professional life is the kind of network you build at your b School. In the case of the IB program, you not only get the opportunity to connect with Indian peers but with your peers from across the globe.
  1. Career Boost & Domain Expansion: MBA is one of the major ways to attain a career boost or expansion of your domain knowledge. With the general management programs in India mainly focused on the major 5-6 specializations, ESCP provides more than 50 specializations in different fields hence significantly broadening the domain.
  1. Best Faculties: MDI has one of the best faculties in India and the guest lectures are taken by the veterans of the field-based in India. ESCP on similar lines has the best faculties and industry leaders across the globe taking the classes for the students.

The list will go on, as the platform that the general management program provides gets significantly expanded in the case of the International Business program. But nothing is perfect and so is the IB program as it has few negative points as well:

  1. Higher Fee: The PGPM program costs around 21L where the International Business program costs you around 24L.
  2. Summer Internship: During the summer internship, the student is supposed to be in Europe and hence MDI doesn’t conduct the summer placements for the IB students. As the b schools outside India doesn’t have the concept of placements, it becomes an open game where you’ve to grab an internship based on your skillset.
  3. Living Expenses: in the IB program, you don’t have to pay anything extra to ESCP, but you must bear your living expenses. Staying for a complete year in the major European cities are going to take a toll on your pocket.

The negative points when compared to the benefits the course provides in long run get subdued. The learning phase you’re into isn’t going to come again. The open internship not only compels you to come out of your comfort zone but also gives you an opportunity to showcase your skill and grab an internship offer as well as the Pre Placement Offer in the global city of your choice. The experience and the learning the IB program bring with it are extraordinary but also depend on what you’re expecting from this MBA journey. At least for me, it’s been one of the best decisions I have taken in my life.

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