Student and Graduate Publishing

Building a Global Network: Andrew Main Wilson, Chief Executive, Association of MBAs

Thursday, 07 September 2017 13:19

Connectivity has made the world a village and all businesses, no matter what size, have become international. This means business graduates need to be able to operate effectively and strategically, adopt a global mind-set, and nurture a global network. 

Research from the Association of MBAs (AMBA) of more than 3,300 MBA graduates across the world found that the most popular reason for studying an MBA was ‘career progression and promotion’ (80%) and 88% agreed or strongly agreed that they’re more ambitious post-MBA.The next most popular reason for taking an MBA was to increase international mobility with more than a third (34%) of respondents taking an MBA to increase their chances of succeeding internationally. 

Almost 9 out of 10 respondents (87%) agreed or strongly agreed that their MBA has prepared them to work in a global business environment and 59% agreed or strongly agreed that the MBA increased their opportunities to travel and work abroad. Business Schools share this aspiration for their students. Speaking at AMBA’s Global Conference in Dubai in 2017, Nouf Al Khalifa, Director, Dubai Centre at London Business School said that it was essential for Business Schools to increase the size of their global networks. She said: ‘The Middle East is the home to some of the greatest civilisations of all time. One of the most important pillars of any civilisation is education. But in the Middle East, people would have to travel very far and wide to obtain it.’She explained individuals would travel to universities, but universities would also try their best to attract people from across the world. She added: ‘London Business School is truly global as an institution. Our alumni can find a network to support them wherever they go in the world after they have graduated.’

One way of establishing strong and lasting global networks is to establish partnerships.

At AMBA’s Conference in Dubai, Steef Van de Velde, Dean, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, outlined some ways Business Schools are nurturing international relationships. He said: ‘You need a globalisation strategy otherwise everything else you want to accomplish will fail. In 2016, [Rotterdam School of Management] launched a joint EMBA with the University of Cologne in Germany. It took us less than a year to get together, build the programme and launch it.’ But he added: ‘If you want to build partnerships, you need personal relationships.’ ‘The best way to do this is to travel and meet potential partners face to face.’

He then said how programmes other than the MBA within Business Schools are important in nurturing global networks. He explained: ‘A strong PhD programme is very instrumental in building global networks. We don’t recruit our own PhD graduates, instead, we try and place them in the best Schools all over the world. Over time, it becomes an amazing network.’

These are just two examples of how an MBA or post graduate business degree can enable you to enhance a global network. 

Studying for an MBA gives you an exceptional platform for networking at the highest level. During your MBA, you will be part of a diverse and experienced group of professionals, studying with people who have been carefully selected, while benefiting from top quality connections with the alumni of some of the world’s best Business Schools. Afterwards, people in you class will probably be successful in their field, so will be great contacts to have.

AMBA has a membership network of 30,000 MBA students and graduates in more than 100 countries across the world, who regularly connect via our online community or at our social events across the globe. 

We are here to support you throughout your MBA journey and afterwards, through knowledge sharing, networking, and learning events. 

Visit to find out more.