MBA investments
Source: University of Cambridge - Judge Business School

The best MBAs can transform the lives of its pursuers and the worlds they live in. From Apple CEO Tim Cook to Walmart CEO Douglas McMillan, these MBA graduates show the versatility of their degree across functions and industries. Their career trajectories prove their MBAs were pivotal in helping them to stand out in 21st century business.

While innovators can build the next Apple or General Motors, these products and services need to be paired with business acumen. They need to not only know how to read financial statements, build sophisticated spreadsheets, and understand how marketing works. They also need accounting, finance and computer modelling know-how. More importantly, they must have an armoury of soft skills, like resilience, effective communication, critical thinking, and more. 

With these in hand, careers can be transformed, aspirations raised, and dreams made bigger to include even the highest echelons of power in organisations, corporations and government. The four universities below offer MBAs that can fulfill these needs and more:

University of Cambridge

Brilliant people, a global force in business and society — that’s Cambridge Judge Business School. Part of the fourth-oldest university in the world, it is ranked #1 for Business and Management Studies in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework, with 94% of submissions marked “world leading” or “internationally excellent.”

MBA investments

University of Cambridge – Judge Business School

Programmes here are not short on impact. They are educational and professional breakthroughs — best exemplified through the Cambridge MBA. Combining academic rigour with an intimate and tailored learning journey, the MBA curriculum draws on all the expertise and excellence you would expect from a business school at the forefront of global business thought leadership. Highly experiential with three team projects (two with real clients on live issues in their business) and an internship in the final term, it’s one year of practical, rigorous and rewarding learning. And there’s no shortage of top companies coming over to recruit to — 94% of graduates have job offers three months out, in 24 countries. Their average package salary is 92,501 pounds.

Call it the “Cambridge MBA effect” — which doesn’t happen by chance. Cohorts are recruited from the most able, where the mean average GMAT score for the MBA current class is 690. They’re diverse — 47% are women and 46 nationalities are represented. They bring a world of global insights, network, and impact to workshops, seminars, lectures, small-group work, and digital resources. Much of this is applicable to the real world and enlivens its core courses, electives and concentrations (which run in the third term).

Perhaps more profound is the connections forged here. Cambridge is not only an inspirational environment to study in but one that boasts an unmatched intellectual experience and network. The University of Cambridge and Cambridge Judge alumni network is huge and spread across the world — ensuring support and advancement for your global career even after graduation. Budding entrepreneurs will find Cambridge a leading European centre for innovation with much to offer too, including teaching, networking, projects and its own accelerator. To learn more about an MBA at Cambridge Judge Business School, download a brochure and introduce yourself to keep in touch with the MBA Admissions Team.

SDA Bocconi School of Management

SDA Bocconi School of Management (SDA Bocconi) is a leading institution in business education with years of experience in delivering high-quality academic programmes to students from around the globe. Nestled in the heart of Milano, the school sits in one of Europe’s cultural and economic centres and a cosmopolitan environment. 

MBA investments

Established in 1971, SDA Bocconi School of Management is the best international business school in Italy. Source: SDA Bocconi School of Management/Facebook

Its programmes are designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the fast-paced world of business. SDA Bocconi’s MBA portfolio includes its Full-Time MBA, one of the best in Europe, curated to develop all-round managerial skills. The Global Executive MBA (GEMBA), developed in partnership with the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, offers the opportunity to attend some modules at partner institutions in Europe, Asia and America.

SDA Bocconi is one of the few business schools in the world that hold the “triple crown,” i.e. three of the most prestigious international accreditations: AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA. It is also the only Italian business school to feature in all the major international rankings, including Financial Times, Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek and The Economist.

The school offers specialised master’s programmes in many fields as well, such as public administration, finance and economy, healthcare, entrepreneurship, real estate, non-profit, marketing, human resources, fashion and design, food and beverage, and arts management.

MIT Sloan School of Management

MIT is one of the most recognisable universities worldwide, placing among the top across all subjects. It has particular expertise in engineering and the physical sciences but is also a strong contender for students pursuing economics, political science, urban studies, linguistics, and philosophy. 

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The mission of the MIT Sloan School of Management is to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and to generate ideas that advance management practice. Source: MIT Sloan School of Management/Facebook

Business is another subject it thrives in, and leading this is the Sloan School of Management. Its MBA programme is ranked among the world’s best. The Lisbon MBA International Full Time, for example, is a one-year international programme offered by the Cátolica-Lisbon campus and the Nova SBE campus in Lisbon, Portugal, in partnership with the MIT Sloan School of Management campus in Boston USA. 

The MBA is based on a boutique learning concept, which utilises small class sizes in order to maximize learning and build stronger relationships and networks. Students get the opportunity to undertake a one-month placement at Sloan in Boston, and can also undertake a two-month active learning placement during the summer months in order to complement their area of specialisation. 

More than that, students at Sloan have the added benefit of absorbing the bustle of activity that comes with attending a campus that is not exclusively centred around business — providing for more opportunities for connection as well as professional growth. 

IE Business School

Located in Spain, IE University is a business school that aims to nurture the leaders of tomorrow. The IE Business School ranked first place in the QS World University Rankings: Online MBA 2022 and placed in the top 30 best business schools in the latest Financial Times (FT) rankings.

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IE Business School mixes cutting-edge technologies with dynamic course content to prepare students for today’s fast-paced business world. Source: IE Business School

Following its liquid learning approach, business education here is always one step ahead. Flexible, transformative, and interactive — it’s an educational experience that adapts to the personal needs and professional aspirations of each student. The Virtual Reality (VR) Audience Simulator lets students, faculty, and staff hone their public speaking skills in front of a virtual audience. Over at the “WOW Room,” students get to collaborate and interact in a user-friendly environment for online classes and workshops.

Ultimately, IE University is a liquid learning organisation that’s ahead of its time. Hence why students from across the world enrol in the IE Business School and experience a transformational educational journey that takes their digital and entrepreneurial skills to the industry forefront. 

“I was drawn to the entrepreneurial focus of the school, the diversity of its students, its industry-leading professors, and the highly flexible format of the program,” says student Prashant Søegaard. 

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International