Master’s in Management (MiM) degrees are proven to boost the employability of young people who lack work experience. Some 98 percent of 588 graduates of the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) in the Netherlands landed jobs within six months, with gross starting salaries of between €2,500 and €3,600 each month.
Google, McKinsey, Unilever and KPMG were among the largest employers of the school’s MiM graduates, a course for candidates with little or no work experience. The 16-month program develops students’ core business skills in accounting, strategy, finance and more. That gives them the holistic view of business that is vital to effective management.
Beyond the academics, employers are looking for motivation, drive, passion, communication and analytical skills, says RSM Career Centre director Joep Elemans. “Also, we teach our students to be a force for positive change in the world – leaders of change from within the organization,” he says.
RSM helps students land jobs through the Career Centre, which helps them discover their passion, develop skills and connects them with companies. “This support continues after they graduate, even after landing a job,” Elemans says. “They can always come back for advice.”
MiM courses have historically been more theoretical in nature than MBAs, but business schools are going to great lengths to ensure that the practical elements are enhanced, and help make up for students’ lack of professional work experience.
Case studies as part of the curriculum, for example, help students to put theory into action, testing success and failure in a controlled environment.
HEC Paris selects MiM candidates with less than 18 months’ experience, though most have already had a small taste of work in a company environment. The program at the French school is 18 months long, with participants having an average age of 23 and a 715 average GMAT score.
A gap year gives MiM students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the industry of their choice, at home or abroad. They can also complete a shorter internship at the end of their first year on the course, in order to put the skills accrued into action.
“This experience proves invaluable after completion of the MiM, as many graduates choose to return to these companies,” says Julien Manteau, HEC Paris director of strategy and global development.
The school’s rate of employment after three months is 96 percent, and graduates see a 72 percent salary growth after three years to $98,096. The majority choose consulting and investment banking: the main recruiters include the Boston Consulting Group, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley, but destinations are varied.
The program includes a wide range of specializations, including in international relations, sustainability and social innovation, catering to all tastes. “This leads to a wide-ranging assortment of industries for our alumni, including L’Oréal Paris, LVMH, Google and Facebook,” says Manteau.
He adds that many of the specializations offer career treks abroad to locations such as Silicon Valley — good for networking with recruiters.
At ESMT Berlin, 84 percent of students had job offers three months after graduation, with most working in Germany and in the consulting, ecommerce and technology industries — which are thriving in the German capital.
Although some say that MiM candidates can compete with MBAs, as they typically come into managerial roles, recruiters treat MiMs and MBAs as separate talent pools, according to Marcel Kalis, ESMT’s head of career services.
He says recruiters value the MiM graduates because they can adapt very quickly to new environments and because they bring fresh ideas to their firms.
As part of his ESMT MiM, Maximilian Gailer completed two internships — in investment banking at BNP Paribas in Frankfurt and with a Berlin-based logistics startup. He says: “Both taught me the pro and cons of two totally different working environments along with strong financial modelling and analysing skills.”
He joined ESMT after studying a bachelor’s degree in business administration at the University of Graz in Austria, and completing an internship with the European parliament. He was attracted to the diversity of the MiM cohort, which is 87 percent international, with 43 percent women. “EMST appeared very young and open minded,” Gailer says.
Now he works as a project manager for a mergers and acquisitions advisory firm, where he focuses on SMEs in the consumer-goods sector.
Gailer says the MiM has helped him in his job. “The teachers focus on a few concepts which they encourage you to apply in practical exercises. Then, you have six months to apply them in an internship and another three in a social impact consulting project. You start your career with the advantage of proper practical experience.”
Image: Sheila Steele / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 (cropped)