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Why Does Australia Make a Great MBA Destination?

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Australia as an MBA destination offers several advantages in terms of world-class programs with specialisations in finance, consulting and entrepreneurship, to name a few.

Monash University MBA programs Director Patrick Butler says he had left his teaching tenure at Trinity college in Dublin for a two-year stint in Australia. Finding Australia to be a modern, diverse, multicultural country, he decided to settle down in the country.

At the Melbourne, Victoria-based University, about one-third of the current class of 50 are international students. However, the students are so well integrated that it is hard to distinguish between the international and local students, he says. Similarly, the faculty is also international.

The Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM) and UNSW’s Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) in Sydney are among top choices for international students. Other options are the Melbourne Business School and the Curtin Graduate School of Business in Perth, the University of South Australia, Adelaide, the University of Queensland, and the University of Western Australia (UWA) in Perth.

Gao says the AGSM MBA has been designed with international graduates in mind, to help them to obtain work visas and employment following graduation. With Sydney being Australia’s financial hub, a large number of the graduates easily find openings in consulting, banking and finance.

Apart from the international cohort, another factor that makes international students feel right at home is the fact that Australian population itself boasts of great cultural diversity. AGCM admissions manager Jayne Gao points out that Sydney is one place where people of different nationalities are present everywhere.

The students who join work also find a large presence of international colleagues almost up to 70% as disclosed by a Russian alumnus at American Express, she says. This particular factor leads to more open-mindedness and friendlier attitude towards to immigrants and people coming from different cultures.

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Australia also offers plenty of job opportunities for MBA graduates. It is one of the few countries to have escaped a major recession for the past 25 years, says Prof Butler. Australia is also an economy in transition moving towards a knowledge-based economy from having enjoyed a huge resources boom over the last decade. Thus, there is a lot of scope for jobs related to high-end technology and manufacturing, high-end science-related services.

Gao says the AGSM MBA has been designed with international graduates in mind, to help them to obtain work visas and employment following graduation. With Sydney being Australia’s financial hub, a large number of the graduates easily find openings in consulting, banking and finance.

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Apart from these three sectors, Australia’s large manufacturing industry, energy, mining, and media offer plentiful job opportunities. Gao says more and more international MBA graduates are also becoming entrepreneurs and also using their connections from back home to develop international businesses.

She points out that those completing a two-year master’s degree become eligible for a two-year work visa in Australia that could lead to permanent residency permit. AGSM’s 16-month MBA program also offers an extension to facilitate students to reach the two-year mark with a six-month internship or research project.

While about 70% of AGSM’s students are from outside, an equal percentage of the total cohort stays back in the country after graduation.

Some of the B-schools are also highlighting Australia’s proximity to Asia for promoting their business programs. For instance, the University of Queensland’s has floated a Global Consulting Practicum, a three-way partnership with MBA programs at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Fudan University.

Students from each institution form a group to create solutions for real businesses that want to enter one of the three markets, Australia, the US or China.

The students pitch in to devise marketing plans, strategic plans, entry modelling and research besides learning about competition, MBA admissions team manager Caron Crossan says.

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