At orientation for the T’13s just a few weeks ago, the CIB led a session on how to globalize your Tuck education. We showed a short video of GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt (Dartmouth Class of 1978), who addressed Tuck’s 2011 graduating class. He told the graduates that a global career was inevitable, so embrace the global opportunities when they arise. I couldn’t agree more.
I’ve met with several T’13s since the orientation session. I have a general framework for what I want the students to think about:
• What do you want, career-wise? Where are the international components?
• Look at individual companies. What are the global opportunities?
• When is it likely to get an expat assignment?
• When is it the right time to take an expat assignment?
• What experiences are you missing that might be attractive to employers?
I urge students to make a plan. MBA students need to plan in advance, and they need a Plan A and a Plan B. I tell students to always have a backup plan just in case something doesn’t go exactly as expected.
Outside of the core curriculum, there are courses that incorporate international travel, like the Tuck Global Consultancy, the CIB Learning Expeditions, or the Mini Course at IE Business School in Madrid, Spain. Some of the First-Year Projects have a global theme. A few of the electives dive deep into global topics. For some students, a term abroad with Tuck’s exchange program might be a good fit.
I’ve been at the CIB since 2006, and I’m seeing a slow evolution among the MBA students at Tuck. The global message is hitting home. The economic situation and the recession also play into attitudes and opportunities. The credibility of markets like China and India are stabilizing and flourishing.
I fear that some students don’t fully realize the immediacy of globalization when it comes to their careers. Some might think that global opportunities will come 5 or 6 years after graduation, but not necessarily so. MBA students are very pragmatic and ambitious.
So, as Jeff Immelt said: “All of you [MBA graduates] are going to take the same global journey that I’ve taken, only faster.” And I would add: plan accordingly.
[cross posted at the Tuck School Admissions Blog]