If you’re looking to launch a global career, which business school destination should you choose? We consider why an MBA in Southeast Asia provides an excellent launch pad for international careers in business
With so many business school destinations, it’s hard to know where in the world will best prepare you for your dream career.
Many students are looking to the rapidly changing South East Asia (SEA) region to take advantage of the career opportunities available in business hubs such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City. .
With Malaysia being at the heart of SEA, the country offers an attractive starting point for those looking to make the most of their business school experience.
What does a Global MBA in Malaysia look like
If you’re looking to get your foot in the door and better understand how different companies do business in Asia, joining an MBA program with strong ties to a variety of companies is a good idea.
At the Asia School of Business (ASB), based in Kuala Lumpur, MBA students spend much of their time experiential learning with ASB partner companies in cities such as Bangkok, Jakarta, Manila or Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
ASB MBA students have the opportunity to work on projects that align with their post-MBA career goals, including those in emerging industries such as fintech and blockchain, as well as traditional industries such as consumer goods. FMCG or manufacturing, and in various business functions, including operations. or marketing.
“We find that employers have a strong preference for MBA talent who has already been exposed to local markets,” says Dong-Wook (DW) Lee, Senior Director of Career Development Office (CDO) at ASB.
“The ASB MBA provides students with extensive exposure to projects and treks in the region, allowing them to build and project their confidence in respective markets of interest,” he said.
Through these experiential learning opportunities, ASB MBA students can strengthen their soft skills in areas such as communication, empathy, and collaboration, while honing their technical expertise in areas such as data analysis and data visualization.
“ASB’s action learning experience, along with relevant career development training, is specifically designed to address both areas by getting students to reflect on these areas and practice self-awareness, which helps improve their teamwork and leadership skills,” says DW. .
The CDO hosts a series of career and thought leadership talks with industry leaders and hiring managers and offers advanced workshops on how to network and build relationships strategically.
Proof of the program’s success, the placement outcomes of the majority of ASB graduates continue to show an upward trajectory, with the most recent cohort of the MBA class of 2022 achieving a 90% placement outcome within three months. following graduation.
Job Opportunities for MBAs in Southeast Asia and Beyond
Before you decide to apply for an MBA program in a specific location, you need to make sure that you are placing yourself in a growing market that offers unique opportunities to develop your post-MBA career.
“Because Asia is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing regions in the world, the jobs you might encounter after graduation may not have existed before, forcing you to co-create a job with your potential employer,” says DW.
“For more established jobs, Asia could offer a wider range of MBA job choices. ‘an aggressive search for top MBA talent in professional services such as management consulting and financial services.’
Many international companies, including well-known tech giants, manufacturing companies and consulting firms, have regional headquarters in Singapore or Kuala Lumpur.
In Asia, there is also a growing demand for talent for those with expertise in sales, business development, manufacturing and supply chain management, adds DW.
For students seeking post-MBA careers outside of Asia, the ASB-MIT partnership offers students the opportunity to gain exposure and potentially access the US job market.
ASB students can take courses at MIT for up to three weeks during their MBA program. They are also eligible to apply for the MIT Sloan Master of Science in Management Studies (MSMS) program, which is only offered to graduates of MIT Sloan partner schools, such as ASB.
Flying Towards a Global MBA Career at AirAsia
Yizhen Fung joined the ASB MBA after wanting to transition from the public sector to the private sector. She was excited to move into a role that would allow her to experience innovation and disruption.
“Because I was open to exploring various industries and roles, the AL stream was perfect for me, as I was able to validate my passions and strengths throughout the program,” she says.
One AL project saw her designing a social commerce strategy for one of Thailand’s largest banks, while another involved designing a go-to-market plan for a Thai beer company, in the aim to enter the competitive Vietnamese beer market.
With a background in innovation, Yizhen used her business school knowledge and lessons learned from her career coaching sessions at ASB to embark on a global career with airasia Super App in Malaysia as a Senior Executive Assistant to the CEO.
“The CEO needed people who were comfortable with constant change, pressure, and who wanted to grow a fledgling business division.”
She has since held the position of Head of Strategic Partnerships.
Discover the international relevance of an MBA in Malaysia
Rafael de Ory started his MBA journey at ASB because he wanted to benefit from the rich diversity and culture that Malaysia has to offer while accelerating his career in technology.
The MBA ASB program typically attracts up to 30 different nationalities, bringing people from all over the world to work on exciting projects.
Rafael’s AL project brought him to Seoul to work with KTSAT, the leader in satellite communications in Korea, developing a strategy to create new revenue streams.
“It was truly a global company, providing satellite communications services around the world, and that required us to have a global mindset when developing strategy,” he said.
After completing the Samsung MBA Summer Internship Program, Rafael was invited to apply for the Leadership Development Rotation Program. While the rest of the applicants applied from US business schools, Rafael quickly stood out as he was the only one applying from a business school in Asia.
“I integrated my experiences from my various AL projects across Southeast Asia and North Asia, which really impressed the interviewees,” he says.
Not to mention, he leveraged the CDO’s guidance while preparing the assigned presentation for Samsung’s interview, which was edtech-themed.
Rafael was able to combine his Eastern and Western business perspective on the subject to provide a truly global picture to the Samsung interview team, proving the international portability of a Global MBA in Malaysia.