What is a Global MBA?

what-is-a-global-mbaWhile the traditional Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree has been a distinctive calling card for corporation bound business students for a number of years, a Global MBA (GMBA) presents students with internationally flavored program curricula, student body and internship opportunities. As more companies recognize opportunities for doing business in foreign markets, graduates who have international business training and experience become more professionally valuable to them than graduates of traditional MBA programs at comparably rated schools.

GMBA programs help students to explore the socioeconomic, cultural and geopolitical considerations that can impact international business transactions. Although many MBA programs offer broad based courses that are heavily management centric, there are opportunities for students to customize GMBA programs to position themselves for jobs in niche business categories that interest them or that are in high demand.

Here are some examples of GMBA specializations, experiential learning options and career opportunities for GMBA graduates.

Popular Concentration Areas

Some GMBA programs offer a number of concentration areas, but popular ones almost always include global marketing, accounting, finance and supply chain management. W

hen a company decides to sell its products overseas, it needs to generate branding and promotional strategies that convey the appropriate messages about the products in ways that reflect the target market’s language and culture. These companies must also keep track of their fiscal transactions that are related to international business activities, and the accounting standards currently vary by country. International and multinational business entities employ accountants who are proficient with the International Financial Reporting Standards which are taught in GMBA programs that have concentrations in global accounting. Global finance majors are exposed to fiscal issues that relate to currency exchange rates, inflation within developing markets and country specific banking regulations.

Related: What is an MBA in International Business?

Shipping of raw materials and finished goods has become very efficient thanks to the expertise of global supply chain managers and technological improvements in inventory management. Global supply chain management becomes even more interesting as the world experiences volatility in the oil market which indirectly drives transportation and just in time shipments of goods worldwide. Global supply chain management majors also learn how to apply risk management techniques to common case study problems. GMBA supply chain management graduates can help to make sure that their employers’ goods get to retail shelves on time and in quantities that appropriately meet demand.

Study Abroad and Internship Opportunities

One of the most exciting elements of Global MBA programs is the opportunity to learn about different economic markets and cultures. Many up and coming international business schools recognize the impact that the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) economic bloc will have on the world’s economy. For example, it is projected that one in three of the world’s citizens will speak Chinese as a first language in fewer than 20 years. Subsequently, study abroad programs that take place in China and internships with partnered businesses in China are becoming popular.

Careers for Graduates

The careers that are available for GMBA graduates are challenging and varied. Graduates can represent their companies’ interests abroad, or they can help them to develop relationships with business partners within their targeted markets. The government also employs GMBA graduates in foreign service positions that include business administration, accounting, finance and operations management.


Emerging world economies and technological advances almost make it necessary for many companies to consider international business opportunities to remain viable. The training that Global MBA graduates get both inside and outside of the classroom makes it possible for them to work and become leaders in the new global economy.