Getting a Top MBA in Switzerland | Everything You Need To Know
17 April, 2021
If a top-tier international MBA is your goal then there are many countries in Europe to consider. One among them is Switzerland.
The IMD, St. Gallen, GSEM, etc. are among the top B-schools in Switzerland and also the world; and a MBA degree from any of these institutions will provide you the much needed recognition and career boost!
B School Ranking in Europe
Just take a look at how these schools rank against the other top MBA program in Europe:
IESE Business School-University of Navarra (Spain)
$82,000 – $105,000 depending on Industry
Erasmus Rotterdam School of Management (Netherlands)
$70,000 – $90,000
Copenhagen Business School (Denmark)
University of St. Gallen (Switzerland)
Mannheim Business School (Germany)
The Lisbon MBA (Portugal)
So, right off the bat you know that pursuing an MBA in Switzerland will provide you with a great career opportunity. The real question is how you make this happen!
Scoring a top-tier MBA program is not an easy process. It takes a lot of prep and understanding. But with the right attitude you can definitely make it to IMD or St. Gallen!
So, let’s get started.
Basic requirements for MBA in Switzerland
GMAT & GPA
Just like any other international MBA program you will need to take the GMAT to qualify. Have a look at the average GMAT score requirements by some of the top B-schools in Europe to get a better understanding:
Average GMAT Score
HEC – Paris
IE Business School
Mannheim Business School
IESE Business School – Navarra
University of St. Gallen
European School of Mgmt (ESMT)
There are two very important things to note here. The average score depicted in this chart is by no means a ‘cut-off’ mentioned by the respective B-school. Rather, it is a benchmark that you should strive to meet. The other thing is that it is quite possible to get admitted to these B-schools with a lower GMAT score!
If you are applying to IMD with a 650 GMAT score, you still stand a chance. But, what you will need is a strong application. Key work experience, great extra-curriculars, and a good GPA from a reputed university can help you get through even with a low GMAT score.
The GPA will operate in a similar way as well. If you have a low GPA you should try to improve your GMAT score as much as possible. The institute from where you have gained your graduation degree will also matter. A candidate from a top institute is more likely to be preferred by the admission committee even with a lower than average GPA.
Any top MBA program in Switzerland will require applicants to have completed at least 3 years of full-time work experience. But if you are looking at the absolute top list of schools, then the average work experience is 5-6 years.
But, what the admissions committee will look out for is key work experience. Each B-school has a certain industry that it feeds to, and if you already belong to that industry, your chances are much higher of being selected even with 3 - 4 years of experience. Take a look at the top industries that the recent IMD batch was placed to:
Source: Poets & Quants, IMD Employment Reports
Another aspect of your work experience that counts a lot is the position you hold and the regularity of promotions. If you are from a small company but have achieved a position of leadership then your application will definitely be strong. At the same time, someone from a Fortune 500 company will also be a step ahead of the competition.
Make sure that you present your work experience in an organized manner. And if any of the B-schools happen to ask for international work experience, then you can take a look at the video below:
You will need to have taken the TOEFL or IELTS test to apply to any of these schools, and the admissions committee will also ask you to present a set of recommendation letters. These LORs are not a mere formality and can also add strength to your application. See tips on crafting perfect letter of recommendation.
The Top-Tier MBA Mindset
Understanding the program you are applying to is extremely important for a MBA applicant. You are most likely to be asked this question directly or indirectly, and how you answer it will matter a lot!
This is where the concept of a mindset comes into play. The top-tier MBA schools around the world look for certain characteristics in their applicants. These characteristics are brought out through the application questions and the interview round.
Another important aspect to consider is networking. Being in touch with the faculty and the alumni of a school will help you develop and affinity. You should start attending the various webinars hosted by these schools and if possible e-mail the alumni seeking advice. And if you can manage a school visit before the application you will have great chances of building a network.
So, are you ready to try and make it to the top B-schools for a MBA in Switzerland? Watch this video below to create a strong game-plan!