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The Master of Science in International Management in 2015
Students in the final year of their bachelor program face a complex decision about what to do after they graduate. Pursuing a master’s degree is a logical next step, but even then there are many possibilities both at Tilburg as well as at other universities. One such possibility is the Master of Science in International Management at Tilburg University. We asked the academic director, dr. Jeroen Kuilman, a number of questions about this one-year program.
- First of all, what does this program look like?
The program will actually go through a major overhaul in the coming year to increase its attractiveness. Starting in September 2015, the program will change from a two-semester program to a four-unit structure. The last unit will then be reserved for thesis writing and possible internships, which the program did not facilitate well in the past. The program will offer courses in the basic business disciplines (marketing, finance, accounting, and general management, all with a strong international focus) but also offers practical skills training. In the new set-up, there will be a course on consultancy as well language training. Students should pick a language that is neither their mother tongue nor English, so they could end up taking Chinese or Spanish classes. We have two entry moments, in February and September.
- What should IBA students take this program? Isn’t it more of the same? I can imagine they would want to choose a more specialized master.
There are a couple of responses I would have to your question. To start with, International Management is a so-called pre-experience program, meaning that the set-up is intended to prepare students for the job market in the best way possible, in terms of offering practical skills training and other career services. Last year’s statistics show that we actually have been quite succesful in this respect. It took our graduates on average 3.2 months to find a job (as opposed to an average of 6 months for other masters at Tilburg University and elsewhere) and their average starting salaries are higher than those of other masters (2928 euro gross, as opposed to 2500-2700 for most other programs). Second, we should keep in mind that this is a program at the master level, so the courses will be more advanced by zooming in more on specific topics. At the same time we aim to broaden the skill set of students, for instance in terms of languages. Third, specialization can certainly be a good strategy, but as the statistics that I just mentioned show this does not necessarily have to result in a job market advantage. In fact, one can also start to specialize after being hired, this is what company traineeships are intended to do.
- Why not study International Management at another university?
With the newly designed program that will start in 2015, I believe we will be at least as competitive as international management programs in for instance Maastricht or Rotterdam. I think the key is in the details. Rotterdam’s program takes longer (18 months as opposed to 12 months) and is very strict on entry requirements. The latter also applies to Maastricht. In this respect, we are still more open to admissions as we don’t require tests such as GMAT. What is also distinct about this master is its small scale. Each year we have only about 65 students, most of them are non-Dutch. This small scale creates a nice community feel, which is harder to get at other places.
- Finally, in what kind of positions and companies do your graduates end up?
Many end up in management traineeships or positions such as consultant, account manager, business analyst, or project manager. They work in a variety of international companies, including Accenture, IBM, Philips, Unilever, Deutsche Bank, KPMG, and Air France-KLM. We are always very proud to see our students doing well at these companies.