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Brain drain: Top U.S.-based firms snapping up Europe’s MBA talent

This figures into the talent war going on across Europe.

Some of the best business schools in the world are on the continent. But several media stories report Europe isn’t harvesting as much of that talent as you’d expect.

2c18b0aa-9ecd-11de-8013-00144feabdc0Bloomberg has a post/infographic showing United States-based companies are top beneficiaries of Europe’s MBA programs.

Those include:

McKinsey & Co., the Boston-based management consulting firm

Google, the Mountain View, Calif.-based tech hypergiant

Johnson & Johnson, the New Brunswick, N.J.-based health care/consumer products/pharma conglomerate

American Express, the Wall Street credit card/financial services giant

The Bloomberg post by Jonathan Rodkin states that while in aggregate, 20 percent of B-Schools in Europe send graduates to the United Kingdom – the top destination for MBAs – the U.S. is No. 2., claiming 11 percent. (No. 3 Spain, surprisingly, beats out Germany.)

Let’s take for example Erasmus University Rotterdam. Erasmus sees 20 percent of its MBAs stay home, but 14 percent depart to the United States, according to Bloomberg. German companies claim about 11 percent. Even London has a hard time keeping talent, with 20 percent of London Business School grads going to the U.S. More stunning is that few, if any, graduates of Copenhagen Business School stay in Denmark. About 11 percent head for the U.K., and 6.5 percent to the U.S.

(German universities seem to be the exception to all this, sending an average of only 5 percent of MBAs to the States, with about half staying in Germany.)

Part of the reason these grads appeal to U.S. multinationals is that many U.S. business schools don’t require language skills or any real exposure to other business cultures. As Newsweek points out, students in Europe and the Middle East business schools are required to learn a foreign language in addition to classes on multicultural negotiation in order to prepare students for international business environments.

What’s most interesting about all this is, most of the MBA students in Europe aren’t from Europe, according to Bloomberg. Though there’s no breakdown of nationalities, 84 percent of MBAs who graduated from European programs in 2015 were from outside of the country, compared to 32 percent at U.S. programs. (We’re guessing that Asian and Middle Eastern countries send the majority of students to Europe.)

If you’ve stuck with us all the way through this post, you’re likely interested in going to school in Europe. So you should know Bloomberg has a list of the best international business schools, which you can see here.

No. 1 Ivey is in Canada. Bloomberg’s No. 2 is especially interesting … INSEAD.

INSEAD is a global university in that it has campuses in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Interestingly, Georges Doriot, the father of modern venture capitalism, founded INSEAD in Paris in 1957.

Just about every publication and organization in Europe and Great Britain has its own list of best European MBA programs. They’re all different, but these schools make each one:

• HEC Paris

• ESADE Business School, Barcelona

Said Business School, Oxford

London Business School



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