Schulich MBA Candidate Talks About Her Semester Abroad

Schulich York China

The goal of an MBA program is to prepare students for the international business world. And to do this, many programs offer an exchange opportunity, where MBAs can spend a semester abroad. In undergrad, studying abroad seems like an excellent idea, but what about when earning an MBA?

Maryam Shittu, an MBA student at the Schulich School of Business at York University, decided to set all her worries aside and spend a semester in China. She then blogged about her experience on the University website.

For Shittu, making the decision to study abroad wasn’t easy. Many of her friends and family advised her not go because they felt it would make securing a job more difficult. However, in spite of the reservations, she gave it a chance and “it was a transformational learning experience.”

To combat her concerns about missing fall recruitment, she did a lot of early legwork. She set up meetings with alumni who had previously worked or currently worked in the jobs and at the companies she desired, and she also attended as many networking events as possible. Shittu also made good use of the Career Development Center. The advice of the counselors was invaluable for preparing her for success. Plus, they even helped her prepare for how to talk about her exchange experience.

“My advice to students is to book appointments with these counselors to go over your career plan and attend all the sessions—mock interview, resume building, etc. —that they organize,” she shared. “Most of the interview questions I was asked were related to the country I went to on exchange, its international policies, its economy, local consumer behavior, etc. It also helped that I was able to frame my international experience to fit the specific position I was interviewing for. So yes, going on exchange definitely set me apart from the other candidates in this respect.”

Beyond preparing her for a great job, her exchange experience also helped her to expand her circle of friends and connections. She was able to immerse herself in a new culture with new politics, even learning a new language. It was a great chance for her to get out of her comfort zone. Plus, while she was away on exchange, she interviewed with one of the top-five banks in Canada and was offered the job.

“This exchange was the most amazing experience I have ever had in my life,” she said. “It impacted me in unquantifiable ways. It broadened my perspective, expanded my world and made me more independent.”


About the Author

Kelly Vo    

Kelly Vo is a writer who specializes in covering MBA programs, digital marketing, and personal development.

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