Placements with MBA and post-graduate students

For employers who want to work with students, but need someone with a little bit more experience, an MBA (Master of Business Administration) or postgraduate student may be the way to go.


Each year, the Business Schools at the Glasgow, Strathclyde and Edinburgh Universities recruit more than 100 full-time MBA students between them. They are enrolled on a 12-month course commencing in September every year and must have a minimum of three years’ management experience upon entry. Therefore, MBA students are often substantially more experienced than undergraduates, and are a fantastic option when recruiting a graduate to work on a business-growth project.


Students come from all over the world and a range of industry backgrounds to enrol in Scottish universities’ MBA programmes. International students on a Tier 4 visa can work part-time during their studies, and full-time during the four month period between completing the course and the expiry of their visa (September to January).  This four month window is an ideal opportunity to employ an MBA student to work on a specific project, for example, exploring entry to new markets or strategies to develop current markets.


For businesses aiming to develop their supply and distribution chains in  new or key international markets, employing an experienced MBA student who has language skills and cultural awareness together with business connections in that area, could certainly benefit the company.


Organisations can also work with postgraduates through the ‘Making the Most of Masters’ programme, which aims to improve collaboration between employers and universities to provide work-based dissertation projects for Masters students. Regional economic development body, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), has partnered with nine universities including Stirling, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, to grow the number of postgraduate placement opportunities in the Highlands and Islands.


Global customer relationship organisation, Percepta in Glasgow, has benefited from taking on an MBA student. Bo Tang had three years’ experience of B2B sales in China prior to commencing the MBA programme at the Adam Smith Business School in 2014.


Initially, Percepta offered Bo a short-term internship during the four months following the completion of his MBA as he was able to work full-time on his Tier 4 student visa.


As a result of the quality of Bo’s work, Percepta wanted to keep him on beyond his visa’s expiry date.  Percepta became a UKVI registered Tier 2 sponsor and Bo is now employed by the company as a social media and digital marketing specialist.


Another company to take the opportunity of an MBA placement was Edinburgh-based Spoonfed, an online management software application for caterers and restaurants.


Chih-wei was an experienced marketer having worked in her native Taiwan for an international export firm. Spoonfed hired Chih-wei as part of her company-based dissertation to explore opportunities in the Taiwanese market and completed a 12-week project handling international enquiries.


After a successful initial placement period, Spoonfed sponsored Chih-wei’s Tier 2 visa and she is now employed full-time as Spoonfed’s international business development manager.


For more information regarding working with MBA students, get in touch with your local university’s business school.


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