“If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll always get the same results” – Tom Peters

First things first. Education for its own sake won’t make you a better CFO or help you complete a Type 7 Transfer more seamlessly.

But spending a year or more analysing how effective businesses work – and then painstakingly dissecting their key operational and strategic components – almost certainly will.

It’s absolutely the case that if you study for an MBA you’ll learn hugely important skills that might take you a decade or more to acquire by trial and error. It’s also true that if you want to do this, it makes sense to do it in one of the very best business schools, where the proven track record of alumni success speaks for itself.

Precisely why SME Advisor spoke to Hult International Business School, which not only has a tremendously strong reputation for practical, ‘real world’ skills training, but – with campuses in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai and Shanghai – truly has a finger on the pulse of international trends and keynote global business issues.

For those skeptical about the power of an MBA to make a swift, all-apparent change to their jobs, lifestyle and career rewards, it’s worth considering this: according to the Financial Times rankings, Hult students’ average salary three years after graduation rose by 14 percent to USD 113,700 – the most of any business school.

How does excellence in the rankings translate into practical value for an SME manager? The School’s Dean, Dr. Amanda Nimon Peters, comments that: “There are really five ways in which the MBA has immediate practical value. These are:

1) You gain a cross-functional, management view of business. Hult’s emphasise is on a practical education that you can put to use from Day One of your new job. It ensures you get an all-round perspective on business – working on all sides of the company and having to consider their impact on the bottom line.

Many people are used to doing a job where they don’t have to consider the bottom line at all; but here, they learn how to make the company’s performance their primary focus – understanding how margins are built and influenced and the interaction between every side of the business.

2) You gain actual experience in live management consulting. Every student takes part in a six-week Action Project, developing core skills in the context of hands-on consultancy for a real company. Globally, Hult students have completed consultancy projects for multinationals such as IBM, Samsung and Nike.

In Dubai, they are working with Fedex, Dubai Trade, Dubai Health Care City and Stanton Chase International. These companies challenge our students to find innovative solutions to business questions and then help them implement the findings. This is not an academic classroom exercise – this is real-life consulting! It’s significant that businesses have sometimes implemented the students’ findings even when they’d already come up with a different answer themselves!

3) You learn proven business strategies that might take you ten years to discover by trial and error in the corporate world.

4) You can’t help but develop totally fresh perspectives on your career goals and overall life priorities.

5) You will gain a global network of contacts. Our classes are truly diverse – we use nationality quotas to ensure diversity – and we offer the opportunity to rotate to our other international campuses so you have the opportunity to build the basis of an extremely powerful future network.”

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Hult offers a range of highly skills-focused and employability-driven business school programs including a range of MBA options and a comprehensive one year Masters in International Business. To find out more, take a look at our blog The biggest bank in the Middle East has partnered with Hult International Business School to train its potential future leaders. Download a brochure or get in touch today to find out how Hult can help you to learn about the business world, the future, and yourself.