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A Worldwide Network: The Benefit of Online Global MBA Programs

May 22, 2024
A group of business people in silhouette meet in a conference room; the Hong Kong skyline is visible behind them through a large window.

The COVID-19 pandemic practically shut down international travel and profoundly stemmed the flow of international students from country to country. Surprisingly, it did not have quite the same impact on the transborder flow of goods. In fact, a 2023 McKinsey Global Institute report suggests that the US and Europe experienced an uptick of around 6 percent in resource and manufactured goods flows in 2020 and 2021, at the peak of pandemic disruptions.

That same McKinsey report notes that every region of the world depends on another to provide at least 25 percent of its essential products (those could be goods, minerals, or even data). The takeaway: nothing, not even a pandemic, seems likely to slow the growth of international business. Even so, global business operators will continue to face significant challenges. Operating across borders successfully requires leadership with high-level management capabilities and interdisciplinary awareness. It requires highly skilled and versatile leaders.

Success in the international business landscape requires mastery of more than business fundamentals. It demands an understanding of business contextualized by a firm grasp of international affairs. They need to understand international laws and regulations; cultural, political, and religious considerations; international supply chain; and sustainable business dynamics, for starters. That’s what the Master of Global Business Administration program at Tufts University delivers. Read on to learn how the degree program helps students build the skill sets and cultivate a worldwide network that could bring them closer to their career goals. 

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What Is a Master of Global Business Administration?

A Master of Global Business Administration combines the key features of a traditional Master of Business Administration and a master’s in international affairs to teach international business within a broader, more nuanced context. The GBA program merges core business curriculum with a global perspective on economics, law, social, and environmental impact to prepare students to lead in the complex world of multinational business.

In contrast, MBAs typically equip students with foundational skill sets applicable across a broad range of businesses and business functions. These may include accounting, marketing, strategy, finance, operations, supply chain management, and communication courses.

The Benefits of an Online Global Business Administration Program

Tuft’s Master of Global Business Administration provides prospective students with foundational business knowledge informed by an international perspective. The program is especially well-suited to professionals who aspire to: 

  • Pivot careers: Students looking to enter the global business forum will develop new, career-changing skills to supplement their existing skill sets.
  • Advance along a current career trajectory: Students learn how to apply existing business knowledge and skills to global commerce, gaining critical international legal, cultural, and political context in the process
  • Develop networks: Students study with international changemakers, learn alongside peers from across professional sectors and geographic locations, and graduate to join a worldwide alumni network.
  • Transition between sectors: The program teaches fundamental principles and skills applicable across social, public, and private enterprises in the global marketplace, facilitating career shifts from one sector to another. 
  • Make an impact: The Master of Global Business Administration encompasses the skills required to impact environmental, social, legal, and regulatory policies and practice.

Joining a Diverse Cohort of GBA Students

The Tufts GBA program prepares students for proactive leadership that anticipates industry trends and devises forward-thinking strategies and solutions. The curriculum covers the skills required to excel in global business—communication, analytics,marketing, finance, entrepreneurship—within an international framework that builds contextual intelligence. Students develop a 360-degree perspective that factors geopolitical, legal, social, and environmental issues into business decisions. 

The diversity of the student body is part of the process. Successful GBA cohorts typically convene students from varied ethnic, linguistic, academic, and professional backgrounds. Tufts’ GBA program features a diverse student body reflecting the modern business world. Students hail from numerous countries and US states; to date, 34 languages have been represented in the program. Cohorts also represent diverse career experiences; prior and current students have included analysts, business owners, marketing directors, intelligence officers, and political advisors.

Solidify Business Foundations, Gain Crucial International Affairs Context

The Tufts GBA program presents experiential international course content through video case studies, interactive sessions, and group work. The program offers required sources and electives in four disciplines:

  • Business Foundations solidifies your core skill set with classes such as Global Marketing Management, International Supply Chains, and Sustainable Business Dynamics. 
  • Global Context informs your business knowledge with global insights. Courses include International Security, Negotiating Leadership, and The Politics of the Global Economy. 
  • International Law comprises International Business Law and Mergers and Acquisitions, where students focus on legal context and cross-border transactions
  • Analytical Tools concentrates on quantitative reasoning with courses such as Decision Analysis for Business or Managerial Economics.

The Tufts GBA curriculum includes on-campus and international immersions. The on-campus immersion, held at Tufts University’s Boston campus, commences the capstone project and gives students the opportunity to collaborate in person and attend faculty-led seminars. The international immersion offers networking opportunities; students can access high-ranking international business leaders who share their first-hand experience managing global business challenges. 

How a GBA Can Support Your Career Goals

Many industries and sectors operate internationally; a GBA can help you add the skills and expertise these employers seek. Here are five examples of career paths that could benefit from the international business training you’ll receive in a GBA program:

  • Multinational corporations: Businesses operating internationally must understand the nuances of international law, cultural differences, and global economics and how they affect labor laws, supply chains, political instability, security issues, and trade.
  • Nonprofit and multilateral organizations: Addressing food security, human rights concerns, sustainability efforts, and climate change typically involves complex negotiations managing diverse and potentially opposing viewpoints. 
  • Consulting: Providing global organizations with complex strategic, social, and political guidance requires a strong background in analytics and international affairs.
  • Finance: Evolving trends can affect public and corporate finance. Understanding global macroeconomic, policy, regulatory, and legal circumstances can prepare your organization for market volatility.
  • Public sector and military: Strong management skills and a firm grasp of complex real-world issues are paramount when facing policy, security, and economic challenges.

Lead an Emerging Market by Pursuing Your Online GBA from Tufts

Earning an from an accredited university can bring you one step closer to your career goals. Ranked among the top universities for global policy, public affairs, and international studies programs by Foreign Policy Magazine, The Fletcher School at Tufts University offers an online GBA that couples foundational business education with international context.

The Fletcher School has produced Fortune 500 CEOs, heads of state, entrepreneurs, and nonprofit and military leaders since 1933. Students who graduate from this program will join an alumni network that lives and works in over 135 countries. 

Earning a Master of Global Business Administration from Tufts demonstrates your ability to analyze trends, anticipate international business risks and opportunities, and build a network to advance your career. Contact a Tufts’ enrollment advisor to learn more about the degree, or start your application today.

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