So what's the big deal with diversity? We see it mentioned in every MBA brochure and emblazoned in every MBA website but what does diversity actually mean and why all the buzz?
Diversity is the state or quality of being different or varied*. It’s a simple enough theory to grasp, and so it’s understandable that within an MBA classroom, diversity should mean that candidates come from a wide range of international, educational and professional backgrounds and span a wide age-range.
However, there’s diversity and there’s true diversity, so make sure that things are clear when you do your research on your choice of MBA programme. Geographical diversity shouldn’t just mean that candidates come from all over the country. While figures might show that the majority of a class is international, ensure that this doesn’t mean that 80% of these are from the same origin or that all the native candidates have simply been sent to begin their MBA on another international campus.
Kerry LaPrees, an American MBA participant commented on the diversity in the EDHEC Global MBA. “While I chose the EDHEC Global MBA for several reasons, the aspect that attracted me the most was the international diversity of the candidates. It has been very insightful to have such a plethora of viewpoints represented in our class and in the team projects. Our seminars on Leadership and Sense Making have provided other instances where such a cultural diversity has been very educational. It was very beneficial to get a wide perspective on how to motivate people, as well as how to suggest ways to improve. In our role-playing activities, it was extremely beneficial for me, as an American, to practice with someone from India, China, and Japan. Because these interactions depend so much on body language and other subtle cues, it was a great learning opportunity to have feedback during these cross-cultural exchanges. »
The EDHEC Global MBA takes diversity a step further. Not only are we ranked by the Economist as the 7thmost geographically diverse MBA in the world and 16th for the overall diversity of our participants, but we also seek diverse personality types in the selection of candidates and this makes a difference to group-work and classroom dynamics.
“When true diversity makes its way into classroom, not only do the discussions and teamwork become far richer but also the overall learning experience becomes highly transformational” explains Dr Emmanuel Metais, EDHEC Global MBA Director “At EDHEC, we seek potential in all sorts of personality type and use it as a transformation lever. In the end, such ability to think and act global is what companies really value when they recruit MBAs.“