Travel By M.B.A. Students

Many university programs organize travel options for M.B.A. students. Trips typically include visits to companies where students can interact with leaders and executives in various fields. The trips allow students to build networking skills as well as gain exposure to real-world business operations.

“In many M.B.A. programs, lifestyle experiences are gaining on academic ones in importance. Group travel, many say, is one way to build a network.”

The New York Times

M.B.A.-student trips take many forms. Some are curricular travel, in which students receive credit as part of a class. Such trips can be financed with student loans because they are for educational purposes. Other student-organized travel is career-focused but carries no academic credit. One example is Career Trek at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where professional student clubs introduce classmates to opportunities in areas like private equity, biotech, and retailing. During breaks, Wharton clubs organize trips to more than 250 companies; participants meet with upper-level management and human-resources managers.

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Some M.B.A. travel focuses on team-building among students in a less formal setting than a classroom can allow. At the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, first-year students choose among 35 trips as part of Kwest, or Kellogg Worldwide Experience and Service Trips. Five- to eight-day excursions to places like Costa Rica and Zanzibar are designed to help first-year students get to know one another. The student-led trips cost $2,100 to $3,600 a person.

Some companies sponsor M.B.A. travel programs. One example is the Rolex M.B.A.s Conference and Regatta, a sailing race held at Santa Margherita Ligure on the Italian Riviera. In 2016, more than 20 business schools participated in the multiday gathering that included cocktails at an Italian villa and other events, including a conference with presentations by business leaders.

According to Jeremy Shinewald, founder of mbaMission (www.mbamission.com), a low to moderate travel budget for an M.B.A. student is about $5,000 for two years; spending of $20,000 to $30,000 isn’t uncommon.

“The social aspects of business school have become more prominent over the last decade -there is no doubt about that. Students go to Vegas and take over a Southwest Airlines plane, they go to the Sundance movie festival, and some of them rent houses on Lake Tahoe.”

Prof. Jeffrey Pfeffer

Stanford Graduate School of Business

The New York Times

Market Resources

Institute of International Education, 809 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017. (212) 883-8200. (www.iie.org)

World Youth Student and Educational Travel Confederation, Keizersgracht 174-176, 1016 DW Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Tel: +31 20 421 28 00. (www.wysetc.org)

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