By José Francisco Schuster
MBA in Canada offers career upgrading to Brazilians
More and more, Brazilians are looking to Canada to get their MBAs. ”Canada is a very good destination to obtain your MBA because of the work opportunities in sectors such as oil & gas, finance, marketing and consulting”, says Teresa Pires, assistant director for Recruitment & Admissions of Queen’s School of Business, who was recently in Brazil recruiting students. ”If the student completes our 12-month MBA with a four month internship or a double-degree that could be done in 16 months, they could get a 3 year work permit”, she adds.
Another advantage is that a Canadian MBA is perceived as a higher standard of certification. Pires points out that Queen’s University which is based in Kingston (midway between Toronto and Montreal) is infamous. “Canada has much to offer in terms of access to top companies through our Business Career Centre and our Alumni network is very large across the country”, she says.
THE COACHING CULTURE
The one-year program at Queen’s provides students with a ‘coaching culture’ that allows students to have access to four coaches (personal, lifestyle, career and team). “We have been ranked number one in Business Week Canada 2012 and number four globally”, says the assistant director. According to her, Brazilians work very well in teams and enjoy the close collaboration among students. “The Brazilian students that have participated in our program have met our minimum score requirement of seven on the TOEFL and 100 on IELTS exams. They are extremely successful, very personable, and warm.”
Rodolfo Licastro Sant’Anna, a graduate from Queen’s MBA program, says he has chosen Canada for its great learning opportunities and the cost of living is reasonable unlike that to Europe. Friendliness towards foreign students and solid economy certainly helps one decide where the best program lies for them. In addition, he had friends in Montreal and Calgary who could help during his experience. After researching MBA programs in Canada, Sant’Anna visited six universities and opted for the program at Queen’s. Being brought up with a Brazilian education has brought more opportunities to foreign students.
He came to Canada with his wife and two young daughters (five and one-year old at the time), and says that his wife and he did not have problems adapting to a new culture in Canada. The older daughter had difficulties with English during the first three months and both girls experienced the differences between types of meals, schools and daycare systems that were vastly different from what they were used to in Brazil. “Canadians are very understanding with other cultures and that helped us a lot”, he adds.
Sant’Anna was an advanced English student when he came, but his biggest challenge was to absorb the high amount of information, “until you start to think in English”. His MBA took one year, from May 2010 to April 2011 and led him to a promotion at Petrobras, the Brazilian oil company. “Queen’s University offers coaching, small classes, and a friendly environment that draws international students and is conducive to a productive education. Also, Canada is a wonderful country, full of polite people who respect the differences of all peoples.”