NUS EMBA Programs Ranked 5th and 17th by Financial Times – Singapore MBA News Aug – Oct 2013

INSEAD receives a huge donation… NUS and NTU EMBA programs climb the Financial Times rankings… Nanyang’s new Dean shares his vision for the school… and will the MBA scene change as Asia becomes a center of the business world?

INSEAD Receives $5 million Donation to Help with Expansion of Campus (Asia One)

“A leader among INSEAD’s international alumni who has a passion for sustainability has stepped forward with a donation of S$5 million to support the expansion of the school’s Asia campus in Singapore.

The gift from André Hoffmann, Vice Chairman of F. Hoffmann-LaRoche, the global pharmaceutical and medical diagnostic pioneer, and 1990 graduate of INSEAD’s MBA programme, is directed towards the construction of INSEAD’s innovative new Leadership Development Centre in Singapore.”

NUS EMBA Programs Ranked 5th and 17th in the World by Financial Times (Straits Times)
“The National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School’s double-degree programme with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has retained its position at fifth in the world, while the School’s Asia Pacific Executive (Apex) Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme climbed nine places to 17th in the Financial Times’ (FT) Global EMBA Rankings 2013. Nanyang Technological University (NTU) too performed will, debuting at 13th place.”

Nanyang MBA ranked 64th in World by the Economist (Channel News Asia)

“Nanyang Technological University’s business school has climbed eight places in The Economist’s global ranking of full-time Master of Business Administration (MBA) programmes. It has moved up to the 64th position, from 72th a year ago. That is the highest placing ever by a Singapore business school in the magazine’s ranking, said the university in a statement.”

New Dean Shares Vision for Nanyang Business School Graduates (Nayang Business School Web Site)

“Sharing his vision for the school, he said students will be trained in a more holistic style, encompassing thought leadership and tapping cross-faculty modules such as psychology.”

The MBA’s New Dawn (Forbes)

“The balance of world economic power is shifting east, and the potential impact on business education is huge. Though the Graduate Management Admissions Council  reports that candidates from Asia Pacific make up 57% of the applicant pool to U.S. two-year M.B.A. programs, the heavy flow of applicants to schools in Europe and North America may drop off as the East’s brightest and best opt for study closer to home, and case studies about Asian companies become more relevant than those about their Western peers.”

Chicago Booth EMBA Moves to Hong Kong – Singapore MBA News July 2013

With the Fall application season right around the corner, there is much news to report in the Singapore MBA scene. Chicago Booth decides to move its top-ranked EMBA program to Hong Kong with the last “Singapore” class graduating in 2015, after being in Singapore for 15 years… which although a blow to Singapore’s education hub aspirations, should open up opportunities for NUS, NTU and SMU in the EMBA space…  The NUS / UCLA Anderson EMBA ranks 3rd in the inaugural Economist EMBA rankings…. the only other Asian MBA EMBA program ranked is HKUST / Kellogg… INSEAD launches a Masters in Finance degree on its Singapore campus… As always, my comments are in italics.

School News

Chicago Booth Moves Its EMBA Program to Hong Kong (Bloomberg July 23) – here’s the Asia One piece

The UCLA Anderson / NUS Executive EMBA Program Ranked 3rd in Inaugural Economist Rankings (Economist July 18)

Nanyang Business School Hires New Dean (NTU Website) – Dean Kumar spent nearly 3 decades at USC Marshall and most recently, spent 2 years as Dean of Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology’s MBA program. 

NTU’s Nanyang Business School Launches Nanyang MBA Business Advisory Council (NTU Website July 16, 2013) – the council includes 10 senior business leaders in Singapore and is part of the school’s renewed focus on being “industry relevant.”

SMU Signs 6 MOU’s with Top Indian Universities for Masters and Executive Education (The Hindu July 17)

INSEAD launches Masters in Finance Degree (Insead Website) The post-experience degree is “designed to provide experienced financial industry professionals with the competitive skills to advance their careers and make greater contributions to their organisations—while they continue working.”

Useful Admissions Tips

How do B-Schools Factor IR Scores into MBA Admissions (Business Because) – looks like the IR score will become more important to business schools, especially for those planning careers in consulting.

“With only a year of information, the initial surveys reports MBAs that go into Consulting, Operations, and Finance have higher IR scores than the MBAs who go into human resources, marketing, or general management. In the middle of a conference call with GMAC – it was announced that top consulting firms like McKinsey and Bain have taken interest in knowing an applicant’s IR scores.” 

The Truth About MBA Applications (Bloomberg Business Week June 13 2013) – Wow! 57% of candidates surveyed used consultants during the admissions process. Candidates should at the very least get a family member or colleague or friend to read and edit their essays.

“A survey of more than 350 business school applicants by a group that represents MBA admissions consultants found that 57 percent used consultants during the admissions process—far more than previous studies have found. And 38 percent were asked to write their own letters of recommendation, with some groups—including international applicants and those in finance—reporting far higher numbers.”

Nanyang MBA Admissions Q&A with Mr. Nick Soriano, Director of MBA Marketing and Admissions, NTU

“By introducing the new 12-month curriculum for 2013, we are trying to address the present and future needs of industry with regards to MBA hires. We have focused on the 3 different aspects of what industry needs are: leadership across cultures, a stronger and deeper knowledge of Asia, and relevance to today’s world.”

Mr. Nick Soriano, Director of MBA Marketing & Admissions at Nanyang Technological University, joined the show to discuss the Nanyang MBA’s major curriculum changes (focus on leadership across cultures, Asia business, industry relevance) and format changes (16 months to 12 months) while also giving an insider’s look into the program’s stringent admissions process.

The Nanyang MBA was ranked #32 by the Financial Times, making it the top-ranked Singapore MBA program for 2013.  As Nick points out, Singapore has over 6,000 MNCs headquartered there and is consistently ranked as one of the world’s easiest places to do business. Singapore’s strategic position between China and India – along with its safe and clean environment and mix of Eastern and Western influences – makes it one of the most desired work locations in Asia.

Nick emphasized that the curriculum changes were made in concert with Asia’s rise in the world economy and employer demand for MBAs who can lead across cultures. The new curriculum requires an 8-month leadership module, industry project and business study mission. Nanyang also has double MBAs with Waseda (Japan), St. Gallen (Switzerland) and a double masters with ESSEC (France).

The Nanyang (NTU) MBA in 3 words: challenging, interactive, rewarding.

Listen on for much, much more!

Program Highlights

  • Class size: 80-100 students, 22 different nationalities
  • Program: 1-year length, starts in July
  • New 12-month curriculum starting in 2013 (used to be 16-months)
  • Accredited by EQUIS and AACSB
  • Program focus is on sustainability and corporate governance, a deeper knowledge of Asia, and relevance to today’s world and industry
  • New emphasis on leadership across cultures – 2 trimesters (8 months) will be spent on leadership modules, workshops, and talks
  • Nanyang established the first center of cultural intelligence in the world
  • Industry project and business study mission are new mandatory requirements
  • Singapore is a great combination of East and West with over 6,000 MNCs headquartered here.
  • Singapore is one of the safest and cleanest countries of the world


  • 3 stages: 1) paper assessment 2) interview stage 3) selection based on cumulative score ranking
  • Weightage of criteria (i.e. academic performance, GMAT, career progression, leadership potential, referees, interview) changes each year depending on market criteria
  • With a shorter 12-month program, leadership potential and profile fit with career goals will be weighted more heavily
  • Minimum GMAT score requirement: 600.  Average GMAT score: 672.  Also accept GRE.
  • Minimum work experience requirement: 2 years
  • Round 1 deadline end of Dec (batch mode)
  • Round 2 deadline end of March (rolling admissions),
  • Round 2 decisions returned faster as Nanyang is building class around Round 1 admits


  • 20% of class gets scholarships ranging from 20-50% of admissions fees
  • Scholarships are merit based, and for students who have first accepted a place in the program
  • International students can get loans in Singapore, but need a local guarantor


  • Nanyang has greatest reputation in Singapore, India and China, but is also well regarded in other countries
  • Graduates have a short window post-graduation to look for a job (this timeframe changes each year)

Get In Touch

Show Notes:


Singapore MBA Straight Talk: MBA Salaries in Singapore

last updated: January 2023

In our “Straight Talk” series, we go beyond schools’ marketing campaigns and give straight answers to MBA applicants’ most pressing questions.

One of the most popular posts on this site is What’s the Average Salary for Singapore MBA Graduates. A MBA is a huge investment, with tuitions ranging from 70K SGD (SMU) to 71K SGD (Nanyang MBA) to 91K SGD (NUS) to ~140K SGD (INSEAD). Naturally, those seeking MBAs in Singapore want to know what starting average salaries are to figure out their possible return on investment.

In this Straight Talk post, I want to focus on what average salaries are for MBA graduates from NUS, Nanyang and SMU, and help you cut through the often conflicting salary information you see on school web sites, ranking publications, and salary sites (INSEAD has a very detailed employment statistics report which is pretty much self-explanatory).

The short answer? Look at NUS MBA’s graduate employment report which gives mean ($74K USD) and median ($66K USD) salaries. NUS used to give these figures by function, industry, and location. Sadly, not anymore. Or they exist but are difficult to find on their website! (Nanyang’s site does not list the average starting salary of its graduates; SMU’s lists its average as 85K SGD)

NUS MBAs, Nanyang MBAs and SMU MBAs are regarded similarly by employers in Singapore, so those figures will be representative for the other programs, especially for those entering consulting, finance, and sales & marketing roles.

Now let’s tackle the single biggest misperception about average salary data: you are not guaranteed the average salary just by going to these programs. Your starting salary post-MBA will range substantially based on your prior work experience, and the industry, function and geography of your job.  While the average starting salary was $74K USD at NUS, the highest salary was $160K USD! Generally, you’ll earn a higher starting salary than average if a) you have more years of work experience b) you are working in a more mature economy.  Conversely, your starting salary will be lower than average if a) you have only a few years of work experience and b) you are working in a less developed economy. It’s important to factor this into your ROI calculations.

Unlike the elite MBA programs in the US and Europe, the local Singaporean MBA programs are not feeders to big-name consulting and finance firms.  For example, INSEAD sent 52% of its 800 graduates into consulting, with more than 120 graduates going to McKinsey alone.  NUS probably sent one graduate to McKinsey, with the rest going to consulting firms like Deloitte, DHL, Frost and Sullivan, and KPMG, and more boutique outfits like Double Effect, Linkage Asia, DEGW.  This is why starting salaries for NUS MBAs in consulting and finance aren’t necessarily higher than in other industries.

If you were to look at the “average” starting salaries for NUS MBAs ($74K USD) and SMU MBAs (85K SGD), you wouldn’t get the whole picture. And that’s why I’m mentioning these figures last.

Nanyang MBA Unveils New Website; Essec Signs Deal for Brand New Campus in Singapore (Singapore MBA News – Nov 10, 2012)

My comments are in italics.

Nanyang MBA Unveils Brand New Website (Nanyang MBA Web Site) – Following its announcement of a new 1-year MBA program, Nanyang MBA has a brand new website which states their differentiators as global perspective & experience and asian focus, and their mission to groom leaders for a sustainable world.  In addition to this focus on leadership in Asia and sustainability, the program has 2 tracks (down from 6 one year ago): Strategy & Innovation and Banking & Finance.

Essec Signs Deal for Brand New Campus in Singapore (Financial Times) – looks like Essec is following Insead’s footsteps in creating a dual-country program in France and Singapore.

“Starting from January 2013, the school will teach its Grange Ecole Masters in Management degree in Singapore, and teaching of the school’s Executive MBA and full-time MBA programme will follow, in autumn 2013 and September 2014 respectively.

“Now it will be possible to follow the Grande Ecole programme 100 per cent at Essec without putting one foot on European land,” says Prof Tapie.

NUS’s double degree programme with the Anderson School of UCLA ranked 5th in the world by Financial Times (Channel News Asia) – and here a participant of NUS – UCLA EMBA degree shares his thoughts on the program.

“Average annual salaries of group participants were upwards of $250K USD.”

NUS’s APEX EMBA, which has teaching segments in India, Indonesia, Philippines, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Australia and Vietnam was ranked 26th.”

A Rolls Royce Opportunity (Financial Times) – a participant of the NUS-UCLA EMBA degree shares his thoughts on the program.

The course offers a global perspective – there are six segments, four of them in different countries (Singapore, Los Angeles, Shanghai and Bangalore). The visits to companies in these locations give you a sense of what it means to operate in divergent business cultures.

Nanyang’s EMBA Program celebrates it’s 5th graduating cohort (Nanyang Website) – for a comprehensive list of all EMBA programs in Singapore, go here.

“In July, students and faculty members together celebrated the graduation of 60 participants…This year’s graduates included 29 General/SME participants, 18 Shipping, Finance and Offshore, and 13 with Energy Specialisation. With students from 15 different countries”

NUS Organizes Cerebration, of the world’s largest student organized case competitions (NUS Website)

3 ways to prepare for your admissions interview (Veritas Prep) – preparing an “airtight” 1-3 minute summary of your CV is crucial, as is having 2-3 good questions to ask your interviewer.


Interview with Ms. Angelyn Ang, Head of Marketing & Admissions NUS MBA (Singapore MBA News – Oct 29, 2012)

My comments are in italics

“There is no typical NUS MBA Student” – Interview with Ms. Angelyn Ang, Head of Marketing & Admissions – NUS MBA ( – looks like the NUS MBA is placing greater emphasis on management communication which is greatly desired by corporate recruiters.  The key takeaway?  Make sure that the way you communicate – in your essays (written or video), resume, and interview – your professionalism. One of the three major questions admissions officers have when reading your application is your employability – and aside from your work experience and network, the way you communicate and present yourself will be the difference maker in getting your desired job. 

“What have been the major changes in the admissions procedure and the curriculum over the last few years?

There have not been any significant changes in the admissions procedure over the past few years. The admissions criteria remain the same and NUS still looks to recruit the best and brightest students from diverse backgrounds, who are well-rounded, confident and future global leaders in today’s fast-changing world.

NUS Business School has recently completed a curriculum review, which was implemented this year. This was based on feedback from industry leaders and after benchmarking the NUS MBA programme against top MBA programmes around the world. The outcome is an MBA curriculum that is more relevant to businesses today. This review has led to the introduction of a Soft Skills & Experiential Learning component, in which students get to undertake a Management Communications module, modelled after the training that top consulting firms provide to their new associates, as well as a Management Practicum that gives students the opportunity to work closely with the industry.”

NTU Steps Up with a new MBA Curriculum (Singapore Business Review) – Nanyang MBA is focusing more on leadership in an Asian context.

“So what sets this new programme apart from the old curriculum and that of other MBAs? Chung noted that one component of the new curriculum is to address the changing concept of leadership by making it compulsory for students to go through a leadership development module focusing on skills needed to lead multi-cultural teams.

The new programme will help students understand leadership practices and business models across Asia, as they will be required to solve management dilemmas presented in cases, network with experienced practitioners at industry talks, and complete projects, including a 20-hour module on corporate governance and ethics.”

“As Chung puts it, the key mission of the business school is to produce leaders for a sustainable world. “If you want a programme that helps you become a leader today, and that prepares you to manage challenges in corporate Asia, come to us.”




NTU’s Nanyang Business School Launches New MBA Curriculum (Singapore MBA News July 16 – Aug 25 2012)

NTU’s Nanyang Business School Launches New MBA Curriculum (NTU Website) – NTU is following in the footsteps of INSEAD and SMU which both offer 1 year MBA programs with a heavy soft skill component. It will be interesting to see how NTU changes its MBA application this Fall.

“From July next year, incoming Nanyang MBA participants can expect a sharper focus on leadership development, greater emphasis on industry application – especially in the Asian context, and deeper insights into corporate governance and social responsibility. They will also complete the course in 12 months, instead of 16 currently, reducing their time away from work and enabling them to progress more quickly in their careers.”



MasterCard and SMU Announce Recipients of MasterCard MBA Scholarships for Women (Singapore MBA News: March 19 – April 8)

Lots of scholarship news this week (for more about NUS, NTU and SMU MBA scholarships go here)! MasterCard and SMU Announce Recipients of MasterCard MBA Scholarships for Women… full scholarship for Nanyang’s MSc in Technopreneurship & Innovation available to members of Philippines Marketing Association, Indonesia Marketing Association and Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing… NTU ranked 7th in the world and first in Asia for accounting research… and how to apply to your dream MBA program.  As always, my comments are in italics.  

MasterCard and SMU Announce Recipients of MasterCard MBA Scholarships for Women 2012 (The Financial) – this is a great bond-free scholarship for female applicants from Asia/Pacific, Middle East and/or Africa.  Awards are usually 15,000-20,000 SGD / student – roughly one-third of tuition. More coverage can also be found on CSR Digest.

“Two MBA students from Singapore Management University (SMU), Akshita Goyal and Wu Jiachao, have been offered full scholarships as part of a three-year collaboration between MasterCard and SMU. Under the collaboration,MasterCard will make a donation of up to S$120,000 in total from 2011 to 2013 to support two scholarships per year.

The MasterCard MBA Scholarships for Women is awarded to full-time female MBA candidates from Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa, who possess an excellent academic record, demonstrate strong leadership potential and entrepreneurship skills, participate actively in the community, as well as exhibit a drive to excel.”

“Professor Howard Thomas, Dean of the Lee Kong Chian School of Business at SMU said, “We thank MasterCard Worldwide for supporting the outstanding female students in our MBA programme. SMU embraces diversity as we provide a holistic education to our students. We have seen an increase in the number of female participants in our MBA programme since its inception in 2009; in fact, 52% of the Class of 2012 are women. Such gender diversity, along with diversity in professional background and nationality, strengthens our MBA programme and translates into a strong value-proposition to all our students.”

Full Scholarships Available to Members of Philippines Marketing Association, Indonesia Marketing Association, and Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing for Nanyang’s Master of Science in Technopreneurship and Innovation (Philippines Marketing Association Website) – the scholarship covers the full program fee of $45,000 SGD; deadline is 20 April 2012.

NTU Most Prolific in Asia for Accounting Research (Channel News Asia)

“The Nanyang Technological University’s accounting research has come out tops in Asia, according to the latest ranking by Brigham Young University. NTU is ranked seventh in the world based on the productivity of its accounting researchers across 11 top accounting journals in the last six years.

NTU researcher Professor Tan Hun Tong retained his standing as the world’s top accounting researcher, followed closely by Professor Clive Lennox, making them Asia’s top two accounting researchers.”

The Nanyang MBA, Singapore (Asian Correspondent) – probably sponsored placement by Nanyang MBA itself, but nevertheless a nice summary of the program’s features and benefits.

How to Apply to Your Dream MBA Program (HubPages) – solid general advice when preparing your applications.


Interview with Sander Bogdan, SMU MBA Valedictorian – Video (Singapore MBA News: Feb 6-19)

In this week’s news, Asia’s economic growth leads to the growing clout (and value) of Asian business schools… SMU MBA’s valedictorian is interviewed about what it’s like to study in Singapore… Nanyang Business School launches a women’s club… and make sure you answer these 3 common interview questions in your application and interview.  As always, my comments are in italics.

Enter the Dragon (The Times of India) – Asia’s growth and relatively cheap tuition leads to the growing clout of Asian business schools.

“The harsh reality for the West is that the most exciting business opportunities of the next decade may emerge on the other side of the world, which raises the question whether the balance of world intellectual power may also be shifting. And the future business school of choice may not be in Massachusetts, London or Barcelona but in Shanghai, Hyderabad or Singapore.”

Interview with Sander Bogdan, SMU MBA Valedictorian (SMU MBA Website) – you can learn a lot about studying at SMU and in Singapore from this 20 minute interview.  Sander is an American who came to Singapore to get his MBA; he shares the adjustments he had to make and the unique perspective gained while studying in Singapore.   

Nanyang Business School Launches a Women’s Club (Business Because)

“Clarie Kwa co-founded the first Women in Business Club at Nanyang Business School while studying part-time for an MBA, holding down a full-time job and being a wife.

Nanyang’s MBA alumni and faculty have been very supportive. Clarie said that female alumni have been very happy to come in and speak or present at events. They’ve organized dinner dates where senior execs from top companies and private banks come to share their insight into the business world and they’ve also been involved with mentoring current MBA students.”

Top Executive Recruiters Agree There Are Only Three Key Job Interview Questions (Forbes) – MBA admissions members are looking for the same 3 criteria when reading your application and interviewing you – strengths, motivation and fit.

“The only 3 true interview questions are:

1.  Can you do the job? (strengths)
2.  Will you love the job? (motivation)
3.  Can we tolerate working with you? (fit)”

Should Aspiring Entrepreneurs Get an MBA? (Business Insider) – although most MBA programs promote the entrepreneurial learning in their programs, in the end they are most concerned with placement.  If you have short-term entrepreneurial goals post-MBA, make sure you demonstrate a track record.

“After getting an MBA from Wharton and now in the middle of doing my second start-up, I can confidently say that an MBA is not the ideal path for entrepreneurs to follow.

…All MBA programs were designed with one goal in mind.  To educate students with business skills that would make them successful within professional organizations.  All the marketing courses, finance courses, and strategy classes at an MBA school are made to help you get a job at a Fortune 500 company and rise through the ranks.  An MBA is great for someone who wants to work at an investment bank since you’ll get a detailed education on finance.  An MBA is also great for someone who wants to work at a Fortune 500 company and move up the ladder.  The degree will give you the general management skilled needed to rise to the C level suite someday.”


Asian MBAs on the Rise (Singapore MBA News Jan 30 – Feb 5)

In this week’s news… NUS MBA graduates enjoyed salary increases of 185 percent over 3 years… for NBS the increase was 129 percent… but NBS graduates enjoy the highest average salaries among Singapore MBA programs… NUS MBA ranked 9th in the world for its graduate international mobility… 9 Asian MBAs made the Financial Times top 100 list this year, up almost double from last year… an INSEAD alumni from India shares his experience starting a company while a student… INSEAD creates its own admissions test for its Singapore EMBA program… As always, my comments are in italics.

More Coverage on NUS and NTU’s top 35 FT Ranking (Channel News Asia, Business Because, ST701, Yahoo Finance) – it’s GREAT to see that NUS and NTU MBA graduates – on average – are getting a good return on their MBA investment.  However, your average salary 3 years out from graduation (and the percentage salary increase) will depend heavily on what industry you were in before and after your MBA.  I think it’s dangerous to use average salary figures as a baseline for what you can expect 3 years after your MBA.  Some graduates will make a lot more; some a lot less.  What’s more important to know is what employers in your desired post-MBA industry are willing to pay MBAs.

“MBA graduates from NUS enjoyed salary increases of 185 per cent over three years, compared with what they were earning before completing the programme. In contrast NBS graduates had an average salary increase of 129 per cent.

But NBS graduates had a higher average salary with an average pay of US$102,350 a year three years after graduation.

Measured three years after graduation, they had an average annual salary of US$102,350 (S$130,000), compared with NUS graduates’ US$97,625.”

The school also retained its place at 9th in the world for its graduates’ international mobility. This, the school said reflects the broad international demand from employers for NUS MBA graduates.

Singapore Management University’s (SMU’s) master of business administration (MBA) programme did not meet the criteria for inclusion in the FT rankings, which requires a college to have graduated its first class at least three years ago. SMU’s first batch of MBA students graduated in 2009.”

Come for the Tropical Climate, Stay for your MBA (Nasdaq) – Asian MBA programs are using their formidable resources to recruit top-notch faculty and students; they are also riding the wave of excitement surrounding Asia.  As Asian candidates make up the majority of their classes, these programs are hungry for candidates from the West – it is a GREAT time to be a westerner and applying to Asian MBA programs.

“The Financial Times has released its 2012 list of the Top 100 Global MBA programs  on January 30, and nine Asian schools made the cut. Five of these programs are new to the list within the last three years.

The highest-ranking Asian school is the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology at #10. Other on the list include the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad (#20), China Europe International Business School in Shanghai (#24), and the Nanyang Business School in Singapore (#34). All are actively recruiting American and European students.

According a November 2011 Wall Street Journal  article , many Asian schools are increasing recruiting efforts.  Melissa Korn reported that “Asian business schools are hoping to swipe some of the world’s best and brightest students as Asian nations stake their claim in a global economy.”

The growth of emerging market economies coupled with the financial woes of Europe and the United States has proven enticing to many MBA candidates.  Students are now turning down top MBA programs in the US. At China Europe International Business School, about 40% of the student body is from abroad.  At Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Americans are now 14% of the student body, a major increase.

It’s a trend likely to continue as long as the Asian economy outgrows the western economy.”

Sowing the Seed (Financial Times) – Insead is one of the top MBA programs for entrepreneurs – almost 50% of Insead alumni start their own businesses. I appreciate this alumni’s candidness in describing the challenges of starting a business during/after a MBA.

“In January 2011, I found myself surrounded by people of 86 different nationalities. I feared that I was in uncharted territory. Everything I was going to say in class was going to be analysed, dissected and analysed again from multiple perspectives. Was I going to fit in? In order to achieve my goals it was important that I overcame my apprehension of being judged.

There is a term at Insead that applies to the herd mentality that can take over when MBA students first start: “FOMO” – fear of missing out. Everyone wants to go to the same events – parties, trips, speaker panels. For the first few months, I embraced this. In the process, I made a great set of friends.

Then a typical new fear arose: failure. If I became an entrepreneur, I could fall flat on my face and I would regret having left a lucrative career. But my fears were allayed by studying at Insead. Here I have encountered many alumni entrepreneurs who have shared their ­stories – some successes and some failures.”

Business School (Insead) Moves away from GMAT with own Test (Gulf News) – Insead has created a new test for its EMBA program.  Will they use a similar test for their MBA students?  I find it interesting that Insead’s Dean has essentially questioned the relevancy of the GMAT exam for producing “global business leaders” when they still require the GMAT for the MBA program. 

“The GMAT tests knowledge, such as trigonometry, that is not particularly relevant for global business leaders,” Peter Zemsky, chaired professor of strategy and innovation and deputy dean degree programmes and curriculum, told Gulf News.

INSEAD reported that the new test also puts less emphasis on engineering, English grammar and reading, indicating that these are not the top requirements of global executives.

“One of the drawbacks of GMAT, for example, is in the reading section, which has a lot of emphasis on English grammar. This is not particularly relevant for global business leaders,” he added.