Frequently Asked Questions about my current plans

July 4, 2008 5:33 AM

Since possibly 30-40 people have asked me similar questions over the past few weeks, I have decided to compile this FAQ which I can, regretfully impersonally, refer them to when I don’t wish to repeat myself over again.

Q. You’re leaving?? Where are you going?

I am going to do my MBA at INSEAD.

Most people know I’m leaving for further studies but a few think I’m leaving for a new job. I’ve never applied for any new jobs in my 4 years at HPB. All offers made to me were flattering, albeit unsolicited, and rejected.

Q. You’re doing an MBA … in what?

In business, lor! MBA = Masters of Business Administration. If you meant to ask what area I’m specialising in, my business school doesn’t officially have specialisations but we can opt to take more modules in a specific area.

Q. INSEAD … what’s that? / blank stare

INSEAD is one of the top European business schools and currently enjoys a #6 ranking from the Financial Times (2008), one place below Harvard, which many Singaporeans hold in awe. It has the widest alumni network in the world because of its strong international focus.

Q. Where is INSEAD?

INSEAD has two campuses, one in France (Fountainebleau) and in Singapore, near Biopolis / ACJC.

Some think that the France and Singapore campuses are separate, and the former is harder to get into. This is not the case at all. We have every right to choose which campus to start in and switch to. However, Fontainebleau has the larger campus and thus there are more opportunities for interactions with classmates and tutors. The plan is to gradually give each campus equal weightage in student population.

Q. So will you be in France or Singapore?

I will start in Singapore, since I heard the earlier periods will be quite tough and it will be more convenient to stay at home then. In my last 1-2 periods I intend to move to Fontainebleau, since it has a larger student base thus I can interact more. But it also depends on which modules are available on which campus, and whether I need to go for interviews.

Q. Wow, France is so nice! Maybe I should come and visit / bunk in / etc.

Don’t think about it. This is an accelerated Masters with a very competitive environment, not an extended holiday. I am going to focus on doing well and interacting with my new classmates, with whom I may only have 2 months to know better.

Q. When does your term start? (one of the most popular questions, and complicated to answer!)

Officially 1 September BUT there is a lot to prepare for it!

Firstly, we must all enter INSEAD already with 2 languages under our belt, and we have to graduate with a third language. Since the INSEAD MBA is an accelerated course, we pack what US schools take 2 years to teach, into 10 months. So you can imagine how tight things will be.

On top of that, we can’t graduate until we pass a test in our third language. You can either study for your third language before term starts, or in the midst of lessons which is not a good idea unless you have no choice. So I am studying French now and hoping to pass the RELC examination set for INSEAD students, in the last week of August. Wish me luck.

Q. Oh, your term officially starts in September? So you must be quite free now …

Don’t call me free, baby. See above answer.

Q. Why INSEAD and not NTU / NUS?

INSEAD is ranked much higher than these local schools. For business schools, reputation is important, although I agree that beyond paper qualifications it is still what you can contribute as a person. Also, INSEAD is truly international. And they’re partnered with Wharton for an exchange programme, so if you want top US MBA experience, there’s always the option.

See Why I Chose INSEAD for more details.

Recent entries

Comments

Subscribe to my feed

Feedburner

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by vantan published on July 4, 2008 5:33 AM.

Saying goodbye was the previous entry in this blog.

Back to the UK is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

On Twitter...