Darren: Great, what is the main reason because NUS MBA is consistently one of, if not the highest rank Singapore MBA program by a number of publications. We also hire faculty members, so during my time there was probably a smaller crew of faculty members and now we have at least 140 faculty members and many visiting faculty members.Like for example, this year, we have a Chief Asia Economist and Ex-MD of Goldman’s Sachs, who’s teaching Macroeconomics in the MBA class itself.
The last time we used to work with one, two-men career services team.
Now we have about six or seven people in that team taking care of MBA itself.
The students will have to give a presentation as well as a report to both the company as well as the faculty supervisor, who will then decide to award them four credits towards graduation.
Darren: I see and do students have a choice in picking those companies or does the business school facilitate those relationships. Chua: Well, we have a team here who will actively sourcing out for companies, but students can also take the initiative to present business problems from the place that they are working or from some associates that they have. I think a lot of students will be interested in doing that, to get that real world experience. Darren: But some candidates might say, “Well, look at the school surrounding NUS.” Now, I know we never like to compare schools, but there’s Yale, Oxford, Cornell, Cambridge; these are the four schools that are surrounding NUS. So, I would say that NUS is in a very unique strategic position, where it is offering a global curriculum that is benchmarked against the top universities in the West.
Strange as it may sound, sometimes they may go in the winter and summer exchanges. Darren: That is a really special opportunity and I hope more candidates take advantage of that. Is there anything about the NUS MBA program that you wish more candidates knew about, that they can’t find on the website, they can’t find in the brochures? In addition, I would say that the double-degree programs are really something that is worth looking at. We also have special program called the S Cubed (S3) Asia MBA program that spends six months in Shanghai and six months in Seoul and six months in Singapore with Fudan University and Korea University Business School to give them an Asia prospective. I would say if you’re going for a full-time program, no harm taking up a double-degree program. I’m sure everyone at the MBA program, they want to get the best jobs and they’re willing to help their classmates out. Most of my friends, including myself, actually secured a job before we graduated. Yeah, and also a lot of people that visit Singapore MBA Consulting are very interested in consulting, and I noticed that roughly 30 percent of your alums, at least last year, went into the consulting field.
So, we have like one of our students from the NUS MBA double-degree Peking University go to India ISB for the exchange. One last thing that I would like to mention, which is a very well-hidden secret which I wish was a bit more publicized would be the MBA Alumni Lifelong Learning Program. So, I would think that most people actually would prefer internships even though I would recommend that those who are not switching careers to go on student exchange, because I always tell them that you’re be working so hard for the rest of your life, it’s like an extended internship whereas you never, ever get another chance at student exchange. And so, I’m sure they would love to hear what type of consulting firms are recruiting NUS grads and what can these candidates do to give themselves the best chance of success to work in a consulting role post-MBA. Chua: I would say that we actually recruit from—diverse people from diverse backgrounds and functions.
So, in terms of the number of the diversity of students in terms of nationalities, functions, industries, it has really improved. I would say that one is also the quality of the program and it’s relevant to businesses, which employers recognize.
Even the number of years of work experience, GMAT score, has improved tremendously from when I was a student about eight or nine years back. So, we make sure that we have regular curriculum reviews once every few years, to make things that make things relevant and rewarding.
Darren: Great, so a focus on attracting world class faculty and experienced faculty and constant review of the curriculum to make sure it’s relevant and important for today’s MBAs.
You mentioned the management communication – the new curriculum change. Chua: So, all our students will have to go through this in addition to marry the academic side and the practical side, we also have meet them, management practicum a compulsory subject for students joining us next year onwards.