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Asian focussed MBA in HK or Singapore - Which School?

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Asian focussed MBA in HK or Singapore - Which School? [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2014, 13:39
Dear all,

I've applied for the MBA programs of Hong Kong University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, National University of Singapore and Nanyang Business School.
I'm not a big fan of rankings, but of course I also checked the positions of the 4 schools. However, I must say that it's almost equal from my point of view. HKUST scores very high in FT (8), but poor in the Economist ranking (58). HKU is very balanced (FT=31, Eco=24, QS=19). NUS and NTU are almost the same across all rankings.

I like the program of HKU, with the one month stay in Beijing and London Business School Track. I'm from Europe and like to do a programme which somehow bridges the gap between Europe and Asia. So this looks very appealing to me.

Which school would you choose and why? Which location is better in your opinion, HK or Singapore?

Thanks for a lively discussion in advance :-)
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Re: Asian focussed MBA in HK or Singapore - Which School? [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2014, 14:06
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Hi there,

So I'm going to start this by saying even though the answer depends, I'm going to try to give you as directional a response as possible. HKUST is the strongest program of the 4 and has been that way for quite a few years. To be frank, don't worry about Economist rankings. Forbes is one of the stronger international rankings. Coupled with the FT rankings, you have a good set of rankings to look at. Now, that said, HKUST is top ranked, followed by HKU, followed by NUS/Nanyang.

As you mentioned, rankings aren't everything but Asia puts a lot of emphasis on brand (as I'm sure you're aware) so keep that in mind. As for HK v. Singapore, well there's no right answer there. Both have their pros and cons. I won't presume to give you advice between the two. Suffice it to say, they're both amazing cities with amazing opportunities.

I hope this gives you at least a little bit of advice on how to assess the programs. If you have any follow up questions, don't hesitate to reach out!

Bhavik
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Re: Asian focussed MBA in HK or Singapore - Which School? [#permalink] New post 15 Jan 2014, 05:51
Hello Bhavik,

thanks a lot for your reply.
I already got a concrete offer from HKU (LBS track) and interview invites from NUS and NTU. HKUST did not contact me at all so far.

Probably I have to accept HKUs offer before I'll get anything concrete from the other schools. I don't think that's too bad, cause HKU was (besides HKUST) one of my favorites.

What you said about the "brands". What about HKUs "brand value". From my point of view it's one of Asias oldest universities. It shouldn't be too bad, right?

Isn't it a big advantage to know beforehand that I can attend LBS? I mean it's one of the best business schools in the world and to study there for 4 months should be a great value.
At the end it's like a 2/3rd and 1/3rd between HK and London...

BR
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PS: I'm from Germany with a background in IT Consulting.
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Re: Asian focussed MBA in HK or Singapore - Which School? [#permalink] New post 15 Jan 2014, 10:08
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HKU is a fantastic program and only a step below HKUST. And if you're on the LBS track, that really closes the gap. That's a great program within a strong school. It has a strong brand and has done fairly well in the rankings from both a rank and stability perspective. Also, depending on what you want to do in the long run, you can really make your time in London count. If it comes down to HKU's London Track and the Singaporean universities, I would say go HKU without hesitation. If you end up introducing HKUST to the mix, then it comes down to weighing out the pros and cons. On one, you get a slightly stronger brand and the things that come with that, but HKU is giving you a really unique opportunity and a solid brand as well.

You're a in good spot and HKU is a great program - congratulations!

If you have any questions as you go through the next month or two, don't hesitate to reach out!

Bhavik
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Re: Asian focussed MBA in HK or Singapore - Which School? [#permalink] New post 15 Jan 2014, 10:40
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I would recommend focusing on what happens after you graduate. Where (what country/location) are you planning to work? Do you have a language proficiency? Cantonese or Mandarin?

That can be a bit of a tricky thing in Hong Kong even though there are plenty of expats there.... I feel you may have an easier time getting a work permit/getting hired in Singapore than in Hong Kong but my research is very dated - I suggest you look into it yourself.

I have spent some time at the HKUST and it is a great program. During the first semester of the second year ALL second year students are required to spend a semester abroad, which I think will give you what you are looking for. Here is a list of programs they partner with: http://mba.ust.hk/ftmba/program/exchange.htm

It is a pretty impressive list of school partners!

P.S. Another aspect for HKUST is that 97% of their students are international. Good or bad depending on your goals/what you are trying to accomplish. HKUST does have a strong part time/exec program in Hong Kong and you will have plenty of opportunities to connect with local students there (many are employed by top HK employers who are fronting the cost of the MBA).

P.P.S. Doing an exchange/study abroad is a great experience but going to LBS, Columbia, or elsewhere for a semester may not have so much weight in your job applications as your resume for example, as there is a good chance you will be applying for the same job as 5 of your other HKU colleagues and they would have all gone to LBS (assuming you are staying in Asia), so while it is a great program and great experience, it may not be differentiating enough in a closed pool of applicants that Singapore/HK tend to be. Also, spending a semester abroad is like a vacation but it may distract you from the most important part of your MBA goal - securing a job and recruiting. it is hard to do when you are 8 or 16 hours away and not on the ground. I would recommend you look into placement stats/employment data for the areas you are interested to pursue.
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Re: Asian focussed MBA in HK or Singapore - Which School? [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2014, 01:26
Dear Bhavik and bb,

thanks for your replies, which make me feel more comfortable, but also make me think again a bit.

I got the point that HKUST is a little bit ahead of HKU in terms of rankings and "brand" strength, even though it's not doing pretty well in the Economist ranking. Just by the way, I took a closer look to this ranking, because it's one of the few non-US rankings.
All in all I'm a bit sceptical about the rankings. German schools for example are usually on low ranks, even though they also have quite good MBA programmes...but that is another topic :wink:

My "problem" right now is that I have an offer from HKU which I need to reply until end of this month and pay a deposit. No detailed answer from HKUST so far. Even it would go pretty fast now, I don't think they will offer me a slot until end of next week.
I don't wanna play russian roulette and stake everything on one card. If I would reject HKUs offer and then won't be accepted by HKUST....nightmare ;-)

So I'm pretty sure that I will go for HKUs programme.

I understand that there is around one third of the students from HKU going to London for a semester and there might be a competition for good jobs in HK afterwards. However, I'm not sure at the moment if I want to stay in HK after graduation.
One reason I chose the LBS track is that it's close to Germany, so that it might be easier to attend interviews in Germany before graduation. A good option for me would be to work for a German company and take over some responsibilities for the APAC region. Yes, I want to give my carreer an Asian focus and I would also take a job in HK or another Asian city, but it's not a must that I stay in HK after graduation... ;-)

About the language profiency...I lived and worked one year in Shanghai and can speak some conversational Mandarin. Enough for the daily things, but not good enough to use it in a professional environment. I still want to extend those skills and HKU offers a specific language training at the beginning of the programme. That's also appealing to me...

You, bb, wrote
Quote:
"I would recommend you look into placement stats/employment data for the areas you are interested to pursue."

Where can I find such data? Any internet resource?

Thanks again to both of you :-)
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Re: Asian focussed MBA in HK or Singapore - Which School? [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2014, 06:07
I got a admit for MBA in HKU...Gt rejected in Nanyang and awaiting interview calls from NUS & Mannheim. I have set up my mind to go for HKU. But I am not able to get much about the placement statistics of HKU viz., average salary, placement percentage etc.,

Also I find that around 50% of ppl get employed in Hong Kong and some 24% in Mainland China. I am ok to work in Hong Kong for a couple years. But how would be my opportunity if I plan to go to US/ others for work after those 2 years.
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Re: Asian focussed MBA in HK or Singapore - Which School? [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2014, 10:31
Even i am looking for stats for HKU.. average salary, diversity, placement stats ?
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Re: Asian focussed MBA in HK or Singapore - Which School? [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2014, 10:49
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Hi guys - sorry I missed the replies.
Did you check the HKUST website for placement and industry stats? Here are stats:

http://mba.ust.hk/ftmba/career/highlight2012.html - 2012
http://mba.ust.hk/ftmba/career/highlight2013.html - 2013
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Re: Asian focussed MBA in HK or Singapore - Which School? [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2014, 10:51
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Here are stats for HKU (tell me you have seen these)

http://www.mba.hku.hk/fulltime/career-s ... nt-outcome
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Re: Asian focussed MBA in HK or Singapore - Which School? [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2014, 11:12
yep.. have seen this link..
but i was looking for more specific figures for HKU, like we have for HKUST , eg XXXX HKD per year.
Can we assume it to be around what HKUST would get?


What about the diversity ratio? how many international students?
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Re: Asian focussed MBA in HK or Singapore - Which School? [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2014, 11:15
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TanmayShah wrote:
yep.. have seen this link..
but i was looking for more specific figures for HKU, like we have for HKUST , eg XXXX HKD per year.
Can we assume it to be around what HKUST would get?


What about the diversity ratio? how many international students?


Got it.... they may not have released those or did not wnat to. I would contact the adcom and ask for details. It should be a reasonable request to get as much career-related info and salary figures. They did say 89% increase in salary, so all you need to figure out is one of those numbers. Hope they provide it. Good luck!
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Re: Asian focussed MBA in HK or Singapore - Which School? [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2014, 00:55
Hi everyone,

as I got accepted by HKU and already decided to do the program, I also did some research before.
From my (personal) point of view there is not a big difference between HKUST and HKU regarding the program itself and the career opportunities afterwards. Yes, HKUST provides more detailed statistics about the placement after the program that's right. If it comes down to salary, the HKUST might be a bit better. According to the latest FT ranking (2014), the "salary today" is 124,880 vs. 111,928 (HKU). However, to be honest, I don't give so much about such figures. For me this is more or less the same. If you check the HKUST "Career Highlights" which bb provided you'll see that in many of the pie charts, there is a big percentage of "no indication" or "others", especially for Industry and Geographical location. This for example makes me quite sceptical if I see such detailed numbers.

Of course it would be interesting to have more details about those figures, so if you like you could contact the adcom and share your knowledge with us later. 8-)

I think it's quite normal that most of the students will find a job in HK or mainland China after the program. I mean you are doing an MBA with an Asian focus. So if you want to be employed elsewhere it might be more reasonable to the MBA elsewhere :wink:
As I'm from Europe and probably do not want to stay for the rest of my life in Asia/HK, my plan is to find a job in an European or let's say Western company. So there might be opportunities to rotate to the companies headquarter after some time in the regional office in HK/Asia...
However, I think that there also might be good chances to find a job back "home" if you focus on this. HKU offers the London and New York track. I think if you spend some month in those cities you can also try to get connected to employers over there.

Btw: I know that Mannheim is also a good school. Germany universities are underrated in most of the rankings from my perspective. Probably this is why they usually do not follow the anglo-american system for normal studies (non-MBA).

Kind Regards
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Re: Asian focussed MBA in HK or Singapore - Which School? [#permalink] New post 23 Feb 2014, 02:47
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It is sometimes helpful to directly contact graduates from the respective business school you are interested in. Nowadays, Facebook or linkedin can help you to easily contact former students and get first hand information - this is much more helpful than rely on statistics!

The university of Mannheim has a good reputation but I would say only in Germany. Internationally I think it is not comparable to good rated business schools. It depends where you want to work. If Germany is not your choice you should consider this.

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Re: Asian focussed MBA in HK or Singapore - Which School?   [#permalink] 23 Feb 2014, 02:47
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