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# Asian MBA's

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Manager
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question for togafoot [#permalink]  28 Mar 2008, 21:43
hey toga,
sorry for the kellogg ding! here are a few questions for you:

Why did you choose HKUST over NUS?

1. Isnt't NUS a more established brand name than HKUST. HKUST is a very young school so aren't you taking a chance with it?
2. I have applied to both the schools myself. Which one did you feel was more competitive in terms of admission standards?
3. I believe that NUS is better if you want to work in Singapore and HKUST is better if you want to be working in China or Hong Kong. Am I right in thinking so?
4. I know that Hong Kong with its better ties to China is more attractive because China is throwing up huge opportunities but will it not be difficult to find a job in Hong Kong without knowing the language?
5. I think that in Singapore, English is more widely used so wouldn't it be easier to find a job in Singapore.

I guess enough questions already so will keep a few for another time. I thought you were the right person to answer these questions as you are already working in that part of the world.
Director
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Re: question for togafoot [#permalink]  29 Mar 2008, 03:33
700willdo wrote:

1. Isnt't NUS a more established brand name than HKUST. HKUST is a very young school so aren't you taking a chance with it?

Yes NUS undergraduate is more established.. However HKUST as a young school is very highly rated and I dont believe I am taking a chance. When i compared the placements that HKUST and NUS manage, HKUST seem to be able to place people in higher reputation companies. Furthermore when i did my research into the career services, NUS suffered badly. Their undergrad (BBAs) were well supported but their MBAs were not. Moreover, one of the reasons that HKUST ranked so highly in the EIU ranks was because of their Careers office. In terms of MBA brand, i believe HKUST is stronger in HK/China than NUS MBAs in Singapore.

Quote:
2. I have applied to both the schools myself. Which one did you feel was more competitive in terms of admission standards?

Difficult to say, If you are Indian, probably NUS, one of the reasons i turned down NUS was their student body breakup. Having interacted with both set of admitted students, the student body at NUS appeared a lot more immature. I felt i would learn less from them. Furthermore NUS have a few things which are seriously lacking, which i only discovered post admittance :-
a) No official support/information network for admitted students
b) Poor interaction with current students and alumni ( no contact lists, no ambassadors, no private forums) HKUST have their own forum where you can contact ambassadors and see a list of current students allowing you to talk with them. The only information i could get from NUS current and admitted students were all Indian, as such, they were very Indian focused and therefore couldnt really provide me with the type of information i seeked. Moreover, they were not very responsive
c) NUSs adcoms emails regularly go down. Their IT systems seem bad. e-mails regularly bounce
d) Student body for last years was approximately 35-50% Indian,and 20-25% China.. This does not make for a diverse enough student body. Coupled with the perception that the student body was immature put me off (the only interactions i could get were from Indian forums and the Indian student created yahoogroups)

In termds of competitiveness. HKUST seem to look for a more International mindset with an interest in China and Asia.
NUS have a 8:1 ratio and HKUST 5:1 in admittance/Applications. However the vast majority of applications to NUS are from India, so it will be very competitive if you are Indian. (application is free)

Quote:
3. I believe that NUS is better if you want to work in Singapore and HKUST is better if you want to be working in China or Hong Kong. Am I right in thinking so?

Correct. However, i believe this to be more the case of Visa issues than anything else. NUS MBAs have the right to permanent residence. It also means pay can be potentially lower as they are not restricted by work visas which have minimum pay requirements. Its also a case of convenience when job hunting. I believe this is the same for most universities (e.g. Stanford have better placement stats on the West Coast, Stern in New York etc.etc.)

Quote:
4. I know that Hong Kong with its better ties to China is more attractive because China is throwing up huge opportunities but will it not be difficult to find a job in Hong Kong without knowing the language?

Last years students who couldnt speak mandarin averaged 2/3 job offers each. Mandarin speakers held more offers. Morevoer, HKUST is a financial powerhouse in terms of education. Exchange students from Columbia, Stern and Kellogg visit specifically for the finance electives HKUST possess. Finance industry generally does not need Mandarin. In singapore, you may also need Mandarin, Indonesian or Malay for some jobs.

Quote:
5. I think that in Singapore, English is more widely used so wouldn't it be easier to find a job in Singapore.

Correct English is more widely used, however both countries are ex-British colonies so English is common in both countries. Not an issue as far as Im concerned. That was one of my original reasons for applying to NUS. However after speaking to a lot of current students and to Alumni in HKUST, i dont believe it to be an issue.
Quote:
I guess enough questions already so will keep a few for another time. I thought you were the right person to answer these questions as you are already working in that part of the world.

Fire away with as many questions as you wish.
Manager
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Re: Asian MBA's [#permalink]  29 Mar 2008, 07:39
toga,
I was not wrong in guessing that you are the go to man for my questions and I was absolutely right. I can't thank you enough for the info mate. I am already getting my next list of questions ready. Will shoot them to you tomorrow as it's time for me to go to sleep. Thanx again, the info is really really helpful. I can't emphasize the "really" enough!!!
Director
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Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Technology
Schools: Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) - Class of 2010
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Re: Asian MBA's [#permalink]  29 Mar 2008, 21:36
Strategy in HKUST :-

They have a core area in their curriculum for strategic management and concentrations in Strategic HRM and Strategic Management in China as part of their electives. I went to a FT ranking celebration ranking last week in Beijing, and some of their alumni were there. One of them is now VP of Strategy for an international bank, in a strategic management role. Furthermore, this years intake includes people who have worked for PWC, KPMG, Mercer and McKinsey. So there are quite a lot of 'high flyers' in the year group.

I don't intend to go into finance either and 23.8% of last years student went into strategic planning and bus. development. You can see from http://www.mbacareer.ust.hk/students/em ... ts2007.htm their type of stats. The key thing to remember when looking at the stats is that they are averages, so it's difficult to know what the real expectation will be (e.g. people in China will earn less bringing down the overall average, and people working overseas are more likely to be going to a developing country). The key statistic for me is the trend. The salaries are all trending upwards which is a good sign of an improving school and one building reputation.
Manager
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Re: Asian MBA's [#permalink]  29 Mar 2008, 22:56
Hi toga, congrats

poochandi
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Re: question for togafoot [#permalink]  30 Mar 2008, 17:26
togafoot wrote:
700willdo wrote:

1. Isnt't NUS a more established brand name than HKUST. HKUST is a very young school so aren't you taking a chance with it?

Yes NUS undergraduate is more established.. However HKUST as a young school is very highly rated and I dont believe I am taking a chance. When i compared the placements that HKUST and NUS manage, HKUST seem to be able to place people in higher reputation companies. Furthermore when i did my research into the career services, NUS suffered badly. Their undergrad (BBAs) were well supported but their MBAs were not. Moreover, one of the reasons that HKUST ranked so highly in the EIU ranks was because of their Careers office. In terms of MBA brand, i believe HKUST is stronger in HK/China than NUS MBAs in Singapore.

Quote:
2. I have applied to both the schools myself. Which one did you feel was more competitive in terms of admission standards?

Difficult to say, If you are Indian, probably NUS, one of the reasons i turned down NUS was their student body breakup. Having interacted with both set of admitted students, the student body at NUS appeared a lot more immature. I felt i would learn less from them. Furthermore NUS have a few things which are seriously lacking, which i only discovered post admittance :-
a) No official support/information network for admitted students
b) Poor interaction with current students and alumni ( no contact lists, no ambassadors, no private forums) HKUST have their own forum where you can contact ambassadors and see a list of current students allowing you to talk with them. The only information i could get from NUS current and admitted students were all Indian, as such, they were very Indian focused and therefore couldnt really provide me with the type of information i seeked. Moreover, they were not very responsive
c) NUSs adcoms emails regularly go down. Their IT systems seem bad. e-mails regularly bounce
d) Student body for last years was approximately 35-50% Indian,and 20-25% China.. This does not make for a diverse enough student body. Coupled with the perception that the student body was immature put me off (the only interactions i could get were from Indian forums and the Indian student created yahoogroups)

In termds of competitiveness. HKUST seem to look for a more International mindset with an interest in China and Asia.
NUS have a 8:1 ratio and HKUST 5:1 in admittance/Applications. However the vast majority of applications to NUS are from India, so it will be very competitive if you are Indian. (application is free)

Quote:
3. I believe that NUS is better if you want to work in Singapore and HKUST is better if you want to be working in China or Hong Kong. Am I right in thinking so?

Correct. However, i believe this to be more the case of Visa issues than anything else. NUS MBAs have the right to permanent residence. It also means pay can be potentially lower as they are not restricted by work visas which have minimum pay requirements. Its also a case of convenience when job hunting. I believe this is the same for most universities (e.g. Stanford have better placement stats on the West Coast, Stern in New York etc.etc.)

Quote:
4. I know that Hong Kong with its better ties to China is more attractive because China is throwing up huge opportunities but will it not be difficult to find a job in Hong Kong without knowing the language?

Last years students who couldnt speak mandarin averaged 2/3 job offers each. Mandarin speakers held more offers. Morevoer, HKUST is a financial powerhouse in terms of education. Exchange students from Columbia, Stern and Kellogg visit specifically for the finance electives HKUST possess. Finance industry generally does not need Mandarin. In singapore, you may also need Mandarin, Indonesian or Malay for some jobs.

Quote:
5. I think that in Singapore, English is more widely used so wouldn't it be easier to find a job in Singapore.

Correct English is more widely used, however both countries are ex-British colonies so English is common in both countries. Not an issue as far as Im concerned. That was one of my original reasons for applying to NUS. However after speaking to a lot of current students and to Alumni in HKUST, i dont believe it to be an issue.
Quote:
I guess enough questions already so will keep a few for another time. I thought you were the right person to answer these questions as you are already working in that part of the world.

Fire away with as many questions as you wish.

Toga, looks like you have disected NUS very well. As 700willdo mentioned, the info you have provided is extremly helpful. Thanks mate and goodluck
_________________

No Guts, No Glory

Manager
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Re: Asian MBA's [#permalink]  30 Mar 2008, 20:12
hey toga,
from what you have been posting and even from my research I think that HKUST is good for finance and not so good at others. Anyway I was just curious about:

Why were you thinking of getting into Kellogg? I am curious because kellogg is known for its marketing program. If you were thinking of doing marketing then I would say HKUST is a pretty bad choice aint it especiall after the recent advertisement that they sent.

And as always, great info regarding strategy at HKUST.
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Re: Asian MBA's [#permalink]  30 Mar 2008, 20:20
togafoot wrote:
Strategy in HKUST :-

They have a core area in their curriculum for strategic management and concentrations in Strategic HRM and Strategic Management in China as part of their electives. I went to a FT ranking celebration ranking last week in Beijing, and some of their alumni were there. One of them is now VP of Strategy for an international bank, in a strategic management role. Furthermore, this years intake includes people who have worked for PWC, KPMG, Mercer and McKinsey. So there are quite a lot of 'high flyers' in the year group.

I don't intend to go into finance either and 23.8% of last years student went into strategic planning and bus. development. You can see from http://www.mbacareer.ust.hk/students/em ... ts2007.htm their type of stats. The key thing to remember when looking at the stats is that they are averages, so it's difficult to know what the real expectation will be (e.g. people in China will earn less bringing down the overall average, and people working overseas are more likely to be going to a developing country). The key statistic for me is the trend. The salaries are all trending upwards which is a good sign of an improving school and one building reputation.

for the benefit of others, I am pasting the question to this answer from toga above:
toga,
again great info on HKUST. Your info is definitely making me have a soft corner for HKUST. It looks like HKUST is only good for Finance. My first love however is strateic managemet and then Finance. Have you done a little research on the Strategy offering at HKUST
Director
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Re: Asian MBA's [#permalink]  30 Mar 2008, 23:02
700willdo wrote:
hey toga,
from what you have been posting and even from my research I think that HKUST is good for finance and not so good at others. Anyway I was just curious about:

Why were you thinking of getting into Kellogg? I am curious because kellogg is known for its marketing program. If you were thinking of doing marketing then I would say HKUST is a pretty bad choice aint it especiall after the recent advertisement that they sent.

And as always, great info regarding strategy at HKUST.

My long term goal is General management, however i want to be based in Asia. Kellogg is undisputedly a top class global school, and i don't think anyone can argue about its quality when compared to a top class regional school (HKUST). For what it's worth, i applied to Stanford as well ( Ding due very soon as i was not interviewed), and i Withdrew from Cornell after i got admitted to HKUST.

For kellogg, the key things that attracted me were the GIM, student body, and feedback 360 - elements of teamwork - the 'EQ' aspects of the school- areas i believe are important in developing good leadership skills. The brand can also be important in terms of the opportunities you can get post mba.

As you stated, HKUST is good for finance, which is one of the other reasons i applied to kellogg because I'm not finance focused. However i do want to focus on Asia and high-tech Product management as a first step towards GM (possibly skip PM if a good GM position arrives). HKUST have an info systems concentration which allows you to cover some of the background needed for product management. Coupled with a strong selection of exchange schools, it adds up to a good package for me. Plus, not going into finance potentially means less competition for me at HKUST when it comes to the internship/job hunt.
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Re: Asian MBA's [#permalink]  30 Mar 2008, 23:08
1
KUDOS
I also have to add, one of the other key deciding factors for me in choosing asian schools is lifestyle.

In HK (or Singapore), It is possible for me to live in an apartment complex that have swimming pools, playgrounds, 24 hour security and have a full time maid whilst studying. This is a key factor for families. The other key factor for famililes are the ex-pat communities that exist. If you are involved with them, it leads to great networking opportunities because a lot of ex-pats are on international assignment from top companies and have families living in the same complexes (usually the higher larger more expensive apartments), so it leads to another avenue of chasing down those non-finance jobs which wouldn't be present in the USA/Europe schools.
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Re: Asian MBA's [#permalink]  11 Apr 2008, 07:27
toga,
can you remember how much time HKUST took to invite you for interview. I had applied on the last day of the 2nd round deadline but haven't heard from them still. I know it's difficult to remember but I hope you do. Thanx in advance...
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Re: Asian MBA's [#permalink]  02 May 2008, 21:27
I submitted around the beginning of December. interview invite was the 16th of january. So about 1 month after the deadline.
Still plenty of time for you.
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Re: Asian MBA's [#permalink]  10 May 2008, 20:20
I got an email for an interview for CUHK's JD/MBA program and it will be via telephone on this Monday night. It sounds like they'll have both the school of business and school of law represented on the telephone. It should be interesting.
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Re: Asian MBA's [#permalink]  11 May 2008, 01:05
Excellent.. So why did you pick CUHK?
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Re: Asian MBA's [#permalink]  13 May 2008, 05:05
togafoot wrote:
Excellent.. So why did you pick CUHK?

I spent a lot of time there last summer. I took the intermediate Cantonese class where I was the only non-Asian in the class. The campus is really beautiful and I had a chance to talk to some of the former MBA students. The main campus is pretty far away from where my company's office is in Central, but their part-time study is on the weekends when the train ride up to the main campus isn't bad at all.

One of the main reasons is that they also offer a JD degree which is similar to the US law path instead of LL.B. which is what other places like HKU offer. I really want to get into intellectual property, technology, and corporate law especially as it relates to China.

Both the MBA and JD programs there have courses that help you bridge the gap between USA and China.
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Re: Asian MBA's [#permalink]  15 May 2008, 18:09
hey guys,

got admissions into NUS but I am not too excited about it. The reason I applied there was because they had no admission fees this year. Anyway, after I applied there I did a lot of research on the school and I am now thinking of it as a viable option if they give me some money. I am torn between RSM and NUS now. I have admission from UW (Foster) with some dollars. I know I want to be in Asia at some point in my life so I think NUS will be a good choice for me. Anyway, guys I guess I am just sounding like a cofused little guy. I would appreciate a high quality analysis on NUS from anyone.
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Re: Asian MBA's [#permalink]  16 May 2008, 00:56
I was also accepted by NUS, and turned them down eventually.

Here are my reasons :-
1) The international diversity of the class was not as diverse as i expected. When i participated with other admitted students, i found the vast majority were from 1 nationality. When talking with current students, it appears to be dominated by 2 main countries, India and Chinese students. I was hoping for something a bit more diverse.
2) NUSs MBA is still developing, the BBA is very good, and a lot of companies go the school to recruit their BBAs, however the MBAs, are not as sought after. Furthermore with local competition from INSEAD singapore i suspect finding the high profile jobs will be more difficult (not impossible)
3) When communicating with adcom, very often, e-mails would bounce. This made me think about the infrastructure and IT systems within the school, and its capabilities.
4) Just talking with some of the other admitted students via discussion boards, I didnt feel a connection with them.
5) NUS have no way to see who is admitted, any formal way for admitted students to talk with each other, no way to ask current students questions. It all had to be done by ourselves. This made it seem a bit behind in organisational structure and difficult to get a genuine feel for what the incoming class will be like.
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Re: Asian MBA's [#permalink]  18 May 2008, 14:09
Hey toga,

How do you think CEIBS compares to HKUST? Both are relatively new institutions that seem to be on the rise, with great future prospects. Classes are held in English at CEIBS, but Shanghai is a mandarin city (and certainly less safe than HK or Singapore) - were these the reasons why you did not consider it? I'm looking into MBA opportunities in Asia and you have offered great insight into many of the options, so I'd really appreciate your view on CEIBS.
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Re: Asian MBA's [#permalink]  18 May 2008, 17:31
Can't say too much about CEIBS, it looks fine on paper.

The main reason I didn't apply to CEIBS was for diversity reasons. I wanted a class with a good cross section of nationalities. Furthermore, the recruitment prospects in CEIBS is refelcted by the type of students it has. They are a succesful regional school, a lot of their students are mandarin speakers and because of its location, Mandarin is necessary to improve your job placement prospects post MBA.

With HKUST, because it is in Hong Kong, Cantonese is the main spoken language, however, because it is a former British Colony, and because of the huge IB presence their, a lot of business is conducted in English. Furthermore, due to its different business regulations, a lot of MultiNational companies have set up base in Hong Kong which increases post-MBA prospects for non Mandarin speakers.

If you speak Mandarin and unconcerned about class diversity, then its not really an issue.
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Re: Asian MBA's [#permalink]  18 May 2008, 22:33
Thanks for the quick reply. I speak mandarin so it seems like a feasible option.

I dug a bit deeper though, and saw some less than flattering reviews of CEIBS on the Businessweek forums by students who have gone on exchange there. Some cited problems were unkempt facilities, subpar faculty, and unmotivated native students. Not sure how to take this new information, but I really can't think of any reasons for people from U.S. schools to voluntarily offer such negative perspectives, unless it really was quite a bad experience for them.
Re: Asian MBA's   [#permalink] 18 May 2008, 22:33

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