From The Staff of MBA Admit.com
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How to Choose a Campus at INSEAD
The INSEAD full-time MBA program runs concurrently on two global campuses: the Singapore campus and the Fontainebleau campus. While having more choices is a great dilemma to be in, choosing which campus to attend at INSEAD can be a difficult process when both campuses offer distinct opportunities. Here are some things to think about when make your decision.
Your future career: Most students choose to study in the region closest to where they see their global career blossoming. For most, that means Fontainebleau if you are looking to build a career in Europe or the Americas, or Singapore if you are looking to build a career in Asia, Australia, or the Middle East. As recruiting season nears closer, it is best to design your curriculum strategically so that you are in the location or region most applicable to where you hope to land a career. Being near where you want to work not only means that you are visible to recruiters; it also means that you have the opportunity to build important networking relationships and participate in more relevant career-building events as the MBA program finishes.
Way of life: Fontainebleau and Singapore are two cities offering polar opposite experiences. For one, Fontainebleau is hidden in a countryside setting, too far from Paris to visit for an evening and too close to a village to worry about missing out on cultural immersion. Singapore, on the other hand, is a vibrant city abuzz with nightlife and diversity, drawing students into clubs and bars on a nightly basis. Consider your preferences – know yourself and what kind of setting would be best for you to grow and adapt in. Similarly, your budget and how you prefer to live comfortably is a big consideration. While certain amenities such as child caretakers and flights to nearby countries are very inexpensive from Singapore, living expenses are very pricey compared to Fontainebleau, where an equally sized room in an apartment can run you half the price of that in Singapore.
Academia: Needless to say, despite all of the fun and cultural learning to be had, INSEAD is an extremely intensive MBA program. The quality of education you receive depends on your work ethic and what you make of your education, and part of this may be due to which professors you choose. Before choosing a campus, it is important to research which professors have the best reputation and which professors you would most like to learn under. Talk to other students and alumni – most would be eager to share insights and information about the best professors – and take what you can make out of your education as one of the top factors in choosing a campus.
Weather: Although it may seem slightly trivial, weather should play a part in your decision-making model in choosing a campus. If you are from, for instance, West Africa and have never seen snow, Fontainebleau might be an excellent destination to experience during the P3 January-February time period. On the other hand, if you hail from a region with lots of cold weather and distinct seasons, a warm winter in Singapore might be an ideal experience. Each of these regions offers unique events and sights depending on the time of year. Be sure to research what you don’t want to miss out on.
Friends and family: Where your friends and family are located is an extremely important factor to many. At INSEAD, the friends you make during the program are the friends that you will carry on throughout life. Take advantage of the INSEAD program and academics – but one of the best parts of the experience will also be the relationships you take away.
Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)
President, MBA Admit.com