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Post MBA Opportunities in Asia?

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New post 04 Aug 2019, 04:03
What are the prospects for a INSEAD student getting employment in Asia without Asian language skills?
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New post 04 Aug 2019, 08:40
Singapore has become a major hub. Since Insead has a campus there as well, they can help you network for prospective employers there.

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New post 04 Aug 2019, 10:47
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howsitgoing wrote:
What are the prospects for a INSEAD student getting employment in Asia without Asian language skills?


That will be difficult.
Basically, Mandarin is almost a requirement in the Asian Market, especially in Singapore and Malaysia (besides Taiwan, China and Hong Kong).
Why Mandarin although it is not the native language in these countries? Simply because the Chinese dominate the business industry.
Also may of these countries have strong businesses with Japan, so Japanese language is demanded.

Besides, Work permit is difficult to get unless you have a competitive experience that is not abundant in the Asian Market.
The governments are putting restrictions making it difficult for employers to hire expats for an entry level job. So it will be so difficult to get an entry level job in this market.

Third, Business hubs such as Singapore and Hong Kong are already overcrowded, and have already highly reputable universities such as NUS,
so the citizens are competitive and few expats can prove their superiority, Especially that a citizen with full awareness of the culture is considered advantageous.

In summary, I am not saying it is impossible, but to increase your odds, you need to have a strong academic and workplace experience first (such as MNC - tier 2), then an extra Asian language will be an asset.
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New post Updated on: 05 Aug 2019, 01:48
Singapore and Hong Kong are hubs for multinational companies across all sectors. For European and North American companies the office language in these hubs will typically be English. I work for one such company and across all of our offices in Asia the office language is English. Obviously being able to speak Mandarin or the local language helps, but it is not typically a strict requirement for employment.

As an INSEAD alumni told me recently, for the types of jobs that will attract INSEAD graduates (management consultancy, investment banking, startups, management roles in large, multinational companies etc), the INSEAD brand is well known and well respected which improves your chances of securing employment significantly, regardless of geography (except perhaps North America).

Originally posted by Pangolin on 04 Aug 2019, 23:26.
Last edited by Pangolin on 05 Aug 2019, 01:48, edited 1 time in total.
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New post 05 Aug 2019, 00:25
What Mahmoudfawzy83 says about hiring expats for an entry level job is true. Heard about Singapore's a year and half ago from one of my clients. Similarly, its true about Indonesia, 2016 or so a coworker of mine was done with everything(documentary process-visa etc.) for him to live and work, only to realize later that such things exist and that too recently introduced into the system. Thus, he had to stay back in the country but later he left the organisation.

As far as language is concerned Mandarin is a necessity for Chinese companies working anywhere in Asia. Knowing Japanese and Korean is a plus for companies form Japan and Korean respectively since i have worked with one of the largest Sogo-Shosha of Japan. :-D

Is this what we know and are witnessing as "Protectionism"?
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New post 12 Aug 2019, 03:34
Seems like some mixed perception here.

So I take it that English may be fine for Singapore, however the difficulty lies in the work permits where Singapore government has been closing off to foreigners?
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New post 13 Aug 2019, 04:34
Sorry for the double post but this really has me wondering - where exactly can one go with this "international" MBA?

Being an Australian, I was hoping to do an INSEAD MBA for a geographic/cultural change outside of the Commonwealth (i.e. Aus, New Zealand, England).
However:
- Asia: pretty much every country except Singapore requires fluent local language. But even now Singaporean government has closed off to foreigners.
- Europe: language requirements apply + work visa difficulties
- US: political/visa uncertainty for foreign job hunters (and better off going to a US business school for this)
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New post 13 Aug 2019, 22:48
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I think you made the right points, but that's the sad reality. Working in other countries without knowing local languages should always be challenging unless you know 'computer' languages. In your case, going to the USA for business school would be in your favor as you would adapt to the environment without difficulties.

However, if you are considering places other than the united states, you should focus on international cities such as Dubai and Singapore where INSEAD is very strong. There are many positions which require English only although you might need to compete with people from those regions.

Although you mentioned that Singaporean government closed off to foreigners, I would say it is still very favorable. The minimum salary requirement for the employment visa was lifted higher, but it is still quite low. (less than 4000 SGD) Visa process is relatively much more transparent and straightforward as compared to the united states. Once you find the sponsor, you can easily get the visa.
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New post 14 Aug 2019, 01:53
I believe places like Amsterdam, Berlin, Startups in Barcelona, Switzerland (with some healthcare companies) are more forgiving with work permits
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New post 14 Aug 2019, 02:59
Pottercrazy111 wrote:
I believe places like Amsterdam, Berlin, Startups in Barcelona, Switzerland (with some healthcare companies) are more forgiving with work permits

Hi Potter,
Wont langauge be a problem in Spain, Germany and Switzerland?
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New post 21 Sep 2019, 19:00
Many INSEAD students from the Singapore campus do decide to stay in Asia post graduation. This may be because this campus has more Asian students than the other INSEAD campuses or because of the proximity to great job markets in Singapore, Hong Kong, Mainland China, India and Japan.

One thing to keep in mind, though, is unless an alum is working in a standardized global professional services business (e.g., bulge-bracket bank, major management consulting firm), the pay can be significantly lower for the same role in Asia than in the West. For example, chemical companies and consumer package goods companies pay far less for virtually identical regional manager roles in Asia vs. US/Europe. Another problem is that for western companies doing business in Asia specifically, there may be a ceiling on the promotability of in-country talent. This is because top regional management for Asia for large western companies is still often sourced from western talent pools.

For these reasons, may INSEAD students seeking roles in tech, chemicals, CPB, retail etc. often try to work in the US or Europe for several years at least before coming back to Asia. However, since INSEAD is far less costly than similar-caliber American MBA programs, alums are often less motivated by compensation for the explicit purposes of debt services, so many do indeed return to their home countries and take positions that are lower paid than their western counterparts but they are happy to do so because they get to be in their preferred geography.
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New post 24 Sep 2019, 10:55
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My $0.02.

I am a current student from the July 2020 batch in the Singapore campus. Have attended quite a few recruitment presentations (targeted to the 2019 December class, but we are also allowed to attend). I have also worked in Malaysia for te 2.5+ years before joining INSEAD with zero local language knowledge. Here's a summary of what I have gathered based on my experience in the region and interactions with the recruitment teams so far, especially for SEA countries:

Consulting: MBB doesn't hire foreigners in Singapore (maybe a couple here and there) due to government restrictions. However, they hire foreigners in Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. It is an advantage if you have local language skills, but it isn't a necessity. Other consulting firms do hire foreigners in Singapore. Numbers are on the lower side, but its better than MBB.

IB/PE/VC: Foreigners are hired in Singapore, but numbers are a bit limited.

Tech: Big tech as well as startups hire foreigners in Singapore. They aren't much affected by government regulations as they maintain an acceptable ratio of foreigners vs. locals. Indonesia is another hub for tech startups, and foreigners are hired (local language skills is an advantage but not necessary). Typically, roles based out of Thailand or Vietnam require local language skills.

Other Corporate roles: Some of the big players in the healthcare industry do not hire foreigners in any location. So you can only apply for a location where you have work authorization. Most other roles are open for foreigners and do not require local language skills for Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, or in some cases even for Thailand.

All roles in China require fluency in Mandarin. Haven't been to any event where a role was specifically offered in Hong Kong. So can't comment on the requirements there. But based on experience I'd say for finance roles just English would suffice (have a few friends working there with no Mandarin skills).

Some global conglomerates from Japan and Korea hire foreigners and do not require local language skills. However, the location for these roles may not necessarily be in Asia. Some of these are rotational programs where you change your city every one year or so.

Hope this provides some clarity!
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Re: Post MBA Opportunities in Asia?   [#permalink] 24 Sep 2019, 10:55
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