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INSEAD Admit vs Applying to US M7's R1 - Please help!

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INSEAD Admit vs Applying to US M7's R1 - Please help!  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2015, 01:58
Hi guys,

I applied to INSEAD in April this year, which was after missing US R3's, and was very happy to be accepted. However, I am not sure if I should apply to US schools (Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Berkeley, Columbia, Cornell Tech), as I want to end up in the US post-MBA. Time is tight as INSEAD starts in Jan 2016, whereas R1 notifications would be in Dec 2015.

About me:
-30 y/o Canadian Asian
- want to work in US post-MBA in strategy in tech
-previous experience is mixed - finance/accounting in tech and small-mid entrepreneurial
- GMAT 760

INSEAD pro's
- Jan 2016 start at INSEAD vs. Sept start for most US schools (except Jan start for Columbia 1 year program)
- I am currently not working...not sure how hard it will be to find work to fill the gap between now and next Sept if I go to the US
- 1 year - finish Dec 2016 vs June 2018 for US schools - may be better to back to work sooner as my age is relatively higher
- half the cost as US 2 year mba's, and scholarship covering 20% of tuition
- diverse/international experience fits my background, but not sure how helpful it is if I want to work in US afterwards

INSEAD con's
- may be harder to find work in US and in tech post-MBA, and ultimately fail to reach my original goals
- not developing as strong of a US network
- farther from family in Canada
- 1 year (both a pro and con). Will have fuller MBA experience, deeper networks, etc with 2 years.

Other considerations
- If I do happen to get into Harvard/Stanford/MIT, may have many more doors opened and longer term utilization from the brand and network worldwide. Not sure how true this statement is and to what extent.
- lose at least 10k in deposits at INSEAD if I go to US.

Appreciate your opinions tremendously and thank you in advance!!

Danny
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Re: INSEAD Admit vs Applying to US M7's R1 - Please help!  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2015, 15:10
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By strategy, do you mean setting the roadmap of what a firm should be building (products, apps-wise)? I'm in a tech, a lot of companies are going with the Agile development Method/lean startup meaning you have Product Owners, Technical Product Owners, and a Product Manager with scrum teams doing the actual development/testing (they self manage)...are you familiar with any of those terms I mentioned? If not start looking into that and also learn some code it'll help you out a lot if the firm you're into is a SaaS provider. I would say INSEAD will be good if you want to go to one of the top consulting firms, but if you're trying to work at a tech firm (or start one), strategizing the direction of the product portfolio or bringing new products to market, HBS, MIT, and Stanford are where it's at. Look at all the funding their alumni get for startups, it's pretty crazy compared to the rest. I would class visit, and shoot for one or two of those 3 and see what happens, the $10000 you miss out on in deposit can be made up, especially if you get a bunch of financial aid.
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Re: INSEAD Admit vs Applying to US M7's R1 - Please help!  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Aug 2015, 20:26
Thank you njnmusk, that was helpful!

I am thinking of either product owner, product manager, or in-house corporate strategy at tech firm.
Based on your experience, would you say product owners or product manager are the key people driving the business, on the business side?
As well, do you have any recommendations on learning agile/scrum or coding quickly? I did some research and it seemed like General Assembly is one of the most popular options.

Thanks a lot!
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Re: INSEAD Admit vs Applying to US M7's R1 - Please help!  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Aug 2015, 04:59
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dannyref wrote:
Thank you njnmusk, that was helpful!

I am thinking of either product owner, product manager, or in-house corporate strategy at tech firm.
Based on your experience, would you say product owners or product manager are the key people driving the business, on the business side?
As well, do you have any recommendations on learning agile/scrum or coding quickly? I did some research and it seemed like General Assembly is one of the most popular options.

Thanks a lot!


In our organization, Product Manager (only 1) and Product Owners (there's several) are equally important. Product Manager is externally focused and deals with long term strategy. Product Owners are internally focused and work closely with the developers to prioritize what features/defects need to be addressed. Depending on the size/scope of your company or startup one guy may have to fill BOTH roles...In your case, I am thinking the Product Manager is where you're trying to go. Do some searches for Product Manager positions on Glassdoor and LinkedIn and see if the responsibilities matches what you're into. As far as learning SCRUM goes, you can register for a class through Scrum alliance. They are like 2 days in person. I got certified as a Scrum master and Product Owner on there (Fox Hedge was the instructor company we used). General Assembly should be fine, otherwise something like CareerFoundry. Full-stack development (Ruby, Javascript, HTML, CSS) should be adequate.
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Re: INSEAD Admit vs Applying to US M7's R1 - Please help!  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Sep 2015, 08:32
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First of all, congrats for getting accepted to INSEAD!! I think INSEAD will get you wherever you want.
So, generally speaking, I think it is now really a question of preference. I do think that all of these 4 schools will get you into your desired position.

Strategy focus:
The Harvard MBA is ranked #1 in strategy focus, followed by INSEAD (rank #2), Stanford at #4, MIT at #11.  see ranking by QS TOPMBA: http://www.topmba.com/mba-rankings/spec ... n/strategy
From that point of view, H&S and INSEAD are very similar. I would rather go here with Harvard or INSEAD due to their reputation in the field of strategy.

Entrepreneurship:
The entrepreneurship ranking looks similar to the one above: Harvard at #1, Stanford at #2, INSEAD at #5, MIT at #6  see ranking by QS TOPMBA: http://www.topmba.com/mba-rankings/spec ... reneurship
In my point of view it is very difficult to choose here: Stanford and MIT are known to be very strong in entrepreneurship. But Harvard and INSEAD are also considered to be very strong in that respect.

If you have a look on how much venture capital the entrepreneurs from each school raised in 2014, you can easily see that Harvard and Stanford outperform all the others, and INSEAD is by far the strongest school among the European schools raising approx. 6 times as much money as LBS.
The rankings below show that Harvard is #1 in capital raised, Stanford #2, INSEAD #6, MIT #10. H & S also produce more entrepreneurs than everybody else. Also see the link here: http://about.insead.edu/who_we_are/docu ... r_2014.pdf or http://poetsandquants.com/2014/09/08/be ... reneurs/4/

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Tech focus:
Concerning your tech focus I would see Stanford in the vanguard due to its West Coast location. Nevertheless, all 4 schools will get you into the best tech companies. The term GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple) is important among all 4 schools and all place well into these.

According to the analysis of Poets&Quants and Linkedin the figures look like that: (see links: http://poetsandquants.com/2014/01/24/wh ... in-tech/2/ and https://www.linkedin.com/edu/alumni?id= ... enu-alumni)

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I see that you want to be in the US after the MBA. As I mentioned before, I think all 4 schools will take you to your desired tech company also bearing in mind your strategy focus. In the US I think HBS and Stanford have an edge and for the rest of the world I think it is HBS, INSEAD, and Stanford – all very similar on the same footing. But also in the US top employers know about INSEAD and it will take you wherever you want. You are safe whatever you do.

Very difficult decision, but I would stick to INSEAD and have a great life in tech strategy!
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Re: INSEAD Admit vs Applying to US M7's R1 - Please help!  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Sep 2015, 08:12
Thanks Kain! Appreciate your help and time in grabbing all the references. Those are great tables!
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Re: INSEAD Admit vs Applying to US M7's R1 - Please help!   [#permalink] 06 Sep 2015, 08:12
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