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St. Gallen

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New post 28 Aug 2009, 06:22
I am interested in applying to St. Gallen. I see a number of St. Gallen alumni in this forum. Can you share your overall experience with the program? How is the job market in Switzerland these days? I speak some German but definitely not enough to use it in a business environment. Do you need to speak German fluently in order to get the really cushy jobs in Switzerland? I am interested in working in finance post graduation (not I-banking) and I know St. Gallen has a solid reputation in that field.
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New post 04 Sep 2009, 10:14
chandnankur wrote:
Does anyone know about Private Equity placement from St. Gallen's? I'm looking to work in the European Private Equity firms, hopefully, in Switzerland. Although, I know its centered around London and Paris I would love to stay around the area I got(going to get) my degree. Thanks


PE in Switzerland? I'm not really sure, although I know that VC opportunities focused on technology start-ups can be found here.

As far as I know, no one from the 2009 class tried to go into PE.
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New post 04 Sep 2009, 10:44
9
LionNJ wrote:
I am interested in applying to St. Gallen. I see a number of St. Gallen alumni in this forum. Can you share your overall experience with the program? How is the job market in Switzerland these days? I speak some German but definitely not enough to use it in a business environment. Do you need to speak German fluently in order to get the really cushy jobs in Switzerland? I am interested in working in finance post graduation (not I-banking) and I know St. Gallen has a solid reputation in that field.


I'll provide you with the same feedback - slightly modified to protect the guilty :wink: - I gave our administration and other prospective students:

DISCLAIMER: What I present is only one perspective out of 41 very different students with varying backgrounds, circumstances, expectations, and aspirations.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I had some good times with my classmates and will always look back on this experience many years down the road. I have friends for life, wherever we may find ourselves in the world. I made the decision to come to St. Gallen based on my ambitions during 2006-2007 (work in financial services in Switzerland) and on my personal circumstances (my wife’s German who planned to stay working in Germany while I attended b-school, so I wanted to go to the best school in the region that was closest to her and our small child). Ultimately, I didn't go into financial services, partially due to the environment and my disillusionment with the industry. But, I did achieve my goal of landing a job in Switzerland. (I speak advanced, but non-fluent German. And, I'm a former US Army officer.)

At the moment, I would recommend St. Gallen primarily if you want to try to work in Switzerland/Germany/Austria post-MBA. This is not to say that you will get a job here post-MBA, but it will automatically give you credibility by being associated with St. Gallen. However, for European b-schools, St. Gallen is not as marketable as say an INSEAD, IMD, or LBS globally. I would go with those bigger names if you want to be immediately marketable worldwide. It will take some time (maybe 5 more years) before St. Gallen will become a globally recognized brand. As far as career prospects go, I think this issue depends mainly on the state of the economy (companies are less willing now to take a risk now on MBAs w/o some specific and desired experience) rather than where you go to school. Furthermore, if you don't have strong prior work experience, no MBA program will help you get you that dream career.

Part of the St. Gallen MBA is to do a summer project or internship. Some even go immediately for a full-time job (if they are successful in landing one). Either way you go, you ultimately will write a 20-40 page paper documenting what you learned/did. For my summer MBA project, I decided to do more of a practical research project (focusing on organizational energy and leadership under the current economic crisis) with two other classmates. Essentially, the main product was a result of interviews with a partner company that comprised a research thesis paper. Part of what prompted this type of project was my lack of success in obtaining a summer internship or full-time offer by the beginning of May. However, the experience was good, and I even leveraged what I learned during some interviews I had with a MC firm (from which I got an offer, but turned down).

It's been a tough year for nearly all of us searching for jobs, but some or our classmates actually landed nice gigs with some top companies like Swiss Re in Zurich, Novartis in Basel, Deloitte in Zurich, and Goldman Sachs in NYC. However, no one has really made a traditional career switch (changing both function/industry). In my opinion, employers are now heavily valuing past experience more than the MBA. It only makes sense given the current economic situation, but hopefully by 2010 this economy is recovering. As of graduation, I believe only 25-30% of the class had a NEW job offer; some are returning to their old companies, and I have not included them in that percentage.

For simplicity's sake, I'm listing below some key points or lessons learned from my experience at St. Gallen. I won't give detailed explanations for each unless you need me to further elaborate.

1) If you want to make a traditional career change (industry/function), consider the 2-year program format at one of the top 10 FT-ranked, global MBA programs.

2) The University of St. Gallen, as a business school, has a very strong brand/reputation (like Harvard/Wharton back in the States) over here in Germany/Switzerland.

3) But, the St. Gallen MBA (and MBAs in general) is not perceived highly amongst employers as compared to INSEAD or IMD. Time will change that. (Consider the MBA program was just started in 2005 and that an MBA degree in Germany/Switzerland is not a norm like in the States.)

4) The 1-year intensive program is challenging, but manageable. Prepare for some late nights.

5) The majority of our MBA professors are first-rate. The quality and content of our academics are on par with any top MBA program.

6) If you want to work in Switzerland/Germany following the MBA, then St. Gallen is definitely the place to be.

7) If you speak any German, that's good. If you are fluent, then that's awesome and opens a ton more doors over here. But, if you speak any relevant language that can be used to target HNWIs AND if you have any finance-related experience, then private banking is a strong possibility.

8) Career services has been fine, but don't count on them to find you a job. Have a solid career plan/objectives in place, and they will be able to help you.

9) The MBA alumni network, overall, is not as strong (compared to a top MBA program), but the administration is working on improving that. Time will also allow the network to grow, which is most important.

10) St. Gallen, the town, is set in a beautiful area. If you like riding a bike, hiking, and being close to ski slopes, this is the place. But, the town locals are "interesting."

11) Everything is expensive in Switzerland, including provincial St. Gallen. Prepare for sticker shock.

12) The class is quite diverse, except I thought there were too many people with Engineering or IT backgrounds (like myself). As far as quality of classmates, I was overall pleased, but wondered how some people got in. A couple students' English-speaking abilities were quite challenged. I hear this as true at even the top MBA programs, so go figure.

UPDATE: From what was briefed to my graduating class, the administration has instituted an even more rigorous interview process to weed out those with weak English-speaking abilities. Ultimately, the focus is on the ability to communicate efficiently and effectively, and if you are unable to do that, then you are not ready to be a leader.

13) Some general lessons I learned over the last year:
a) Strategy is easy. It is execution that counts.
b) Anything is possible.
c) Increase your contacts with others. Be genuine.
d) There are both negative and positive Black Swans.
e) Always have a Plan Z.
f) Maintain a positive attitude at all times, even in the face of adversity and despair.
g) Set a long-term goal(s). It doesn't matter if you do not ultimately attain it. What matters is that you set
yourself a path. When you know where you are going, you know what you need to do in order to get there. But,
plans can always change along the way. And, that is perfectly fine.

Best of luck!

-MBA-HSG Graduate, Class of 2009
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New post 04 Sep 2009, 13:13
Okay, you certainly put some thought into that. Thank you! That's basically what I expected. I am not going to apply this year but probably next. I am currently in the USA but I am an EU citizen and really want to get back there eventually (can't live without proper soccer games in the area ;) ) I like Switzerland and I can certainly see myself living there long-term. I work in corporate finance/accounting right now and ideally I want to transition to private banking. Thanks again!
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New post 17 Sep 2009, 03:30
13th out of 20 globally in 1-year MBA rankings from the WSJ:

wall-street-journal-1-year-mba-program-rankings-are-out-83969.html
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New post 20 Oct 2009, 23:12
Hey all,

Since there's some alumni of St.Gallen here, I'd like to ask about:
1. The Bachelor Degree requirement, mentioned about ECT, how to know about ECT situation? I am graduated from my home country in SE Asia
2. Aside from scholarship and lending institution, is there any other financing scheme is offered? As my work up to now always in 3rd world countries, I have no fund anywhere close to the amount needed.

Advice please
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New post 21 Oct 2009, 00:38
myellen wrote:
Hey all,

Since there's some alumni of St.Gallen here, I'd like to ask about:
1. The Bachelor Degree requirement, mentioned about ECT, how to know about ECT situation? I am graduated from my home country in SE Asia
2. Aside from scholarship and lending institution, is there any other financing scheme is offered? As my work up to now always in 3rd world countries, I have no fund anywhere close to the amount needed.

Advice please


Hi there.

As I don't want to give out any incorrect info, your best bet is to get the most accurate answers from the admissions manager:

http://www.mba.unisg.ch/org/es/mba.nsf/ ... endocument
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New post 26 Oct 2009, 17:50
trader1 wrote:
myellen wrote:
Hey all,

Since there's some alumni of St.Gallen here, I'd like to ask about:
1. The Bachelor Degree requirement, mentioned about ECT, how to know about ECT situation? I am graduated from my home country in SE Asia
2. Aside from scholarship and lending institution, is there any other financing scheme is offered? As my work up to now always in 3rd world countries, I have no fund anywhere close to the amount needed.

Advice please


Hi there.

As I don't want to give out any incorrect info, your best bet is to get the most accurate answers from the admissions manager:

http://www.mba.unisg.ch/org/es/mba.nsf/ ... endocument


Hi there,

I did ask but she didn't reply, it's over a week already.
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New post 26 Oct 2009, 23:04
myellen wrote:
trader1 wrote:
myellen wrote:
Hey all,

Since there's some alumni of St.Gallen here, I'd like to ask about:
1. The Bachelor Degree requirement, mentioned about ECT, how to know about ECT situation? I am graduated from my home country in SE Asia
2. Aside from scholarship and lending institution, is there any other financing scheme is offered? As my work up to now always in 3rd world countries, I have no fund anywhere close to the amount needed.

Advice please


Hi there.

As I don't want to give out any incorrect info, your best bet is to get the most accurate answers from the admissions manager:

http://www.mba.unisg.ch/org/es/mba.nsf/ ... endocument


Hi there,

I did ask but she didn't reply, it's over a week already.


You might have better luck calling over the phone.
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New post 22 Feb 2010, 04:32
Hi Trader,

I need some advice on whether to apply for an MBA at St.Gallen or not?I have gone through your posts and the useful insight you have provided on St.Gallen.However,my pre-MBA situation is similar to yours as I am looking to move into IB(in particular Sales and Trading) with GS,UBS etc...The problem is that my background is Telecommunications and although I have experience trading markets part time for last 3 years,I am not sure what my chances are of making a switch into IB with current economic climate?

To be honest,I had not heard about St.Gallen until I received an email from the Market and Admissions Manager who found my profile using GMAC's online tool GMASS.Even though my GMAT is 650 ,he encouraged me to apply to the MBA program.Upon researching I have found that it is a good option provided you want to settle down in Switzerland.Can you provide some stats on the number of people going into Investment banking directly from Campus?or how easy it is to work in switzrland (work permit) after an MBA?

I am an Indian telecom engineer and have been working in UK for the past 6 years.I dont have any knowledge of German.Please let me know what you think about the aforementioned points.

Thanks for your help,

regards,

Hamendra
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New post 19 Apr 2010, 04:52
Hi All!

I just got the acceptance letter from St.Gallen! Does anyone already admitted in Class 2011?
Since it is my first MBA degree :-D could St.Gallen alumni share their living experience (budget, accomodation, necessity to have a car, are MACs computers allowed, e.t.c.)
Thanks!
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New post 18 Dec 2010, 04:06
St. Gallen jumps 14 places to Top 16 business school in Europe:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/0a9a38a0-fe0c ... z18CXjMrWR

http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolra ... kings-2010

Another way to read the ranking is that HSG is the #1 b-school in German-speaking Europe. :-D

(This is not the Global MBA-ranking...)
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New post 02 Jan 2011, 18:18
Guys,

Thanks for the information shared here. I am a current student at Babson College in Boston and am evaluating the St. Gallen MBA for a Fall Exchange program through my school's partnership with St. Gallen.

I am focused on the transport industry and am looking at business opportunities that combine transport economics and market research. I plan to enter the industry or start a business in intelligent transport services (like Zipcar).

I am interested in getting two things out of the exchange experience:

1. A solid grounding in project finance with electives focused on economics and public sector investments.
2. A network in Europe, where a majority of high value transport investments are being made.

Can some of the HSG alumni on this board share their thoughts on whether the program is well-suited to serve my interests? I am also trying to follow up through my school with the relevant representatives and will be happy to post back my findings.

Thanks,
RB
_________________

Babson MBA '12 | http://babsonmba2012.com | http://living-vision.org

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New post 15 Feb 2011, 09:30
Anybody planning to attend in Fall 2011? Still trying to decide between HSG and some other offers...
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New post Updated on: 21 Jul 2011, 23:04
skahuh wrote:
Anybody planning to attend in Fall 2011? Still trying to decide between HSG and some other offers...

Originally posted by kancha on 15 Feb 2011, 21:34.
Last edited by kancha on 21 Jul 2011, 23:04, edited 1 time in total.
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New post 16 Feb 2011, 09:15
kancha wrote:
I am, most probably.


Congrats! Where are you from and what are you hoping to do post-MBA?

And how do you intend to finance the MBA? I am not an EU national and I am not sure what the terms of the loan are. I do, however, know that the loan is only for tuition. What are you (and any others who may be viewing this) going to do about costs of living?
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New post 16 Feb 2011, 21:52
self (50% tuition + living expense) + loan for 50% tuition.

this from the loan app form

"The total sum offered under the deferred tuition plan can be no more than 50% the actual tuition due
(according to the relevant admission round) after the payment of the CHF 6,000 deposit. The remaining value
is eligible for the deferred payment plan. The deferred payment plan forsees a pay-back period of 36 months.
The deferred payment plan includes an annual interest rate of 5.5%."
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New post 17 Feb 2011, 09:32
Thanks! PM sent.
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New post 14 Apr 2011, 19:33
All,

Have any other people decided to join St. Gallen this fall 2011 ?
I am considering to accept my full admission offerr to St. Gallen, but am still waiting for the result of the emerging market scholarship.
Since the admission letter sent to me did not mention anything about scholarsip.

Is it a norm to receive an admision acceptance letter first and then a scholarship decision will only be released afterwards?
Or was the scholarship decision informed on the same day you were offered an admission?

Any inputs will be helpful :)

Cheers
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New post 15 Apr 2011, 00:57
Diplo wrote:
Here's a post I made in the Europe MBA Discussion thread yesterday:

Diplo wrote:
Judging from a finance and consulting perspective, I would say that St. Gallen is definitely recognized as the best university in German speaking Europe (IMD is in the French part of Switzerland). All top I-Banks recruit there, and if you get good grades you will surely find a job in your desired field (keeping in mind that most European offices actually care about your grades, not just the school you went to).

To reassure you: The university hosts the most prestigious career fairs in German speaking Europe - the Investment Banking Days and the Forum HSG.

Both of these are organized by students - the school is big on extracurricular activities. Plus, the Career Services Center is fantastic.

I have absoluetly no clue why HSG's reputation isn't reflected in the rankings of FT et al., but talk to any recruiters in Switzerland, Germany, or Austria, or look at the number of top managers in these countries who are HSG alumni and you'll see that it's an excellent choice (if not your best bet considering your search criteria). Furthermore, the professors are top notch, most of them are the authors of the most widely used German text books in their fields.

P.S. I remember somebody on the BusinessWeek forum posting about his MBA experience at HSG, I'm sure you can ask him any MBA specific questions you might have. One thing is for sure: the University has an excellent reputation. And if you move to Switzerland you'll save taxes and get a higher salary compared to Germany


One thing I heard is that the MBA classes are slightly secluded from the B.A. and M.A. classes, where the majority of the university's students are. However, in a way this is only right because the M.A. students usually have very little work experience (internships) and the MBA classes are tailored towards people with work experience.

However, this has no effect as far as the reputation or recruting are concerned, those benefits are the same all the way from B.A. to PhD.

FYI there are tons of bankers in Zurich who hardly speak any German. I doubt that it matters much, since English is usually the corporate language.


However, they forces students to take German classes. This means two things: they are focused on the local job market (no international recognition) + german might be important to apply locally.
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Re: St. Gallen &nbs [#permalink] 15 Apr 2011, 00:57

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