1957 saw the origin of one of the most influential Business Schools in the world, Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires (French for European Institute of Business Administration), or INSEAD.
The flagship institute, in France, and its newer campus in Singapore, has since been a reigning champion in global business education. In the past years, INSEAD has been climbing to the top of Financial Times Global MBA Rankings, coveting the throne in 2016 & 2017.
|Year||Financial Times Global MBA Ranking|
|2005, 2006, 2008, 2012 & 2013||6|
|2009, 2010 & 2014||5|
|2011 & 2015||4|
|2016 & 2017||1|
With a redoubtable reputation and an excellent MBA brand, INSEAD MBA has well over 50,000 alumni with 47 Alumni Associations. INSEAD graduates are placed all over the globe in well recognized corporations like McKinsey, BCG, Bain & Company, Amazon, Accenture, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and all the big wigs.
On an average, graduates make close to $170,000 annual salary with a 95% increase in wages from pre to post MBA. If you want more information on the goodliness of INSEAD, we will refer the following links to feed your curiosity.
So decidedly, INSEAD is indeed an excellent business school. But is there a difference between the two renowned campuses of INSEAD – the older European campus, in France, and the younger Asian campus, in Singapore? We would be exploring the similarities and differences that each have to offer their brilliant student body – the facilities, resources, brand value, faculty, career services, and of course business networking.
The discussion, for each feature, will be a qualitative compilation of opinions offered by INSEAD alumni on online forums. In the recent past INSEAD has opened up another branch in the Middle East. For the purposes of this article, we will stick to INSEAD’s France and Singapore lairs.
The way INSEAD functions is an amalgamation of resources offered on both campuses. The total body of the eminent faculty is 145, representing 40 nations. They are supported by research staff, and many have scholar awards, multiple journal articles, and best selling books that are highly regarded in business training. This body of faculty is shared between the two campuses.
Students, as well, can avail of the training in either campus. In 2016, 70% students transferred between the campuses in one year. All the other resources like libraries and subscriptions are shared.
Career Services are common between the two campuses as well. It is ONE facility that looks to global employment opportunities for INSEAD students. A name that is that widely recognized, brings in recruiting companies from all over the world. While the Asian campus tends to pull in local Asian placements more than Europe and vice versa, a lot of global companies manage to reach out equally well in either.
INSEAD has strong bonds with nearly 600 companies. The European location gets a bit more attention to career fairs and large scale events, but these are open to students from both (as well as the Abu Dhabi) campuses.
Nearly 90% students, from both Fontainebleau (France) and Singapore, got placed within 3 months of graduation, according to INSEAD’s 2016 Employment Statistics. 53% of all graduates found their job using the Career Development Centre or Alumni Network.
Moral of the story being that you can be placed in a Wall Street job whether you have been freezing in the French winter or feeling Singapore’s tropical heat.
The alumni network is very strong enabling students to network far and wide. However, there is a subtle difference between the local networking opportunities in the two campuses. Singapore being a city, and the campus being located in the city/state/country with strong economic standing, exposes the local Singapore INSEAD students to mingle well with professionals outside their alumni network.
Fontainebleau, on the other hand, with its idyllic surroundings and the somewhat uneasily accessible city scene, narrows professional networking to within the community or through online means. Its proximity to London, however, does open up avenues that are not so reachable if you are sitting in Singapore.
This difference becomes more than subtle, according to an alumnus, if you intend to take on an enterprising role after your MBA. 6% of the 2016 graduates started their own companies and 11% got employed through their own contacts. The French location being so out of the way, and of course being limited by the local language, makes it a little bit hard for startup entrepreneurs to access useful resources and knowledge, outside the INSEAD circle.
However, INSEAD graduates are able to skillfully employ their on campus resources, alumni network, and their business training to gain a foothold, and enhance their career, quite expertly.
The European campus is a great location to study and travel around in the Schengen countries, soaking in the beauty of Europe. The Singapore campus is equally good to travel around in the exotic locales of Asia. So life is envious in both. But Singapore being multicultural, multi-cuisine friendly, and being an all round cosmopolitan makes it more accessible.
Also the Fontainebleau campus is about a hundred kilometers away from Charles de Gaulle airport, while the Asian campus is only 30kms from Singapore’s Changi airport. For a program that takes its students back and forth, between the campuses, apart from the student travels involved as part of their job placements or personal trips, clearly the Asian campus is more suitably located.
INSEAD’s approach is remarkably different and refreshing. The coherent, yet dynamic, program structure allows its candidates to choose what’s best for them. Even with seemingly different locations, spanning multiple continents, the end result is essentially the same – excellent quality and a universally respected brand capable of creating a stir without border.
Sources:1,2,3,4,5,6,7 | Image credit: INSEAD