INSEAD Claims First In New 2015 Poets&Quants’ Ranking Of International MBAs

One of INSEAD's three campuses in Fontainebleau, France

One of INSEAD’s three campuses in Fontainebleau, France

For just the second time in six years, INSEAD jumped ahead of the London Business School to claim first place in the new Poets&Quant‘s ranking of the best MBA programs outside the U.S. INSEAD’s accelerated 10-month MBA, is the quintessential global experience, drawing students from more than 80 nationalities on three campuses in Fontainebleau, France, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi.

European business schools dominate the list, with all Top Ten MBA international programs in either the U.K., France, Spain, Italy, or Switzerland. Rounding out the top five programs are No. 2 London, No. 3 IESE Business School in Spain, No. 4 IE Business School in Spain, and No. 5 HEC Paris in France. HEC gained three places this year, from eighth last year.

Among the Top 25 schools, the biggest gainer was Canada’s Queen’s University, which jumped 30 places to rank 24th, up from 54th last year. Other major gainers on this year’s list include HEC Montreal, which rose 15 positions to finish 20th. The University of Hong Kong jumped 25 places to rank 27th, a big improvement from its 52nd place finish a year ago.

In a separate ranking of U.S. MBA programs, Harvard Business School edged out Stanford for top honors, followed by Chicago Booth, UPenn Wharton, and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management (see the complete U.S. list here).

HOW THE POETS&QUANTS RANKING IS PUT TOGETHER

This new P&Q list is a composite of four major MBA rankings published by The Financial Times, The Economist, Bloomberg Businessweek and Forbes. The ranking takes into account a massive wealth of quantitative and qualitative data captured in these major lists, from surveys of corporate recruiters, MBA graduates, deans and faculty publication records to median GPA and GMAT scores of entering students as well as the latest salary and employment statistics of alumni.

By blending these rankings using a system that takes into account each of their strengths as well as their flaws, we’ve come up with what is arguably the most authoritative ranking of MBA programs ever published. The list tends to diminish anomalies and other statistical distortions that often occur in one ranking or another. Instead of simply merging together the four rankings, P&Q weighs them according to the soundness of their methodologies (The FT and Forbes are both weighted 30% each, while the BW and Economist rankings are each given a 20% weight.) A composite list lends greater stability to a ranking of schools that rarely change from year to year.

More so than rankings of the U.S. schools, individual rankings of international MBA programs can be widely erratic, in part because rankings can markedly differ on each of the four major lists. The Economist, for example, assigns numerical ranks to many non-U.S. MBA programs that don’t even make The Financial Times‘ ranking and the same is true of the FT. The Indian Institute of Management at Ahmedabad, widely counted among the very best business schools in the world, is not even ranked by The Economist. The school is ranked 12th among non-U.S. schools, however, by The Financial Times. Just as puzzling, HEC Montreal, ranked by Forbes, Businessweek and The Economist, fails to get a ranking from the FT.

RANKINGS FOR INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS CAN VARY DRAMATICALLY

And even for any individual school, rankings can vary dramatically. Consider Western Ontario University’s Ivey School of Business. Businessweek recently crowned the school No. 1 in its latest ranking, but The Financial Times puts it at 48th among non-U.S. MBA programs and just 97th overall. The Economist ranks the school 27th best outside the U.S., but Ivey isn’t ranked at all by Forbes.

Schools that are recognized across all four rankings can be interpreted as more solid and credible than schools that may only receive a single ranking. That is why the P&Q list gives greater weight to MBA programs that are more widely ranked and less weight to those that are not.

The lesson here is simple: Take all these rankings with a very big grain of salt. The reason results that don’t seem to coalesce around a single number has to do with the different methodologies employed by each ranking organization. Those approaches are made up by journalists who often know very little about graduate management education. So peculiar, if not nonsensical, results in any one survey are not unusual.

THE SCHOOLS THAT DISAPPEARED AND THE SCHOOLS THAT MADE A DEBUT

INSEAD edged above London by the smallest of margins–an index score that was just .9 above LBS, a feat accomplished largely because of London’s relatively weak No. 9 finish in The Economist ranking among non-U.S. MBA programs.

Schools toward the end of the list are particularly vulnerable to falling off from year-to-year. That’s because they are typically ranked by only one of the four major global rankings, a precarious perch, for sure. This year five business schools disappeared from our international ranking, because they are no longer ranked on any of the four major lists: China’s Peking University, which had been ranked 46th, Coppead Graduate School of Business in Brazil (51), Aston Business School (61) in the United Kingdom, Audencia Nantes School of Management in France (62), and Yonsei University in South Korea (68).

The newcomers this year? The University of Alberta in Canada, which debuted in 56th place, ESIC Business & Marketing School in Spain (59), Copenhagen Business School in Denmark (60), Trinity College Dublin (67), Ryerson University’s Rogers School of Management in Canada (68), and the University of Liverpool (69). All of which should remind readers that MBA programs which rank on at least two of the four lists are sure bets on quality and reputation.

(See following pages for our tables ranking the top non-U.S. MBA programs)

DON’T MISS: OUR VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH INSEAD ADMISSIONS DIRECTOR PEJAY BELLARD

  • Uherad

    Where is it?! can’t find it!

  • Utsav Pathak

    Thanks. Found it just now!

  • Utsav Pathak

    Eagerly waiting! 🙂

  • No later than Tuesday of next week. Perhaps Monday.

  • Utsav Pathak

    When will P&Q release this years International MBA rankings?

  • Derek Loh

    The global rankings criteria have always been US-biased for obvious reasons; these rankings or league tables are developed based on American institutions or focuses on US and European institutions traditionally when they first began. The meteoric rise of Asian universities in recent years is a trend that is likely to accelerate. This is reflected in the strength and growth of Asian economies and its contribution to the global economy. Most European institutions of higher learning are simply basking in its legacy reputation with little improvements or innovation to show over the past decade. The same goes for many US universities with the exception of the top few universities like Harvard, Stanford, U Penn, MIT, Chicago, etc. On the contrary, Asian universities especially those in Singapore, Korea, China and Hong Kong have grown and innovate exponentially. Historically, Asian universities lack the global recognition and marketing prowess of their counterparts in the US and Europe. Global ranking league tables also uses criteria that are more biased towards US and European institutions like citations and reputation which are biased factors they are relatively subjective. As Asia continues to take center stage in the global economy, global attention and focus are turning to Asian universities who have rightfully earned this hard fought recognition. For instance, NUS, NTU in Singapore, HKU, HKUST and CU in Hong Kong, SNU, KAIST in S. Korea, Tsinghua and PKU in China are highly regarded Asian institutions who have traditionally been recognised throughout the region and are now shining on the global education stage. Their meteoric rise on global rankings league table in recent years is well-deserved. In the coming decade, as global economy integrates further, the reputation, depth of curriculum and offerings and recognition of these Asian institutions will not only rival, but can potentially surpass the likes of Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, MIT, Oxford and Cambridge. Participation in exchange programmes with the aforementioned highly regarded Asian institutions or a degree from them would put any graduate in good stead, especially those seeking career opportunities within Asia.

  • mojtruth

    I am not sure why you are putting so much energy in undermining INSEAD’s reputation but the volume of your contributions all over the internet under this alias (Inseadsux) put serious doubts on the credibility of your assertions.

  • C. Taylor

    Rankings here are 2015 rankings and skip US programs (P&Q lists them separately) in order to better compare international programs. Yes, Erasmus University Rotterdam’s ‘Rotterdam School of Management’ is the program
    ranked and is well-regarded. RUAS’s ‘Rotterdam Business School’ is a different program and I don’t recall it making any major business school rankings. RUAS may not participate in any.

    Website for Rotterdam (Erasmus): rsm (dot) nl

  • SocEntGuy

    Another error… Rotterdam Business School (which has no MBA program) is ranked #21 here, but you are most likely referring to Erasmus University, Rotterdam School of Management which is a completely different program. Also, the rankings mentioned for RSM above seem to have never actually existed… please check your facts so as not to mislead potential students like myself. Thanks.

  • Inseadsux

    Mojtruth,

    The sentence:

    INSEAD is a private, independent, not-for-profit institution.

    Is meaningless legalize. Where is insead’s not for profit certification? Where are the accounts? Who is on the board etc? Search the list of not for profits in France, insead is not on that list.

    When I was at insead, the school was proud that it was a for profit business; now it is trying to hide this. I recall the finance professor Theo Vermaelen proudly telling the class that insead was a closely held for profit business. So if insead is hiding what type of organization it is; what else is the school hiding?

  • C. Taylor

    Ha!

  • C. Taylor

    You are very welcome. There are many great programs. You might want to consider two year programs as well, if those fit into your allowed sabbatical. There are many questions I’ve outlined above which only you can answer regarding different programs. For instance, if you do eventually opt for the well-worn paths, do you prefer the US or the EU? Do you mind 12-16 hour days for a year? What do you need?

    IMD, Insead, and Kellogg all have elite one year programs. LBS has a 15 month option (extendable to 18 or 21). Columbia has an 18 month option. A near-elite one year program that stands out is SDA Bocconi. Cornell has a solid near-elite program. There are several others. Contact MBA programs and answer for yourself the questions I outlined above and any others important to you. You may want to check on access to placement services for Cornell’s AMBA in comparison with the two year program–if that matters to you. At Kellogg’s one year program, the first year–of the two year program–is skipped in favor of a summer semester preceding the normal second year.

    Admission requirements vary from program to program and you should be very familiar with them well in advance of applying. Kellogg’s one year program, for instance, requires attending some business courses prior to start. Also, your respectable GRE scores are getting old, so if you don’t submit your applications by next fall you will potentially be required to retest. Speak with admissions to see what they look for in GRE scores and how recent they must be. ETS suggests your scores are similar to a 700 overall on the GMAT.

    Remember the admission process at elite programs in the US is highly competitive. So it is good you are considering near-elite and EU programs as well. Ensure your application packages are highly refined.

    As for me, I don’t claim any particular expertise in the admissions process, just some exposure. Some people who know me have sought my assistance. It’s great to see people chase their dreams.

  • Inseadsux

    Future-MBA,

    It is hard for me to give you an opinion, I have only purchased one MBA so I really can’t compare it to another program. The question you need to answer is really: Would INSEAD be good enough to help you change career or do you need a two year MBA? Generally the people that do well at INSEAD are those that are already in their chosen career and just need to have MBA added to their business cards. There possibly is a grey area for people from developing nations though; that is why in another post I have suggested that INSEAD update its tag line to ‘business school for the developing world’. The developing world consultancy offices are less competitive than the U.S. Or Europe.
    Could I recommend the following before going to any B-school? Try the career change first. Get the best GMAT score possible and then talk to the local office for all consultancies tell them your excellent GMAT score – you should be able to get an informational interview. Use Victor Cheng’s site to prepare for the case interviews. See what happens.

    One thing about your profile would concern me for INSEAD, at 31 you will probably find the environment very immature. I felt that everyone reverted to their 16 year old selves. In particular the social life was very similar to what I had experienced in high school.

    I too was in a technical role and was tired of technical work, I went to INSEAD, spent a year after INSEAD job hunting – no interviews. Finally returned to my old job and am still tired of technical work!

    It is worth mentioning; if you are now in a technical role and you do an MBA you are making a strong statement that you no longer want to be technical. If you fail at the career change it is harder than you might think to get back into a technical role. Your engineering knowledge will be out of date and you have declared that you do not want to be technical. Would you hire someone into a technical role that doesn’t have current knowledge and clearly doesn’t want to be technical? No; neither would I.

    The INSEAD network is very weak so if you don’t get a job before you graduate you’re probably not going to get one.

  • Inseadsux

    Sigh is that the best you’ve got? Can you please prove that we all have the same IP? I post only under this ID; though some people have reposted my words under their own ID’s.

  • Future-MBA

    Tons of thanks. thats wonderful post! are you an admission consultant? or someone work in this industry?!
    I have two degrees, an undergrad in Mechanical Engineering (GPA 3.1/4.0) from top Egyptian university and master of science in engineering from KTH (top swedish technical university) (GPA equivalent to 3.0/4.0). I am somehow lazy in studying 🙂 those are my GPAs, I could have done much better, but it was very hard to sacrifice enjoying moments that only come once 🙂 however, I do good in practical work.. What do you think of the american one year MBA programs such as Kellogg 1Y, Cornell AMBA, in comparison with INSEAD, and IMD?
    as for the GMAT, I have done the GRE four years ago and scored 760 on the math, and 650 in verbal part.

  • C. Taylor

    OK. Congratulations on a fine job! You were being quite modest earlier when you said you hadn’t made it in life. Many people get an MBA in order to obtain a $100k+ job.

    A few points to consider:

    A :: Given a hypothetical one year program and a hypothetical two year program which are identical in geographic placement success and strengths in areas of education, the main trade off is between; 1) the above mentioned extras, plus in-depth courses, plus easier to fit in an internship at the two year program and 2) less calendar time, less missed compensation due to being in school, and lower cost at a one year program.

    In real life, other factors also play a role. Program A is slightly better at placing candidates in banking internships while Program B offers strengths in both tech and consulting placement. Or perhaps A has better placement in the US and B in the UK. And so on. Placement stats are usually known as career or employment statistics.

    B :: All of my previous post assumes you are willing to take on any work load and will be accepted to any program applied to. Very often, people are denied by one or more programs applied to.

    Those studying at IMD suggest 12 hour or even 16 hour days of coursework and homework for a solid twelve months (I assume they get slightly more time off on the weekends and holidays). Although these are normal hours in banking and for some people in other roles, others may balk at the required dedication.

    Acceptance:

    — What GPA you got for your undergraduate degree, and what university you obtained it from matters.

    — A 700+ GMAT score is solid enough for any non-US program and 690 for most. A 700 should be targeted for most top-twenty US programs and it doesn’t hurt to get a 710+ for a top-ten program or a 720+ for a top four (or even for some other top-twenty programs). You should at least try to get a 700 if applying to top-ten US programs. Some programs especially look at the quant score and others prefer balance.

    In general, your score should be in the middle 80% range for any program applied to. If below that, you should consider retaking the exam or not applying to that program, except as a hail Mary pass. Coming from Egypt, you might not face as much competition as someone from, say, India. If so, that would mean you wouldn’t need as high a score relative to an Indian. Indians tend to need very high scores at top US programs.

    Also in general, a higher score is more favorable than a lower score and can increase the likelihood of scholarships.

    — Leadership roles and impact at your companies worked for matter. For instance, writing multi-million-dollar proposals which are chosen by clients, heading a team in successfully meeting environmental targets, etc. This is the meat of your application. Your undergrad GPA and Uni are appetite-whetters, and your GMAT score is the seasoning on the meat. Your recommendations and essays round out both the admission team’s understanding of you as a person and you as an impactful leader.

    — graduate level degrees and GPAs, and off-the-job activities substantiate what is meaningful you and the career you’ve sought. In the above analogy, these are side dishes.

    C :: Speaking of hail Marys; if you are a practicing Muslim, something as simple as a convenient mosque might be important.

    Desiring to return to the area around Egypt, is potentially either quite broad; Middle East–or narrow; in Egypt or direct vicinity. Identify companies and roles you are interested in, in these geographic areas, and consider viewing the profiles of people to see if any particular programs are favored. Doing a key word search on linkedin, for example, pulls up 28 profiles for “Egypt McKinsey Insead” and 19 for “Egypt BP Harvard”. That is only an example, some may not have linkedin profiles.

    MBA programs are best at placing graduates at specific companies in specific roles. Look at which companies hire multiple graduates from each program. It is easiest to follow well-worn career paths when exiting a program. The further from the programs’ strengths in placement (geography, industry, role, specific companies) the more you will need to rely on your own footwork. After attending a program, you might find it tempting to follow the well-worn paths.

    D :: Excellence and recognition of a program. There are many excellent programs from an educational perspective. Which are held in the highest regard will vary according to geography, industry, and role. Same with the strength of the network.

    I would suggest the median GMAT score is correlated with student demand for a program, and median post-MBA salaries and three month placement percentage with employer demand for graduates. It is useful in the US to consider international student placement percentages. For your goals (potentially requiring extensive footwork), the latter may not matter.

    Consider the potential that you may want the option of switching geography in the future.

    Different programs have different flavors in terms of culture and didactic methods. Some may suit your personality and career goals better. Figuring this out requires you to contact a lot of people associated with a program yourself. Consider visiting campus to speak with students and professors, and sitting in a course to observe.

    E :: Elite programs (in terms of career trajectory) are currently:

    IMD, Harvard, Stanford
    Insead, LBS, Booth, Wharton
    Dartmouth, Columbia GSB, MIT
    Berkeley, and Kellogg

    There are several near elite programs. IESE, for a notable two year EU example. There are even more programs which provide educational excellence.

  • inseadsux G Future-MBA C. Tylo

    🙂

  • tec_code

    Obviously Inseadsux is trying hard to mislead everyone reading. IP does not lie. Inseadsux = Future-MBA = C. Taylor = G
    … I feel sorry for you and that you cannot make it into the best programs. Never give up. Use your time wisely.

  • Inseadsux

    come on, man! there are several others with many different names! just trying to make my point…

  • Future-MBA

    Thank you so much for such rich reply. I asked Inseadsux in particular, because he/she is upset of the program, not satisfied, and then he/she may bring things that many (if not all) the so called “happy alumni” don’t talk about. It is always good to have the two side of the story. May be there are lots of graduates like him/her but simply they don’t speak out. It is understandable that grads trying to picture their school to be the best. Tons of grads say how doing this MBA at this school changed their lives..etc.. But very rare to find unhappy one who can talk about hidden things. For INSEAD and IMD, it seems for me (may be I am wrong) that IMD is more serious about education and INSEAD is more recognized worldwide.
    I am 31, an engineer by profession, receiving good amount of money (>$100K), but I am done with technical things. I want to change to better, either to move up, or change to consulting, any good opportunity would be ok. However, the worst case for me is to go back to my job which still good one. I will be taking a sabbatical leave for the period of study. I believe you would say that then it is one year no question, yes I can see it, but I really don’t mind spending another extra months for quality of education, the degree, alumni network..etc.
    So, my main goal, is to have excellent education in general management, earning a good and recognized top MBA, and advance in my career. I am based in Egypt and goal is to be around that area. Could you please give my case an extra thought. It seems you have deep knowledge and balanced view.

  • Inseadsux

    Yeah man, INSEAD sux!!

  • C. Taylor

    Hi Future-MBA, Inseadsux is the person to ask if you’re seeking a good upper middle class party sans hazing.

    As for choosing a program; take your background, match it with a realistic post-MBA future (given your background), and see which MBA programs best move people with your background into the post-MBA future you seek with the compensation you desire.

    Most MBA programs have a placement advantage which is strongest in different areas of the globe.

    One year programs are best for people who are surer of their desired future and who are not straying far in terms of industry, or role. The more drastic the switch, the better to become more acquainted with the knowledge and skills sought, applied in the industries and roles you seek. The less sure your are of your desired future, the more options and strengths you should seek in a program.

    One year programs with fewer required hours allow more time for participating in clubs, hobnobbing, etc. One year programs with more required hours allow for more in-depth exposure to topics. Two year programs allow for BOTH a greater number of in-depth courses and even greater freedom to participate in other useful activities. In considering one year programs; to IMD’s advantage, there is a large flow of executives, through the campus, so there may not be as much of a loss in hobnobbing for the increase in required hours as there might be at another high-required-hours program.

    It is easier to switch out of some roles than into them. PE or IB, for example. If you want to move up-hill in terms of role–into IB from marketing, for instance–it’s more likely to be achieved through a two year program with a strong placement record and known for strength in preparing students for the role you seek. Internships–which fit into the job search better at two-year programs–are important in the uphill case, and generally useful with a greater number of switches. I.e. switching geography, industry–or role, e.g. sales, engineering, finance. There is also uphill in terms of the scope of your impact, billions of dollars vs. hundreds of millions, for instance (some instinctively attach 1: geography onto this–e.g. NY vs. Toronto–and or 2: rank–e.g. VP vs. Partner, etc.).

  • Future-MBA

    I’d like to have your thought on the two year MBA in US, do you recommend it over one year MBA such as INSEAD and IMD? although people say that IMD MBA isn’t really one year, it is in fact two year condensed into one year.
    (I haven’t made it in life, but happy with my career, I want the better and the MBA to open new opportunities)

  • Inseadsux

    In English typically we say counter argument not contra argument. Now am sure you are going to accuse me of posting my own counter counter counter arguments.

  • Inseadsux

    I don’t know how to reply to this post. I really had forgotten how low the standard is at INSEAD. Other than the poor communication skills there are a couple of points I’d like to make:

    Employers generally want people that ‘know a technical thing or two’.

    Why would I want an MBA that contributes intangibly towards my career?

    If the network and school add so little value why would you recommend the school?

  • Inseadsux

    In this discussion we can see a fairly consistent message starting to appear; INSEAD is a good fit for some people but it is a really bad fit for others.

    A prospective student will need to determine if they are a good fit for INSEAD. I could list a long list of problems with INSEAD but I can distill this down to one simple question: Have you already made it in life? If you answer ‘yes’ you are a fit for INSEAD. You will have a great year partying in France and Singapore before returning to your life. If you answer ‘no’ do something else instead; this product just isn’t sophisticated enough to impact your career and the brand name is very weak. I have proven that I went to INSEAD by exposing the hazing and the ‘name your concentration feature’; these are school secrets that only an alumni would know. I do not want other people to waste a year of their life at INSEAD like I did.

    The only people that compare INSEAD to world class US schools are INSEADers. Since graduation I have not heard anyone compare INSEAD to leading U.S. Schools. The best comparable to INSEAD is Hult.

    Based upon my own observations and the number of non responders to the employment survey; approx 30% of each class see no value added to their career. A combination of pride, brainwashing and the Simpson’s paradox mean that INSEAD’s grading from students remains high. Some employers do rate INSEAD highly as it is a good supplier of language skills and political connections around the world.

  • INSEAD-MBA

    As an INSEAD alumni I am always surprised at how highly INSEAD
    is ranked on the league tables. The INSEAD MBA has been a zero value add for
    me. INSEAD is a for profit school just like Hult or the University of Phoenix,
    INSEAD has all of the same issues and problems as any for profit school. Nobody
    has ever failed, you pay your fee you get your MBA.

    Who owns INSEAD and are there any conflicts of interest? This
    should be investigated. The school is heavily orientated towards participants
    from strategy consultancies. The strategy consultants have on average 2 years
    of experience vs the non strategy students must have approx 7 years of
    experience. Could the owner of INSEAD be the partner in charge of education at
    one of the strategy consultancies? I made a mistake; I bought an intangible
    product from a seller I knew nothing about and that product was useless.

    The first few days of INSEAD were interesting, I had many
    interesting discussions; but then the welcome week hazing event started. This
    consisted of the upper class playing a series of weird and often cruel pranks
    on the incoming class. For example; people were forced to fight each other and
    others were abandoned in the middle of the forest at night. This in a program
    were the average age is 28. This hazing ruined what might have otherwise been a
    good year. After the hazing event no one takes the school seriously. Since this
    hazing event was not listed on the brochure and this event negatively impacted
    my experience I feel that INSEAD was a bait and switch scam.

    The final part of welcome week is the Dean’s speech during which
    the Dean told us: ‘INSEAD offers a general management MBA but if you want you
    can say that you have a specialization. If a background investigator calls the
    school, staff are trained to always answer ‘yes’. You should try this; call
    INSEAD and ask does a specific alumni have an MBA with a concentration in
    Taxidermy or any other ridiculous subject, the school will say ‘yes’!

    After welcome week the place feels like a cult, no one will say
    anything against the school, facilities or social life. Descent is discouraged,
    those that fall foul of this rule can find themselves ostracized. People
    display symptoms of being brain washed. Hundreds of students, average age 28,
    get drunk in barns and tell each other that these are the best parties they
    have ever been to. However; one on one, in hushed tones, people said to me ‘I
    thought I was the only one that didn’t like the social life’.

    The career service didn’t seem to actually exist; there was an
    office labelled careers and there were people working there but it was a sham.
    The alleged career service did not even maintain student records, nor a job
    bank nor interview preparation materials. My undergraduate university offered
    this level of career services, I had expected INSEAD to exceed this standard.
    The careers services released reports on their own performance that read like
    North Korean harvest reports. In my promotion apparently a large percentage
    used the career service to find jobs and almost everyone changed career. We see
    the external economist report contradicts these assertions. After graduation
    when you cannot get a job that is when the careers service start their victim
    blaming: ‘you need to be more of an entrepreneur to get a job’ or ‘you didn’t
    try hard enough’.

    The actual education was a joke e.g. the finance professor
    stated ‘the school has had feedback that some graduates don’t know what bonds
    are; therefore, we’ll spend the next 15 minutes on fixed income. Before INSEAD
    I had completed the CFA level 1 – I had expected my ‘intense’ INSEAD MBA to be
    a similar level of challenge to the CFA, INSEAD was trivial in comparison. The
    education was neither wide nor deep, the classes were pitched at the high
    school level.
    The participants can be split into the following groups:
    Wealthy global elite (top 0.1%)
    Strategy consultants (non native English speakers)
    Developing world (non elite,non strategy)
    Developed world (non elite,non strategy)
    The wealthy and strategy students are well served by the school.
    These people want to have a good time and get a rubber stamp MBA. Students from
    the developing world have language skills that will enable them to get jobs in
    growing markets that are underserved by other business schools. Developed world
    students get a very poor deal from INSEAD; the INSEAD MBA is just not
    sophisticated enough to compete in the MBA job market in the developed world.
    During INSEAD you will be a resource for other students, you will probably have
    more experience, be educated in leading universities and have a wealth of other
    experience. This will be sucked out of you and fed to people in the other
    groups. Employers will laugh at your MBA. Also INSEAD uses the word entrepreneur
    to mean unemployed. If you couldn’t start a business before INSEAD how could
    you start a business upon graduation with all that debt?! Becoming an
    entrepreneur right after business school doesn’t make sense; no pay for a year,
    spend $150,000, then start a business whilst servicing that debt?! INSEAD
    reports how many graduates go to the top consultancy firms; what they don’t
    tell you is that almost all of those people are sponsored by those firms and
    already have those jobs. In reality very few people (1 or 2 in my class) get a
    new job upon graduation.
    If you are there as a career changer from the developed world
    you are being scammed. You share your experience with the strategy consultant
    and family business students and when you graduate there are no jobs for you.
    The only logical explanation for the consistent large minority of students that
    do not do well post INSEAD, is that INSEAD is ripping of one group of students
    for the benefit of another.
    INSEAD
    is constantly asking for donations – a ‘for profit’ business asking for
    donations! How is that not a scam?

  • Leila

    envy at its best 🙂

  • GGG

    hahaha 🙂 loll but well-thought-out story! one might believe you that you are in love – not with in INSEAD, but with some random person. talking nonsense about schools one does not know is prime on these pages…

  • G

    Well, after 8 years of graduating from Insead, I love the place more and more. The culture is unparalleled, the place a blast and the people just amazing, the knowledge so useful especially because it’s so intense and gruelling, as global as it gets, love at first sight for me that’s why I applied only there! I found the culture much more relaxed and much much more close knit community than HBS where I also took a course while doing my MPA in HKS. I could say that one may learn a technical thing or two at HBS than at Insead and HBS career center seemed much more effective. I sensed more insecurity among Inseaders than HBSers, while in school but that is not only because of the career center but also because overall Inseaders are more adventurous, crazy and hitting globally the road least travelled. Over a few years that becomes a great advantage, I would say. overall there is nothing you can not build having been at Insead and the people made me like be more with that bunch than any other for my MBA. One thing I remember strangely at that time, a classmate who was building a start up (a billion dollar valuation by now) was speaking so negatively of the school and saying ‘it’s terrible, nobody knows Insead’. Having been with United Nations, where there Is no network and you have to make it back on your own therefore no job security overall, I was surprised listening to him in class and outside that Insead was not good and nobody knew it (funny because he was in France). After starting a business myself, I realized what it meant: mba network and school weigh so little compared to what is needed to have outside success so in the end it’s the individual that makes it, not so much the MBA or Insead. So, in short Insead will not solve your life questions, but it will contribute intangibly and convincingly toward your success as a professional and human being. Apply! You are gonna fall in love!!!

  • G

    Well, after 8 years of graduating from

  • useless

    I’m currently doing some slight research on schools. I can’t think that you ever went to that school or ever researched it. For instance you are saying “Contrary to the claims – this is not a consulting school and everyone in the program did not come from MBB.” Let’s have a look at the latest employment report. There it says that 234 2014-MBAs chose to work for MBB. Out of them 94 worked for MBB before they went to INSEAD. Everything else in your text is probably not true either. Anyways, good try to confuse everyone.

  • INSEADER 15J

    Dear responder, I’m sorry that I hurt your feelings, but INSEAD is simply not a good school. Almost everything at the school is below average. It should be ranked below LBS and all the other schools. I can add so many different experiences that I had here. I would not recommend it to anyone. Go to a better school instead.

  • LBS_17

    hahaha 🙂 somebody is trying his best… envy can be really funny 🙂

  • Hhahahahaha

    Bwahahahahahahahahahahah

  • Clayton’s funny

    Lol

  • Lilly

    vice versa for Europe & Asia, go for European school. Don’t make it too complicated.

  • AlexisL

    Don’t I entertain you? 😉

  • Lilly

    BTW I think you won’t even get into IMD – they have a great personal screening and very educated people. Your arguments are just not educated enough. choosing a business school for networking purposes should not be of primary concern for anyone attending a business school. INSEAD and LBS serve you well – it is certainly your type of people.

  • LexisA

    hahah 🙂 I’m also an alum, but I was not that happy with the experience! I can’t believe you went to the same school as I did – just joke!

  • AlexisL

    I’m a 14J graduate. Best year of my life! The payoff spreads over a lifetime, not straight after graduation. You get out of it what you put in it. I hope to give back to INSEAD for years to come, with donations and by shining in the business world. For the sore alumnus out there who speak badly about the school, no wonder you’re under performing, bad mouthing your own community… Instead, think about how you can help the community and it will come around. Cheers fyi: although INSEAD is private, it is a not for profit 😉

  • Lilly

    then apply for these two schools, I am pretty sure you will get into both of them. they both have extensive exchange programs with a lot of top us schools. you won’t miss the networking side. I suggest leaving IMD out of your consideration as it looks for different people.

  • Observing

    Thank you for your comment. Certainly, the mainstream answer that you get by those who had a look on it once a couple of years ago. I don’t think this holds true anymore, especially the categorisation in where you want to end up. I clearly do not disrespect your answer, but it seems a little myopic. To be fair, the alumni network is one of the most important things to look into. The reason is obvious. But I heard it even matters more than one thinks it does. I am not yet convinced where I want to work post-MBA and therefore, I think one of those two schools – INSEAD and LBS – would be the way to go. Their alumni network is very strong even in the US. (I actually don’t want to say that IMD is lagging behind. It does not.)

  • Lilly

    It depends on your career goals. for US, gor for US school. unless you have been offered a place in one of the M7 schools, go to INSEAD for consulting, to IMD for industry, or to LBS for banking.

  • Clayton

    INSEAD should not belong to that list. I know several MBAs from INSEAD and they are not what they pretend to be. The education is inferior to all the other business educations of the top10. Of course, I could just claim that, but I know it all very well. I researched these schools. I know alumni of several of these schools. I know recruiters, who do not at all prefer the INSEAD guys. They prefer people from M7, LBS, IESE and HEC far more than INSEAD. It’s simple, go to a different school instead.

  • Observing

    I’m currently trying to figure out which school is the ideal fit for me. And I need to tell you one thing: your post and all the other posts make it completely useless to me to read all these posts. Indeed, I read them, because I was curious how hilarious all that conversation is: I am an alum from that school, I am a real alum from that school, I am an alum from this school. I also don’t believe that you are trying to make an objective claim as you are also heavily making fun of one side of the posts. One thing became quite clear to me: Fora are completely useless when I am trying to make comparisons between schools. Kids have their preferred schools in mind where they want to go and are usually trying to cheer one up and the other one down. It is difficult to decide which one is the best, but of course rankings help. Why? Because usually recruiters have a look on rankings and know that the best candidates apply to the best ranked schools. Rankings are certainly subjective again as you can see that different rankings provide different answers, but at least they are respected worldwide. Maybe you could give me any other advice for how I can find objective guidelines. I will not post my preferred school as I don’t want to side anyone.

  • Lilly2

    IMD and LBS is much better than INSEAD! Believe it or not!

  • NOT

    I’m an INSEAD alum and I clearly dislike my education there. It was one of the worst and I can’t stop saying that you shouldn’t go there! Go to an other top 10 school – it’s not worth to throw away the money! Students are snobby and can’t even read very well. Once I talked to a guy, because he was unable to complete the full reading section of 5 pages. I needed to help him and then he became just angry on me because I was better than him in doing that. What should I say? Guys, believe me and go to better schools. it is a joke.

  • so true

    True! it is just not a good school! boring as you said and no accomplishments at all! Go to LBS instead!

  • Joel

    I agree with your opinion. I already mentioned that M7 and Europe 2 make the best of business education and provide you with the best alumni network to find an awesome (“dream”) job. I am more than convinced that nobody here ever went to one of these 9 schools. But that is the funny thing… fans and haters of the best schools (you can see the same on the US top MBAs ranking) should not spend too much time on comment pages such as this one, but rather work on their applications for their dream schools. You will not get any useful feedback, comment or anything else from that comment page. My advice is to talk to alumni of each of these schools in person. I think most of them are very responsive. At least I managed to talk to a couple of them. These were very enlightening and useful conversations. Good luck with your applications.

  • Warren

    LBS is better than IESE! If you wanna go for Spain, though, I understand your choice… but generally, I think LBS is ahead of IESE!

  • ashish prasad

    you really went to insead? how much was your verbal score in the gmat?

  • Lilly

    If anything can be told by such fight below in the posts, it is one thing, INSEAD students and fans are teen alike attitude. Usually, confident people don’t shout or scream that loud. Prospective applicants who aim for top schools are most likely educated, achievers, and highly qualified people to differentiate between good and bad things, they know how rankings can be played by statistics, and they don’t choose their schools merely for rankings, they choose it for career advancement, and therefore go for the best school for everyone particular case, INSEAD is good for X but not good for Y, IMD is good for Y but not good for X, if you want to work in US, no point going to INSEAD or LBS, if you want to work in Consulting in the international market, your bet with INSEAD is better, if you want London financial work go for LBS. Every single MBA wannabes, students, business professor, recruiter, every one of them, know for certain that, All the M7 schools in US + the next following 13 schools making up the top 20, plus the top three in europe, INSEAD, IMD, and LBS, everyone of those people know that these are the top tier schools, irrespective of ranking or any irrelevant publications. The decline of any of these school, the serious decline if happen it will need very long time to affect the school quality and reputation. So, a year to year ranking should not be a factor at all for any MBA selection. So, the message to INSEAD fans and students: your school is a top school, with very prestigious name and great place to learn, Please do not make not good impression about its students here, by replying to every single negative post. It may be to provoke you to behave the way you behaved here. Your school is strong don’t show that it has this kind of students.

  • cdef

    If you gave more importance to the Economist ranking, IESE would come second and LBS would come third. If you gave less importance to all the other rankings too, Donkey Kong university would come first. you could mess around with the numbers, however you want, of course, rankings are just one part of the medal, personal research and fit is the other.

  • Hilarious

    It’s hilarious how angry and resentful one could be when the best school wins the race. Yes, I am talking about you Inseadsux&Taylor&JH&Charles&John (who are all the same). Deal with the fact and apply again!

  • abcd

    If you gave less importance to The Economist, LBS would come first … and you are usually very critical of Econmomist ranking

  • C. Taylor

    To be fair to LBS, it caters to a slightly different crowd.

  • John

    What do you expect? Most people from INSEAD posting here are pretty dumb. They keep posting the same crap over and over about how INSEAD is this and that and the best, etc. The other funny thing is when they start fighting with the LBS guys.

  • JH

    Nice job pretending to be a recruiter. INSEAD-ers never cease to amaze me when trolling on this site.

  • RealisticMAN

    No, average age is 31, they offer another degree in executive form. IMD MBA is a full time with cohort similar to INSEAD and LBS, in LBS the last two years the avg age was 31. in INSEAD it is 30, so, there is no difference at all. The focus is main difference, and the quality of education at IMD is very obviously better than the other two.

  • IMD is still fine

    IMD is mostly for 35+ – more of an executive MBA experience. Thus, they have higher starting salaries.

  • INSEAD_alum

    add: I am non-finance undergrad and worked in consulting/industry prior to the MBA. Undergrad, though, was top10 in US.

  • INSEAD_alum

    I am actually an INSEAD alum and I can’t be happier that I have chosen INSEAD over a couple of the so called M7 schools. To be fair, I wanted to find a top job in Europe. I was aiming for a MBB job in my home country, received two offers (from McKinsey and Bain), but the MBA just transformed my world view and the opportunities you have. Finally, I ended up with a top private equity job in London and can’t be happier. I, thus, changed location, function, and employer. I can’t thank you more, INSEAD, for this transformative and wonderful experience!

  • do not give up

    try your luck at H or S – they also serve you well around the world! and do not forget, apply again and again – schools wanna see your endurance!

  • hopedsomuch

    who else got dinged by the top 2? would you go for a Spanish programme. I am mainly focusing on European MBAs as I want to work in Europe or Asia post-MBA. Thx for advice.

  • wannabe

    my top three: INSEAD, IESE, LBS –> in that order! Why? reasons are costs and placement. INSEAD places well, I know. IESE places very well in Spain. LBS places well in London! I would be happy with any of these 🙂

  • Warren

    hahaha… hilarious how INSEAD easily get nervous by anonymous online forums.. haha.

  • pqfan

    Always very useful to read your analysis of major rankings, with their drawbacks and strengths. Still, for the P&Q one, I wouldn’t really agree with weighting BW less than Forbes.
    Also, as much as I like The Economist as a newspaper, I would give their ranking a lower weight, mostly because of the erratic changes YoY.

  • Simple

    It’s simple – and we don’t need any of that discussion! Go to the top 7 in the US or top 2 in Europe and you are ready to go. Hands down.

  • Impressive

    Agreed! Just a sheer impressive performance in placements. Just MBB(!) placement is 234(!) for the class of 2014 – far beyond any other business school! wow 🙂 alumni (interested in finance) accepted finance jobs in banks, such as Citi, CS, GS, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan! A recent research showed that INSEAD is next to Berkeley the strongest alumni network for top tech placement – especially GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon). INSEAD entrepreneurs are strongest – see pitchbook. Good stuff guys!

  • wiesman

    It is always amusing to see INSEAD fans jumping like headless chickens trying to defend their institution 🙂 is it that fragile so that an anonymous comments can affect it?!

  • Solid

    It is always the same jealous people spreading rumours and negative comments. I agree that following these comments does not provide any truthfulness. Applied to INSEAD, Harvard, and MIT for a reason. Good luck to all of you.

  • RealisticMAN

    I strongly believe that IMD does not care about ranking. They said it many times that they positioned themselves as an elite boutique small school that focuses so much on personal development and leadership by selecting its students in a very costly way. They want to drive away from the “teenage” behavior of other schools that became ranking addict on expense of quality. The one who wants IMD will apply only for IMD, and from recruiters point view they still regard it very high and continue to recruit from it every year. Remember that IMD MBA maintain the highest full time MBA starting salary in europe.

  • Seriously?

    I think INSEAD is top notch for the last couple of 50 to 60 years. Thunderbird? sorry, what is that? I would say that’s the new LBS – super expensive and not worth a cent. Go for the killers, bro! If you can’t get into INSEAD try Oxbridge – it’s a rising MBA brand.

  • Warren

    It has been replaced by INSEAD.

  • Charles

    do you really want me to believe that you have done your MBA at Stanford, and you are a recruiter for MBA grads from top schools, however, you have time and you take online anonymous forums seriously!! is INSEAD that weak to the extent you guys afraid of online criticism? how pathetic you are! I never seen such insecure people who get nervous by how many likes here 🙂

  • Jimmy

    Agreed – same story on the east coast

  • targetschool

    Thank you for the comment. I indeed heard of several INSEAD MBAs who went to the silicon valley. A couple of those that I know had several offers from companies such as Facebook, apple, google. I consider INSEAD to be en par with HSW – maybe this holds true specifically for California.

  • what else

    I also want to apply to INSEAD and it is great to read that INSEAD is #1 pick for the valley. I live in the valley and I know several INSEAD MBAs, who work for the best companies locally. These people are just awesome and I can learn so much from them.

  • Thunderbird?

    Whatever happened to Thunderbird? I remember 10-20 years ago that was the one school that inevitably came up whenever people were talking about a business school with an international focus.

  • fyu

    Hi John, the table on the second page says “The Definitive List Of The Top International MBA Programs of 2014.” I think this should be 2015?

  • Reality Check

    Hi Remo, not sure what you mean by “manipulating the rankings with an incorrect data.”

    INSEAD does particularly well in the rankings that use feedback directly from students concerning quality of education, satisfaction, salary before/after, ability to pay off student loan after graduation, etc…

    Again, all P&Q is doing here is averaging the major rankings from the major media outlets. I am confident the FT, Bloomberg, Economist, and Forbes do a pretty thorough job in their respective analysis and to suggest otherwise is just being paranoid.

    Every school will have a few students that don’t get their dream job upon graduation, but the individual also has to take responsibility. An MBA from INSEAD, HBS, Stanford, LBS, or wherever you go is always only enough to get you an interview. After that it is up to you and what you bring to the table as an individual (experience/personality/story/fit/etc.) that will get you the job.

  • Federac

    interesting to see INSEADers trying hard to be associated, close, and mentioned near Harvard or Stanford 🙂 the amount of inferiority feeling among INSEAders is unbelievable ..

  • Hayward78

    you would have put your name..

  • Hayward78

    I don’t believe you. If you are truly a Stanford grad who is in position of recruiting top MBAs, you have put your name full with title. Unless you are shameful of something.

  • insead15d=inseadsux

    please 😉 inseadsux, now you are even faking contra arguments such as this one. poor you, my friend.

  • INSEADfollower

    The percentage is that same as everywhere else. With INSEAD in your bag, you do not have the slightest problem. Believe me.

    There are also many entrepreneurs coming out of INSEAD. They need to secure funding and this takes normally longer than the 3 months period after graduation. So no worries.

  • Inseadsux

    Thank you for this, let me just paste in your reply below so that others can read and admire the quality of an INSEAD graduate that landed an MBB role:

    I am a 15D, and got offer from one of the MBB firms. Only the company I got into extended offers to more than 40 people from our batch, the other to I believe should be somewhere close (this is data from the company and not from INSEAM career services). And this is not taking into account the second line of consulting companies.
    What are you talking about.
    ————-
    I am almost speechless. This is the quality you deliver to defend INSEAD? Unfortunately, your response is indicative of the standard at INSEAD. You didn’t even spell the school correctly! I had forgotten how low the standard was.

    Given the quality of your post most will not believe your figures, I don’t, but let’s give you the benefit of the doubt and take your number of 40. From this number subtract out the politically connected people and then divide by native language. This is a small number. Also note that the MBB recruitment standards differ across the globe; there is no way that someone that displays your communication standard would get a MBB job in New York, London or Paris. This is a real problem at INSEAD, the recruitment bar is much higher in the developed world. How can you prepare for case interviews with people that have a much lower target?

    INSEAD? No; do something else instead.

  • Inseadsux

    Interesting; you make it clear that INSEAD is the best ‘international’ school? Isn’t that like saying the best German quarter back? We’re in a single global economy and should not split schools between US and International.

    I am an INSEAD alum and will assume that you are actually a recruiter. Can you explain why I never received a single inquiry on linked in or call back from a resume because of my INSEAD MBA? If you are searching for talent and feel that INSEAD is so strong wouldn’t you ( and the others you refer to) have sought out INSEAD graduates? There is no evidence to back up your claims.

    The sad fact is that the INSEAD MBA is just not as good as advertised and potential students have the right to know.

    INSEAD? No; do something else instead.

  • oh man

    interesting to see the spams about INSEAD, Harvard, and Stanford 😉

  • Stanford-Alum/INSEAD recruiter

    Dear readers,

    I actually do not know very much about all the different European MBA programs. Though I am a Stanford MBA alum and work for a tech company in California. There I am partly responsible for the recruiting processes for new MBAs. In this capacity I became very much familiar with INSEAD MBAs. Thus, I want to say the following:

    First, I generally cannot believe that any MBA alum of any alma mater would talk that badly about his/her alma mater. You are trying to degrade any positive comment about INSEAD. I do think that you do not know anything about that school. Every INSEAD MBA that I talked to loved her experience at INSEAD.

    Second, being in charge of the recruiting process I know about applications from several MBAs and several coworkers hold an MBA. By far, INSEAD is considered to be the strongest international MBA origin of any applications. LBS MBAs do also get interviews, but are not from the same caliber. INSEAD consistently outperforms MBAs from other schools. Therefore, I hold INSEAD MBAs in very high regard. I can speak for several other tech companies in the valley and beyond that INSEAD MBAs are top performers and considered to be the best international MBAs. I truly enjoy working with each of them everyday.

    I do not want to wrong you, but I hardly believe that you are an INSEAD MBA. Probably it is the fate of the winners that they are envied by others. I am sure INSEAD MBAs can deal with that situation as HSW MBAs can deal with it.

  • eitherway

    why were you applying to banking and consulting? this sounds so fake. even if true, sounds like you’d find any reason to let people know.

  • INSEAD-Alum-2009

    Not sure which school this person is talking about, it isn’t the INSEAD I went to.

    I graduated at the bottom of the global financial crisis in mid 2009. I changed my job, industry, geography. I was not rich, more likely poor and come from the developing world. The acceptance rate is not high as a friend of mine who went to Kellogg eventually was rejected at INSEAD.

    I managed to triple my salary. Today I make 10x what I made pre INSEAD.

    I loved my experience at INSEAD.

    Please every prospective student needs to do their research and not weigh one or two extreme experiences into their evaluation. Not even mine.

  • Inseader

    I am an INSEADer and with all due respect, I disagree. Being the largest MBA factory in the world, there is always a significant number of grads suffer after graduation.

  • Martin

    I think there definitely are some typical internet trolls in this forum (I’m thinking about “inseadsux” or “insead-alum”).
    My experience at INSEAD was indeed very different in each and every point that those two guys complained about. And I know hundreds of other alumni who would agree in an instant.
    If you had no clue about bonds you had no chance to pass the Finance 1 exam, where I had to structure a corporate bond offering or calculate convertible bonds for investors.
    Coming from industry and moving on into a top tier strategy consulting with many offers I know that I was not the only one since almost a quarter of my class ended at MBB+5.
    Social life drained me completely with 3 events taking place at the same time while 3 nightly class preparations waited in line as well.
    And finally I never had to leave campus for interviews since the crème de la crème of finance and consulting firms spent weeks on campus for presensations and job interviews.
    In the end I regards the feedback from inseadsux and insead-alum as sour grapes from guys who didn’t make it past the admission process. My honest feedback.
    Peace!

  • helimet5

    were you a consultant before inseed?

  • insead 15d

    I am a 15D, and got offer from one of the MBB firms. Only the company I got into extended offers to more than 40 people from our batch, the other to I believe should be somewhere close (this is data from the company and not from INSEAM career services). And this is not taking into account the second line of consulting companies.

    What are you talking about.

  • Remo

    fail

  • Remo

    disagree. People upset of insead because it systematic misleading poor prospective applicants by manipulating the rankings with an incorrect data. It is good option ONLY and ONLY if you are sponsored, particularly by MBB, other than that you will suffer during and after studying there. the ego is what preventing majority of its grads from speaking out about there poor experience. vast amount of insead grads end up with analyst jobs with low pay in singapore.

  • INSEADER 16J

    test

  • Reality Check

    Who knew ranking business schools could bring out the worst in people? The comments on this post and the U.S. rankings are filled with users called “Wharton Sucks”, “Harvard Sucks” “Kellogg Sucks” “Insead Sucks”, etc…. I hope you guys realize that the P&Q rankings are just taking a weighted average of the four major rankings (FT, Economist, Bloomberg & Forbes), and each one of these clearly explain their methodology. If you have an issue with the rankings, take it up with them, however I personally think the P&Q ranking is quite useful.

  • anonymous

    Harvard is private but it’s non-profit.

  • silent observer

    There are only INSEAD barkers here intrusively touting their school. Someone must be really desperate in Fontainebleau.

  • Profits

    Can you please explain what you mean with for profit colleges and how Insead differs from any other top colleges, such as HSW, which are also for profit?

  • Prabhdeep Singh

    I rather not indulge in such conversations. I have a world to change – one that is facing far more serious problems than those you described above.

  • Fluctuat_Nec_Mergitur

    Man is it a kind of troll? Nothing better to do those last hours? really?
    Nevertheless, I was afraid for your health and wanted to reassure you. I’m a current Inseader and be sure that many more than 1-2 students have an offer from McK, Bain and/or BCG. To my knowledge, these friends are not politically connected and “regular” people in many senses. By the way, many people also have incredible offers from non-consulting companies, and all around the world. Last time I checked even in developed countries 😉

    Then I have to admit that our school does make mistakes. Your admission was apparently a terrible one. Mainly for yourself.

    Keep up the good work alumni, inseaders and future applicants!
    Much love

  • Inseadsux

    Am writing this for native English speakers and those from developed nations, these people get a raw deal from INSEAD. I think that INSEAD should change it’s tag line to ‘business school for the developing world’.

    Thank you for confirming the low level of education at INSEAD. Your comment that one should get a masters in finance rather than an MBA to answer the question ‘what is a bond?’ Really highlights the low standards and level of arrogance.

    It is interesting that you think that there are poor people at INSEAD. Outside of INSEAD, in the developed world, were known as upper middle class. Very insightful that you consider us ‘poor’.

    Regarding for profit education; Google ‘problems with for profit colleges’ that should answer your question.

  • Inseadsux

    Firstly, there is no hate mongering in the original post that is an extremely strong statement. This post is exposing INSEAD and by extension you, that may well trigger strong emotions for you. This post is written to help those considering INSEAD and prevent them wasting a year of their lives.

    I too have heard of these legends of 100 non-sponsored people getting hired by MBB, if this ever did happen, which I doubt; it will not happen again. The year I graduated there were only 1 or 2 non-strategy people that got MBB jobs. However the past doesn’t concern us. In 2016 I would be shocked if more than 2 native English speakers landed new MBB roles. Most of the new MBB roles go to politically connected individuals from around the world, not regular people.

    Since you preach to future applicants let me also instruct. Here is the only question you need to answer to determine if you are a fit for INSEAD:

    Have you already made it in life? If you answer ‘yes’ INSEAD is a fit. If not then do something else instead.

    INSEAD? No; do something else instead.

  • inseader

    well well well … the price of being first on the list I suppose.

  • Prabhdeep Singh

    “As an INSEAD alumni I am always surprised at how highly INSEAD
    is ranked on the league tables. The INSEAD MBA has been a zero value add for me. INSEAD is a for profit school just like Hult or the University of Phoenix,
    INSEAD has all of the same issues and problems as any for profit school. Nobody has ever failed, you pay your fee you get your MBA.”

    Do you have an example of not-for-profit business school? Any evidence/research showing that for-profit schools are worse than not-for-profit schools? Are top American schools charitable institutions? Last I checked, if you want an MBA at HWS, you have to pay ‘your fee’ too.

    “The school is heavily orientated towards participants
    from strategy consultancies. The strategy consultants have on average 2 years
    of experience vs the non strategy students must have approx 7 years of
    experience.”

    If the school, as you mention, is heavily oriented towards strategy consultants, and they have on average 2 years of experience – how can the average experience be above 4 years, and average age be 28? UDJ?

    “The final part of welcome week is the Dean’s speech during which
    the Dean told us: ‘INSEAD offers a general management MBA but if you want you can say that you have a specialization. If a background investigator calls the school, staff are trained to always answer ‘yes’. You should try this; call
    INSEAD and ask does a specific alumni have an MBA with a concentration in
    Taxidermy or any other ridiculous subject, the school will say ‘yes’!”

    I called INSEAD to ask what you referred to – they said No.

    “The actual education was a joke e.g. the finance professor
    stated ‘the school has had feedback that some graduates don’t know what bonds are; therefore, we’ll spend the next 15 minutes on fixed income. Before INSEAD. I had completed the CFA level 1 – I had expected my ‘intense’ INSEAD MBA to be a similar level of challenge to the CFA, INSEAD was trivial in comparison. The education was neither wide nor deep, the classes were pitched at the high school level.”

    Wait, you knew INSEAD is a consulting school and that a large population comes from, and goes to strategy consulting – and you still went expecting your MBA to be M.Fin program? The school prides itself on diversity, which means that the students are coming from all walks of life. If you have a problem with prof. taking 15 min explaining fixed income instruments to such students – maybe the problem is you, and not the school?

    “The participants can be split into the following groups:
    Wealthy global elite (top 0.1%)
    Strategy consultants (non native English speakers)
    Developing world (non elite,non strategy)
    Developed world (non elite,non strategy)”

    So what you are saying is the following – the participants were rich & poor, from across the world, including developed & developing world and had either strategy or non-strategy background? LOL! One more category and you can cover the Antarctic Penguins too.

    “Developed world students get a very poor deal from INSEAD; the INSEAD MBA is just not sophisticated enough to compete in the MBA job market in the developed world. ”

    When you say developed world, you do mean USA right? – which probably is due to the fact that the market is so heavily served by the US B-Schools. Last I checked, maximum INSEAD alumni were in Europe. Some global authorities still consider Europe to be developed. You don’t?

    “The only logical explanation for the consistent large minority of students that
    do not do well post INSEAD, is that INSEAD is ripping of one group of students
    for the benefit of another.”

    Large Minority? Dude.

  • Flaflaparis

    I am a current inseader and i can tell that i and majority of my friends here really enjoy our experiences: academic, social life, ..lots of career opportunities if u r persistent and of course realistic about your own capabilities. For myself, insead has enriched me far more than i had ever expected and given me far more opportunities than had i not taken this path.

    Cheers to all and i am sorry to hear there are people who can be so resentful 🙂

  • Greg

    True, but irrelevant.

  • C. Taylor

    Corrected now, I see. Great.

  • C. Taylor

    There are plenty who get MBB placement without an MBA and without a prestige undergrad degree. Translation: you don’t need an elite MBA to get in. Also, MBB recruit at scores of MBA programs. Insead is one of the elite–or crème de la crème. And there are plenty more consultancies than just MBB.

    Assuming you have an Insead MBA, you must either miss in execution or leap from background to position applied for.

    If you don’t mind; what is your background? Nationality, previous degrees / certifications, GPA, languages you’re fluent in, work history (companies and roles) and location? Other skills?

    And which “strategy” roles have you applied for?

  • Profits

    I don’t get the “for profit” argument. Aren’t all business schools for profit anyway? HBS is also a private – i.e. for-profit – school despite belonging to Harvard. They are, after all, BUSINESS schools…

  • MBAStudent

    The singular form is alumnus or alumna (not alumni, I implore everyone to learn the correct way to use these words or not use them at all), and you may be one of some business school, but certainly not one of INSEAD. You are spreading falsehoods because your ego was clearly given a blow. Perhaps you weren’t accepted, or maybe someone you dislike/envy is an INSEAD MBA. Regardless, the energy spent writing these negative posts could rather be redirected into something positive.

    You seem like one of those people who, rather than build themselves up, puts their effort into breaking others down. These people don’t end up being successful, not even if they get lucky enough to sneak past the rigorous admissions process of a top school like INSEAD.

  • 780GMAT

    For a somebody with a 780 GMAT you make awful lot of spelling mistakes…

  • greg

    I share your views …
    I hesitated with IMD, which was my second best. Was truly amazed at the full day of selection / visit. The candidates were challenging, the class I attended was great, and students were obviously very dedicated.
    No idea why it is slipping in all rankings ..

  • Greg

    Social life at INSEAD is indeed very developped around parties, with some aspects of star-system which I also disliked. ¨
    I can understand that you felt some where brainwashed, and I disliked that too. Yet overall I did meet some outstanding people, learnt a lot (but it depended on me get more than required) and got good job offers.

    I arrived a CFA charterholder with 780 GMAT and truly felt there was really no limit to the academic depth of the school’s curriculum. The teachers were generally top (in my field, finance, the teachers were stunning, although I had already studied intensely I could never really get the teachers in their danger zone). Not all students are alike, but if you are looking for emulation from truly bright people from around the world, you will find it.

    Last but not least, early 2012, a bad time in the job market, I secured offers from JPM, GS, Crédit Suisse, and cancelled my last rounds at Bain and McKinsey.

  • vinit_jain.90

    This is total bullshit. How come P&Q even claim itself as an authoritative , let alone “most” authoritative !?

  • Real INSEAD alum

    Fellow alum,

    I feel sorry that you did not have a great experience at INSEAD like most others, and it did not help your career. I truly do. However, you are not doing yourself any favour through such hate-monging, and exaggerations. The only reason I’m commenting here is to ensure that future applicants are not deterred by such false comments. My 2 cents:
    – You say that strategy consulting firms hire 1-2 people. Are you serious? 1-2? I know that the largest global intake for MBB is from INSEAD. In my batch, there were about 100 (NON-sponsored) students who went to MBB. You cannot deny this fact. I know these people.
    – Yes, entrepreneurship tends to be glorified/overly-encouraged. But I’d say that’s a good thing! If people from top b-schools do not take the leap, who would? Also, you cannot deny that some exceptional start-ups have come out quite recently from INSEAD. It’s definitely not the case that “people who can’t find a job become entrepreneurs”. Nobody at INSEAD is so naive.
    – As for the social life, I’d say there are some people who are extra-social and partying every other day is the norm. But this is a personal preference – nobody is forcing to go out. Further, I’m sure this is true for each school.
    – Regarding for-profit/nor-for-profit, I honestly do not care, or have the time to research. The bottom line is that INSEAD provided an exceptional boost to my career and for many others.

    Good luck for your career.

  • Inseadsux

    You must have went to a different INSEAD to me. The school’s education was a joke and the social life boring.

  • Inseadsux

    St Anne,

    There is no need to dream of INSEAD simply apply and go. The acceptance rate is unpublished for a reason. It is very high. Prior to going to INSEAD an alum told me that it was a fantastic experience, on my return we met again. When I told him that INSEAD was terrible, he replied ‘I thought it was only me that didn’t enjoy it’. People do not want tyo admit they didn’t like it.

  • Inseadsux

    Dear C Taylor,

    Am the original poster of this review, INSEAD -ALUM is welcome to use my words but am sorry that the over posting has annoyed you. Words that are over repeated can lose their purpose and I would appeal to INSEAD-ALUM to express himself/herself in their own words.

    I have read your replies – thank you for that. To answer some of you points: I went to INSEAD with the hope of changing career to strategy consulting. Post INSEAD; despite an extensive year long job search I was not able to get a single interview. Sure, there is a ‘network’ but it just evaporates if you try to use it. The INSEAD network is more of a social network than a business network; it’s very weak – like a cold call list.

  • Inseadsux

    David it is you that is factually incorrect; INSEAD is a for profit business. Please post a link to any documentation showing that INSEAD holds NFP status.

  • alumnus-13J

    well said. you are not alone with such situation.

  • St. Anne

    I have several friends and colleagues that went to INSEAD and it’s my dream to attend one day as well. If you are indeed an alum as you say, then I’m sorry that you didn’t get the same amazing experience that each of them have spoken with me about.

  • St. Anne

    My WISH schools – Wharton, INSEAD, Stanford, Harvard…Of course LBS would be nice too, but doesn’t fit into my nice acronym! 😉

  • MikyMiky

    come on guys, John will be upset if the posts here are more than the posts on US schools. Go there where the advanced and “prestige” .. 🙂

  • herald

    many thanks for the informative reply. I meant that it was for long time that the best business schools outside US are the top three, INSEAD, LBS, and IMD. And it was pretty straightforward career driving choices: Consulting>>>INSEAD, Finance and Banking>>>LBS, and Industry >>>IMD. Irrespective of rankings, I see the quality of recruiting in term of names and salaries mentions that these are the top 3 and these are the ones that could be comparable to the best US schools, case publications, faculty quality, history, and reputation overall. My question for John was based on this ranking results and the recent decline in IMD. Otherwise, I deeply (and I strongly believe that most if not all the prestigious recruiters) believe that IMD is a top school and on par with INSEAD and LBS. In fact when it comes to general management and leadership it is actually on par with Harvard and Dartmouth.

  • C. Taylor

    It really depends on fit.

    Some easy decisions: If you need an internship, LBS–a two year program–is the way to go. If you want the option to study online, IE is the way to go. Those are the easy decisions.

    Look at the programs and see how good they are at putting people with your background in the post-MBA positions you seek with the compensation you desire. Consider other aspects of fit as well.

    IMD has a world-leading program and is an excellent choice, given fit.

    I didn’t see you mention any other programs. IESE has a fantastic program, for instance. It’s truly hard to beat SDA Bocconi. If you want to work in France, you should consider HEC Paris in addition to Insead. UK? Consider Cambridge, Oxford, and Manchester. APAC? AGSM is a no-brainer–HK-UST and Insead also have offerings there.

  • C. Taylor

    Yes, Insead would place first regardless of mixing up the two for FT. I see LBS is now first on your above FT list.

    “Last time Forbes ranked the schools it did not publish separate rankings
    for one- and two-year programs. That was a departure for Forbes.”

    Apologies, I do now recall that. I also see I skipped Cambridge which explains the single placement difference I noticed.

    However CEIBS is still missing, which it shouldn’t be given FT & Forbes both rank it at 4 using P&Q treatment and BW ranks it at 21. I provided links for these.

  • herald

    John, is it safe to say that the top 3 european schools are INSEAD, LBS, and IE, instead of old order with IMD ? I noticed these 3 schools never fell out of top 5 in every single ranking.

  • JohnAByrne

    Yes, indeed. All the scores are correct and now the individuals rankings are correct for LBS and INSEAD. It was London’s relatively weak showing in The Economist ranking, a ninth place finish, that allowed INSEAD to sneak ahead. As for changing the methodology, we didn’t. Last time Forbes ranked the schools it did not publish separate rankings for one- and two-year programs. That was a departure for Forbes. This year, Forbes returned to its own style of separately ranking both one- and two-year MBAs. We credited each ranked school with the full weight of those ranks.

  • Seb

    Congrats INSEAD, although I am not surprised in the slightest!
    The school has gone from strength to strength in the last few decades and has been a cradle for Top CEOs, consultants and entrepreneurs alike. I am always impressed at what a Linkedin search for 5y+ out INSEAD alumns yields; which for me is a real benchmark. A top MBA is not a silver bullet, but greatly enhances a career if well used over time… It is worth noting that INSEAD’s immediate competition is equally impressive; I’ve always thought that a simple large scale perception-based poll would likely present a very similar top 10 anyway…

  • WEST

    the new weird program director is destroying it. They only take 90 people which means weak alumni base, less attractive to employers..

  • MBA-WATC

    I feel sorry for IMD. It deserves better ranking. what happened to this amazing school?

  • Jon09

    Totally agreed!

  • Alum_06

    Thank you, INSEAD, for a life changing year! It was the best experience I have ever had! I can only agree that professors, students, and alumni are some of the most accomplished, generous, and humble people in the world! The school’s education coupled with social interaction is impressive!

  • Jeremy

    Well done! INSEAD is an extremely powerful school with an extraordinary strong job placement and the best alumni network in the world! Well deserved! Keep up the great work!

  • Objective Research

    Haha nice spamming – but aparently you are talking about a different school. I’m sorry for you that you didn’t get into INSEAD…

    All the best and hope you come over it.

  • spanish_whartom

    LBS second Financial Times?

  • C. Taylor

    Dispassionate analysis of his repeated post, not anger.

  • Warren

    My friend, he is free to express whatever he wants… why are you so angry !

  • C. Taylor

    He obviously posts the same thing each time for himself. It doesn’t reflect positively on his capacity to cope with life.

  • Ramis_Fard

    its professors, deans and board all are shareholders. I think INSEAD trying to avoid the french harsh tax system by having a broad establishments. So, they benefit from singapore free tax, abu dhabi building gift. etc etc..

  • David

    This post is factually incorrect, in that INSEAD is a non-profit institution. It does not have any ‘owners’ or ‘shareholders.’

  • Warren

    I believe he does not post merely for you 🙂

  • C. Taylor

    You shouldn’t comment if you aren’t interested in interaction. I replied to your previous duplicate post. Stop spamming.

  • INSEAD-ALUM

    As an INSEAD alumni I am always surprised at how highly INSEAD
    is ranked on the league tables. The INSEAD MBA has been a zero value add for
    me. INSEAD is a for profit school just like Hult or the University of Phoenix,
    INSEAD has all of the same issues and problems as any for profit school. Nobody
    has ever failed, you pay your fee you get your MBA.

    Who owns INSEAD and are there any conflicts of interest? This
    should be investigated. The school is heavily orientated towards participants
    from strategy consultancies. The strategy consultants have on average 2 years
    of experience vs the non strategy students must have approx 7 years of
    experience. Could the owner of INSEAD be the partner in charge of education at
    one of the strategy consultancies? I made a mistake; I bought an intangible
    product from a seller I knew nothing about and that product was useless.

    The first few days of INSEAD were interesting, I had many
    interesting discussions; but then the welcome week hazing event started. This
    consisted of the upper class playing a series of weird and often cruel pranks
    on the incoming class. For example; people were forced to fight each other and
    others were abandoned in the middle of the forest at night. This in a program
    were the average age is 28. This hazing ruined what might have otherwise been a
    good year. After the hazing event no one takes the school seriously. Since this
    hazing event was not listed on the brochure and this event negatively impacted
    my experience I feel that INSEAD was a bait and switch scam.

    The final part of welcome week is the Dean’s speech during which
    the Dean told us: ‘INSEAD offers a general management MBA but if you want you
    can say that you have a specialization. If a background investigator calls the
    school, staff are trained to always answer ‘yes’. You should try this; call
    INSEAD and ask does a specific alumni have an MBA with a concentration in
    Taxidermy or any other ridiculous subject, the school will say ‘yes’!

    After welcome week the place feels like a cult, no one will say
    anything against the school, facilities or social life. Descent is discouraged,
    those that fall foul of this rule can find themselves ostracized. People
    display symptoms of being brain washed. Hundreds of students, average age 28,
    get drunk in barns and tell each other that these are the best parties they
    have ever been to. However; one on one, in hushed tones, people said to me ‘I
    thought I was the only one that didn’t like the social life’.

    The career service didn’t seem to actually exist; there was an
    office labelled careers and there were people working there but it was a sham.
    The alleged career service did not even maintain student records, nor a job
    bank nor interview preparation materials. My undergraduate university offered
    this level of career services, I had expected INSEAD to exceed this standard.
    The careers services released reports on their own performance that read like
    North Korean harvest reports. In my promotion apparently a large percentage
    used the career service to find jobs and almost everyone changed career. We see
    the external economist report contradicts these assertions. After graduation
    when you cannot get a job that is when the careers service start their victim
    blaming: ‘you need to be more of an entrepreneur to get a job’ or ‘you didn’t
    try hard enough’.

    The actual education was a joke e.g. the finance professor
    stated ‘the school has had feedback that some graduates don’t know what bonds
    are; therefore, we’ll spend the next 15 minutes on fixed income. Before INSEAD
    I had completed the CFA level 1 – I had expected my ‘intense’ INSEAD MBA to be
    a similar level of challenge to the CFA, INSEAD was trivial in comparison. The
    education was neither wide nor deep, the classes were pitched at the high
    school level.

    The participants can be split into the following groups:

    Wealthy global elite (top 0.1%)

    Strategy consultants (non native English speakers)

    Developing world (non elite,non strategy)

    Developed world (non elite,non strategy)

    The wealthy and strategy students are well served by the school.
    These people want to have a good time and get a rubber stamp MBA. Students from
    the developing world have language skills that will enable them to get jobs in
    growing markets that are underserved by other business schools. Developed world
    students get a very poor deal from INSEAD; the INSEAD MBA is just not
    sophisticated enough to compete in the MBA job market in the developed world.
    During INSEAD you will be a resource for other students, you will probably have
    more experience, be educated in leading universities and have a wealth of other
    experience. This will be sucked out of you and fed to people in the other
    groups. Employers will laugh at your MBA. Also INSEAD uses the word entrepreneur
    to mean unemployed. If you couldn’t start a business before INSEAD how could
    you start a business upon graduation with all that debt?! Becoming an
    entrepreneur right after business school doesn’t make sense; no pay for a year,
    spend $150,000, then start a business whilst servicing that debt?! INSEAD
    reports how many graduates go to the top consultancy firms; what they don’t
    tell you is that almost all of those people are sponsored by those firms and
    already have those jobs. In reality very few people (1 or 2 in my class) get a
    new job upon graduation.

    If you are there as a career changer from the developed world
    you are being scammed. You share your experience with the strategy consultant
    and family business students and when you graduate there are no jobs for you.
    The only logical explanation for the consistent large minority of students that
    do not do well post INSEAD, is that INSEAD is ripping of one group of students
    for the benefit of another.

    INSEAD
    is constantly asking for donations – a ‘for profit’ business asking for
    donations! How is that not a scam?

  • C. Taylor

    Looks like you guys forgot CEIBS:
    21 BW
    4 Forbes
    4 FT

    Sources:
    bloomberg (dot) com/features/2015-best-business-schools
    forbes (dot) com/business-schools/list/international-2-year/#tab:rank
    rankings (dot) ft (dot) com/businessschoolrankings/global-mba-ranking-2015

  • Anon

    Not sure I get it: isn’t LBS ahead of Insead in the 2015 FT ranking? That should put LBS on top of this P&Q ranking.