The NU Singapore MBA: What You Need To Know
The world’s only true, sovereign city-state, Singapore is home to just 5 million people but punches well above its weight in many respects. It has a complex and diverse history, with numerous empires sweeping through over the centuries, leaving it with four official languages — English, Malay, Chinese, and Tamil — and a population with connections all over Asia. Singapore is a true regional business powerhouse, the perfect setting for NU Singapore. Want proof? It is home to the Asia Pacific headquarters of over 4,000 multinationals, including Google, Facebook, and Procter & Gamble.
For anyone interested in a pan-Asian career, the National University of Singapore Business School is the real deal — and not just because of its location. NU Singapore has a global reputation, reflected in its full-time MBA’s rank of 15th in the world in the 2020 Financial Times rankings, making it the third-highest-ranked Asian business school after Shanghai’s CEIBS and INSEAD, which has campuses in both France and Singapore. NUS came sixth in Forbes’ list of international two-year MBAs in 2019, too.
Twenty-six nationalities were represented in the most recent NUS cohort to graduate. Most hail from Asia, although a few from Europe and the Americas do take the program. (Courses are, of course, taught in English, which is also the lingua franca of Singapore, making life in the city easier for international students.) NUS students have access to a vast network; the school has 38,000 alumni, and the university as a whole has over a quarter of a million.
NUS says that it offers “the best in global knowledge filtered through the lens of Asian insights.” The school aims to “cultivate future captains of industry.” The MBA itself lasts 17 months — placing is squarely between the 12 or 24 months typical in Europe and the U.S., respectively, meaning that participants get a chance to enjoy an exploratory MBA without the opportunity cost that sometimes puts people off a longer program.
The course consists of 10 core subjects, including seven courses of standard MBA fare such as accounting, strategy, leadership, and operations, and three “experiential core” subjects centered around skills such as influencing, communication, and self-awareness. Added to this are seven electives, chosen from 50, which can be grouped in specializations including finance, marketing, or strategy and organization.
As a member of Global Network for Advanced Management (GNAM), a group of 30 business schools from all over the world, NUS allows students to go on exchanges to partner institutions to gain international experience. A global immersion program means participants can take week-long company visits and cultural immersion trips to cities such as London, Delhi, Manila, or Sydney, or spend an entire semester overseas at one of the school’s 60 partner universities. Those with entrepreneurial ambitions can benefit from initiatives such as NUS’s Lean Launchpad, which puts them in contact with scientists and engineers hoping to create businesses based on their research. A consultancy project with a major company is another highlight.
The outcome? Ninety-four percent of NUS MBAs have jobs within three months of graduation, 89% of them through the school’s careers service or other university-related activities. The vast majority in the Class of 2019 found jobs in Asia — a fifth in Singapore itself, and another two-thirds in other parts of the continent. The most popular sectors where they found work were consulting, financial services, and technology.