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Fonty or Singapore

I will be starting my programme in Fontainebleau (affectionately called Fonty). This was an easy choice for me. My reasons:

  1. I’ve spent considerable time in Asia, especially in Singapore. I don’t need the “Asia-experience”. Singapore is a great place to be in if you want to travel through SE Asia, network with Asian companies, understand Asian culture, and look for Asia-related jobs. Living fees are also slightly (though not too much) lesser than at Fonty.
  2. Currently, my post-MBA goal is to work in either Western Europe, UK, Africa or Middle-East Asia. Barring the last location, Fonty’s a better place to be in for recruiting. My plans can change considering how the economy pans out next year.
  3. Somehow, I feel the true INSEAD experience can be had only where it started. Anyone who knows INSEAD knows that the dual-campus system works flawlessly and it does not matter where you study. At the end of the day, you get an INSEAD MBA. Period. So, I’d like to reiterate that this is a purely personal feeling.
  4. I’ve spent considerable time in Scotland and I know people hate the weather, but I really liked the rain and the chill. Paris (not Hilton), I know is similar, and in summer the glorious summer sun comes out drenching Europe in marigold warmth. Plus, it gives me the opportunity to travel through France and Europe.

Remember, there’s nothing to take away from the Singapore campus and nothing to give to the Fonty campus. It’s all one and the same. It finally comes down to personal preferences, networking, travel options, past experiences, etc.


9 Responses

  1. Hi,

    Your comments and experience really helps. I plan to apply for INSEAD Sept2010-11 class.

    Would appreciate if you could spare some time and provide your perspective/experience on things unique to INSEAD. Basically, what differentiates INSEAD culture from other top B-Schools.
    Also, what does INSEAD look for in a prospective student.

  2. Kaps,

    Please send me a mail. I’ll be more than happy to talk to you.

  3. Hi,

    Your posts very informative and interesting. I would like a few crisp reasons as to why INSEAD stands out, in your opinion.

    Are applicants with 4.5 years of exp, at a disadvantage? (As the avg exp is more than this)

    • Hi Anju,

      I usually don’t respond to such questions on the blog as people are generally not mature enough to NOT start an unnecesary flame-war, but will make an exception this time (let’s see what happens).

      Crisp reasons:

      1. 1-year vs. 2-year. There are numerous proponents of 2-years, but I know enough people at places like H/S/W who had more than enough of it after ~12 months and wanted to start working. You will usually hear the common refrain that a 2-year is more useful for career changers, etc. Such commentaters are usually those who haven’t gone into B-school yet (and most likely will not), so take them with a pinch of salt. Also, remember the opportunity cost really starts to hurt even with a 1-year.

      2. Diversity, diversity, diversity! I cannot stress more on how important this is, especially at B-school. And no other school holds a candle in front of INSEAD w.r.t. this.

      3. Quality of students. INSEAD attracts a very unique crowd. They are usually very very very smart, but with an edge of uber-coolness about them. This balance is very hard to find, and INSEAD is filled with these kind of people. This is where “fit” makes a difference. You gotta be ready to play hard, and work hard; really hard ;p

      4. Dual-campus. This is unique only to INSEAD, and trust me, it makes a difference if you want to work in Asia and are in Asia when recruiting starts.

      There are many more reasons, but this is hopefully enough to go on with.

      4.5 years is good enough. “Average” is a statistical number. Most people are always a variance of this number. So, don’t get hung up on statistics. Ballpark is good enough.

  4. Hello,

    Thanks a lot for the prompt and helpful response!!

    Does INSEAD give a lot of stress on extracurriculars? I do have good community service and Table Tennis exp (during my 4.5 years work life) but not too much (with a bit of modelling exp, though I haven’t taken that up seriously) . I was more into acads during Engineering. Do you think that hampers my chances? (I would like to go into consulting. Currently I am in Software industry in finance domain) I guess Harvard/Wharton are a lot on extra-currics…

    Again, thanks for taking out time to reply to my earlier question :-) It was helpful!


    • Anju,

      I replied to you via e-mail. Hope that helps.

      • Thanks a lot, OMG! Just saw your mail… Thanks for taking out the time to explain. It really clarifies many things I had in mind..

        Apologies for posting my specific questions here. I shall write to you via e-mail about other questions/doubts.


  5. Hi OMJ,

    i will start on the s’pore campus and i really identify with your wanting to spend time on fonty campus (likely P3 – P5 for me). Is it true that insead is traditionally viewed as being less strong for financial recruitment as opposed to consulting?

  6. Would you be kind enough to drop a test email on my id- jravish@gmail.com -so that I can talk to you via email. I intend to apply for Jan 13 session and have few Qs, hoping to get some clarification from INSEAD alums.

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