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September 28, 2011

My Visit to the INSEAD Singapore Campus

I had the pleasure of visiting the INSEAD Singapore campus last week.  INSEAD's Deborah Riger,  who I have previously interviewed, was kind enough to give me a tour of the campus and arrange a visit to a class.

The Singapore Campus is a pleasant urban campus located within a research park.  While I have not been to the Fontainebleau campus, clearly there is a marked contrast between the two campuses. As one of my former clients explained to me over lunch in Singapore, the campuses each have their own distinct culture. Singy is the classic urban campus effect with students being able to access a great international city, whereas Fonty offers the classic college town effect. My former client had actually started at Fonty, is now at Singy, and will be going to Wharton.  She is taking full advantage of a total set of very distinct experiences, which is certainly one of the great advantages of the program.  Now adding Kellogg into the mix and the possibilities for experiences extremely different campus cultures is really quite amazing.  In the case of this one former client, she appreciated the opportunity to do more intensive bonding in Fonty, which, given its location has significantly less distractions than Singy. She said that in either case, students find themselves traveling extensively with friends on the weekends.  With Singy you have access to Asia via cheap flights and an amazing international airport located very close to campus. 

Compared to US business schools that I have visited (Booth, Haas, HBS, Kellogg, MIT, Stanford, and UCLA), the extreme internationality of INSEAD's students is an obvious and yet completely worthwhile point to mention.  Singapore itself is so international, but by contrast INSEAD is even more so.   The number of foreign languages spoken in the hallways and the accents I heard in the classroom were simply amazing. 

I attended an introductory class, Uncertainty, Data, and Judgment, and was impressed by the amount of material covered in the course.  I could see immediately why INSEAD's TOEFL and GMAT minimums would be effective ways to guarantee that potential students could keep in class.  Talking with a second former client who has just begun the program, I gather that the workload, while intense, was manageable.

The second client I talked to, by the way, was one of, what she told me, a number of moms with babies.  She told me that she thought the access to relatively daycare (she has a nanny for her baby) made Singy a better choice than Fonty, especially if one has a working spouse. Unlike my other client, she planned to do the straight ten months at Singy. 

I want to thank everyone at INSEAD for really helping gain a deeper understanding of the program.   For those of you considering INSEAD, if you do have the possibility of visiting prior to application, I do recommend it.

-Adam Markus
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I am a graduate admissions consultant who works with clients worldwide. If you would like to arrange an initial consultation, please complete my intake form, which is publicly available on google docs here, and then send your completed form to adammarkus@gmail.com.  You can also send me your resume if it is convenient for you.  Please don't email me any essays, other admissions consultant's intake forms, your life story, or any long email asking for a written profile assessment. The only profiles I assess are those with people who I offer initial consultations to. See here for why. Please note that initial consultations are not offered when I have reached full capacity or when I determine that I am not a good fit with an applicant.
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