INSEAD MBA Programme

by Fontainebleau, INSEAD January 17th, 2009

One year. Unparalleled diversity.

People say that ‘Diversity' is the ‘D' in INSEAD. No other business school offers such a multicultural experience, with over 70 nationalities included among the participants. In study groups of five to six, no more than two people of the same nationality are represented. In fact, there is no dominant culture at INSEAD - everyone is a minority. The mix of cultures and personalities is matched by a mix of educational and professional backgrounds. Both the Fontainebleau and Singapore campuses have an enriching energy, powered by diverse outlooks and opinions.

INSEAD's diversity has long-term benefits. In a typical year, our MBA graduates join organisations in over 50 countries, more than any other business school. Consequently, our alumni network has unparalleled global reach. Recruiters tell us that our diverse learning environment creates open-minded, culturally aware graduates who have the knowledge and sensitivity to operate anywhere in the world - the next generation of transcultural leaders.


One year. One school. Two campuses.

A picturesque French town, steeped in history. A thriving city-state, perhaps the world's most truly multicultural city. It is hardly surprising that most MBA participants choose to spend time in both Fontainebleau and Singapore. Fontainebleau, a 45-minute train journey from Paris, is a traditional centre for shopping, culture, and dining. Most participants rent an apartment or house in the area.

Some share a country house or château on the edge of the Fontainebleau forest. Singapore, Asia's vibrant financial and high-tech hub, is prosperous and efficient. The INSEAD campus is based in the city's ‘Knowledge Hub', where most participants live in modern condominiums. The Wharton Exchange adds even more diversity to the mix. Participants who choose this option can live and study in Europe, Asia and North America during their year at INSEAD. In today's inter-connected global economy, the benefits of soaking up such varied influences are immense.


One year to be informed and inspired

 The high calibre of regular INSEAD recruiters and the high levels of INSEAD graduate salaries confirm our world-class credentials. This reputation is reinforced by our position as the business school with the world's largest Executive Education programme. Our faculty are skilled at dealing with practical and relevant business challenges as well as the profound academic issues encountered on the MBA programme.

But our teaching and research faculty are not simply world experts in modern management and entrepreneurship. They are also experts at passing on their knowledge. At INSEAD, our faculty's inspirational talent in the classroom is as important as their leading-edge research. Reflecting INSEAD's diversity, the faculty includes professors from 35 countries. Whether based in Fontainebleau or Singapore, most faculty teach on both campuses. Their specialisations and fields of research are also diverse, covering the major issues facing international business. Not surprisingly, given the school's multicultural spirit, much of their work has a global dimension.

To further extend INSEAD's international reach, we have a faculty exchange programme with the Wharton School in the US and have established research centres in Abu Dhabi and Israel.


One year. Five intensive study periods

The INSEAD MBA curriculum is designed to quickly and thoroughly prepare participants for a career in international business. This aim is reflected in the compressed time frame, reliance on group work and clear focus on international markets and settings.

The first few periods are based on a structured series of 13 core courses. These courses cover accounting, finance, statistics, strategy, marketing, operations management and organisational behaviour. Other courses focus on the environment in which business takes place. Subjects such as economics and political analysis help participants understand the drivers of change that will affect their future careers.

The second half of the programme is customisable. Participants take more than 10 electives, creating a mix of topics that will support their educational and professional goals. They can either pursue a generalist path toward management or specialise in a particular functional area. They may also create concentrations in specific areas, such as finance or entrepreneurship.

During one year, participants at INSEAD have a similar number of course hours as those attending most two-year MBA programmes. This is achieved by focusing on study five days a week and avoiding ‘down-time' during the programme.


One year to develop life-long networks

Life outside the classroom is as stimulating as the formal studies. The many clubs on campus include Entrepreneurship, Private Equity, INSEAD Women in Business, INSEAD International Development Organisation (a Net Impact Chapter) and the Global Leaders Series, which invites prominent international business leaders to speak at INSEAD.

National Weeks are a social tradition at INSEAD. Arranged by participants of a particular nationality, they showcase the country's culture, business, music, food and pastimes. During these weeks, the campuses become even more colourful and cosmopolitan than usual. Sporting facilities on both campuses are excellent. Tennis, squash, swimming, hiking and climbing are popular in Fontainebleau, a region also known as the horse-riding centre of France. In Singapore, participants enjoy the year-round sunny climate while cycling, blading, wind surfing, water skiing and playing beach volleyball. INSEAD also offers a particular welcome to partners and families, and over 25% of participants are joined by partners for the duration of the programme. The INSEAD Partners Club organises a range of events throughout the year for partners and children. Partners may participate in a variety of activities ranging from cultural outings in Paris and Singapore to career-related workshops.


One year to change all future years

Our alumni often say that their year at INSEAD was a life-changing experience. The knowledge they acquire, the business skills they develop and the friendships they make combine to create an ‘INSEAD effect' that lasts throughout their entire lives. In career terms, the one-year investment produces measurable returns. The opportunities are immense. In 2007, aided by the Career Services team, participants pursued careers in over 55 countries upon graduation. Blue-chip multinational employers find INSEAD graduates particularly appealing. Our graduates know how to manage their time, prioritise tasks and juggle many responsibilities in a day. They are also worldly-wise and culturally sensitive. As a result, INSEAD recruits are renowned for being operational from ‘Day One', anywhere in the world. The potential return on investment is substantial, bringing you a lifetime of opportunities and benefits.

It is an investment which cannot be measured merely in financial terms. As a first step to joining this programme, we encourage you to learn more about the programme by visiting us in Fontainebleau or Singapore, where you can meet current MBA participants and hear their impressions. In the meantime, the next page gives a flavour of their opinions.


One year to earn your place among our alumni

In a sense, you never leave INSEAD. As your MBA programme comes to an end, your life as an INSEAD alumnus begins. It is likely to be an enriching, exciting life. You will join a diverse alumni network of over 37,000 members, including more than 17,000 from the MBA programme. Our alumni live and work in over 160 countries across all continents. The community may be geographically diverse, but our alumni share the same entrepreneurial streak. Twenty years after gaining their MBA, over 40% of our alumni own and manage their own business.

The advice and encouragement that flows between INSEAD alumni, facilitated by the on-line alumni network, is an important tool in this business building. Many alumni stay in close contact with INSEAD. A thousand alumni volunteers sit on national alumni association committees, helping to organise reunions and speaker events, as well as interviewing MBA candidates in their home countries. Four alumni share their views here...

Tags: INSEAD Singapore Fontainebleau MBA Business Diversity Networks Alumni Prestige International Careers

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