Saturday, February 21, 2009


One of the best courses I've taken at INSEAD is called International Political Analysis. The content was just okay, but the professor who taught it - Vinnie Aggarwal - a visiting professor from Haas just rocked the show.

The entire class felt like a story of countries, their manipulations and struggles. Just plain amazing..


I recently met a friend of mine in a Parisian Cafe. He's getting his MBA at IMD. I have to admit that I felt a little jealous about their program. While the overall prestige and reputation of INSEAD is greater than IMD, there are a few very cool things about IMD

1. Very small class size. Total class < 100, compared to 450+ for INSEAD
2. Average age is 31+, which means you have a more powerful network (powerful is debatable ofcourse)
3. Intense focus on group work - Everything gets done in a group. INSEAD does a lot of group work too, but we keep rotating groups quite a bit.

If I were to do it again, I'd do INSEAD all over for it's own strengths. But depending on your background, choosing IMD can be a good option..

Moving to Singapore

I'm out of Fonty and on to Singapore for P4,P5.

Why am I doing this?

I want to look for jobs in Singapore, HongKong & India. And despite what everyone states P4 must be spent where you're looking for a job.

Reading the FT or WSJ, you hear that Singapore is pretty much F#c@ed. Well, that goes with the rest of the world. For now, I'm hoping that a more urban environment atleast simplifies networking.

Finally, the insider view is that Singapore is the 'more fun' place to be at. The environment is supposedly more relaxed, people more friendlier etc etc. I honestly don't get how that could be, but I guess I'll just learn.

P3 exams are about to start in a few days now. The nice thing about P3 and forward is that there are very few exams and instead the focus is on in class participation and group work. It's more work in class but the learning experience is much better...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Essay Writing

I got a few requests for tips on INSEAD essays. I had written about this when I started apping. Here's an easy link:

The bottom line is to think of INSEAD like a business. Imagine, you're running a school. Think about how the school makes money and how you play a role in it (Hint: Your tuition is just a small part of the whole story). Feel free to brainstorm on the comments and I can share my insight.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Is INSEAD that good?

Ranked 5th on FT. Higher than Stanford. Is the school that good or are these rankings busted?

Here's my take

Stanford is a better school than INSEAD. I have friends studying there and the kind of doors it opens are way way superior than INSEAD. Now, with the exception of Stanford, I think I agree with the FT Rankings. However, there's another element to interpreting rankings viz. who you are. So, we'll take a few parameters and assign some points

1. Your age
2. Your current experience
3. Your target industry
4. Your desired geographic location

If you're under 26, Assign 0
If you're between 26 - 29, Assign 50
If you're over 29, Assign 100

If you've got 0-2 years experience, Assign 0
If you've got 3-5 years experience, Assign 50
If you've got more than 5 years experience, Assign 100

Target Industry
If your target industry is completely different from your current, Assign 0
If your target industry is similar or closely related to your current, Assign 100

Geographic Location
If your target location is Europe, Assign 100
If your target location is USA, Assign 0
If your target location is Asia, Assign 50

Add up your scores. The closer you're to 400, the better INSEAD is for you and the more sense the rankings make. If you're young, have very less experience and are trying to make a career change, then INSEAD's the wrong school for you. If on the other hand, you're trying to nail a top notch job in Europe or Asia and are trying to make a transition from a promising manager to an executive, INSEAD gives you a lot of propeller fuel..