Invest in an INSEAD MBA or a DREAM HOUSE?

Posted in INSEAD, MBA, Personal with tags , , , , on April 9, 2009 by inseader

Well, I know few people who were afraid of investing lot of money in an MBA. They did their MBA from an average school, got an average job and, then, decided to buy a house. So finally they invested lot of money but not in an MBA.

*I’m not considering interest rates and other factors just to make the comparison easy.


Tuition Fee: 50000 EUR

Pre-INSEAD Salary: 50000 EUR (considering average salary)

Total Investment: (50000 + 50000) 100000 EUR

Post-INSEAD Salary: 70000 EUR (considering average salary)

Yearly savings over pre-INSEAD  salary: 20000 EUR / year

Average return: 20%

Principal amount recovery in: 5 Years (assuming you get no salary increase)

Intangible benefits:

1. You’ll always be proud to announce that you are an INSEAD alum. I personally experienced that just stating I was supposed to start my MBA this year at INSEAD won me special attention in various situations. This is kind of benefit that, probably,  you can not buy with money.

2. An amazing invaluable life-long network



Total Investment: 100000 EURO

Average rental return: 5%-10% (If you are living yourself in this house, this is what you will save)

Principal amount recovery in: 10-20 Years (assuming there is no increase in asset’s value)

Intangible benefit: A house for 100000 EUR will probably not satisfy your ego but maybe it makes you happy just to have your own house/apartment.


PS: Please don’t make any comments such as you could have considered this and that. It is just an example and there are number other of things to be considered. I just want to express the mind-set of people when it comes to investing for their education.

INSEAD placement 2008, current students feedback and other impressions – PART 3

Posted in INSEAD, MBA with tags , , , , on April 6, 2009 by inseader

To find the answers for INSEAD placement 2008 statistics? and  Is it worth going to INSEAD? please go to the Part 1 of this series. And, to find answers for Are current students not worried about placements because of financial crisis? and Is it true that INSEAD is ignoring applicants from financial domain for its future classes? please go to Part 2 of this series.

Q5: How does it feel being at campus?

A5: Simply GREAT. Most of my time at campus, I was in cafeteria which is conveniently located at the center of one of the campus buildings. If you want to feel INSEAD, be in the cafeteria. You’ll feel the energy of diversity. As students are divided in sections to form the small but diverse classes, it also helps to maintain the traffic in cafeteria. When few sections start their classes, others have a break. Therefore, you’ll always find few students in the cafeteria. I must tell you honestly that ENERGY was simply amazing there. It’s difficult to see so many nationalities representing at one place. I’m not a diplomat who works for UN and used to such diverse crowd. For me, it was awesome. With in few hours, I talked to students from number of nationalities. There were people all around with different body languages, with different opinions and with different point of views on the same issue but unified with a language called English. It’s difficult to express my feelings and experience in words but I was impressed and understood the importance of diversity during an MBA.

I won’t like to talk here about buildings and premises as there are number of other bloggers already talked about them. But, I would like to make a point about the FREE coffee available to the INSEAD students. Every INSEAD student can have free coffee or tee available in the cafeteria. I tried my first cup of  that FREE coffee and must admit that it was not a pleasure to drink such a coffee. I bought my coffee (‘cafe au lai’) during my INSEAD visit over the counter of cafeteria but was not happy with that one too. May be, I’m being too harsh on the coffee issue but, after paying 50,000 EUR, I’d expect little better coffee.

Overall, campus architecture is impressive and doesn’t leave much to desire. Of course, there are always things which could be better.


Q6: Is there surge in the number of  applications for the future classes?

A6: I think this is no secret anymore. Yes, there is almost 25% surge in the number of applications for 2010 classes.


Q7: Is it really a Party-MBA?

A7: You heard a lot about it, you dreamd about it and you explained this a lot to your friends. You tried justifying your decision to go to INSEAD in terms of Party-MBA. You wanna learn and have fun. Your freinds envy when they hear about it. What the hell, you get an MBA from a top notch school while you are partying all the time. Then, you come back to yourself and ask, how is it possible? You search again and again on the Google, read number of INSEAD blogs and try to figure out the degree of Party-ism at INSEAD. Alright, enough of the lecture, I’ll come out of this mode 🙂

Have you ever worn colored glasses, for example RED, and wondered Is all the world RED? Don’t tell me even the sky is red…

Yes, you got my point. There are numerous party opportunities during your MBA at INSEAD but would you live a party MBA depends on your glasses. In the beginning, you’ll force yourself to go to as much paries as possible because you’ll be suffering from a wide-spread INSEAD disease called networking fever. But as the time passes and you realise that time-management is more than a word here, you’ll start to change your strategy. I mean, common-be practical, you can not compete with guys who are sponsored by their employers. Slowly but surely, you’ll come out of the phase, socialize-network-socilaize-network-socialize-network. Gradually, if you decide to go to few parties, you’ll see few real party guys in every party. You were hoping to netwrok with as many students as possible but parties repeat the attendees. So, if you are partying in the search of fresh networking opportunities, you better re-consider your plan. But, if you enjoy partying then you’d get hell lot of opportunities. Be it a campus party or château party, almost everyday, you’ll find some celebration going on. But, the choice is very much yours, party now or later….

Time to re-think your MBA dream?

Posted in MBA with tags , , on March 26, 2009 by inseader

Don’t worry, I’m not re-thinking my MBA dream. For, I have already invested too much in terms of time and money. I’m decided to go for my MBA. But, for those, who would like to read some counter arguments, here you go: Is this a good time to take up an educational loan?

In my opinion, Author is just looking at one side of the coin. He is speaking to the people who, actually, are not dedicated to do an MBA rather would like to join just to fill their career-gap. Article is skewed but still gives some food for MBA aspirants.

A fraction of second and you are homeless…

Posted in Personal with tags , on March 16, 2009 by inseader

Yesterday, I was in a good mood. Radio was playing good music and I was kinda dancing and moving around in my apartment. Three friends were supposed to gather at my place and watch a movie together. Party time was just an hour away. I decided to go out, have a coffee, buy some milk and get some good Blu-ray movie.  For, I changed clothes,  took my bag with me in order to pack a movie and milk inside it. Radio was still playing some dancing music. I put the heating on in two rooms, switched on a light in the kitchen as it was alsmot dark in the evening and flipped the door. There was a click sound of locking the door and at the same time there was a click sound on my mind asking myself whether I took the apartment keys with me. And, you know the answer. Yes, I did it… not like Britney Spear’s song “Oops…I did it again”. It was the very first time I committed this mistake of not taking the keys with me. The last fraction of second, when I heard the click sound of locking the door, I already realized my mistake. But, it was all over. A fraction of second and I was homeless !!!

I called few friends who gave me various suggestions including trying to open-up the door using a credit card or something similar and at the same time offered me a place to sleep. I tried my luck with an old credit card and other tools but all in vain. Finally, I called the key-service company which told me that it will cost me around 200 EUR because of the weekend. I decided to delay it until Monday so that I don’t need to pay too much. I wandered through the city streets with a strange feeling of being homeless. 

Today morning, key-service guy came to my place. He asked me for some documents to verfiy that I live in this department. Fortunately, the bag which I took with to pack the movie and milk had my passport and address registration papers. The guy used a simple wire instead of a credit card to open-up the door. It took him half-a-minute and cost me 60 EUR. I was feeling happy to get in to my apartment and at the same time frustrated to pay 60 EUR for few seconds of work. I though this guy (or his company) must be rich (or pretty successful) but the question is how many people call him everyday…and at the end of the month how much money he makes. For most of the people it seems to be a well-paid job where a guy is making 60 EUR in few minutes. But, he is not expensive if I see it through demand and supply curves and he is not making hell lot of money at the end of every month.

Anyway, this time I was homeless just for a night but a fraction of second can change your life….forever. Therefore, respect the time even when it is just a fraction…

INSEAD placement 2008, current students feedback and other impressions – PART 2

Posted in INSEAD, MBA with tags , , , , , on March 8, 2009 by inseader

To find the answers for INSEAD placement 2008 statistics? and  Is it worth going to INSEAD? please go to the Part 1 of this series.

Q3: Are current students not worried about placements because of financial crisis?

A3: To be honest, this is a difficult one to answer. Anyone who’s invested so much money in to an MBA, especially who’s taken a loan, must be worried about placements. This would have been the case even before this financial crisis rolled in to our lives. There are few guys out there who are damn sure to land their dream jobs but the majority is feeling the heat of financial crisis and, thus, apprehensive of placements. I’ll categorize current INSEAD students in two groups. One, who are apprehensive of INSEAD placements but don’t want to accept it not to add to anxiety already caused by the intensive INSEAD programme and, second, who are worried and accept it as well as preparing themselves to go back to their last employers.

Current students are looking forward to the economy upturn until their placement starts but as world leaders have no clues current  students too. It’s a difficult situation to be in and one must be clever and strong enough not to get in to the depression spiral. My overall feeling was that most of the students are trying to find out positive side of it such as ‘this is the best time to invest in to an MBA’ etc. to keep their spirits high. Going through an intensive MBA program such as INSEAD doesn’t leave much room to think about issues which can pull you down and in turn screw your overall performance and experience up. 

According to current students, it seems little difficult to change the industry leveraging pre-MBA industry experience. At such times it is hard to convince recruiters just to recruit based on the transferrable skills. Therefore, students are either  looking for a job in their pre-MBA industry including the option to go back to their last employer or preparing themselves determined to have hard times changing industry and having their dream salaries.


Q4: Is it true that INSEAD is ignoring applicants from financial domain for its future classes?

A4: Of course, there is no official answer and we’ll never have one. But, the rumor  is that next INSEAD class is having few people from financial domain. Is it a plan from INSEAD to boost the placements  and not to meet the fortune of London Business School? In my opinion, in every INSEAD class there is a fine blend of various domains and that mix is crafted carefully to produce the best results for INSEAD in terms of reputation, peer-learning, placements and diversity. There is a good possibility that INSEAD should be less interested to get more students from financial domain to mitigate the effect of financial crisis on placements. But I, personally, don’t think that only this factor will force INSEAD to reduce the number of students from financial domain drastically in future classes. Peer learning is not about learning from peer successes but from peer experiences and failure provides more material to learn than success does.

I think it’s not that INSEAD is neglecting applicants from financial domain rather competition in this group has reached its heighs. If one, who’s from financial domain, has been denied admit to INSEAD must not mean INSEAD is ignoring applicants from financial domain rather competition in this group has been tougher and there are guys who could be better than one.  I have read on forums people claiming this fact based on quantitative data from MBAConnect (intranet for admitted INSEAD students) and let me clarify this, as I  have access to MBAConnect too, that I don’t see less admitted students from financial domain. For me it’s a rumor, the only fact is, competition is tougher now for applicants from financial domain.

INSEAD placement 2008, current students feedback and other impressions – PART 1

Posted in INSEAD, MBA with tags , , , , on March 3, 2009 by inseader

First of all, please excuse me not to write for such a long time. I admire and respect my blog readers who used to pay frequent visits in order to read the fresh contents. I do not promise whether I’ll be writing regularly but I’ll try my best.

My regular blog readers know that, unfortunately, I could not join the current INSEAD class (January 2008 intake) because of the financial difficulties. And, as one can imagine, I was going through an emotional phase which was pulling me down. Bunch of people were  marking this as the best time to do an MBA while few friends of mine were trying to cheer me up saying you are a lucky guy who did not invest so much money at such bad times.  The market of rumors was hot and confusion was cornering me every passing day.  It was not only me who was suffering but also my family was being part of it.

I wanted to get out of this confusing scenario. I didn’t want to make my future decisions based on the information provided by some journalists or marketing specialists. I wanted to get real. Therefore, I decided to visit INSEAD. First, I wanted to feel INSEAD face-to-face and, second, I wanted to get myself out of the depression dilemma. I know many of you out there are looking for the answers for the same questions. 

Finally,  I visited INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France campus and stayed in Fontainebleau for two-and-half days. As I was supposed to join the current INSEAD class, I already knew many of the current students that helped me to get the candid opinion of the current students. Up to my surprise, many of them even considered me a current student there and wondered how come they did not see me for more than a month on the campus 🙂

So, without wasting any more time and space, I’ll come down to the questions and their answers based on the information, I gathered through INSEAD visit, and impressions I had on this visit.

Q1: INSEAD placement 2008 statistics?

A1: INSEAD and almost all other business schools do not disclose their placement statistics until after three months of the graduation. Placement stats reported always include the jobs offered on the campus and jobs students get within three months of graduating. Therefore, yet, there is no official report from INSEAD for the year 2008, as last class graduated in December 2008. Sometime in April 2009, INSEAD should publish official placement report for the year 2008. But, I can tell you unofficial placement figure that includes only the jobs students got on campus.  Around 65%-70% of the students were able to grab a job being on campus and we must not forget that this figure is excellent looking at the crisis and it’s effects on the INSEAD placement that started in September 2008. You will be surprised to compare this figure with other top schools in coming months, as they have performed poorly in comparison to INSEAD. According to St. Petersburg Times: “In 2008 INSEAD and London Business School remain the first choice business schools amongst international employers and receive as much or more interest than their leading U.S. counterparts.” 


Q2: Is it worth going to INSEAD?

A2: Let me re-frame this question: What is special at INSEAD to pay so much money for? I asked this question to INSEAD alumni last year and to current students during my INSEAD visit and, not surprisingly, got a unified answer. And the answer was that INSEAD changed their perspective completely. Diversity at INSEAD plays a greater role changing ones perspective looking at the same things differently. It’s not just learning Finance and Accounting rather the way you look at things, the way you approach problems and the way you look at the world. There are number of business schools which could teach one course material but there are only few such as INSEAD which change ones perspective. And, if this is what you are looking for (if you are serious to learn business then, definitely, you would be looking at this) in a business school then INSEAD is definitely worth the money.


Further questions I’ll discuss in my next posts are:

Q3: Are current students not worried about placements because of financial crisis?

Q4: Is it true that INSEAD is ignoring applicants from financial domain for its future classes?

 Q5: How does it feel being at campus?

Q6: Is there surge in the number of  applications for the future classes?

Q7: Is it really a Party-MBA?

MBA is losing its reputation…

Posted in MBA on January 3, 2009 by inseader

At such worst times, results of a research claiming “The reputation of an MBA education is no longer among the best.” is a setback for current MBA students and MBA aspirants. Two Harvard professors, Srikant Datar and David Garvin, completed a research project with rather depressing results in terms of how MBA is perceived by recruiters and deans of top business schools, at present. An MBA news website, MBA-Channel, has published an article MBA education: No longer good enough. For students at top business schools such as INSEAD, I found two interesting points in the published results:

1. Financial services and consulting firms, which hire roughly two-thirds of all graduates from top-ranked MBA programs, increasingly have in-house programs for their employees who only have undergraduate degrees.

That makes it difficult for top business school students, who target financial and consulting jobs, to justify their MBA cost in terms of ROI.

2. A number of recruiters said that what they value most is the strict screening process top schools use to pick students, and a few preferred to recruit straight from a school’s admission list.

That is a good news for top business school students. This is where higher MBA cost is justified in terms of ROI.

Overall impression of the research results is negative on the reputation of MBA. It seems business schools would have to go through lot of changes in their curriculum and perceptions, if they want to retain MBA at the top of recruiters list.

Here is a funny FedEx advertisement resembling Harvard professors research project results: