Monday, March 29

INSEAD vs US b-schools

Yesterday Miss "S" threw some questions at me, forcing me to think hard. Though i could answer most of them but found myself struggling while answering others.

Miss S:  why Kellogg or Booth and why not INSEAD? Your ultimate goal is to move to strategy and INSEAD does as well as top US schools when it comes to placing students in strategy.

Me:  i want to do an immersive program and a 10 month program is too short to even fully live the MBA experience.

Miss S: But consider the ROI. INSEAD offers highest ROI. You have to forego only 1 year salary and the total amount spent on tuition and living is also less in case of 1 year prog.

Me: Agreed!

Miss S: Forbes 2009 ranking. Have you seen them?

Me: Yes..Salary for INSEAD class of 2004 in 2008 was $218, 000 and for Kellogg it was $165, 000. INSEAD students take 2.5 years on average to repay their education loan while Kellogg students take 4.4 years.

Miss S: that's a big difference..

Miss S: So why not INSEAD? It s going to offer you greater diversity, access to same set of recruiters, it has campuses in multiple locations. I assume INSEAD would offer you similar courses and would have great faculty too.

Me: That's true but INSEAD is too big. 900 {is it 900 or 1800? 900*2} students passing out every year. Thats like a factory output

Miss S: rubbish!! Ultimately they are going to divide you in sections and that's what will matter to you. Is the batch size any how going to affect your learning?? And INSEAD is a great school {top 5 in every ranking}, so having a large alum network is a plus.

Me: that's right!! But INSEAD is skewed towards consulting. What if i change my mind during MBA?

Miss S: Have a better look at their employment report. You will get the answer.

Me: But INSEAD is not that well known outside Europe.

Miss S: People who are going to recruit you and people who are going to work with you will know about INSEAD. How does it matter whether your friend from high school or girl next door doesn't know about INSEAD.

Me: Thats right too!!!

Miss S: see, if you can get into INSEAD you will do as well as you will in case you go to any other top US b school. But you will repay your loan faster and can start enjoying sooner.

Me: I will definitely discuss this with my fellow bloggers and gain some insight ... you have confused me :'(

I know Kellogg students take more time than those at INSEAD to repay their education loans. But i would like to carry Kellogg/Wharton badge for the rest of my life. Maybe because my parents, my friends hold these brands in high esteem {And i don't know how good is this reason for choosing a particular school.}. I think all of us have unconcious fascination towards some particular schools. I never feel anything about Stanford or Berkeley or SLoan but the mention of K/W/Booth/Ross/LBS etc sets my pulse racing.

But the 2008 salary for class of 2004 is a big differentiator, K students earning $165, 000 and INSEAD students earning $ 218, 000. Money matters after all :) .... I have still not fully accepted the idea of applying to INSEAD but i will surely explore this great school before i take any decision.

22 comments:

DreamChaser said...

i think you need to dig a little deeper in the statistics. why are INSEAD folks earning more in 4 years after Kellogg folks. Are there any industry preference that Forbes is not showing? if for example, all INSEAD kids went into banking and stayed there for 4 years, while Kellogg kids went into CPG firms. Sure! there will be a big difference in salary. Always understand the situation behind the numbers/statistics! and that brings my second point. A pure average number doesn't mean anything....if everyone else goes into banking/consulting, and hence high average salary, but I want more of a corporate job for work-life balance, then my salary will be lower. but it's my choice. right? so it doesn't really matter what the ave number is, it's what you want to do that matters. I would doubt that graduates who went into M/B/B for those two schools have that big of a salary difference after 4 years.

So you should really look at what the program has to offer to compare the programs. Studying 1 year in Paris/Singapore and 2 years in Evanston are two very different experiences. Do you want more US exp? Do you want more international exp? Where do you want to work afterwards? all those things matter much more than the simple ave salary.

Braveheart said...

Hi..you are bang on!!! your comment is really helpful :) .. being in statistical domain i surely understand that mean and median are not the tru representative of things :) ...

Apoorva said...

when I interviewed at Ross, my interviewer and I went into a little philosophical discussion. There was a report which ranked Ross really low when it came to RoI. Harvard, Booth, INSEAD etc. had a really high RoI while Ross was way down. Even with these figures, why do the top students apply to Ross and why do we come across students who choose Ross over Booth or other B-schools?

This is why you need to find out what you really want from your B-school experience. That will help you choose which school is your best fit. Probably the max salary out of Kellogg was the same as the max. salary out of INSEAD. Its just possible a greater % from INSEAD went to consulting, while a greater % from Kellogg went for Marketing. Consulting generally pays higher than marketing.

I am sure the average salary of those who went into consulting from Kellogg to those who went into consulting from INSEAD would be the same.

Question is, what program fits your needs? Like you said, you want to immerse yourself into the program, get the MBA experience, build long lasting relationships with your peers etc. Now is INSEAD a better fit, or Kellogg.... thats for you to find out. If you graduate from either and go consulting, I think your salary should almost be the same.

(On a sidenote, my 2 c, try not to make salary a significant factor in deciding where you apply to)

Braveheart said...

@Apoorva: Great point!! you said it right -- Fit matters a lot!!!...:)...

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bizwiz said...

Some more things to think about... when you look at the average age of students, you'll find out that INSEAD students are on average two years older than Kelloggians.

Also - according to Economists "Which MBA", INSEAD students have a post-MBA salary of ~113,000.-- while Kellogg students make ~108,000.--. The interesting thing about those salaries though is, that the percentage increase in salary for "K's" is 63%, while it's just 28% for "I's". That tells me, that we are talking about two different breeds of students here.

The way I see it, students going to Kellogg are a little younger and haven't made the big bucks yet. Often their MBA education helps them switch careers and catapult them into a higher salary range. On the contrary, INSEAD to me is more the 'quick 1Y' program for people that are already one step further on their career-path and need the boost (or need the degree to not fall back behind colleagues), but don't want to be out of their job and in school for too long.
I am not saying that's true for each single student, but I'd assume the bigger portion of INSEAD students are older, more experienced and stay in their field, while students from Kellogg are young(er) high potentials that are thinking about career-switching or jumping into a management position.
And if that's true, then you can also assume that "life on/around campus" is very different between INSEAD and Kellogg/Booth/....

Just my 2 cents.
-bizwiz

Braveheart said...

@Bizwiz -- nice observations -- make me even more resolute to stick to US b-schools :)

Silent Warrior said...

@Bizviz

Nice observation mate. Indeed true.

Anonymous said...

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nisha said...

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Thanks
mba

Sobhi said...

Hi,

So what was your final decision?

DB said...

I'm actually in that dilemma right now. Was accepted to both, MIT and INSEAD. I am looking for an entrepreneurship career Post-MBA. Im 27, from an emerging market (in America), and will probably start a CGP company (still thinking). My research tells me that both schools offer good entrepreneurship focus. My estimated cost w expenses are INSEAD: $125 K USD, MIT: $190 K USD. I can expect to reduce 20% of the cost of each of them w scholarships or by participating in the TA program (MIT). In the end, I would have to pay a monthly $1.5 K to paying debt from whichever MBA. From INSEAD I expect to obtain a richer network, a more global experience (France and Sing), a lower cost, entrepreneurship and business plan "coaching". From MIT I would expect to get a more focused entrepreneurship track (2 years, more time for planning, etc.), a better manufacturing and techie experience (love it), a prestigious school name that can open doors w customers and suppliers, and a school that is closer to the market I will focus on. My logic says "No MBA if you want to be an entrepreneur, you will carry a burden that might delay your intentions", my heart says "do it now or you will never have that 1-2 year experience to refocus and plan". I guess there might not be many entrepreneurship focused readers, but if there are, I could appreciate your opinions and points of view.

KT said...

hey DB...first of all congrats for making it to 2 of best schools in the world..and as for ur dilema..many ppl wud kill to be in such a dilema :) ...

I believe MIT wud be better for entrepreneurship .. not sure how many contacts u will make at INSEAD or 12 months are enuff to hone entrepreneurial skills...my pick wud be MIT...given ur situation...

and if u want to do it..do it now...postponing it won't help a lot...

i wud suggest post this on gmatclub.com and u ll get a lot of informed responses...

Anonymous said...

Hi DB,
Just curious how you made your decision between the two: INSEAD and Sloan. I am very interested since I am in the same position :-) and see the pros and cons of each the same way...

Sultan said...

No other MBA program can beat the INSEAD J-start where you can: Finish in 10 months, an internship, study in three continents in top schools..it is really impressive how they did manage it. I see more students turn down Sloan for Insead..however, H/W/S can not be beaten any way..

Sultan said...

btw, 4 ys ago, I got offers from Stanford, Haas, Insead, and IMD..I picked IMD because it was the only one that I could fit in..

Anonymous said...

What if it is INSEAD Sept start (no internship) vs Sloan? I agree that Jan start option would have been the best, to have a break for "testing waters" with internship in new industry or entrepreneurial project before coming back for the electives and full-time job search. Reputation-wise, how does INSEAD reputation and network in the US compares to Sloan in Europe? (for sure MIT is top-notch, but I am talking about the MBA, not engineering). Is the cost/time difference between those 2 programs justified? It seems both are equally very strong for entrepreneurship, second only to Stanford.

KT said...

i think this post is still being read by many applicants :)..

Ok recently i got to work with a Harvard Alum and an INSEAD Alum ... both were in the same team and same profile...

Both of em were of the view that u cant go wrong with any of the top b-school given u re clear abt ur post mba goals...w/o that clarity any school wud be bad...

Just that INSEAD ROI is pretty impressive...if u choose consulting then 2-3 years...and for harvard it wud be double of that....

Anonymous said...

I wonder what school DB picked.
If I were in his situation, I would have picked INSEAD over MIT.
INSEAD has a very diverse and very energetic network that I believe no other school can beat.
Thats why I picked it over Columbia last year and I dont regret it a bit.

ND said...

I need some advice please.

I'm 24 right now, and going into my second year at a Big Four public accounting firm. INSEAD is my dream school and languages are my forte.

I really dislike my current job and would like to go to business school and make a career change to management consulting. My GPA at a well-known university was 3.37, and it suffered as I started out in pre-med before transferring into business and did terribly in those classes.

I studied abroad for a year in Japan high school, so I have international experience in that sense. I also studied for a year in Canada. (I am from the US)

Do you think I should try and get more years of work experience in a job that I really dislike but has name value, or that I should try and take my GMAT and go for INSEAD? I would also need to take my JLPT to satisfy INSEAD's language requirement, and am between taking a level that I could pass tomorrow (INSEAD's minimum requirement) or a level that will require substantial study but will look more impressive.

My apologies for the lengthy post but please help!

Thank you to the OP as well.

Sophia said...

I prefer Insead because its diversity and international experience. I think the location matters a lot when calculating income, salary increase, cost and network between US top B-school and Insead. Most people go to US B-schools are either grown up here or want to stay in US; while Insead has a much more open-minded group and diverse work locations after graduation. It truly comes down to who you are, where you want to work and live and what kind of people you want to make friends with.

Anonymous said...

you also should consider that insead students have the option of attending courses at wharton so they will gain an additional experience at an us b-school as well.