Online MBA dilemma

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Hi everyone, I am currently working in a Fortune 500 pharma company in Singapore in a regional innovation role. I have a PhD in natural science and never got any formal business training. I am looking to enrol in an international online MBA program to get necessary management and leadership training with the goal of fast tracking my career progression to a global management role in 2-3 year's time. I am also looking for international mobility as my company often moves high achievers to global HQ in Europe in next 4-5 year. I want to keep my full time job while pursuing an MBA as I am not exactly looking to change career or industry. I have applied to ESMT, IE, WHU and Maastricht EuroMBA prioritising on international curriculum and moderate fees as I am not getting any company sponsorship at the moment. Any recommendation on which business school and program to choose given I get accepted in all the programs I have applied to?

Thanks!

Hi everyone, I am currently working in a Fortune 500 pharma company in Singapore in a regional innovation role. I have a PhD in natural science and never got any formal business training. I am looking to enrol in an international online MBA program to get necessary management and leadership training with the goal of fast tracking my career progression to a global management role in 2-3 year's time. I am also looking for international mobility as my company often moves high achievers to global HQ in Europe in next 4-5 year. I want to keep my full time job while pursuing an MBA as I am not exactly looking to change career or industry. I have applied to ESMT, IE, WHU and Maastricht EuroMBA prioritising on international curriculum and moderate fees as I am not getting any company sponsorship at the moment. Any recommendation on which business school and program to choose given I get accepted in all the programs I have applied to?

Thanks!
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StuartHE

The schools you mention will not have equally strong alumni networks in your firm. Which schools have the most MBA alumni in your global HQ? You might be better off with an online diploma from, say, IMD than a MBA from a Dutch school with few alumni. 

The schools you mention will not have equally strong alumni networks in your firm. Which schools have the most MBA alumni in your global HQ? You might be better off with an online diploma from, say, IMD than a MBA from a Dutch school with few alumni. 
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Hi Stuart, thank you for the reply. I would ideally choose a French online MBA given a choice and strength of their alumni in my company but unfortunately none of the top French B schools offer any online MBA at this moment. The best I can do is the online Masters in International Business by EDHEC, but I thought an MBA would have an edge over a masters as the latter is more focused on core business courses and lack some of the critical offerings of an MBA. We do have a few senior executives who are alumni of ESMT, WHU and IE. For Maastricht I really liked their PBL approach and embedded leadership aspect in the curriculum.

Hi Stuart, thank you for the reply. I would ideally choose a French online MBA given a choice and strength of their alumni in my company but unfortunately none of the top French B schools offer any online MBA at this moment. The best I can do is the online Masters in International Business by EDHEC, but I thought an MBA would have an edge over a masters as the latter is more focused on core business courses and lack some of the critical offerings of an MBA. We do have a few senior executives who are alumni of ESMT, WHU and IE. For Maastricht I really liked their PBL approach and embedded leadership aspect in the curriculum.
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Duncan

What about the several French schools in Singapore? 

What about the several French schools in Singapore? 
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Hi Duncan, there are two options among the French schools offering part time MBA in Singapore. INSEAD EMBA and ESSEC-Mannheim EMBA. INSEAD is way too expensive and outside my budget without any guarantee of corporate sponsorship at the moment. I had seriously considered ESSEC and spoke at length with the program director. However, the classes and lessons for the program has all shifted on-line and I personally feel that takes away a lot of benefits of attending a local program if you are not able to network and work in person with your peers and faculty. If everything is virtual anyway why not opt for an online MBA from a reputed international school which is more affordable and will provide solid training in business, management and leadership to align with my career goals. What are your thoughts on this? Do you envision online programs with blended learning gaining more traction amid the pandemic? 

Hi Duncan, there are two options among the French schools offering part time MBA in Singapore. INSEAD EMBA and ESSEC-Mannheim EMBA. INSEAD is way too expensive and outside my budget without any guarantee of corporate sponsorship at the moment. I had seriously considered ESSEC and spoke at length with the program director. However, the classes and lessons for the program has all shifted on-line and I personally feel that takes away a lot of benefits of attending a local program if you are not able to network and work in person with your peers and faculty. If everything is virtual anyway why not opt for an online MBA from a reputed international school which is more affordable and will provide solid training in business, management and leadership to align with my career goals. What are your thoughts on this? Do you envision online programs with blended learning gaining more traction amid the pandemic? 
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StuartHE

Networking has mostly not been in person for several years already. The value of a school with a large number of alumni in your firms and industry is very high, not just for networking but because the awareness and brand equity of the school is higher if you have many alumni in the firm. Also, think about the cultural fit. IE is a private school with a for-profit culture, very entrepreneurial and a little 'sharp-elbowed'. ESSEC is an older school more geared around entrepreneurship in established brands, so firms like Sanofi and Novartis have a great interest in it. WHU has a far smaller pharma network, maybe one-tenth as many. 

Networking has mostly not been in person for several years already. The value of a school with a large number of alumni in your firms and industry is very high, not just for networking but because the awareness and brand equity of the school is higher if you have many alumni in the firm. Also, think about the cultural fit. IE is a private school with a for-profit culture, very entrepreneurial and a little 'sharp-elbowed'. ESSEC is an older school more geared around entrepreneurship in established brands, so firms like Sanofi and Novartis have a great interest in it. WHU has a far smaller pharma network, maybe one-tenth as many. 
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Just a quick update guys. I have received offers from ESMT, WHU and Maastricht. IE have offered me a place in their Executive MBA program although I applied for the Global Online MBA. It actually works better for me as the Executive MBA is a blended program with 80% online modules and 3 residential weeks which might also get conducted online because of the pandemic. I am still waiting to hear from ESSEC-Mannheim EMBA, however, IE is also a solid option at this moment. 

Just a quick update guys. I have received offers from ESMT, WHU and Maastricht. IE have offered me a place in their Executive MBA program although I applied for the Global Online MBA. It actually works better for me as the Executive MBA is a blended program with 80% online modules and 3 residential weeks which might also get conducted online because of the pandemic. I am still waiting to hear from ESSEC-Mannheim EMBA, however, IE is also a solid option at this moment. 
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