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Comments (46)

Mar 20, 2013 - 6:55pm

I know of several people with first-class honors from NUS and many of them complained that they are second tier in recruiting in comparision to the US and UK tier 1 and 2 universities even though they are locals. If your grades are good enough for the 3 universities in Singapore, you should be golden for the ivies in US. (That is if you have the financials.)

Mar 21, 2013 - 4:49am

Hi Jason,

Thanks for your feedback. That being said, if you were to choose between the 3 universities to pursue your business degree, which would you choose in terms of their quality of education, career services, prospects and etc?

The reason why I am bent towards studying in Singapore is because, Asia is the next big thing, apart from Hong Kong (and China). Plus Singapore is a multi-cultural with great corporate governance which is a key gateway to several other emerging markets like India, ASEAN countries, Myanmar and etc.

I still have to serve National Service, so by the time I complete my degree, it would be approx. in about 5-6 years time before I land into my first full-time job. Hence I am looking long term, obtain my degree in Asia and hopefully land into an exchange programme at Wharton where I get the best of both worlds.

Common perspectives:
NUS: World renowned and prestigious university, highly ranked in the world
NBS: 3-years direct honours, highly regarded within Asia
SMU: Excellent network and career services, unique pedagogy

Mar 22, 2013 - 2:51am

The international students on exchange from Hong Kong and Singapore at my school (West Coast), to a man, said that they are looked at as second-class citizens to kids from top US universities by firms back at home. There's a real bias in Asia towards Stanford, MIT, Ivy League schools, etc, and AGAINST the local universities, and it plays out in the recruiting. In Hong Kong, for example, the summers coming from the states working in the BBs actually get paid better than the local guys from HKU, and have a much, much easier recruiting process. The ideal candidate is an Asian kid who grew up in the area, went to a top university in the US and speaks fluent Mandarin/Canto/Korean/whatever. Maybe this is because the guys running the show out in HK are FROM Ivies, or because they really value the cachet of the brand, or maybe they just love America, I don't know. Not trying to justify it. Just reporting the reality. Vibe I got was, "Wish I went to school in the US." As a side note, these guys had gone through much, MUCH more rigorous coursework than us, so I don't doubt the quality of the education you get. They're really fucking smart, and if I was starting my own company, I'd be setting up OCR at Hong Kong U asap.

Don't know anything about the universities you're choosing between. I'm sure they're great schools. Just telling you that I'm not sure you'll have an advantage picking them over Penn or something even if your whole goal is working in Singapore. These firms really, really want guys with an American education.

Also, doing an exchange program at Wharton doesn't mean shit. If you want the Wharton brand/experience/OCR/whatever, do your undergrad there.

Mar 22, 2013 - 12:48pm

Thanks for your insights, triplectz! Another question, BBs prefer Ivies or Russell Group more?

-

Could any more WSOers please provide more insights regarding my enquiry, so far we have just gotten feedback regarding how BBs prefer Ivies over others, which is the usual case during recruitment.

But given my circumstances if I were to choose only one of the local universities in Singapore, which would be a better option? Thanks!

Mar 23, 2013 - 3:56am

keynes:
Thanks for your insights, triplectz! Another question, BBs prefer Ivies or Russell Group more?

-

Could any more WSOers please provide more insights regarding my enquiry, so far we have just gotten feedback regarding how BBs prefer Ivies over others, which is the usual case during recruitment.

But given my circumstances if I were to choose only one of the local universities in Singapore, which would be a better option? Thanks!

Honestly, I had no idea what the Russell Group was and Googled it. Cambridge and Oxford are obviously great. The rest...meh. Definitely Ivies, plus Stanford, MIT, Public Ivies...the usual.

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Mar 23, 2013 - 10:14am

All three universities have the BBs carry out OCRs. As such, all three universities place their students into the BBs.

Some say that SMU offers better opportunities in finance but that's not necessarily true. From what I've noticed and seen, different banks just have a tendency to hire more from a certain school, for e.g. UBS & Barclays Capital take comparitvely more SMU students while Deutsche does the same for NTU. Point of the matter is: All three universities place students into BBs.

You've yet to even serve National Service though, I wouldn't advise you to worry over the school which forms your future career. Enjoy the time you have now and let that take care of itself.

Mar 24, 2013 - 3:47am

thecoldburns:
All three universities have the BBs carry out OCRs. As such, all three universities place their students into the BBs.

Some say that SMU offers better opportunities in finance but that's not necessarily true. From what I've noticed and seen, different banks just have a tendency to hire more from a certain school, for e.g. UBS & Barclays Capital take comparitvely more SMU students while Deutsche does the same for NTU. Point of the matter is: All three universities place students into BBs.

You've yet to even serve National Service though, I wouldn't advise you to worry over the school which forms your future career. Enjoy the time you have now and let that take care of itself.

Thanks for your insights thecoldburns, appreciate it! :)

It seems that, until now, no WSOer could really point out which of the 3 local business school is 'better'. Guess I will have to choose accordingly to the suitability of the school, scholarships offered and etc. More feedback are welcome! :)

Certainly so, a friend of mine from NUS encouraged me to go for SMU if I want to pursue IB. Recently, I went for SMU's Open House, one of the current student told me, generally, you could see more students from SMU than any of the other 2 during interviews for BB positions. Also, he did some research and compared the number of citations and it turned out that SMU has more compared to NBS for the recent years or so. On contrary, I have also heard that, SMU students are eloquent and outspoken however some tend to 'oversell' themselves and are not up to expectations in terms of their performance, which equates to "talk is cheap and action/performance speaks louder than words".

What is/are your view(s) on the previous paragraph? Do you think these factors are substantial?

What do you think about the faculty & students in the 3 different universities? How would you categorize each of them and which school do you think have better networking opportunities, in terms of industry links, alumni as well as current students.

Say for example:

NBS would usually be associated with Mandarin speaking culture, average connections with BBs because they are more established in Accountancy (so I guess Big 4 is great) and have a very strong presence in Asia.

SMU has more outspoken & fashionable students (which suits my character & personality). Strongest corporate network and career services in terms of BBs compared to the other 2.

NUS, world-class university (I guess this might be driven by the fact that they have both Medicine and Law faculties) but I am unsure in terms of Business Schools only. The pioneer in Singapore, pretty great exchanges and overseas colleges. Toughest university in terms of admissions (I have no idea why their IGPs are so high) which means that the students there are of a certain calibre and capacity.

So to speak, my ideal university would be SMU with NTU's 3-years direct honours or 4-years DDP with Hall facilities. (ok, just ranting, but yeah)

Disclaimer: Any of the negative opinions above are purely subjective or by hearsay, and by no means detrimental or to cause harm or misrepresentation to any of the aforementioned parties.

Mar 23, 2013 - 1:24pm

thecoldburns:
PM me, my reply to your post will be a massive wall of text here.

I wonder if you have received my PM. Because I'm prompted: "Sorry, to prevent abuse, you must have 10 banana points in order to send private messages. Hope you're hungry."

If no, do you mind PMing me instead? I just joined WSO. Thanks a lot and thanks for being so sporting! Really appreciate it!

Mar 24, 2013 - 3:28am

JasonLoh:
From the way you are speaking, you are
1) trying to convince yourself
2) you are in it just for the money

Get real

I am just seeking feedback and opinions for a better school to pursue my university degree and I apologize if what I say doesn't "convince" you or myself. Btw, I don't catch what you meant by "trying to convince myself". Do you mind PMing and explain it to me instead, or just post it here? I want to know what I have said made you replied [the above].

I am in not JUST for the money. But money is one of the factors why I, and I strongly believe, many others pursue a career in Finance, without a doubt. Even from one of my distant relative, who has been in Wall Street for at least 25 years.

I guess a person working in Equities Research (as stated on your profile) should possess skills that allow oneself to make an informed judgement without being impartial and understanding the whole story top-down and bottom-up before making a recommendation or in this case posting a reply.

What you have seen me saying above are just fragments of the impression I have built on you, and you are so quick to make a firm verdict and clouded judgement without even understanding my background and what I have been through.

But in any case, I am definitely younger than you. You may have an decade old experience in Wall Street or so to make such a statement through your "rich experiences". But what you have just replied, has just made an a** out of you and me you, and totally uncalled for.

To avoid any unpleasant commotion in this thread, would greatly appreciate it if you could PM me. If you are unwillingly, then I guess you may continue replying within the thread. But I really hope I will get a PM/reply from you to see why, what I've said made you replied [the above] and also learn from it. Hopefully you are not just another troll or keyboard warrior in a professional forum.

Ain't going to say "no offence", because my reply probably triggered some unpleasantness too.

p/s: It kinda disgusts me for typing this reply because I myself have seen such 'arguments' on forums and I feel thoroughly disgusted but anyways, I just want to learn from critiques.

Yours Sincerely (and Staying Gold),
Pony Boy

Mar 24, 2013 - 3:42am

bengigi:
^What the hell??

Sigh, knew that it'd garner these kind of reactions. Anyways, like I said, I just want to learn from critiques. Could sense that I am prolly going to get more of these next time when I am in Wall Street.

Mar 24, 2013 - 4:07am

keynes:
bengigi:
^What the hell??

Sigh, knew that it'd garner these kind of reactions. Anyways, like I said, I just want to learn from critiques. Could sense that I am prolly going to get more of these next time when I am in Wall Street.


Well here is my advice then: if you want to work on Wall Street straight out of college GO TO A US COLLEGE.
Ask yourself this question: Why would a New York bank go out of its way to hire some dude who is in Singapore when there are thousands of extremely qualified kids that are already in the US?
If you go to a university in Singapore, you will most likely have to start you career there and then hope you'll be able to transfer to the US later on.
Mar 24, 2013 - 7:01am

keynes:
Unless you assumed that I want to work physically and directly on Wall Street

keynes:
next time when I am in Wall Street.

Yeah I wonder where my crazy assumption came from...lighten up kid.
Mar 25, 2013 - 12:27pm

I've applied to both NUS and SMU for this year.

Chances are that NUS will deny me since they basically require 95%+ in the final exams from Indian applicants. Just left with my last exam and I can say with complete confidence that I am under no circumstances scoring more than 90%. As for SMU, I reckon I have a shot since I have a decent SAT score and could get around 85-90% which is a bit lower than the usual SMU score but still in the ballpark.

Regardless, I'd attend any of my US choices - BU over SMU. And if I did manage 85%+, I'd stand a decent shot at SSCBS in New Delhi, which while not near as famous internationally as SMU, offers the best finance course by far in India, an education not so different from that of SMU and places extremely well locally.

Forget recruiting, from a purely social and academic POV, I much prefer the idea of going to college in the US.
I mean screw it I don't want to shell out thousands of dollars for a non liberal arts education in a goddamn police state. JK, Singapore is cool but can not match up to the US for a collegiate education. Again though, this is only from my POV.

Just a little anecdote, I emailed both SMU and NUS with different queries last year and the SMU reply was full of grammatical errors and things. Doesn't mean anything as such and I shouldn't judge them. After all Singaporeans, quite like myself, are not native speakers of English. Yet, it just sticks in my head.

Another thing to look at is their admission standards. Granted that you need grades for NUS that you don't need even for HYPS or Oxbridge or any other hard admits but they have 0 quality control beyond that. That's hardly any better than how IIT works or how Delhi University works.

Also, for SMU, I have heard many rumors that they accept money for offering spots to average and below average applicants (at least from India). Now I know you have donations in the US but donations unfortunately or fortunately are usually so high and therefore infrequent that they literally aren't worth even considering here. I do realize that this charge against SMU is a serious and therefore repeat again that I have only heard rumours, they may indeed be unsubstantiated.

Mar 25, 2013 - 4:26am

Hey kid chill and find out from Singaporeans and your seniors. I'm Singaporean myself and I don't think people abroad will know too much about the kind of recruitment that happens here. This website's expertise is Wall Street, not Raffles City banks. And with their expertise, Sg schools wont get you into Wall Street.

By the way I totally see where you're coming from. To everyone else the Singaporean culture is really competitive and materialistic, and though some of us try to fight that, it does consume us a bit.

Personally I'm most likely heading to LSE because the US school fees are too high for me to bear. If I stayed local I would have probably chosen SMU because of its better career placement. That said, it is ultimately up to you and what style of learning you prefer, as well as the environment that will wso/">suit you best. The differences between the schools aren't too significant compared to your grades, internships, networking, etc. Lastly, bond free school scholarships will also influence my decision, since that is around 50k of school fees saved.

Mar 8, 2014 - 8:35pm

Yeah, really cool new program. Lots of travel with it. They are recruiting for their first class now.

Mar 8, 2014 - 8:36pm

TNA:

Yeah, really cool new program. Lots of travel with it. They are recruiting for their first class now.

Recruiting is going extremely well from what I have heard.

Mar 8, 2014 - 8:38pm

jec:

But at what cost?


I don't know the exact number but universities in Singapore are known for being much more fairly priced than US or UK schools for foreign students.
Mar 8, 2014 - 8:41pm

madman91:

I can't really find this anywhere in the link, but is there a language requirement other than English?


No.

Pretty sure all universities in Singapore are taught in English. At least the big three are (Singapore Management University, National University of Singapore, Nanyang)

And it is no problem living in Singapore only speaking English. I spent a week there and had no problems communicating. Pretty much everyone speaks english and speak it in school.

Mar 8, 2014 - 8:40pm

DrPeterVenkman:

jec:

But at what cost?

I don't know the exact number but universities in Singapore are known for being much more fairly priced than US or UK schools for foreign students.

For reference: a full MSc in Applied Finance at SMU costs in the region of ~US$26k.

madman91:

I can't really find this anywhere in the link, but is there a language requirement other than English?

In all likelihood, nope.

Mar 8, 2014 - 8:43pm

I spoke to Dr. Hochberg at length about this program earlier this semester. They seem to be recruiting some people straight from the traditional MSF program, those who are more keen on working in Asia (87% of the Quant Track last year was Chinese I believe). As I understood it, SMU is handling career services for the Global MSF, even though the first and final summer take place in St. Louis.

Mar 26, 2013 - 3:18am

vitalism:
SMU > NUS >>> NTU

But yeah, attending a second rate US (or even UK/Aussie) school gives you a better shot.

I would disagree with this because I have seen a good deal of NTU graduates get hired into investment banking. All three universities are very close to one another in terms of placement possibilities. What gets one hired is not the school (assuming you are from either one of the three) but more importantly what you do during your undergraduate years and obviously the GPA.

UK/Australian universities are not much better (in fact I personally feel are worse off) than the 3 universities in terms of local recruitments. Unless, of course, you graduate from Cambridge/Oxford, you are very likely on equal footing with the local graduates.

argus_eyed:
For what it's worth, I think you'll get relatively similar opportunities at NUS/NTU/SMU to get a BB job in SG and maybe HK - the key is where do you think you will fit in better, do well academically and enjoy your three or four years of college. None of them is going to get you to Wall Street directly without some serious networking or connections, that's just the cold hard fact.

This is very true. BB's may recruit from Singaporean universities but mostly to their Singapore/Hong Kong offices.

Mar 26, 2013 - 3:37am

thecoldburns:

UK/Australian universities are not much better (in fact I personally feel are worse off) than the 3 universities in terms of local recruitments. Unless, of course, you graduate from Cambridge/Oxford, you are very likely on equal footing with the local graduates.

Hi you seem to state that Oxbridge is superior to local SG universities for local recruitment. I don't usually find people who seem to know the demand for UK grads in the Singapore recruitment scene, so may I ask where does LSE stand in terms of Singapore/ Asia PAC BB hiring?

Mar 25, 2013 - 11:18pm

schmint:
Hey kid chill and find out from Singaporeans and your seniors. I'm Singaporean myself and I don't think people abroad will know too much about the kind of recruitment that happens here. This website's expertise is Wall Street, not Raffles City banks. And with their expertise, Sg schools wont get you into Wall Street.

Exactly. I'm Singaporean too and frankly it makes me cringe reading your (OP's) diatribe. This is a US-based board so people don't know and don't care about our local universities. You're simply barking up the tree; no one owes you anything here. You're much better off talking to your seniors. For what it's worth, I think you'll get relatively similar opportunities at NUS/NTU/SMU to get a BB job in SG and maybe HK - the key is where do you think you will fit in better, do well academically and enjoy your three or four years of college. None of them is going to get you to Wall Street directly without some serious networking or connections, that's just the cold hard fact.

Mar 26, 2013 - 5:48am

Thanks thecoldburns! I have really been trying to find out more and your advice is much appreciated! :D

thecoldburns:

That being said, if you are graduating from LSE, my take would be to join the BBs in London/UK and then do a laterall to Singapore after a couple of years. I know of an LSE graduate who did so and is now in a mega-fund (KKR, Blackstone).

Anyway, while I asked about the Singapore and APAC offices I actually would not mind working in London, which is possible through a conversion from an internship. However, that said, I heard getting a work permit is difficult. As you have also advised me to join a UK BB, I would like to ask if you know how much of an obstacle is the work permit for an international student (Singaporean) like me?

Dec 8, 2013 - 4:04pm

Sorry to revive this thread, but may I ask why Singaporean unis are considered "inferior" than UK/US unis?

In case of NUS, its economics world ranking is within 20th in the world (14th in 2013 according to QS rankings) which is clearly above some of the mid-ranged US universities. It's also only 3 rankings down from Oxford.

When I search on Google, most of the threads I see regarding sg unis are from 2010 or earlier. sg unis at the time did not have much reputation, and hence I understand why one would be better off if they're from US/UK unis, but now that it is placed 14th in the world for econ, I don't see why it would still be seen as worse than some UK/US universities. In case of the UK, Warwick, UCL are also considered as targets for BB, and NUS is placed above both of those universities.

Also people say that SMU place more students in BB IB than NUS, and I would like to know if this is true as NUS has a better reputation and is more prestigious than NTU or SMU.

I'm Asian but not Singaporean, and I currently live in central Europe and was looking to study in NUS and look for an IB (M&A or S&T intrigues me at the moment) in Singapore. I could go to UK and I do have offers at target unis, but due to the tuitions, I don't think I would be able to go there at all.

I'm sorry for this long text, but any ideas would be highly appreciated!

Dec 8, 2013 - 4:30pm

Hi SPark9625 I am not sure if my answers are fully accurate, but I feel like I am in a good position to share what I think regarding your questions, given that I am a Singaporean who chose to study overseas. (now attending LSE)

Firstly, Singapore universities are highly ranked, but it is not given the level of prestige the rankings suggest. One reason why I think this is the case is because Singaporean employers do not value the degrees since so many applicants have them. Therefore, an NUS degree means little, unless you do very well. (which is a challenge because Singaporean students are smart and study very, very hard)

For your second question, SMU does place more students in BB IB, based on the figures I have heard. One reason suggested to me is that SMU maintains strong relations with the industry, to ensure that its students get the jobs. This is not just an exchange of favours, but more like a collaboration of sorts, with top SMU students going for more networking and finance events, etc.

Once again, I have to say that my views may not be fully accurate, but I hope that they still help give you an insight. If you want to find out more, feel free to PM me. Otherwise, the general advice I can give to you is that a Singapore education can be a world class one, but if you are looking to enter finance you need to handle really intense competition in school.

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