demtor's picture
Rank: Baboon | 118

I decided to pursue my grad school (MSF) by going to WashU-Singapore Management University GMF program. This is the same post I made in the MSF Class of 2015 but I think it deserves to be its own thread as there is not much information about the program out there and I have seen a few questions here and there about the program.

Full disclosure: I applied to the WUSTL MSF program and got referred to this instead. Other schools I was accepted at was Nova, and SMU (Dallas).

Class profile for Class of 2014: GMAT was 715, GPA was 3.7. 22 students, mostly Asians but representations from a total of 7 countries. They are hoping for a class size of about 30+ this year. Still will be mostly Asian but it is going to be a more diverse student body.

Here's my take on it and reasons for choosing the program over others:

1) I am an international student so opportunities for me here in the States unless you are a rock star at top firms are very limited.

2) The curriculum is excellent. And this international experience is something no other MSF program can provide. You get two degrees (MSF from WashU and MAF from SMU) from two well regarded business schools after you graduate.

3) As an international student you cannot really intern during the school year. Some people do it but it is definitely not recommended because of Visa issues. But in Singapore you can. Most of the students that are doing the program this year are interning at pretty good firms in Singapore right now.

4) WUSTL was the best school I got admitted to. It is a T25 MBA and a top university. Internationally you might not think WUSTL name carries any weight and it definitely does not compared to a Princeton, Chicago, LSE or Wharton. But it is the next best thing to all those top schools. As, I mentioned that I went to a solid semi-target (or target in many cases really) undergrad which also has a decent name in Asia. I thought WUSTL was a more lateral school for me to go to than SMU (Dallas) or Nova.

5) The student quality is very high. You have a class of mostly Asians students but they have myriad of experiences. Most have done their undergrad in the EU, US or the UK. It has a lower percent of kids with undergrads in their native countries. The people running the program are trying to truly push this program to kids with very different backgrounds. For example, one of the people in the program I spoke with has lived in 6 countries. College in the UK with work/internship experience in the UK, Thailand and China.

6) Singapore is an amazing city. It is truly East meets West where English is the main language unlike Hong Kong.

7) If you want to work in the States and you are international, this program is not for you because you cannot get the OPT Visa. So, a firm has to sponsor you right off the bat which would be very hard when you are gonna spend more than half of your time in Singapore. But if you are American, you get this incredible experience that most kids don't have or get to experience.

8) Class of 2015 is only their second year so this program is new. There is no placement stats yet because of all the kids are still in school. So going now is a risk somewhat. But both MSF from WUSTL and MAF from SMU are mature degrees.

9) It is very expensive. 65k tuition and cost will only go up as Singapore is an expensive city and a lot of intercontinental travel. So unless you can pay for it, I wouldn't go. Taking out a loan might not be the best for this program because you would have to take a loan similar to attending an MBA program.

10) The job market for foreigners in Singapore is a lot easier than in the US or EU. This program is a little more quantitative than other traditional MSF programs; focus is on investments rather than corporate finance. So, I don't think you are going to land your IBD Analyst jobs from this program. It will be mostly ER, AM and some corp. finance and real estate according to the kids there now.

11) Placements are handled by SMU primarily but you still have access to Olin's career center. Olin also has hired people primarily to help GMF students to find jobs.

End note, this program is suitable for Asian students who would rather work in China, India, Singapore (mainly) or Hong Kong. American students who wants to have a international experience early in his/her career would also benefit.

Hopefully, this would help other students who are trying to decide now and in the future.

Comments (14)

Mar 2, 2015

Could you comment on how recruiting is going currently?

    • 1
Mar 2, 2015

I applied to the same program and got in. I won't be attending. I think the program is decent if you would like to work in Asia. If I am correct, U.S. banks don't typically recruit from there. When I interviewed for the program, the admissions director told me that it is harder to get into SMU directly than through the Global MSF program. However, I am not insinuating that your chances of admission are negligible. Good luck!

Mar 2, 2015

I don't really know what you are insinuating. But I don't really care about that. Where are you headed?

Mar 2, 2015

I would actually recommend against it even if you want to work in Singapore. None of the BB banks recruit well from the local Singapore universities for FO positions (IB/S&T/Research) unless you have some kind of connection/network. Also, while SMU has a fairly strong undergraduate programme, I have heard that its graduate degrees are new and understandably fairly weak.

No clue about the Global MSF is particular, but I can tell you that the WUSTL brand is far weaker in Asia than it is in the US - most people in Asia will not have even heard of the school.

Even if you want to work in Singapore/Asia, get a degree from a top college in US/UK.

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Mar 2, 2015

Well from your comments. I am even re-visiting my thoughts about even doing the interview. I am very skeptical about the program. What do think the value of a degree is let's from a undergrad business school of the likes of UNC, IU Kelley?

Mar 2, 2015

I think it is a cool concept, but probably only appropriate for a small group of people. I do like the international aspect of program and the fact that you get to experience two great schools.

Mar 2, 2015

I don't think I belong to that small group of people. I am not that adventurous. Also, looking at pictures of the recent class it seemed that all are Chinese. So, I don't think I would fit into the program as well. Thanks for the reply.

Mar 2, 2015

Don't go. I got into the program. It's a program for Chinese students mainly. WUSTL gets a lot of application and takes about 60 kids in its Q & C tracks. There are hundreds of qualified kids that get dinged and mostly they are from China or Asia. It is a great program for the university to get more cash into its coffers. So, if you really want to work in Singapore then go and if not then seriously no.

Mar 2, 2015

Don't go. I got into the program. It's a program for Chinese students mainly. WUSTL gets a lot of application and takes about 60 kids in its Q & C tracks. There are hundreds of qualified kids that get dinged and mostly they are from China or Asia. It is a great program for the university to get more cash into its coffers. So, if you really want to work in Singapore then go and if not then seriously no.

This is pretty spot on - except that the programme is unlikely to even place you well in Singapore. It is especially NOT worth U$63,500 (WTF?!).

I think UNC, IU Kelley, etc. would command the same level of prestige as WUSTL does in Asia - which sadly isn't much. I know it sounds crazy, but unless an American is reading your CV, they won't even know of those schools. And brand name is HUGE in Asia.

I honestly suggest you keep trying for other MSF programmes or maybe get some work exp and apply later.

Mar 2, 2015