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 ofissues. 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. So, I don't think you are going to land your Analyst jobs from this program. It will , 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.