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NUS MBA Introduction

For anyone interested in a pan-Asian career, the National University of Singapore Business School is the real deal — and not just because of its location. NU Singapore has a global reputation, reflected in its full-time MBA’s rank of 15th in the world in the 2020 Financial Times rankings, making it the third-highest-ranked Asian business school after Shanghai’s CEIBS and INSEAD.

The MBA itself lasts 17 months — placing it squarely between the 12 or 24 months typical in Europe and the U.S., respectively, meaning that participants get a chance to enjoy an exploratory MBA without the opportunity cost that sometimes puts people off a longer program.

The course consists of 10 core subjects and three “experiential core” subjects centered around skills such as influencing, communication, and self-awareness. Added to this are seven electives, chosen from 50, which can be grouped into specializations including finance, marketing, or strategy and organization.

As a member of the Global Network for Advanced Management (GNAM), a group of 30 business schools from all over the world, NUS allows students to go on exchanges to partner institutions to gain international experience. Those with entrepreneurial ambitions can benefit from initiatives such as NUS’s Lean Launchpad, which puts them in contact with scientists and engineers hoping to create businesses based on their research. A consultancy project with a major company is another highlight. For more details Click here...

Class Profile Summary
Class Size 120
Average GMAT Score 670(520-780)
Average Work Experience (yrs.) 06 years
Average Age (yrs.) 29 years (24-35)
Employment Summary
Average Salary SGD 85,321
Average Bonus
% placed within 3 months 94%
Tuition Fees Summary
Total Tuition SGD 76,000
Living Cost SGD 4,705
Total Cost SGD 80,705

NUS MBA Employment Report 2021 (Click Here)

NUS MBA Employment Report 2020 (Click Here)

NUS MBA Application Deadlines

Deadlines Applications
Round 1 28 Oct 2021
Round 2 17 Jan 2022
Round 3 31 Mar 2022

NUS MBA Application Tips

NUS Essay 1: How do you plan to spend your time on The NUS MBA to transform yourself personally & professionally? Briefly describe your experience to date, and how this and The NUS MBA can help you achieve your mid and long-term career goals. (350 words)

Quick essay Tips – To write career essays for the NUS MBA program, a very simple structure to follow is

  1. Explain your current position and work experience → 2. State your short and long-term goals → 3. Skillsets you have acquired throughout your career so far → 4. Explain what you currently lack to attain your short and long-term goals → 5. Show how an MBA from a school like NUS can help you bridge the gap in your skills to achieve your short-term goal.

Detailed Essay Writing Tips – The best and an easy approach to write this NUS application essay is to break it into two parts:

  • First Half – explain “what are your goals and why you need an MBA”
  • Second Half – establish ”Why or how the NUS MBA program is the perfect fit for you?”

First Half – Goals and why MBA?

Start with a strong introductory paragraph on who you are and what are your desired goals from an MBA.

Eg: “I am an engineer with four years of experience in the IT sector leading projects for clients across multiple countries. In the short term, i want to transition from a software developer role to a product manager role” 

For the main body, start on a strong note, show what skills you already have. B-schools, in general, prefer to see a strong academic track record, progress in a professional career, client management exposure, leadership, and international experiences. Highlight some of your key achievements with numbers or awards that you may have received. Show your outstanding performance via the promotions or opportunities to lead or international deputation.

After establishing the strengths of your profile, move on to show how the limitation of your current role and skills are hindering your future career progress or desired transitions. Establish the need for upskilling yourself which can only be done via an MBA at this stage of your career. Talk about how an MBA can enhance your business acumen, leadership skills, soft skills for communication and presentation or provide you the network to grow your career or business.

This sets the context for your “Why MBA” argument. The first half of the essay explains what you already have and what you lack to grow in your career. Lastly how an MBA can unlock opportunities for you to grow. 

Second Half – Why NUS MBA?

To answer the – “why NUS MBA” part of the essay, build your argument on 3-4 points which helps you fulfill the gaps in your skillset and achieve your goals. Reasons to choose the NUS MBA program should align with your reason to do an MBA as mentioned in the first half of the essay.

Ensure your reasons portray a holistic approach to how you intend to gain/upskill from the MBA program. An easy way to structure can be to break it down across three buckets –

  • Inside the class – what excites you the most about the NUS MBA program in regards to the academic curriculum? Is it a particular specialization? Range of Electives? Quality of Professor?  Feel free to name-drop a few.
  • Outside the class – outside of the academics, how do you plan to make the most of the opportunities available at NUS? Clubs? Networking event? International exchanges? Leadership seminar? Speak with Alum, current students and find specifics which perfectly aligns with your needs to achieve your goals in a particular industry or function.
  • Outside of campus – show how the overall school brand, alumni network which you would carry and be a part of long after your campus stint can help you build a successful career in the long term.

Closing argument

Summarize your entire essay in 3-4 lines and confidently portray how you believe the NUS MBA program is the perfect next step or logical step for you to achieve your career goals and how you would be a great fit and valuable addition to the class if selected.

For NUS MBA essay samples, you can also read some of the great essays written by our clients here on the sample essays page.

NUS Essay 2: How have people, events, and/or situations in your life influenced who you are today? (250 words)

This is what we call a “get to know you” essay. The primary goal of the admission committee here is to know you as a person. Most of the candidates who are applying to the school have similar GMAT, GPA, work experience and pedigree. This is the essay where you can differentiate yourself and give a wholesome picture of who you are as a person. So get personal!

The ideal way to approach this essay is to take a step back and write significant moments of your life – big or small – that you think have changed you or have a long-lasting impact on you.

Think along with these three buckets of experience – personal, professional, and extra-curricular to help you identify with stories.

Once you have the stories, choose the one that you think has significantly impacted you or changed your perspective. Control the urge to choose experiences from a professional front. Pick stories that are impactful, and the ones that let the reader know more about you than just the resume, and the ones that portray a wholesome balanced picture of who you are. Once you have chosen 2-3 examples, then start illustrating them in the following format.

When illustrating examples, an easy method to follow is the STAR methodology. Situation → Task → Action → Result.

Describe the situation or in this case, the person or event so that the readers get a background of the plot. Explain what tasks the person or the event did that directly affected you and in what way. It is important to explain how this person/event changed you or left a lasting impact on you. It is important to communicate to the reader, the shift from how you were before the event to what you have become after the event. Conclude by showing the result:  what you learnt from that experience and how you have transformed as a person. How has this made you a better person or a better leader? how these learnings will enhance your prospects of being a successful leader or prove you to be a good value addition to NUS MBA program.

NUS Essay 3: OPTIONAL: Is there any additional information relevant to your application that you’d like to share with the Admissions Committee? (200 words)

Use the optional essays only for specific reasons. If you have a career gap or are currently unemployed or have a low GPA, only then consider explaining yourself in this essay.

Additionally, you can also use this essay to explain your choice of recommender. It may so happen that you do not want to tell your current employer of your MBA plans and hence seeked recommendation from others. You can explain this to the admission committee if this is the case.

One common pitfall candidates do is to elaborate on certain extracurriculars that they have already mentioned in other parts of the application. Please do not not use optional essays to repeat whatever is already described in your application or resume.

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