Monday, March 05, 2007

Weakness 1: INSEAD is an MBA Factory

As promised, I'll address some of the concerns expressed from people I have met, or emails I have received.
I'll try to give my insights on each topics: intake size, programme duration, financing, Singapore. Some questions were related to the programme itself, like "How good INSEAD is in entrepreneurship, in other fields but Consulting and Investment Banking". These concerns were addressed in the posts I guess.
Let me start with size.

When I hear that INSEAD is a factory which produces 900 MBAs a year, I get mad. This is totally untrue, or deceiving.
The reality is: you really are part of a 450 people-intake.
Even that does not reflect the truth. You are part of a campus (like it or not), the one in which you start, so 300 or 150 people. Inside, you are part of a section of 75 people. This is the centre of your network, I think. A study claims that 200 people is the ideal number for a good network to develop, because at this level, you pretty much know everyone. It is true in factories (some companies deliberately top the size of facilities to that 200 number), it is true at INSEAD.
Singapore people develop a very tight network over the whole campus. We, in Fonty, develop a strong network in the half-intake (75+75), because we share the same half day schedule, we share the same professors.

To bridge sections, several informal networks develop: National Weeks, Clubs, Houses/Chateaux... Of course sections dislocate from P3 onwards, yet it seems to me that stronger bonds start in P1/P2.
So forget about the argument that INSEAD is too big... I certainly have never felt lost. Although I would concede that Singapore campus probably is more cohesive than Fonty.

The full study on optimal Human social group size (it's actually 148.. with a range from 100 to 230) -INSEAD is so close I'm starting to think that the School is ruled by OB people-:

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At 5:57 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree! Plus when talking about "factory approach" when criticizing Insead, keep in mind size of Harvard or Wharton classes - even "worse" examples of "factory approach". The point is that MBA is a mass product itself.

Up to me, it is better to be in a bigger school with strong alumni network than in a small one with limited number of alumni. In the end of the days, if one wants an exclusive/boutique approach, why don't to hire a private business coach instead of going in to a business school... :)

At 7:20 AM , Blogger DomoDomo@INSEAD said...

Thanks for you message. I totally agree that breadth of network is super important. I talked with a Wharton participant, he said that even with 800 people in a single intake, he liked it, because he could choose his network. As long as quality is there, size is not an argument to me.

At 11:06 AM , Blogger Post-Submission Bluesman said...

Very insightful. I've already made my choice, but you'd have convinced me if I were still hesitating :-)

At 11:30 AM , Blogger DomoDomo@INSEAD said...

Hey Congratulations Bluesman. I've seen you've chosen INSEAD. Welcome in the club ;-)
If I may say so, make the most of your 6 months to develop your own path and clarify what you want to take out of the experience.
Take care. D.

At 10:35 PM , Blogger zanat0s said...

Domodomo, i think you are over reacting. we have 900 MBas but we are 2 campuses and 2 intakes.

and we have great relationships among us.

At 10:48 AM , Blogger DomoDomo@INSEAD said...

Hey Zanatos,
Isn't my point? I think you're reading too fast, because I agree with you... Cheers good luck for job search


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