NUS MBA Applications, Admissions and Essay Analysis


The NUS MBA has consistently ranked amongst the world’s top MBA programs and attracts the brightest minds from across the world. The program combines western and Asian business principles and provides a world- class learning experience with distinguished faculty, international industry exposure and a diverse cohort. Based in Singapore, The NUS MBA provides a strong ecosystem for participants looking for deep understanding and insights for business in Asia. Singapore, as the world 2nd most prospering economy and a truly globalized country, is home to the world’s top MNCs and budding innovation start-ups and thus provides students with a plethora of career opportunities in and outside of the city. 
 
Let us take a look at admissions process for NUS MBA
 
Application Process
The NUS MBA programme accepts applications on a rolling basis during the application cycle.
The NUS MBA does not engage any external agencies to undertake student recruitment on its behalf. Candidates interested in the NUS MBA must apply directly to the NUS Business School Graduate Studies Office and not through education agents.
 
1. Online Application Form
Only applications submitted via www.mba.nus.sg/apply will be accepted.
 
2. Preference of Programme

  • You are required to indicate at least 1 MBA programme as Preference 1 under the “Preference” section.
  • If you are interested in more than 1 MBA programme, add another application under the “Manage Applications” section. A unique application number will be assigned to each of the MBA programs.
  • Please indicate your order of preference, as the applications will be processed accordingly.
 
3. Specialisations
You need to state your specialisation preference only if you are applying for the NUS MBA Specialisation in Healthcare Management or Real Estate (cross-faculty specialisations). It is not required for all other specialisations (e.g. Marketing, Finance, Strategy & Organisation, etc).
 
4. Supporting Documents
Please note that you will need to upload the following supporting documents (size limit: 10MB) as part of your online application:
  • A copy of your resume
  • A copy of your undergraduate degree scroll
  • A copy of your undergraduate degree transcripts/mark sheets
  • A copy of your Test Taker’s GMAT/GRE/EA score report
  • A copy of your IELTS/TOEFL report (if the medium of instructions for your undergraduate studies was not in English)
  • A copy of your passport, NRIC or Employment Pass (upload only ONE that is applicable to you)
  • A passport-sized photograph
  • A copy of your “Financial Supporting” documents (such as your latest payslip or bank account statement)

5. Referee reports

 Two referee reports are required to complete your application. The two referees can be your current employer, previous employer or corporate client.
 
6. Essays
Here are the NUS MBA essays and the essay analysis.
 
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) 
 
This is the standard MBA essay in which there are 3 parts - past experience, the NUS MBA and future goals. The key here is to clearly state your mid and long term goals, highlight through your past work experience how you already possess a few skills that will help you achieve them and most importantly how the NUS MBA will bridge that gap in skills and experience to help you realize them. 
 
Let us delve into each aspect.
 
  • Mid and long-term goals - Mention a role, location and a few companies you would want to join. It is important to state why and what led you to pursue these goals and why they resonate with you. This need not be elaborate, but it should be convincing and real
  • Experience to date - Here, describe 2-3 experiences that portray strengths/attributes that NUS looks for. End each one with how it will relate to your goals. NUS’s core values are Excellence, Care, Innovation, Integrity, Teamwork. It would be a good idea to include at least one example of leadership skills (essential for any business school)
  • The NUS MBA - There are 4 main aspects of a b-school education 1) the in class experience- courses, faculty 2) the application of the courses through experiential learning and case competitions 3)the out-of-class experience - professional, cultural, sports clubs 4)Peer and alumni network. Depending on what your goals are, mention at least 3 out of 4 these aspects and be specific about it
  • In class experience - The program has a set of core modules such as ‘Corporate strategy’, ‘Financial Management and ‘Marketing Management’ in the first semester and specialization-wise electives to choose thereafter. Apart from the usual specializations, it has ‘Innovation & Entrepreneurship’ and ‘Real estate’. Eminent professors such as Prof. Wong Poh Kam (Technopreneurship) from MIT and Prof. Ishtiaq Mahmood (Strategy and policy) from Harvard are part of the world class faculty at NUS
  • Experiential Learning - As part of its experiential learning framework, in the second semester NUS has the Management Practicum (MP). In the MP, NUS MBA students execute a consulting project for leading companies from Singapore such as Dell, Johnson & Johnson. The Global Immersion Program, International Student Exchange program and case competitions also allow students to apply concepts to real-world problems
  • Out-of-class experience - There is a plethora of activities on campus ranging from the ‘NUS MBA Elevator Pitch’, Echoes’ and Pencil Pack, to the world’s largest business case competition “Cerebration 2015”. Clubs such as the Consulting Club, Women in Business Club, enhance learning and help hone leadership skills
  • The Network- NUS helps students develop a truly global network through the diversity of students in the class and by facilitating several international programs such as study treks and internships.
 
Format- The essay could be chronological - past experience leading to goals and then the NUS MBA or with the goals stated first, followed by past experience and the nUS MBA. Do include a brief introduction and conclusion.
 
 
Essay 2
How have people, events, and/or situations in your life influenced who you are today? (250 words) 
 
This is a more personal essay than the last one. Here, you must look back at all the challenges you have faced and overcome throughout your life or incidents that motivated you to take up new initiatives or people who influenced and inspired you. This is a rather short essay and therefore must be focused and direct. Here are a few pointers to help you compose it.
 
  • As you have only 250 words, choose 2 out of the 3 - people, events, situations so that you can substantiate them properly.
  • The stories you choose could be from your cultural or sports activities/volunteering experiences/firm initiatives/personal struggles/family circumstances. If there is a very compelling story from your professional experience that will also do.
  • See this as another chance to bring out values that the school stands for. If you have examples of say ‘Excellence’ and ‘Teamwork’ in the previous essay, then focus on maybe ‘Innovation’ or ‘Integrity’ in this one.
  • While describing your experiences, concentrate on the learnings and takeaways rather than the event itself because the essay asks specifically how it contributed to who you are today.
 
Format - Introduction, one paragraph each of the 2 experiences and a conclusion
 
 
Essay 3
 
OPTIONAL: Is there any additional information relevant to your application that you’d like to share with the Admissions Committee? (200 words) 
 
To write or not to write this essay concerns a number of MBA applicants each season. We suggest you first complete your entire application, except for this essay. Then go through the application to see if there is something additional you wish to highlight. These could be one or more of the below,
 
  • Most schools want you to use this question to explain something about your background/experiences that requires explanation or further clarity (e.g. an unexplained gap year/low undergraduate grades/low test scores)
  • You can also use this essay to showcase another unique facet of your personality which would hasn’t been covered elsewhere
  • You can use the optional essay to address the choice of the recommender. Sometimes the candidates aren’t comfortable asking their current employer since they aren’t ready to share their MBA plans. Hence, this space can be used to explain the rationale behind this
 
Hope the application process and essay analysis helps you write a compelling application to NUS.
 
image source: Straits Times