Rutgers Business School in Singapore provides global education to students
In recent years, Rutgers Business School (RBS) has expanded beyond New Jersey to Asia. In 2010, the University established Rutgers Business School Asia Pacific, which is located in Singapore.
Kenneth Cheong, the manager of International Executive MBA (IEMBA) in Singapore, said the program first began expanding in 1991 with an IEMBA program in Beijing, followed by programs in Singapore and Shanghai.
“We began the first intake (in Singapore) of the Executive MBA program in 2011 and have been offering the program for the past eight years,” he said.
The requirements for students to join the program at RBS Asia Pacific are similar to the ones for the Executive MBA (EMBA) in New Jersey. Cheong said applicants typically have 16 years of work experience, and are 40 years of age, on average.
He said students in the program are working professionals, some of which have held high-end positions in multinational companies. The program has more than 20 industries for students to focus on, and currently students encompass 17 different nationalities.
“These expats and local executives are looking for a hard-hitting and highly applied program taught by superstar professors with strong global experience,” said Lei Lei, dean of Rutgers Business School. “In addition, the program needs to be structured around their work schedules. This is where we come in.”
Students are typically accepted in February every year, and those accepted begin working in a part-time format. The program typically takes 14.5 months to complete.
Farrokh Langdana, the director of the Rutgers EMBA program in New Jersey and the academic director of the Singapore IEMBA program, said incorporating global business in an education program is important for building a strong education.
“The logic is very simple really, any major business school cannot profess to be one if it does not have a real global footprint in terms of teaching, enrolling global students and conducting global research,” he said. “Globalization is like water flowing downhill — it never stops happening.”
Lei adds that both Rutgers Business School in New Jersey and Singapore have the same curriculum. She said that the University introduces Singapore graduates to issues and cases that pertain to countries all over the world.
“We ensure that our Singapore graduates have exposure to issues and cases that pertain to the U.S., Europe and economies in Asia such as Malaysia, China, Japan, South Korea and India,” Lei said. “But the curriculum for Singapore is definitely Asia-centric, as it should be.”
Langdana said in his Singapore courses, he teaches about Singaporean and Southeast Asian economies, focusing especially on Singapore’s exchange rate targeting monetary policy, which he said was arguably one of the best-run central banks in the world.
He said notable alumni from the program include Sean Norris, the executive vice president at Accuity UK, Mathew Vargese, the chief technology officer of Cisco in Singapore and Kavita Sinha, the regional director for Clean Energy at the European Climate Foundation.
“Really, if you looked at each class roster for the Singapore program, it would read like a list of 'who’s who' for Singapore,” Langdana said. “It truly is a Rutgers powerhouse.”
Yaw Mensah, the executive vice dean at RBS and interim executive director of Rutgers Singapore IEMBA, said there have recently also been upgrades to the program in Singapore. Participants have the opportunity to attend Mini-MBA programs in New Jersey, instead of taking an additional elective in Singapore.
Peter Methot, the executive director of Executive Education, cites the benefits of this change.
“A senior manager for, say, Merck, based in Singapore may find that taking an upgraded Mini-MBA in Big Data, for example, when she is back in New Jersey, would be a perfect way to really take her team’s marketing campaign in Singapore to a new level,” Methot said.
Langdana said Rutgers Business School, both in New Jersey and Singapore, offers a unique experience to students.
“And this cannot be understated,” he said. “In our stressful and conflict-ridden world, the Rutgers Executive MBA programs are a safe haven of learning, trust and lifelong connections, and really, to us all at RBS, this is truly one of our unique differentiators.”
Editor's Note // A previous version of this article failed to include one of the alumni from the Rutgers Singapore program. This version has been corrected to include all notable alumni quoted.