Please notice this was first posted in the period 2012-2014 and can be outdated
Deciding which MBA to choose is not an easy decision to make, especially not if you base your choice only on the glossy folders each university produces. So a few weeks ago I enrolled for the information session at Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration of Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. And last Saturday it was finally time to go visit the campus of Sasin and be able to taste what it would be like to study there.
The first taste we got was at the university restaurant since we were a bit too early and this was a nice spot to enjoy the AC indoors. Finally, at 9:45 it was time to get registered and we went to the Sasa Patasala building. From the outside the buildings looks perfect so we entered with high expectations.
Inside we were welcomed with a thick folder containing a glossy brochure, a free pen, and some other promotional material, and were let to a room where sandwiches were begging to be eaten. Immediately I regretted the early lunch we just had since some of the sandwiches had salmon on them which is my personal favorite. A couple of current students and recent alumni were making rounds past the tables and were open for questions, something that was very helpful since it gave the opportunity to hear the views of someone who was not paid to sell the program.
At 10AM we were sent to the adjacent room for a general presentation which was hosted by Krittika Kongsompong who presented “the weakest link” in Thailand (with mixed results) and has a PhD from Sasin. She showed nicely how one could do a presentation but left no room for questions. She only once asked the audience a question and that was if they thought her English language skills were perfect, something people seemed to confirm.
Next, the group of current students and recent alumni lined up in front of the class and one of the English faculty members asked them a few general questions about their MBA experience. The hesitations in the answers showed they had not been given these questions upfront, something that resulted in more genuine answers but also less thoughtful answers; the focus was soon shifting from academic work to the partying involved while studying for an MBA. Finally there was room for questions from the audience. While there were like 50-60 people sitting there nobody felt like they had any questions apparently so it stayed silent for a few seconds. To me this seemed a bit strange since the idea of going back to school to do an MBA is to be curious, to be able to have classroom discussions, and to be able to do some critical reasoning. So I asked the first question in the hope to inspire the rest of the group, and asked a second and third with the same hopes. Since nobody took over I just threw in a fourth and fifth question because I was on a role anyways. Hope classroom discussion will result in a higher level of participation…
Next the group was split up based on the program people were interested in (PhD, MBA, EMBA, etc) and a tour through the building was conducted. It was still a Saturday so we did not see a living soul in any of the study rooms, library, or even in the relaxation room. The pool looked really nice though.
Around noon the information day came to an end and when we returned to the hall where we started from. There some people finally came with some questions, mostly practical ones, about the program. The discussion was not held centrally so my mind started wandering off and we decided to leave. All together the MBA at Sasin seems like a highly interesting program, not so much for the partying stuff but more because of the international focus of the MBA (Kellogg professors coming over to teach).
At least I now have a clearer picture what studying here at Sasin for an MBA would be like.