26 Mar The Ultimate Guide to All You Need to Know About SP Jain School of Global Management (2017)
SP Jain School of Global Management is a new, small, and private university originated from India (hence at least half of the students will come from India). Its tri-city BBA (Bachelor’s of Business Administration) program allows students to study in Singapore the first year, Dubai the second, and Sydney the third and fourth. This type of program is immensely beneficial as a business student as it can help distinguish a student on the resume but also broaden the student’s own perspective.
Fun fact: SPJ students refer themselves as “Jags” (Jaguars).
I organized this blog into two sections:
- My application process
- The ultimate Q&A about SP Jain
There are three parts of the application process that I personally went through as a North American student.
- Online Application
- Application with Profesor Alesa Lightbourne
- Skype interview with Profesor Alesa Lightbourne
Below is the Online Application:
Note: this is all of the sections you have to complete for this part of the application.
Note that the Statement of Purpose is the only essay you have to write for this part of the application.
This is where you will check “Yes” for those scholarships!
Note: SPJ does not accept recommendation letters, here’s Professor Alesa Lightbourne’s response to this:
Below talks about the application with Professor Alessa Lightbourn:
After submitting my application, I received an email from Professor Alesa Lightbourne (Prof Alesa), who is the Director of International Relations for America. She is Californian and is a super kind and caring person.
She sent me a few things that I needed to do:
1. Read about our school at www.spjain.org (BBA section) and on our blog for new students: bbablog.spjain.org. The blog should answer a lot of questions that you and your parents will have.
2. Send me your transcript. It doesn’t have to be the official one from your high school (yet). Just send a copy for now. It should show classes taken and grades received for grades 10, 11 and (if available) 12.
3. Take the exam above and send me back the answer sheet (scan or take a photo).
4. Write the essay above and return to me. Don’t worry about how long it is. Use the number of words that you need to say what you want.
5. Let’s talk over the phone or Skype, so you can decide if this is really something for you. This college is totally unique, because you’ll live in 3 countries. So I want to be sure you really understand what it’s all about.
Note: you can expect the exam to be something close to this.
After submitting all the materials above, I scheduled an interview with Prof Alesa. The key to success for the interview is to show that you are culturally aware and are ready to become a global business student.
Note: I was not charged a fee to complete the entire application process.
Below is the ultimate Q&A section:
Few days after the interview, Prof Alesa sent me an email stating that I have passed the test. Then after another week or so, I received my acceptance letter and scholarship offer. This prompted me to do more research about this school. Below concludes my research.
I interviewed and asked questions from many SP Jain students/alumni (I tried 70, with around 50 responded) and have collected the information below with their consent.
The responses are organized in the following categories and their topics:
- Facts & Statistics: acceptance rate, retention rate, rankings, reputation, accreditation
- Academics: professors, specializations, academics & transfer my credits
- Student Life: peers, extracurriculars, financing, campuses & dorms, exchange programs, safety, visas
- Administration & Support: internships & job placements, networking, administration, entrepreneurship, biggest improvements
- Miscellaneous: general experiences & advice, general pros, general cons, additional resources, contacts
To quickly access a topic, press Ctrl+F or Command+F and type in the bolded keywords above.
Note: BBA12 refers to BBA students who started the program in 2012 and finished in 2016; BBA15 refers to BBA students who started the program in 2015 and will finish in 2019, etc. I did not include the interviewees’ names to maintain their confidentiality and honesty when giving their feedback. The first batch of BBA students started in 2010 and finished in 2014.
Facts & Statistics:
The acceptance rate at SPJ is around 15%. Being more selective for students from India and Asia (where SPJ receives most of its applicants), and easier for North American and European students.
Since SPJ is so well-known and respected in India, how come SPJ only receives thousands of applicants in India? Because SPJ is a very young program (only in 7th year for bachelor’s in 2017), and not too many Indians can afford to study abroad.
Retention rate (students that stay for the second year):
90%. Why do the rest 10% drop out the second year? “Everywhere on the planet, a lot of freshmen drop out after their first year. Many reasons: immaturity, poor grades, want to move closer to home, in the US it’s often drugs and alcohol, etc. Transfer to a different school. You name it.” – Prof Alesa
What percentage of graduates goes on to graduate or professional school? (Immediately after graduation and eventually.) Not enough data as the first undergrad class graduated in 2014.
What made SP Jain’s program so special it was ranked high in Forbes and Dubai in such a short period? Mostly the job placement record for MBA’s, which is 100%.
All rankings pertain to the MBA program, but the BBA program is getting there.
Dubai, Singapore, India – really good reputation (especially for MBA). But getting a job is hard in Singapore (strict labor laws). It’s not so famous in Sydney because the campus is really new. But you get two years’ post-grad working programs in Sydney, so most try to stay in Sydney.
“[On a side note, if you are in Singapore and Sydney] you’ll have to explain to people what SPJ is and why they should care. The SPJ name in India is strong because of its MBA being very highly regarded, the SPJ that we all went [for undergrad] to is only associated with that organisation by name.” – BBA12 Alumnus
SPJ is accredited by the Australian government.
There’s an article on The Australian talking about SP Jain’s accreditation challenge from the Australian government. (If you search “SP Jain Australian degree news,” the first one from theaustralian.com.au should be it.) Here’s SPJ’s response: “This article is not a current one but quite old, and yes TEQSA had imposed conditions which it does for a number of education providers. Most except a couple all the conditions have been lifted, and you can guide the student to the National Register which had the conditions listed and also the notifications of the lifting of the conditions.you can direct her to this link.” – Rashmi Udaykumar | Head of Admissions
See its other accreditations here.
How accessible are the professors regarding appointments? What are some examples of professor/student interactions outside of the classroom? Any additional support for students such as tutoring?
1.Listening and solving problems such as homesickness, GF/BF problems, roommate, papers wrote for professors, basically everything.
2.Professors live off campus. The office is right next to dorms (professors stay until 7 pm).
Will students have trouble understanding the professors’ accent? Shouldn’t be a problem. You can ask them to speak slower, and they won’t be offended. Furthermore, if you have difficulties, you’re given anonymous digital feedback opportunity twice throughout the semester to let the professor (and management) know.
How extensive is faculty academic advising? It’s a pretty small student body so that all professors will know you by name. Like a family.
“SP Jain has a lot of high-level position and consultants as consultants. So make sure to follow-up. ” – BBA10 Alumnus
“The style of teaching can vary from teacher to teacher. You’ll find yourself some case studies for classes as well. You’ll find some professors that like to stick to the powerpoint, professors who have an academic background but put the application to what they are teaching, and professors who have worked in business before, and teach what is needed to be taught.” – BBA13 Student
“The professors at SPJ are very cooperative. Some are like school teachers who are understanding and develop a personal touch with you while a few are like proper college professors who just mind their own business.” – BBA16 Student
The three BBA specializations:
As a BBA student, you can specialize in Marketing, Finance, or Entrepreneurship starting your Junior year by taking specialized courses. Further, you can choose to major and minor in two specializations. Note that the tri-city model is especially advantageous for Marketing students (especially) and Entrepreneurship students, but will have less impact on Finance students. If your primary goal is to get a job, you should not major in Entrepreneurship, as it’s for people who want to start their own business.
For minor, you take HALF the classes required for the major. Your transcript upon graduation would show BBA with “specialization” plus “minor” if you did one.
Debating about BBA(Business Administrations)/BBC(Communications)/BEC(Economics)? Here’s a list of comparisons for the three programs. But the basic general truth is that BBA is hands down the best program of all as it has more classes on critical thinking, leadership, networking, more polished from the 4th year program.
How much homework do you assign each week?
As a professor: ~3 hours a day. Ramps up as you approach midterms and finals.
Math classes are harder for most students.
How many tests and papers do you give each semester?
Midterms and finals for every class, ~20%-30% of grades.
Write a big research paper for English writing (~20). Much heavier on presentations and class participation.
Are the classes in general lecture-type classes or any flip classroom opportunities?
Started doing flip classroom but didn’t work very well.
Everything is face-to-face, classes are all under 60 students.
Professors lecture half of the time, rest is learned by doing, presentations and class discussions.
How much technology do students use to complete their academics?
A lot. Laptop all day. Wifi is very fast in the day but very slow at night because people play games and watch movies.
Mostly hands-on. Some are textbook (business law). Lots of group assignments, research work. 3rd year is hectic. 1st semester of 4th year is more hectic. But just manage your time wisely.
There will be regional projects – research, interview people from particular industry, 5-6 people in your group, and compete.
SPJ is super strict about attendance (read the rule book), a certain number of classes can only be missed. Some students fail because of this.
“In terms of academic, I was able to take invaluable and applicable knowledge and skills. They always hire very well-known and knowledgeable professors. And there are often not that many students in class, so you’ll be able to interact with the professor as much as you want.” – BBA10 Alumnus
“Honestly, the subjects and things we were taught, were really good. The professors were good. The only thing is as we are in a mindset that college life we have to party, not pay attention and all that, we don’t pay a lot of attention and only study for passing the exams. I wasn’t a topper. But now that I’m working, I realise how important those things were and could have been used today if I would have paid attention and I am running my own business right now. The subjects are really useful provided you learn them and actually pay attention. I am from India, and after I had come back and realised how much of an edge I have other students, our bachelors were better than the masters in business in India. The subjects and faculty are really good, and it’s just that we students don’t pay attention while studying.
Right now you must be feeling that no you’ll pay attention and all that, but college life gets to you, so what I’m saying is if you join, you can party as much but you also need to pay attention, Singapore just in class but Dubai some classes are really important, and Sydney all are.” – BBA12 Alumnus
“Academics gets harder as the year progress (of course). We usually get some individual writing assignments and a lot of group work and presentations. They’ve incorporated simulations into the curriculum which we enjoy and a lot of practical examples.” – BBA13 Student
“Senior-itis hit really hard on the 4th year. We went from 4 days of classes in SG to 2 days of classes now in SYD (I’m in marketing major). The finance major only have class on Saturday from 9 to 5.30pm. Let’s just say that you will have plenty of time to party despite the workload in SG and DXB, since most of the workload is piled on the week before exam week (very frustrating, but yeah). Teaching style is highly dependent on the prof. Some of them are more textbook-ish, but some are because of the nature of the subject such as Cost Accounting. However, most subjects include group and individual projects that often involves real life case studies/implementation. All of our exams are essay-style, (some) with a lot of emphasis on implementation instead or memorisation. For example, something like Business Law that seems very textbook-ish, the exam actually had us to make an analysis of a case and apply the laws we learned.” – BBA13 Student
“This university is dominated by the Indians so that the culture will be similar you will expect people to be late for events, and there is the repetition of content with related to subjects. ” – BBA14 Student
“About the evaluation system, I find it confusing sometimes. Your mark depends on many factors, groupwork. The mark also depends on the percentage. Everyone has a different mark scale, 10, 50, 100. And they give both point and letter grades. Your position depends on the percentage of the mark of all student in that course. If overall your peers get a high mark, your position is lower, and similarly, if they get a low mark, your position is higher.” – BBA16 Student
“Your class schedule is not busy at all. But they provide you with enough assignments and projects that you feel very busy. I mean, the assignments are not that hard or long, just the time spans are short to complete them. The curriculum for the first year is more practical based. I don’t seem to gain much knowledge in the first year, but the personality development is amazing. SPJ is much more a practical based institution. The professors won’t spoon feed you. It’s all on how much initiative you take in your work. The assignments won’t be that hard to do by yourself, but if you do your research and refer to stuff online, you learn better. So it all depends on how much you are willing to give into the given assignment. ” – BBA16 Student
Note: online open-sources from the top schools in the world are excellent ways to nurture your interests besides studying SPJ’s academics.
It can be frustrating as grades can take awhile before they come out because they have to go through the Mumbai administration before.
What if I want to transfer my credits from SPJ to another college in the U.S.?
Can students transfer their credits to an American university, in general? “Yes. Jags have transferred into colleges like Arizona State, Univ of Montana and Rutgers. (there may be others that I don’t know about)” – Prof Alesa
In addition, does SPJ accept AP credits? We do not accept AP credits. Sorry. (However, if you’ve taken AP, you’ll have a really easy time of it during your freshman year doing econ classes).
“Our demographics are that at least half of our students come from India. I will explain all this when we talk. We are very famous in India, and have thousands of applicants every year from there. But we are still rather unknown in the Americas and Europe. That’s why we offer diversity scholarships — to attract most students from other parts of the world. I’d say that on average we have 50% Indians, 30% from other Asian countries (China, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, etc.) and the rest from other places.” – Prof Alesa
“I love my professors. For peers, it depends on who you’re talking about. You’ll have people who really think long term about their career and know what they want. For others, they just wanted to relax throughout their time in the school. Some of them were motivated, and some weren’t. Some of them knew they are going to inherit family businesses in the end. In short, you’ll meet people who love their education and some who’ll take it for granted, and in between. ” – BBA13 Student
“As for my peers, they come from wealthy backgrounds. As in every class, some are truly motivated, and some aren’t. Most students will have parents that are very successful. It’s great to create lifelong networks.” – BBA13 Student
“The motivation of my batch gradually decreases over the four years, mainly because of the problems we had in SG and DXB, as well as senior-itis, but I can see the BBA14 maintain their motivation. They are active in student activities, and we get along really well, and this picks up our motivation a bit. I have to say in SYD everything is improving.” – BBA13 Student
“Everyone has very different backgrounds. But most kids came from India are rich, but everyone got along pretty well. Other Asians are generally more motivated than Indian students because they care more about their job. Overall a good networking experience.” – BBA14 Student
“We get a lot of group assignments (a lot) in which the faculty chooses our group, so this way we get a chance to know our batchmates. Along with this, these group assignments teach you how to coordinate the tasks and distribute the work according to the capability and interests of the group members. You get to learn how to push people to work (trust me, many people need that pushing and encouragement).” – BBA16 Student
“Everyone is super friendly and eventually we get to know each other very well, it’s like a family. ” – BBA16 Student
What are the current issues of concern among the students? Any complaints from students?
1. Cafeteria food in Singapore
2. One professor (almost always math): although very respectful when talking to professors
3. Some professors take up phones
4. Can’t drink in Dubai
5. Sydney – commuter school, it’s not at the heart of Sydney (instead, in a Suburb)
Is there an activist or political student body? How vigorous is student government, and is it inclined to be liberal or conservative?
There is a student council. No activism because not very politically aware. Very aware of business and wall street. Liberal/conservative is not a thing; it tends to be about your country and culture more so than politics.
SPJ has lots of the Indian students come because they want to have a good name to put on their resume (since SPJ is very famous in India), experience the traveling to three countries, party and have fun, and will eventually go back to work on their family business. Because everything is already planned out, some will lack the motivation to exceed in academics and often just want to party (sort of like an extended senioritis).
Don’t get your hopes up about having a diverse student body, as at least 80% of the students are Asian (including Indians).
But overall it really depends on the cohort. BBA17 is expecting around 300 Jags.
Which college-sponsored activities receive the greatest support? Mostly student led. Business mindset – make something happen by yourself as you will learn so much more; although faculty will assist as much as possible.
Among extracurricular organizations at the college, which seem to be the most active, the most vital?
1. Model UN, compete with other schools. Though it depends on the year
2. Always a strong soccer team and cricket team
3. Raise money to go on volunteering project in May
4. Activity levels for each club also depend on the head of the club; the worst case is that not many students care about your club
What do students do in their free time? (Typical day of a student) If they have free time?
1. 2 classes a day, 90 min class, 30 min break in between.
2. After that, projects & learning teams & presentations (on team researches)
3. Lots of study group meetings, clubs, student work (7 acres in Singapore)
4. Field trips (museums, islands, bicycling, Chinese New Year, stock)
In Singapore, the school holds trips to different places every week.
What’s a typical Jag’s summer break and winter break?
1. 3 breaks: 1 week in October (after midterm exams), 4 weeks at Christmas, 1 week in February, done in April. 8 months of college
2. Middle class/scholarship students travel short-term or work. Indians: go to India because being homesick, or may travel. Or the cohort organizes student trips.
“While studying (at least in Singapore and Sydney), I recommend also finding local events or things that you can get involved with to make the most of your time in the locations. Studying abroad will potentially be great both for personal growth as well as a positive point of difference on your resume.” – BBA10 Alumnus
“Because it’s a small school, don’t expect a lot of interactions with other schools. However, if your student body is actively seeking for opportunities, I think this can be changed. SPJ has little awareness in my days, hopefully by your time it’s more well known and you get to have more of these activities. The campuses are not as big as local universities (I can’t say about the one in Mumbai, I haven’t been there).” – BBA13 Student
“The course is structured in a vivid way such that we get to explore the city that we will be in the forthcoming years. We have this class called Global Learning where each week, the university will take us to different parts of Singapore and explore it.” – BBA16 Student
Financing (also see more info in the internships & job placements section):
Housing fees cover all utilities, web access, sheets, blankets, etc. They do not include food, and there is no meal plan. Housing is about $8K a year in Dubai, $9K in Singapore, and $13K in Sydney (will most likely increase). Food is about $400 a month in DB and SG, and $700 in SYD.
“The student visa (in Singapore) allows you to do a part-time job and it is possible to get an earning enough to get you through the month without taking any money from parents.” – BBA16 Student
Usually, students without financial support from parents shouldn’t have a problem paying for their living expenses if working at a part-time job.
See more info in the “internships & job placements” section.
Campuses and dorms:
- Great way to make new friends, great way to assimilate yourself with your peers (easier to do group projects)
- Super convenient, the dorm is upstairs and 2 minutes away from lecture halls
- Noisy, spaces are small, the shared kitchen is often dirty, people steal others’ food in the shared fridge
- Though, highly recommended for staying
- The facilities are not good
- But there is a college bus that takes you to college, so it’s convenient
- A popular alternative – http://www.uninest.ae/
- The facilities have a beautiful view
- Though, it’s way over-charged
SPJ make profits from housing, which is why all its dorms are overpriced. But if you value convenience much more and don’t mind the money, then stay in the dorms. Alternatively, if there’s someone you really want to stay with, connect with him or her beforehand to find an apartment outside of school the first year as SP Jain picks for you if you stay in their Singapore dorm the first year. Also, keep in mind that the school dorms have rules, it gets noisy on campus, and the earlier you’re able to live independently, the better.
“As for making ends meet, you can always find a cheaper place to stay than what the college offers, and there aren’t that many added costs especially if you’re willing to live in a youth hostel kind of arrangement, which I know a lot of people did.” – BBA12 Alumnus
“I’d suggest staying with the college all the years [if you can] as it would make it easier for group projects and other group events as well, otherwise it’s an issue getting the group together if you’re living far away.” – BBA12 Alumnus
“The campus in Singapore doesn’t feel that great because it’s so small, it feels like a high school, not a college.” – BBA16 Student
In case you didn’t know, there are 12 exchange programs you can go to add another country on top of the three countries you’ll be studying at.
Those programs are only a semester long. Most students (if go on an exchange program) will go during their second in Dubai, as you can’t go your first year, and Australia requires at least two years in school to qualify for a working visa after graduation.
The general feedback is exchange programs are more for students who want to travel, and it’s mostly just what you want and more for explorations. No one really studies during the programs, and most will have to make up for the credits they missed.
If you want to go, you should plan ahead as it takes awhile to the central office of SPJ in Mumbai to process the request.
Apply starting in mid-March for the Fall exchange program.
A really good exchange program is called “IE Spain” (it has a great reputation as a business school).
“About the exchange program, I did not go for any, so I don’t know much about it, but I can tell you that you do not want to go for exchange when you’re in Dubai. That is the best year academically and for activities that the college makes us do. All I have heard from my friends who have gone or come from the exchange is that there are not many studies to do during the exchange and if the subjects do not match, you need to come back and do extra subjects. ” – BBA13 Student
“Regarding the exchange program, it’s really up to you. It depends on what type of experience you want. I decided to go to the Netherlands because I wanted to see as much of Europe as possible. In terms of quality though I think SP Jain lecturers were better than the ones I had while on the exchange. I would say the exchange program overall was great for me. My EQ increased from meeting new people from different cultures.” – BBA13 Student
“I did not go on any exchange programs, but I know some of my batchmates went to France, Iceland, Indonesia, Netherlands, and Germany. What I’ve heard is they did not really ‘study’ during the exchange, it was more fun and experience. You will still get chances to learn. Most of them have to catch up with a few subjects that were not offered during exchange through independent studies when they’re back from the exchange (in DXB if you went on the exchange your first semester or SYD if you went the second).” – BBA13 Student
What is the most frequently reported on-campus crime?
1. Just drinking but no drugs (especially in Singapore and Dubai).
2. No crime in-door dorms, though students may be stealing food for pranks or laziness.
Have there been any serious incidents of on-campus crime in recent years? Nope. Singapore – super safe. Dubai – careful but not that careful because being a woman. Sydney – pretty much like any American city.
What preparations has the college made to deal with emergencies, such as violent crimes, and extreme weather conditions? Hospital is super close by (Singapore), and students have medical coverage from school (that you have to pay). Otherwise, deans will check up on you if you need.
Getting visas from the three countries:
Singapore and Dubai are taken care of by the school. Australia visas are pretty easy for Americans; but start applying for visas for Australia at the beginning of the summer, to avoid panic attacks.
Some will get it within a few weeks, and for others, it took a month or two. It’s much easier and quicker if you have a stronger passport.
Administration & Support:
Internships and job placements:
On Forbes it mentioned a Jag’s “Median Base Salary: $29,080”, this seems quite low, at least compare to American standards. What is the reason behind such number (location, type of job, the size of company)? If you work in India, like most grads do, $29K is a solid middle-class salary. Salary all depends on the country you work in.
What does SP Jain do to assist students with career planning, internships, and future job placement? Practice interviewing, writing a resume. No recruiting fares because school is so small. Students get their own jobs mostly.
- Companies will use college students as free labor in internships
- “Can be quite elitist and very competitive.”
- Though, it’s easy to find a lower wage job as a student in retail and restaurants. For a part-time job as waitress or cashier, you may get from 6 to 10 SGD per hour. Some Koreans work in BBQ restaurants, and they can earn 11-13 SGD. You can also work as a tutor for primary and secondary students, and make about 15-20 SGD per hour.
- Depending on your nationality, you may have a higher salary or easier time finding jobs
- As long as you are willing to work, you can pay for your monthly living expenses (you can get a good meal at a hawker center or food court for 5 SGD)
- Can be difficult to apply online (some companies don’t respond), so probably make phone calls or walk-in and drop off resume
Finding part-time jobs in Singapore – https://www.ushift.com.sg/
- Can work max 16 hours a week
- “Hard to get good internships/jobs because you really need to have contacts.”
- Can work max 20 hours a week
- “Sydney has a lot of part-time work opportunities, and an extravagantly high minimum wage so once you get here it will be really rewarding.”
- Placements can be more difficult
- Can work max 20 hours a week
“The SPJ alumni portal is pretty useful; people are very responsive. Though SPJ lacked database and resources for internship connections, at least back in the 2010 -2014. ” – BBA10 Alumnus
“If you’re the type who is more than willing to step out and chase leads and get what you want, it does help out to get good connections and jobs. As for actually making an impact on your newly made network, it is as easy as making yourself stand out, so instead of applying through an ad on a job website, you can go see them directly and inquire about a potential role and drop off your resume.” – BBA12 Alumnus
“Placement in Australia generally also is difficult, but despite that, the teams and department there are getting better and better every year.” – BBA12 Alumnus
“In terms of internships, it’s completely on how you portray yourself. I got an internship at a hotel through one of my projects back in Singapore. College is really famous in Dubai, but the laws may not allow you to get a paid internship. In Sydney, the college has certainly improved their efforts in getting us internships for the experience. I’m working in 3 companies, 2 of them I got through college. But it is completely on you on how to convert them into a full-time job. Employment is something that the college does not promise. This might change by the time you come here.” – BBA13 Student
“In Singapore, I got my internship at a worldwide ad agency by networking with one of our professors. In Dubai, most internships will happen through personal connections. In Sydney, the University will create your profile and see what types of jobs and industry suit you best. They will try and find a company for you – but it’s a hit or miss. My internship turned into part-time, and a possible full-time job is waiting for me. This came from the school.” – BBA13 Student
“It’s up to you to convert it into a job opportunity by working hard. Another major criteria for finding a job on your own has a PR. If you have a permanent resident Visa, then you can get a job in a couple of weeks. ” – BBA13 Student
“I believe the internship and employment support is something SPJ promises so much in their marketing to get students. I have to say it’s not as prominent as they promote it. You do get guidance, but you have to initiate it. Internship offers are scarce. I would say they mostly provide mentorship for you to be job-ready, a few of opportunities here and there that you have to fight for with your batch. I’m not exactly sure what kind of employment support SPJ is promoting, if it’s helping us to get job offers, I haven’t got anything like that until now (2 months before graduation). So take this point with a grain of salt.” – BBA13 Student
“Yes, I got one of my internships from a professor in Singapore. Also, I got an internship from the school in Sydney. One of our professors in Sydney is a well-known and established businessman in Sydney who has offered to write recommendations. On the other hand, my business partner and I have created a startup, and SP Jain has not really helped/encouraged it. (Which is disappointing). The key is creating networks that will last. Knowing your connections and using them has become so important in getting your foot in the door. ” – BBA13 Student
“I believe S P Jain has a corporate relations team for every campus to help you out in getting internships and preparing for them. Though, don’t expect the school to do everything for you. The school can only do so much, but you also have to do your part.” – BBA13 Student
“We receive only some support for internships; they encourage us to get out there and learn on our own instead of constant spoon feeding. However, they do have a corporate relations team which have helped me secure my first internship in Sydney. I believe that the experience I learnt working in the three cities is greater than the amount I have earned from internships, you don’t always get a good stipend, but the experience will get you a better paying job in the future. ” – BBA14 Student
“The college provides with a few internship offers, but those are generally in small companies. If you are expected to get recommended in an MNC (multinational corporation) by the college? That’s quite unlikely. Let’s just say; it’s better if you look for an internship by yourself. The student visa allows you to do a part-time job and it is possible to get an earning enough to get you through the month without taking any money from parents. Of course, I am not assuring you that you will get the perfect job and you will become totally independent in the first few months, but eventually yes. I have many friends who earn at least SGD 700 per month. ” – BBA16 Student
“There are many networking events that takes place try and go to them. Also, there are websites like internsg, indeed, hatchme through which you can find internships. ” – BBA16 Student
- Get invites to many lectures and programs throughout the year which allow you to create a network
- Have a lot of speakers coming for talks along with MBA students, but it’s optional if you want to join
- School tells you about the conventions, and you can decide if you want to go
- Not that easy to gain connections in Singapore
“The MBA alumni are all really successful, and many of them are in managerial positions.” – BBA10 Alumnus
“Networking conferences. Leverage networking and bunny trail.” – BBA10 Alumnus
“The best thing about SPJ is still the fact that you get to travel a decent amount, three countries normally, and adding an exchange makes that 4 countries. So if you’re good at networking, it’s a potential gold mine. For the networking aspect of it, you’ll have to find events that will allow you to build connections. Singapore is particularly good at hosting summits and creative conferences, so those are the best places to meet people of significance. ” – BBA12 Alumnus
“I’ve met so many great people who have inspired me in this school. Someone helped me find an internship in Singapore. Our corporate relations department here in Australia helped me find my internship here in Sydney where I’ve met a great mentor who cared for my growth. I’ve had professors who have shown me how amazing the business world is, and I’ve learned so much from them. I have a group of friends whom I trust, and know I can do business with in the future. I’m quite thankful for the people I’ve met so far.” – BBA13 Student
“We get invites to many lectures and programs throughout the year which allow you to create a network. But it all depends on your interests and your efforts to create a network. You can create an excellent network at a part time job, or at some seminars held in Singapore.” – BBA16 Student
Exam grades and GPA can come out really late.
“SP Jain runs under a centralized system through India where its main office is located. All campuses (Sydney, Singapore, Dubai), to proceed with local decisions, have to seek approval from their main office. Your registrar, academic coordinators, and other important people are based in India. In short, everything goes through India. People can take weeks to reply to your emails (or none at all). I believe that the company prioritizes things more than others. It acts more of a business rather than an academic institution. Though, I can’t really blame them since the owners are very active in this organisation themselves (so I reckon a lot of micromanagement from their end). To be fair, people expect a lot from the S P Jain administration, and there’s a lot of entitlement from their end as well.” – BBA13 Student
“It’s very true that the SPJ administrations were very unorganized and it can bring frustrations. We get replies from our queries after 2-5 months. The finance division sends out mail that you haven’t paid even if you already have (which is a headache always trying to confirm). The exchange program was a nightmare to organize (as I’ve said they literally take months to reply). It’s hard to live with, but you get used to it.” – BBA13 Student
“Yes, the administration is slow and frustrating. For example, when you need certain documents for SYD visa, it takes them weeks to give you the document, and it’s frustrating because you need to apply for your Visa ASAP. Another is when we already paid for the fee, and they asked again if you have paid. I remember there were problems with the exchange as well since they needed to send their latest grade transcripts, and it took a while for them to give it. Recently, SPJ centralised their admin in Mumbai; hopefully, it will be better soon.” – BBA13 Student
Entrepreneurship in SPJ:
Generally, SPJ does not offer much support.
“SP Jain is a great place for gaining real world experience in different business hubs around the world. So if that is something you are interested in pursuing, then S P Jain is the right place for you. However, I don’t think it is the right place if you want to continue down this entrepreneurial path, they simply don’t have the infrastructure yet [compare to the U.S.]. [Rregarding the potential to utilize local resources] yes you could potentially do something, especially in Singapore given how the incubator and start-up culture has grown. On the other side, you should be mindful that you only have a year there and a significant portion of your time will be spent in class. Which is why I think it’s important to have strong support from the University (the place where you will be spending a significant portion of your time). Your final two years in Sydney could present you with more of a platform to start something, several of my upperclassmen and peers have tried to start companies. However, I don’t know how much help they received from the university.” – BBA12 Alumnus
Biggest improvements in the past two years:
Gotten more business-related courses. Improved staff (Singapore staff and student security are pretty good). They make sure you don’t feel uncomfortable.
The administration likes to take a lot of feedback: if a professor isn’t good, they’ll fire him/her.
“I think more budget has been allotted in student out of school activities. The school is trying to organize more on-campus activities with a student council. With academics, the school has been trying to recruit more superstar professors that love to teach but have extensive business knowledge and contacts. The school also continuously partners with outside parties such as Euromonitor, IBM Watson Analytics, and the like to supplement the global education that it’s offering.” – BBA13 Student
“They added more sports and more out of class activities that help you embrace the culture of the country you’re in. Simulations are a great addition.” – BBA13 Student
“They listen to complaints and actually solve them. Before we would be passed on to different people with no solution after weeks (both academics and student life problems). They listen to what the students want, and if it’s feasible, they provide it. We have a PS4 and a gym the students designed here in SYD campus, I think those are great examples for that.” – BBA13 Student
General experiences & advice:
“S P Jain is in many ways an Indian run business school. The owner Mr. Nitish Jain is Indian and the management, as well as a majority of students, come from India, and so while in location and character it is fairly international, you’ll have a lot of exposure to Indian culture. I personally enjoyed the cultural exposure (also made a good number of East/Southeast Asian friends), though this is something that you should take into account. On cultural exposure, you’ll certainly have a lot of opportunities to experience culture in Asia/Middle East/Australia.” – BBA10 Alumnus
“SPJ didn’t have an organized system (not enough infrastructure for lots of scope/academics) starting out, though, the administration was decent with negative feedback. The quality of faculty is pretty good, on par with Schulick College. You have to be a huge self-starter, so it’s actually good for entrepreneurs. It has a small environment and you have to push yourself to work hard, which is also good for soft-skills. ” – BBA10 Alumnus
“It depends on your batch (those who party vs. who don’t, those who can afford vs. those who can’t afford, however, there isn’t any discrimination in that cohort). The first year is just leveling the playing field (easier academics). From Singapore to Dubai was a cultural shock. In Dubai, girls can’t wear shorts, and the academics are more advanced. The exchange programs can give you a lot of exposure, but you may not get all the credits, so you have to do some catch-up. Sydney gets much more specialized where the instructors have a lot of experience in the real world. The batch goes on trips every six months.” – BBA12 Alumnus
“Till date, my experience at S P Jain has been amazing. I have seen the growth in me which can only come from exposure to different countries. The professors are good, but if the professor is not good and the students raise approach the institution about it, they immediately change him/her. We have done this in the past. One thing you need to know about peers is that you will make the best of friends in any college you go to, you may by the 4th year be bitter enemies with them. I have seen that change in people, but that’s something that takes place everywhere. Most of my friends have their own businesses, so motivation depends from person to person. some take it easy and some are really motivated to increase their business.” – BBA13 Student
“The fact that its small has had its benefits for me, the main one being everyone knows everyone by name. This includes the professors. There’s a community feel to it. No one is lost in the crowd. The quality of professors was good some very knowledgeable lecturers can teach you a lot. There were a few bad ones, but our batch made sure the ones that weren’t good got fired. I’m sure you’re more than aware of the traveling aspect of S P Jain, and I honestly loved that aspect, it’s an adventure. You learn a lot from traveling. The major problem of S P Jain is that their organization take a while to respond and the administration is dreadful for a business school. This is because everything has to go through Mumbai whether you’re in Sydney, Singapore or Dubai. This makes the decision making process slower” – BBA13 Student
“Get ready to be thrown off your comfort zone. Be open minded and forget what you know about people, because you will be surprised at how small your world (and mind) was. Be ready to have the values you‘ve to hold on for your whole life challenged. Be ready to grow and change. It seems like something small and probably the last thing you think about before choosing a uni, but being mentally ready to meet a lot of new people in a new environment I think is important, especially for those who are not naturally extroverts. Things long-lasting SPJ has provided me: knowledge, lifelong friendship (and connection), and awesome memories aside, it’s the ability of critical thinking. A lot of the assignments I had to do were highly relevant to the latest problems & trends in the world, and applying the theories to the real-life scenarios was very challenging. I think this will help a lot when I enter the workforce.” – BBA13 Students
“SP Jain could potentially be a great choice depending on what you want out of your degree. If you want to travel, meet people, learn about new cultures, and potentially experience working or interning in different countries than SP Jain is perfect. However, there are definitely drawbacks. SP Jain has some great professors but not all are, and the learning environment and the in particular grading system can be challenging. ” – BBA14 Student
“S P Jain has given me an understanding of culture which no other university can provide; it has given me the confidence to meet and interact with people from all over the world. I also think networking was the sole focus on joining S P Jain and that has really come across well, I have friends from all over the world, and that network seems to grow day by day.” -BBA14 Student
“The benefits of studying at S P Jain as a BBA student is the experience you get to acquire at being at three international hubs and important cities. With this opportunity, I’ve been able to get very good internships and experienced the cultures of these cities. I enjoy it very much mainly because of the experience of traveling, making very good contacts and getting much better professional opportunities than what I would get in my home country... [Though some classes can feel boring and impractical, and some peers can be dull and unmotivated. It all depends on what you want to learn and who you surround yourself with.] ” – BBA15 Student
“It’s been a good experience being in this college so far. I’ve got to meet different people. The only thing I would say is just to try and talk to as many people as possible in college. Don’t just talk to one set of people. Also, don’t miss classes at all you might think they’re of no good but it helps you in the end. Many people this year who did well got downgraded because of having short attendance. People who got A+ end up getting F. You’re only allowed to miss 4 classes per subject for each semester. ” – BBA16 Student
What’s something you wish you knew before starting at SPJ?
- Marketing students have gotten more jobs than Finance students, but Finance students get higher pay than marketing students; marketing students have advantages (more than Finance students) because of diversity.
- SP Jain isn’t as diverse as it claims to be
General Pros of SPJ’s BBA Undergrad Program:
- Unique programs with cities in business hubs and understand three different markets, understand gaps and business opportunities. For example, Dubai has good industrial professionals that teach part time (gets good exposure in the real world).
- The administration listens & adjusts to student feedback and demands
- Good for marketing major on their resume
- A lot of breaks and free time to explore other countries, do lots of internships, learn specialized online courses, start businesses, and take on a major and a minor
- Professors are knowledgeable and have real life experiences, and the bad ones get kicked out
- Generous with scholarships
- Entrepreneurship is a new offering (so not sure how good the program is)
- Won’t get the diversity factor as at least 50% students are Indian
- No stability as the management teams will keep changing, and some students may experiment with things and come and go
- Not enough classes (6) for specializing a field
- A lot of holidays and free time for BBA (they can honestly fit all courses in 3 years instead of 4 (probably to get a post-graduation working Sydney Visa)
- Campuses are quite small and lack some infrastructure that you will get at larger universities
- Placements haven’t been magnificent in especially for Sydney (part of the reason is that the government favors public universities over private schools)
- Lacks the name and connections outside of India and Dubai
- For American students: you get an Australian degree instead of an American one (which is generally valued more), FAFSA Pell grants, lots of scholarships, and AP credits don’t apply
Note: cons may outnumber pros on this list, but different pros and cons weigh different for people with different objectives. Whatever works for you works for you.
SP Jain YouTube Channel (some students also filmed their experience, mostly about travel, on their own channels)
You can find out more about students/alumni on their BBA Blog.
Also, I was able to find all the SPJ student/alumni contacts on LinedIn by searching up “SP Jain School of Global Management” on the “people” section of LinkedIn. Sent them a message and most replied.