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18 months, 3 countries, 2 master’s degrees: The master’s in management that’s unlike any other

We asked a recent graduate of the CEMS Master’s in International Management at NUS Business School what makes the program so special. Here’s what we found out.

In short

An international program in an international city

How did Beatriz Roque do Vale end up studying at three different universities, in three different countries, over the course of 18 months?

To find out, we first need to rewind a couple of years – back to Lisbon and to the end of her bachelor’s degree that she studied there.

“After studying economics and finance in Portugal, I really wanted to expand my knowledge in the field of business,” she explains. “Having seen the big picture by studying the more theoretical perspectives and learning more about economic processes, I wanted to have a sense of how it would be in a more practical sense in the business world. It’s why I decided to do a Master’s in International Management.” (00:52)

A Master’s in Management is a program aimed at students like Beatriz – those with little to no professional experience, but who are looking for a graduate program that teaches them the fundamentals of business.

If you’re going to study an international master’s in management, there can’t be many more suitable places to do it than Singapore. It’s one of the most diverse cities in the world, with a 43% foreign-born population and a commitment to multiracialism that’s embedded into the country’s constitution. For Beatriz, it was the perfect fit.

“Singapore is an extremely multicultural city and it’s a big hub for business, so studying international management in an environment like this felt like a perfect fit, given the exposure of the university as well as the geographical context,” Beatriz confirms. (01:49)

The structure of the MSc in Management + CEMS MIM at NUS

The MSc in Management + CEMS MIM is unlike any other master’s. Taking place over the course of 18 months, students earn two master’s degrees from three business schools in three different countries. It’s made possible by CEMS, a global alliance of business schools, multinationals, and NGOs of which NUS Business School in Singapore is a member. Beatriz says the chance to gain this international exposure was a key selling point for her.

“You spend three semesters doing your master’s – the first one at NUS and then the other two at top business schools in other countries. This is what attracted me most when I chose the program,” she says. (02:17)

If the program is flexible in terms of your study location, it’s also flexible in terms of the course content. Students can effectively choose their own study path, combining electives with core courses at different universities. It’s perfect for those, like Beatriz, who are unsure of the exact direction they want to take after the program.

“I didn’t know specifically which path I wanted to follow,” Beatriz admits. “But the advantage of the CEMS program at NUS is that it gives you the flexibility to pave your own path and choose the courses you want to take. It doesn’t really specify in a certain field but you really get to make your own choices. This flexibility really interested me.” (02:32)

What Beatriz learned from the NUS MSc in Management + CEMS MIM program

Many business schools around the world boast of their international exposure or high proportion of international students. But how does this benefit you in practice? In the case of the NUS MSc in Management + CEMS MIM program, which has an international student ratio of 90%, from day one students must work together with students from a range of different countries and cultures. It’s a valuable skill that companies all over the world will value.

“It really gave me the international exposure necessary for me to know how to adapt to any environment, no matter where I’m working or who I’m working with. It allowed me to learn how to behave and manage in these types of situations,” says Beatriz. (03:25)

While the NUS MSc in Management + CEMS MIM provides unmatched international exposure for students, it doesn’t overlook those business fundamentals that Beatriz wanted to master in the first place. One of her key learnings from the program has been an increased appreciation of the different types of businesses that exist, and how each one must function to be successful.

She shares, “It gave me a better understanding of different company environments, so not only did we have projects with startups but also with big corporate firms. It really gives you the big picture of how each company can work no matter the size or the industry.” (04:05)

Why studying abroad is such a valuable experience

The condensed nature of the program means CEMS MIM students will live in three different countries across 18 months. This rapid turnover between universities means students must adapt quickly to new conditions – and learn to hit the ground running after a move to a new country. It has been an invaluable life lesson for Beatriz.

“I think the most important and valuable lesson was how to adapt to different environments,” she tells us. “Having to move around so much and kind of restart my life every five to six months – changing university, changing country, making new friends – really gave me the strength to start from scratch.” (06:09)

The NUS MSc in Management + CEMS MIM may seem like a bit of a whirlwind program. That’s why Beatriz believes it’s so important to take a step back whenever you can. Live in the moment, enjoy every minute, and then one day, you’ll be able to look back on these days with a huge amount of pride. That’s her top piece of advice.

“I look back at the first day I started my master’s program and time goes by really fast,” she says. “You won’t be able to go back and rewind it, so I recommend enjoying every moment – the people you meet, the countries you visit, the cultures you experience. Cherish the years that this master’s program will give you.” (08:03)

Want to hear more about NUS? Get in touch with more NUS Business School students directly through the MASTERGRADSCHOOLS Ambassadors Page.

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