MBA FAQ

Building the future of management education together at Asia School of Business

Below are answers to frequently asked questions, which cover general topics regarding the admissions process, scholarships, the curriculum, the classroom experience, student life, and career services.

General Program Questions

What is the length of the MBA program?

The MBA program is an 18-month, full time residential program. Orientation begins in August 2017 and graduation will in mid-April 2019.

What is the size of the MBA program? How many students are in the class?

Approximately 50 students will be enrolled in the ASB MBA class.

What is the current class profile?

ASB inaugurated its first MBA class in 2016. The first class intake is comprised of 48 extremely diverse students from around the world. Some additional demographics include:

  • Approximately 70% International
  • Approximately 38% Female
  • Average of 6 years of work experience

How many students are international?

We have a large proportion of international students, with approximately 70% of our inaugural class coming from abroad. The inaugural MBA class includes students from 12 different countries across 6 continents.

Does the MBA degree come from ASB or MIT?

The MBA Degree will come from Asia School of Business. However,
as an MIT international partner program, ASB students will receive a certificate of completion from MIT. ASB graduates are also granted MIT Affiliate Alumni status, which gives them a lifetime MIT email address as well as access to MIT alumni events and communications around the world.

What does MIT Affiliate Alumni status mean?

The MIT-ASB Partnership provides students with a MIT Affiliate
status, which includes:

  • MIT Sloan alumni portal: Affiliate alumni are able to create a profile within
    the alumni portal and have access to the Sloan People Database (SPD).
  • Granted an Email for Life (EFL) address: @sloan.mit.edu
  • Ability to search and connect with MIT Sloan alumni and other affiliate alumni
  • Access to password protected MIT Sloan alumni webpages
  • Event Invitations: Affiliate alumni are invited to MIT Sloan international conferences based on their location.
  • Electronic communications: Affiliate alumni receive monthly MIT Sloan alumni communications, including:
    • Alumni e-newsletter (Monthly: September – June)
    • Alumni Magazine – electronic copy (Fall and Spring)
    • Customer Service: Affiliate alumni are supported by the Program Office at their school and the MIT Sloan Alumni Relations staff

Will the courses I take at ASB allow me to earn credits towards an MIT degree?

Currently, ASB courses cannot be applied towards an MIT degree.

Does ASB accept transfer credits from other MBA programs?

Transfer credits are not accepted toward the completion of the ASB MBA program.

Can students work full-time or part-time while attending classes at ASB?

No. The full time 18-month MBA program requires the student to devote their time and attention to the program and students will not be allowed to work simultaneously.

Does ASB offer any distance learning and/or part-time educational programs?

ASB does not currently offer a part-time or distance learning option for its MBA program.

Where is ASB in the process of getting accredited?

The Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) is a quality assurance body that  monitors and oversees the quality assurance practices and accreditation of national higher education. ASB,  being  a private higher education institution, is regulated by the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE),  hence all programs offered to students need to go through MQA’s quality assurance process. 

MQA has developed a code of practice on criteria and standards for higher education in Malaysia which is benchmarked against international good practices.  In general, MQA  assures programs through two distinct processes:

  • Provisional Accreditation – A desktop audit exercise to determine whether a programme has met the minimum quality requirements prior to Full Accreditation. Currently ASB’s MBA  program has been granted Provisional Accreditation  (MQA/PA7909).
  • Full Accreditation –  Full audit is conducted with a focus on the curriculum & syllabus, resources, governance  and assessment . This exercise takes place when the first cohort of students are in the first semester of their final year of study.

The full accreditation process was initiated at ASB in February 2017. Submission of  the relevant documentation to MQA for evaluation will be followed by a form visit from a Panel of Assessors in the fourth quarter of the year. ASB is confident that the full accreditation will be granted to ASB by first quarter of 2018.

Once this is done, ASB will work towards getting an international accreditation from AACSB. Currently, we are looking at all the requirements of getting the AACSB accreditation, one of which is having at least 2 batches of graduated MBA classes. With all of the support given by MIT and Bank Negara, we are again confident this will materialise as soon as we are eligible to apply.

How do I register for an MBA event?

To register for an event please check our calendar of events.

How can I obtain a copy of the ASB Magazine?

The ASB magazine is available online at http://www.asb.edu.my/magazine.

MBA Curriculum

Who teaches MBA classes at ASB?

The majority of ASB MBA classes are taught be visiting professors from MIT, who will physically come to ASB to teach classes. ASB also has resident faculty who teach certain MBA classes.

In what format are MBA classes delivered?

ASB professors are largely comprised of MIT faculty, who teach in a variety of different formats. Generally speaking, classes will be taught through a mixture of:

  • Lectures [for theory driven courses]
  • Case studies [Interactive experience in the classroom, facilitated by faculty]
  • Projects [Simulations carried out in classrooms on real problems, and Action Learning projects that take place with real companies throughout Asia]

What is Action Learning?

The ASB MBA incorporates Action Learning projects throughout the course of the MBA program to allow students to apply what they learn in the classroom to real business challenges. This experiential based teaching method is a hallmark of MIT Sloan and has been highly integrated into the ASB curriculum. Students will have the opportunity to work with 3-4 different companies on Action Learning projects during the course of their studies.

Who are the Action Learning project hosts?

Action learning hosts range from large multi-national corporations (MNCs) to non-profits and start-ups. Industries are highly diverse. Projects take place not only in Malaysia, but around the region.

Admissions Qualifications/Criteria

What are the general criteria and desired qualifications for admission?

The ideal ASB candidate is energetic, talented, curious and highly entrepreneurial. We seek highly motivated students who are excited to be a part of an innovative  MBA program. We seek applicants whose presence will enhance the experience of their peers.  Smart, curious, thoughtful, problem solvers who make things happen — these are adjectives that describe our students. The ASB MBA program is rigorous. Students must have performed at a superior level in their previous university studies. They must also demonstrate the ability to pursue personal goals, exhibit a high level of personal integrity, and have professional work experience and or internship experience.

Do I need work experience to apply?

Work experience is not required. However, work experience suggests that the student will get more out of the MBA programs and will have more to contribute to their peers.

Is there any academic preparation or pre-requisites required prior to applying?

A Bachelor’s degree is required, with a minimum GPA of 2.5 on the 4.0 GPA scale (or equivalent). Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit scores from a GMAT or GRE exam.

Do I need an undergraduate degree in a specific area of study?

No. ASB welcomes applications from college graduates in all concentrations, including the humanities, the social and physical sciences, math and engineering.

I already have an MBA. Am I eligible to apply?

Candidates who hold an MBA degree from another university are eligible to apply. However, these candidates should detail their reason for pursuing a second MBA degree in the application.

I already have a PhD. Am I eligible to apply?

Candidates who hold a PhD degree are eligible to apply.

I have a three-year bachelor degree from outside of the United States. Am I eligible to apply?

Candidates who hold a three-year bachelor degree are eligible to apply.

Does ASB allow married couples to apply?

Married couples are allowed to apply. Each person must complete and submit an individual online application.

Admissions and Interview Process

Is there a preference towards certain jobs before graduate business school?

We encourage applicants from a broad spectrum of work experiences and academic specialties to apply.

What are the criteria by which the admissions committee team evaluates applicants?

ASB is seeking candidates with intellectual capability and a high degree of emotional maturity.  When reviewing application and interviewing applicants, ASB looks for candidates who articulate their professional and academic success, their ability to lead and influence others, and who present a collaborative spirit. Ultimately, the admissions committee is looking to assemble a class of highly qualified and diverse individuals who will bring the most to ASB and who will benefit the most from our new program.

How does the Admissions process work?

Applications are accepted through the online application. There are three application deadlines: October 17, 2016, January 25, 2017 and March 31, 2017. Highly qualified candidates will be invited for an in person or Skype interview. Interviews will be conducted by invitation only.

Are some parts of the application valued more than others? In other words, what is the most important part of the application?

Every characteristic of the application holds the same value.  All the information requested helps the admissions committee evaluate the candidate’s unique qualifications.

What is the application fee?

At this time, ASB does not require an application fee.

How does ASB evaluate the English proficiency of an applicant?

Applicants whose native language is not English or applicants who have not attended a university where the language of instruction is English for a minimum of two years are strongly encouraged to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score.

Does ASB compare international applicants against one another?

All applicants, domestic and international, are evaluated on the same set of criteria. There are no quotas based on country or citizenship for international applicants.

If I am an international student, when should I apply?

International students are strongly encouraged to apply in Rounds 1 or 2 due to timelines for processing student visa applications.

Who reads the MBA applications and conducts the interviews?

Applications are read and evaluated by the professional admissions staff and faculty. Additionally, interviews are conducted by the professional admissions staff.

How important is the interview within the final admissions decision?

Receiving an interview invitation entails that the applicant has been short-listed for further consideration. The interview is a very important part of the application process. The interviewer will provide his/her recommendation to the admissions committee.

How long does an interview last?

An interview typically lasts approximately 45 minutes.

Does an applicant have to travel to Kuala Lumpur for interviews?

Interviews are conducted in hub cities around the world as well as on-campus in Kuala Lumpur. If necessary, an interview may be conducted via Skype.

Does ASB offer deferrals?

ASB’s general policy states that it does not offer deferred admissions. If an applicant is admitted and would like to postpone his/her matriculation for one year, a decision will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Transcripts

Do I need to submit copies of my transcripts?

You will be required to scan your transcripts and submit them as part of your online application. During the application process, we will accept unofficial transcripts. Applicants admitted to the program will be required to provide an official transcript from each school attended. All admitted students will receive further instructions after they receive their admission decision. Any discrepancy between the scanned transcripts and official transcripts will result in withdrawal of our offer of admission.

If my transcript is not in English, does it need to be translated?

We require an official translation of all transcripts, if not already in English. You may need to engage a professional translator in your city. If your university is able to do this, we will accept that as well.

How relevant are previous academic grades to be admitted into the program?

All of your previous academic work is important to us, and we consider it in the evaluation process.

Test Scores

Which test scores are required?

The ASB Admissions Committee strongly encourages all applicants to submit a valid GMAT or GRE score as part of their application. We accept both the GMAT and GRE test results and have no preference for one over the other. ASB does not require a minimum GMAT or GRE score. Applicants whose native language is not English or who have not attended a university where the language of instruction is English for a minimum of 2 years are also encouraged to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score.

What are the average test scores of GMAT or GRE for ASB students?

Since the ASB MBA program is new, there is no data available to share at this time.

Where can I get more information on the GMAT?

Applicants may visit MBA.com for more information on the GMAT exam, including sample questions and information on the test and registration.

What is the ASB school code for the GMAT?

There is no program code required for the GMAT.

Where can I get more information on the GRE?

Information on the GRE exam is available here.

What is the ASB school code for the GRE?

MBA GRE School Code: 7568

Is there an exemption for the GMAT or GRE?

While ASB strongly encourages applicants to apply with their GMAT or GRE test results and ultimately reserves the right to require a test score from all applicants, the Admissions Committee does offer an alternative route within the application.

Individuals applying without a test score are required to submit a video as part of their application, which tells the Admissions Committee why they qualify for the program through their unique experiences, and how they will contribute to the MBA classroom. For example, the Admissions Committee may consider a video submission in place of test score from applicants who have:

    • Built a successful start-up;
    • Made paradigm-shifting changes within their company or industry; or
    • Completed a JD, PhD or quantitative-based Master’s degree from an accredited higher education institution and have demonstrated exceptional quantitative skills

Please Note:

    • Video submission is mandatory for applicants without a test score
    • Videos must be hosted externally (i.e. YouTube, Vimeo, or Dropbox) and applicants should provide an unprotected link within their application
    • Videos should be kept to 2:00 minutes total in length

Work Experience and Background

What work experience is required?

Work experience suggests that students will get more out of their MBA studies and have more to contribute. However, this is not a specific requirement in terms of the amount of work experience applicants must have.

Does internship experience count as full time work experience?

Your internship experience will be noted as a part of your overall application.

If I have been absent from work for a period of time, does it affect the chances of being admitted?

Please address any time gaps in your resume.

How do you measure the quality of work experience in such a diverse range of experiences?

ASB uses a comprehensive competency model to evaluate candidates. ASB seeks candidates who demonstrate evidence of these competencies, which can come from a wide range of experiences.

Are there specific types of work experience and industries that you look for in potential candidates?

We are not looking for any specific industry experience; instead we want to see that you’ve been successful at whatever it is you’ve chosen to do prior to pursuing your MBA.

Would lack of work experience in a major organization count against me in my application, despite the success of my independent venture?

Often, working in a small organization or start-up can provide very interesting and rich experiences, so you do not need to have worked in a large organization.

How do you factor in applicants with advanced degrees?

Advanced degrees may provide important evidence of academic accomplishment and success, and will be considered alongside an applicant’s undergraduate transcripts.

Does PhD research count towards work experience?

Yes, PhD research is considered as work experience.

Does ASB prefer applicants who have a more quantitative background?

ASB evaluates applicants’ verbal and quantitative abilities. Successful applicants with less quantitative experience may be asked to complete a series of math preparation modules as a condition to their admission to the MBA program.

How important are extracurricular activities? Is it acceptable if some of the activities are work-related?

Applicants are encouraged to share their extracurricular activities and hobbies in the cover letter, essays and resume sections of the application.

Essays and Recommendations

Should I only include professional experience and goals in the cover letter and essays or also include personal interests to paint a more complete picture?

Applicants are encouraged to include a mix of personal and professional experiences in the application.

Should I focus on past achievements or future goals?

The essays are examples of something that you have done in the past. The cover letter should be used to explain your future goals or what attracts you to ASB.

How are the letters of recommendation submitted?

All letters of recommendation must be submitted online prior to the application deadline and according to the instructions on the online application.

Is there a word limit on the letters of recommendations?

There is a two-page limit for the letters of recommendation. There is no word limit as long as the letter of recommendation does not exceed two pages.

If a recommender is not an English speaker, can I translate the letter of recommendation?

If a recommender is not an English speaker, an official translation should be submitted with the name of the translator.

May an additional letter of recommendation be submitted beyond the two required letters of recommendation?

Additional letters of recommendation will be not accepted.

What is the admissions committee looking for in the letter of recommendation?

On the online application, the recommender is provided a list of questions. It is suggested that the recommender answers the questions requested. A general letter of recommendation is discouraged.

What if I own my own business, or work for a family business? Who can I use as a recommender?

Recommenders should be people with whom you have a professional relationship and who can speak to your professional accomplishments. Ideally, a recommender should be someone who has been in a supervisory position to you. You may also ask a client, a mentor, or a co-founder to submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf. Letters of recommendation from a family members are discouraged.

What if my supervisor changes frequently? Should I submit a recommendation from a current supervisor or a past supervisor?

Recommenders should be people who know you well and can speak to your abilities and accomplishments.

What if I cannot get a recommendation from my current employer or supervisor because I don’t want to risk losing my job?

If you are unable to get a letter of recommendation from your current employer, you should seek someone else who can speak to your accomplishments in a professional setting.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

How are applicants evaluated for scholarships?

Scholarships will be awarded by the admissions committee based on the overall assessment of the information a candidate provided on their online application as well as in the interview. Every applicant is considered for scholarship opportunities, so there is no additional application required as such. Applicants will be evaluated without consideration to an applicant’s ability to pay. ASB will be awarding generous scholarships up to the full amount of tuition. Applicants will be notified of any scholarship award at the same time he/she is notified of the admissions decision.

If you have any questions about the admissions process or the MBA program, please email admissions@asb.edu.my