Asia School of Business

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Asia School of Business Among Top 5 Biggest B-School Innovations of the Decade


“Experiential Learning on Steroids” Translates Into Professional Success for Students

Leading global graduate business education platform, Poets & Quants, recently recognized Asia School of Business (ASB) as one of the most impactful b-school innovations of the decade, in conjunction with the platform’s tenth anniversary. This recognition is attributed to ASB’s unique MBA program, in which a third of the 20-month curriculum consists of mandatory experiential learning.

For each of the five semesters, students conduct an “Action Learning” project in five different companies throughout the program (four in a team and one individually). For some students, every project could be located in a different country throughout Asia and beyond. To date, ASB has worked with over 145 companies in more than 26 countries across the world and placed students across 286 different projects.

Poets & Quants described the program as “experiential learning on steroids”, adding: “If you want to have a truly unusual global MBA experience, the Asia School of Business is a sure bet. The school, a partnership between MIT Sloan and Bank Negara Malaysia, the country’s central bank, can rightly claim to have one of the most innovative MBA programs in the world today — as it has since its creation six years ago.”

This innovative approach has already begun to show promising signs of professional success for students:

  • Among average graduate salaries worldwide (measured three years after graduation by Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2020), recent ASB graduates’ average earnings rank 52nd, just a year after completing the MBA program.*
  • A class of 35 full-time MBA graduates were offered jobs in 14 different countries, primarily in tech and knowledge-based industries.
  • For ASB’s MBA Working Professionals (MBA-WP), who pursue a thematically-consistent curriculum while continuing in their full-time jobs, 61% of students in the inaugural class have received a promotion, title change, or expansion of responsibilities since starting the program.
An MIT Sloan DNA, an Asian perspective

“‘Mens et Manus,’ Mind and Hand, has been the motto for MIT Sloan since its inception in the 19th century. And in today’s business world, this motto is as relevant now as it has ever been, because the world needs leaders and changemakers, whether they are actively engaged in bringing leadership to a mature organization, or in a hands-on role building a start-up,” said Professor Charles Fine, ASB Founding President and Dean.

“ASB graduates not only earn an MBA that is embedded with MIT Sloan DNA, but also gain an Asian perspective and an entrepreneurship mindset in the process. On behalf of the entire team at MIT Sloan, Bank Negara Malaysia, and the extraordinary and unconventional ASB community we want to thank Poets & Quants for this validation that recognizes all our collective efforts.”

Action Learning: A canvas for practicing future-proof smart and sharp skills

Beyond the foundational subjects of traditional MBA programs such as finance, accounting, and marketing, ASB also emphasizes future-ready skills, which it calls “smart” (skills co-developed with other humans) and “sharp” (co-developed with computers) skills. Faculty at ASB believe that the “soft” and “hard” terminology, coined in 1972, is outmoded, and there is nothing soft about people-related skills, which are superpowers for today’s post-industrial, knowledge-based economy. Action Learning, embedded into ASB’s programmes, provides the canvas for smart and sharp skills to be practiced and honed.

“As part of our Action Learning curriculum, our students work with companies from all over SE Asia and beyond to solve various business challenges. This challenges students to not only address the marketing, operations or finance challenges businesses have, but to also be culturally sensitive, emotionally mature, humble, confident, and so much more,” explained Professor Loredana Padurean, Associate Dean and Faculty Director for Action Learning.

“Action Learning exposes our students to opportunities to test their smart and sharp skills in various countries, cultures, industries, companies, and positions. We are thrilled that Poets & Quants has recognized our extraordinary goals – this is an important validator for our ambitious start-up, and we have to thank all the members of our community: students, faculty, staff, corporate partners and supporters of the school who made this happen.”

*Full-time MBA program

About the Asia School of Business|
Asia School of Business (ASB) was established in collaboration with MIT Sloan in 2015 in Kuala Lumpur at the initiative and support of the Central Bank of Malaysia, to become a premier school of management in Asia, recognized for its ability to develop transformative and principled leaders who will contribute to a better future and to the advancement of the emerging world.

ASB’s unique value proposition is to deliver high quality education through an intense action learning curriculum that provides its students productive opportunities to engage, each of the 5 semesters with partner companies all across the region and beyond in month long projects of various range and focus. So far, the school has worked with over 145 companies in more than 26 countries across the world.

Along with this unique curriculum, the ASB global student population that comes from over 30 countries all over the world, has the opportunity to study at MIT Sloan for one month and obtain a Certificate of Completion from MIT upon finishing the MIT Sloan Immersion Program.