Developing The Postgraduate Program
The reality is that most companies when they are looking at somebody with 5 years of experience, they are not going to make them the general manager. They are looking for them, hiring them for very specific things, whether it is Sales and Marketing or it is as a Financial Analyst. And so what I found that we needed and what I think we need in Asia, and I think we need them in the West because what we started doing, now the Western universities are now copying, is what we call the specialized Masters. So it's a specialized Masters in Innovation Management, specialized Master in Corporate Communications, specialized Master of Information Technology and Business. So in the U.S you have a Masters of Information Systems and you have a Masters, let's say in Marketing. What the industry needs are Marketing people who know how to use Information Systems. So SMU has invested quite a bit in specialized Masters and that has added to our strength. So let's say when I came here we had about 4 or 5 Masters Programs, JD were already here. Maybe we had 6, I don't remember the exact numbers but now we have close to 20. By the end of 2008, I joined in July but by the end of 2008, we had graduated about 400 students in the Post Graduate Professional Programs. Since then, we had graduated 3000, so we scaled up almost nine, ten times. This year for graduation, for commencement, the number of Post Graduates is only slightly below the number of Undergraduates graduating. Anyways the number of postgraduates has increased very rapidly, but I am also delighted to say that our placement record has been very good and we just had some very very good feedbacks from Financial Times in addition to the ranking for the Masters in Wealth Management. They had indicated that SMU is one of the youngest universities to get ranked in the top 100 and I believe we came in at thirtieth or something. But we moved in very quickly and my assumption is that because some of these rankings require at least three or four years of graduates with at least a certain number of graduates per year that within the next two or three years I expect many more of the SMU programs to be ranked globally.