Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi all!  Long-time lurker, first time poster.

I was curious if anyone will be attending, or applied for, the new MA-Global Risk program at SAIS Bologna, which kicks off this August.  They have been great about answering my questions, but it's hard to ask the people who will be ruling on your application questions regarding funding, how tough it *really* is to get admitted, etc.

Also, does anyone have experience with U Copenhagen's MSc Security Risk Management?  Its first class should have finished, so I am curious about employment outcomes.

Finally, even though it isn't specifically Political Risk, I keep coming back to St. Gallen's MIA program.  The Swiss insurance or banking industries are my ultimate goals (yeah, I know, me and 60% of the posters on this board), and this program seems to feed into those industries.  I know Swiss schools in general are very stingy towards non-Euro students, so I would be curious about their standards for American students hoping to jump over.

Thanks to everyone for their previous contributions, and I look forward to hopefully providing good info myself in the near future.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I think generally it is easier to get admitted to new programmes. So MA Global Risk is less selective than an established course with many applicants such as IntDev.

I don't think that MIA at HSG is a prime feeder to Insurance industry. To my knowledge Zurich, Winterthur and Swiss Re still prefer trainees from traditional disciplines: law, business/economics, acturial sciences and computing. Most MIA grads end up in public sector, government departments, risk consultancy and non profits. The MIA is quite selective and attracts mostly strong applicants from German-speaking region and Eastern Europe. The class profile suggests emphasis on GRE score with minimum of 158 Quant/GPA as admission criterion over work/essays. MIA has good international reputation with option to study a semester abroad. There are US students at HSG, but most tend to be in the double master's programme with Fletcher. They told me that the academic rigour of MIA is excellent, but MIA is more on theory and less practical professional development focus offered by US schools. Funding wise, HSG can't compete with well funded US programmes. But MIA tuition is moderate by US standards. FYI, US and EU students pay the same tuition rate as non Swiss nationals. HSG actually provides the Starr scholarship that covers full tuition. I knew an impressive US alum who was awarded. So I would say that it is equal opportunities.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for the info, @CakeTea!  I am hoping the MA Global Risk admission is slightly less intense than the traditional MA; but I am also concerned that they want to start small with a talented bunch and loosen standards.  They only have 12 students in the initial class, and they haven't yet released the incoming class profile of grades, GRE scores, etc.

The info on HSG is very appreciated.  My friend who attended HSG was in econ, so it could be that her peers were recruited by the banks and insurers.  I will check back with her regarding MIA students.  She also emphasized the university-wide emphasis on quant, so I am using every free moment for GRE prep. 

I'm glad to hear Fletcher students found it appropriately rigorous, as my goal is to work in Europe for a while, but eventually return to the States.  By that point my experience would be my primary selling point; but I don't want to have a degree on my resume from a school either nobody has heard of or, worse, commands no respect.

Thanks again for the response, and I welcome any additional info anyone may have on these three programs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@OldMan77: You are welcome, hope it helps. Apart from the MIA programme, I know MSc Management and Economics students at HSG. They are Swiss and German and have more a local perspective. A friend went to HSG for a semester exchange and enjoyed his experience.


Location: Small, safe town in remote Appenzell region, lies close to border with Germany by 1 hr. Not many distractions from studies, clubbers and culture people will be disappointed with local venues. Locals tend to be more conservative than cosmopolitan Geneva. Some student clubs offer various career or sports activities. Poor Housing services: No uni dorms and little support from the uni, only private flat share rentals. Demand > Supply =  pricey rent. OK bus shuttle service. Cost of living (CoL): Prohibitive, I saw HSG student budget at Swiss Francs 2,300 a month! Strong Swiss currency makes CoL more expensive for internationals. Some students go to Germany and buy cheaper goods (clothing, food, appliances). Internationals get sticker price shock. Some well paid student jobs are available, but client facing jobs require fluent German.


Excellent reputation: HSG is the leading Business School (albeit not Government School) in German speaking region. See rankings in Financial Times, Handelsblatt, Zeit. HSG is the Swiss version of Harvard or Wharton Business School. Employment reports of Business/Econ graduates show employability and high salary. Top firms (banks, consulting, blue chips) come to campus for recruitment and presentations. Careers office helps with support and active alumni network. The dean of Business School is capable and is a good manager. Established programme has produced many alums in senior positions. For rest of Europe, HSG is known to some managers as HSG is member of network of leading Business Schools (CEMS, PIM), US Pim members are Chicago, Northwestern, Cornell, Duke. Most HSG internationals have worked in German speaking region and intend to stay to leverage their HSG experience, otherwise internationals hedge and do double master’s with home uni as a back up.


Academic Rigour and personal development: HSG covers theoretical management sciences, experimential learning and general management focus (SG Methods). Close relationship to corporate partners with well funded research centres (governance, innovation, entrepreneurship). Profs are cited in academic journals and HSG has a strong PhD programme. Academic integrity is vital and HSG avoids plagiarism/funding scandals. Faculty exchanges and competitive salary attract international lecturers to HSG and teach. Some Econ profs are appointed to Central Banks as senior policy advisors. International reputation with dual master’s and exchanges with peer schools abroad. Quite heavy workload, my friends sent me photos of busy library on Saturday mornings. Exchange students comment that the HSG workload is serious, but they learn. Some popular Business modules need registration through a bidding system using points (used by Wharton and Chicago). Some modules are taught only in German. My friend received constructive & fair feedback in seminar from his prof. Students are described as driven, selective admission puts off slackers. HSG has a grown up vibe with polished students in suits, game face on who attend presentations.


Network: Due to HSG’s excellent reputation, many entrepreneurs and politicians send their children to HSG. The alumni list shows some well known families from business, politics and academia. HSG has student organized symposium with high profile participants from business and politics. The econ student liked treks to banks and Swiss federal departments where HSG alums work. Corporate partners and careers office help with internship and job search.


I read somewhere that the admission rate for SAIS is 38%, this is generous for an elite school. 12 students for new MA Global Risk is small intake. Either SAIS is selective and grows course slowly or there were not many takers. SAIS needs to build a critical mass for intake and alumni network. I heard when MIPP was introduced, there was less funding allocated for scholarships.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use