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Why I Chose Singapore For My MBA In Digital Transformation

After almost a decade of working in Asia, Jeff Fraser is expanding his outlook with a global MBA program


Fri Oct 4 2019


Jeff Fraser isn’t what you’d call a typical MBA candidate. 

After graduating from a bachelor’s degree in international relations Jeff says, he “basically did the exact opposite of my parents’ advice.”

He moved half-way across the world from the USA to Asia, hopping between jobs, countries, and industries as he took risks to understand his place in the professional world. 

Jeff began his journey teaching English in South Korea, before moving onto Mongolia, then Thailand. 

“I’ve accumulated a pretty eclectic collection of stories along the way,” Jeff explains, “like the two years I spent living in a yurt in Mongolia's countryside.”

As a Peace Corps volunteer, Jeff helped develop communities in rural Mongolia. Once his volunteering experience was over, he remained in the country to embark on a career that ranged from digital marketing to a stint as a local TV and radio host.

His interest in digital marketing eventually led Jeff to become the head of marketing and communications for a social enterprise organization, Wedu Global in Bangkok. 

Now, he’s living in Singapore, undertaking the Global MBA program at ESSEC Business School.

The five-year plan

Jeff had known since his bachelor’s degree that an MBA was on the cards for him. 

“I made it part of my original ‘Five Year Plan’,” he says. Two and a half years in, though, he decided to wait a little longer.

“With only a few years of experience, my mentors rightfully doubted whether I would be able to fully reap the benefits of an MBA program,” he explains. 

“I put my search on hold so I could gain clarity, perspective, and experience.”

Just over five years later, Jeff received an email informing him that his GMAT scores were about to expire. “I had become so consumed in new experiences that I tucked the thought of an MBA in some far recesses of my mind and forgot about it,” he says.

Armed with more work experience, and some great advice from his mentors, Jeff decided that it was finally time for his MBA.

Living in the future

“I was introduced to ESSEC at a postgraduate fair in Bangkok,” Jeff recalls. ESSEC’s global recognition, along with its Singapore location, ticked all the boxes.


With a GDP of $527 billion and an impressively high score on the Index of Economic Freedom, the city-state is an attractive prospect for more MBA applicants than ever.

For Jeff, Singapore is also a gateway to parts of Asia that he’s yet to explore— and the perfect spot for a digital career. 

“By now it sounds like a cliché, but living in Singapore really does feel like living in the future,” he notes. “It’s an incredibly modern city paving the way in digital transformation.”

Submersed in this atmosphere, Jeff continued to pursue his interest in all things digital, selecting ESSEC’s Global MBA, which features a strong focus on digital transformation.

Hands-on learning for the digital world

On the ESSEC Global MBA, participants  have ample opportunity for hands-on experience, Jeff says. The program is punctuated by a series of business trips, while back in the classroom work typically revolves around real-world case studies, from Nokia to Kodak.

“We also studied modern cases, like how digital platforms are confronting the issues of last mile logistics, or how big data and AI are being leveraged to deepen consumer insights,” Jeff says.

For the class’ end of year capstone consulting project, Jeff was able to work alongside lighting giant Signify, developing solutions for a unique business case they presented.

Around the world in three case studies

To Jeff’s surprise, business trips turned out to be one of his favorite parts of the program.

ESSEC’s Global MBA is currently ranked fifth in the world for international experience by the Financial Times, giving participants the chance to study at campuses in France or Singapore, and take part in multiple overseas case studies. 

For Jeff, a trip to Morocco proved to be a highlight. Here, the class learned how multinational companies are adapting to Africa while dealing with digital transformation. 

Immediately after, participants moved onto ESSEC’s Cergy campus in France, to take part in the annual Digital Week Competition. Here, Jeff and his team developed solutions to real-world digital challenges presented by companies. 

 He was able to broaden his experience of Asia with a trip to Bukit Lawang, Indonesia. 

“We worked on a sustainable development business pitch competition to support the area’s tourism industry,” Jeff explains. 

Armed with these experiences, Jeff intends to give his career a “soft relaunch” after graduation. He hopes to make the most of his creative and strategic experience in a digital agency.

"I look forward to a career that encourages me to learn and grow while drawing on my unique experiences to solve complex business problems."

Student Reviews

ESSEC Business School




On Campus

The best intercultural university

There are more than 50 nationality in the grade, so there are opportunities to interact with people from all around the world. In terms of academics, the BBA course offers diverse courses for the 1st




On Campus

Creativity, adaptability and entrepreneurship

The Master in Management program at the ESSEC Business School allows the students to choose their courses accordingly to their preferences and their professional targets. We can also go through international exchange and take part in internships with companies that are also partners with the school. The school is also next to the city of Paris.




On Campus

Top business school in France

Doing PhD in essec took some time, to be precise about five years. But the experience was very good and cost effective too. There are opportunities for the student for teaching assistantship and that helps both financially and in career. In the final year I could manage to teach marketing to M1 students and this helped shape my career




On Campus

Great college

The program is well suited for early professionals with an engineering degree preferably or a degree in economics. I would suggest taking the ceasure irrespective of the experience level as it helps you take your time to adjust to the job market.





Good school in France

I am currently enrolled in M2 in Essec business school. I am specialising in marketing management. The Grande Ecole programme is valued in France and my school ranks very high up. There are a lot of opportunities for internships and CDD.




The program curriculum

BBA program. The program is really practical and useful, provide us many international opportunities. Like internship and humanitarian experience, and the flexibility is also really cool, we can choose different campus and tracks as we want.




International Course

This school is very international and business oriented. Highly recognized by the companies The campus has been renovated and is very functional and modern from now on. Excellent atmosphere. Reputation of essec is a plus




Friends, Career opportunities.

The program I did gave me the opportunity to start in Singapore. I got the chance to know all the students that started there and we bonded and made some friends for life. The career opportunities that ESSEC also gave me were unbelievable.




Practical and useful

I think the best thing about Essec is that it's not focusing on academics rather it emphasizes on future job mindset and professional experiences.. The classes are interesting and we have plenty of workshops attributing to different sectors.. The campus is very nice with a good cafe and wonderful library. The only problem is the location of the campus. It's quite far from Paris.




On Campus

Amazing experience! Must try

I think its a very amazing school with great and experienced faculty. Also the alumni network is very solid and useful. The school has a great balance of studies and work experience which is really essential for a student.




On Campus

GBBA: Diverse, Enriching, and Career-Boosting

My experience at ESSEC Business School has been outstanding. The Global BBA program offers a rich academic curriculum and diverse learning opportunities. I appreciated the chance to study on different campuses, including an international exchange, which broadened my perspective. The social environment is culturally diverse and vibrant, enhancing both my personal and professional growth. The administration is attentive, constantly offering new academic and student life opportunities. The campus facilities and classrooms are excellent. I highly recommend ESSEC for its excellence, global exposure, and career opportunities.




On Campus


The English track BBA program at ESSEC is simply exceptional. Courses are taught by internationally renowned professors who are experts in their field. The subjects taught cover a wide range of disciplines from marketing to finance, strategy and entrepreneurship. The English track is a major asset because it allows you to develop perfect mastery of professional English, essential in today's globalized business world. Some students love student life at Essec, which is one of the best in France, but it all depends on taste.




On Campus

Great program, incredible school

I love almost everything about this school, from the student life to the academic program and the opportunities it provides. I'm currently at the Paris campus, in Cergy, and I'm really enjoying it. The BBA program is very rich and diversified, you can start with geopolitics and then finance, what I mean is that there's a great balance between the subjects in this program. I was also lucky enough to spend a semester at the Singapore campus, and I loved that experience on the other side of the world. ESSEC is also known for its dynamic and rich student life, with access to several parties a week and the various associations within the school. If I could recommend just one school, it would be this one - I'm 100% satisfied.