Author: Ann Julaton, MBA Office
Don’t get me wrong about my job. It is serious and challenging, but I have to admit, one of the perks of being in a business school is that you get to attend mixers and networking receptions of students and alumni, not to mention at a spanking place at the heart of the central business district – Nueva Cuba at Customs House. Isn’t it exciting?
Approaching Nueva Cuba, where the alumni gathering was held
13th April 2011 was my first day at my new (or old) work place – Nanyang Business School. After a hiatus of more than a year, I came back with a fresh mind and all geared up to take on an entirely different challenge of doing marketing and admissions for the MBA programmes. Though one of my team’s main tasks is to bring in new students to the MBA, I felt the need to mingle and interact with current students and alumni – for the reason that it is a good induction to the kind of environment I will be in, sans the school setting. In a ‘let-your-hair-down’ environment, people at the reception would be more relaxed – breaking barriers and forging new friendships that could be a start of a strong network. Just like me, I am sure that the current students are taking advantage of this networking aspect, too.
Arriving at the venue slightly late (NTU is approximately an hour away from the hustle and bustle of city-life but you will not notice the distance as the campus is very much accessible by public transportation – Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), buses, or cab; on the brighter side, because of its distance from the city, NTU is very conducive to learning – no distractions!), I chanced upon a gentleman who was scanning the crowd in front of him, looking lost. He must have noticed that I looked lost, too. A minute of silence between us, the gentleman decided to break the ice – “Are you here for the NBS event?” Right there and then, I finally found my first liaison to the current MBA students – David Tipton.
David Tipton, a full-time MBA student graduating this 2011, became an immediate acquaintance. We managed to find the NBS group, with the nametags worn by the attendees giving away the hint. We entertained people by telling our funny story of meeting by chance.
As the night progressed, current students, alumni and even a few of the NBS staff present exchanged stories and laughter over a glass of wine, a bottle of beer or even a glass of non-alcoholic drink. I was fortunate to have met alumni who graduated as early as 1996, Ms Gladys Ng, Senior Vice President for Emfore Capital, and Mr Johnnie Gan, class of 2010, who currently holds the post Business and Customer Manager for IBM Singapore. I listened to their animated stories when they were still students, and the challenge of their working environment. Moreover, current students like David Tipton and Mathieu Francois never failed to amuse the group they were in, with their endless anecdotes of student life. Banter and laughter filled the night.
Spectacular views outside of the venue that attendees of the alumni gathering took pleasure in.
I am glad that I made the effort to go, even on my first day. Not only did I learn more of my role in marketing and admissions within a non-work environment, but I was able to forge friendships among the attendees – students, alumni and even NBS staff. It was a first ‘extended day’ on the job that is definitely not wasted.