One day old at work and it's party time!

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.

Breaking Barriers, Forging Friendships and Conceiving the Future – Singapore MBA Network organizes its first networking event

Author: Pramoj S/O Sankar, MBA Student 2011, Vice-President Cultural, Student Ex-Co,

On the 9th of April, I joined a gathering of over 200 MBA students from top business schools based in Singapore -Nanyang, NUS, SMU, Essec and Insead, in an evening filled with fun, laughter and networking. It was held at the Oosh bar and restaurant, located in Dempsey Hill and one of the hip places in Singapore for parties and dining. Oosh used to be a former army camp which turned into Singapore’s largest alfresco bar and restaurant, tucked inside a natural habitat of trees – away from the hustle and bustle of buildings and city life. Yes, Singapore can surprise you with such lush places! That event was the very first initiative of the Singapore MBA Network, a newly created, and maybe the first formal group of MBAs based in Singapore, which counts both present students and alumni from the 5 schools. And this networking event was certainly the best way to kick start the formation of this group.

I found the excitement to be palpable as I met fellow young (and some very experienced) thought leaders of tomorrow from other schools and shared with one another our experiences from our respective programs, as well as our aspirations upon receiving our MBAs. Everyone was in high spirits, and I found the opportunity of meeting new people and of learning new ideas very refreshing and truly rewarding experience.

I was the emcee of the event – hugging the microphone most of the time, and maybe I tried my best to make the event as enjoyable as possible, by telling anecdotes or simple jokes to break the ice. I was thrilled to have worked with the other MBA participants to organize the event, and was especially pleased to have the opportunity to play games and interact with almost everyone.

Pram hosting the night

On a more serious note, student leaders of each school also gave brief speeches to rally their peers towards forming a cohesive and influential network of Singapore MBAs. I personally felt honoured to be part of this network, with so many brilliant minds and by just being at this event, I could already feel the immense potential and value this alliance could give me and other aspiring young business individuals. It is, indeed, a start of something big!

I felt everyone enjoyed the networking session – hundreds of name-cards, including my own, were exchanged, ideas for future collaborations were conceived and most importantly, new circles of valuable friendship had been forged. This unprecedented event had truly added a new dimension to my MBA experience in Singapore. We all look forward to the next event, as this first networking event paved the way to more occasions of similar nature.

Posing for the camera while enjoying drinks and company – Singapore MBA Students at the networking event

(Photos courtesy of Singapore MBA Network organizer)

The CSR Asia Forum on Sustainability Disclosure 2011

Author: Mandar Gori, Vice President (Sustainability), Student Executive Committee, The Nanyang MBA

As the Student Executive Committee member representing the CSR and other clubs at The Nanyang MBA, I have been associated with the CSR and sustainability related activities for the past 8 months. The CSR Asia Forum on Sustainability Disclosure 2011 introduced me to this very interesting topic of sustainability reporting.

I truly believe that the event was very well organized by CSR Asia.

CSR Asia is a provider of information, training, research and consultancy services on sustainable business practices in Asia. I’m proud that The Nanyang Business School is actually the academic partner for The CSR Asia Forum.

The welcome address was given by Jenny Costelloe, Director at CSR Asia, and who is also an alumnus of The Nanyang MBA. The presentation by Simon Lord on a business case on sustainability reporting at his company New Britain Palm Oil was very informational.

Six different workshops were arranged for the second half of the day out of which I could attend the one on GRI – The international reporting framework by Sean Gilbert from Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). I know that Dr. Patricia Tan, our school’s Associate Professor in Accounting also shared her insights into recent developments in sustainability reporting, trying to raise awareness of this new international trend as well as to promote such practice in Singapore.

This event has definitely opened my eyes to the future of public reporting of sustainability initiatives in the corporate world and its importance to the business. Cheers and congratulations to the CSR Asia team for such a successful event!

Scoring in the 2nd Asian MBA Football Cup

Author: Esmond Yan, MBA Student

Looking at this photograph will probably always succeed in making me smile. After all, we made it to the semi-finals as a team this year!

HKUST hosted other football teams from INSEAD, CEIBS, HKU, HKCU in this rough but thoroughly enjoyable one-day tournament. Our team was drawn in a group with HKUST Team 2, HKUST Alumni and HKU where our very own Italian stallion Henri Allegra scored 2 goals to take us into the semi-finals.

However, having the smallest team of only 9 players took its toll on us. Henri, Alexander, Gabriel, Andrew, Vincent, Benny, John and Rob – we all just had each other to lean on against some very skilled players. We really were at a disadvantage.

We lost to match the eventual champions, INSEAD. Still, we don’t walk away from this experience disheartened. We’re far from that, actually. The team showed great sportsmanship despite injuries and the rain. There really wasn’t room for defeat anyway, because at the after-party, everyone felt like a winner. We went to Republic, a posh club in Hong Kong’s Lan Kwai Fung district, a generous treat by the host!

After all that hard work and good play, we were sore everywhere by the end of the trip. We still find the experience worth it though. It was great fun to compete and at the same time, we got to network with other MBA students of different nationalities.

The best part was getting to bond with each other and functioning as a team. I really feel like we did win a great prize and we’re walking away with it. This prize, to me, is invaluable. This event led me to meeting some great individuals indeed, and I relished every step of the way.

We definitely scored, if you ask me.