Financial Women’s Association – NTU Mentorship Program
By: Alejandra Mejia, Colombian, Nanyang MBA participant, Intake 2010
Recently, the Finance Women Association of Singapore or FWA , together with NTU, established a mentorship program to women currently studying in NTU, to help shape and start their careers in the financial industry, specially taking into account the time requirements and demands of having a very successful job, while looking after their family and children. FWA provides a valuable platform to network with other experienced women professionals in the financial industry in Singapore and the opportunity to listen and meet some of the admirable women in the finance industry, who are balancing the demands of their work and family time.
NTU-FWA, in collaboration of FWA, Nanyang Business School (NBS) Undergraduate Program and the Banking and Finance Club of The NANYANG MBA, launched its mentorship program in September at a coffee dessert bar located in Orchard area where the bustling shopping district of Singapore is located. Nearly 50 students from the Nanyang Business School’s undergraduate and MBA students had the chance to meet with members of FWA from companies like Walton International, HSBC and Standard Chartered.
Being a woman is already a great challenge – juggling our roles as students, mothers, wives and career women and striving to make a difference in the lives of the people who matter most. From the talk cum networking session, I realized that, “regardless of who we are and where we come from – women from foreign countries or women wanting to change careers or start anew, we all face a great incertitude when the end of our studies arrives. We are overwhelmed about all the things we are told to do to start our careers, but the truth is, a more certain success is guaranteed when we fix ourselves a target. Somehow, we need a counselor from the industry to help us fix this target.” This was how the mentorship program was conceived — to help women like us, who are in school and looking into the future of building our respective careers, to trace our path, coherent with our interest, strengths and possibilities.
The opening night of the event was, on my personal opinion, a success. The honesty of the mentors on clarifying all our doubts, their willingness to listen to us and to show us where we were lost and needing guidance, their openness to share with us their experiences in the finance world and some, their personal life, aroused our admiration about the tenacity of these women that did not want the success only for themselves, but have the strong purpose of cultivating new leaders.
From this initial NTU-FWA Mentorship Program experience, a number of women in The NANYANG MBA class of 2011-2012 created a “Women in Business Club’ (WIB), recognizing the need to have a business club that would “nurture women leaders for the future”. Last month, WIB held its first inaugural event entitled Carpe Diem. WIB club invited speakers who shared their insights on living life to the fullest and who are living examples themselves of seizing the moment – “Carpe Diem.”