Category Archives: Living in Singapore

Karaoke Night – Celebrating the 2016 Case Competitions at NBS

After successfully planning and executing two case competitions on NBS campus in March and April of 2016, the MBA Student Exco VP Case Competition Prashant Sharma invited the case competition committee members, the NBS teams who competed in the Venture Capital Investment Challenge and Amalgamation Challenge and two hands full of volunteer helpers for a relaxed afterparty to jointly recap the hectic yet extremely rewarding job of organising two full day events, an to simply celebrate the success of the events.

Having organised two full day events with MBA participants from all over Asia, the NBS team not only widened their network across the region but also intensified their knowledge on the challenges of event management and cross-cultural engagement.

To acknowledge great teamwork, the impressive feedback on the smooth and professional execution of the events, and the many hours that went into event preparation, the volunteers and organisers of the case competitions at Nanyang came together at the house of one of the Singaporean students and enjoyed the hospitality in a Singaporean home. After discovering the great cooking skills of the MBA batch of 2016, and enjoying a delicious barbecue as well as a wide variety of snacks and side dishes, the party moved inside the karaoke room, that was opened for the class as a courtesy of the host, and an impressive concert featuring the MBA all starts began.

After hours of furious singing and dancing, the party ended with a round of card games, and a photo shoot to not only remember the outstanding party, but also the case competition events and the friendships formed while working together.

Case Comp Final Party 3

Nanyang MBA participants celebrate the successful closure of the Case Competition Season
Nanyang MBA participants celebrate the successful closure of the Case Competition Season


A walk in the park – Trek to the Macritchie reservoir park

After staying very close to amazing greenery for almost six months on NTU  campus, it was time to actually explore the abundance of nature right outside the university campus.

Despite being busy with group meetings, assignments and internships, it was time to give rest to the mind and have some physical workout. Hence, an adventure trek to Mac Ritchie Reservoir park was organized and many of the students participated enthusiastically.

The target set was to complete a 10 kms stretch around the park. The group of MBAs, determined to master this exercise, looked like an army batallion on a mission – and accepted yet another challenge.

Sounds of humming birds welcomed us throughout the trek. The chosen stretch had many different terrains – rocky/muddy, wooden planks over muddy ground and concrete floors. Short conversations on plenty of MBA issues and matters with fellow batch mates shortened the 10 kms trek. Also, monkeys were very eager to find out what we had for them and gave us company in many of the pictures. Luckily, the weather showed sympathy for our sweating bodies and remained normal throughout.

The highlight of the trek was the TreeTop Walk, a 250mlong freestanding suspension bridge between the two highest points in the park and the first of its kind in Singapore. From the suspension bridge, the MBAs had a bird’s eye view of the forest canopy and tried to spot different wildlife in their natural habitat. The group could also enjoy panoramic views of the verdant greenery of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve and the placid waters of the Upper Peirce Reservoir. As the group overheard the firing drills happening in the nearby park, the Singaporean batchmates enlightened us with their army firing experiences to calm the agitated minds of some frightened graduate students.

Finally, the hiking mission was accomplished and our stomach was starving for fuel. The entire MBA group was invited by one of their native Singaporean batch mates to a nearby golf club to relax in the pool and fill our starving stomach with food.

trekking 3 Trekking trecking 4


NUS – NBS Networking event

On November the 14th 2015, the NUS-NBS Mixer, a social event for Singapore´s MBS students, took place in downtown Singapore.

In order to facilitate inter-school networking, Deep Dabholkar, the President of the student Executive Committee at Nanyang Business School liaised with Sean McNulty, President of the National University of Singapore student body. The two school representatives met over a coffee at Holland Village along with a few members of their respective student groups and organized one of the most highly attended events of the semester.

With twenty two students from Nanyang Business School (including part time students) and over 28 from the National University of Singapore, the NBS Bistro at Marina Square was booked and catering was ordered for the event.


event catering – a truly delicious feast!

A vibrant event with multiple games such as darts, billiards and some exciting foosball matches, students from both schools wasted no time in getting comfortable and “networking” with each other. By the end of the evening, a strong bond had been formed between the attending students that would laid the platform for great friendships.

The success of this event promises to lead to many more such inter-school activities, both on and off the field, that will foster better relations among the schools and the student cohorts.


Impatient Singapore pushes the boundaries

by Laura Melina Loeven, posted on Financial Times MBA blog

I cannot count how many times I have read the word “moor noissucsid” over the past few weeks. It sounds like a mystic secret language from The Lord of the Ringsdoesn’t it? But it is just plain English for discussion room. Sadly, I spend so much time inside the study rooms that I often find myself reading the label on the glass door backwards when I happen to stare at the one door that separates me from the outside world.

I had two days to go until the Christmas break and to my despair the list of assignments to finish was much longer than my shopping list.

Most days the two best friends of any MBA student, laptop and extra large coffee mug, share the peaceful quiet of the discussion room with me. From time to time, the door opens and the head of one of my fellow students appears. We are all in this together, and the many sharing sessions or quick bouncing back and forth of ideas between doors were worth the long hours spent in a dimly lit study hall.

Joining an MBA programme and relocating to Singapore has changed my life. Back home in Germany, I grouchily complained about the penetrating cold outside and lamented the ruthless heating of indoor facilities. Now, I start sweating as soon as I step outside but shock-freeze when I enter a building. The temperatures across campus are adjusted to facilitate optimal brain activity. It turns out that my body and brain have very different requirements in terms of climate, and while my head is working at high speed, the rest of me goes into shock mode.

Not only have my MBA studies affected the way I dress (I wear long pants and a scarf at 30C outdoor temperature), but I also changed my sleeping patterns, eating habits and exercise schedule.

The challenges of juggling classwork, assignments, workshops, career talks, a symposium here and a lecture there will quickly transform even the most efficient of all multitaskers into a restless jitterbug. Singapore is a great place for the ambitious, the disciplined and the determined. The vibe of the city will teach you to always keep an eye on the goal and to keep an eye on the competition while walking towards that goal. In a city where everything works, public transport runs smoothly, no escalator ever breaks, and even the pizza delivery company keeps its “30 minute” promise when ordering to a remote university campus, you cannot but drop your jar and decide to work harder yourself. The pizza man just shrugs his shoulders, utterly unimpressed.

German by birth, I strive for efficiency, value speed and reliability, and I definitely appreciate punctuality. Now I share a city with textbook workaholics, and I wonder if I ever even properly understood the definition of punctuality. For the first time, it is possible that I am last to show up for an appointment. My homework might receive a “nice, but more thorough analysis required”. And I am still baffled that I have not ever waited for a delayed train.

What bewildered me at first, makes total sense to me these days. Singapore is impatient. An austere yet friendly nation that is poised for further growth. Uniting tradition and modernity, Singapore demands an increasing share of the world’s attention.

In the middle of this place that looks like Disneyland but works like the “good elves”: my business school. A school that might cool down the body, but successfully heats up a student’s mind. A school that will go above and beyond to prepare its graduates to wander on the path of growth, personally and professionally. Even if that means they live in the moor noissucsid.

Having reached the halfway mark of my MBA journey, I have already discovered that it will not be enough to just be prepared to reach my goals. Here in Singapore, goals are stretched and limits pushed.


published on: Financial Times –

Student Life At NBS

The MBA programme at the Nanyang Business School is rigorous. Academics are just one of your many priorities here. Classes, case studies, team projects and homework are just one part of the whole experience because the B-school aims to create future leaders who’ll maintain a work-life balance successfully. During your time here, you’ll have ample options for housing, social activities and business competitions.

05_Student Life At NBS

Here’s how you can step into the vibrant student life at NBS.

  • Residential Life:

On-campus housing is available only to full-time graduate students. Graduate Hall 1, Graduate Hall 2, Crescent Hall & Pioneer Hall offer rooms with a single bed, a wardrobe, a desk, an attached bathroom, fan, air-conditioning and an internet connection. Keep your eyes on the notice boards in case something opens up later. If you’re looking for accommodation off-campus, take a look at the Off-Campus Accommodation System (OCAS), which is open to students registered with NTU. The best route to take would be to book an on campus option, settle down and then look for a place off campus with less stress.

  • Student Executive Council and Club Co-chairs:

The Nanyang MBA Student Executive Council or Student ExCo takes on the responsibility of making every student’s time at NBS a lively one. The MBA students hold annual elections to elect its council members. Candidates are usually given a minute to make a speech that can let the others decide if they’re worth their votes. So that’s a position you may want to vie for as well. Student clubs on campus include those focused on particular industries, sports and cultures. Meet the current council members here.

  • Healthy Well-being & Philanthropic Activities:

A healthy mind and body are vital to performing well in your MBA programme. If you don’t feel good inside, your work will be affected. But, with so much going on campus, you will find yourself exercising, meeting people and getting lots of fresh air too! In the past, events have included a prison run, kayaking on a nearby island and other outdoor sports that bring you closer to your classmates as well. And since life can’t be complete without doing your bit for the less privileged, the student council organises charitable activities like trips to children’s homes and hospitals.

  • MBA Olympics:

The MBA Olympics is a volunteer interscholastic sporting event that NBS participates in every year along with Singapore’s other B-schools. It is a friendly competition that aims to raise awareness for a specific cause and collects donations for charity by promotion corporate social responsibility in business. You’ll get to play badminton, basketball and other sports and make a difference in some people’s lives. Sounds interesting? Take a look here.

  • Business Case Competitions:

What you learn in the classroom needs to be applied outside of it. NBS’ MBA students are regular participants in international business case competitions where they compete against students from B-schools based in the United States, Canada, Germany and so on. These events are a great place to see how academic concepts work in the industry while you interact with fellow MBA candidates who can add to your global perspective of the way things are done in business. In 2015, Nanyang MBA also hosted several case competitions such as Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) and Amalgamation 2015.

So you can stay comfortable, safe and active. The Nanyang MBA office works in collaboration with the Student ExCo to ensure that every MBA student walks home with a degree and lots of valuable experiences that add up to make a journey full of learning.

20 Singlish Words & Phrases To Get You Started

When Singapore became independent 50 years ago, English was chosen as the official language of the city-state. That didn’t stop the various ethnic groups from creating their own dialect or Singlish, as it is called. Its grammar and vocabulary is borrowed from Malay, Cantonese, Hokkien, Tamil, Mandarin and other Chinese languages.


Studying in a new country is no fun if you don’t immerse yourself into the local culture, so knowing some common Singlish phrases can help you begin.

  • Lah: Native Singaporeans love adding this word to the end of sentences. There are many ways to use it. For example, Ok lah translates to Okie dokie. No lah! means No, and you are clearly wrong to suggest that. Basically, lah is used to change the tone of a sentence and doesn’t really have a definition itself. Don’t confuse it with OK lor, which means Alright then and is said with a tone of resignation.
  • Leh: Leh can be used interchangeably with lah. For example, you could say, She did not tell me about that leh. Or somebody could tell you, No leh. He isn’t like that.
  • Why you so like that: This Singlish phrase means Why are you behaving this way? It is used to show frustration at somebody who is annoying you. Think of your friend making you wait for her for thirty minutes. Then you would ask her this. A Singapore group Kopi Kat Klan has a song called ‘Why you so like dat’. Check it out.
  • Talk cock: This term means joking around. If you had a relaxed evening laughing and talking with your friends, you could say, Today nothing to do. We all just talk cock all day long.
  • Wah lao!/Wah piang: These terms are interchangeable. Singaporeans express shock using them. For example, if you find out that the currency exchange rate with your home currency has increased a lot, you could say, Wah lao! So expensive!
  • Stylo Milo: This fun phrase can come to use when you are describing a classmate or somebody else. It describes someone as trying too hard to be stylish. Someone could point at a guy and say, Eh that guy so stylo milo.
  • Alamak!: This term translates to Oh my gosh! When a person is shocked or surprised, they may use this word.
  • Blur like sotong: These words describe a person who has no idea of what he or she is doing. For instance, it could be said to describe a fellow student who struggles to solve a problem. Or it could talk about a person who always seems to get lost. You could say, he is so old and still gets lost all the time, really blur like sotong!
  • Pai-seh: This term comes from the Hokkien dialect and means embarrassed or shy. You could employ it to express your discomfort about a mistake you made by saying, I forgot his book again. So pai seh. It is pronounced pie-say.
  • Ya ya papaya: This funny sounding term is used to describe a person as boastful or arrogant. If somebody in class always seems too full of herself and keeps on talking about her accomplishments, you could say, She’s so ya ya. 
  • Eat already anot?: This phrase means Have you already eaten/Have you eaten yet? Anot is a common Singlish word that translates to or not.
  • Corright: This Singlish word combines the English words correct and right. It can be defined as righter than right. Imagine having a light-hearted argument with your classmate when he thinks what is right is obvious; then he could say Corright to emphasise how very correct he is.
  • Ah bu then?: This Singlish phrase can be used in instances where you’d say duh or of course in normal English. So if somebody sees you sleeping with your head on the desk and asks you if you are sleepy, this would be the answer.
  • Dun anyhow touch here touch there leh: If your roommate says this to you, you are in trouble. It means, Please don’t mess with my things. 
  • Oi! Wake up your idea!: A person you are discussing a project with may say, Oi! Wake up your idea! The phrase translates to Can you start thinking straight! The speaker is asking you to wake up from your sleepy state and is being sarcastic.
  • Siao: This word is very common. It literally means crazy. If somebody asks you something absurd or does something stupid like burn his clothes with the iron, you could say: You siao ah? It’s sarcastic.
  • Shiong: Shiong is defined as very tired or tiring. Wah today damn shiong, the lecturer asked us to write so many articles, is one example of its usage. In other words, somebody is exhausted and is complaining about his workload.
  • I don’t know you / How I know you: When a friend does something stupid and realises it, you could utter the words: How I know you? No reply is expected. It is a sarcastic comment.
  • Han nah / Yah lah: This one comes in handy if you are being nagged. Say somebody keeps on asking you if you have finished reading the book that you borrowed yesterday; you can say han nah han nah han nah (as many times as you want to). Some people like to say Yah lah yah lah instead. If anybody uses this one on you, it means you are annoying him or her a lot. 
  • Catch No Ball: When a local person says this to you, he is telling you that he didn’t understand you. You could picture a ball in his court, which he cannot grasp to remember what it means, “Eh, what talking you? I catch no ball!”

What are your favourite words and phrases? Don’t forget to share in the comments below.

5 Ways to Live Like a Local in Singapore

A metropolitan city-state known for its towering skyscrapers and cosmopolitan culture, Singapore is an amazing place to live and explore. Ranked as Asia’s most liveable city and the world’s third best, it is one of the safest in the world. Being a global financial centre, with a consistently stable government, and a burgeoning technology hub, the city is a much sought after educational destination for international students.

If you are a student living in Singapore, or someone who is considering the idea of pursuing your studies there, then here are a few ways that you can soak in the Singaporean lifestyle and experience the city like a local.

Local in Singapore

Ride the MRT

You haven’t lived the true Singaporean life, if you haven’t been on a commute in the city’s popular subway, also known as the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT). Spanning 152.9 kilometres and connecting more than 113 stations, the Singapore MRT is the fastest, easiest and the safest way to get around the city. While there are always taxis to cater to your travel needs, a ride in the MRT is something that lets you feel the pulse of the city and experience the breath-taking views of Singapore’s major landmarks. MRT stations are also known for their remarkable architecture and art installations. The fact that ticketing is done via contactless stored value smartcards, known as the EZ-Link and NETS FlashPay cards, also makes commuting in MRT quite convenient for students, professionals and other regular commuters.

Work and Lounge in Cafes

Whether it’s hanging out with friends in the evening, grabbing your breakfast in the morning or completing your class assignments during the day, Singapore has a slew of cafes that not only offer lively ambience and mouth-watering snacks and beverages, but also provide free Wifi, making them a go-to place for students and professionals to work and relax. Afterglow on Keong Saik Road, Habitat Coffee on Upper Thomson Road, Group Therapy Cafe on Duxton Road, Club Street Social on Gemmill Lane, and Bridge Cafe on Seah Street – these are some of the Singaporean cafes offering free Wifi.

Dance Away the Blues

What makes Singapore such an attractive destination for students and young professionals? It’s got to be the city’s scintillating nightlife. Singapore’s bars, pubs and clubs let you unwind and party hard after a busy day at work. Clarke Quay, Orchard Road, Zouk Club, Chijmes, and Boat Quay – there are endless places to indulge your inner party animal in Singapore.

Go on a Shopping Spree

Think of Singapore and the word ‘shopping’ comes to your mind. From shopping malls to outlet stores, international brands to local products, Singapore has something for every kind of shopper, something for every purse size. Apart from the glitzy malls featuring a wide range of international brands on Orchard Road and Marina Bay Sands, there are also the Mustafa Centre, Bugis Junction and Far East Plaza where you can shop till you drop, without making a big dent in your wallet. Don’t skip the neighbourhood malls like Jurong Point, Bishan Junction 8 and West Mall.

Get Adventurous

Singaporeans love to participate in sports and adventure activities. As a sports enthusiast and thrill-seeker, you’ll have myriad places to get your adrenaline fix. Being an island destination, Singapore is well known for its wide range of water sports such sailing, snorkelling, kayaking and water-skiing. Reverse bungee jumping, indoor skydiving and Formula One racing are a few other unique outdoor experiences worth having in Singapore.

These are just a few of the things that you can do to explore Singapore’s vibrant culture. Share this post with your friends and help them make the most of their stay in the Lion City.

Why do an MBA in Singapore?

You want to enhance your professional profile, and get to the next level of your career. You want to be a leader in your field – develop managerial skills, and boost your knowledge of running a business. An MBA degree, you know, will get you where you want to go. But, you are still hesitant to make the move. And, it’s not just about gathering funds needed for the studies. What you are daunted by are also those never-ending questions related to the MBA.

“In which country should I pursue my MBA?”; “Should I go for full-time MBA or an Executive MBA?”; “Am I at the right stage of my career?”; “How do I prepare myself and ensure that I make the best use of the MBA experience?” – These are just a few of the questions that haunt MBA aspirants.

Continue reading Why do an MBA in Singapore?

‘Detoxification’ at the gym

By Shilpa Ramesh Vaswani, Indian, Intake Class of 2012

As I walked alongside the lush foliage across campus and felt the soothing evening breeze of Singapore refreshing me with its gentle blow, I thought to myself, “Where did the first trimester go!” I was headed to the gym, after an intense two week span of mid-terms, to debit my much deserved leisure and credit my study time liability for later (let’s blame that random analogy to the mid-terms)!

A dig in the soccer pit with the women’s varsity football team as amazing as it was intense. It brought back so many memories (I love football!) and I loved the fact that the team is open to integrate with passionate football lovers and not just ‘professionals’! With all due love for the affiliation to the team, I couldn’t wait to hit the treadmill and make use of the amazing gymnasium equipment. The Sports and Recreation Center (SRC) offers a football arena, a synthetic track field, tennis courts, indoor as well as outdoor basketball and badminton courts, a refreshing pool and two remarkable gymnasiums. The walk towards the place is refreshing in itself; watching individuals play their hearts out, and realizing how an effortless drag to the SRC and a little bit of sports,  can be such a radiantly enhancing experience on campus! I stopped by to grab a Gatorade at the much revered 24 hour convenience store in the area (how cool is our campus)!

I got digressed from my walk towards the gym, and got pulled towards the basketball court. I had the opportunity to watch and somehow experience the NTU women’s basketball team in full action, who stood victorious as they literally thrashed the opposing team with their consistent rain of shots made. I almost felt like I bled NTU and was so proud of the series of 3-pointers that shot up OUR score!

After much digression, I finally hit the treadmill – upbeat, with an electrifying bhangra, (a popular lively fusion of traditional North Indian Punjabi and Western pop, hip-hop, house and reggae music), playlist on my shuffle, de-stressed, rejuvenated, fulfilled, content, and liberated… Bhangra is always great for an energetic exercise regimen. The sports streak in me was alive again and I don’t think the NTU SRC amenities will let it fade. As I ran at a speed of 10.2, I watched my neighbor running at least 15 and thought to myself, ‘This is risky but will definitely yield a high return in terms of calories burnt and less guilt while munching on French fries’ – I’m telling you, it’s the mid-terms!


Celebrating Mexican culture – in Singapore


By Manuel Salgado, Mexican

One of the goals was finally met. After several cultural events that showcased interesting facts about diverse cultures that form the Nanyang MBA, from the tasty Korean BBQ, Chinese full-of-lights Mid-Autumn festival, the very rhythmical Indian Bollywood dance, or the traditional songs of ‘German’ Christmas, it was time for the Mexican MBA students, like me to share a little about our culture.

The excuse was perfect: September 16th 2012, the 202th anniversary of the Mexican Independence Day, is around the corner. With a short time for preparation but the best efforts, myself and Allan Perez (Mexican, Exchange Student from EGADE MBA), organised a party gathering among senior students (graduating batch) and new cohort and also with the Exchange Students. The reception to this party was very good as the slots were full in only a couple of days. For me and Allan, the celebration was indeed the best opportunity not only to show a little about our culture, but also to thank all the support and kindness we have received from our Singaporean and foreign colleagues over all.

More than 40 of us, a very diverse group, attended the fiesta (or feast in English!): Singaporeans, Filipino, French, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, German, American, Spanish, among other nationalities. The first surprise they encountered was the possibility to adopt a Mexican Name.  John Rae Philip (Filipino) and Martin Schmidt (Austrian, Nanyang- St. Gallen Double Masters) helped the visitors pick their name based in the translation or adopt one that they liked. They provided a Certificate of Name Adoption to each of the attendees. For example, Hao Wu (Chinese, Nanyang Essec Double Masters) decided to pick Señor Gabriel, which is the name of one of the archangels that he likes.  Harutaka Ichinoki (Japanese,) chose Don José as it is easy to remember.

After the name adoption, participants indulged in Mexican food and beverages. For beverages, it was possible to try Michelada, a beer cocktail that includes lemon, salt, Maggie sauce and chili. For food, they tried Carne Asada (roasted beef) with Tortilla, a combination more popularly known as Taco in Mexico, the most popular food. They had the possibility to accompany the food with a large selection of salsas, from non-spicy to very spicy, and of course, including in that selection the famous avocado sauce, Guacamole. Our Vegetarian peers had also the chance to try dishes that did not include meat.

Tortilla chips, quesadillas and chicharron (fried pork skins!) were also part of the celebration. Some of our classmates were decisive and willing to help out- Steven Quimby (American) and Jaewon Park (Korean) provided a key support in the grill section and showed their BBQ expertise.

For the event closure, two (2) traditional Piñatas were brought in and those who wish to play this game were blindfolded and asked to hit the Piñata with a stick. The reward, when the Piñata was hit and broken is an avalanche of assorted candies- we had fun as we competed among ourselves to try to get as much as possible. Vida Zhou (Chinese,) and Aditi Jain (Indian,) were the first ones brave enough to try the Piñata. Overall, we have fun during this enjoyable evening- eat, chat and play while celebrating Mexican culture. Viva Mexico!








That's me in action.