Category Archives: NANYANG-WASEDA

Waseda Double MBA students learn Japanese at Nanyang

by Rondel Apelo, Nanyang-Waseda Double MBA student

日本語 (Nihongo, Japanese) has always been an alluring language, so much so that I’ve never heard anyone say that they didn’t want to at least try to learn Japanese. So when the opportunity came about that we can learn some basic Japanese, I was more than delighted to pick up the chance! Little did I know that aside from the learning the fundamentals of Japanese, I would be learning more about its culture and gaining friends along the way.

As part of the Nanyang-Waseda Double MBA cohort, I enrolled into the Japanese Language course. From all walks of life – India, Philippines, China, and of course from Singapore, a diverse bunch of students went into class, two times per week from November ‘15 to February ‘16.

練習しましょう (Renshū shimashou, Let us practice) was always the starting phrase! And ちいさい テスト (Chiisai Tesuto, Small test) was always something to watch out for. As anyone can imagine, it was very dynamic, sometimes very confusing, but definitely 100% fun and worth the time!

From Hiragana to Katakana, from おはようございます (Ohayou) to こんにちは (Konnichiwa), we learned the very basics of Japanese Language from our Sense Akiko Ito (伊藤). Challenging as it was, our instructor made it a point to always ensure that we would be able to follow the lectures and even provided us with some additional learnings while even outside of class. The dynamics of the class also played a key role in the overall learning.
Occasionally, the class even had “local” visitors, our Japaneseclassmates, extending a hand to help us learn the “How to’s” and “what not’s” in Japanese. Though I still have a long way to go (and I would still probably get lost in translation when I do start my last trimester in 早稲田 Waseda Tokyo), I felt it was truly a wonderful experience. More than just the basics of Japanese, I got a deeper appreciation of the culture and a desire to know more about the Language. Something that I believe I will last even outside the four walls of the classroom.


Boost Your Career with a Double MBA & Masters Degree

Studying for your MBA at the Nanyang Business School can be extra enriching if you opt for the double MBA or masters degree programme. Instead of graduating with one degree, you can earn two. NBS has partnerships with top business schools in Europe and Asia to provide MBA candidates the best of different worlds.


Here’s a bit about the programmes.

The Nanyang MBA + Master of Arts in Strategy and International Management

The University of St. Gallen is a leading B-school in Switzerland. It was founded in 1898 and is known for its strong culture that invites students from all over the world. NBS chose this school because the Master of Arts in Strategy and International Management (SIM) programme has made a significant impact across the globe. With a top-notch curriculum that compels students to develop superior strategic thinking, the SIM programme has been ranked number 1 overall worldwide for a record of four years (2011 to 2015) by the Financial Times. And although it is one of the smallest universities in Switzerland, the University of St. Gallen has the country’s largest faculty for business administration. The location works out for your best interests as you get exposure to European business practices and culture. Read more.

The Nanyang MBA + One more MBA from Asia

When you think of Japan, you think of innovation in terms of electronic goods, cars and other consumer goods. This programme, a partnership between the Nanyang Business School and Waseda Business School in Japan, brings you to the centre of this innovative environment. The Waseda Business School was established in the 1990s but is a part of the century-old Waseda University in Tokyo. Besides earning two MBA degrees, you’ll become a part of two major alumni networks that consist of various business leaders. The Waseda side of the programme will amplify your knowledge of this region while enhancing your capabilities in leveraging innovation, based on the best practices of eminent and successful Japanese corporations. Read more.

The Nanyang MBA + Masters in Management

The masters in management degree has been much debated in the educational sphere. There is a lot in its favour because experts like the idea of a general management degree that can prepare candidates for a variety of management roles once they graduate. In contrast, the MBA degree may be too specific once you decide what to specialise in. NBS’ double masters programme of study with ESSEC in France bridges the gap between the two. Additionally, ESSEC’s innovative approach to management that combines the uniqueness of European ways with inter-cultural approaches is a boon for students who are keen on learning about doing business in Europe or with European companies. Read more.

Investing in a double degree programme will reveal its benefits when you apply for your next job since prospective employers will always appreciate a candidate with competencies in multiple areas. As you learn more than your peers who choose to study for a single MBA degree, you’ll be sure to impress interviewers who will know that studying for a double degree means that you are willing to work very hard and are open to a whole new range of experiences.

Find out if an NBS double degree programme can be a part of your career plan today!

Attending this intensive course is worth my sacrifice taking Nanyang – Waseda Double Degree

By Jenie Lago, Nanyang Waseda Double MBA intake 2012

Into my second trimester as a Nanyang Waseda Double MBA student, and despite my previous I.T. background, I was really looking forward to attending my chosen elective IT Strategy & IT Applications. As it is an intensive course (over 2 weeks), I know that I will have to put in more effort and sacrifice my beauty sleep, anticipating the loads of reading and studies. However, I just knew it’s going to be worth it! And indeed, it was!

The course instructor was Professor Koichi Matsukawa from Waseda University. A business owner, an academic and an author – Professor Matsukawa has vast experience in IT strategy, consulting and system integration which made the class really interactive as we were able to discuss real-life scenarios from the professor’s experience and from the MBA participants’ as well.

The most interesting part of the course  were the visits to one of the world’s largest port operator, Port of Singapore Authority (PSA), Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) Singapore who is one of the largest shipping companies in the world and lastly to Cisco who is a global leader in the design, manufacturing of networking equipment. The company visits provided firsthand experience on how information technology is utilized and managed by these companies to provide world-class solutions and services.

The picture above shows some of the participants trying out Cisco’s TelePresence.
The picture above shows some of the participants trying out Cisco’s TelePresence.

Cisco Singapore was gracious enough to initiate a call to Cisco Tokyo for the Nanyang MBA applicants to experience Cisco’s TelePresence’s lifelike video!

Students & staff of NYK
Nanyang-Waseda MBA participants & NYK Staff

At NYK Singapore,we learned the company’s real-time ship tracking system and the company’s operation here in Singapore. We even had an open discussion with the top management team to complete the experience.

With seminars and company visits completed,  we were required  to develop a business model and strategic IT application for a chosen company and present it in class. It was a very challenging task given the time constraints – did I say 2 weeks only, right? However,we were able to deliver the required business model and learned a lot from each other’s presentation.

Class participants during the presentation
That’s me! sitting on the front row, second from left.

Over all, it was an informative and challenging course. I was so pleased with the course that I look forward to taking my courses in Waseda University on the third term!

Thank You Matsukawa Sensei!


Nanyang-Waseda Double MBA Students featured in J+ Magazine

J+ Plus magazine, a Japanese Magazine distributed in Singapore, interviewed two (2) Nanyang-Waseda Double MBA students – Hideaki Mukai from Japan and Sharon Ng from Singapore. They were featured as part of the magazine’s showcase of reputable qualifications or degrees earned here in Singapore.  Hideaki and Sharon, were asked about their objectives in pursuing this unique double MBA degree programme, their impressions and the challenges encountered. Below are some excerpts of the interview made by the publication.

Hideaki (in black), during a visit of fellow Waseda peers in Singapore (Waseda Summer Tour 2011)

Hideaki Mukai, Japanese (image on the left)
Previous Occupation: Manager, Sales Engineering
Duration of living in Singapore: 6 months

J+ : Why did you decide to pursue this degree?

Hideaki Mukai (HM):  I was an engineer, but I started to feel MBA is essential to be engaged in managerial jobs. Also, I believed that MBA must be beneficial to do business in this highly globalized world. Singapore is a growing country, which uses English as a primary language for business and education. This is why I chose to study here.

J+: What is your opinion about this programme?

HM:  Although I studied English in overseas for a while, dealing with a huge amount of reading is a challenging thing for me. On the other hand, this programme provides me with a great environment to create future business network because of the diverse faculty and classmates.

Sharon (standing) engaged in a discussion with fellow Waseda peers during the latters’ visit in Singapore for the Waseda Summer Tour, 2011.



Sharon NG, Singaporean (see image on the right)
Previous Occupation: Marketing Executive, IT firm

J+: Why did you decide to pursue this degree?

Sharon Ng (SN): Although I worked for the IT and mass communications industry, I am planning to enter the finance industry. Also, in order to be a manager, I felt that the ability to solve problems due to the complex business environment must be necessary.

J+: What challenges do you have from the course?

SN:  As this course provides high-level lectures, substantial amount of effort is essential if you do not have business background and knowledge. At the same time, since we need to attend a number of lectures, time management skills and the ability to enhance efficiency are vital. When it comes to a group work, cooperative attitude is very important.


Waseda Business Students visit Nanyang and Singapore – Learning new perspectives

By The Nanyang-Waseda Double MBA Coordinator’s Office

In September last year, The NANYANG MBA had the opportunity to welcome students and faculty from the Waseda Business School for the latter’s annual Waseda Seminar Tour, choosing Singapore as their destination. It was an experience for us here in The NANYANG MBA, as our Nanyang-Waseda Double MBA students were able to interact with their Waseda counterparts and faculty members from Japan, making great connections for life.

Professor Takeshi Moriguchi, one of the esteemed faculty members in the Faculty of Commerce in Waseda University and Shuichi Mitsuhashi-san, one of the Waseda students participating in the seminar tour, share their perspectives and experiences, respectively, of what the tour is all about, why they chose Singapore as their destination, their impressions of the city-state and their experiences in meeting our Nanyang-Waseda students.

What is the purpose of the Waseda Seminar Tour?

Prof Moriguchi (Prof M): Waseda Seminar Tour is organized to give our (Waseda) students the opportunity to interact with relevant business people and have an interactive discussion on marketing topics, and this time we decided to go to Singapore. It also gives our students the chance to meet their counterparts in Nanyang-Waseda Double MBA and discuss the same. As a bonus, the trip also served as our way of relieving stress of everyday life and we enjoyed a relaxing time in between.

Professor Moriguchi in class, speaking to both Waseda and Nanyang-Waseda students during the Summer Tour in September 2011.

Mitsuhashi-san (M-san):  The globalization of business has rapidly advanced. Therefore, we decided to go outside Japan for our seminar tour. We target to visit some international organizations and enterprises that have developed their businesses internationally, and get into a discussion about global marketing strategy with key industry professionals and leaders.

Moreover, for this trip, we aim to communicate and network with our overseas MBA peers and recognize the differences between Japanese and non-Japanese MBA students, and learn from these differences that could help us become successful in careers, post-MBA.

Why did you choose Singapore as your destination for your seminar tour?

Prof M: Singapore is very accessible from Japan. Most of the students participating in the study tour were business people and have very limited time to spare, and it was difficult for them to join a long trip. As Singapore is not so far away from Tokyo, the distance and travel time worked out well for all, therefore, we chose it as a destination.

More importantly, we knew Singapore is one of the international business location leaders in the Asia region. Thus, we hoped (which we did have) for an intellectually stimulating experience in Singapore, and we made valuable connections, too.

M-san: Singapore is recognized as the “Hub” in Asia Pacific, and takes on an important role in the international business arena. Being exposed to the country will definitely be a great experience for us, not only personally, but professionally.

Moreover, the academic level of Singapore is very high (against the global average), therefore, we expect thighly of our counterparts – MBA students in Singapore and learn from our differences and similarities in perspectives, and orientation in the business world.

What are your impressions of Singapore?

Prof M:  This is the third time I have visited Singapore. Several years back, I felt that Singapore was one of the small countries in South East Asia. However, this time, even if it still remains small in size, I regarded Singapore as huge in economic progress, and a very active and vibrant country. My impression of Singapore has, indeed, changed drastically for the better.

M-san: I felt that Singapore was a very lively and vibrant place, a well-disciplined and clean country. If there is an opportunity later on, I would like to experience Singapore i.e. live in this city-state for a couple of years.  Overall, the country is very attractive to professionals like me, as it is an easy & convenient place to live in.

Share with us your interaction with our Nanyang-Waseda Double MBA Students.

Prof M: Diversity is one of the many significant characteristics of the Nanyang-Waseda Double MBA. There was a great mix people and cultures. I believe that diversity produces positive educational effects in the strength of the  cohort which brings out the best in people. Diversity trains people well, , in dealing with people from various cultures and backgrounds. This is important once they finish the program and out into the business world.

Nanyang MBA student Harutaka-san (in white shirt) discussing with his counterparts from Nanyang-Waseda and Waseda during the Summer Tour

Sharon Ng (standing) one of the Nanyang-Waseda Double MBA students in a discussion with her Waseda and Nanyang-Waseda peers.

M-san:  Everyone in the Nanyang-Waseda program was a go-getter, friendly and appealing. In the short time that I have interacted with them, they are all outspoken, but at the same time they acknowledge other people’s opinions. They are also very results-oriented. If given the chance to earn an MBA abroad, I would like to be part of the Nanyang-Waseda program as the students left me an immense positive impression.

A group photo to remember the Summer Tour.

We have spoken to one of our students in Nanyang-Waseda, who had the opportunity to interact with their Waseda counterparts during the tour. Yodahvee, our student from Thailand who previously worked  as an analyst in Thailand with one of the world’s largest publicly traded oil and gas company, said , “It was a great opportunity for us in the Nanyang-Waseda program to meet our counterparts from Waseda. It was a rare and valuable chance to share our views about Japan business practices from an outsider’s perspective. It was not only useful for them, but it was also helpful for us to know Japan’s working culture and way of thinking in contrast to our own views. The exchange among us students coming from various backgrounds and experience was priceless. This, among many other advantages of the Nanyang-Waseda programme, makes our program a great value-add to our professional life, post-MBA.”


My thoughts on spending time with Japanese MBA students during their Waseda Summer Intensive Program

By Sharon NG, Singaporean, NANYANG-WASEDA Double MBA Program Participant

My NANYANG-WASEDA classmates and I had the opportunity to join our Waseda peers from Tokyo during their  Summer Intensive Program. The program is created with the goal to expose Waseda students to how Japanese companies are operating in a global environment. It is conducted entirely in English to expose students in an English and foreign environment, which sets the tone of the Program to come.

The intensive program spanned over five full days during the first week of August,  and  it even included the Singapore National Day holiday on the 9th of August, the day when Singapore became an independent republic*. Now that’s what I call intensive. There were a total of 25 students, including us from the NANYANG-WASEDA program,, and it was helmed by “Zemi-Cho” (Group Leader) Taniguchi Tatsuro-san and led by Professor Reiji  Ohtaki, Director of the Nanyang-Waseda Double MBA Program.  They were assisted by three very hardworking Waseda staff members: Tamada Masaki-san, Saitoh Kaz-san and Yajima Tomoko-san.

As I was doing the Nanyang-Waseda courses, I did not get to attend the first day of this Summer program because I had a full day of classes that day. On the 2nd day which I managed to attend , it was the Singapore National Day, and the group first discussed about organizational issues for Japanese companies. The session touched on how overseas branches have to deal with a consistent message on objectives and goals to align their activities with the Headquarters. A key take-away was that the Waseda students should aspire to become Global Business Leaders (GBL). This included teaching overseas branches how to fish, instead of spoon-feeding them or worse, force-feeding them.  Another key issue was remuneration and promotion of local staff to senior positions. This could help manage local staff better and also motivate them to perform better with the prospect of promotion.

Next was a session by Mr. Takayanagi who leads SBI Venture Capital, the venture capital/private equity firm of the SBI Group, a listed financial services group in Japan. Mr. Takayanagi has very impressive credentials, having degrees from Oxford’s Said and Harvard’s Kennedy School. He talked about how his company operates in Singapore as a parallel to the HQ in Japan, and enjoys a high degree of independence of decision-making. He also touched on how Singapore is ideal as a business location. As a transportation hub, many people stop by Singapore en route to other destinations, and hence, it is easy to meet people. The small size of the island also makes it easy for people to get introduced to one another, as each person probably only enjoys “two degrees of separation”.

On the third day of the week-long program, we were visited by the Managing Director of Yamato Transport Singapore, Mr. Toda Naoki (Yamato Transport is Japan’s No. 1 transportation service that offers same-day service, house-to-house delivery or Ta-Q-Bin). Mr. Toda spoke in Japanese, but had an interpreter who has a distinctive Singapore-English or we what we call as ‘Singlish’ accent! Kuroneko, the delivery service of Yamato, is a well-known household name in Japan that requires no introduction. However, Mr. Toda lamented about how tough it is for the company in Singapore in the first year of operations. SingPost is a formidable competitor with well-established locations and customers, and the concept of house-to-house delivery (Ta-Q-Bin) may not be well-understood by the local market. Training and high turn-over also proves to be a problem, as it is difficult to provide good quality service without competent Service Delivery staff.

As Mr. Toda took his leave, the program continued on the theme of talent management. Prof Ohtaki (left photo) quoted a survey done by (which he is a consultant for, one of Singapore’s major online job search portals ) on the issues of speed of promotions, job-hopping, work-life balance, career aspirations and expectations, and also the keen interest of Singaporeans to be their own boss one day. This is in contrast with the Japanese concept of employment, which places an emphasis on loyalty, slow promotion, a more equitable rate of compensation, and also the desire to work for a big company. Noting these differences, Prof Ohtaki urged the Waseda students to think about such issues when managing local staff, so that both the company’s expectations and staff expectations can be aligned and met. Continue reading My thoughts on spending time with Japanese MBA students during their Waseda Summer Intensive Program

A day out with visiting Waseda peers during Singapore’s National Day

By Sharon NG, Singaporean, Nanyang-Waseda Double MBA Current Participant

My Nanyang-Waseda peers and I had a most intensive week when our counterparts from Waseda Business School Japan (mostly Japanese nationals) visited Singapore for their Summer Intensive Program. The short program speaks for itself – it was, indeed, intensive but also fun.  It was fascinating for me, too, as I was able to somehow play ‘guide’ to the group, including my Nanyang-Waseda classmates, which is  an international bunch of individuals coming from Japan, Korea, India, Philippines and Thailand. But how do you spend the national day with a large group of visitors?

9th of August is the day that Singapore became an independent republic, Singapore’s National Day.  That day, being a holiday, I dragged my lazy feet to school. Traffic was very smooth, less cars on the street, so that really made me feel slightly better. We had a ‘longer than usual’ half-day of lectures, and after which the group tucked into local food stall for lunch, with a serving of Singapore’s famous chicken rice – a dish of Chinese origin comprised of special chicken-flavored rice topped with roast chicken*,  slushed down with cooling lime juice (chicken rice is considered to be one of Singapore’ best dishes and Singapore is known for it, worldwide). With that, the group took off for a half-day sightseeing trip of Singapore.

Continue reading A day out with visiting Waseda peers during Singapore’s National Day

Visiting Waseda U in Japan during the winter holiday

Author: Greg Edwards, 2010 Nanyang-Waseda Double MBA participant.

Visiting Waseda U in Japan during the winter holiday

One of the great things about Nanyang MBA is the diversity of the students and the options available for meeting people and experiencing different cultures. For the current batch we have more than 25 countries represented from 5 continents, and when you count exchange students it certainly seems we have someone from everywhere!

As a participant in the Waseda-Nanyang Double MBA program, I have the opportunity to be taught by the best professors at NTU and also by great professors from Waseda, who come to Singapore to teach us. Having previously lived in Japan, I decided to revisit friends in Tokyo and Osaka over the winter holiday. Also during that time I had an opportunity to meet some Japanese who had previously studied at NTU on exchange and also was able to visit a “zemi”, or seminar, of Professor Sugiura at the Waseda campus in Tokyo. I was able to participate in his class and found that like NTU it’s made up of a broad range of nationalities. After class everyone visited a nearby ramen shop for some tasty noodles and great conversation.

I am looking forward to my next visit to Japan during a short break in semesters as I have been invited to participate in a short business study trip of Waseda’s Japanese and foreign MBA students.

杉浦先生と早稲田のMBA大学生どうもありがとうございました!Thank you professor Sugiura and Waseda MBA students!

Greg Edwards , front row in white tee.