Category Archives: Programme

Part-Time Vs. Full-time MBA – An insight into their Differences

Are you a graduate or a working professional looking to move ahead in your career? Some graduates prefer gaining work experience before opting for a post-graduation course, whereas others may decide to take up a master’s degree immediately after graduation. Most working professionals will eventually start thinking about a postgraduate degree, such as the MBA, especially if they are looking at progressing in their careers.

There are various modes of pursuing an MBA – full-time, part-time professional, distance or even executive. The dilemma, most often, is having to choose between a part-time MBA and a full-time MBA.

A part-time MBA is a course that allows its candidates the flexibility of working alongside studying. Participants can continue to draw a steady flow of income without taking a break. On the other hand, in a full-time programme, the opportunity cost is that participants will have to leave their jobs or take a sabbatical. The primary objective of both programmes is to help participants gain varied experiences such as interacting with a diverse peer group, and honing leadership and strategic thinking skills which would prepare them for senior management roles.

Before deciding which type of MBA is suitable, it is worth one’s time to understand and appreciate the differences between the part-time and full-time modes of study. We have outlined the key differences between a part-time MBA and a full-time MBA, highlighting the benefits of a part-time professional MBA:


Profile of Participants

Full-time MBA programmes are predominantly taken up by the younger crowd, with less working experience. Participants are typically around 28 years of age with 6 years of work experience. The average participant of a part-time MBA, however, is 30 years old, with 8.5 years of work experience.

Minimal Downtime

Both part-time and full-time MBA programmes follow a similar curriculum. However, part-time courses offer more options, such as weekend classes, online classes and weekday classes. This makes it more schedule-friendly for working professionals.

The Nanyang Professional MBA (PMBA), for instance, is a part-time programme which incorporates a career-friendly 18-month timetable. It encompasses weekend modules, where classes are only held on two weekends per month. This eliminates the need for out-of-office days and leave, making it suitable for the demanding schedule of full-time working professionals. Term breaks also coincide with local school holidays. This is an added advantage if you are a parent – you can take vacations with your family without compromising your MBA journey!

Immediate Application of Concepts

Most part-time MBA participants are working professionals, and this allows them to apply classroom learning immediately in their jobs. The curriculum offered at Nanyang PMBA programme suits specific business contexts. With integrated learning and exploration as the key takeaways, the learning process in Nanyang Business School’s PMBA programme is categorised across three areas – Business Fundamentals, Strategic Insights and Experiential Learning.

These three key areas enable participants to understand businesses and their strategies, tackle and conquer complex issues and learn about business scenarios hands-on. Participants also get the opportunity to be coached and mentored by our faculty, which comprises leading C-level executives who bring their industry expertise into the learning curriculum.

Full-time MBA participants will have the opportunity to apply these concepts during simulations of corporate scenarios and upon returning to their careers post-MBA.

The minimal downtime and real-world applications of a part-time MBA programme makes it the ideal choice for a working professional. If you desire to strike a balance between family, career and a postgraduate degree, you can find out more about the benefits of our Nanyang PMBA programme here.

How do you get interested in business operations? Play a game…

originally published on Financial Times MBA Blog on June 13, 2016

by: Laura Melina Loeven, MBA 2015-16

The last course I have to pass before graduating from Nanyang Business School is a 12-week operations class. As more consumers around the globe demand good quality products at a low-cost, establishing cost-efficient and reliable operations is a fixed part of every corporate agenda to gain an edge over the competition.

Thus, aspiring executives must not only be good strategists, but also need to be prepared for managing the day-to-day operations.

Yet many multinational corporations are criticised for their negligence in operations management, and we read more and more about the difficulties balancing cost and quality. Climate change, depleting natural resources and labour strikes are just some of the challenges faced. But how can you prepare MBA students for a multitude of operational issues in just 12 weeks? How do you engage a bunch of young professionals in a subject that does not sound nearly as sexy as any of the popular strategy design courses, but has an even higher impact on corporate success? The answer is simple: you play a game.

What I saw were just three machines, an order book and a reporting tool that displays real-time analysis of my team’s performance. It all seemed so simple.

Tapping into the competitive spirit of MBA students always works, and soon after firing the starting gun of the Littlefield simulation game, enthusiasm for operations issues increased notably. The class is split into groups and the game is played over the course of one week. The goal of each group is to maximise revenues from customer orders while maintaining optimal machine capacity utilisation. Yet, the only decisions a team can make is to buy or sell machines. The catch? One hour in the Littlefield world represents a full day in real life, so inevitably you end up monitoring the game before breakfast, skip lunch to check the capacity utilisation figures, and wake up at night to make sure operations are still running smoothly.

When typing the key word Littlefield into Google search, I stumbled across a scary YouTube video of a particularly committed student who fully dedicates himself to the game, monitoring the virtual factory floor 24/7. But he drops all other responsibilities, neglects his girlfriend and eventually loses his mind. With this off-putting story in mind, I am hesitant to engage in this exercise and approached the game with scepticism. However, what I saw were just three machines, an order book and a reporting tool that displays real-time analysis of my team’s performance. It all seemed so simple.



For seven days, I logged into the Littlefield game and saw the reporting graphs climbing up and down, and found my team’s ranking moving in sync. Staring at the chart that reflects the capacity utilisation of my factory left me in awe, and even after 10 months of business school I feel helpless. Puzzled by the uncertainties of Littlefield, my team decided to follow the most complacent of all strategies: do nothing. While ignoring our managerial responsibilities seemed to work well for us for a while, we eventually dropped to the bottom of the field and finished the game as the second last team. Still, Littlefield taught me crucial lessons on operations management, and life itself:

  • If you want to go far, go together. Only working with a team leads to success.
  • You are never prepared enough. Making decisions when uncertain is an art you have to master.
  • Even simple set-ups bear risks. Be proactive, bold, and balance a holistic overview and attention to detail when it comes to managing daily challenges.
  • Doing nothing is never a good idea. Observe, analyse, act and react to succeed.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2016. All rights reserved.

Analytics Workshop by E-Commerce Expert from Lazada

A NBS alumni working for Lazada, South-East Asia´s number one e-commerce player,  was invited to give a workshop on business analytics and advanced excel to the current batch of MBA students.

Sunny Jain (NBS MBA Class of 2013) has over 6 years of experience of working for technology companies as well as financial institutions. Over the last 2 years he has been working as a pricing manager with Lazada, who recently made it into news with regards to its acquisition by Alibaba.

Sunny provided thought-provoking insight into the ways of working of e-commerce firms, especially with regards to the key performance indicators and the challenges that various firms face to remain competitive. In the second half of the course, he offered an excel learning session wherein he gave sample case questions based on data populated in an  excel file.

The current MBA students who signed up for the workshop learnt to build pivot tables and simple statistical data models that allowed them to understand e-commerce dynamics and generated insights pertaining to an annual sales report of a hypothetical company. The speaker proved that Excel is indeed a powerful tool and stated that learning to build complex data models catering to various business challenges is indispensable to be well prepared for the corporate world.

The 3-hours sharing session was very insightful and after multiple “aha”-moments,  the participating students left the room with many valuable takeaways from the workshop.  Eventually, the lecturer closed the day with the recommendation to spend 5% of earnings every year to upgrade one´s skills – an interesting tip that the MBA students, who are to graduate soon, will certainly take to heart!

Learning about Financial Derivatives and Risk Management

“Do good work and enjoy the work that you do. Money will follow. Make sure that you don’t work for money alone (As the sole aim!).”

With these words, Professor Tan signed off the Derivatives and Risk  Management course, the last elective module for the MBA students  of 2016 who chose the Banking and Finance Track. Derivatives, much hyped and complex financial instruments, were created with the aim of risk management in finance. However, they are predominantly used for speculation and trading. Hence, Prof Tan asked the class to always wear two hats while analysing derivatives: Are you going to manage risk? Or are you going to trade?

The Derivatives classes were exclusively scheduled on weekends, but as the class size was small and the topic was interesting indeed, all sessions were quite engaging and nobody minded weekend work. The class participants discussed a wide variety of topics ranging from the creation of structure products, various risk mitigation strategies used by corporations, the fall of Lehman brothers and many more, and learnt from a variety of case studies discussed during lectures.

After the last class session, Prof Tan invited his students to a celebratory meal to Spruce at Bukit Timah, which was a fire station prior to it being renovated to a modern day bar/bistro. The trip to Spruce marked the closure of elective classes for the MBA class of 2015/16 and Spruce´s location in beautiful greenery, overlooking a mountain, served to be the ideal getaway to clear the mind after a whole day class . Tower beers were being emptied and a lively discussion on topics such as cultural diversity, returns of VC firms and even the Chinese preference of Tibetan Mastiff dogs ensued. It was time to celebrate.

Before leaving the event, all students cheered Prof Tan for his upcoming Gobi Desert Challenge wherein he and his EMBA team will represent the Nanyang Business School  in a daunting desert challenge over the course of 4 days,  and everyone promised to take the message from Professor Tan to heart: Make sure to give back to society.

Derivatives class
The Derivatives Class Participants celebrate the completion of course work

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.


Farewell to Nanyang-Waseda Double MBA Students

The eight participants of the Nanyang-Waseda Double MBA Program take their first two trimesters on the NTU campus together with the  full-time Nanyang batch.  Upon completing trimester two, the Waseda students head off to complete the third trimester in Tokyo, Japan, at Waseda University while the rest of the full-time cohort will complete their coursework at Nanyang.

This year, Double MBA participants come from a number of countries including Japan, South Korea, America, the Philippines, and Singapore. Many Double MBA students wanted to return home to see their families before the start of the Waseda coursework, so an early farewell party was set for February 17th.

As an exhausting Ultimate frisbee game has been a staple of stress relief for many, everyone started off the day with a quick match in the intense Singapore heat.

In the evening, a huge barbecue with plenty of drinks and food to go around was hosted on the ground floor just outside of the Graduate Hall buildings. Most of the MBA students and staff were in attendance and spent time reminiscing over the past eight months. After everyone had plenty of food, Professor Nilanjan Sen, the Associate Dean of Nanyang Business School, and Sancho Causay, a member of the Nanyang-Waseda Double MBA cohort, gave speeches and cut the various farewell cakes to close out the night.

Many chose to stay around for an afterparty, the last chance to be together as a single student body before the Double MBAs begin to head off for Tokyo.

Having made enough memories to last a lifetime in just the past eight months, it’s safe to say that the Double MBA students will be missed. The cohort has become like family through fun  times, the academic rigor and stress, and the mere time spent together, so everyone is sure to meet again in the future.

group photo

students at the farewell party

Running For A Cause: Joining Terry Fox Run 2013

By Jenie Lago

Participants Before Terry Fox Run Before

My life while taking the MBA at Nanyang is both busy and hectic. It is always nice to find time to take care of one’s health. A short run or walk can make a lot of difference. I can run and walk while immersing myself in the lush greenery of Nanyang’s campus.

How about taking care of our health (by running) while at the same time contributing to a good cause? That’s the reason my peers and I signed up for the Terry Fox Run 2013 at the scenic coastline park, East Coast Parkway.

The Terry Fox Run is the world’s largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research organized by the Canadian association of Singapore in conjunction with Singapore Cancer Society (SCS). The annual event in Singapore is held in honor of Terry Fox, the one legged amputee cancer victim who embarked on a cross-Canada run to raise funds and create awareness for cancer research.

Our group of 10 woke up as early as 6 a.m. as we were too eager to embark on our run which started at 8 a.m. We had chosen the 10 km run instead of the 5 km run as we did not find it challenging enough. It was a great way to shed off the pounds gained during our holiday break while at the same time help raise funds for the Singapore Cancer Society research program. Without prior preparations and practice round, all 10 of us still managed to complete the 10km run. Hooray!

It was a challenging yet fulfilling day. Thanks to the Corporate Social Responsibility Club for organizing the registration and transportation of the participants.




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, a worthy exchange: starting with a glance, but leaving with amazing perspectives ; exchange students from New Zealand and Israel share their experiences.

Authors: Chung Nee Ping Stephanie, Victoria University of Wellington and Rafael Mazuz
Tel Aviv University.

Choosing where to go is one big step for those considering going on an exchange programme. It’s imperative to think carefully while choosing because it’s going to be a few months worth of experiences.

I thought about it and in the end, I chose Singapore for my student exchange because it is located in the very heart of Southeast Asia and it is a known financial hub. I’m really glad with the decision.

The Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is reputed for being one of the top schools in Southeast Asia as well as Asia- the MBA students are from different backgrounds and approximately from 30 countries, I had the opportunity to meet people with diversified cultures and experiences. The courses offered at Nanyang are challenging and practical. The lecturers are knowledgeable, and they offer invaluable information and real life examples in class.

Apart from the studies, I also find Singapore a lively city with lots of things to do such as shopping and entertainment. Even the nights are lovely there. Public transportation is very convenient, everything is accessible and food is quite cheap. I am very proud to be a part of them. A rock star chose Nanyang!

Rafael Mazuz, Tel Aviv University

Due to its unique position as an economic, cultural, and geographic gateway to Asia-Pacific, I chose to study in Singapore for my semester exchange. After doing research on the different universities, it was clear that NTU offered the best Asian business perspective, with courses like Chinese Language, Chinese Classics Applications for Business, as well as International Business Law courses with an emphasis on Asia-Pacific issues. As the semester draws to a close, I am happy to report that all of my expectations were exceeded.

Exchange students at NTU are allowed and even encouraged to utilize the wide range of networking events and extracurricular activities available on campus. I joined the water polo and biathlon teams and trained with them during the semester. In addition to being a great workout, this was an opportunity to make many friends even outside of the business school.

My home university has a very international MBA class, with 21 countries represented. I was very pleased to find that NTU has 27 countries represented, and most of those are from Asian countries, which gave me a chance to expand my understanding and network even more. Additionally, being in the region made it very convenient to travel to countries like China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia, which is definitely an advantage of studying in this part of the world.

My experience this past semester was priceless, both personally and professionally. I strongly encourage others to consider NTU as a worthwhile option for taking a semester abroad.

The Second Trimester @ The NANYANG MBA

Author: Winston Song, China


My first trimester ended with a short but relaxing holiday to Phuket, Thailand. That refreshed me
enough to look forward to the second trimester, where school life is supposed to be more
dynamic, with lots more interactions with my classmates and the courses more functional.


True enough, before my classes officially begin on Thursday, I have already received an email
from our Decision Making and Control course professor, telling us to submit presentation slides
for a case study by Tuesday. Yes, we have to submit our homework before the course even


We were already divided into groups and each group is to prepare a 10 page powerpoint
summary of the said case study. As part of easy facilitation, we are instructed to make use of
the Google Wave communication tool, so that both part-time and full-time students would be
able to effortlessly manage a project without being physically together. (How brilliant!)


Immediately, things were executed; the work was evenly divided amongst my team members,
and using Google Wave, we were able to effectively communicate and work with available
content and resources, making it a live document up until we were ready to submit it.


Just a few hours upon our project submission, our professor replied us with good news! Our
team had been selected to present to the rest of our course mates.


The day came for us to present, and it turned out to be a hot debate. All other groups had come
prepared with their own summary of the case, so they were well-equipped with relevant
questions and opinions, and it was a day of bouncing ideas off each other with our professor
mediating and facilitating the session. Through such a session, we were able to clarify concepts
and gained a deep understanding of the case through different views and insights.


Already, I’m looking forward to more of trimester 2 and cannot wait for more challenging
assignments in the months to come!