Category Archives: The NANYANG MBA

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.





End-of-Midterms Celebration

By Bodi Yuhico, Philippines

Most of us from the Nanyang MBA Class of 2012-2013 completed our final midterm test one Sunday morning. When the clock struck 12 noon, it was a symbolic moment for the entire cohort for three reasons:

1)     The end of the midterm exams

2)     The end of the first half of Trimester 1

3)     The beginning of the ExCo’s first social activity for the batch!

Filled with much gusto and excitement, our ragged group of some 50 MBA participants moved from LT27A to our own place, The NANYANG MBA lounge. There were a lot of foods: from sushi to sandwiches to pastries. As we entered the lounge, we noticed not only food, but also the projector was set up with the newly bought karaoke (that famous Japanese contribution for “sing-along” ) machine.








To kick things off on the right mood, Andy Kim, President of the Nanyang MBA Student Executive Council, thanked everyone for coming, and then proceeded to serenade the batch with his rendition of ‘Uptown Girl’. Not bad for a singing prexy!







We also wished and sang happy birthday songs to the September celebrants: Indonesian Satria Krisnandi, Peter Ho, Indian Sunny Arora, and Canadian Jake Hason. Sadly, the lovely French Florence Roncalez wasn’t able to join!







And so, with all that done, it was time to mingle! With Filipino John Rae facilitating the karaoke machine with aspiring singers, the rest of the group of full-timers and part-timers spent time  socializing.

It was indeed the end of the first half of the trimester, and for many participants,  it felt it went by so fast. It ended on a day usually reserved for rest(Sunday), a day typically considered in some cultures as the end of the week, and in some cultures as the start of the week. And that, in essence, was what the End of Midterms Celebration symbolized: the end of the midterms and the first half of the semester, and yet the start of many other new firsts.

Congratulations to a job well done to everyone in the cohort making the ExCo’s first social activity a success! And looking forward to more!

Taking on Singapore’s famous chilli & black pepper crabs – an experience to remember!


by Teo Eng Soon, Singaporean, Intake Class of 2012

One weekend evening in August, students from the Nanyang MBA made their way to Red House Seafood Restaurant at East Coast Park, one of Singapore’s popular places for a great feast. For some, it was the first time trying Singaporean style seafood. For the rest, it was a time for the class to catch up with one another in spite of our busy schedule.









That’s me in the photo, ready to start with a pair of chopsticks.

The set dinner consisted of several dishes such as drunken prawn (yes!), sweet and sour fish fillet and more. But the highlight of the night was the chilli and black pepper crabs- Singapore is famous for these 2 ways of preparing crabs (the crabs are from Sri Lanka). Some of our classmates find it spicy , but very tasty- some really have to adjust their taste buds, but no one gave up on this ‘exotic’ dish! You cannot say you have been in Singapore and have not tasted this wonderfully delicious dish.

The tricky part of eating crabs was to open the shell. Getting our hands ‘dirty’ with the gravy sauce, was inevitable. The reward was the tender and full flavour of crab meat that lies within the solid, hard shell.

An important precaution to note is when you break open the shells, is to be wary of the other people sitting on other tables around us. The gravy (chilli sauce) can splash far enough to “hit” the clothes of the rest, making them “casualties” in the process. But that’s the fun part of it.











Chilli crabs with fried buns. Love it.                                                 Thumbs up!

The dinner ended with a much healthier choice- a platter of tropical fruits. Special thanks to our classmate Singaporean Josephine, for hosting the dinner and the rest who have helped in one way or another to welcome our international friends!

Burp- Nothing like a good meal in the eastern side of Singapore!

Getting on board The NANYANG MBA – our first week


By Shilpa Ramesh Vaswani, Indian, Nanyang MBA participant, Intake 2012

Geared up for the first day as an MBA student in one of the most prestigious universities of Asia, I headed to the commencement of the orientation program or on-boarding as it is now called! I began to introduce myself as a citizen of India, who actually grew up in Cameroon, Africa and obtained my bachelor’s degree from Miami, Florida, with a multi-faceted experience in banking, retail and non-profit. I realized that I was simply a drop in the ocean of diversity that engulfed my batch of 2012-2013. My colleagues represented 22 countries in five different continents, with extensively rich profiles ranging from those of software engineers, pharmacists, a dentist (yes! But an entrepreneur too!), military and government officials, lawyer, infrastructural engineers, accountants, entrepreneurs, stock traders, mechanical and design engineers, financial analysts, marketing executives, consultants –  you name it! My excitement levels just increased ten-fold. The informal networking was such a great start to our new world, a world that would comprise of meaningful and productive cross-disciplinary learning from amongst the classmates, which in essence, is crucial for successful business leaders.

By the end of the first day, most of us had familiarized ourselves to the extensively large (I was told it was 200 hectares!) and maze-like campus and thankfully the informal networking paved way for friends and acquaintances alike. The next few days of orientation entailed a series of activities and workshops. Day 2 was an offsite trip to Labrador Park’s City Beach Resort at Port Road,  where a group of professionals arranged indoor and outdoor team-building games and activities- that comprise the adventure part of the program. There were memory games, team races that entailed detecting hidden clues, adventurous blindfold games and a creative master chef challenge (remember those popular TV reality shows!) which infused globally infused gourmet creativity.


That’s me on the right most photo! With the rest of my MBA cohort

The following week started off with briefings into the academic program and the exciting opportunities we are offered including student exchange programs, business study missions, extracurricular student clubs and even internship and job search assistance. There was even a briefing by the existing student committee members who spoke of how their involvement in student clubs has enriched their experience and opened the gateway to a multitude of networking opportunities.  Comprehensive workshops were conducted on several key areas including communication and presentation; learning style and personality analysis; organizational simulation of a manufacturing unit; case analysis and discussions; networking and adapting to business practices in different countries; and finally speed reading, which made an amazing difference from 300 to almost a 1000 words per minute. The last day of the orientation included cross-cultural presentations by our class of, depicting an insight into the cultural and business practices in our countriesof origin. There were cultural dances, skits, entertaining videos, informational facts, melodious songs and even regional food and liquor tasting that complemented the exercise. The last bit of the orientation was the icing on the cake with an off-site visit to the Singapore City Gallery, which shows how urban planning shaped Singapore, followed by a trip to the Gardens by the Bay,the newest tourist attraction comprised of manmade super structures of beautiful gardens,  and Marine Gardens Drive. Singapore City Gallery was indeed mesmerizing. It consisted of a phenomenal scale model of the entire city including every nook and corner depicting the expertise involved in the infrastructural and contingency planning in Singapore. The Gardens by the Bay consisted of indigenous foliage and a flamboyant variety of flowers in addition to the artificial solar power trees.


Some of the excursions we went to as part of our exploration of the city post -orientation program included visits to the Hawker Street – a mélange of cosmo-Asian influenced Singaporean cuisine; ice skating at Jurong Cube, a hip mall for the youth; Café Azzura at Sentosa Island; an Irish Café at Bras Basah; a sea-food dinner at the East Coast Park organized by the Singaporean students and the Business School; and Clarke Quay, the famous landmark known for food and entertainment- an array of different types of restaurants and social sites lining up the Singapore river, a colorful and zealous atmosphere with globally infused stalls.

Photos with my new peers at the Irish Pub at Bras Basah

My first week at the Nanyang Business School is only an introductory insight to the wonderful world of knowledge, networking and fun which will  probably rank among the best experience of my life so far. Singapore feels like the perfect blend of the east and the west. The sunshine induces a warm and welcoming feeling into a world of perfection. Nanyang, with its admirable campus, multicultural student body, esteemed faculty, extracurricular involvement and brilliant staff that constantly aim to buttress the students’ development into successful individuals, –I am definitely looking forward to more as I start my MBA classes the following week.


 That’s me making a point during the on boarding sessions!

Our initial weeks at Nanyang, improving English skills with new friends – what a great start!

By Nguyen Truong, Vietnamese and Yeh Ming-min, Taiwanese, with contributions from the rest of the Intensive English Class participants.

Our first impression about this course must be the friendliness of our classmates, professor, and MBA Office staff. Everyone smiles to welcome new students and considers others as close friends at the very beginning. Although below is our very first picture before the class (there were 18 of us, coming from 10 countries), we seem to know each other for a very long time.

Intensive English Class 2012 - Nanyang MBA

After that, Ms. Catherine, our professor, walked with us around Nanyang Business School (NBS), to introduce the school and for us to get familiar with the location. It was a long walk, going through many doors and stairs. The Nanyang campus is huge – we were told that the campus has a land area of 200 hectares and lots of greeneries!  With every door we go through, our classmates were waiting and kept doors open for others. It was so great for the first day!

Ms. Catherine is probably one of the nicest professors we have ever known. She prepared the course carefully that all we needed to do was just to relax and enjoy the class. Homework was really fun, too! We watched “Mind your language!” to learn about the possible dangers when  English is not used properly! Besides the reading and media assisting self-learning, the case studies were excellent chances for us to work together and understand our classmates.

Moreover, each week, we were given one case study to strengthen our analytical capabilities and business presentation skills. We believe that this was a great opportunity for all of us to brush up our English language skills as well as get to know each other before the real journey begins. Honestly, we learned a lot from this class!

Intensive English Class 2012
Taking a break while doing a case study with teammates from (left to right) Rita from China, Nguyen-that’s me! (Vietnam), Eric from Taiwan and Iwai from Japan
Another case study group - peers from China and Thailand
Another case study group - peers from China and Thailand

After our class, it was certainly a great time for sharing interests.

On weekends, the class would often meet for entertainment…
On weekends, the class would often meet for entertainment…


…at the Sky Lounge of the now famous Marina Bay Sands, Singapore (Me - Mimi or Ming-Min, in black, middle row,  3rd from left!)
…at the Sky Lounge of the famous Marina Bay Sands, Singapore (Me - Mimi or Ming-Min, in black, middle row, 3rd from left!)


…going to the bar to chill out…
…going to the bar to chill out…
…enjoying life with family…
…enjoying life with family…
…hanging around together with new friends…
…hanging around together with new friends…


…and doing what most gentlemen do…
…and doing what most gentlemen do…

Zhang Rui, Chinese, reminisces the experience. “Three weeks’ time is just like a blink of an eye. I have not been able to go around the whole campus even once, but I will say goodbye to our dearest Catherine, our intensive English class lecturer this coming Friday. I still remembered the first day I met our guys (the incoming cohort attending this preparatory English language class) in front of the MBA Office. I saw so many fresh faces, each with great joy and excitement for the coming new life in this beautiful green campus. I also remembered the first big smile from Catherine, a smile which melted all the strangeness between us. From that day on, we guys spent so many unforgettable moments together. We learnt how to do a professional presentation, we discussed for hours, how to do an analysis of a business case- we made progress every time we accepted a new challenge and we cheered for everyone’s improvement. Most happily, we received such precious friendship from each other. We also left our footprint on the Marina Bay Sands, that famous new integrated resort in SIngapore which is presently a main tourist attraction. Together, we enjoyed cuisine from around the world- yes in this food paradise called Singapore.”

Now, it is the last week of this course. Time passes so fast, especially when we are happy. Each of us actually gained many experiences and improved significantly in these two weeks. Waiting ahead is not only another  learning week or the assessment but also the last day of this program , and everything here become sweet memories about our first days at Nanyang… Zhang further adds, “when I look back to all I experienced, all I did and all I got in the past three weeks, I want to say “thank you” to our MBA programme, to Ms Catherine Cheng and to all our guys (my MBA peers). Thanks for the special arrangement of the MBA programme, I have this opportunity to come one month earlier to join the Intensive English Course. Thanks to Catherine, I have learnt so much from her well-designed course and her well-prepared learning materials. Thanks to our guys, with you, I feel so great now and raring to start my MBA journey at Nanyang next week.”

Start of my MBA journey – reflections on The NANYANG MBA Orientation Week

By: Zhou Dan, Chinese, Nanyang MBA Participant, Intake 2011

Arriving a month early in Nanyang prior to the MBA course for my intensive English class, I met for the first time  some of my future MBA classmates –they come from all over the world – from Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Thailand, Taiwan Vietnam and from my own country, China. Then during our MBA orientation, the week before our actual classes started, I met more people coming from more countries like Bulgaria, Germany, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Switzerland and the USA. Imagine – to be among this very diverse talented and passionate group of individuals of 18 nationalities (and looking forward to meeting more peers from other parts of world from the previous batch, which at some point we will meet in school), I was pretty excited to start my MBA program. It will be a 16-month journey of life-long learning which I am sure I will certainly be grateful of. Orientation week was just the start of this journey.

Our weeklong orientation was held mostly in school and it was divided into several parts which were about enhancing our skills and preparing us for the MBA program – Workshops included networking, case analysis, presentation skills, speed reading, learning style, and so on, which are essential in our MBA studies. It was the first time for most of us to really feel what MBA life is like through lectures, discussions and group work activities. Every day, from morning until early evening, we had intensive but enlightening and fun days. For me, this one week gave me a peek into a what is in store for me – a demanding yet exciting and fulfilling MBA life.

Continue reading Start of my MBA journey – reflections on The NANYANG MBA Orientation Week

Taking time off in Bintan beach, Indonesia – Nanyang MBA annual class trip

by Andrew Humphreys, American, Student Ex-Co VP Social (2010-2011)

During the term break, some 60 of us, Nanyang MBA participants, and our friends made a weekend trip to Bintan Lagoon Resort in Indonesia, one of the resorts located on Indonesia’s largest, and most enchanting Riau islands in the South China sea – less than an hour ferry ride from bustling Singapore, for our annual class trip – to unwind, enjoy the company of classmates and friends. The trip also serves as a farewell celebration for fellow classmates as several attend exchange programs across the globe during their 4th term. During these 3 days, we engaged in various sports activities like volleyball, soccer, banana boating, jet skiing, all terrain vehicle (ATV) riding, swimming, and tree climbing which everyone enjoyed very much.

“The class trip was enjoyable. It was a great opportunity for me to interact with my classmates,” Christine Hum remarks. Christine is one of our exchange students from Cornell Johnson School.

Christine (first from left) with her Nanyang MBA peers, taking a break from driving the ATV.

What a good way, then, to end three days of having fun? Of course – to party and have a blast, which is exactly what we did. We had a private beach party with games, prizes and we danced the night away at the local nightclub.

Cheers! – (MBA classmates from left to right) David, Amalia, Irfan, and Gabriel with his wife Maria (2nd from right).

It was a great 3 days full of memories that surely will last a lifetime. I hope this type of event will become a legacy that incoming cohorts will also do, and passed on from one class to the next class. A well-deserved break, indeed.

An ‘English’ Breakfast to start the MBA journey – 18 attend Intensive English Class.

by: MBA Office

During an early July morning  ,  a group of 18 MBA participants from the new intake gathered for an “English breakfast’ – not really a typical English breakfast, but a yummy McDonald’s breakfast before they head out for  their Intensive English Class, part of the Pre –Term program.  Coming from China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Italy, Mexico, Vietnam, and Indonesia, the first ‘official function’ together  allowed them to warm up to each other  and get to know each other – and also get to meet face to face the MBA Office staff whom they have been communicating prior to their arrival in Singapore.  Here are some snippets to share: 

A group photo for early birds who grabbed breakfast with us!

Students enjoying a fun time getting to know each other.

Vida (third from left, wearing a very nice hat that we all loved) from Zhuhai City, China,  was ecstatic to meet people from different nations, and to have an eclectic experience of culture and gastronomy, “At Nanyang, you can not only meet people from other countries and get to eat food with mixed flavours (am looking forward to such experience) , but also you can learn and experience a diverse set of cultures. The most often used question for people you first meet in Singapore, especially in class, is ‘Where are you originally from?’ Need I say more?”

Italian student, Giuseppe (in red shirt, first from left), shared with us how he felt the warm welcome by his peers when he first arrived at the Graduate Hall (this is where most MBA students stay, located in the nice green campus).  “My fellow Nanyang MBA participants  who arrived earlier , certainly welcomed me… they helped me to organize my stuff and gave me my ‘first orientation’ about Nanyang … how to move around this huge campus of 200 hectares (!). I immediately felt at home with their help!”

After the breakfast, we all took a short walk to the English Class, where the conversations of their ‘first time in Singapore’ experience continues –

Some of the  MBA Office staff (in the first photo, standing – from left, Rachel, Yuni and Nick) spending time with the group.

As the academic year has yet to commence, the students are looking forward to an exciting year, meeting   and learning with friends and exchanging knowledge . As Giuseppe puts it, “At Nanyang, you will meet friends from all over the world; together, you will enjoy the countless facilities of the campus and vibrant nightlife of the dragon city,  Singapore. But most important, you get to experience with them, “ The NANYANG MBA experience.”