Just in time for the first episode of the 6th season of the popular show “Game of Thrones” on April 25, the most passionate fans of the medieval fantasy epic came together in a Nanyang Business School seminar room to watch how the story of knights, queens, kings of the Game of Thrones saga unfolds.
Equipped with chips, soft drinks and the most tasty popcorn available, the class transformed their preferred lecture room into a full fledged movie theatre and anxiously awaited the beginning of the show. A sense of joy, mixed with tense expectation filled the room and the spectators were notably relieved when the first scene´s actors appeared on the screen. To match the atmosphere in the room with the show´s arctic winter scenery, the NBS seminar room was bone-chilling cold and the air conditioner did the best it could to let winter come to Singapore, too.
As per the event rules there was utter silence in the room while the show was running, but great agitation started as soon as the final credits appeared on the screen.
All students thoroughly enjoyed the Game of Thrones event and as the post-show discussions to unravel the happenings of the first episode intensified, the class agreed to meet again in the next week to jointly watch the upcoming episodes. What is going to happen next? What will happen to John Snow. It remains exciting.
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!
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!
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.
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!
After our class, it was certainly a great time for sharing interests.
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.”
By Ramya Krishna, Indian, Nanyang-Waseda Double MBA, Intake 2011
Don’t we all want to be good speakers?
We all want to impress, influence and motivate our teams, clients, each and every person we meet. How, then, do we get there? How do we train and practice?
Like everybody else, I had a plethora of the similar never ending questions.
‘Get- to- the- Point’ is a public speaking workshop by Eric Feng, a well-known public speaking coach for CEO’s in Asia. The workshop was organised by The NANYANG MBA Women In Business Club (WIB) and it was a perfect venue for us to learn some great tips. The event was conducted right after our mid-trimester holidays at Nanyang’s other campus, NTU One-North Campus in Buona Vista, so it was a refreshing start for most of us.
Contrary to what you might expect in sessions like these, we had lots of fun. Yes, absolute fun.
Now, you all wonder why all the learning in the world isn’t the same… Below are a series of photographs captured during the various activities, showcasing on how interactive, and ‘fun’ the workshop was for all of us – we learnt about our capabilities and how to maximize these, with Eric coaching us on how to become effective public speakers.
By Bui Vinh Nguyen (William), Vietnamese, Nanyang MBA Participant, Intake 2011
With Trimester 2 exams completed, it signaled that we were half way through our MBA journey at Nanyang. To celebrate this, we gathered at Tanglin View Condo, a centrally located, beautiful condominium near town area. Our gracious hosts were our classmates from Germany who prepared German style BBQ (we had Korean last time). It was an event too, to share stories, laughter and our plans in the near future after our MBA.
By Bui Vinh Nguyen (William), Vietnamese, Nanyang MBA Participant, Intake 2011
Last February, we had a gathering at a beautiful condominium in the western part of Singapore, Bukit Batok, to celebrate the Chinese New Year or CNY, the most important event for among the Chinese. Daniel Ho, a Chinese Singaporean, opened his wonderful home to us, non-Chinese MBA classmates, to learn more about CNY. My classmates were very excited about it because they all wanted to experience a new and different culture. Our ever affable host, Daniel, shared his impressive knowledge about Chinese snacks, served during CNY.
When we look at the traditional career path and aspiration of an MBA holder, it is to move into high paying lucrative careers such as consulting, banking and finance, marketing and so on. But lately, there has been a rising interest in another industry, a relatively new industry and that is, social ventures or enterprises.
Unlike charities, the focus of social ventures is not to provide hand outs, but with a combination of business acumen, social consciousness and some creativity. Social ventures seek to improve the lives of the less fortunate in a sustainable manner.
With that in mind, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Club of The NANYANG MBA invited Ms Thilma Komaling Banyuputro, a social enterprise development consultant who has given up her successful career in petroleum industry to pursue her life calling – to share some of her experiences working for a social venture. The event was an intimate setting for an exchange of life-changing experiences and ideas among 10 like-minded peers.
What I have noticed is most people working in the social venture do not set out planning to work for a social venture, but they are moved by a certain event in their lives which compels them to do so. For Thilma, the turning point was the series of earthquakes in Aceh. After seeing the disasters and the tragedies on the news, she realized it is her life’s calling to help the less fortunate in any manner that she could.
As one of our fellow Nanyang MBA peer, Indonesian Wahyu Widianti shared her realization from the talk: “Follow your heart and your passion. The energy coming from the passion is very powerful for you to do many great things for the community.” And this was what Thilma actually did – being moved by her passion to help those who are less fortunate and in need.
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 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 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.
By: Akhil Mehta, Indian, Nanyang MBA participant, Intake 2011
As an active club, we regularly organize events for our members and this time, we wanted to get into the groove and prepare for the next stage of our lives – post MBA careers. Thus, our Banking and Finance Club invited veteran recruitment consultant and career coach, Ms Anita Sim, Executive Director at Euro Group – a leading top tier organization providing services in the property development, marketing and search business areas, to give club members a deeper insight of the various career tracks in the said domain. Dubbed as an interactive “Career Coaching” session, the club members actively posed questions to Ms Sim who willingly engaged us and provided deeper insights into different career streams in the banking and finance sector. Ms Sim presented a wide perspective on the emerging trends in the economy and recruitment space for aspiring banking and finance professionals like us.
After the talk, each club member and attendee had the opportunity to have a brief yet intense one-on-one discussion with coach Anita, where she provided individual feedback in terms of the suggested career path based on prior work experience, education background and areas of interest. This ‘one on one coaching’ was the highlight of the event. All the attendees gained new perspectives and insights on their career paths, and advise on how to improve on strengths, and work on weaknesses. A couple of the attendees mentioned that it was a meaningful session as we have understood clearly the future career path we wish to pursue, and the challenges we are about to face as we move along after completing the MBA programme.