Tag Archives: Clubs

Understanding the financial and banking industry

Talk organized by Banking and Finance (B&F) Club

By Akhil Mehta and Raghav Sharma, Indians, Nanyang MBA Participants, Intake 2011


The 2011-2012 Banking & Finance Club kicked off its first event in the last quarter of 2011 with a seminar on an overview of the Banking industry.

As it was a Tuesday night, and to make it more apt for our topic in ‘banking’, we had the event held right in the middle of the financial district of Singapore, Raffles Place, at a cozy coffee shop.  Ms. Anita Sim, the Executive Director of Euro Group, a leading top tier organization providing services in the property development, marketing and search business areas was the guest speaker for the day.  A dynamic and highly experienced industry veteran, Ms. Sim gave the fourteen (14) club members who attended a crash course on the various aspects of the banking industry, and the career choices available.

Throughout the course of the night, Ms Sim touched on many aspects of the banking industry, sparing no efforts to explain acronyms, warned us of pitfalls and shared precious insights on how to get a foot in the door in this buoyant industry. Aware that some of us have no prior experience in this field, Ms. Sim was thorough yet concise to bring her points across, to let us understand the job nature of various positions, and which of the top banks in the field to look for in different areas.

After the short but sweet session, all of us quickly introduced ourselves to Ms Sim so that she can know each of us better and give more tailored advice individually.

It was a wonderful and eye-opening experience for most of us as we look forward to meet Ms. Sim in the near future for more tips and insights to prepare us in our job search, and getting our dream jobs in the industry.

About The Banking and Finance (B&F) Club: The B&F Club serves its members to equip them with the necessary information to make informed decisions to pursue a career in this industry. It aspires to bring updated information about this ever changing landscape of the industry and needs of future financial professionals to ensure that its members will have the necessary skills to compete. For more information about the club, click here.

“The event was very helpful as we not only talked about various aspects of Investment Banking and Asset Management industry but also discussed the implications of current economic scenario. Ms Sim also took time to discuss in brief, the basic profile of each member, which we found very useful when we search for jobs soon.”  – Raghav Sharma, one of the authors, 3rd from left, together with his classmates from Mexico (Manuel), Japan (Harutaka-san), and India (Kabeer) [left to right], during the pre-term activities of The NANYANG MBA.

Consulting as a Profession – Are you up for it?

Derrick Tee, Malaysian, The NANYANG MBA Participant, Intake 2011

It has been a while yet the date, 16th December 2011, still lingers in my head. It was on that day that I officially became a ‘full time’ MBA candidate in Nanyang Business School. I was a part time MBA participant when I started my MBA studies, but decided to switch to full time due to various reasons, specifically to complete the programme faster. I have taken the plunge to leave my current employer and focus on my business studies.

Derrick_Tee As I was considering to make a career in management consulting,  I attended the talk ‘Consulting as a Profession’ by Right Management, global leader in talent and career management workforce solutions within ManpowerGroup – and the talk came at a better time. Frank Ribuot the Asia Pacific Senior Vice President for Right Management was the guest speaker for the day. Many of us in the 2011 cohort aspire to make a career in the consulting industry. However, according to Frank, “the glamour, the hype and most importantly, the hard work that comes with it may not be everyone’s cup of tea.” Continue reading Consulting as a Profession – Are you up for it?

Visiting nature – Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Club goes biking in Pulau Ubin

by Eric Oandasan, Filipino, CSR Club Co-Chair, Nanyang MBA participant, Intake 2011

A few months into the program, being stuck inside the air-conditioned, sometimes freezing confines of the classroom, can sure take its toll on our ‘sanity’. Offering a refreshing escape from the city, the CSR Club held its first event at Pulau Ubin, an island off Singapore’s main island, one of the few reserved spots in Singapore untouched by urban development. Already a popular tourist destination, the small island brought 15 of us, mostly city-dwellers, to a brief experience back to nature. Coming from various cultural backgrounds, from Europe to Asia, and having experienced nature treks in our own countries, we were looking forward to this common yet different experience from our rather predictable city life.

One of the many mangroves dotting Pulau Ubin

Continue reading Visiting nature – Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Club goes biking in Pulau Ubin

Women in Business Club launched – a first in Nanyang Business School

by Clarie Kwa, Singaporean, Co-chair of WIB club and Current Nanyang MBA Participant, Intake 2011

Last  September, The NANYANG MBA Women in Business (WIB) club was launched at the Nanyang Business School’s  One-North campus in Buona Vista, located near the town area. Twenty (20)  women – MBA students and friends, attended the inauguration of this first women-centric club with the theme centered on ‘Carpe Diem’, a popular Latin phrase translated as ‘to seize the day’.

Being the founding members, we were extremely privileged to have the support of not just the school, but also our networks. Dr Siri Chutikamoltham, Senior Teaching Fellow and Director for Banking and Finance of Nanyang Business School,  gave us the honor of giving the welcome speech. Our keynote speakers were corporate executives:  Ms Cheong Pik May, Group Director of Integrated Healthcare Information Systems, and Mr. Soon Loo, CEO and President for Elevation Group and Director for Indiabulls Property Management Trustee Pte Ltd (IPIT).

As the event progressed, the speakers made it clear that a support system would be vital. As Dr Siri put it very aptly, the WIB club is a forum for sharing and support. Girlfriends can always be relied on. Pik May recommended having a good team throughout one’s career. She continued to propose the importance of family and marriage. In fact, marriage can be a source of stability for one working in a competitive working environment.  Pik May made a clear distinction between balancing both roles equally and juggling these roles and responsibilities. Many mistook a work-life balance as an equilibrium in which both aspects are in equal proportions. However, it is really a juggling act where neither aspect should be allowed to fall through.

It was a very fruitful evening for everyone. We learned about the challenges and joys of being a woman- balancing studies and personal/family life. As Minyu, one of our Singaporean classmates, reflects, “I think the common challenge is time management. It is sometimes tiring to juggle between studies and work, and also leaving some time for our family and friends. Personally, I think it is important to get some ‘alone’ time so that we take time off to reflect and refocus and prioritize items which are important and close to our hearts. Of course, there is also the warmth and help from family, friends and company that makes these challenges less taunting and more manageable.” Apart from discoveries and reflections that Minyu took away that night, she also made meaningful network among her classmates and the speakers, “The WIB inauguration was a great start for the first women club in The NANYANG MBA! During this event, I got to meet more female students who are keen to make a difference to their own lives and others. The speakers also shared very interesting self experiences and how they have made it thus far. It definitely motivated me to be an inspiration to another one day. In short, it was a very fulfilling night!”

The event concluded with a toast in the splendor of “Yum Seng” (a Chinese tradition of toasting). New friendships were formed. Contacts were exchanged. Most importantly, everyone went home, with something close to their heart to muse.

Nurturing Women Leaders for the Future

Financial Women’s Association – NTU Mentorship Program

By: Alejandra Mejia, Colombian, Nanyang MBA participant, Intake 2010

Recently, the Finance Women Association of Singapore or FWA , together with NTU, established  a mentorship program to women currently studying in NTU, to help shape and start their careers in the financial industry, specially taking into account the time requirements and demands of having a very successful job, while  looking after their family and children. FWA provides a valuable platform to network with other experienced women professionals in the financial industry in Singapore and  the opportunity to listen and meet some of the admirable women in the finance industry, who are balancing the demands of their work and family time.

NTU-FWA, in collaboration of FWA, Nanyang Business School (NBS) Undergraduate Program and the Banking and Finance Club of The NANYANG MBA, launched its mentorship program in September at a coffee dessert bar located in Orchard area where the bustling shopping district of Singapore is located. Nearly 50 students from the Nanyang Business School’s undergraduate and MBA students had the chance to meet with members of FWA from companies like Walton International, HSBC and Standard Chartered.

Being a woman is already a great challenge – juggling our roles as students, mothers, wives and career women and striving to make a difference in the lives of the people who matter most. From the talk cum networking session, I realized that, “regardless of who we are and where we come from – women from foreign countries or women wanting to change careers or start anew, we all face a great incertitude when the end of our studies arrives. We are overwhelmed about all the things we are told to do to start our careers, but the truth is, a more certain success is guaranteed when we fix ourselves a target. Somehow,  we need a counselor from the industry to help us fix this target.” This was how the mentorship program was conceived — to help women like us, who are in school and looking into the future of building our respective careers, to trace our path, coherent with our interest, strengths and possibilities.

Continue reading Nurturing Women Leaders for the Future

Cheers! Santé! – Wine Appreciation Club

By Laurent Cambon, Current MBA Student, and Mathieu François, Graduating Class of 2011.

In a very diverse MBA class, it is inevitable we get exposed to the richness of culture and gustatory delights of the countries represented. So, two of us from France started the Wine Appreciation Club to share a common, yet very important part of our culture – Wines. I have always been passionate about food and wines. To me, they are integral components of that which we consider French culture. Nearly all the 22 regions of France produce their own wines, each of which were developed to match the region’s cuisine. “If I have to choose wine according to conventional wisdom, I would opt for a very famous wine like Romanée-Conti from Bourgogne. But I prefer to answer based on my personal feelings. I have family roots in the South of France. So, each time I appreciate a Châteauneuf-du-pape, many memories and sensations from this region come to my mind, especially when I was a child. To be more specific, Château Mont-redon is certainly one of the best from this Côtes-du-rhône category,” adds by my co-initiator, Mathieu. This diversity of wines contributes invariably to the richness of French culture.

In Singapore, wines are just aplenty and you can get them easily- in groceries, or wine depots, to shopping malls, to even convenience stores available 24 hours. And the variety is just really great- coming from all the wine producing countries, including the best wine producer – France, of course.

The Wine Appreciation Club was set up with the aim of extending our passion for wines to other MBA students. Some of the initiatives of the Club include helping students identify the type of wines they already appreciate, introducing them to new wines, and inviting them to wine tasting processes that would enable them to appreciate wines better.

Sessions were not complete without food – we paired whites, reds and ‘bubbly’ or champagnes with food. Surely, members of the club, both the new and seasoned ones, took pleasure in every session in the appreciation of wine.

Even though Wine Tasting is not a course in the MBA curriculum, we believe that it would serve as a complementary component in the life of an MBA student, who will soon be actively engaged in business dinners or in social gatherings. We hope to see this club continue in the new academic year.

Our first event – Wine Appreciation-White Wines, attracted 14 wine lovers, curious souls and converts.

Wine Appreciation - White Wines

Wine Appreciation: White Wines

The Club’s second event  – Wine Appreciation-Red Wines; Me (Laurent, first from left, in green) and Mathieu (2ndfrom right, last row) together with our peers
Wine Appreciation: Red Wines

Wine Appreciation: Red Wines

And as a last hurrah to end T3 (and for some of us in the NANYANG-WASEDA Program who graduated recently in July), we had a special guest in our Champagnes session, which made the session more delightful – our ‘unofficial’ mascot.

Wine Appreciation: Champagnes

Stand and Deliver* – Public Speaking Club in Action

Author: John Spencer, Public Speaking Club, The NANYANG MBA student 2011.

In one of the events organized by our Public Speaking Club, a group of students passionate about speaking in public, we invited twenty of our peers to present for 10 to 15 minutes on any topic.  The only hard and fast rule: they must feel passionate about the subject matter!  Brazenly, six (6) stood up and took the challenge.

Greg extemporaneously speaking about 'customer service'.

Greg extemporaneously speaking about ‘customer service’.

First up was Greg, who hails from Canada and is our current Student ExCo President.  A person who undeniably loves to speak in public, Greg ‘educated’ an eager audience on customer service.  Among others, he elaborated on the important questions of ‘What is good customer service?’ and ‘How best to achieve good customer service?’

Xevi pasionately talks about his travel to Vietnam and Cambodia

Xevi passionately talks about his travel to Vietnam and Cambodia.

Next was Xevi, an outspoken fellow classmate from Catalan (in Spain!), who entertained with a slideshow about his favorite ever holiday: a journey through southern Vietnam which he took with a friend several years ago.  Landing in Ho Chi Minh City, it was followed by numerous adventures including a boat ride that took him across the border to Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  Xevi promised to return at a later date and continue the story.

Rita getting animated about sharing what life is like at 49B Nanyang Valley

Rita getting animated about sharing what life is like at 49B Nanyang Valley.

Third was Shanghai native Rita, another candid speaker of the group, who amused the audience with revealing insights into what life is like at 49B Nanyang Valley – an on-campus residence where she shares with six of our classmates.  Rita delivered her talk under the watchful eye of one of her flat-mates, Sherrill, who listened intently and ready to ‘pounce’, in case she divulged more information than what was deemed acceptable. It was mirthful, yet well-delivered.

Reynold shares surprising information about Chinese entrepreneurs.

Reynold shares surprising information about Chinese entrepreneurs.

Reynold, our gregarious Student Exco EVP from Jingzhou, a famous cultural city in South China, then enlightened the room with a presentation showcasing several Chinese internet entrepreneurs (he himself is an aspiring entrepreneur!).  What these entrepreneurs have in common, we learned, is that they are relatively unknown outside of China, yet have achieved tremendous domestic success through seemingly quite simplistic business models, albeit executed at scale.

Vincent at the end of his presentation - 80 slides in less than 15 minutes!

Vincent at the end of his presentation – 80 slides in less than 15 minutes!

Fifth was sociable Malaysian Vincent, who commenced by promising to break all the conventions of good presentations in his account of a recent holiday to Cambodia and Vietnam.  He proceeded to do his presentation with brilliantly comic effect, and notably managed to successfully deliver more than 80 slides in less than 15 minutes.  All this, whilst perfectly synchronizing his spoken words to his graphics.

Mandar on his thought-provoking oratory on 'nothing'

Mandar in his thought-provoking oratory on ‘nothing’

To round off the event, Mandar from India, a student ExCo member, who also loves a good play of words, challenged the deep-thinkers in the room with a thought-provoking and entertaining oratory on ‘nothing’.  He touched on numerous perspectives of this abstract concept, starting with the grammatical, continuing with the philosophical – both east and west – and ending with the scientific – namely mathematics and physics.

And that concluded what proved to be an enjoyable event for all the attendees – of course, light snacks were served too!

The Public Speaking club aims to provide experiences to enable club members become more effective speakers.  It is composed of 30 like-minded individuals who are passionate of the craft, or just want to become more effective and better speakers. Our classmates join the club in activities that will challenge the mind, push themselves beyond the boundaries of confidence in speaking in public, and engage an eager audience into an entertaining yet filled with learning play of words.

*Title is borrowed from a movie in the late 1980’s, bearing the same title. 

The CSR Asia Forum on Sustainability Disclosure 2011

Author: Mandar Gori, Vice President (Sustainability), Student Executive Committee, The Nanyang MBA

As the Student Executive Committee member representing the CSR and other clubs at The Nanyang MBA, I have been associated with the CSR and sustainability related activities for the past 8 months. The CSR Asia Forum on Sustainability Disclosure 2011 introduced me to this very interesting topic of sustainability reporting.

I truly believe that the event was very well organized by CSR Asia.

CSR Asia is a provider of information, training, research and consultancy services on sustainable business practices in Asia. I’m proud that The Nanyang Business School is actually the academic partner for The CSR Asia Forum.

The welcome address was given by Jenny Costelloe, Director at CSR Asia, and who is also an alumnus of The Nanyang MBA. The presentation by Simon Lord on a business case on sustainability reporting at his company New Britain Palm Oil was very informational.

Six different workshops were arranged for the second half of the day out of which I could attend the one on GRI – The international reporting framework by Sean Gilbert from Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). I know that Dr. Patricia Tan, our school’s Associate Professor in Accounting also shared her insights into recent developments in sustainability reporting, trying to raise awareness of this new international trend as well as to promote such practice in Singapore.

This event has definitely opened my eyes to the future of public reporting of sustainability initiatives in the corporate world and its importance to the business. Cheers and congratulations to the CSR Asia team for such a successful event!

Scoring in the 2nd Asian MBA Football Cup

Author: Esmond Yan, MBA Student

Looking at this photograph will probably always succeed in making me smile. After all, we made it to the semi-finals as a team this year!

HKUST hosted other football teams from INSEAD, CEIBS, HKU, HKCU in this rough but thoroughly enjoyable one-day tournament. Our team was drawn in a group with HKUST Team 2, HKUST Alumni and HKU where our very own Italian stallion Henri Allegra scored 2 goals to take us into the semi-finals.

However, having the smallest team of only 9 players took its toll on us. Henri, Alexander, Gabriel, Andrew, Vincent, Benny, John and Rob – we all just had each other to lean on against some very skilled players. We really were at a disadvantage.

We lost to match the eventual champions, INSEAD. Still, we don’t walk away from this experience disheartened. We’re far from that, actually. The team showed great sportsmanship despite injuries and the rain. There really wasn’t room for defeat anyway, because at the after-party, everyone felt like a winner. We went to Republic, a posh club in Hong Kong’s Lan Kwai Fung district, a generous treat by the host!

After all that hard work and good play, we were sore everywhere by the end of the trip. We still find the experience worth it though. It was great fun to compete and at the same time, we got to network with other MBA students of different nationalities.

The best part was getting to bond with each other and functioning as a team. I really feel like we did win a great prize and we’re walking away with it. This prize, to me, is invaluable. This event led me to meeting some great individuals indeed, and I relished every step of the way.

We definitely scored, if you ask me.

The first Singapore MBA Olympics for a cause- an experience to remember and treasure

Authors: Jaiganesh Pasupathy, Snigdha Nandan Co-Chairpersons, The Nanyang MBA CSR Club, Mandar Gori, VP Sustainability, The Nanyang  MBA Student EXCO

From its inception to the final handing over of the cheque to The Cambodia Trust, the first MBA Olympics among Singapore MBA students has been a journey involving fun, teamwork and positive spirit. We’re so glad to announce that the event was a success!

As the event was inaugural or the first of its kind, we had a lot to plan and organise. We’re truly thankful to those who made this happen, our classmates from The Nanyang MBA for volunteering their services and also to our sponsors, especially the major sponsor,  City Development Limited (CDL) , and the other sponsors  (CDC, SPH, GNC, DHL, MacDonald’s and Frolick)  that understood the impact this event can bring.

There were five business schools involved: INSEAD, SMU, NUS, S.P. Jain and Nanyang itself. There were over 90 participants, and though the competition were intense, there were good sportsmanship demonstrated throughout the day, and we all had a lot of fun! We competed in four sports, namely Basketball, Badminton, Futsal and Table Tennis.

Our team did our best in the CDL MBA Olympics and Nanyang eventually emerged victorious for both Futsal and Basketball!

Through this event, we managed to raise a total of $5,342 for The Cambodia Trust. The cheque was officially handed over to Michael Scott, the Country Director of The Cambodia Trust. It wasn’t his first time being around Nanyang MBA students here in Singapore, and we do hope it won’t be his last.

After the ceremony, Michael told us more about the various initiatives taken on by The Cambodia Trust. The new information only intrigued us further in the cause and in fact, we’re continuing to support The Cambodia Trust. This June, we’re geared up for more action. The CSR Club is exploring time to visit Cambodia! It’s only a few months away, and we cannot wait.

At the end of the sporting events, we had a short gathering to celebrate the various obstacles we’d overcome and the victories that were achieved.

It’s truly been a challenge but an extremely worthwhile experience for all of us, a journey we’re not likely to forget. The three of us were really honoured to work with such a capable group of people and for such a worthy cause. This heralds a new beginning for Nanyang Business School’s CSR club and we are sure it will continue to create awareness about CSR and make a difference in the society we live in.