Tag Archives: Mentorship

10 Ways to Network Better

It’s now more obvious than ever that you can’t get anywhere without networking. And it isn’t just about networking when you need a job or new business, but more about making networking a daily activity. Be it online or one-to-one, you need to be prepared.

Here are some valuable tips to get you geared up.

1. Keep Business Cards Ready

This is a rule that applies to all situations – whether you’re headed to the grocery store or an important meeting, you need to have your business cards with you. You never know whom you’ll bump into. If you are self-employed and have the chance to get your own cards made, make sure that your card has a neat design and isn’t cluttered with information. The basics such as name, email address, designation and phone number should be good enough. Use your creative side to make one that stands out without looking like a silly attempt at art.

2. Remember Names and Faces

Sure it’s hard to remember every name and face that you come across, but a few tricks could prevent trouble. Jot down names and some physical characteristics that you could use to identify the individuals at a later date. If you forget even before you get a hold of your address book, employ another approach such as linking a famous person with the same name with them. Imagine meeting somebody who could be your ticket to a new job or internship and not recalling his/her name. Ouch!

3. Be Active on Social Media

Create accounts on as many social media websites as you can manage to update regularly. If you think you can cut out time for just two, do that. There’s no point having an account but hardly logging on or contributing to the discussion. Post frequently and interact with others in the industry.

4. Don’t be Picky

Some people make the mistake of ignoring junior executives and classmates, as they seem rather unimpressive. Don’t make that mistake. You never know where a person can go and how they can help you. For example, you could be looking for a new job two years later and one of these seemingly useless people could be already working there and would be nice enough to put in a word for you.

5. Attend Events

Building relationships while you are at work every day doesn’t end the networking process. You also need to get out there and meet people beyond work. Sign up for industry events and see if you can get into conferences. In college and B-school, join special interest groups and participate in activities that are conducted through the year. These are places where you can benefit from lots of advice and feedback on your ideas. Check out what kind of events you’ll get to attend at NBS here: http://www.nbs.ntu.edu.sg/News_Events/Events/Pages/Events.aspx

6. Adopt a New Mindset

Don’t start all conversations thinking about what you can get. You need to think about giving as well. Relationships should be mutually beneficial. Plus, giving will get you good karma in the form of referrals. Be confident, helpful and open with your peers, colleagues and even people you’ve just met.

7. Communicate Well

You are not a salesman. Of course you’re selling your skills and educational background when you network, but you need to learn how to hold a conversation that has a light, informal tone. The key is to let the other person know that you are willing to give the time to get to know them before talking about what exactly you want. That doesn’t mean that you should skip your pitch; just warm up first.

8. Listen More

Give the other person a chance to talk. Don’t keep on talking without waiting for answers. Ask questions as well. In fact, have a mental list of questions ready for all times and all kinds of people but don’t jump at them. Demonstrate interest with your facial and body language.

9. Always Follow Up

The first face-to-face meeting isn’t the end of networking. Keep their cards in a special place. Add them to your LinkedIn contacts and other social media lists. Call or send an email a week later, after you figure out what you can connect about. Staying in touch on a regular basis is important, so don’t let it seem like you only make the effort to communicate when you really need something.

10. Don’t Neglect Your Current Network

Never take anybody for granted. That applies to your career path just as much as to your personal life. Keep in touch with the people who’ve brought you closer to your goals already like high school teachers, college professors, internship supervisors and so on. Let them know that you appreciate what they’ve done for you. You could meet them once in a while and keep them updated on your progress. Introduce them to each other or to others they could form working relationships with. Who knows? Maybe one of these older acquaintances could connect you to somebody helpful in the future.

It isn’t difficult to master the art of networking if you keep these tips in mind. You’ll have to network effectively as you continue your career path, so why not start now?

Preparing to be a consultant – a Management and Consulting Club Event

by Vida Zhou Dan, VP for Communications, Chinese, Nanyang MBA Participant, Intake 2011

Consulting as a profession is among the most popular choice by MBA students. While everyone is enthusiastic in pursuing this career, a lot of anxieties or worries about being able to snare a job assignment in this industry prevail, despite the numerous case studies we already did at Nanyang. To address these concerns, the Management Consulting Club organised an event earlier this year to help us, club members, to understand more the intricacies of becoming a management consultant and prepare ourselves to be one. Preparedness they say is the key!

Nanyang MBA Alumnus, Italian Angelo Polimeno from Delta Partners
Angelo Polimeno, Nanyang MBA Alumnus, generously shared his experience and knowledge in consulting during the Management & Consulting Club Event

We invited one of our own as our guest speaker, an alumnus who now works as a consultant of Delta Partners, a leading consulting firm, after completing his Nanyang MBA in 2010. We were glad to welcome Italian Mr Angelo Polimeno, formerly based in Italy and is now based in Singapore, yet he travels extensively across continents for consulting assignments.

“As a Nanyang MBA alumnus, I completely understand what you are all going through as I have been in your shoes.  Do feel free to ask me questions on these cases we are going to discuss. I will do my best to help as much as I can to show you how to handle the various ‘challenges’ that these cases pose” were Angelo’s opening lines. His introduction made us feel more comfortable to really dig into knowing more about this industry from a practitioner’s point of view.

During the session, Angelo also demonstrated two case studies and coached us on how to deal with these different situations. We eagerly took part in the interactive discussion – from practice details to structural thinking methods, and more. It was a lively session worth doing as Angelo gamely and generously shared his experience and knowledge with us.

After the event, some 20 of us who attended, felt that we should continue to cultivate more of our skills by ‘doing’ more and more case studies, to prepare us to tackle the challenges posed by real life scenarios which consultants must face. Preparedness is key – and this is more emphasized after the event. We were further enlightened and inspired to pursue our aspirations to become a consultant one day.

‘Get to the Point’ – speaking in style in public

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.

Eric Feng
Eric Feng in action

Continue reading ‘Get to the Point’ – speaking in style in public

Just another case competition – just another rewarding experience

By: Steven Quimby, American, Nanyang MBA Participant, Intake 2011

Right from the very beginning when we first entered the Nanyang campus, we were told about the business plan competition opportunities ahead of us. Well, the preparation and the expectations began when Prof Vijay Sethi, told us about the various competitions NBS participates in. Impressed and enthusiastic, a lot of us took the New Venture Practicum course, which ran across a couple of terms and which Prof Sethi teaches. Then the preparations start, teams were formed, expectations set and preparations were underway. As John Molson MBA International Case Competition was the first competition to be available for the cohort to participate in and one of the most established and prestigious competition of its kind – four of us, Kishan and Parul from India, Janine from Germany and yours truly, from USA, rose up to the challenge and formed The NANYANG MBA team that would compete in this competition.

The NANYANG MBA team – Janine from Germany, Parul and Kishan from India, and yours truly Steven from USA

The road to the competition was extremely challenging, yet, fulfilling – we were subjected to the intensity and rigor of case preparation – a lot of preparation, feedback and practice with different cases to prepare us to compete against other b-schools.
There were a total of 5 business cases, one of which is a live case presentation by a major company about a real-life business challenge that the company is facing. The 36 teams were divided into different divisions, and Nanyang was in Bombardier Division competing against b-schools from Germany, Canada, USA and Singapore. We put our heads together and set our sights to win every case. But we were also in the midst of like-minded individuals as we lost two out of five cases. Despite this, we still felt like winners – we pushed the envelope and showcased our capabilities and expertise. Of course, this would not be possible, if not for the expert guidance of our mentor and coach, Prof Vijay Sethi.

Continue reading Just another case competition – just another rewarding experience

One-on-one coaching with veteran Career Coach on banking & finance careers

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.

Banking and Finance club during the workshop.

Women in Business: An Entrepreneur's Story – "From Networking to Business Alliances"

Blog by: Kwa Hwee Lay, Clarie & Filda Citra Yusgiantoro, Singaporean and Indonesian, respectively; Nanyang MBA participants, Intake 2011

The NANYANG MBA Women in Business (WIB) Club held a talk cum workshop “An Entrepreneur’s Story”. We had the honor of welcoming one of Indonesia’s distinguished female entrepreneurs, founder and CEO of Mobiliari Media Group, Ms Millie Stephanie. Mobiliari (PT Mobiliari Stephindo) is a media company that counts Indonesia Tatler and Forbes Indonesia among its many publications. Ms Millie fostered a lively discussion of her experiences as an entrepreneur with a group 10 WIB club members, and the only thorn among the roses, our German colleague, Justus Kaiser (in picture below, 5th from left).


Continue reading Women in Business: An Entrepreneur's Story – "From Networking to Business Alliances"

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.

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.”


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?

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