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.
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 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.
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.
By Kabeer Chaudhary, Indian, Nanyang MBA Intake 2011, Student ExCo VP Cultural
Seeing some photos taken during Christmas season brings back fun memories of my first Christmas in Singapore, celebrated together with my Nanyang MBA peers. The fun and laughter we had that night still resound in my head.
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.
by Ralph Camus, Filipino, Nanyang MBA Participant, Intake 2011
Some 20 Nanyang MBA students organized an MBA Karaoke session at the lounge of ‘one of the last bastions of unspoilt nature in this largely cosmopolitan city-state of Singapore – Raffles Country Club, a 25 minute drive from the central business district and less than that driving time from NTU. The lounge where we were going to test our vocal chords overlooked part of the 146 hectares of luscious land with a tranquil lake and rolling green hills plus a glimpse of the club’s two 18-hole golf courses. It was the first Karaoke Night organized by the MBA Student Executive Committee (Ex-Co) where we experienced an enjoyable and fun night of musical expression.
Together with my peers from the MBA program, we were joined by part-time MBA students, as well as our exchange classmates from Spain, the United States and Israel where we gladly belted out power ballads from Aerosmith, Greenday, and even Tom Jones! One of our male Japanese classmates even tested out his vocal prowess with Lady Gaga songs, much to the delight of everyone. There was even a showdown between the ladies and the men, but modesty aside – we, the male participants, dominated the microphone and thus, the night. We sung like there was no tomorrow and hogged the microphone until closing time.
What made that night more fun was that some members of the MBA Office shared laughter and musical notes with us as they added vocal power to the event.
The karaoke night turned an ordinary Tuesday night into a lively gathering of friends, acquaintances and good music. Now that we have discovered who has the powerful voices and the grooviest dance moves accompanying the singing, we are sure that this is definitely not the last karaoke night for our cohort.
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.
Pulau Redang is one of the largest islands located off the east coast of Malaysia in the state of Terengganu. The area is a conserved marine park ideal for snorkeling and scuba-diving activities. Redang was used as the backdrop for a Hong Kong summer holiday movie – Xia Re Mo Mo Cha in 1999. Ever since the movie was screened in Asia, the pristine warm white sandsand mesmerizing turquoise sea has beckoned many to the island. From Singapore, the island is easily accessible via an affordable overnight coach ride.
There is a wide range of accommodation from budget to four-star hotels. Most are located at Pasir Panjang beach and a handful at Teluk Kalong. Only Berjaya Resort has its own private beach. All the resorts in Redang offer all-inclusive package holidays which include boat transfers, accommodation, snorkeling or diving & meals. These can be arranged directly with the resort of your choice. Meals provided at the resorts are often local dishes served buffet style. If these do not suit your taste, you can always try one of the restaurants at a neighboring resort for a western style burger or go for a more authentic taste of nasi goreng kampung (fried Malay rice with anchovies).
Redang is a small tropical island good for a weekend getaway. Most choose to spend their days idyllically napping away in a swaying hammock or revel under the sun for a nice golden tan. You can also join one of the snorkeling trips organized by your resort. However, you can also choose to just snorkel at the shallow reefs of Pasir Panjang which can already give you a glimpse of the rich ocean life of Redang.
For the restless at heart, you can opt to try a Discover Scuba for non-divers during your trip. This will be an instructor-guided dive where you will be introduced to the basics of diving and have a taste of the underwater world. It is usually a short half day session and allows you a preview of the colourful tropic reefs.
A curious clownfish
A colourful nudibranch
Those determined to add a PADI scuba-diving license on top of achieving a prestigious MBA degree in Asia, an open-water course can be done with any of the dive centers in Redang. The open-water course teaches you the foundations of diving with both theory and practical tests. This can be done within 4 – 5 days at the resort dive center depending on the aptitude of the student. Do note that an open water course (equipment rental inclusive) with full-board resort stay cost about SGD 500 – 800.
What does the underwater world in Redang have to offer? One can often spot reef sharks, beautiful corals, stingrays, barracudas and many fascinating ocean life in the Redang waters. Occasionally, lucky divers may even get to spot whale sharks on their migratory routes! Redang also has an important conservation site for turtles which include the Green Turtle and Hawksbill Turtle. Turtle or wildlife lovers can even sign up at the conservation website to serve as a volunteer. By the way, visit first Singapore’s world-renowned Underwater World at Sentosa too! These two locations offer different experiences despite offering similar things!
Meeting Nemo face to face can be an interesting encounter. Watching a swift reef shark majestically gliding through the waters can be a humbling experience. Weaving through a vibrant forest of corals can be a bewitching memory. All these with just a bold plunge into a whole new world beneath the waters. So head off to Redang in your next break and enrich your knowledge of a secret world hidden away.
Berjaya Air flies to Pulau Redang direct from Singapore. (www.berjaya-air.com) Return airfare is
as low as SGD 170 including taxes. The flight takes only 1 hr 20 mins.
For a more budget option, Konsortium and Five Star coaches can drop you at Merang Jetty (Note: not to be confused with Marang Jetty). From the jetty, board the boat transfer arranged with the resort. Return coach fare is as low as SGD 90. About 12 hours ride overnight.
Malacca (or Melaka) is the third smallest state in Malaysia which had Dutch, Portuguese and British influences and earned its title as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008. Just 2½ – 3 hours drive away, it’s easy to make a day trip from Singapore. Malacca is charming in her own way with her rich historical heritage and is also famous for her Baba-Nyonya food. It is a small city which can be easily explored on foot, taxis or for a more unique experience, trishaws.
Dutch Square (or Red Square) next to the Malacca River is a good starting point for visitors. The buildings around this area are painted red and especially prominent is Stadthuys & Christ Church believed to be the oldest Dutch building in the East. Visitors interested in taking trishaw rides can easily take a ride from here.
Another interest place to visit is A’Famosa Portuguese fort believed to be the oldest surviving European architecture in Asia. It was built by the Portuguese who saw Malacca as an important port in the spice route to China. The Portuguese also built St. Paul’s Church – another heritage site in Malacca. Climbing up a long flight of stairs up St. Paul’s Hill, you will be rewarded with the magnificent church ruins and a breath-taking view of the city.
Just across Dutch Square is Jonker Street, the heart of Malacca’s Chinatown. Here, you can spend a leisurely afternoon shopping and indulging in the best of Malacca’s food. Along Jonker Street, you can find interesting souvenir and crafts shops and Baba-Nyonya shops selling traditional snacks such as pineapple tarts, ondeh ondeh (coconut snack) and a variety of cookies. There’s also a great selection of restaurants and eateries to tease your palate. After a hot afternoon of shopping, drop by the Geographer Café for a cold beer and relax. And when the sun sets, the street transforms into a bustling street market. Watch as the local hawkers push their carts out and display their fares to curious visitors.
So what are some good Malacca restaurants to try? One of them is Hoe Kee Hainan Chicken Rice Ball restaurant. Located at the entrance of Jonker Street, they sell steamed chicken served alongside with steamed rice mixed with sesame oil and rolled into little balls. Walk a bit further down (opposite Geographer Café) is Jonker Desserts 88. Here, enjoy some traditional Nyonya desserts such as durian chendol (side photo), ice-kachang or a hot bowl of laksa (curry noodles). Venturing out of Jonker Street, you can try a traditional Nyonya restaurant serving tempting dishes such as Ayam Ponteh (chicken in bean paste gravy), Sambal Udang Petai (chili with prawns and petai beans), Cincalok Omelette (egg with preserved shrimps) and Jenak Goreng Chili (fried fish with chili). A good place to start is Restaurant Makko (located opposite Hotel Equatorial).
If you would like to spend a night in Malacca, you can try staying in one of their boutique hotels which offers you a room filled with the splendor of their rich history. One such example is Courtyard at Hereen which is an old shop house that is converted into a small, cosy hotel.
All in all, Malacca is an interesting historical city and definitely worth a visit. It is a quaint city that engages its visitors with its history, friendly locals and exotic flavours.
Malacca is only a short drive away from Singapore and you can easily spend a short weekend here lost in its culture, history and food. So why not organize something with your class and have a fun cultural experience together? Please remember to check on your visitor visa entry requirements into Malaysia though.