Tag Archives: Singapore

Part-Time Vs. Full-time MBA – An insight into their Differences

Are you a graduate or a working professional looking to move ahead in your career? Some graduates prefer gaining work experience before opting for a post-graduation course, whereas others may decide to take up a master’s degree immediately after graduation. Most working professionals will eventually start thinking about a postgraduate degree, such as the MBA, especially if they are looking at progressing in their careers.

There are various modes of pursuing an MBA – full-time, part-time professional, distance or even executive. The dilemma, most often, is having to choose between a part-time MBA and a full-time MBA.

A part-time MBA is a course that allows its candidates the flexibility of working alongside studying. Participants can continue to draw a steady flow of income without taking a break. On the other hand, in a full-time programme, the opportunity cost is that participants will have to leave their jobs or take a sabbatical. The primary objective of both programmes is to help participants gain varied experiences such as interacting with a diverse peer group, and honing leadership and strategic thinking skills which would prepare them for senior management roles.

Before deciding which type of MBA is suitable, it is worth one’s time to understand and appreciate the differences between the part-time and full-time modes of study. We have outlined the key differences between a part-time MBA and a full-time MBA, highlighting the benefits of a part-time professional MBA:


Profile of Participants

Full-time MBA programmes are predominantly taken up by the younger crowd, with less working experience. Participants are typically around 28 years of age with 6 years of work experience. The average participant of a part-time MBA, however, is 30 years old, with 8.5 years of work experience.

Minimal Downtime

Both part-time and full-time MBA programmes follow a similar curriculum. However, part-time courses offer more options, such as weekend classes, online classes and weekday classes. This makes it more schedule-friendly for working professionals.

The Nanyang Professional MBA (PMBA), for instance, is a part-time programme which incorporates a career-friendly 18-month timetable. It encompasses weekend modules, where classes are only held on two weekends per month. This eliminates the need for out-of-office days and leave, making it suitable for the demanding schedule of full-time working professionals. Term breaks also coincide with local school holidays. This is an added advantage if you are a parent – you can take vacations with your family without compromising your MBA journey!

Immediate Application of Concepts

Most part-time MBA participants are working professionals, and this allows them to apply classroom learning immediately in their jobs. The curriculum offered at Nanyang PMBA programme suits specific business contexts. With integrated learning and exploration as the key takeaways, the learning process in Nanyang Business School’s PMBA programme is categorised across three areas – Business Fundamentals, Strategic Insights and Experiential Learning.

These three key areas enable participants to understand businesses and their strategies, tackle and conquer complex issues and learn about business scenarios hands-on. Participants also get the opportunity to be coached and mentored by our faculty, which comprises leading C-level executives who bring their industry expertise into the learning curriculum.

Full-time MBA participants will have the opportunity to apply these concepts during simulations of corporate scenarios and upon returning to their careers post-MBA.

The minimal downtime and real-world applications of a part-time MBA programme makes it the ideal choice for a working professional. If you desire to strike a balance between family, career and a postgraduate degree, you can find out more about the benefits of our Nanyang PMBA programme here.

Impatient Singapore pushes the boundaries

by Laura Melina Loeven, posted on Financial Times MBA blog

I cannot count how many times I have read the word “moor noissucsid” over the past few weeks. It sounds like a mystic secret language from The Lord of the Ringsdoesn’t it? But it is just plain English for discussion room. Sadly, I spend so much time inside the study rooms that I often find myself reading the label on the glass door backwards when I happen to stare at the one door that separates me from the outside world.

I had two days to go until the Christmas break and to my despair the list of assignments to finish was much longer than my shopping list.

Most days the two best friends of any MBA student, laptop and extra large coffee mug, share the peaceful quiet of the discussion room with me. From time to time, the door opens and the head of one of my fellow students appears. We are all in this together, and the many sharing sessions or quick bouncing back and forth of ideas between doors were worth the long hours spent in a dimly lit study hall.

Joining an MBA programme and relocating to Singapore has changed my life. Back home in Germany, I grouchily complained about the penetrating cold outside and lamented the ruthless heating of indoor facilities. Now, I start sweating as soon as I step outside but shock-freeze when I enter a building. The temperatures across campus are adjusted to facilitate optimal brain activity. It turns out that my body and brain have very different requirements in terms of climate, and while my head is working at high speed, the rest of me goes into shock mode.

Not only have my MBA studies affected the way I dress (I wear long pants and a scarf at 30C outdoor temperature), but I also changed my sleeping patterns, eating habits and exercise schedule.

The challenges of juggling classwork, assignments, workshops, career talks, a symposium here and a lecture there will quickly transform even the most efficient of all multitaskers into a restless jitterbug. Singapore is a great place for the ambitious, the disciplined and the determined. The vibe of the city will teach you to always keep an eye on the goal and to keep an eye on the competition while walking towards that goal. In a city where everything works, public transport runs smoothly, no escalator ever breaks, and even the pizza delivery company keeps its “30 minute” promise when ordering to a remote university campus, you cannot but drop your jar and decide to work harder yourself. The pizza man just shrugs his shoulders, utterly unimpressed.

German by birth, I strive for efficiency, value speed and reliability, and I definitely appreciate punctuality. Now I share a city with textbook workaholics, and I wonder if I ever even properly understood the definition of punctuality. For the first time, it is possible that I am last to show up for an appointment. My homework might receive a “nice, but more thorough analysis required”. And I am still baffled that I have not ever waited for a delayed train.

What bewildered me at first, makes total sense to me these days. Singapore is impatient. An austere yet friendly nation that is poised for further growth. Uniting tradition and modernity, Singapore demands an increasing share of the world’s attention.

In the middle of this place that looks like Disneyland but works like the “good elves”: my business school. A school that might cool down the body, but successfully heats up a student’s mind. A school that will go above and beyond to prepare its graduates to wander on the path of growth, personally and professionally. Even if that means they live in the moor noissucsid.

Having reached the halfway mark of my MBA journey, I have already discovered that it will not be enough to just be prepared to reach my goals. Here in Singapore, goals are stretched and limits pushed.


published on: Financial Times – FT.com


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.”

‘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

German style BBQ to celebrate end of Trimester

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.

Our German hosts for the night - (Left to right) Justus, Florian, and Simon
Our German hosts for the night – (Left to right) Justus, Florian, and Simon

Continue reading German style BBQ to celebrate end of Trimester

Understanding more the Chinese New Year Celebration in Singapore

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.

Chinese New Year Goodies Pineapple Tarts
Apart from the pineapple tart (yellow-color pastry), we were also served local Singaporean goodies like peanut puff and pork floss rolls.

Continue reading Understanding more the Chinese New Year Celebration in Singapore

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

Social Ventures – improving lives of the less fortunate in a sustainable manner –a new career path for MBAs?

By Nyan Kyaw, Myanmar, Nanyang MBA Intake 2011

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.

The NANYANG MBA Students with Ms Thilma Komaling Banyuputro (1st row, 5th from left) - (left to right, 1st row) Myanmar Nyan Kyaw, American Samir Mowla, Indonesian Wahyu Widianti, Chinese Zhou Dan, Ms Thilma, MBA Office Management Grace Wee and Charlotte Kong; (left to right, 2nd row) Indonesian Djoko Tanto Wijoyo, and Vietnamese Vu Manh Tran Hung.

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.

Over the next 2 years, Thilma spent her life juggling between career and volunteering for charities and social ventures. Finally, she took the plunge and devoted her life solely on social ventures. Currently, she is working for Rumah, a low cost mobile phone carrier in Indonesia. The aim of the venture is to provide poor families in the rural areas of Indonesia with access to mobile phones and also create jobs. Continue reading Social Ventures – improving lives of the less fortunate in a sustainable manner –a new career path for MBAs?