Article by Yunah Chung, MBA Class of 2019.
“So, why here? Why Nanyang?” I received some variation of these questions quite frequently during orientation week, and I wasn’t the least bit surprised by my classmates’ curiosity, nor did I mind answering. I’d be curious, too. How did an American like myself, born and raised in the U.S. with a background in film and television, end up in the city-state of Singapore—a place I had hitherto never visited!—to receive my MBA (of all things!) at a “little” school called Nanyang Technological University?
The answer is quite simple, actually. I’ve always been a seeker of change, and after living my entire life in the U.S., I was ready for just that. Change. A change of place, pace, and people. I also wanted to return to an academic setting and have my knowledge tested, engage with peers and professors from all walks of life, and balance my creativity with analysis. In this ever-changing world that’s rapidly becoming more globalized, it made a lot of sense for me to step out of the comforts of my home and dive into a truly international experience at a university in Asia which understands to its core that there’s strength in diversity. I’m still amazed by the fact that my cohort consists of 25 different nationalities; the perspectives that each distinct individual contributes make for a rich and nuanced learning environment.
Another significant factor in choosing NTU was the exposure to two countries and subsequently, two different reputable universities. As an NTU-Waseda University dual degree candidate, I’m given the chance to study in Singapore for the first two trimesters and spend my final trimester in Japan. Every Asian country has its own unique corporate structure and culture, and I jumped at the opportunity to discover them while living and breathing in Singapore and Japan, respectively.
I knew an MBA can be instrumental for career progression, but I wasn’t readily aware that the degree can also act as a catalyst of personal growth as well. I can sense the scope and breadth of my business knowledge steadily expanding through challenging courses and assignments, but I’m also able to perceive an increase in my self-awareness and empathy through each and every interaction that takes place in and out of the classroom. Most successful leaders have a combination of business knowledge and emotional intelligence, and I’m heartened that I’m developing in both regards by virtue of studying business at NTU.
This American is 9,521 miles (or 15,323 kilometers) away from home, but if there’s any truth to the notion that home is not a place, but a feeling, my feelings are brimming here in Singapore.
For more info about the Nanyang MBA, please visit our programme page.