Graduate Studies Blog



Article contributed by Shubrat Dutta, Class of 2020.


President, ExCo

Coming to an MBA programme has always entailed building camaraderie among your cohort and being able to build bridges with the business world outside of school. The MBA programme offered by Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University (NTU, Singapore) places these factors at the forefront of the student experience. Personally, I chose the NTU MBA out of the other schools in Singapore for an industry I had a goal of entering. The significant alumni network and guidance from faculty helps facilitate this goal, but I came away from the year having gained experiences far deeper   than I ever expected. Three key highlights that I will touch on include putting together a fireside chat   with the APAC CEO of one of the largest multinational companies in Singapore, conceiving and executing the first ever MBA inter collegiate challenge and helping guide the MBA Ex‐Co (Student Council) on hosting a multitude of social and club events. This programme truly shows that the student‐ led efforts lead to the most unique opportunities.

When I first arrived for the Nanyang MBA here in Singapore, I only had a goal of entering an industry I was working towards and little interest in much else. However, within the first week of really getting to know all the cohort during the orientation, I was asked to run for the student executive committee (ex‐ co) president. While I was hesitant at first, it was possibly the best decision I have made during my time   in the programme. Not only was I given the opportunity to lead a small group of motivated individuals, I also got to see firsthand the power of having a student‐driven culture. The ex‐co put together numerous events ranging from social gatherings, such as a mid‐autumn, Deepavali and Christmas celebrations, to club focused activities like fin‐tech speaker nights. These activities truly helped enrich the programme for all students and provided a great leadership experience for the Ex‐Co.

Beyond the ex‐co led activities, I decided to take my passion for the commodities industry and share it with the rest of the cohort. When I arrived in Singapore, I reached out to Mr. Tan Chin Hwee, the CEO of Trafigura, my top target company to join and built a relationship based on a mutual background from NTU. He also serves on the board of trustees at NTU and has a passion for mentoring students. During our discussions, I realised that the best way to really develop a relationship would be to create an event around him. Thus, the CEO fireside chat event was conceived. Over the course of the next two months, I coordinated with faculty, the graduate careers office and event NTU’s student’s union to execute the event with major success. The cohort got access for an intimate 2‐hour session with Mr. Tan and a select number of employees to understand the business, gain mentorship and career advice, learn about Singapore and network with decision makers. I was ecstatic to have been able to interview and build a relationship with Mr. Tan, but more than anything, I was proud of having introduced an exciting industry to the class. Additionally, this experience led to helping coordinate a company visit to the BP offices and build bridges with numerous other CEOs of major companies.

As the Ex‐Co president this year, at the behest of the deans from business schools of NTU, National University of Singapore (NUS) and Singapore Management University (SMU), I collaborated with the MBA student leaders at the major universities in Singapore on a first ever inter‐collegiate competition. Within the span of two months, we conceived, planned and executed the first ever Dean’s Challenge with participation from NTU, NUS and SMU. In the future, we plan to involve INSEAD and other major business institutions in the city. The challenge this year consisted of the MBA Olympics held by NTU, an environmental business case challenge by NUS and a talent showcase event by SMU. While NUS took    the prize for the Olympics, NTU was able to win the business case challenge, resulting in a much‐ anticipated showdown at the upcoming SMU event. This challenge, and its contingent events, show that student‐driven activities not only lend to the MBA experience but in some ways act as the backbone of a fruitful MBA experience.

The MBA ExCo

 Shubrat with Trafigura CEO, Mr. Tan Chin Hwee

The Nanyang MBA Class of 2020 with BP CEO of the Eastern Hemisphere – Ms. Sharon Weintraub

Mid‐Autumn Festival celebration