MBA participant’s experience in his application journey.

MBA participant’s experience in his application journey.

Graduate Studies Blog

NANYANG MBA

MBA PARTICIPANT’S EXPERIENCE IN HIS APPLICATION JOURNEY.

Article contributed by Shiladitya Ghose, Nanyang MBA, Class of 2020.

3rd July, 2019 5:30 AM: I checked my watch from the corner of my left eye. We had been flying for a couple of hours and the first rays of the run were peeping through the half open window shades. Indigo 6E-51 crew from Chennai to Singapore had deemed me a single man capable of operating the plane’s door in case of an emergency and thus I had landed the emergency seat with extra legroom. I shifted to my left and pulled down the window shades. A beautiful velvety layer of clouds with hues of yellow and red greeted me – sunrise scenes on board were my favourite. On my right, a gentleman -around 50 years of age was snoring quietly, his spectacles placed delicately near the bottom of his rather stubby nose. There was nothing much to do, I shuffled my legs and turned my attention back to the brilliant display of colours outside.

Choosing the right Programme

My mind drifted to my MBA application journey which started in May 2018. Back then I was working as a Business Analyst in Sabre – one of the world’s major GDS (Global Distribution Systems) in Bangalore, India. A GMAT score of 730 seemed competitive but for a top b-school like NBS, one could never be sure. Singapore, being the gateway to the Asian marketplace and because of its close proximity to home was a natural choice.

Writing compelling essays

Thus started my application phase. I wanted to write my own essays without the help of admission consultants. While this did make it difficult to keep track of the deadlines and have the applications ready in time, it made the journey more enriching. In hindsight, this phase helped me answer a very important and pertinent question – Why MBA. Most B schools want you to list down 5 things – Why MBA? Why that specific program? What do you bring to the table? What are your long term and short-term goals? How can the programme help you realize your short- and long-term goals? My advice to applicants would be to figure out answers to these questions before you sit to down your essays. How do you write a compelling essay? Study the program in detail. Start with the website and dig deeper: find out about the curriculum- does any course or a list of courses interest you? Is it a 1 year or a 2-year program? Then check the class profile for the previous year and placement statistics: what percentage of students were placed in the industry you are targeting? If you want to work in a particular country post MBA, check the relevant statistics. You might also want to try to get in touch with the heads of the student bodies through LinkedIn for additional information. Also look out for any QS events that happen in your vicinity. They give you an excellent opportunity to meet the AdCom. You get fresh insights that can be very helpful in writing your essays. I reached out to several NBS alumni who were only too happy to help – I am grateful to them for taking time out of their busy schedules; I finally submitted my application in October. The NBS application window for AY 2020/2021 commences on August 31, 2019. Watch out!

Getting the interview call

I received the invite for the interview in about 2 weeks’ time. I had followed up with the NBS Admissions Committee and had my fingers crossed. Receiving the interview call was first step to landing myself a seat in one of the top 30 programs in the world. While I did have an option to interview over Skype, I felt flying to Mumbai was a better choice. The Admissions Committee was then touring India for various QS events and I was overjoyed at the idea of getting the opportunity to meet them in person. My interview was scheduled on 1st December.

Sweaty hands and nervous smiles

I was a bit pensive before the interview. Other b-school interviews had gone along expected lines. I had read debriefs of a few alumni and most predicted a few questions on the Asian market and macro-economics. Coming from an engineering background, I had received no formal education in this field and had my fingers crossed.

I arrived at my interview location in Mumbai 30 minutes before schedule. This gave me an opportunity to meet Kenny, the programme manager from the Adcom. Kenny and I immediately hit it off – in those 30 minutes we ended up talking about our mutual love for photography, food and travel. In fact, when I sat on other side of the table during the actual interview, all the nervousness had vanished. Thomas Seet and Prof. Teck Min Choo were my other interviewers. The first part of the interview went on like a breeze – a heart to heart conversation of sorts. Asian B-schools operate in an extremely competitive job market and thus they try to make sure that your short-term goals are clear and aligned with those of the programme. In other words, the admissions committee wants to ensure that there is job market available for the kind of work profile or function that you are seeking post MBA. I was quizzed on my post MBA goals, previous work experience and my hobbies. I must admit I had my foot in my mouth when I was asked to compare the Indian and Chinese economies; completely foxed, I mumbled unconvincingly! I felt that I would be dinged given my answer and was horribly cross with myself for not having focused enough on the “Asian related questions” as my seniors had advised. I returned to Bangalore the same day – dejected.

Admit Day!

I got my admit letter on the 7th December at 1: 52 PM. No, I did not need to check my Gmail for the timestamp – I have it committed to memory. This is what it meant to me. I read and re-read the first sentence:

Congratulations!

I am very pleased to inform you that you have been offered a place in the Nanyang MBA class starting July 2019 at Nanyang Business School, Singapore.

It is hard to describe to my feelings at that time: Sheer joy, elation…

I had dozed off and was woken by the kind crew asking me to fill up the Singapore immigration form. It was 9 AM on my watch- still set to India time. 15 minutes more to land- the first officer announced. Smiling to myself – I took my pen out and started filling out the details. I had met a few amazing people in the last few hours – my would-be classmates who were on the same flight. As the plane swerved left to align with the runway before final descent, I said a quick prayer- a “thank you” for the all moments – highs and lows that had all built up to this very moment.

A month into the programme I have every reason to believe I had made the right choice.

 

To learn more about our Nanyang MBA programme, please visit our website.

An MBA That Resulted In Lifelong Lessons And Friendships

An MBA That Resulted In Lifelong Lessons And Friendships

Graduate Studies Blog

NANYANG MBA

AN MBA THAT RESULTED IN LIFELONG LESSONS AND FRIENDSHIPS

Natrada Limsupavanich Nanyang MBA, Class of 2018

When technology consultant Natrada Limsupavanich was considering where to pursue her MBA studies, she mounted a serious search to identify the ideal university.

She spoke to several friends and colleagues who had studied abroad for their MBA degrees and built up a comprehensive understanding of the kind of programme that would suit her future needs.

Given the growth of the regional economies, the Thai national wanted to focus on Southeast Asian businesses and economies. So a business school that offered a relevant programme and was also ideally located were key factors in her decision.

“if you are interested in China businesses and its economy, it would be beneficial to choose to study your MBA in China,” Natrada explains. “To me, Singapore is considered the region’s business hub , and it provides high-quality education and living standards.”

Another factor to consider was the diversity of the class. “My research showed that the MBA programme focuses on sharing experiences with classmates from various countries and industries, and learning about real-life business experiences from each other.”

After discussions with alumni from various MBA programmes, Natrada developed a clearer picture of what she hoped to achieve from the programme. “Beyond rankings, I realised that I would like to explore opportunities to work abroad in Asia. Therefore, the programmes in Singapore would be the right answer.

“And my good impression of the Nanyang Technological University MBA admission team and Experience Day were crucial in my decision. They suggested I apply for the early round of admission to secure the spot, and to attend Experience Day and interview on campus.”

On Experience Day, Natrada met and spoke with professors, current students and other candidates who eventually became her classmates.

“All these helped me confirm my decision to choose the Nanyang Business School.”

Life Lessons

“The most memorable thing I gained from the MBA programme at NTU is the lifelong friendships with my classmates,” recalls Natrada.

“We enjoyed the journey together as one collaborative batch; in classes, projects, competitions, and other activities. These strong connections make the investment in an MBA worthwhile.

“I remember during the orientation, a professor said that even though many of us were trying to find jobs in Singapore, the competition is not from within our batch, so we should help each other. I think this is the key message that helped our batch to collaborate and support each other till today.”

Natrada gained invaluable insights into cultural diversity and international business management from her classmates.

“During the MBA, we discussed many cases that helped us change our perspectives. Before we entered the programme, we might have some ideas of how the business or management should be, but during the programme we learned of other possibilities and options.

“We became more flexible and creative. For people who want to build their own businesses in the future, they got many ideas from the class and discussions during networking. For people who tend to be reserved, they learned to be more assertive. For people who are expressive, they learned to listen more.”

Natrada found her time at NTU made her more open-minded about cultural differences and the similarities she shared with her fellow Southeast Asian classmates.

This gave her the confidence to decide to move from Thailand to work in Singapore.

Immediately after graduating, she has secured a position as an executive with the Singapore e-commerce platform Shopee.

 

To learn more about our Nanyang MBA programme, please visit our website.

NANYANG MBA ORIENTATION 2019

NANYANG MBA ORIENTATION 2019

Graduate Studies Blog

NANYANG MBA

NANYANG MBA ORIENTATION 2019

Article contributed by Shubham Sharma, Nanyang MBA Class of 2019.

Shubham (facing camera) in all smiles while playing the ‘Paying It Forward’ activity.

“How would my classmates be?”

“What kind of academic environment would NTU provide?”

“Will I be a good social fit?”

Questions like these hound a student when he is embarking on a new academic journey. I was also one of them. Leaving a cushioned job in Japan to pursue an MBA in a new country, anxiety often creeped in.

Having heard a lot of things about the university and Singapore, it was difficult to keep a clear mind yet I tried. I believe that even though the path is same, everyone’s journey is different. So, I waited for NBS orientation programme to guide me through the layout of my MBA journey and meet some new co-travelers.

Set the ball rolling…

It started with registration on July 12 where the cohort was greeted with NBS Graduate Studies staff and a sumptuous lunch. Later, the on-boarding session started with Mr. Daren Kang, Deputy Director (Marketing and Admissions) and Ms. Vrinda Jalan, Manager (Marketing and Admissions) who metaphorically brought us out of the cacophony and made us meet our inner leader. That session was phenomenal and cleared the cloud on what we aspire to be.

FOCUS Adventure

The next morning, smartly dressed in Nanyang T-shirts, we reached Sentosa where we were welcomed by the cool oceanic breeze and the cordial staff of FOCUS Adventure.

We were seated in one of the main halls and demonstrated the Mexican wave, different kinds of handshakes through storytelling, the weirdest one being the Milking-a-Cow Handshake. During all of these handshakes, we were supposed to share our favourite with our counterparts and listen to theirs. This exercise was not only fun but also made us realize the similarity of preferences across cultures. I found two people who were interested in trying bungee jumping in New Zealand or ramen in China.

Later, we were divided into two groups, one went for the Hourglass challenge where all the teams had to progressively complete tasks above ground level, while holding each other.

People with vertigo issues, anxiety and so on were all put together. So it became a bit more challenging. In team sports, more than the skills, it is the trust that takes you beyond the winning line. We had to practice it that day.

With a potpourri of emotions, we scaled up. We meandered our way through walking on high beams, swirling wooden logs, ropes and what not. In the end, the euphoria of reaching the part of the structure erased the jitters. We were high, on life. I remember giving a bear hug to my fellow teammate with whom I had not interacted much so far.

In the second session, the teams were ranked based on distances of the tubes thrown.

Also, the most enervating yet fun activity was the boat racing. We had to boot-strap a boat out of the raw materials provided and race near the beach. Although my team finished at second place but we created fond memories.

While returning to the campus, we had the chance to watch the beautiful sunset from Sentosa.

Cultural presentation

The most awaited day finally arrived. All students were supposed to present the unique traits of their countries. For instance, Chinese students were clubbed together to showcase their wedding ceremonies and Lion Dance. Indians displayed their dance and rapping fortes.

The students were also supposed to be dressed in their traditional attires to elevate the cultural significance of the event. Germans were clad in Dirndls, Indians in Kurtas and so on. The presentations were funny, engaging and involved gifts as well. While the Vietnamese talked about their traffic issues, the Canadians showcased the tourism specifically the maple syrup industry. I was pleasantly surprised by my fellows from South Korea who performed a K-Pop song.

Being an Indian, the biggest cheer as well as banter was spared for my friend from Pakistan.

It was all in good humor. When the chance to present Indian culture arrived, a sense of responsibility germinated. We could not afford to ruin it. After some rapping with Bharat Natyam dance to tabla music, it ended on a high note as we made everyone in the room dance to some Bollywood songs. As they say, Indians have two right feet. The prizes for the best presentations went to China and India.

The orientation ended the next day with Graduate Participants’ Social Night where we interacted with participants from other Masters programmes (Fellows, Accountancy, etc.).

In retrospect, I am indebted to the NBS Graduate Studies team to organize the long yet engaging orientation for us. In the absence of this, the integration into NBS’s culture would not have been possible. At the end of the orientation, I forged indelible memories and friendships.

To learn more about our Nanyang MBA programme, please visit our website

To juggling ambitions and reinventing – Woman’s guide to business

Article contributed by Prerna Sangal

Women in business and Banking and Finance club joined hands to get a guest speaker on board all the way from India.

Enter Ms. Tanushree Bagrodia. CFO of NRB Bearings, a listed manufacturing concern with revenue of over $166bn & Nominee Director of a huge specialty hospital in India.

Hustler. Role-shifter. Game-changer. Believer.

Tanushree believes in free interactions and wanted the brief for the event to be as limited as possible. We requested her to talk about the banking and finance world in the changing face of technology and how she has managed to navigate through various roles as a woman while also wonderfully managing her profession.

From the year 2003 to 2018 there has been a 335% increase in women in leadership roles in S&P 500. This appalling fact that Tanushree began her talk with doesn’t excite her.

“The only thing it does is express bias.”

Being born and raised in a country like India at a time of extreme gender biasness she was never raised like a daughter she states. She was raised as a prankster and a curious child. Her strong upbringing contributed a lot to her ambitious drive. Raised without a bias herself, she put into perspective how the first step towards removing biasness can be to not celebrate it.

This resonated with a few and puzzled a few, but stuck as something to think about with us all MBA students.

Having graduated from INSEAD MBA at a fairly young age and seeing her share of struggles trying to make it in the banking sector in London at a tumultuous time for finance, she understood the important of being at it. You need to be well researched, persevered, thought out of the box in life are the exact words about the first most important thing she’s learnt in her life.

A very important point put across by her to our investment banking enthusiasts was the importance of understanding different aspects of the sector. Back, middle and front office are as important to know about and understand as they can be, because the decision of where you want to be decides your career ahead.

Till you don’t. Because it is always important to reinvent yourself. The second important learning. She was part of one of the only deals for partially convertible bonds issued in the world at a time when she was balancing another Asian convertible bond deal in Taiwan. Going without sleep for 52 hours, managing the time differences, to succeed in both. She was pushing the limits and teaching us to do the same. She reinvented herself once again when she moved to the India to test the growing financials market there. Accepted defeat when she couldn’t navigate through the bureaucracy and then reinvented to become a CFO.

Life will never stop throwing hard balls at you. You need to move on and most importantly as B school students and business enthusiasts keep yourself very updated about, well, everything. This was what we gathered from a powerhouse woman who left us inspired and very curious.

Fellows MBA – Orientation

Article written by Venkatsubrmaniam Wuppuluru

11th July 2016 – First day of Nanyang Fellows MBA program. Personally, for someone who is going back to school after 9 long years, there were mixed emotions. There were some, in our cohort, who were coming back to school after 25 long years. A lot depended on the orientation week, which I believed would ultimately set the tone for the rest of the year.

Day 1 of orientation: The first half dedicated towards completing joining formalities. Post which, we were treated to an enticing lunch, followed by the welcome & introduction session, presided over by the Associate Dean and senior leadership of the Nanyang Fellows MBA program. We were also given briefings on the programs

A team building activity was scheduled for the second half of the day. The venue for this event was Cookyn Inc. The required the entire cohort to be split into multiple teams, roll up our sleeved and test our culinary skills. Thankfully, we had experienced chefs, who were guiding us in our humble efforts to make dishes, which eventually had to consumed by the ones who made it. The thought of having to eat the food prepared by ourselves meant, the cohort gave it their best shot. In the retrospect, I strongly believe the effort, put in by the cohort to study the finance module, would be a fraction of the efforts they put in to make those yummy dishes.

This event was the perfect start to get the ball rolling and paved the way for the students to get to know each other.