The Nanyang EMBA changed my life

The Nanyang EMBA changed my life

Graduate Studies Blog

Nanyang Executive MBA

The Nanyang EMBA changed my life

Dr Koh Hau-Tek knows exactly where his passion and purpose lie: at the intersection of medicine and business.

It all began about a decade ago. After years training and working as a doctor, Dr Koh took up the role of Medical Director, where he began overseeing the operations and clinical quality of some of Singapore’s top healthcare facilities.

The new path diversified his skills, and he gained experience in different fields like business development, finance, corporate strategy and human resource.

Yet while learning hard on the job, Dr Koh was motivated to do better. “I decided that I wanted to enter business school, so that I could formally develop management skills in a structured manner,” he says.

At age 40 then, the medical doctor went on to gift himself the Nanyang Executive MBA (EMBA) programme. It was a gift that Dr Koh admits, “certainly changed my life”.

The world at his feet
The Nanyang EMBA programme welcomes top professionals from a variety of industries: to date, graduates comprise 40 nationalities from more than 20 sectors such as technology, finance and education, and from SMEs and MNCs.

The programme appealed to Dr Koh because he wanted exposure to the management practices of industries other than his own—he was hungry for fresh insights that could be useful in healthcare.

As they journeyed together, NBS Class of 2016 forged deep and solid connections, alumnus Dr Koh reminisces.

In fact, upon graduation, Dr Koh quickly secured a new position in a very different sector—technology & security —through the recommendation of a course mate. “I never imagined I would make such a radical move in my life!” he says. “The network turned out to be very wide and brimming with opportunities.”

Dr Koh adds that he was able to deliver in his new role with the skills he gained through the programme. He thanks both his course mates and the international faculty—including UC Berkeley and The Wharton School, where he attended selected modules—for sharpening his thinking.

He emphasises the importance of acquiring a global mindset: “The faculty imparted critical management tools that broadened my ability to analyse issues and problem-solve from different perspectives. Meanwhile, my course mates shared top-notch ideas and they had different but impressive thought processes. We challenged each other’s thinking; I’ve been able to go beyond my own worldview and envision more possibilities.”

Dr Koh is indeed the perfect candidate for the position of Deputy Chief Medical Officer at the East-meets-West healthcare company Jiahui Health, a fast growing and now the largest private healthcare ecosystem based in Shanghai and is in a unique collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital. Today, Dr Koh plays a critical role in operationalising an international grade hospital & associated medical centres for his company to deliver integrated clinical services and global resources to patients in and outside of China.   

A journey of self-discovery
Effective management is the art and science of applying both hard and soft skills.

For Dr Koh, one of the most memorable parts of the EMBA programme was the coaching segment, which strengthened his soft skills in leadership by encouraging him to search himself deeply.

He says: “I was able to gradually understand the values that I want to possess as a leader. Today, I practise authentic leadership with my teams. It has been a very positive experience.”

In the area of personal development, Dr Koh describes how the EMBA programme improved his confidence.

“During the programme, I had lots of practice speaking in varied settings: presentations, group work, one-on-one sessions,” Dr Koh, who is an introvert by nature, says. “I now know more deeply the importance of communicating well publicly and I am much better trained for it.”

Dr Koh reflects on the EMBA programme as a milestone in his career progression and says that, in hindsight, he could have prepared for it a little more.

He explains: “I should have familiarised myself more with some of the theories and case studies before embarking on the programme. This would have helped me to understand the finance and innovation concepts more quickly.”

Ultimately, as students join the programme—each bringing their own background—they can make the best out of the experience in his or her unique ways.

Dr Koh offers a tip to new students: “Go into it with an open mind and get to know as many course mates as possible. It’s going to be an enriching time encountering many cultures, learning from the deep and diverse professional experiences of others and having highly fruitful interactions. Like me, the programme will give you much more than expected.”

To learn more about the Nanyang EMBA programme, please visit our website or contact Shareen at

Prasad Sawant, NTU’s MSc in Financial Engineering

Prasad Sawant, NTU’s MSc in Financial Engineering

Graduate Studies Blog

NANYANG Financial Engineering

From Aerospace Engineering to Financial Trading, NTU alumnus Prasad Sawant gets off to a flying start with NTU’s MSc in Financial Engineering

Prasad Sawant stumbled upon the world of financial trading quite by chance. After completing his bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, Prasad landed his first job at a global FinTech services provider because of his strong quantitative, problem-solving abilities and programming skills. He programmed algorithmic strategies on options for clients, interacted with traders, started learning the quantitative aspect of trading and was drawn towards gaining a deeper understanding of the mathematics of markets.

Prasad aspired to become a trader and eventually run his own hedge fund. He initially thought of pursuing an MBA in Finance but on doing research, he came across the Master’s in Financial Engineering (MFE) programme, which he found better suited to achieving his goal.

With a view to gaining global exposure and practical experience, Prasad seized the opportunity offered by his employer to transfer to the Singapore office. His plan was to pursue a master’s on a part-time basis while working, as it would allow him to keep up with the markets and see real-life applications of the concepts learned in class.

Prasad chose the MFE programme offered by Nanyang Technological University because it offered him the flexibility to continue working while studying and gave him a comprehensive understanding of all aspects related to trading. He found the courses were well designed and arranged in a good sequence. Prasad enjoyed Machine Learning, and the Stochastic Calculus courses and their implementation in the financial world were his personal favourites. Courses like Corporate Finance. Derivatives, Asset Pricing Theory, Bond Pricing, Risk management helped strengthen his conceptual understanding. Case study discussions in Prof. Nilanjan Sen’s classes were a great way to mould theoretical principles to solve problems in the finance world.

One of the highlights of his master’s experience was the seven-week term at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), where he got to expand his knowledge, learn from great faculty and apply it to real life scenarios in the trading world. Courses and assignments at CMU like the Interest rate derivatives course case study as final exam, live trading, industry experiences shared by the Energy Derivatives visiting professor were invaluable. Prasad was thrilled to earn a gold medal during the CMU semester!

Reflecting on his academic journey, Prasad feels the MFE programme has strengthened his knowledge of financial markets, and instilled confidence to push forward in his new career as a trader. Today, he is excited about writing algorithms for his own strategies and coming up with his own ideas. He believes that for future applicants to get the most out of the programme it is important that they really understand their short term and long term professional goals.

To learn more about the MSc Financial Engineering programme, please visit our website.

Nanyang MBA participants’ visit to Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co., Ltd.

Nanyang MBA participants’ visit to Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co., Ltd.

Graduate Studies Blog


Nanyang MBA participants’ visit to Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co., Ltd.

Contributed by Nanyang MBA participant, Tanmay Patkeshwar

As part of our week-long Business Study Mission (BSM) to Japan, the Nanyang MBA participants visited Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co., Ltd. (MUCAP), the venture capital arm of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG). MUCAP is one of the leading venture capital companies in Japan.  Set up in 1974, MUCAP has since invested in several companies and played an integral role in the growth story of Japan.

This was the second time that Mr Kotaro Shinra, Head of Business Administration Department and Investment Planning for MUCAP had invited MBA participants from NBS to visit MUCAP. The previous Nanyang MBA cohort found their visit to MUCAP to be the highlight of the BSM, so we were all looking forward to this visit!

Upon arriving at MUFG, we were introduced to several senior executives from MUFG, including Mr Shinsuke Sakamoto, President of MUCAP, and the management team of AuB Inc – CEO, Mr Keita Suzuki, CTO, Mr Rintaro Fujikawa, and CFO, Mr Tomohisa Tanaka. A start-up that MUCAP has invested in, AuB aims to use data harvested from human faeces to help improve the overall health and performance of athletes.

This visit also included an engaging session where we discussed how AuB could refine their business model. Working in teams, we analysed current business issues faced by the company, interacted with Mr Shinra and the AuB management team to gain more insights on the company and the industry, and then presented our ideas after 15 minutes of brainstorming. The AuB team was quite impressed by our ideas and shared that they may implement some of these ideas. They also invited us to work with them on the implementation in future.

In his closing remarks, Mr Shinra shared about the decision-making methodologies of venture capital companies and other aspects they consider when making investments. His insights were very useful in helping us understand the complex and competitive world of venture capitalism.

In conclusion, this visit to MUCAP was exceptionally interesting and the opportunity to deal with a real-life business scenario was an excellent learning experience for all of us. We are very grateful to MUFG, especially to MUCAP for hosting us and providing this rare opportunity. ありがとうございます[Thank you] from Nanyang Business School, Singapore!!

[Why NBS] with MBA alumni Calliste Kouadio.

[Why NBS] with MBA alumni Calliste Kouadio.

Graduate Studies Blog


[Why NBS] with MBA alumni Calliste Kouadio.

Present position:


How was your professional journey after NBS up till your present role?
(Mention internships, job changes etc.)
I fully embarked in entrepreneurship. I partnered with a friend, chartered accountant, to launch a consulting firm targeting SMEs. The company was created in 2010. Our approach is to offer expertise at highly competitive rate to SMEs. They largely cannot afford consulting services proposed by established firms such as PwC or KPMG. The idea is to use a pool of highly experienced freelance consultants to deliver cheaper yet first-class services in various areas among others, technology (software development mainly), strategy, corporate finance, accounting, organization, training.

2. Tell us about your current role and what inspires you to pursue this daily?
With my partner, we are fueled by the idea of contributing in shaping our country economy. In fact, in Ivory Coast (as it is in all developing countries), 9 out of 10 jobs are generated by the private sector which is mainly composed of SMEs. SMEs are thus the engine for economic growth and helping them solve actual problems is what drive us.

Connection with NBS:

3. How relevant was NBS in your professional development? (please speak about alumni network, career fairs, education etc.)
NBS equipped me with all necessary knowledge and resources to scale up this venture.
4. Which person at NBS was the most impactful?
I particularly enjoyed the economics and strategy classes. Prof Gibbons and Siriwan was inspirational and highly instructive during lectures and discussions.
5. What advice would you give the current and future students to make their NBS experience better?
More interactions with other programs may be something to explore.
6. Your favorite hangout zone at NTU and why?
North Spine. I used to seat there for reading and individual assignments.
7. Your favorite memory of being at NTU.
The orientation week.
8. If given a chance, would you like to come at the campus and interact with the present cohort?


9. Which course(s) did you find the most interesting?
Strategy, Economics and Corporate M&A

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

CA Sakshi Agrawal deepens her knowledge and skills with MSc in Accountancy at NTU

CA Sakshi Agrawal deepens her knowledge and skills with MSc in Accountancy at NTU

Graduate Studies Blog

MSc accountancy

CA Sakshi Agrawal deepens her knowledge and skills with MSc in Accountancy at NTU

For Sakshi Agrawal, successfully completing the chartered accountancy course in India was an important step in her professional development. As she considered her options, Sakshi realised that she was keen to get global experience before settling into a full time job. She wanted to build on her skill set and round out her personality through travel and networking with people from diverse backgrounds.

For Sakshi, pursuing an MSc in Accountancy seemed like the logical, next step.

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU) was her preferred choice. Sakshi felt that the NTU programme in Accountancy was well planned and would offer her tremendous opportunity for interaction in the business world.  The university’s ranking, location in one of Asia Pacific’s important financial hubs and multicultural population were factors that contributed to her decision. Proximity to India meant that she could be close to her family.

Sakshi graduated in February 2019 and is now working with PwC in Singapore.

Reflecting on her academic journey, Sakshi feels the year-long master’s programme has gone by quickly with assignments, presentations, examinations and two internships! She loved studying at NTU’s lush green campus. There were several networking sessions organised by the university, which presented an occasion to meet and learn from executives of different companies, start-ups and financial institutions. Professors offered job and career related insights.

Another aspect about NTU that she thoroughly enjoyed was the ability to participate in events, talks and competitions organised by other courses; students were welcome no matter their field of study.  One Sunday, Sakshi attended a speaker session organised by the MBA Banking and Finance club. The guest speaker happened to be a CFO of a company that had a manufacturing plant in her home town. She was elated at the chance to engage in a conversation with one of the top women CFOs in India.

Being away from her comfort zone, Sakshi embraced change with confidence – learning to cook, juggle course commitments with work, resolve problems and became financially independent.

Sakshi believes the MSc in Accountancy offers an amazing opportunity for applicants from non-accounting backgrounds who are looking to understand numbers. She feels that prospective students should develop an awareness of their interests, goals, strengths and skills and be able to express why they would be a fit for the programme. Her advice for students enrolled in the programme: pay attention and take advantage of the many opportunities that will come your way, as this will help you develop your potential to the fullest.

To find out more about the MSc Accountancy programme, please visit our website.