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Nanyang MBA Admissions and Related Blogs

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CHAMPIONS of the John Molson Case Competition 2019  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Feb 2019, 23:00
FROM Nanyang Admissions Blog: CHAMPIONS of the John Molson Case Competition 2019
Reflections on the John Molson Case Competition by (L to R) Liao Minghao, Victor Han, Daniela Pillhofer and Vishnu Prasad. Nanyang MBA, Class of 2019. 

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What motivated you to join this case competition?

It started with Prof. Vijay Sethi’s sharing of the competition in class. We quickly realised that the opportunity to participate at the JM Case Competition would provide an occasion to test our skills in an intense environment, thus making it a great learning experience. For Minghao, for example, it was also tempting to test whether he could succeed in a business competition despite coming from a military background. We certainly loved a good challenge at a global scope and envisioned the competition as a platform to build on essential employment skills, such as thinking on one’s feet, presentation skills and case analysis – which is a must-have for a consulting career, which Victor envisions to take on.

What was the competition like? How many rounds were there? What were you tasked to do? How much time did you have/spend preparing for the challenge?

The competition comprised 36 teams representing Universities from 20 different countries. Teams were divided into 6 divisions with 6 teams each. In total, there were 5 pre-rounds after which the 6 division winners and the 3 best second-scorers across all divisions would proceed to the semi-finals. The 9 semi-finalists then competed for the 3 spots in the finals, thus making us solve 7 cases in total. In each round, we had to tackle a business case. In most rounds we had 3 hours to read, analyse and solve the case, including preparing our presentation. One round was a short-case, for which the time was reduced to 90 minutes. For the live case, which represented one of the week’s highlights, we had 120 minutes for preparation following 90 minutes of a company’s case presentation live on stage. Presentations lasted for 25 minutes. Judges, which consisted of a panel of 5 executives, then had 15 minutes for Q&A. Each round saw the team pitted against another team head-to-head. Our team was formed on 18 October 2018 and we spent a total of 40 hours in active practice, that is, we solved 8 cases together in Singapore before travelling to Montreal.

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Understand that this competition is the oldest and toughest global case competition in the world, what were some of the challenges you faced during this competition?

The time constraints were certainly a big challenge. Not only did we have limited time to familiarise ourselves with our respective work styles, but also did we have limited time to solve a case and prepare our recommendations. In this aspect team work was key and understanding everyone’s strengths but also weak points, was crucial. During our preparation time, we experimented with different team roles at first, but after the 3rd case, we agreed on defining every one’s roles clearly. As a team, we brainstormed and decided on the problems underlying the case and the solutions we would want to suggest. Yet, moving on from there, every single person had to take ownership in a specific direction. To exemplify, Daniela took the lead on the presentation and risk management; Minghao and Victor focused on our strategies’ implementation plan and Vishnu “owned” the financials. As we progressed to the semi-finals, fatigue set in and pushing through feelings of exhaustion posed a great challenge as well. Yet, we knew that we had to step up the game. We had to speed-up on our ideas generation, increase the amount of content we wanted to present, and come up with better stories that frame our presentation. Only due to maintaining vivid communication as a team and blindly understanding each other’s skills and boundaries, we managed to improve from case to case. Finally, our respective value propositions, which neatly complemented another, fully shined through.

What were some lessons learnt from taking part in the competition?

The sum is always greater than its parts. While all of us are from different backgrounds and nationalities, we understood that through transparent communication of one’s strengths and weaknesses, implicit barriers for cooperation can be overcome. We turned our challenging diversity into a strength – coming up with more ideas, opinions, working styles and stories. That said, diversity is key to success. Finally, it is very important to believe in oneself, irrespective of whether one already excels in a skill or one only starts making one’s first steps in a particular area. The right attitude can make a big difference. And importantly, nothing can beat a great story. We all love storytelling, don’t we?

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Did what you learnt during Nanyang MBA programme help in any way in this competition?

Certainly, some frameworks taught in classes were essential to our success. But even more importantly, our leadership classes were crucial to turning us into a winning team. Before we started working together, we were already sensitive to differing working styles and cultures and thus, were mentally prepared to adapt and compromise. Also, managing time under tight deadlines, which is common in our MBA programme, was very helpful. And of course, it was beneficial that we are used to giving presentations due to the MBA curriculum we currently enjoy. Finally, since the topic of “disruption” was guiding this year’s John Molson case competition, the learnings and insights from our Technology & E-business classes with Prof. Vijay Sethi proved being invaluable to encouraging us to think outside of the box.

Any tips for fellow MBA participants who are interested in taking part in this competition in the future?

The John Molson case competition certainly is a once in a lifetime opportunity to test one’s skills on a global, very competitive stage. We were very impressed by the quality of teams there and having managed to take the victory home to Singapore, is a great boost for our confidence. That said, anyone willing to take part in this competition should know that is a very time-intensive commitment and one only gets as much out of it, as one is willing to put in. If you decide to take part, approach it with an open-mind and always be open to pivot your ideas, guided by your team. Prepare early and prepare consistently. Embrace this opportunity and give it your all. Bond with your team and understand how you tick during time pressure. You cannot plan out everything, but you need to be ready to plan for everything – on the spot. Above all, enjoy it and share the John Molson spirit!

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To find out more about the Nanyang MBA programme please visit our website
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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MBA Olympics 2019  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Feb 2019, 23:00
FROM Nanyang Admissions Blog: MBA Olympics 2019
Article contributed by Abhishek Bhardwaj, Nanyang MBA Class of 2019 .

The 9th edition of the annual MBA Olympics was held on January 20, 2019. It is the marquee event of the Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University calendar where business schools from across Singapore come together to compete across various sports while supporting charitable causes.

Multiple teams from schools like National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore Management University (SMU), SP Jain School of Global Management, ESSEC and INSEAD congregated to support the cause of Special Olympics. Special Olympics is a global inclusion movement using sport, health, education and leadership programs every day around the world to end discrimination against and empower, people with intellectual disabilities. Its Singapore chapter is affiliated with the National Council of Social Services and the Singapore National Olympic Council.

The theme for this year’s Olympics was Stronger Together, showcasing unity in diversity, competing while working towards the common goal of supporting a noble cause. The schools competed across sports like Football, Basketball, Badminton, Table Tennis, Swimming, Chess and Track. Every participant and organizer braved the sweltering Singapore heat to keep things running smoothly, cheer for their friends and win for their school.

The cause was ably supported by generous sponsors like Casio, Fullerton Hotel, Milo, Red Bull, Aviva and Zouk. NUS won the overall trophy while it was heartening to see the Special Olympics team win the Badminton event. At the end of the day, an amount of $3000 was donated to the Special Olympics cause, strengthening Nanyang Business School’s determination in supporting worthy causes.

All in all, it was a great day highlighting the need to give your all on the field while making friends off it.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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PMBA PIONEER COHORT SERIES: (3) EXPERIENCE BY ABDUL AZIZ  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Feb 2019, 01:00
FROM Nanyang Admissions Blog: PMBA PIONEER COHORT SERIES: (3) EXPERIENCE BY ABDUL AZIZ
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Abdul Aziz Bin Mohamed Faizal, Assistant Vice President, Barclays Singapore, PMBA Class of 2019
Q: Tell us more about yourself.

A: I’m a business manager for technology in APAC and Singapore. Basically, my role encompasses managing the headcount in APAC region – Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and specific regions in India – and see if we can share resources in order to lower business cost. I also deal with the location strategy for these regions as well. Personal-wise, I’m pretty much a family guy. My wife and I love travelling, and we try to have at least one or two vacations a year. I also enjoy boxing and football.

Q: Other than work, what were you busy with before you embarked on the Nanyang Professional MBA?

A: Before the PMBA, I had more weekends available – so I would volunteer at tuition agency which partners with Yayasan Mendaki, a Malay-Muslim NGO. They provide tuition programmes to underprivileged students and I’m the head tutor. I like to contribute to the society and I felt one of the best ways is through teaching.

Q: How are things now that you’re a participant in the Nanyang PMBA programme?

A: Prior to the course, I had a discussion with my manager about embarking on the PMBA and he was very supportive. I requested if he could ease up my work commitments a little during the course and he agreed. This helped me tremendously in balancing work and study. I will share with him what I learned in the programme when I go back to work and he will expose me to projects that I can apply what I learnt in the course.

Q: How does your wife feel about you taking up this programme? Do you still have enough time to spend with each other?

A: She was very supportive. She is a very independent woman. In fact, I can’t do as well as her in most things, for example, planning our vacations.

Q: Have you thought about pursuing an MBA overseas?

A: I chose to pursue it here because of the strong rankings of our local institutions. And the reputation of NTU’s MBA will attract a very high-quality cohort.

Q: What would you say are the strengths of the PMBA programme?

A: One of the highlights of the PMBA is that it is a weekend programme. It is custom-made for working professionals compared to most part-time programmes where classes are on weekday evenings. This format allows us to get full attention from the school, and we can also be more deeply immersed in the programme. The faculty are really very strong. Also, a huge part of learning comes from my cohort. Their sharing and inputs helped me to grasp the concepts and gain clarity on the topics learned in the programme.

Q: So is the network just as important as what you are learning?

A: Yes. My classmates come from diverse industries and functions. For example, we have participants from industries like airlines, pharmaceutical/life sciences, education, finance, etc. Each of them offers different perspectives on a specific topic and I think I wouldn’t be able to get that if I didn’t join the programme.

Q: What are your major milestones and achievements in life? It doesn’t have to be related to work.

A: I was never really an “A” grade student. I pursued my degree in a private tertiary education, yet I managed to earn the Gold Award which meant I was top in my cohort of about 2,000 students. It’s an achievement that I hold dearly to. It was the first time I proved to myself that I could actually achieve something if I set my mind to it.

Q: Any other major milestones that you’re proud of?

A: Being accepted into NTU’s PMBA programme. Some might not think of it as a milestone, but I think it’s something not to be taken lightly. And if I could add, I joined Macquarie, an Australian bank as an associate and after one year of being in the company, I was the only associate to be able to approve payments up to one million Australian dollars.

Q: What are your core values?

A: Loyalty and honesty. Honesty is important because if one is dishonest, it will be difficult to gain others’ trust. It is not easy to be honest or ethical all the time, but there are long-term benefits of being so.

Q: How about loyalty?

A: For example, my current and previous managers gave me opportunities to shine and helped me with my promotion. Many think that after I graduate from the PMBA, I will leave the company but I wouldn’t because my current manager was very supportive of me taking up this programme. Every time there was a weekend class, I would take one day of leave to recharge and I had my manager’s blessing. So it’s not just about me alone reaping the rewards. With the knowledge and skill sets I gain from the PMBA, I believe I will become a better asset to the company, and that indirectly benefits him as well.

Q: What do you take pride most in your work?

A: I always look at how I can contribute to the bottom line of the company. Though I’m not in sales, I look at how my actions and decisions can help the profitability of the business.

Q: What are your current goals and vision, and where do you see yourself in five to ten years’ time?

A: Upon completing the PMBA, I hope to leverage it to further my career to the next level which is to become a Vice-President (VP) and get a wider portfolio, hopefully a global role. But that is only the career perspective. Personally, I’d like to be more involved in the community like how I was before, and I would look for opportunities where I can contribute. One of the principles I learned is that – don’t look at those who are given more but look at those who are given less. That drives me, because if I can help one person, even if it’s just one person, it matters to them and could make a huge difference.

To find out more about the Nanyang PMBA programme, please visit our website
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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MBA Alumni on the Nanyang-Waseda and working at Microsoft Japan  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Feb 2019, 19:00
FROM Nanyang Admissions Blog: MBA Alumni on the Nanyang-Waseda and working at Microsoft Japan
“Work hard, play hard and be insatiably curious”: Class of 2018 Graduate, Leo Tan on the Nanyang-Waseda Double MBA and working at Microsoft Japan. 

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As an undergraduate studying applied chemistry, Leo Tan never imagined that he would eventually work at tech giant Microsoft as an operations deal manager.

After obtaining his bachelor’s degree, he filled roles in sales and business development at two Japanese companies. His jobs allowed him to travel extensively and work in countries such as Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, India and Japan. But he longed for something more.

“I had immense cultural exposure, but everything was happening so rapidly. I wanted to take some time off to consolidate what I had learnt and do that in a structured environment where I could also get a business education,” says Leo.

He decided to further his studies by enrolling in the Nanyang-Waseda Double MBA programme. A collaboration between Nanyang Business School and Waseda Business School, the 14-month programme equips its participants with an understanding of both global business and technology management.

Participants learn from Nanyang and Waseda professors both in Singapore and Japan.

The programme appealed to Leo, as he was interested in technology and proficient in Japanese, having worked as a translator and Business English teacher to Japanese adults.

The Nanyang-Waseda Double MBA has helped him to develop a deeper appreciation for the various perspectives of people from different cultures, industries and socio-economic backgrounds.

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“The opportunity to mix around with international classmates from all over the world has really expanded my horizons. One of my biggest takeaways from the programme was being able to learn and experience how everybody brought their own strengths, weaknesses and personal experiences to the table,” says Leo, who works at Microsoft’s Tokyo office under the firm’s Aspire Experience graduate programme. He completed his Double MBA last September.

In addition, the highly interactive nature of the Double MBA programme allowed him to exchange ideas frequently with his classmates. “That really made me realise how there can be many perspectives towards one issue. It’s not necessarily about which perspective is right or wrong. It’s just different, and we have to learn to respect that.”

Through the programme, Leo also recognised the importance of being humble and grateful for learning opportunities, and to leverage them. He represented Nanyang Business School in competitions such as last year’s John Molson MBA International Case Competition in Montreal, where his team made it to the semi-finals.

“These competitions allowed me to refine and hone my skills to look at problems in a more structured way,” says Leo, who adds that the programme has both a high calibre of people and content.

The content he learnt, coupled with the interpersonal skills he picked up and continues to develop, have helped him in his current role. “My main takeaway from the Double MBA is the flexibility of thought and the humility to recognise that multiple perspectives exist.”

Besides these, the programme allowed him to build long-lasting relationships with his classmates due to its small class size. The modules were also very relevant as the faculty ensured that the course content was constantly updated, he adds.

Reflecting on his time in Japan during the programme, he recalls his site visits to established companies such as a 500-year-old Japanese dessert company (Toraya Confectionery), an oil and gas conglomerate (JXTG), an electronics multinational corporation (Panasonic) and Tokyo Disneyland theme park operator (Oriental Land). “We had the rare opportunity to gain a wide breadth of perspective from various fields such as entertainment, oil & gas and technology.”

Leo advises future MBA participants to “work hard, play hard and be insatiably curious” — It’s cliché, but the reason why it is cliché is because it’s true, he explains.

“School is a safe environment to make mistakes. In the industry, it’s a different ball game. So go in with an open mind and be curious about everything. Make great friends along the way. And have fun!”
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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MBA Alumni on the Nanyang-Waseda and working at Microsoft Japan   [#permalink] 12 Feb 2019, 19:00

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