As we come to the end of 2014, here’s a look back at some key highlights of this past year. Thank you all for your engagement and support! Have a Happy New Year!
29 BBA students recently saw their hard work come to fruition during The Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy’s (ACSEP) “Learning by Giving at NUS” event.
As part of a course, “Measuring Success in Philanthropy and Impact Investing,” the students had to identify the most donation-worthy charities in Singapore by adapting and using frameworks and tools created by Northeastern University. They had to use the RISE assessment framework to ascertain the Relevance, Impact, Sustainability and Excellence of the charities they were looking at.
According to Dr Tan Jee Peng, NUS Visiting Fellow who has had more than 30 years of rich experience with The World Bank, “young people should learn now to give by having actual dollars to give away. By trusting students to make philanthropic investments… gives them a sense of agency and social responsibility.”
Through the generosity of Mr. Keith Chua, Executive Chairman of ABR Holdings and Chairman of ACSEP’s Advisory Board, the students were empowered to donate a total of SGD40,000 to charities that they identify as being the most donation-worthy. They include:
- Care Corner Family Service Centre (Admiralty)
- Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore
- Singapore Red Cross
- Home Nursing Foundation
- New Life Community Services
- Kidney Dialysis Foundation
- Reach Community Services Society
Home Nursing Foundation received an additional SGD5,000 for being voted “Top of the Tops” by the class.
The identified charities were recognized through the award of a grant from the Mrs. Lee Choon Guan Trust Fund, a foundation that honors Mr. Chua’s late great grandmother.
Congratulations to our BBA team for clinching the top prize in the McCombs Fall Case Competition, the most prestigious case competition event held by the McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin. The annual competition gives students an opportunity to showcase their business talents by helping to solve a real-world business problem proposed by corporate sponsors.
The team comprising Lee Wee Siang, Justin Low Jie Hong, Tay Si Song and Jasper Yong Jia Hua beat 34 others to emerge victors. The students, who are currently on exchange under the Student Exchange Programme (SEP), credit their win to the opportunities provided by the NUS BBA programme.
“We really appreciate this SEP experience and would like to thank those who worked hard to provide us with this once in a life time opportunity,” says Wee Siang.
The SEP offers invaluable international experience for students to develop an awareness and appreciation of other cultures, as well as broaden their outlook and approach to doing business. For this team, the experience was further enriched when they chose to make the most of the opportunities that came their way.
“We hope to inspire other students to take part in more of such competitions during their exchange as well. It has certainly been a great learning experience for us,” added Wee Siang.
A new champion was crowned at the finals of NUS Cerebration 2014 held on 12 November at the NUS Guild House. The grand prize of S$10,000 went to MBA students from School of Business Management, NMIMS Mumbai (NMIMS), consisting of Aman Jain, Anisha Mukhija and Prince Jain. Teams from Anderson School of Management, Kenan-Flagler Business School and Tuck School of Business joined the NMIMS team in the Grand Final.
The winning team impressed the judges with their proposal for devising the most feasible and convincing business strategy for a Singapore-based interior furnishing company whose business has not been performing as well in India as it has in other Asian markets. The judges were impressed by the thorough research and comprehensive proposal, which included strategies for the premium market, cross-selling and social media engagement.
“It was fantastic to take part in the finals of Cerebration 2014 in Singapore and see the excellent and innovative ideas of the other teams. Despite the pressures, challenges and disagreements we faced leading up to this stage of the competition, it has definitely been an experience that stretched our ability to work as a team, and that is something that will come in useful in the course of our careers,” said Ms Anisha Mukhija from NMIMS.
Organised entirely by our MBA students, the event attracted entries from 601 teams from 150 business schools in 34 countries. Now into its 10th year, the annual NUS Cerebration has seen many changes, including how case requirements have evolved to keep pace with industry developments. This year, participants were tasked to address the transformation of the global economy and rapid digitisation of business and consumer lifestyles – real challenges faced by sponsors Daimler Financial Services and SPRING Singapore.
“NUS Business School is proud to host the world’s largest student-organised MBA case competition and be a global platform for the exchange of knowledge and ideas, in line with our vision to be Asia’s leading business school,” says Associate Professor Susanna Leong, Vice Dean of Graduate Studies, NUS Business School.
For the organisers, it has been a fulfilling journey with unforgettable memories of camaraderie among fellow organisers and students from all over the world. Remarked Mr Amrit Dureja, leader of the Cerebration 2014 organising team and NUS MBA student: “It has been an opportunity we are all thankful for, and an honour to be part of the organising team for the 10th edition of Cerebration. I look forward to seeing future cohorts of NUS MBA students benefit from this enriching experience, just as we have.”
NUS Business School’s China Business Centre (CBC) officially launched its Suzhou office within NUS (Suzhou) Research Institute (NUSRI) in Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) on 27 October.
The launch was part of a larger Framework Agreement between NUS and SIP that was signed by NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan and Mr Yang Zhiping, Director of the SIP Administrative Committee. The Agreement will see a strategic collaboration between SIP and the following NUS centres:
For Mr Foo and Ms Tan, their romantic partnership began more than 20 years ago on campus when they were studying for their BBA. This year, as they celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary, they decided to commemorate their courtship days by making a gift to the NUS Campus Couples Bursary Fund.
The NUS Campus Couples Bursary Fund is an alumni-led initiative which encourages couples who met on campus to make a gift to bursaries in support of financially disadvantaged students.
Mr Foo and Ms Tan were inspired by this initiative and have been spreading the word to their friends to generate more awareness for the Fund. They liked that it is a more direct way of giving back “as we know specifically how the money will be used to help the next generation”.
The couple shared fond memories of the time they stayed at Temasek Hall. They bonded when they participated in activities together and also forged strong lasting friendships with fellow hall mates.
In addition to celebrating a successful marriage as a campus couple, the gift is also dedicated to their two sons. They hope that their gift will act as a good ‘pay it forward’ message to pass along to their children.
“It will remind them to never forget the breaks we have been given in our youth and that we should give back by creating opportunities for generations to come,” says Mr Foo.
“Though our Bursary is small by today’s standards, we hope that it will make a difference to a student with financial difficulties to achieve his or her educational goals and be able to have a fulfilling university experience,” Mr Foo adds.
For more, check out NUS Giving.
“The key to unlocking the potential of the future,” said Jerome Tan in his opening salvo that led the NUS team to 1st runner up position at the Citi International Case Competition organized by Hong Kong University of Science & Technology.
The NUS team wowed the judges with their professional consulting-style analysis and sleek presentation to unlock the branding and expansion potential for the Langham Hospitality Group (LHG), a Hong Kong-owned hotel chain consisting of The Langham, a five-star bespoke hotel; Langham Place, a modern luxury hotel; Eaton Hotel, targeted at the Millennials; and a soon-to-be-launched hotel for business travelers.
Besides Jerome, the NUS team comprising Abigail Ho, Douglas Eu, and Eugenia Lee, advised by Professor Ang Swee Hoon, flew our flag high as the only Asian team to make it to the finals. Jerome, a seasoned case participant, led the team. Abigail is in her final year, while Douglas and Eugenia are “newbies” to international case competitions.
“The HKUST Citi International Case Competition was an experience like no other. Having to work on a 22-hour case, as well as to compete in an interrupted Q&A presentation in the finals, definitely pushed the four of us to not only be analytical but also have agile minds,” remarked Eugenia. She added, “The competition brought together individuals from all over the world, and allowed me to forge new friendships that I am definitely going to keep. It was a grueling but rewarding week and I am glad to say that we did our best.”
A challenging competition indeed as there were 18 top universities from 11 countries and 5 continents, pitting against each other.
In the first round with 6 universities competing in each of 3 divisions, NUS emerged winners in their division. The first round chief judge, Mr Bob Van Den Oord, Managing Director and Vice President of Brands at LHG, was impressed with the team’s thought process, analysis and delivery.
In the finals where judges were allowed to interrupt their presentation, the team battled the onslaught of questions from 7 prominent judges representing LHG, Citibank, and consulting firms, Accenture and Oliver Wyman. The judges commented that they could not have delivered that high level of analysis as students at their age.
All in, a feather in the cap for the students and NUS.
Almost 50 BBA and Accountancy students had the opportunity to meet and network with 20 representatives from six accounting firms at the Accountancy Career Evening held at the Shaw Foundation Alumni House on 28 October.
Organised by the School’s Career Services team, in collaboration with Spring Singapore for the second year running, this event brought students face-to-face with the partners, directors and HR personnel of mid-sized accounting firms without having to be short-listed.
The session was mutually beneficial – students learnt of internship and job opportunities while it was also a unique opportunity to promote their corporate brand and gain access to the CVs of participating students. They can also get the support of Spring Singapore to defray the cost of hiring our interns and graduates via their SME Talent Programme.
The participating firms this year were BDO LLP, Foo Kon Tan Grant Thornton, Crowe Howarth, PKF-CAP, Moore Stephens and RSM Chio Lim. Representatives from the Singapore Accountancy Commission, Spring Singapore and the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) were also present at the event.
“We recruited 7 students from last year’s same event and we have been very impressed by their performance. That’s the reason why we are so eager to participate in this event,” said Lee Mong Sheong, Partner, Audit, RSM Chio Lim.
Structured like “speed-dating,” the group speed interview format saw students interviewed in groups of four to six by two representatives from each company. The group sessions helped put the students at ease and also allowed the companies to shorten the interview process.
“I enjoyed myself tonight and am glad I came for the networking session! The food, ambience and environment were great too. I look forward to such similar events in the future,” said Yong Hui Min, Accountancy student.
Some 320 business delegates from Singapore and China attended the inaugural forum at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Singapore to launch the China Business Centre (CBC) on 24 September. Prominent speakers and panellists, including CapitaLand’s former CEO Professor Liew Mun Leong, IE Singapore’s Mr Teo Eng Cheong, New Hope Group’s Professor Chen Chunhua and Huawei’s Mr Tian Tao shared their views on globalisation and business transformation.