Biz Alumni 26 December 2017

Going beyond with a NUS MBA double degree programme

Ms Chua Nan Sze, Director of NUS Business School’s Graduate Studies looks back on her time when she was also a student of the NUS MBA double degree programme, with Peking University.

Associate Professor Quek Ser Aik and Nan Sze (right) at her MBA double degree graduation ceremony

I decided to take the road less travelled and in my opinion, one of the best decisions I have ever made. When I was younger, I was never a great fan of Chinese or China and had struggled through my Chinese lessons. Having earned my undergraduate degree in Canada, I wanted to do my postgraduate degree in Singapore.

After doing some research, I found that NUS offered a partnership with Peking University, while NTU had partnerships with Waseda and St Gallen. Young and hungry for adventure plus wanting to improve my Chinese language skills, I decided that NUS would be my choice.

Nan Sze’s (last row, third from left) class with the late Prof Lim Chin (front row, middle) who was then acting Dean of NUS Business School

The next two years were nothing short of an adventure. While speaking to strangers, they were awestruck that I was an MBA candidate at Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management. This was partly because I started off incapable of even placing an order at McDonald’s in Chinese.

As the year progressed, so did my knowledge, skills and appreciation of the Chinese culture. Best of all, I was able to complete the entire MBA comfortably in English while practicing Chinese with my peers outside the classroom. Back at NUS, I juggled a rigorous management education while holding office as President of the Graduate Students Society, the student government body representing all 10,000 postgraduates in NUS, serving the community while honing my leadership skills.

Being both a NUS and Peking University MBA graduate definitely elevated my credibility which was, and still is, crucial in business dealings in the world’s largest economic powerhouse. Having a common interest and experience in China helps build an almost instantaneous bond. As fate would have it, I currently oversee the suite of graduate programmes in NUS Business School, including the NUS Executive MBA (Chinese) and the Master of Public Administration and Management (MPAM) programmes that cater to top business leaders, successful entrepreneurs and senior government officials mainly from Greater China.

Fellow Singaporeans of the NUS MBA double degree with Peking University class of 2005, climbing the great wall of China

My experience helped me gain a better standing in the Chinese communities I network in. Similarly, my double degree peers were offered plenty of opportunities to work in China while some of the S3 Asia MBA alumni I know work in Chinese or Korean companies despite being of Indian origin.

Having worked with many cohorts of NUS MBA students that came after me, my advise is for you to get out of your comfort zone and push boundaries. That would hold you steady to go on an adventure of a lifetime. Be that visionary, look far beyond and gain the edge over others!

Some of the partner Universities you can take with the NUS MBA programme include:

  1. S3 Asia MBA – The NUS MBA Tripartite Collaboration with Fudan University & Korea University
  2. The NUS MBA Double Degree with Peking University
  3. The NUS MBA Double Degree with HEC Paris
  4. The NUS MBA Double Degree with Yale University’s Master of Advanced Management

Still unsure if you should take up a double degree MBA programme? Here are the top 3 reasons why you should!

  1. The entire programme can be completed in English, with options to learn other languages like Chinese or Korean.
  2. The cost of a double degree MBA programme is about $2,000 more than the NUS MBA flagship programme. In terms of duration, instead of 17 months, you only need to spend on average an extra one to six months to acquire two degrees.
  3. You’d get access to the alumni networks and services of not just NUS, but also the partner universities as you are also their student and alumna!

For more information, visit http://mba.nus.edu/en-SG/academics/double-degrees-programmes/