India to Germany: How the NUS MBA changed my life

NUS MBA alumni Ms Mehak Chadha from class of 2017 shares about her MBA journey at NUS and how it was the best 17 months of her life.

Mehak (centre) with her fellow MBA classmates

In 2015, I made the best decision of my life: one that that challenged and enabled me to transform into a stronger and more empowered individual and professional. I decided to pursue my MBA at NUS Business School. Since then, I have lived in three countries: Singapore, the United States and Germany.

Before the MBA, when I lived in India, my home country, I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would live and work in Germany. Here’s how my decision to join the NUS MBA shaped my journey.

Why MBA?

I had contemplated doing an MBA for several years. As an undergraduate student of Economics at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, I was surrounded by college mates who pursued their MBA at prestigious universities all over the world. At that point, I thought about doing one too, just because it seemed like the “right thing to do”. I didn’t act on it – thankfully, as I wasn’t ready for the rigor of an MBA immediately after undergraduate school.

Instead, I joined the workforce and fell in love with the dynamic world of business. The desire to do an MBA found me again while I was at Disney. I wanted a new challenge. I knew my academic journey wasn’t over, I wanted to learn new things and I wanted a global education that would allow me to live in a new country, travel and meet people from all over the world. Most importantly, I wanted to accelerate my career, gain more responsibilities and work in an international market.

Why NUS?

NUS was my top choice. As Asia’s best university, it is well-known all over the world. The Singaporean economy is a powerhouse of Asia with almost all international companies having regional headquarters in the city. Singapore’s multicultural environment gives the opportunity to build a network with people from all over the world. When NUS granted me the “NUS MBA Excellence Award” scholarship for well-rounded academic and professional, I knew the School appreciated my background and I knew I had made a good decision.

A glimpse of social life at the NUS MBA

How did I end up in Germany?

I had two extremely enriching internships during my MBA. The first was a part-time internship at Morgan Philips Executive Search, a European headhunting start-up that runs its Southeast Asian operations from Singapore. I found this internship through a job posting by the School’s Career Services Office.

My second internship I found while networking at the MBA World Summit 2016 in Miami – a unique opportunity with Amazon in Germany. The summit gathers the 100 most inspiring MBA students from all over the world, as well as top executives from a small number of carefully selected companies that offer exceptional career opportunities.

MBA World Summit 2016, Miami

The MBA World Summit 2016 was followed by the 46th St. Gallen Symposium, a global gathering of global business leaders that takes place annually at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. I attended the Symposium as one of the 100 Leaders of Tomorrow who were carefully selected from 300 universities and represented 80 nationalities.

Leaders of Tomorrow at the 46th St. Gallen Symposium, Switzerland

At the 46th St. Gallen Symposium, Switzerland: Leaders of Tomorrow were handpicked to interact with Dr. Beh Swan Gin, Chairman of Singapore’s Economic Development Board

Since the launch of this event, the NUS MBA has been a preferred partner with the greatest representation among all global business schools. My passion for business networking combined with the NUS brand backing me, allowed me to get a spot at this coveted conference. While at the summit, I attended the Amazon event and explored the possibility of an internship in their Munich office with the company’s executives. Always ready for a new challenge, I was excited about the possibility of living and working in Europe.

My summer at Amazon was unforgettable. Instantly, I fell in love with the dynamic and innovative environment. The NUS MBA had prepared me well for the big data dive deeps and customer centric brainstorming sessions. As a Product Management Intern at Amazon Fashion, I designed and drove a strategic project to increase customer retention and customer loyalty in the shoes category. The scale of my project as an intern impressed me as my project findings were applied across Europe in other countries such as UK, France, Italy and Spain.

At the end of the internship, Amazon offered me the opportunity to come back and join their MBA program. I happily accepted the offer and headed to Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University as an exchange student from NUS.

Fall 2016 Exchange Students at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

Earlier this year, I joined Amazon as a Senior Product Manager. In my current role, I own the Dash button customer experience across Europe, leveraging the Internet of Things to revolutionize the way customers shop for their everyday essentials.

The NUS MBA taught me to be aware of my strengths, double down on them, and achieve my career goals. As a natural people person, I networked my way through the MBA to get to know others and their stories, leading to new friends and finding career opportunities. Now, in professional settings, I strive to bring strategic and analytical insights the MBA taught me.

If you’re considering doing an MBA, I would echo the words of Picasso: “Everything you can imagine is real“.

For more information on the NUS MBA programme, please visit http://mba.nus.edu/.

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