Lick A Little, Change A Lot

When you drop in an EMBA class in session, dancing, singing and acting in class is probably the last thing you’d expect.

But that is exactly what surprised us earlier this month.

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The EMBA class presentation to the professor & senior staff members

Executive MBA students of NUS Business School come from a wide range of backgrounds and countries. In our current Asia Pacific Executive MBA (APEX-E) batch, we have students who are consultants, managers, PhD holders and doctors, and represent diverse nationalities (Singaporean, Australian, Indians, Swedish, Turkish, Japanese, Swiss, Indonesian, Chinese, Saudi, and Taiwanese, to name a few).  They are all middle to senior level executives who have had great achievements in their career, and are enhancing their experiences through an Executive MBA. Termed as ‘Intake 21’ internally, this group of our APEX-E students is a part of a very global, talented and ethnic mix of leaders.

So why were the Intake 21 students acting and singing when we dropped by their class? They were making a class presentation.

As a part of a project for the course, ‘Innovation & Entrepreneurship,’ this year’s APEX-E students, were given a very unique project: $500 worth of ice-cream to be sold in 48hours; the team with the highest amount collected wins.  Sounds like the ‘Apprentice Asia’ show? Well, it came quite close. The class was divided into three teams and what followed were intense brainstorming sessions, marketing outreach,  street—pounding, cold-calling, fund-raising campaigns and social media campaigning, which resulted in some of the most creative ways to raise money.  The teams made most of the two days, raised money, sold ice-cream and made a final presentation to the professor, entire class and a group of senior members of APEX-E administration.   True to his reputation of being an inspirational teacher, Prof Michael Yoshikami shared final words of wisdom and learnings from the project. He also celebrated the teams’ achievements by sharing a toast to the entire class as a token of encouragement.

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The NUS EMBA team at ‘The Haven’ run by Salvation Army

As part of innovation in curriculum, the class generated $25,000 worth of donations via virtual ice cream sales through the virtual media. The teams created Facebook pages and took online orders for donations.

The most memorable moments from this project, however, came from interacting with the children at ’The Haven’ by Salvation Army. As a token, the class organized an actual ice cream delivery to the Salvation Army’s ‘The Haven,’ where a safe and nurturing environment is created for the underprivileged children. The Haven, where fifty children reside in small cluster units, is a residential home for abandoned, abused and neglected children, mostly referred to The Salvation Army for care by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports.

It is these experiences that help business leaders gain an understanding about how to work with a diverse group, in a cohesive & effective manner, to be creative and to produce outstanding results. After all, isn’t this what executive business education is all about?

What do you think of the project and do you have any similar experiences to share? Let us know in the comments below.

If you are interested to find out more about other Asia-Pacific MBA programme, click here

PS: Title of this post borrowed from courtesy of one of the teams’ campaign.

More than Business at a Business Camp

It is not every day that you see fresh new faces, dancing in groups around campus, practising for what it seems is the next hottest reality TV dance competition – especially not at a business school.  But it is these kinds of sightings like this that make the NUS Business School experience ever-so-interesting:  the students in question were practising for a cheer-fight competition as a part of NUS Business Camp 2013.

 

First stay of NUS Business Camp 2013

First stay of NUS Business Camp 2013

The NUS Students’ Business Club (more commonly known as the Bizad Club) is the core student leadership body representing all undergraduates pursuing the Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) and Bachelor in Business Administration in Accountancy (BAC)degrees in NUS Business School. The Bizad club organises many academic and social events throughout the year, and one of the first events that kick-starts a new year for the freshmen is the NUS Business Camp.This camp, solely run and managed by students, is unlike the usual camps involving outdoor cooking or sleeping in tents – it is much more geared towards encouraging the new incoming undergraduate students to forge friendships within the School community that will ease their transition into university life through a wider range of activies.  This year’s Business Camp, which took place from 10-13 June, featured four days and three nights of non-stop fun during which freshmen got to know what NUS Business School life will really be about, before the school starts. There were sessions such as mass dance segments, presentation on orientation projects, cheer-fight competitions  and a day outing at Sentosa; in addition to the countless socials and dinners

Day 3 of NUS Business Camp

Day 3 of NUS Business Camp

“When I attended the camp last year, it helped me tremendously to make new friends and I really learned a lot from the seniors. So here I am as a camp senior, to give back to the camp and the school,” said a second-year BBA student, Wei Jian who we managed to talk during the camp. And the freshmen seem to agree with Jian. “This camp has been an incredible experience for me and if this is any indication for things to come; I’m indeed looking forward to my time here. I’m impressed with the calibre of seniors who manage this all by themselves,” observed Lou Kok Juin Kenneth, an incoming first year BBA student.

All in all, the camp provided a good ground for some serious mingling among students to make them feel at home.

Congratulations and a warm welcome to all our incoming undergraduate students!

If you want to get a glimpse of the energy of students at this camp, click here

 Follow NUS Bizad Club on Facebook  and Twitter here or the NUS undergraduate page here