Transitioning into the corporate world feels daunting and exciting at the same time. Recent BBA graduate Choi Fong Wa looks back on her time in NUS Business School and shares her most memorable experiences and learning moments that will no doubt help shape her career for a long time.
I recently graduated in December 2016 after 4 years in NUS Business School where I majored in Marketing. I was offered a Management Trainee role in Kraft Heinz Company in August 2016 before I graduated and have since started working here in January 2017.
Working for a Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) company was always something I really wanted, so throughout my 4 years in school, I looked out for such internships to build a myriad of experiences for myself. I interned in L’Oreal Singapore, Unilever Philippines, Beijing Ge Hua Cable TV Company and a few other internships. For L’Oreal Singapore, I even took a leave of absence for a semester in 2014 to fully concentrate on my time there. The overseas experiences in Beijing and Manila were truly exciting – giving me an opportunity to gain insights on different departments of Marketing in different markets in Asia.
How did I secure these overseas internships? In year 2, I proactively looked out for contacts in Beijing, including doing Skype interviews with Baidu and Samsung, eventually settling with Beijing Ge Hua Cable TV which offered me an exciting 3 month role in Beijing. It was a rather interesting role as I had to write articles for their media channel in pure Chinese, including reviews on movies and shows and given how I have lost touch with Chinese since O levels examination, I had to adapt quickly to the local Chinese standards.
During my time in Beijing, I made friends with the Dean and local professors in Beijing’s famous Communications University after a week, and attended lessons with the locals while working. I also gained the opportunity to take part in their research on how New Media was changing the lives of University students in China. It was definitely a reward that was reaped from pushing myself out of my comfort zone to get to know the locals well.
The following summer in year 3, I decided to apply to Unilever and was lucky to be placed in Manila for 3 months as an intern with Rexona. The role was with their Brand Building Team, which is very different from Unilever Singapore’s Brand Development Team. This experience allowed me to learn about a business vertical instead of horizontally across the category.
If there’s anything important to current NUS undergraduates need to know – it is to push yourself out of your comfort zone – don’t wait for opportunities to knock on your door! Always look beyond just classes in school – take part in case competitions, venture out overseas, dare to take risks and you will be rewarded. This is the best time for you to absorb as much as possible, and NUS Business School is definitely the best platform for you to do it.
I am ever so thankful for the education I have received – from the dedicated professors (special thanks to Marketing professors for their dedication and guidance in both academics and in life) to the vast opportunities such as taking part in both local and international case competitions. I had the privilege of visiting more than 8 cities over the last few years for my exchange programme, internships and case competitions – Auckland, Bangkok, Beijing, Jakarta, Manila, Melbourne, Vancouver and Yunnan! Having the honour to represent NUS Business School for case competitions was the most satisfying time of my University life!