“Things I Didn’t Learn at Business School”

Richard Howard, the President & CEO of Daimler Financial Services Asia Pacific and Africa, recently visited the School to share leadership lessons to create a winning culture across different cultural environments, as a part of Leadership Dialogue Series.

Daimler Financial Services (DFS) is a global  financial service provider of a comprehensive range of automobile-related financial services. Richard, originally from England and a father of four, has worked with Daimler for over 18 years and has led global teams. He got his MBA from Aston University, UK, and has a BA (Honours) in Business Studies from the University of Central England, UK.

Given his breadth and depth of experience, his insights were valuable to all of us. In particular,  his words of wisdom about what he did not learn in a business school, were inspiring. We couldn’t resist sharing it with you; so here are the excerpts of his talk: Continue reading

Meet the very first graduate of the NUS MBA Double Degree with Yale University

It is not every day that you get to be the very first graduate of a new program – that is truly one milestone graduation!

michael tiopanMeet Michael Tiopan, the first graduate from the Yale University School of Management (SOM) Master of Advanced Management (MAM). This programme is the latest addition to NUS Business School’s suite of Double Degree programs.

Michael completed his MBA from NUS Business School, and MAM from Yale University School of Management. He is the first graduate representing NUS Business School, among the Yale MAM graduates.

What is so unique about this program and why did Michael enroll in it? We sat down with him to find out this and more. Below are some excerpts of the interview: Continue reading

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.