We recently wrote about the NUS Business Camp 2013. A better way to elaborate on it is to hear a first-hand account by an incoming BBA student.
Kenneth Lou Kok Juin, a first-year BBA student at NUS Business School shares his reflections about the NUS Business Camp 2013 and his impression of the School so far.
I begin this post by a brief introduction: I am a freshman in the Business Administration (BBA) programme and a University Scholars Program (USP) student for the year 2013-14. I’m also an avid tennis player training hard to make it into Team NUS. I have an encouraging brother in NUS BBA doing his third year soon. He is my main academic inspiration. I did my ‘A’ Levels in Nanyang Junior College and was fortunate to do reasonably well.
The past few months have been hectic for me. It was in the end of May when I first started asking around my seniors which camps I could possibly join and meet new people. Taking their advice, I went on Facebook to ‘like’ the pages of all the different camps I was interested in such as the NUS Business camp (NBC 13’), NUS Sports camp and the USP (University Scholars Program) camp.
I had decided to kick-start my freshmen path with what I have always believed in – meeting new people and growing relationships – and so opened myself up to all the various social camps and events open to freshmen. A piece of quick advice to all potential freshmen: be proactive and search actively online, for the pages that the organizing team would create for sign-ups and participation in the camps. In NUS, the camps are always held earlier than the other two local Universities. More often than not, the sign up form would be a Google-docs form online, where you would have to answer a series of questions, which include questions that reflect your personality. The School looks for people who are enthusiastic and passionate about meeting new people; so do add that bit of zest into your answers.
It was sometime in early June, when I received my first call back, “Hello I’m Evelyn, your Camp Group leader for your group, HARRY POTTER’.” From that day onwards, I knew that it was going to be a fun week ahead, judging by the level of enthusiasm that Evelyn expressed in her voice. And yes, soon there was a Whatsapp group, ‘NBC Harry Potter’ that was created by another important figure in our NBC 13’ camp, Wei Jian, who was another Camp Group Leader (CGL) of our group. In all, there were 5 CGLs in each group. For HARRY POTTER, the members were Wei Jian, Evelyn, Shirleen, Ming Sze and Astelle. And the best part was that all of them are really enthusiastic about the whole Bizad culture and the fun that we could have within the next week.
There was a pre-camp day, on a Saturday, two days before the camp itself, which lasted from about 10am to 3pm which was basically for us to get to know each other better. Within the first 5 minutes of pre-camp, I already knew that this was where I belonged (not to sound clichéd). From the many engaging seniors to the blank-face freshmen playing typical ice-breaking games – all of us felt comfortable but at the same time nervous about the days ahead.
Soon it was Monday, day of the actual camp. I found out that it was a real bonus to have met with our group mates on the Saturday leading up to this day as we were now familiar with each other and could kick off with a series of games around NUS Business School. There were a total of 16 Camp Groups (CGs) and we were competing against each other to score the most points. We could win bonus points along the way if we did cheers, or certain acts that would give us ice cream sticks that translated into more points.
At camps, we all slept really late as well. The first day ended at about 2am where we had quite little sleep. Thankfully, we were staying at Kent Ridge Hall, which was just opposite NUS Business School where we each had a room to ourselves and it was really convenient and homely at the same time. The next day was filled with fun activities at Sentosa- we left at about 8am in the morning in chartered buses, that took us to Palawan beach where we spent the day taking part in many exciting games.
On the third morning we had several talks by the generous sponsors behind the NBC 13’ camp, followed by more games and high-energy fun. We learnt about numerous other Freshmen Orientation Projects (FOP) that were in store for us in the months ahead that are aimed towards inculcating the Bizad spirit in us. There are the RAG and FLAG, Jam and Hop events and Orientation Week, just to name a few. We ended the day revealing ourselves to our ‘Secret Pals’ and exchanging gifts, much like a Christmas exchange. It was good and clean fun.
The next day kicked off with pure adrenaline – five minutes of well-rehearsed cheers to mark the end of the camp. But it was not quite the end yet. Finale night, held at Zouk in the evening,was time for us newly initiated Bizad-ers to have a massive celebration as one NUS Business School. And if you have heard us belt out the NUS Business School medley that evening, you would have been impressed with the level of energy that everyone put in. This is clearly a reflection of how much fun all of us had.
All too soon, it was home sweet home and we left with many wonderful memories deeply etched into our minds, and most importantly, the Bizad spirit been planted in our hearts.
So what exactly is that Bizad spirit that is the title of this reflection? As I type away furiously, I can’t help but describe it as a tradition that has passed down from batches before ours. It is a certain level of synergy and dynamic enthusiasm that keeps us strong as School community. From the values that our CGLs and Councillors have imbued within us, we can now carry on this energy forward to the next batch and so on.
On behalf of the entire freshmen group, I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the students who were involved in the planning and execution of this camp and other freshmen events that will happen in the following months.
I’ve been consistently amazed at how well the organisation of NBC 13’ was done, given that it’s a student-run event. The support from the NUS Business School, however, was immense as well. The Assistant Dean and BBA Director, Dr Helen Chai, even came down one morning to lend her support and encouragement to ensure that we have fun. It is really very impressive and a huge leap from our previous years in our pre-university days.
To end this elaborate reflection, I hope that you understand how NUS Business School embraces its Bizad spirit, to keep an open mind and to create opportunities for all students to participate in the wide array of activities, and ultimately forming many lasting relationships. You can never know too much about anything until you have experienced it for yourself first hand.
I now believe that NUS Business School forms an integral part of the business education in Singapore and in Asia at large and it can and will, mould great minds of the future, if we continue to adopt and grow on the Bizad Spirit.
The story continues on my Bizad journey and I hope to be able to share my thoughts and feelings about the many other experiences I come across in days, months and years ahead.
Do you remember how your freshmen days were? Drop a note below to share. What tips would you give to Kenneth as he starts a new journey with NUS?