NUS BBA 07 April 2016

Exchange student enjoys life at NUS and Singapore

Oddbjørn Bjerkvik is spending a term with us as an MBA exchange student, as part of his executive programme at the Norwegian University for Science and Technology:

He shares about his time here:

Why did you choose NUS Business School?

I had the option of going to MIT or Stanford in the US, Chalmers in Sweden or NUS in Singapore.  I chose to come to Singapore because I believe that Asia will become more and more important in the years to come and I wanted the cultural aspects as well as going to a reputable university.  I also chose this program since it comprises one full term abroad compared to the short trips offered in other MBA programs.

At NUS, I have selected BMA5105 “Global Strategic Management”, BMA5108″Technopreneurship”, BMA5112 “Asian Business Environment and BMA5420 “Leadership in Asia”.  All of them are highly enjoyable classes with outstanding professors.

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With son Paul and daughter Maren at the “World’s best zoo. It’s good to be back after six years.”

I also have a personal interest in choosing Singapore since I have lived here before.  I was an expatriate here in 2008 and 2009 working for my current employer, FMC Technologies.  It was an opportunity to meet old friends from some years back and colleagues currently on an expat contract.

How has it been so far?

It has been a great experience. I am very happy with the classes I am attending – I feel that I learn something every day. I appreciate that all the classes are multicultural and there is a mix of both full time and part time students.  This allows for a lot of good discussions, and I constantly get reminded of the fact that there are always several perspectives to any issue, many of them very different from mine.

NUS is also a very active university – there is always something happening somewhere.  I have attended a few of the speeches and events announced on Facebook and WhatsApp.  In particular I would like to mention the presentation by Eric Feng about “Redefining Career”, which offered an interesting perspective on how your career can develop as you gain work experience and take on new challenges.

Coming to NUS has also been a great experience on the personal level.  I have met a lot of interesting people with different background and values to mine. You simply do not get the same broad exposure to new people when working.

Outside of the programme, what do you enjoy doing in Singapore?

I practised Shotokan Karate at when I went to university 20 year ago.  When I turned 40 I started training again.  Here in Singapore I have been training with the Japan Karate Association Singapore.  It is a good dojo with very experienced instructors.  I hope to get my black belt in two years’ time.

Singapore is also a great place for good food.  Singaporean Laksa, Thai Green Curry, Fish head curry, Tom Yam and Satay are all among my favorites.  My absolute favorite restaurant in Singapore is Carnivore.  When it comes to grilled meat, Brazilian is unbeatable.

Unfortunately I have not been travelling while being here.  The reason for this is that I have set aside the money for when my family joins me here for their Easter holidays.  I am really looking forward to have them here with me for two weeks.  We will visit Gardens by the Bay, Sentosa and Singapore Zoo.  We will also make a trip to Bintan.

With son Paul and daughter Maren at Marina Bay.

At Marina Bay.

What do you tell your friends back in Norway about your time here?

I tell my friends that I’m very happy with NUS as an exchange university.  It has been a great experience with respect to learning, going abroad and networking.  I highly recommended it.