Biz Alumni 30 June 2017

Making dream trips a reality for other travellers with new start-up Anywhr

The Master of Science (Management) programme is designed to help graduates gain a competitive advantage in the job market by providing advanced knowledge and skills in key areas of management in a multicultural learning environment.

MSc (Management) alum Zelia Leong (class of 2017) explains her decision to take her masters back in Singapore at NUS Business School.

I was searching for another university to pursue a Masters degree graduated after I graduated with a BSc. Management from the University of Manchester, as the valedictorian of my cohort. I came across the MSc (Mgt) programme and thought this was my chance to experience the best in my home country.

With the MSc (Mgt) programme in NUS, I was introduced to the realm of start-ups. The curriculum offered by this programme is forward-thinking and all about the future, introducing us to topics and industries such as Fintech and Big Data, which has just started to take flight today.

I was fortunate to learn and tap on the knowledge imparted from Visiting Fellow Sharat Raghavan during the Venture Capital module, as well as other aspects of building and managing a business from my other classes.

Zelia (second from left) and her project group taking home the grand prize for one of her classes

I had previously only working experience at multi-national corporations, you would only pick up key skills vital to starting your own business when you start going knee-deep in it. During my summer break, I did my internship at Rocket Internet and subsequently worked full-time there. It was also here where I met my co-founder that led to the start of founding my own company.

Wanting to start a new business isn’t just about the logistics and capital. It was truly my desire to share authentic travel experiences with fellow travellers, and show others that travel need not be restricted by checklists or being constantly rushing around, taking photos in front of famous landmarks. My passion for such a form of travel inspired me to start curating surprise trips for others, and let them experience travel in its raw form as well. I had the idea of surprise trips curation after my travels a few years ago, however it was serendipity that brought it all together.

Today, with the support of NUS Enterprise, I’m a proud co-founder of surprise travel curator, Anywhr. Anywhr sends you on surprise trips where you discover your destination only at the airport. Since early 2017, Anywhr has experienced very encouraging exponential growth, and positive responses from travellers. To date, we even have travellers already booking repeated trips with us, trusting us with their month-long holidays!

Zelia and her MSc (Mgt) classmates

NUS Business School gave me the opportunity to experience a first-class education system, including meeting various industry leaders and having them as project mentors. The classroom was also very international, with classmates from more than a dozen different countries – thus learning about other cultures and work behaviours.

One key takeaway would be learning via the flip classroom method, which facilitated learning in a more interactive way that allowed more information retention and corporation with classmates. Attend as many NUS events and talks by speakers as you can, as you will gain valuable insights from them that you cannot simply learn from the internet or a textbook.