NUS MSc 25 July 2016

Students Share: MSc in Management & CEMS MIM Programme

Students Share is a new series of contributed articles and answers shared by students who are currently enrolled in our programmes. The goal is to give prospective students and readers first-hand understanding of the programme and learn about experiences directly from a current student.

The following answers are shared by Alvin Tan who joined MSc in Management/CEMS MIM programme in January 2014. He went to HKUST and Rotterdam School of Management for his CEMS terms abroad. Thank you, Alvin for sharing your thoughts! 

  1. Please share a little about yourself

I have been working in Sembcorp Marine since 2013. During that time, my role as a graduate Engineer allowed me to be involved in planning, leading and directing ship-repair projects across a wide range of vessels, ranging from container ships to Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) carriers.

I wanted to accelerate my career progress and develop the management expertise, global mind-set and winning strategies to compete across domains and borders. A general management programme was hence the next important step. I was drawn to NUS-CEMS double degree programme due to its focus on international management and strategy. I got a company sponsorship and hence applied for this programme.

2. Why did you choose this programme?

I was looking for an advanced management programme that emphasizes understanding and practicing responsible global leadership, decision-making and citizenship, which are increasingly important in today’s globalized, complex business environment.Through this programme, I have the opportunity to not only develop advanced management and leadership competencies, but also benefit from its international exposure and learning experience. This 18-month programme goes beyond offering general management education, incorporating international management as an integral discipline.

3. Why choose NUS or Singapore?

Despite getting offers from top U.S. universities, NUS was and will remain my first and foremost choice. NUS offer a global curriculum bench-marked against the top universities and is uniquely, strategically positioned linking to link the best of East and West. NUS is well-recognised for its deep Asian insights and prepares students to lead Asian businesses to the forefront of the world economy, hence it was an undisputed choice for me.

4. How has the learning environment been?

This programme brings together students from diverse nationalities, cultures and backgrounds to study alongside each other. Most of my classmates have lived and studied across different continents, speak more than three languages, and boast a highly international business background. Additionally, they are curious about other cultures and skilled in the art of cross-cultural management, thus making them open-minded and willing to share their perspectives. Therefore, this unique blend of international students and cultures create the ideal environment for learning, exchange of ideas and gaining new perspectives.


The major highlights of the programme for me were the CEMS Block Seminar and Business Consultancy Project. For my CEMS Block Seminar, my team spent an intensive week in European Space Agency-Business Incubation Center in Noordwijk, Netherlands, where we were challenged to apply business ideas to space technology.

As for my business consultancy project, my team was privileged to work in conjunction with Hutchison Port Holdings in Hong Kong to jointly develop a container volume forecasting model.

The successful completion of this programme has accelerated my career trajectory. Ever since I returned to my sponsoring company, I am given increased responsibility, more leadership opportunities and tasked with new challenges.

Finally, I sum up by sharing three key learnings from this programme: International Experience, Connections, and Leadership

NUS-CEMS double degree programme offers a truly international experience where candidates spend one term each at two CEMS partner school after their first term in Singapore. Opportunities abound for candidates to build a global network with classmates, alumni and corporate partners. With the management skills and insights gained from the program, I am confident to lead and drive performance across domains and borders.

If you want to learn more about our MSc in Management and CEMS MIM programme, please click here.