Some 181 students, both full-time and part-time, representing some 20 nationalities make up this year’s MBA intake – a rich diversity of nationalities and backgrounds.
Adding to this global mix are Azerbaijani Anar Rahbarli and Peruvian Joao Nunez, making it the first time that countries of Azerbaijan and Peru are represented in the MBA programme.
Both said that they were attracted to the School because of its ability to offer business insights with Asian perspectives.
Having worked in the shipping and import businesses in the US and Europe but never in Asia, Anar sees the NUS Business School as an important platform to know more about the region.
“I would like to learn (about) the cultures and mentalities of this region. This is important if you are looking to do business in a new place,” said Anar.
For Joao, he chose NUS Business School because the MBA programme offers numerous opportunities for him to work in Singapore and the region.
Anar and Joao were speaking on the first day of the MBA Orientation Programme. Held just before the start of the first semester, the Orientation Programme gives first-year students a chance to bond with their peers, faculty members and administration personnel.
Over a period of five days from 28 July, students had a preview of our MBA programme, including curriculum details, resources, job opportunities and a tour of Singapore.
This year, there is a significant change in the curriculum as students will have the opportunity to take their Management Practicum and internship at the same company.
This initiative means that the students’ engagement with the companies will be extended to two semesters, instead of just one.
This move is a result of feedback from companies that are involved with our MBA students in the Management Practicum, according to Academic Director, Adjunct Professor Sheila Wang. “They prefer a longer engagement with the students,” she said.
For the students, this means they are given more opportunities to perform and might eventually be hired by the companies, Sheila added.
The MBA boot camp
Upon the conclusion of the orientation programme, the first-year MBA students went on to a one week-long Management Communications (MC) Camp.
Introduced in 2012, the course aims to help students become leaders. Through various group and individual class activities, the participants are pushed beyond their comfort zones, and asked to grapple with situations outside their experience.
The unique format includes mock networking sessions, role play, team exercises and roundtable discussions.
“It is about getting the students to be very clear on ‘what I want to become’ and ‘what I am willing to do’,” said MC Camp facilitator Anna Kiukas-Pedersen.
The MC Camp was an important learning exercise for part-time first year Daryl Liew. He found himself acting as part of a management team handling crisis meetings during the role playing exercises.
“It makes you think deeper about the questions to ask and the answers you have to give during meetings with the management. It was a good learning experience for all of us,” he said.