It was during the last year of my undergraduate studies in Biotechnology at McGill University that I decided to change my field and move to a larger role in Marketing and Sales after graduation. With more than six years of work experience, I worked in global corporations such as Kraft Foods, Cadbury & Lindt Chocolate, in marketing and sales. It was during this time that I realized a deep desire to gain a holistic perspective of the business. I wanted to be able to sit with the finance team and ask the right questions; I wanted to understand the market trends through behavioural economics. That spurred me to do an MBA. Having grown up in Asia as well as worked and studied in North America, I also wanted to further deepen my understanding of Asia and the hype of “The Asian Growth Story’. So, I applied to The National University of Singapore and got accepted into the NUS Business School’s Full-Time MBA programme which is ranked among the top 20 in the world.
The NUS MBA has a culture that goes beyond Academics. With almost three-quarters of the batch between 27 to 30 years of age, students come to NUS with an expectation to go beyond academic knowledge, to learn through others’ life experiences, and broaden their network of friends and colleagues. This expectation was greatly met by the faculty members. I found Professor Seung-Gyu Jo’s class most enriching. Professor Jo taught us Microeconomics in the first semester. He had a very interesting way of teaching as he provided real-world scenarios and emphasised on understanding the concepts that could be used for life. I enjoyed Professor Andrew Delios’ strategy classes as well. We were always told by the professors that “passing” or getting high grades isn’t the purpose of an MBA. This is where NUS also offered us a dynamic campus life to explore our talents beyond academics. We had a lot of clubs and community events to participate in. I was elected as the President of the MBA Marketing Club, which gave me the opportunity to hone my leadership skills.
Having lived, studied and worked abroad for close to eleven years, I always thought that I was well exposed to a diverse world. My notions of diversity completely changed after I joined NUS. The MBA programme had candidates from around Asia which gave me the exposure to know people better from countries like Japan, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The NUS experience has indeed widened my perspectives of life and helped me learn that one can never understand diversity enough. Getting to know more about other ethnicities, cultures, and point of views is a lifelong process.
Personal development and flexibility
The NUS MBA offers a unique opportunity to structure the programme based on individual priorities. A student may choose to complete the programme earlier within 12 months by taking up extra modules during each semester. The programme may also be extended to two years allowing students more options to do internships or exchange programmes at our partner schools.
Through NUS, I am grateful for the opportunity to do a student exchange programme at HEC Paris. I had always wanted to live in Paris, the fashion capital of the world, and having had the experience to live there for 5 months really opened up my world to many new and exciting things as well as projects that I got to be a part of!
The NUS MBA provides a learning environment that helped us to reflect on our career, post questions to our peers about their idea of success and business, and tailor our next steps based on that introspection. My MBA journey at NUS has certainly changed my perspective about how I see my life a few years from now.
I had successfully completed my MBA in May 2017 and am now working at CIBC as a part of the corporate and brand management team. I feel excited and ever ready to take on challenges that lie ahead in the business world!
Contributor and Photo Credits: Ambica Uppal, MBA Class of 2017