Checkmate – Biz School

Going by the following accounts, marriages are made not just in heaven but in NUS Business School too. So what is about looking across the lecture theatre to find your soulmate looking right back at you? Click on their names to read their story:

We also celebrate the marriages of two alumni from the MBA programL


Mia Liu & Vincent

He was from the Engineering faculty, but we met in Biz School when he took a cross-faculty module. We happened to be in the same tutorial class, and he was made to join my group – just because he was late for class and our group was closest to the door! I freaked out at his dyed-gold hair and thought this was going to be a horrible project experience. Surprisingly, he turned out to be the most diligent group member. On a group outing much later, no one turned up but he. That became our first “date”. I think it was a conspiracy! A few days later, he proposed a proper date. That was the official beginning.

Going from lovers to family is less about romance, and more about having someone to share my life with. His down-to-earth character and homeliness give me a sense of security.

I first noticed Mia in the lecture theatre. She was seated first row, cross-legged, and eating sandwiches while listening to the lecture. I found her quite special and different from others. I was happy to find Mia in the same tutorial class. Things got even better when I was late for the second tutorial session and the tutor asked me to join Mia’s project group – thank you, tutor!

Since marriage, romantic ideas and movie trips have dwindled, but our relationship has strengthened through understand of each others’ “bad” and positive habits. This gives me the support I need whenever I face difficulties in my studies or career.


Angela Hing & Chan Yong Sheng


A common friend, also a Bizader, introduced us. We ended up being in the same clique, where we got to know each other better. It was great starting off as friends, without the romantic feelings because then there was no need to impress each other, which means we got to see each others’ true colors. His earnest, sincere personality gradually won me over; I felt he was someone I could depend on.

Yong Sheng is now my soulmate; we can be completely honest about ourselves with each other. I wouldn’t say this has brought out the best in me, but it has certainly brought out the truest self in me. Some couples say their partners change after marriage; I think that’s because they were never truthful with each other in the first place.


Getting to know her in a group meant there wasn’t any pressure to impress her from the onset. Angela exuded the greatest sense of maturity and sophistication among her peers, and that drew me to her. My fondness grew as we communicated well, were very comfortable in each other’s presence, and shared common philosophies about life. She became my soulmate, sparking the idea journey towards a long-lasting relationship.

She has always been supporting of the things I do. This certainly lends great credibility to the fact that behind every successful man is a supportive wife.


Teo Sue-Mei & David Tay (BBA Hons 2008)


I was drawn to how kind, gentle, considerate and caring David was; and how comfortable, warm and safe he made me feel whenever we were together. I was struck by how he saw the good in me, and by how he loved me for who I was deep down. He was grounded and confident in his beliefs. I admired that he did not try to be someone he wasn’t, unlike most guys who are just single-minded about personal success and prestige. I never once doubted that he was the one and only one! It just felt so right!

We work and face life as a team. Being married to David has made me want to be a better person everyday; to be more selfless and be the best wife I can be. It has taught me how to love – truly and purely.


While I had regarded Sue-Mei as the most beautiful girl in Bizad, it was her good character and down-to-earth personality that made me decide that she was someone I could be with for the long haul. To this day, I cannot believe that I am with someone whom I think is the most beautiful person in the world on the inside as well as outside. My marriage to Sue-Mei is the most important thing in my life. It is something I would give up anything for. All I look forward to everyday is going home to my loving wife. I now have a very optimistic view of life.

We enjoy ourselves going to different places every weekend. In essence, every weekend is like a mini holiday for us.

David and Sue-Mei’s marriage was solemnized by Dr William Chung (Executive Education 1988), President of the Mandarin Alumni Association. This made the occasion even more meaningful to the couple – met at NUS Business School, wedded by a School alumni representative.


Lee Ai Lian & Phua Zheng Hao


I don’t exactly believe in “Finding The One” as I think it’s more about “Being The One”. I feel very comfortable when I am with Zhenghao. He is also very caring; he was always there for me through ups and downs during our Bizad days – and, of course, now. We have been through many exciting encounters. Once, we got separated at a train station in China with no handphone connection and nearly missed our train. Another time, our pockets were picked during our graduation trip to Europe. These experiences make us appreciate each other more; and I feel that he’s definitely a guy I can depend on in times of adversity.

Now that we are engaged to be married, he’s always telling me we have to stay invested to fight the inflation; how it’s a good time to invest – he’s such a typical “Business and Finance” guy. He’s taught me to be more disciplined, more logical, more organized and stronger. He’s even given me the courage to make a career switch to pursue my passion to be a teacher.


Bizad is the place that brought us together on this magical journey of life. We complement each other pretty well. I am more a “logic and planning” person while Ai Lian is more a “feeling and spontaneous” person, so we manage to bring something good to each other! I have learnt to enjoy myself more, to look at things with more “colors”, instead of living in my binary world of soccer and investment. I have also gained more confidence knowing that I am teaching her something everyday!


Archana Ranganathan & Sridharan Srikanth


Without knowing each other, I had applied for the same full-time MBA, the same batch that Srikanth applied for. Unfortunately, I could not complete the application process, whereas he got into the program. So, after getting married, he got a surprise when I showed him my email application. We were certainly meant to be!

His soft-spoken nature, and questioning, listening and thinking abilities impressed me. After marriage, our relationship sparkled even more! He keeps his words and commitments. The trust we share in any situation – giving me the space I need, unconditionally letting me go with me passion, being empathetic towards me – allows me to feel confident that he will be there for me, for us, forever. All these have further developed our love for each other. It has been 10 months now, and I can still recall the things he said to me during our first meeting.


A few things about Archana immediately struck a chord with when we first met. First, her being an entrepreneur. I loved the idea of having a companion who is self-made and self-reliant. It said a lot about her nature and her attitude in life. Second, her maturity. She did a part-time MBA course while working so as not to add on to her parents’ financial commitments – Archana’s younger sister was then graduating and considering higher studies as well. And she kept mum about her reason, possibly till today! It takes a lot to make a decision based on how it impacts others; this reaches a whole new level when you do it privately and not for show. This told me much about how she would manage her life and make her decisions in a long-term companionship. Archana has made look at life through a different lens.

Now, there is a lot of light-heartedness in life everyday. Most of the time, we are like school buddies talking about things and having a lot of fun together. The fun quotient in my life has definitely gone up. This, in turn, has made me a happier person.


Vandana Sharma & Manvendra Upadhyay


I was in my final days of post-graduate studies when I first heard about him and subsequently heard from him. We spoke to each other daily, or we would communicate via the lengthiest mails ever. In some two months, things began to change, I realized that I could spend the rest of my life with this guy. He was a very honest guy who helped maintain a constant reality check. He was an embodiment of a wise saying that goes like this: Keep high aspirations, moderate expectations and small needs. In spite of his exception academic background and illustrious profession, he was quite down-to-earth. I hope I learn this humility from him.


The first thing that hit me, literally, was the frankness of this sweet girl. She impressed me as an independent person who likes to take care of people close to her, and who would go to great lengths to ensure their well-being. When we started conversing, she wrote me a long email specifying her priorities and responsibilities in life; and then very humbly but straightforwardly put it across that if I was a person who could not conform to that, then it would be pretty difficult for us to be together. Although I was not expecting such blunt words in our first few exchanges, I liked Vandana’s clarity of thought and realistic approach towards life, and tried my best to live up her expectations. And since our outlooks on life were similar – to keep things straight and simple – we struck the right chords together. I’m happy that I realized quite early that she was The One for me. Our marriage is a journey which I wish, pray and hope will never end.

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