Mentoring the next generation of business leaders


Date: 22 August 2012

Venue: Mochtar Riady Building

Photo Gallery


Fostering mentorships between alumni and students was the driving force behind the NUS Business School’s creation of the Bizad Leadership Development Program, which held its launch on 22 August 2012 at the Mochtar Riady Atrium. The program encourages alumni to voluntarily mentor second-year business students, providing them with valuable first-hand knowledge of today’s business world. The event brought together participating mentors and mentees, as well as future participants, who were offered an insightful overview of the program.

In attendance were 18 second-year students and 24 first-year students, as well as nine of the eleven mentors. Speaking at the event was Vice-Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Associate Professor Chng Chee Kiong, who graciously thanked the participating alumni and called upon the benefiting mentees to give back as well, once they progress with their careers. He also spoke about the importance of real-world business feedback through alumni and how it helped them revise their program in 2010.

Mentors were then introduced to their mentees and spent the rest of the evening connecting over an informal buffet dinner.

Introducing our first batch of Mentors

Howie Lau (BBA 1993) howielau

As the VP of Marketing and Communications for Lenovo Asia Pacific and Latin America (APLA) group, Mr Howie Lau has been able to develop the skills he learned at NUS Business School. Himself a beneficiary of mentorship in his earlier career, he understands the importance of sharing insights and knowledge with those eager to learn. A member of several advisory committees and councils, Howie’s enthusiasm for providing guidance and his willingness to share knowledge of his personal successes and failures make him an invaluable mentor for our program. Additionally, any mentee wishing to gain insight into Information and Communications Technology can take full advantage of his extensive experience.

Kelvin Tan (BBA 1988) kelvintan

The Managing Director & Head of Commercial Banking for HSBC, Mr Kelvin Tan’s managerial history includes prominent financial organizations like Citibank, JP Morgan and Société Générale. His experience with a mentor began during his first job with Citibank, when a senior was assigned to guide him through the job. This initial experience showed him the value of mentorship, so when he was approached to take part in the Bizad Leadership Development Program as a mentor, he jumped at the chance to give back to his alma mater. Kelvin’s main message, as a leader of a team over 340, is one of empowerment, something he will be keen to pass on to his first mentee, an MAS scholar.

Fong Loo Fern (BAcc 1977) loofern

As the tailor of choice for Lee Kwan Yew, CYC The Custom Shop Pte Ltd has a storied history that Managing Director Mrs Foo Loo Fern knows all too well, having succeeded the business her grandfather started in 1935. What she offers mentees is her unique insight into his experience of not only managing a stories business, but averting crisis by adapting to market changes and recession. Her interest in mentorship stems from her desire to share her unique experiences with mentees ranging from brand maintenance to modernization. Additionally, her experience in narrowing the company’s customer focus down to corporate clients and the affluent will give mentees a first-hand account on how she turned her family’s business around.

Alphonsus Chia (APEX-E MBA 1998; BBA Hons 1984) alphonsus

Recently appointed as the Deputy CEO of XMH Holdings, Mr Alphonsus Chia has held high-ranking positions in both public and private organizations like Singapore Airlines and the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE), of which he was the CEO from 2007 to 2012. Always one for a challenge, Alphonsus is looking to pass on his invaluable experience to mentees who think that changing industries mid-career is unthinkable. Alphonsus’s interest in mentoring mentees stems not only from his desire to mentor on good management, but to show that good management is needed in all industries, both public and private.

Wee Hee Ling (BBA 1985) weeheeling

Ms Wee Hee Ling, ex-CEO of CTC Tourism Holdings Pte Ltd, is an alumna who has built her career on making customer needs a priority. Her more than 20 years of experience in the industry has seen her grow every company she has managed. Mentoring is something that Hee Ling took seriously at CTC, as she groomed her management trainees so that their transition to leadership was a seamless one. She hopes to advise mentees not only on their curriculum selection and studies, but on figuring out their passion and following it. As a mentor, she is readily available to her mentee and welcomes on-the-job observations.

Maurice Tan (BBA 1991) mauricetan

As Director, CCG Lead, Consumer Channels Group for Microsoft, Mr Maurice Tan has the inside track on working for a company with a truly unique business culture. Having recently moved back to Singapore after 20 years in Shanghai, Maurice is excited about having the opportunity to mentor and hopes to challenge the general assumptions that mentees may have. His approach to mentorship is to let mentees dictate the conversation topic, while he advises them from his own experiences. He also wishes to illuminate mentees on the “next generation work place” that he experiences at Microsoft, where work and meetings are “virtual”, and there is emphasis on thinking beyond limitations.

Frank Koo (BBA 1990) frankkhoo

Before serving as President of Solutions and Qualifications for Pearson Asia Pacific, Mr Frank Koo spent 20 years in the IT Industry assuming management roles with companies like IBM and Oracle Singapore. Frank’s desire to contribute to helping students progress in life with Pearson is the same reason he wishes to mentor young NUS Business School students. He benefited from being mentored at a critical time before graduating, and this positive experience influenced his decision to give back by mentoring young students. He wants to help mentees make determined life decisions. Part of his plan is to let his mentees see first-hand how he runs business operations. He intends to share his rationale behind decisions to give mentees an inside look into how organizations are run from the top.

Bernard Ngiam (BBA 1985) bernard

The Executive Director & Company Secretary of IPC Corporation Ltd since 1987, Mr Bernard Ngiam has seen first-hand the transition of his company from an IT business to one involved in property investment and development. The opportunity to contribute to NUS Business School as a mentor is a privilege for him, as he can help mentees avoid mistakes and shorten their life learning curve through his personal experiences. With a pragmatic approach to mentorship focusing on the mentees’ areas of interest, Bernard wants to be a conduit for them to tap on his experience. Already advising two mentees, he is available once a fortnight or every three weeks for face-to-face discussion.

Michael Goh (BBA Hons 1999) michael

Working as the regional manager for the world’s largest auto parts manufacturer poses many unique challenges, as Mr Michael Goh will attest, having spent 13 years with Robert Bosch (SEA) Pte Ltd. Wanting to give back to NUS Business School, which gave him four memorable years, as well as interacting with the next generation of business leaders, is what interested Michael in the Bizad Leadership Development Program. He brings with him a love of mentorship, having mentored the junior associates within his staff. He is currently mentoring one student on the program, but his posting to Kuala Lumpur in October will limit face-to-face meetings to occasions when he visits Singapore on business. However, he is always willing to have telephone conversations fortnightly with his mentee.

Teo Lay Lim (BBA 1985) teolaylim

Having spent most of her career with Accenture Singapore, Ms Teo Lay Lim rose to become the company’s Managing Director in 2007. With the responsibility of simultaneously managing two portfolios in business analytics and sustainability across the ASEAN region, Japan, India, Greater China and Australia, Lay Lim’s knowledge of management at the regional level and beyond will greatly benefit her fortunate mentees.

Teo Lay-Sie (BBA 1985) teolaysie

Currently the UBS Group Chief Operations Officer in charge of Singapore & Asia Emerging Markets, Ms Teo Lay-Sie has spent the last 12 years with the company in a variety of roles including Managing Director. Lay-Sie takes great pleasure in mentoring her junior staff, and looks forward to imparting her knowledge and experiences to mentees. As a mentor in the Young Women’s Leadership Connection (YWLC), she prefers to advise young women on the complexities involved with being a woman professional in today’s working world, Her approach to mentorship also focuses on people management and maintaining positive relationships with bosses, peers and subordinates. She is always available by email or phone, but prefers face-to-face meetings. Due to her busy schedule, it is preferable to coordinate meetings in advance.

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