Time to give back

Benedict Andrew Lim (MBA 2000)

andrew_limFor this NUS MBA alumnus, time is not the enemy, despite a full work load, mentorship commitments and the demands of a loving family.

Benedict Andrew Lim, Director and Head of Investments for Global Capital and Development, is a civil and structural engineer by training, and an NUS MBA and Master of Real Estate graduate. He currently heads a private equity platform formed from the joint venture between Mubadala and Khazanah, the investment companies of the governments of Abu Dhabi and Malaysia respectively, and is responsible for the financial performance of the asset under management as Head of Investments in the creation of Medini, a new city in the making for the Iskandar region, Johor, Malaysia.

“Medini appeals to me as a very big but interesting challenge,” explains Benedict. “Singaporeans have a tendency to avoid Johor for its perceived crime and security issues. To try to position an investment in this city, we need to be creative, steadfast and professional to change long-held perceptions and create a symbiotic vision of the possibilities of complementing real estate hubs between Singapore and Johor.”

It is this creativity and steadfastness he hopes to instil in his mentees in addition to the values he picked up at NUS. “NUS has imbued in me a life-long thirst for knowledge, to accept diversity as a strength and to quest for excellence in every business using management science and philosophy,” he explains. “I also benefitted from the discipline to think strategically, analyse issues in a myriad application frameworks and to seek lasting and optimal outcomes. These skills have their roots in the days of running from lecture halls and tutorial rooms, being guided and challenged by faculty, not just to learn and apply new theory, but to critique and bring new dimension to them.”

Having benefitted from the guidance of a mentor himself early on in his career, Benedict feels a strong calling, as an NUS MBA alumnus, to see fellow alumni do well in their career journeys and more importantly, to build an alumni community that supports and collaborates with each other and the alma mater. “I decided to participate in this year’s MBA Mentorship Program because I see that many graduates don’t fulfil their potential because they are not guided early in their careers.”

Benedict’s main aim is to make sure his mentees are on the right career pathway. “Many mentees take the route of searching that perceived dream job before reviewing whether it is something they want and can do well. Often it is someone else’s dream, not theirs.”

Another challenge he has faced in past mentoring experiences is that mentees expect to be showered by wisdom that they think will translate to instant results. But as Benedict clarifies, this is not the purpose and intent of a proper mentoring engagement. “Mentors do not deliver customised solutions and outcomes on a platter in the mentoring process, but rather mentoring is a journey, not a destination.”

With his mentoring program and the Medini project in full swing, it is a wonder that Benedict finds the time to balance work and family commitments. But that’s where his time management mastery comes in. A father of two, Benedict finds the inspiration to manage his time in the words of his mentor: “Do not think about it, apply yourself as best as you can to the task at hand and plan to focus on one thing at a time. Prioritise and make your time worth the effort in providing the highest and best outcome from your effort. One should not over-plan his schedule, but rather complete the prioritised task and move on to the next prioritised task. And remember that one cannot do everything all at once.” This is advice that has served Benedict well and enabled him to devote his free time to one priority – his family. “I take a lot of joy spending time participating in the childhood journey that both my son and daughter are going through. So to me, time management is a series of prioritised responsibilities, all managed with full focus and unwavering care, one at a time.”

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