Bizad Leadership Development Programme Kick-off

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Date: 25 September 2013 (Wednesday)
Venue: Fern & Kiwi, Clarke Quay

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Following the success for the inaugural BBA Mentorship Programme in 2012, the second installment was launched on 25 September 2013 amidst the cozy dinner setting of the Fern & Kiwi at Clarke Quay.

Prof Chng Chee Kiong, Vice-Dean Undergraduate Studies, did the honours of kicking off the event by thanking the programme participants for taking time out of their busy schedule. Of the 14 mentors taking part in the programme, all six repeating their good deeds of last year were present for the event, along with five of the six new mentors. With the NUS Business School motto being “Leading from Asia”, Prof Chng stated that this aim would not be possible without mentors volunteering to give back, and he advised the mentees to take full advantage of the opportunity.

Mentee participants of the inaugural programme, Mr Jerome Tan, a Year 3 student and Shen YiYin, a Year 4 student from the BBA Hons programme, were present to give some wise words of advice to this year’s mentees. Jerome shared how valuable his experience had been as he was brought into his mentor’s organisation and had seen how things were done first-hand. He advised mentees to take full advantage of the learning that they can glean from their mentors “who are further up the learning curve”. Shen YiYin echoed Jerome’s sentiments and added some additional valuable advice: “Plan your time well. Prepare before meetings to make the most of them and set a clear direction at the beginning so that you aren’t rushing at the end.” Her parting words of advice were to pick a subject that isn’t covered academically to maximise the learning opportunity.

Two mentors pitched in to share their experiences from mentoring the pioneering batch and give some words of advice to their peers. Maurice Tan (BBA 1991) joked that the programme gave him the opportunity to pass on all he had learnt before he got too old to remember it. But jokes aside, he added that he found the experience to be a two-way street and he had learnt as much of value from his two mentees as they had from him. He also advised mentors to work according to their mentees’ styles, having found his two mentees to have very different approaches to how they wanted to use the programme. Frank Koo (BBA 1990) allayed new mentors’ concerns about the approach to take, joking: “Don’t worry, they will know what to do with you!” He shared his challenge of being able to meet his mentee, given their very busy and clashing schedules. “I found the solution was to invite him to company events, and when I found out what career he was pursuing, I hooked him up with some useful contacts in the industry as well.”

Over a sit-down dinner, this year’s mentees had the opportunity to start a casual discussion with their mentors on what they were hoping to get out of the programme. The relaxed ambiance gave both parties a comfortable environment in which to get to know one another as they embarked on the one-month learning journey they were about to take together.

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