With the end of the final semester fast approaching and graduation looming, the class of APEX MBA English 23 was busy completing their final assignments and projects. But even as they were making preparations for the future, they were determined not to lose their connection with their soon-to-be alma mater. It was this desire to give back to the School and make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate that spurred them on to raise funds for financially needy NUS Business School students. Their goal? To raise enough funds to have the bursary credited to their cohort. Their efforts paid off! They raised a total of $27,276 and successfully created the APEX-E-23 Bursary.
This is the second time that an APEX MBA English class is having a bursary named after it. The inaugural APEX MBA-class-supported bursary fund began with the 22nd cohort last year, and was the brainchild of alumna Alicia Choo (APEX MBA English 2014) who spearheaded the fundraising efforts. “We had a very strong kinship,” she said of her cohort. “I’ve truly enjoyed our shared past so what better way to create a shared future than by having the class coming back to reconnect and raise funds for a bursary that will live on in perpetuity.” It was this same sense of belonging that inspired the entire cohort to contribute and raise a total of $161,393 last year.
Inspired by the previous cohort, the class of APEX E-23 was determined to follow in their seniors’ footsteps. “It felt good hearing about how the funds have helped needy students and I feel fortunate to be able to contribute to such a meaningful cause,” said Soh Sze Wei, one of the donors. Having been a bursary recipient himself, he viewed the fundraising efforts as a prime way of giving back. Fellow donor Fadjar Linawati agreed. “Through the bursary, we can play an active role in contributing to the School and give others the chance to experience the same quality education and opportunities that we did,” she said.
Echoing similar sentiments was Alice Seow. As an educator herself, this issue is something that’s close to her heart. “No one should be denied an education due to financial difficulties,” she said. “I’m happy with the amount that we raised and I hope that future batches can raise even more.” Nevertheless, every little bit counts. “Education builds future prospects and even the smallest contribution can make a difference in the lives of future generations,” said Tan Hong Meng. He urged everyone to come forward and contribute, adding, “Practising generosity in your daily life is contagious so you will definitely be inspiring others by example.”
It is evident that the spirit of giving back has gone beyond the 22nd cohort – a fact that Alicia finds enormous pleasure in. She continues to return to the School every year to select a new champion for the fundraising efforts. Her current goal: to raise $250,000 in funds and create an APEX bursary. She is already working closely with fellow alumni and veteran fundraisers Yeo Keng Joon (MBA 1985) and Seah Cheng San (MBA 1993) and looking to invite past cohorts – all 21 of them – to come on board and make this goal a reality. “Giving back is an integral part of the leadership fabric,” she commented. “I hope that, over time, our APEX cohorts will be known as ‘leaders who care, investing in future generations’.”