Date: 27 October 2015 (Tuesday)
Time: 6.30 – 9.30 pm
Venue: Glass House Park Mall (Fish & Co.)
Forging friendships old and new at NUS Bizad Leaders’ Night 2015!
After the success of the inaugural NUS Bizad Leaders’ Night last year, it’s no surprise that the event made its return this year, bigger and better than ever! In this exclusive outing, alumni who were student leaders on the Management Committee (MC) of the Bizad Club and Bizad Society as far back as the 12th MC had a chance to gather, catch up with old friends, find out what the new committee is up to and discover how much Bizad campus life has changed.
Organised by GANO and supported by the Bizad Club, the gathering provided a great avenue for Bizad leaders, both past and present, to connect and cultivate a supportive environment to enrich students’ life on campus. More than 60 alumni and students participated in the event, which even saw representatives who served on the Bizad Accountancy Society in the 1980s and the Bizad Society in the 1990s, before the merger of the Bizad Club and Bizad Society in 1999.
Among them was Foo Sake Liang (BAcc 1984), who was President of the Bizad Accountancy Society. “A lot has changed since then,” he observed. “In the past, we had no funding. Many of the students were also highly focussed on their studies and didn’t place much emphasis on forging connections. These days, the Management Committees of Bizad Club have it much better. They have a lot of resources to tap on and, with the rise of social media, it has become much easier to promote interactions.” Echoing similar sentiments was fellow alumni Senthil Hari (BBA 1998), who served on the Bizad Society in the 1990s. “It’s very impressive seeing the achievements made by the recent committees,” he said.
Apart from checking out how far the Bizad student life had evolved over the years, the event also provided alumni with a golden opportunity to reminisce over old times with former batch mates. That was exactly what close friends Jeffrey Chin (BBA 1998) and George Lam (BBA 1998) aimed to do. “The camaraderie among the 1998 alumni is still very strong,” said George. “It’s great to be able to relive the good old times and, at the same time, share our experiences with the students and younger alumni.”
It was this same spirit of friendship and belonging that inspired second year BBA student Teo Kai En to organise the inaugural Bizad Leaders’ Night last year when she was the Alumni Relations Director of Bizad Club. “It’s a great platform to bring together past and present Management Committees. Past leaders are able to share their experiences and provide advice and guidance to current members.” Attending the event as a participant this time round and seeing the great turnout, she felt both proud and satisfied to have had a role in its beginning. “It’s like coming home,” she said with a smile. Second year BAcc student Janice Lai who served as vice-president in the previous committee agreed. “There’s definitely a sense of nostalgia coming to the event as a participant,” she said. “But I’m looking forward to sharing advice and tips with the juniors and telling them what they can expect in the near future.”
Such nuggets of information and invaluable advice were definitely what the students hoped to receive. “It’s a good avenue for the leaders to see the evolution of the Bizad Club over the years and how student life on campus has changed,” said Wong Jun Jie, a second year BBA student and President of the current 29th MC. “It’s also a fantastic opportunity for us to network with the alumni and get a real sense of our future prospects.”
Tan Xin Yin, Director of the BizConnect team which managed this year’s event, agreed and expressed her pleasure at the turnout. “The response was much better than expected,” she said, explaining that GANO and her team decided to shift the venue to a more central location to enable more participants to attend. A lot of hard work was involved but the results were worth it. “I’m looking forward to meeting my successors and offering them my advice,” she said with a laugh.
The informal affair was filled much fun and laughter as students and alumni mingled and bonded over shared experiences. In addition to having past and current Bizad Leaders unite, the event also marked the transition of the outgoing 28th MC to the newly elected 29th MC. Tokens of appreciation were handed out by GANO Director, Ng Pheck Choo. A video montage, put together by the new committee, paid tribute to their seniors’ efforts over the past year and was greeted with loud cheers by the audience. Adding to the convivial atmosphere was when everyone sportingly joined in the networking games that were organised.
Roch Low (BAcc 1984) who was President of the Bizad Accountancy Society took the opportunity to share information on the upcoming NUS Bizad Charity Run 2016 with the attendees. Chairman of the organising committee for this annual flagship event, Roch had also volunteered as a Mentor for the BBA students. He encouraged other past Bizad leaders to be more involved and contribute towards enriching the students’ life.
Alumnus Steve Tan (BBA 2007), President of 19th MC, certainly enjoyed himself. “It was interesting to meet old friends and recall fond memories,” he said. He was happy to see a greater balance between academic studies and campus activities among the students today. “Learning to network and forming useful connections are becoming as equally important as good grades these days,” he added. Recent graduate and President of 26th MC, Foo Shida (BBA 2015) expressed similar views. “My journey in the industry so far has made me value the importance of nurturing relationships and forging new connections even more,” he said, “and I’m happy to come back tonight to share my insights.”
In all, the night was a memorable and fruitful one for many of the participants. Bizad Leaders, we hope to see you again in the next year’s edition!