Date: Wednesday, 2 March 2016
Time: 7 pm
Venue: Harry’s, 28 Boat Quay
The NUS MBA Mentorship Programme kicked off its latest mentoring cycle with a bang, bringing together students and alumni to exchange knowledge, insights, ideas and experience over drinks and dinner. Former mentee Subhajit Mandal and current mentor Titus Yong (MBA 2000) were shared their experience and thoughts on the programme with participants from the current cycle.
In his sharing, Titus highlighted the two-way nature of the mentoring relationship. “The mentor-mentee relationship should be symbiotic, not parasitic,” he said. “While mentors can introduce mentees to internships and opportunities, mentees can introduce new technologies and potential business contacts to their mentors and even share their overseas experiences and cultures if they aren’t from Singapore.”
Mentor Anson Dichaves (UCLA-NUS EMBA 2009) concurred with Titus and emphasised the importance of a good mentor-mentee match in sharing experiences and networking. “My mentee Daniel and I come from engineering backgrounds and have worked in the same company before,” he explained. “I want to help mentees set the right expectations from the beginning.” Fellow mentor Kwok Lih (MBA 2006) echoed these sentiments: “I want to reach out to the younger generation. With more than 20 years of working experience, I have contacts I can introduce to them.”
Mentees also benefit immensely from the programme by gleaning valuable insights from their mentors. “I’ve been mentored before in other settings and I’ve seen how it can help me in my career,” said mentee Michael Chang. Fellow mentee Tomoyuki Shigeta agreed: “I’m considering running my own business in the future so it’s helpful to build relationships with mentors as they have more insight and industry experience.”
Experienced mentors like Tan Boon Chin (Apex MBA English 2003) are encouraged by their mentees’ positive feedback. “Although it’s not my first time mentoring, I enjoy this aspect of giving back to the Business School and mentoring young people,” he enthused.
The networking session continued well into the night with both mentors and mentees looking forward to a successful mentoring relationship.
We speak to former mentee Masahiro Okumura (MBA 2016), who was previously mentored by Titus Yong (MBA 2000).
Having previously worked in investment banking and a private equity fund, Masahiro, who currently resides in Japan, has benefitted immensely from a strong mentor-mentee relationship. “My one-to-one interactions with my mentor Titus were very valuable,” he said. “One of the biggest things I learned was the importance of setting priorities in terms of work, family, friends and hobbies. I learnt how to prioritise work and life strategically so that I can enjoy and expand on both areas.”
Masahiro was particularly inspired by Titus’ DreamBearer project, which inspires and encourages people to achieve their goals through various initiatives, such as an expedition to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. He is keen to contribute to such causes and hopes to return to NUS Business School to be a mentor to other MBA students in the future.