Date: Wednesday, 9 March 2016
Time: 5:30 pm
Venue: ACE Ideation Centre, LaunchPad@one-north
It was a night of meeting, greeting and forging new friendships as 40 students and alumni came together for a networking cum dinner session organised by the NUS Business School Alumni Association (NUSBSA). Supported by the Global Alumni Network Office, the evening’s activities served as a prelude to NUSBSA’s Youth Mentorship Programme and aimed to provide students with personalised career guidance in their undergraduate years as well as the first five years of their working life.
Conversation flowed fast and furious as each alumni-student pair was given 10 minutes to get acquainted, with students switching tables for a total of four rotations. This one-to-one approach increased the pairs’ interactions, helping students to better nominate a suitable mentor for themselves at the end of the event.
It was an eye-opening experience for the students, who were able to meet and network with people from a variety of industries in a casual and relaxed atmosphere. “Meeting people from different industries gives me a wider range of options and a broad viewof the industries I’m interested in,” explained Year 3 student Constance Wang. Fellow Year 3 student Chen Qijian agreed: “You get to hear different stories and diverse opinions from the alumni. It’s a rare opportunity for us to connect and interact with them, something you can’t experience on a day-to-day basis.”
Students also benefitted from the alumni’s ready sharing of stories. “They have a wealth of experience and insights that we don’t normally possess at the undergraduate level,” said Year 2 student Justin Tay. Year 4 student Chian Singchuen concurred: “It’s a great way to bounce your ideas off people, especially when they’re from different industries. Getting their perspective on the industry is really beneficial.”
For the alumni, the evening was the perfect platform for them to payit forward, especially in times of financial turbulence. Ritchie Goenawan (BBA Hons 2010) explained: “Today’s job market is a difficult one. It’s nice to give students extra guidance during their transition from school to the workforce.” His comments were echoed by alumna Grace Ban (BBA 1977), former Managing Director of Estée Lauder. “I enjoyed my university years and benefitted a lot from them, so I want to share these experiences with the students,” she explained. Low Yeng Teck (MBA 2002) also agreed with his fellow alumni: “Keeping my experience to myself is a waste. It’s more meaningful to help students out by sharing the knowledge I’ve gained with them.”
Amid the chatter and laughter on all sides, the students wrapped up the night’s activities by nominating their preferred mentors. In light of the successful event, we hope to double the number of participants for next year’s intake of mentors and mentees and to continue building strong ties within our Business School community.