Learning & Fun

NUS MBA student talks about the NUS MBA Alumni Conference 2009, which provided insights about the prospects for the global economy in 2010.

As one of the first few to arrive at the Shaw Alumni House Auditorium for the 2009 Alumni conference, I signed up with the front desk personnel and got my registration confirmed. It was very obvious from the start that a lot of detailed planning and coordination had been employed to organize this conference. I saw some of my fellow MBA course mates from the organising committee ushering in the guests and ensuring that guests were registered promptly upon arrival. The Global Alumni Network Office (GANO) had indeed performed a top notch job in putting together this conference.

The theme for this conference touched on the prospects for the global economy in 2010. The panel of distinguished alumni speakers were to address this and other related issues. The speakers on the panel included Philip I. Overmyer, CEO of Singapore International Chamber of Commerce, Kee Poir Mok, former managing director of Private Wealth Management, Goldman Sachs (Singapore), Teresa Lim, Managing Director of IBM Singapore and Charles Yong, Senior Client Partner, Korn/Ferry International.

The event kicked off with the Deputy Dean, Professor Kulwant Singh giving a quick update on NUS Business School and how much it meant and contributed to the growth of Singapore as a whole. This was followed by the speakers from the panel addressing issues such as the moving of markets into Asia, the Singapore property bubble, economic growth, the challenges ahead, the use of specialised IT tools in organizations, and why leveraging and collaborating with others and adapting to change in organizations is an important feature for organizational growth and success. I found the perspectives given really honest, thought-provoking and intellectually stimulating.

I was also able to gain a better insight into how much economic growth was to be expected and which were the booming industries to work for upon graduation. I knew that I had done the right thing by attending this conference. 😉 The speakers handled the question and answers session that followed with tact and insight and I was definitely able to learn a lot from them. The discussions covered an array of interesting topics ranging from the China’s economic growth to whether it was advisable to invest in the Chinese economy. I felt that this could give me the edge that I needed when faced with an investment decision in the future.

The end of the Alumni Conference marked the beginning of the eagerly awaited Oktoberfest. We got our own free beer mugs from the front desk at the entrance as we entered the arena. The free flow of beer was the main highlight and motivation for the not surprisingly huge turnout that evening. 😉 I However, there was one thing working against us that day which was the really long queue for the beer and food that stretched on endlessly. Nonetheless, the organizing committee had done an incredible job of coordinating and planning this event. And once the technical hiccups were resolved, there were loads and loads of beer that people could get their hands on!

Not only was the evening filled with fun but there were also opportunities to meet up and network with our senior Alumni members and recently graduated BBA students. I had the chance to hear from Mr. Alan Soh, a senior Alumni member of the BBA class of 1981 who felt that events such as this gave him the opportunity to meet with younger people from the business school and share his experiences. He recounted how much the business school has grown since his graduation and the rapid changes that had occurred in terms of size and infrastructure. It was really interesting to hear from an experienced Alumni member who had witnessed the growth of the NUS business school first hand.

It was indeed a great opportunity for all the students of the NUS Business School to gather together as one, take a welcome break from the rigours of our business school lives and rejoice with great food & loads of beer. There was a general sense of camaraderie that enveloped the entire student cohort that had gathered that day. The Oktoberfest had definitely succeeded in drawing us all closer together.

As the event finally drew to an end, we bid our farewells, snapped our photographs to remind us of the good times that we had spent together on this occasion and brought our memorable beer mug souvenirs back home with us. This marked the end of an amazing experience that I will never truly forget for a really long time.

Thiruvarsu Damodharan
NUS S3Asia MBA Student, Class of 2010