Winter Break Escapades

NUS MBA winter break
Ultimate relaxation - Students made use of the break to travel and catch up with family & friends

How do NUS MBA students spend the winter break? Student blogger Carissa Caparas has the lowdown on their holiday plans.

When I first learned about the specifics of the MBA program’s schedule, I was surprised (more pleasantly than anything else) to find a “winter break” between the first and second semesters of the first year. I mean, who doesn’t love holidays, right? And so, December 2011 came, that time when the seniors “graduated” and the first-years were fresh off a rollercoaster-of-a-first-semester experience. We found ourselves enjoying this assignment-free period (well almost, 100%-free..) Anyway, so what were we up to during this time? Where, how did we spend these precious days? Let us count the ways.

Travel-spree – after slugging it out with reports, projects and exams for the whole of 4 months, what’s a better way to relax than travelling and seeing new places? A lot of students took advantage of this time to go overseas to countries like Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, Sabah), Indonesia (Jakarta, Surabaya, Bali), Thailand (Bangkok, Phuket), the Philippines (Manila, Boracay, Cebu), Australia (Perth, Melbourne, Sydney), China (Shanghai, Beijing), India (too many good places to mention!), among others. It’s one enjoyable way to bond with friends outside of academic-related work, and with the student cohort consisting of different nationalities, you’ll most likely have at least one classmate welcoming you to their home countries during your visit. You can just see how much we enjoyed this—Facebook pages abound with photos of these memorable trips!

Winter internships – while majority of students opt to pursue their internships over the summer, for the very career-focused, winter break was also an opportune time to go after short working stints. You learn, you earn, and well, you learn. Some students were able to secure short-term stints as analyst, consultancy interns in companies based in Singapore.

NUS Connect – as students flew back to their home countries over the break, one interesting activity that some participated in would be the NUS Connect spearheaded by the MBA Admissions team. Alumni and current students met up with prospective students to share information and the experience they’ve had as part of the NUS MBA family. As of this writing, NUS Connect sessions have been organized by our batchmates in Tokyo, Osaka, Manila, Delhi, Bangalore, to name a few.

Getting married – yup you read that right! Some of our classmates tied the knot this month with gorgeous wedding ceremonies in China and India. Congratulations and best wishes to the newly-weds!

Holidays back home – of course many students went back to their hometowns to spend time with family and catch up with friends, check out the elaborate holiday season scene and sales(!) in the city, prepare gifts for godchildren, savour all the local food we’ve missed (as I did), and generally, just take a breather and be merry!

And so before we embark again on to the next semester, we wish everyone Happy Holidays and Cheers to a Great 2012 ahead of us! We’re gonna make it another year to remember!

Carissa Caparas (Filipino)
Full Time MBA Student, Class of 2013