Student blogger Naity Cyriac gives us the inside scoop on a nine-day NUS study trip to Hong Kong and Macau.
The NUS study trip to Hong Kong and Macau was not just a “study trip”. It was a memorable experience that left us with a feeling similar to the one after an extremely satisfying twelve course meal with all the nutritious elements: travel, food (Lots of it!), cultural immersion, newfound friendships and of course the enriching company visits and networking sessions involving meaningful discussions with the management, other company representatives, HKUST MBA students and the wonderful NUS alumni. It gave us the opportunity to learn and explore beyond our classrooms, an opportunity that we’re glad we didn’t miss.
To recreate a befitting report for this blog, I now present an entirely fictional but a highly plausible reunion conversation between the participants of this nine day study trip (PS: I choose to conveniently exclude myself from this fictional conversation):
Ms. L. “the Organiser”: Now that we are all here and although we are starting exactly 7 seconds late, I would like to thank you all for your participation and especially Ms. A and Mr. KL, our student organisers for helping me pull this off successfully.
Mr. R “the Timekeeper”: It was so much fun! Lan Kwai Fong rocks! The clubs, the music, the crowd..I belong there!
Ms. W and Ms. B. “the tourists”: We also went to Disneyland! And shopped till we dropped!
Ms. S. “the food expert”: I went to Times Square and emptied half of my wallet! Our visits to different segment offices of Wharf Holdings, the conglomerate that manages Times Square was unforgettable. Wharf was even kind enough to sponsor a free tour for all of us on the Star Ferry ride that they operate!
Ms. A. “the Planner”: Well yes cultural immersion is definitely one of the highlights of our study trips. But I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for not just your participation but also for the pre-trip preparation. The briefing presentations on the companies we planned to visit helped us to be well prepared beforehand. We all gained some valuable insights on the companies, the relevant industries as well as the region.
Mr. R. “the Timekeeper”: Lan Kwai Fong was unforgettable!
Mr. G. “the Intern”: For me, the Morgan Stanley visit was one of the highlights of the study trip. The presentation about different verticals in their Institutional securities, Investment management and Wealth management divisions was highly informative. They even encouraged us to apply for the internships!
Mr. P. “the Coin-hater”: I liked the Hong Kong Monetary Authority visit too. We sure did learn a lot although I wish I could change the zillion heavy coins in my wallet for the HKD notes there.
Mr. A. “the Herbivore”: The coins would be any day less heavy than the beautiful study trip banner that I had to carry everywhere. My primarily banana-based diet empowered me with the required strength in that land devoid of ample vegetarian food.
Mr. A. “the Carnivore”: THE food. I had a roasted goose on the first day we landed in Hong Kong! And then we had frog, duck, octopus, squids and the variety of dumplings. And the dinner served at the NUS Alumni meet at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club was just heavenly!
Mr. R. “the Pseudo Chinese”: The alumni were so warm and welcoming. I was one of the event comperes that night. We even met the Deputy CEO of Bank of China! Great food, good people and a wonderful night! I also enjoyed the networking session with the HKUST MBA students the previous day.
Mr. F. “the Dreamer”: I was honoured to meet the Chairman and CEO of China Mobile International during the company visit. I was dreaming about how it would be if I was in his shoes! He was brilliant yet so humble and gave such wonderful insights about the Telecom industry in China and Hong Kong. He even walked us through the history of China Mobile and explained the various strategic initiatives deployed during his term.
Mr. R. “the Timekeeper”: Lan Kwai Fong was wonderful!
Mr. C. “the Diehard Manchester City fan”: And after spending six eventful days in Hong Kong, we headed to Macau, the Las Vegas of the east where the casinos serve free milk instead of alcohol! Guided tours of The Venetian and MGM were once in a lifetime experience. Didn’t they mention that the total size of The Venetian was equal to 56 football fields and they still managed to recover their costs within the first year!
Mr. K. “the Photographer”: I think I managed to pull off the George Clooney look, trying my hand at Roulette with that intense look on my face.
Mr. VC. “the Risk-lover”: Roulette is for kids. It’s a negative NPV game as you must have learned in your Financial Management class. Baccarat and craps is what kept me and Mr. KN busy.
Mr. KL. “the Translator”: I also enjoyed the Koi Kei Bakery visit where I helped translate the message from the Owner of the Bakery himself! It was such an honour to meet him and hear about how he and his father transformed their business from a push cart to the current chain of stores in HK and Macau. Their egg tarts were delicious! They even opened a new store in Singapore recently.
Ms. L. “the Organiser”: Great! So now that you have all submitted the written reports on your study trip experience, I would like to thank you all for being good throughout the trip.
Mr. R. “the Timekeeper”: Why doesn’t Singapore have Lan Kwai Fong!
Mr. VV. “the Videographer”: Can I stop the recording now?
Full-Time student, Class of 2014