Despite doing well as a banking executive, Lynnette Wang Lingfang desired a socially rewarding career in healthcare. She says she’s found “the best of both worlds” in doing an MBA programme at NUS, given the business school’s consistently top global rankings and its tie-up with the university’s school of public health that would allow her to specialise in the sector.
Monetary incentives not the sole motivation
My career started after I graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor in Business Administration from the Singapore Management University. Like many of my peers aspiring to enter the banking industry, I was elated when I had the opportunity to join Citibank as a trade operations executive. Year 2008 was the onset of an economic downturn with the high-profile collapse of the Lehman Brothers company. With banks cutting jobs worldwide, I was glad I managed to secure that position. While work went on well, I started to reflect on what I really wanted to do as my long-term career. It became apparent to me that monetary incentives of the finance industry would not be the sole and main driver of my career; I wanted to do something that would be socially rewarding as well.
A new career in healthcare
I subsequently got a job at the National Healthcare Group where I have been working for the past 3 years. In managing my department’s finances, I used my training in finance to plan annual budgets and analyse monthly profit-and-loss statements. Meanwhile, I was exposed to many aspects of the healthcare landscape in Singapore, including research and development, clinical quality assurance measurement, medical education and training. As Singapore faces a greying population that brings new healthcare challenges, I grew increasingly interested in at the prospect of healthcare organisation management as a long-term career. That meant that I needed to equip myself with the relevant healthcare-related training.
Finding the right training programme
I started my research on several post-graduate healthcare training programmes in Singapore – including courses such as a Master of in Public Health and Master of Business Administration. I eventually decided, for several reasons, to embark on an NUS MBA and specialise in healthcare management. The university’s MBA programme is widely recognised and enjoys a strong global standing. Its consistently top global ranking is evidence of NUS’s strong and reputable faculty. Furthermore, the NUS business school’s tie-up with the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health would allow me to have the best of both worlds – taking both business and healthcare-related modules. I believe in the importance of healthcare organisations’ sustainability in the long run, and this is where the business side of training is important. At National Healthcare Group (NHG), the staffs are encouraged to engage in continuous learning and to take up courses as part of their personal development. I was fortunate to have the support of my management and was granted a sponsorship under NHG’s L.E.A.R.N scheme for the part-time NUS MBA programme.
The NUS MBA experience
I started my MBA programme this year, and am now into the seventh week of school. Although it is challenging to manage both work and school, I feel that this arrangement allows me to apply what I have learnt in the classroom to my work. At the beginning of the semester, all students were engaged in a week-long, intensive management communications (MC) module. It was a game-changing experience, as I learned about the different frameworks that can be used in effective communication. I got the chance to hone my networking skills in a mock networking setting. Students also received honest and direct feedback on their communication skills at the end of the MC course. What impressed me most was the MC faculty’s dedication to helping students improve their communication skills. Even after the end of the course, students could sign up for continuous-learning modules to practice their communication skills. My NUS MBA study has just started and I am indeed excited about what lies ahead. Despite a hectic work schedule, I am looking forward to joining some of the clubs’ activities and making the best of my time at NUS.