Voices: I Chose a Singapore MBA – Marie Cheong’s MBA Story

Why did an overseas Singaporean pick a MBA in Singapore as her best option? This post is part of the NUS MBA Blog’s “Voices” series, where MBA candidates at NUS Business School share their personal stories.

NUS MBA in SingaporePhoto credit: Luca Sartoni

For Marie Ann Cheong Hui Fen, who worked with a multinational construction firm in the UK for 5 years, it was the relatively-small cohort size, impressive teaching staff, and the potential to contribute in the short- and long-run that motivated her decision. Read on for more about Marie’s experience flying the flag high for the NUS MBA on an international stage.

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Featured Interview | Ari Patera Nikicio

Ari Patera Nikicio, who hails from Jakarta, Indonesia, shares why he chose to pursue the NUS MBA programme. 

A0109545A_Ari Patera Nikicio

Ari Patera Nikicio, Indonesian
Full-time MBA student, Class of 2015, Intake 2013

About Me: Prior to joining the MBA program, I worked as a Business Development Manager for Mortindo, a ready-mix cement manufacturer in Indonesia that is part of a leading conglomeration called Triputra Group. When not working, I enjoy traveling, exploring new cultures and environments, as well as meeting new people. My favorite destinations so far are Bali and Tokyo. I am also an avid supporter of Manchester United.

In my three years working, I have had various experiences from being a team member to a leader. I realized that in order to become a successful business leader in the future I needed to enrich myself with more managerial and entrepreneurial knowledge and skills. Hence, I took the initiative to take a long break from work and seek more knowledge from a suitable MBA school.


Why NUS MBA? Leadership, Diversity and Reputation.

Creating Asian Business Leaders: I chose NUS MBA because it has an immense emphasis on creating Asian business leaders. It offers special programs that provide extensive knowledge of the Asian economies and how successful businesses are conducted in Asia. Some specific modules include: Value Investing in Asia, Leadership in Asia, Family Business Management, and Macroeconomics and Finance: Perspectives from Asia. 

Rich Cultural Diversity: My second reason for choosing NUS MBA is because it has a very rich cultural diversity. In fact, NUS MBA is ranked #6 in 2013 for its Global Mobility, according to Financial Times. By joining a multi-cultural environment, I benefit not only from challenging myself to get out of my comfort zone, but also learning from my classmates’ experiences and different perspectives. 

Reputation of NUS: The third reason is the huge reputation of NUS. As one of the most reputable universities in the world, NUS owns the network to invite world class guest speakers. Apart from learning through faculty members and classmates, learning from global business leaders is also an opportunity I highly seek. 

So Far So Great!

I have only just started the MBA program in August, but I am very excited about the upcoming journey ahead! Since the start of the program, I have been exposed to various exciting and unique programs such as the Management Communication Camp, Outbond Camp, Career Management Workshops, company presentations, networking events, and inspirational guest speakers.

The in-class environment has also been great. One of my favorite modules is Marketing Management. Passionate about Marketing, I greatly enjoy this class because the module covers lots of interactive study cases that provide better understanding on how marketing approach is implemented in real business practices.

Could the NUS MBA be the perfect fit for you, too? Find out more about the curriculumfaculty, and opportunities available on our website, mba.nus.edu.sg.

Why So Serious? The Secret Rules of MBA Student Life

Maybe you thought that as an MBA student, life was all work and no play, all case studies and no BBQ parties. Well, we just might have to prove you wrong.


This week, we’re rounding up a selection of some of the coolest posts on the NUS MBA Blog. Read on for a glimpse into the dynamic, fun-loving, and often unexpected world of the NUS MBA. Everything you wanted to know, didn’t think to ask, and more, in:

The Secret Rules of MBA Student Life


We take time off. Together! Sometimes we play Paintball. Or Foosball (In case you wondered where NUS MBA students sometimes disappear to after class). We also take epic winter breaks.


Over consecutive weekends you may find us gunning for a case competition, or throwing powder at each other in a colour festival. The sky’s the limit!


We seize and turn campus fire drills into golden data-gathering opportunities.


We’ve travelled to LA and Omaha, where we heard Warren Buffet’s investor advice and queued for an autograph. (Find out the context in which he said, “‘If you have an IQ of 150, sell 30 points to the next person” in the post here).

On other occasions, our bloggers have spilled the beans on MBA Study Trips to Macau, Manila (“Bombay meets Bogota” according to one NUS MBA blogger), and Japan.Celebration: We’ve danced gangnam-style. And spontaneously broken into the chicken-dance over a boisterous Oktoberfest dinner.


Sometimes, we even write poems to the start of a brand-new MBA semester.

Yup, that’s how exciting the NUS MBA is. It’s just the way we roll.

Spotlight: Family Business Management

What’s the value of an MBA for family business management? In this post, Harry Santoso shares why he decided it was time to get an MBA, how he got his family board to see the value in this decision, how he’s been managing his time, and what he’s learned so far.

Family Business MBA Story

Harry, could you share about your family business & background?

My family is in the scrap metal trading (Examples of commodities that we deal with include aluminium scrap, copper scrap, stainless steel scrap, etc) and aluminium ingot manufacturing business. Our main export markets are Asian countries (e.g. China, India, Japan, Middle East, South Korea).

After I completed my undergraduate studies in accounting and finance, I immediately joined the family business. Since it was a family business, some job functions were customized and there is sometimes no clear-cut separation of duties. I was more involved in the general management, logistic planning, and marketing, because those three responsibilities are the core of the business. As the job functions imply, it involves frequent travel, overtime, and dealing with various kind of people, from warehouse staff right up to government officials or top management. While technical accounting and finance skills were useful to evaluate reports, certain soft-skills, such as influence, negotiation, communication, effective wielding of authority are very important too.

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A Quick Guide to Entrepreneurship at NUS

With all that talk recently about startups and MBAs, we thought it was a good time to round up some of the essential links related to entrepreneurship around NUS.
Entrepreneurship Singapore MBA

NUS has a thriving entrepreneurship network that runs across programmes and disciplines. Here’s a quick way to start exploring the resources at your disposal:


Research and support is available for Entrepreneurship through our very own NUS Entrepreneurship Centre, which also provides funding and mentorship for startups. They have also recently launched the DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge, a competition for SGD30,000 in funding.

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