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.

Cerebration 2013: Bigger, Better and Bolder!

As an organizing committee member of one of the largest student-run MBA Case competitions happening on November 13-14, you might be wondering why am I writing this blog post when I should be busy finalising event details.

I felt the need to update you all and give you a peek into all the hype about Cerebration 2013. For those of you who still don’t know what Cerebration is (is there anyone who still doesn’t know?), Cerebration is the largest student-run MBA case competition organised by MBA students of NUS Business School. MBA student teams from all over the world compete to solve challenging business cases submitted by world leading organizations. After two qualifying rounds, top nine semi-finalist teams are flown to Singapore (with all-paid expenses). One winner is selected from top three final teams by judges and awarded SGD $10,000.

So, what is so special about this year’s Cerebration?

First off, we have a very impressive line-up of events mixed with networking opportunities for the participating teams with top executives of sponsor companies, the School’s faculty and students. For the semi-finals (to be held on Nov 13th) and finals (to be held on Nov 14th), nine teams selected across each of the three cases of the competition are being flown into Singapore.

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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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Voices: Banking on Career Growth – Elaine Xian’s MBA Story

Looking for ways to power up your career growth? Want to grow your exposure to commercial banking in the emerging markets of Asia? This post is part of the NUS MBA Blog’s “Voices” series, where MBA candidates at NUS Business School share their personal stories.

Asia Finance MBA

Photo credit: Luca Sartoni

Equipped with experience of Greater China’s commercial banking landscape, Elaine Xian Huipin discerned that the growth of the Southeast Asian region could help propel her career. Just over a year later, the Vice President of the NUS MBA Student Council shares her MBA story, one that has taken her on study trips in Taiwan and Spain, to India for a Graduate Business Conference, and to Deloitte & Touche ERS, Singapore, on a risk management internship.

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