NUS Asia-Pacific Executive MBA

EMBA Participant Profile & Experiences

Participant Profiles 

The APEX MBA is a rich experience that delivers not only business best practice but also highly relevant insights into the Asian business region. Even as a person who has worked in Asia throughout my career, I have gained new perspectives and understanding that will help me succeed in Asia. Truly an Asian business school focused on Asian business.

Mr Mark Hilton | Australian
Regional Vice President,
North Asia & Pacific Products
and Solutions Business Division SITA

The prized element of the NUS Asia-Pacific Executive MBA program is the diversity and depth of experiences of the participants. The shared respect for open debate and the dynamic process of exchanging perspectives and building on each other's ideas trained our minds to become adept at analyzing issues and making the most difficult business and corporate decisions.

Ms Susan Ang | Singaporean
Divisional Director, Island Investment & Branding, Sentosa Leisure Group

Our top ranking Executive MBA is a part time programme that attracts high calibre participants across all nationalities, industries and roles. This often makes for a lively exchange of ideas and insights in an environment of shared learning. Apart from the new concepts and ideas introduced by the course instructors, the EMBA participants' knowledge, expertise and experience also allow them to benefit from interacting with one another synergistically.

What do they say

Darwin Wu

Darwin Wu
Intake 21, Class of 2014
Regional Head of Southeast Asia (ASEAN)
Asus Technology (Singapore)
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Lim Wei Wei

Lim Wei Wei
Intake 21, Class of 2014
Partner, Governance & Risk Consulting
Baker Tilly TFW LLP
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Ratnadeep (Ratan) Goswami

Ratnadeep (Ratan) Goswami
Intake 21, Class of 2014
Sales, Marketing & Product Management
Monsanto, USA
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Jignesh Pattani

Jignesh Pattani
Intake 21, Class of 2014
Sr. Business Consultant, Energy
French Software firm
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Lim Wei Wei

Partner, Governance & Risk Consulting
Baker Tilly TFW LLP

The modules covered as part of the Asia-Pacific EMBA programme are highly relevant and definitely helped in my professional life. Subjects such as management and organisation behaviour enhanced my capabilities as a leader and manager.

Background

I graduated from Nanyang Technological University with a degree in Accountancy in 2001 and am currently a Partner with Baker Tilly TFW LLP specializing in Governance & Risk consulting.

Baker Tilly TFW LLP is the 8th largest accountancy and professional services firm in Singapore and is a member of Baker Tilly International, also ranked number 8th worldwide. As part of the requirements of this role, I travel frequently throughout the Asia-Pacific region and beyond to assist clients with their requirements with respect to corporate governance and risk management.

Why NUS?

NUS is the obvious choice for me as it is highly regarded as the number 1 University in Singapore and is also highly ranked in Asia and beyond. It is also conveniently located in Clementi, in the south western part of Singapore that is well served by highways and public transport. The fact that the Asia-Pacific EMBA programme is highly ranked among the top executive programmes in the world also made it particularly attractive as it showcases its relevance and is an attestation of its quality.

Programme comparison

The decision to take up the Asia-Pacific EMBA programme involved a search of other programmes on offer in Singapore. One of the main reasons why I chose Asia-Pacific EMBA over the other programmes was that it was the only programme that offers insights to doing business in the Asia-Pacific region. As the focus of the world economy is shifting to the east, doing an EMBA which offers insights to the fast growing region will definitely allow me to gain a deeper understanding of the opportunities and challenges of doing business in the region, and perhaps open more doors to business opportunities around the region.

Academic experience

The curriculum of 12 modules, as well as the structure of the programme which involves 6 segments spread across the most dynamic of countries in the Asia-Pacific region in 15 months was also a draw. It allowed me an opportunity to be exposed to the culture and intricacies of doing business in those countries. The fact that each residential segment lasts for 2 weeks, also meant that I was able to easily accommodate studying for the programme into my work schedule.

Outside the classroom experience

The Asia-Pacific EMBA experience continues outside of regular classes. There are plenty of activities in between residential segments, from the many social events organized by the Business School to the talks and seminars conducted by renowned business leaders and academics to gatherings and events organized by fellow participants. These events help make campus life extremely colorful and exciting.

Fellow participants

The diversity of fellow participants is also another fascinating aspect of this programme. Coming from different countries, industries, specializations, fellow participants bring to the table an individually unique set of experience. This not only enhances the learning experience, but also creates a collaborative environment that helps foster close relations with fellow participants from all over the world.

Subject matter relevance

The modules covered as part of the Asia-Pacific EMBA programme are highly relevant and definitely helped in my professional life. Subjects such as management and organisation behaviour enhanced my capabilities as a leader and manager. Other subjects such as corporate strategy, operations and supply chain management as well as scenario planning assisted me greatly in assisting my clients enhance their risk management and operational capabilities.

Overall impact

The Asia-Pacific EMBA in general helped improve not just my technical skills, but also allowed me to see things in a broader perspective. As if it was a testament to its effectiveness, I was actually promoted to a Partner just shortly before I completed the programme.

How to make the best out of NUS Asia-Pacific EMBA?

The support from family and at the office for embarking on the programme is crucial. My family and office in particular was very supportive of my involvement in the programme, according me with the flexibility to balance my workload with the programme requirements. Looking back, juggling between studies, family and work commitments aren't all that difficult. It, however, takes a lot of focus and determination to complete the programme in a timely fashion.

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Ratnadeep (Ratan) Goswami

Sales, Marketing & Product Management
Monsanto, USA

The profile of the faculty impressed me as it has an excellent mix of pure academicians as well as highly well-recognised professional industry individuals passionate about teaching. The outside classroom experience is a great experience for people who join the programme from Europe/US for they get a first-hand experience of emerging Asia. The WOW experience for me was the trip to Japan when we went to Nissan and the module that we had there on Macroeconomics and International Finance was something which I see, hear and understand a bit of everyday.

Tell us a bit about your background and what you are doing currently.

I come from a background of Agri sciences and Management, employed in the world's largest Seeds and Biotechnology company named Monsanto. I worked in Sales, Marketing and Product management at a regional level for Asia Pacific, Recently about a year back I moved to US and am responsible for product management for NAFTA and South America region.

Why NUS and Why Asia Pacific EMBA

Why NUS well recognized, centrally located in Asia-Pacific name speaks for itself. NUS Asia-Pacific EMBA has some natural advantages. It has a heterogeneous mix of batch-mates from all sectors of the Industry compared to others which has more composition of some particular sector like Finance and Banking. This provides me a platform of lateral thinking to apply. The profile of the faculty impressed me it has an excellent mix of pure academician and at the same time highly well recognised professional industry individuals who have taken up teaching out of passion. This is a unique combination of theoretical learning and practical thinking which can be applicable. I was also very impressed by the models taught and the empirical studies applied within Asia-Pacific which was shared with us. These I would not have got if I had not chosen Asia-Pacific EMBA.

How did you decide on this programme?

My key criteria of choosing this programme were the composition of the alumni, the faculty members' experience and recognition; and also the flexibility of the structure of the programme.

What is your experience like outside the classroom? How would you describe your fellow participants?

The outside classroom experience is a very good model, this is a great experience for people who join the programme from Europe/US for they get a first-hand experience for emerging Asia.

How did learning and networks from EMBA help you in your career and professional life? Any examples that you can share?

In fact, quite a few. The programme is structured pretty well, I still go through my notes of leadership classes, the big data management and analysis is an everyday use by default in my profession, the WOW experience for me was the trip to Japan when we went to Nissan and the module that we had there on Macroeconomics and International Finance was something which I see, hear and understand a bit of everyday.

What kind of support from your personal and professional network did you need to take this programme?

I feel accomplished to take up this personal challenge, especially in a travelling job. My wife and family backed me up, understanding the long term benefits. I feel thankful to my company, which sees the merits through the professional prism, and understands the additional value I can bring to them, for which they were very supportive.

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Jignesh Pattani

Sr. Business Consultant, Energy
French Software firm

I was attracted to the NUS Asia-Pacific EMBA with its modules conducted across Singapore, Indonesia, India, Japan, China and Vietnam. It gave me the opportunity to gain first-hand insight and work on business models to help me in addressing the growing energy needs for Asia. The programme's long presence in the Asian region also gave me a chance to make the right contacts, and apply the best possible strategies in consultation with the alumni and the professors. I could not ask for a better opportunity of local learning with a global cohort.

Tell us a bit about your background and what you are doing currently.

I had my undergrad degree (Mechanical Engineering) in 1995 and since then have worked in India, South East Asia and Middle East on various assignments covering Software solutions firms, EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction), Contractors and Owner Operator (Oil and Gas).

Currently, I work as a Sr. Business Consultant in Energy industry (India), with a 2B$ French Software firm.

Why NUS and Why Asia Pacific EMBA?

Over the course of my career, I have enjoyed learning by confronting professional challenges head on, and I pride myself on learning quickly and adapting to new environments. I knew that continuing my formal education at a top notch school will provide me with a rich and concentrated learning experience that will give me a more nuanced understanding of business, management, and entrepreneurship. Such an experience will fundamentally make me more competitive professionally and more successful as a senior management professional.

My professional life has brought me diverse experiences from across India, South East Asia, and the Middle East, and I feel well versed in the myriad of business cultures to be found there. My focus at NUS Asia-Pacific EMBA was the synthesis of these experiences, rooted in a strong foundational understanding of global economics and best management practices in my sector. Coupled with NUS's world-class alumni network and professional resources, I was convinced my entrepreneurial ambitions would have the strength and strategy necessary for them to succeed at this stage of my career!

Talking about my sector, while today, a majority of Asian energy needs are met with oil and gas, this sector too has real challenges in terms of declining oil reserves (and hence over dependence on imports) on one hand, while on the other hand, increasing gas reserves. This transition from oil to gas would create enormous opportunities in terms of process optimization, solution integration and technology adaptation. Additionally, the region has extensive potential for both coal-based, hydro, and other unconventional and renewable energy resources, which require thoughtful critical planning. Countries like Vietnam, Philippines, India, Malaysia and Australia would see even more investments flowing in and I intend to explore these markets for opportunities in technology adaptation, process transitions and optimizations. This is where NUS Asia Pacific EMBA attracted me, with its modules conducted across Singapore, Indonesia, India, Japan, China and Vietnam, I could not ask for a better opportunity of local learning with a global cohort! During my time at NUS, I toured around some of these countries, always mindful of gaining first hand insight and working on business models to address this growing energy needs for Asia. I tried to leverage on the programme's long presence in the Asian region to assist me in getting the right contacts, and applying the best possible strategies in consultation with the alumni and the professors. Lastly, through NUS's flexible EMBA schedule and numerous opportunities to network with cohorts and alumni, I had the opportunity to take action on many of these investment strategies even before completing my degree, though they remain in work in progress state! This has overall assisted in my entrepreneurial vision, which I intend to fulfill in the mid to long term.

How did you decide on this programme?

To be honest, decision to enroll for this programme had multiple ups and down! While comfortably working in a senior project manager role in Middle East, I could sense the need to upgrade my theoretical knowledge and insights across various domains as it was becoming more and more challenging. Looking back, I think I was too much reliant on my technical mindset to aid me in decision making process.

This urge, to transform myself from technical to business oriented professional grew stronger as I fanned the aspirations of being an entrepreneur one day in addition to becoming ambitious of moving higher up in corporate world! Discussing with like-minded friends helped satiate the thought process and finally I started my search for EMBA!

Having lived and working in Singapore earlier, and firmly believing in the Asian century, I naturally gravitated towards Asia centered programme.

Next step was to do some research work on – ranking, cost, flexibility, focus, faculty, networking opportunities, Whether a University Degree or a certificate, cohort diversity, whether 'one in a crowd' or 'individual attention' approach (cohort size), etc. Here, I would say, each one could have a different level of importance based on individual priorities but it is better to do at least some homework on these aspects before 'on your mark, set, go..' process of securing admissions!

Without going deep into details, I would say, for me the priorities were: Flexibility, Focus, University Degree, Ranking, networking opportunities, cost, cohort diversity and size and faculty (didn't much realize the importance at that stage, though was pleasantly surprised to discover how powerful this factor could be in your learning journey, after joining NUS Asia-Pacific EMBA!)

Needless to say, NUS Asia-Pacific MBA became a top choice for me, much because of the flexibility it offered in completing my EMBA (very important for those who are very busy juggling between their career aspirations and family life), their APAC focused multi-location learning modules, University degree offered at the end of the course – which states MBA, similar to full time MBA, among the top ranked in Asia (although never quite understood the relevance of some of the criteria used for ranking across various listings, I thought some paid too much attention to salary figures and some on dual degree opportunities, but well, let us say, ranking matters, but not too much, ultimately it's the combination of individual priorities that wins!), networking opportunities plus cohort size (very important, as you learn from peers in equal proportion as from professors and these are life-long friends later, so a decent size diverse cohort is a boon, too many: you are one in the crowd, too few: you are missing out on experiential peer to peer learning!)

Of course, cost do play a role, but I would opine that most of the top EMBAs are expensive (!) and it's a case of identifying 'which one is less expensive and would give me more confidence of getting a secure ROI in mid to long run'. To be fair, EMBAs allow us to continue with our career, and offer opportunities to apply some or most of the learning back in our work lives. There is zero opportunity cost, with an increased chance of an earlier ROI, this from my personal experience.

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Darwin Wu

Regional Head of Southeast Asia (ASEAN)
Asus Technology (Singapore)

I decided to take part in NUS Asia- Pacific Executive MBA programme because I think that this will be the right programme to equip me. Undeniable, I am experienced. But on top of my experiences, I see the need to overhaul my visions to avoid biases.

Tell us a bit about your background and what you are doing currently.

I am handling ASUS entire ASEAN Region operation. As a Regional Head, I have responsibilities to steer my team towards the goals, conduct business growth, developing new markets, establishing local companies, localization, expanding market share, and of course, accomplishing company missions in the all Southeast Asian countries.

Why NUS and Why Asia Pacific EMBA?

Singapore is located in the heart of ASEAN, and serving as hub for ASEAN to China, Japan, Korea, Australia, India etc. In my opinion, Singapore even has greater advantage compared to Hong Kong, which happens to be another education hub in Greater China region; for someone who want in-depth Asia Pacific understanding with a well-balanced cultural mosaic without any political and sociological burdens, Singapore is the best place to start up.

I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in National Taiwan University (NTU), the best "century old" university in Taiwan. National University of Singapore (NUS) is also the best "century old" university in Singapore. This is one of the main reasons why NUS became my priority when considering my EMBA program in Singapore.

NUS Asia-Pacific EMBA programme is a more focused programme that I need, compared to "Global EMBA". It is very easy to claim to be "Global", but as in photography, when using SLR, I will prefer manual focusing rather than just setting to "infinity". Infinity focus is used for when shooting something that is hard to focus on, especially at night or in dimly lit situations. Today, the rise of Asia is obvious. I preferred a programme with sharp focus in Asia Pacific, and Global as background, to build up the whole picture.

How did you decide on this programme?

I decided to take part in NUS Asia- Pacific Executive MBA programme because I think that this will be the right programme to equip me. Undeniable, I am experienced. But on top of my experiences, I see the need to overhaul my visions to avoid biases. I am pursuing relevant inputs to support the journeys, roles, and fortify sustainability in global changes. As introduced, this programme enabled me to have wider exposure to diverse values and experience, share opinions with business leaders from other industries and countries. Learning focuses on Asia-Pacific, from India to China, and learning from the best.

What is your experience like outside the classroom? How would you describe your fellow participants?

There were many activities outside the class room during the residential segment. The most impressive experience for me was the negotiation session in traditional market of Delhi, India. When a team is trying to move toward the same goal, there will always be different opinions and voices, especially when the team consists of decision makers in each organization we came from. With the time constraint and limited resources, we still need to accomplish the mission in time. We can see many positive interactions during the process, such as constructive conflicts, tolerance, communications, motivating, encouraging and collaborations. No one left behind; every individual has his/ her contribution. We need to practice "Art of Collaboration" to accomplish our mission in time.

How did learning and networks from EMBA help you in your career and professional life? Any examples that you can share?

NUS is a "century old" university in Singapore. The alumni network has been well established worldwide; by entering the programme, it's more than just the learning process. NUS is a "Big Supportive Family" inviting you to be part of it. Beside, this programme is an access to a lifetime of studying, you can return anytime when you think you need to pick up something in the new curriculum or just replenish something forgotten. The learning journey, as promised, will become a lifetime vision seeking endless resources.

What kind of support from your personal and professional network did you need to take this programme?

The support from the organization to grant six times two weeks leave was the most essential part for me, as this was an intense and condensed programme that needs true commitment, at least during the segments. The courses officially started at 8am, ended at 6pm, with many individual or group assignments to finish after the courses. Even between the segments, we still had many post and pre assignments to handle. This was a more than 720 hours commitment we need to go through. A good stamina and supportive family also very important, for without that will be hard to sustain.

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National University of Singapore
NUS Business School
Asia-Pacific Executive MBA (English)
Mochtar Riady Building Level 4
15 Kent Ridge Drive
Singapore 119245

Email: apexe@nus.edu.sg
Phone: +65 6516 7800
Fax: +65 6775 9097

 

 

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