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#SuccessStory – How MBA At NUS Helped Me Learn Beyond Academics

Posted on Jul 14, 2018
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Ambica at NUS

In the last year of my studies in Biotechnology at the McGill University I decided to change my field and move to Marketing and Sales after graduation. In my 8 years of work experience, I worked in global corporations such as Kraft Foods, Cadbury & Lindt Chocolate in roles encompassing marketing and sales. It was during this time that I realized a deep desire to gain a holistic perspective of business. I wanted to be able to sit with the finance team and ask the right questions, I wanted to understand the market trends and explain them through behavioural economics. Thus, I decided to do an MBA. Having grown up in Asia and worked and studied in North America, I also wanted to further deepen my understanding of Asia and what the whole hype about “The Asian growth story” is. So, I applied to The National University of Singapore and got accepted into its Full Time MBA program ranked among the top 20 in the world.

Beyond Academics

NUS MBA has a culture that goes beyond Academics. With 75% of the batch between 27 to 30 years of age, students came to NUS with an expectation to go beyond bookish knowledge, to learn through others life experiences, and broaden their network of friends and colleagues. This expectation was greatly met by the Professors. I found Prof. Seung-gyo Jo’s class the most enriching. Prof. Seung-gyo taught us microeconomics in the first semester. He had a very interesting way of teaching as he provided real world scenarios and emphasised on understanding the concepts that could be used lifelong. We were always told by the professors that “passing” or getting high grades isn’t the purpose of an MBA. NUS offered us a dynamic campus life to explore our talents beyond academics. We have lots of clubs and communities. I was elected the Marketing President for the class. It gave me an opportunity to hone my leadership skills.


Having lived, studied and worked abroad for close to eleven years, I always thought that I was well exposed to a diverse world. My notions of diversity completely changed after I joined NUS. The MBA program had candidates from around Asia which gave me the opportunity to know people closely from countries like Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia. The NUS experience has widened my perspectives of life and helped me understand that one can never be diverse enough. Learning about other ethnicities cultures and point of views is a lifelong process.

Personal development and flexibility

The NUS MBA offers a unique opportunity to structure the program based on individual choice. A student can choose to complete the program within a year, forgoing the internship altogether and taking up extra modules during each semester. The program can also be extended to 2 years with the choice of doing an exchange at the partner schools. The NUS MBA provided a learning environment that helped us to reflect on our career, ask questions to our peers about their idea of success and business, and tailor our next steps based on that introspection. My MBA at NUS has certainly changed my perspective about how I see my life a few years from now.

Having completed my MBA in April, I already feel excited and ready to take on challenges that lie ahead in the business world!

“This story was shared by Ambica Upal, a ReachIvy alum who graduated from NUS, Singapore. Thank you for sharing your story and helping other applicants in their journey Ambica!”

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