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Apr/May 2011 | Archive
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In conversation with Prof Jan Peter Balkenende, former Prime Minister of Netherlands
 
Prof Jan Peter Balkenende sharing his views with the audience.
 

The members of the Advisory Boards of NUS Business School had the rare opportunity to meet Prof Jan Peter Balkenende, the former Prime Minister of the Netherlands, on 29 March. During the hour-long session, Prof Balkenende shared his insights on various issues such as the political economy, European sovereign debt crisis, corporate social responsibility as well as the need to preserve the environment. He also emphasized the importance of having a principles-based approach to issues, for instance, when dealing with budget deficits.

Prof Balkenende’s talk was well-received by the audience, many of whom praised him for being straightforward and honest with his views. With the Netherlands bearing many similarities to Singapore, participants also said the session provided useful and relevant insights into the views of the Dutch political leadership. Prof Balkenende was Prime Minister of the Netherlands between 2002 and 2010.

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CEO Roundtable: "Asia's Business Megatrends - Challenges and Opportunities"
 

In conjunction with its launch on 31 March, the Centre for Strategic Leadership (CSL) organised its inaugural CEO Roundtable on “Asia's Business Megatrends: Challenges and Opportunities for Leaders”, attended by about 80 government officials and senior executives.

Mr Michael Zink explaining the implications of the global economic centre's shift to Asia.
 

The distinguished speakers included Mr Michael Zink, Country Head, Country Officer of Citi Singapore, Citigroup; Mr Charles Tseng, President, Asia Pacific, Korn/Ferry International and Mr Praveen P. Kadle, Managing Director & CEO, Tata Capital Limited. They shared their experiences and perspectives on upcoming business trends, as well as insights on the emerging leadership challenges in Asian economies. For instance, Mr Tseng spoke at length about the war for talent, while Mr Zink explained the implications of the shift in global economic centre to Asia.

CSL was launched to pioneer research in the leadership values and competencies deemed critical in building visions and shaping strategies for Asia's growth. CSL seeks to provide a platform for developing the contextual knowledge of an emerging Asia and serve as a catalyst in building the global leadership capabilities of the Asian leaders.

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M&O Public Conference - Biological Foundation of Organisational Behaviour
 
Our distinguished speakers at the forum
 

For those who have always wondered if genes played a role in job performance, some answers came at the public conference “Biological Foundation of Organisational Behaviour”, hosted by the Dept of Management & Organisation. Led by Prof Richard Arvey, Prof Stephen Colarelli, Professor in Psychology at Central Michigan University, and Mr David Pervin, senior editor of the University of Chicago Press, several renowned scholars presented cutting edge research on how genetics, hormones, brain functioning and evolution affect organisational phenomenon such as decision making, leadership and job performance.

Participants found the conference very fruitful. Some also hoped that knowledge in this emerging area of research would help to spark off future research that may lead to positive interventions or policy changes in the workplace.

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ACESP Philanthropy Speaker Series: "A Literature Review on Philanthropy – What are the Research Issues?"
 
Dr Pamala Wiepking explaining the sociological factors in charitable giving.
 

The Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy (ACSEP) hosted its latest Philanthropy Speaker Series talk on 12 April. The guest speaker was Dr Pamala Wiepking, Assistant Professor at the Department of Philanthropic Studies at the VU University Amsterdam. Her research focuses on sociological explanations of charitable giving and she coordinates the European Research Network on Philantropy (ERNOP). She also lectures at the VU University Amsterdam on the subject of charitable giving.

Dr Pamala provided insights into the research issues in philanthropy and practices in the Netherlands and US, helping participants understand philanthropy better and how these countries’ models might help to shape Singapore’s and Asia’s. Her enlightening talk also gave her audience the chance to reflect more deeply and think about how they can give back to society.

The audience paying rapt attention to Dr Wiepking
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CGIO Public Seminar: The Governance of Industrial Foundations
 

Why do foundation-owned companies perform well in terms of profitability, growth or share returns despite lacking formal governance mechanisms like profit incentives or takeover threats?

Prof Steen Thomsen, Director of the Center for Corporate Governance at Copenhagen Business School (CBS) was on hand to provide some insights at the public seminar, “The Governance of Industrial Foundations”, organised by the Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations (CGIO) on 13 April.

Prof Steen brought his audience through research on foundation-owned companies, which found that such companies have higher accounting returns when their foundations are more independent, in terms of board structure, management, administration, financial resources and investments. He explained that the findings may contribute to understanding the excellent performance of foundation-owned companies and also appear to have implications for good governance.

 
 
Prof Steen Thomsen bringing the audience through his research.
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NUS Business School Celebrates!
 

Staff and students were treated to a party on 1 April for their hard work in helping the school attain its recent ranking successes. The celebration kicked off with an address by Dean Prof Bernard Yeung and Guest-of-Honour NUS Provost Prof Tan Eng Chye, followed by the popping of champagne. It also featured a performance by the KR Rockers, the resident band of Kent Ridge Hall.

The NUS Business School has grown in standing and repute within and beyond Singapore. In the latest Financial Times’ league tables, the NUS MBA programme was ranked 23rd, and the Executive MBA programme was placed 27th. Another prominent ranking organization, the Princeton Review, cited the NUS Business School as the topmost business school in Asia. Today, of the local universities, the NUS Business School has the most stringent admissions criteria for business courses, with nearly all its admitted undergraduates straight-As students.

Staff and students coming together to celebrate their achievements
 
The KR Rockers turning up the heat
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Dinner & Dance
 
Our Dean (second from right) and staff sharing a light-hearted moment.
 

The NUS Business School held its first Dinner & Dance with the theme “Connecting as One – Around the World”. Staff were encouraged to come dressed in international costumes, and many did not disappoint. There was an Empress Dowager, a “milking cow”, 大長今 Dà Chángjīn, Miss Saigon, amongst others. Dean Prof Bernard Yeung made an entrance as a dashing airline pilot!

More than 300 guests, faculty and staff members attended the event at the Grand Hyatt Hotel and had an absolutely incredible time. A scrumptious seven-course dinner was served with plenty of entertainment throughout the evening. There were games and prizes, as well as performances by our talented staff who sang and danced. It was indeed a fun-filled and memorable night!

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Prof Jochen Wirtz appointed "International Fellow of Service Research Center"
 

Assoc Prof Jochen Wirtz (Dept of Marketing) has received an honorary appointment as "International Fellow of Service Research Center" at the University of Karlstad. The Service Research Center is a multidisciplinary centre established in 1986 with more than 50 researchers and research students from business, sociology, and psychology working on research, undergraduate and graduate education, and cooperation with companies and other organizations in various areas of managing service.

The Service Research Center has been lauded as "one of the leading research centers in the world, with a reputation for quality research that is both academically rigorous and also practical and relevant to the issues that face managers across the service sector." (Prof Robert Johnston, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, UK)

With his appointment, Prof Wirtz will be involved in service research projects at the center.

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BBA student Jasmine Ser crowned Sportswoman of the Year
 

Our BBA student and national shooter, Jasmine Ser, has done our school proud by clinching the coveted Sportswoman of the Year award! Jasmine, who won two golds and two silvers at last year’s Commonwealth Games, beat hot favourites Tao Li and Feng Tianwei.

Her win was announced on 19 April by the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC), which recognised her excellent achievements at the Games and improvements she made over the years. In fact, her Games qualifying score of 398 would have put her in the Olympic finals! No wonder then that Jasmine was picked by a 15-man selection committee to win the award.

This latest accolade is just another feather in the cap for Jasmine. She was named NUS Sportswoman of the Year in 2010, and won a gold medal at the Southeast Asian Games in 2009.

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USC Marshall International Real Estate Case Competition
 

The NUS Business School and Department of Real Estate (Team LCUBE) have emerged as the champions of the USC Marshall International Real Estate Case Competition for the third time! Comprising 3 of our students - Ervin Lim Wei Xiang, Tan Ruizhi and Yuan Yi - as well as 3 from the Department of Real Estate, namely Tan Guanzheng (Captain), Goh Yu Tian and Kelly Ang Xin Yi, with Dr Kwame Addae Dapaah as the advisor, the team was up against the best from top universities around the world, including the New York University, University of Auckland and the University of Southern California (USC).

(Left to Right): Tan Ruizhi, Yuan Yi, Ervin Lim Wei Xiang, Tan Guanzheng, Goh Yu Tian, Kelly Ang Xin Yi, at the University of Southern California.
 

The competition was held on USC's campus between 11-15 April. Teams had to analyse the potential acquisition of a colonial building, submit a written report, and present their proposals. Among various issues, they had to consider whether, and under what conditions, the asset should be acquired, rehabilitated and/or redeveloped. Team LCUBE impressed the judges with their detailed analysis and sound business plan, giving them the top spot! With their victory over 8 other strong competitors, it was one of the most rewarding and memorable experiences the team could ever wish for.

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APEX-C student leads Putien restaurant chain in productivity drive
 

APEX-C student, Mr Fong Chi Chung’s efforts at streamlining his business operations to increase efficiency caught the eye of SPRING Singapore, and his restaurant Putien was selected as the launch site of a new national $75 million productivity plan by Mr Lim Swee Say, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office on 6 April.

Some of the time-saving measures featured included a more systematic way of running the kitchen. Ingredients and sauces are prepared in Putien’s central kitchen before being delivered to its outlets for the final preparation of dishes. This approach trims work processes and leads to speedier service. It also ensures consistency in taste within the chain. The re-designed workflow has also reduced kitchen space for food preparation so that more space can be allocated for dining. Furthermore, Mr Fong plans to tap on the new productivity fund to purchase an automated vegetable cutter which will relieve his staff of cutting 200kg of yam into strips for the restaurant's signature stir-fried yam dish, and redeploying them to perform other tasks.

The School shares Mr Fong’s delight at being recognized for his entrepreneurial efforts and is proud of his achievements.

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Singapore MBA Networking Event
 

Under the leadership of the NUS MBA office, the NUS Student Council, together with student unions of NTU, SMU, INSEAD (Singapore Campus) as well as ESSEC (Singapore Campus), organized the inaugural Singapore MBA Networking Event at Oosh on 9 April 2011. 170 students from five business schools participated in the event, which served as a platform for Singapore MBA students to exchange ideas and share information.

They exchanged views on various issues, such as internships, job market conditions, as well as program and curricula design. The event received positive reviews from participants, with many hoping that it would continue.

The NUS MBA Student Council is now planning to set up a regular committee with members from all business schools in Singapore, with the aim of building up the network of Singapore MBA students.

 
Happy hour!
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Healthcare Reform Forum and Alumni Networking Dinner
 

The Kuala Lumpur Alumni Chapter came together on 16 April to hear experts discuss a hot topic in Malaysia – healthcare.  Held at the Sime Darby Convention Centre in KL, the event featured distinguished speakers including Dr David Quek, President of the Malaysian Medical Association, Prof Dato Dr Syed Mohamed Aljunid, Professor of Health Economics & Consultant of Public Health Medicine at United Nations University, and Dr Phua Kai Hong, Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

Dr David Quek, President of the Malaysian Medical Association, addressing the audience

 

Despite the serious topic of discussion, there was also the chance for alumni to network, reconnect and catch up with each other at the Networking Dinner. “The event saw wider participation by alumnus from different faculties including many from Medicine. The three distinguished speakers provided valuable insight on the contemporary issues of Health Care Reform and we had an enjoyable dinner with an intriguing Mask Changing performance brought about by the President and Deputy President,” said Mr Chong Ting Chow, BBA 1982, Honorary Secretary, NUS Business School Kuala Lumpur Alumni Chapter.

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Preparing for the Gobi Desert Challenge
 

The NUS Biz Team gathered in Chengdu between 21-24 April for the final team training before leaving for the 6th Gobi Desert Challenge, which takes place from 15-20 May. It was dubbed a “hot date in Chengdu”, with members trekking a total of more than 50 kilometres, passing through the Ludao Ring, Zhaoyang Lake, as well as the ‘Ancient Route of Tea & Horses’.

The intensity of the training was a critical test of the team’s physical and mental endurance. It was also especially challenging for two members, Ni Weizhu and Wang Yuyun, who injured their knees. However, they inspired the rest of the team with their perseverance and are aiming to proceed with the Gobi Challenge. With three training sessions now under their belt, the team’s camaraderie is strong and they are raring to go. So let’s cheer on our team!

All set for the 6th Gobi Desert Challenge!
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NUS Alumni Xiamen Chapter: A Visit to Empower Consulting
 

The NUS Alumni Xiamen Chapter had the chance to learn more about the best business practices on 9 April when they visited the premises of Empower Consulting. Hosted by none other than Mr. Lao Zi, the firm’s Managing Director, the visit gave our alumni an in-depth understanding on the branding, business model, corporate culture and strategic goals of the company.

The visit was part of an eventful day, which also included the annual meeting of the Xiamen Chapter. Mr. Xie Guanxin, member of Xiamen Chapter Board, mentioned that the Chapter may follow the example of the NUS Taiwan Chapter, which is building up a fund for new startups founded by our alumni, to help them in their businesses and create joint accomplishments. The aim is to benefit more alumni through “generational mentorship”. 

 
The management of Empower Consulting providing participants with more information on their business.
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Seminar on China's Missiles & Missile Defence System
 
Mr Lu Xiaoge answering a question from the audience.
 

Our Northern China Alumni Network enjoyed some rare insights into China's missile development programme and defence industry on 9 April at a seminar organised jointly with the Chinese Overseas-Educated Chinese Overseas-Educated Scholars Association (COESA) Southeast Asian Chapter and the Nanyang Technological University Alumni Association Beijing Chapter.

Titled “China’s Missiles & Missile Defence System”, the seminar attracted nearly 70 participants and featured Mr Lu Xiaoge, Director of the China Aerospace Science & Industry Corp. Press Center and Head of Communications.

Mr Lu explained the relationship between missile development in China and overseas-educated and returned scholars, as well as the research and development of China’s missile systems. He also brought along numerous exciting pictures of real missiles. The audience listened intently and found the session very fruitful as Mr Lu also addressed questions on China’s diplomatic policy and missile development plan. 

 
 
  SCHOOL NEWS
  In conversation with Prof Jan Peter Balkenende, former Prime Minister of Netherlands
  CEO Roundtable: "Asia's Business Megatrends - Challenges and Opportunities"
  M&O Public Conference - Biological Foundation of Organisational Behaviour
  ACESP Philanthropy Speaker Series: "A Literature Review on Philanthropy – What are the Research Issues?"
  CGIO Public Seminar: The Governance of Industrial Foundations
  NUS Business School Celebrates!
  Dinner & Dance

Get connected with your fellow alumni here!
 
FACULTY NEWS
Prof Jochen Wirtz appointed "International Fellow of Service Research Center"
 
STUDENT NEWS
BBA student Jasmine Ser crowned Sportswoman of the Year
USC Marshall International Real Estate Case Competition
APEX-C student leads Putien restaurant chain in productivity drive
Singapore MBA Networking Event
 
ALUMNI NEWS
Healthcare Reform Forum and Alumni Networking Dinner
 
CHINA NEWS
Preparing for the Gobi Desert Challenge
NUS Alumni Xiamen Chapter: A Visit to Empower Consulting
Seminar on China's Missiles & Missile Defence System
The 6th Gobi Desert Challenge – A test of survival skills and fighting spirit
Click here for more events happening in May
 
   

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