Our project groups were randomly assigned to facilitate interaction.

Martin Tan, Singapore
Institution:Singapore Management University (SMU), Lee Kong Chian
Program:Master of Science in Management

What did you do before this Master?

Prior to applying to the MiM (previously known as MM) programmme, I was working in MSD (a.k.a. Merck and Co in US and Canada) Singapore as a process engineer in the Tuas West pharmaceutical manufacturing facility since my graduation from National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2013. My motivation to apply to this programme was to use it to act as a stepping stone for me to venture into the world of business and also shape myself as an all-rounder with both technical and business acumen. I believed that when equipped with the right business fundamentals, it’ll help me transit to managerial or business related roles for my career. Hence I decided to take a leap of faith and join SMU’s MiM programme to open up this possibility.

Why did you decide to do the MIM at the SMU?

I chose SMU mainly as I was attracted to the interactive learning pedagogy of SMU, which emphasizes a lot on class participation and meaningful discussions with my classmates who came from all over the globe.
I was glad that I can contribute my perspectives even when my work experience may pale in comparison to some of my peers. Certainly, the idea of attending classes in the beautiful city campus was also enticing for me, with well-connected facilities around the campus. (of course, travelling from Tuas might be a daunting experience due to the long travelling distance, but that did not make me falter in my resolve to apply!) I’ve also came to know from Mandy Lin, the admissions manager in detail on the programme curriculum structure that also helped me to make an informed decision as well and further affirmed my belief that SMU would provide the experience and education that I was looking for.

How as the admissions process like?

The application process was also smooth from start to end, with the admissions manager always ready to answer my queries (thanks Mandy!) and assisting with any administrative issues that I may encounter. I went through the SMU Admissions test instead of submitting GMAT results as I did not have time to attempt the GMAT before I applied. The admission test was scaled to a GMAT score equivalent and used to benchmark against the admission requirements. After I’ve passed the test, I was also invited for a face-to-face interview with 2 of the admissions staff as well and I was informed of the outcome subsequently. I was excited when I received the offer letter from SMU and was ready to kick-start my postgraduate journey.

What did you experience during the program?

Overall, it was a very fast paced year for me as I was one of the few who had to juggle both work and studies together at the same time as this was a full-time programme. In the initial months, I was indeed struggling with the pace of the lectures, but I had ample support from my group mates who understood my situation. We all toiled but enjoyed the learning process together as a class. The curriculum was also designed to help students like myself with little business background grasp concepts easily and I did not struggle as much once I got used to the pace and demand of the course. Our project groups were also randomly assigned to facilitate interaction and also given me the opportunity to work with people from all backgrounds. I’ve also definitely benefitted from such an arrangement since that is a core part of SMU’s learning pedagogy and in turn developed my cultural intelligence and awareness. I also enjoyed modules such as Negotiation techniques whereby concepts were delivered via simulations and this was useful for me to see it in a setting that is as real as possible in the real world.

How did you benefit from the program?

In my opinion, SMU also went all out in terms of providing career development and opportunities and even I as an experienced professional also stood to gain from this as well. I was able to take advantage of the services that the Post Graduate Professional Programmes (PGPP) Career Service Office has dedicated to help polish up my professional appeal. I recalled that the officers Patrick Han and Emilia gave me very useful and valuable advice in helping me improve my resume, prepare for prospective interviews and networking opportunities and I truly am thankful for that.

I even had the opportunity to participate in an overseas Business Study Mission as part of the graduating requirements. It provided us students with an opportunity to provide pro-bono consulting to social enterprises and it was meaningful work when our suggestions and solutions could help impact positively such enterprises as well. I found this experience extremely valuable personally and professionally as well.

Why would you recommend this program to others?

To sum up, the SMU MM programme has opened up doors personally and professionally. Through this intense yet fulfilling year in 2016, I’ve developed cultural intelligence and project management skills, while also being equipped with the business theory and fundamentals that I was seeking. I would also not forget the bonds that I’ve had with some of my classmates who went through thick and thin with me during this intensive year, with all the emotional and moral support and we helped each other to push to their maximum potential. Certainly I would recommend anyone who is up for the challenge and embark into a journey with SMU and with LKCSB for a fulfilling postgraduate experience via the MiM programme

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