NUS Pharmacy's 115th Anniversary Carnival
It was a wonderful afternoon spent with the Pharmily on 12 December for their first-ever virtual carnival! Besides celebrating the 115th Anniversary of NUS Pharmacy and 60th Anniversary of NUS Pharmaceutical Society (NUSPS), it was an exceptional opportunity for old and new friends to reconnect as well.

The carnival started off with the first highlight – “'Last lecture': Faith of a Leap of Faith" by Professor Lim Lee Yong. She shared her story of faith and encouraged the audience to be brave in taking the first step too. The good fun was continued in OveRxCooked, a remote pancake making/decorating challenge, and performances whereby staff and students got to showcase their talents.

The celebration would not have been complete without a walk down memory lane of the Department and NUSPS through video montages and a Kahoot quiz. It was NUS Pharmacy's pleasure to organise the carnival despite it being a virtual one, and the Department thanks all guests for taking time out of their schedules to join them for this special occasion.

Submitted by Ms Ng Shi Ying.
NUSBSA Webinar – “Looking Up & Down for Success” – Nine Lessons to Thrive In Life

“How could they have succeeded in life, from nothing?!”

“How can I apply the lessons learned from their success to thrive in such time of extreme uncertainty such as now?”

An audience of over 60 people heard from two eminent speakers, Mr Stuart Tan, Founder and CEO of Zero1, and Mr David Lim, Everest Expedition Leader, Author and Leadership Coach, on these two topics while networking and expanding their connections during a two-hour Zoom talk — “Looking Up & Down for Success” — organised by the NUS Business School Alumni Association (NUSBSA).

The Nine Lessons Shared and Extra Lessons from Conversations with the Audience

Dream, and dream big

One tends to either wait for or keep searching for sources of inspiration, but dreams indeed take root in understanding, or as David put it, “Why we do what we do”. David had a strong belief in his goal to climb the world’s highest mountains, set this as a “stretch goal” and decided to take the necessary steps to reach success. He adjusted his belief system to accomplish his goals, rather than limited it to what seemed feasible or attainable.

Take actions

Ambitious goals can be daunting to most people, leading most to give up along the way. David adopted the 1% rule, i.e. developing clear and incremental actions to move towards one’s ultimate goal, so as to ensure that a dream gets translated into a blueprint rather than just a theoretical concept. After all, with just 1% improvement each day, we can be twice as good as today after just 70 days! David began his journey by independently climbing a small mountain, fully aware that his longer-term goal was to conquer Mt. Everest. While encouragement along the journey is always welcome, success ultimately depends on intrinsic self-belief and motivation. At a time when the concept of skywriting was alien to many, Stuart kept faith and persevered with his business in the US, which was one of his first overseas companies.

Manage resources

Another key element of success is to manage resources efficiently and effectively, with one of the most valuable resources being a team to provide support and assist in execution. One should build a team and take ownership of the task at hand, bearing in mind the importance of leading from the front and making hard decisions. As Stuart said, making a bad decision today might be preferable than making a good decision tomorrow. A leader must also be able to maintain high levels of morale for the team. One way to achieve this, as also observed by David in his mountain climbing team, is to set clear checkpoints for the team to demonstrate progress in meeting the end objective.

Manage risks

Risks can lead to failure, but at the same time the fear of risks can negate any possibility of success. It is commonly said that one should take risks, yet a more accurate message might be to take “measured” risks, considering the availability of support as well as an objective and realistic assessment of the existing circumstances. At the same time, it is also important to work with the circumstances and resources one has, rather than those that one would like to have. Fully aware of the risks they were to assume, both Stuart and David thoroughly evaluated the skills they had, the financial or other resources they could rely on, and the support from their family members and friends, before making any critical moves.

Overcome failures

One should not fear mistakes and failures, but it is also vital to ensure that one can manage when such events materialise. One should adopt a positive attitude towards setbacks and be able to identify both areas of success as well as the necessity of improvement. To Stuart, his team was able to pick themselves up despite various setbacks due to resilience and persistence in following their beliefs. A positive mindset, rather than dwelling on failures, is also important. As David mentioned, “Spectacular failures make life interesting”. From a leadership perspective, leaders need to recognise that change and failure are inevitable, but they can lead their team to navigate such situations rather than allow themselves to be led by the circumstances around them. This can be done by having clarity on the mission at hand, and providing clear and decisive leadership to their team.

Manage success

Beyond failure, how then to deal with success? Most would recognise the importance of managing setbacks, yet success can often be a more dangerous foe by causing one to lapse into complacency and rely on previously-used strategies. While one should take pride in success, one should also treat them as how they do setbacks, i.e., as a case study to identify areas of improvement. One should also view success as a foundation stone that should be built upon, by finding their next objectives and goals. It was exactly this mindset that brought David from one high mountain to another and Stuart from one successful company to the next.

The event was organised by a team, formed in early October 2020 and masterfully advised by Edward Ta ('87), comprising Raffles Ng, Rosy Ooi ('88), Pang Jun Xiang ('17), Derrick Kew ('17) (also the emcee), and Giang Nguyen ('13).

The organising team would like to give special thanks to:

  • NUSBSA Board of Directors: Mr Chua Hung Meng ('81); Mr Roch Low ('84); Ms Catherine Chai ('92); Mr Koh Phee Wah ('84); Ms Winnie Cheah ('92); and Mr Yeo Keng Joon (MBA '85), the founding ex-NUSBSA President, for their tremendous help, advice, and support;
  • NUSBSA Administration Executive, Ms Ivy Tan;
  • BizAlum; and
  • Corporate sponsor Food Empire, founded by an NUS alumnus, for their generous support.
Submitted by Ms Giang Ngyuen.
A Date with DBS!

This Zoom event is dedicated to all Life Sciences alumni who are just about to embark on their career journey after graduation. The Department of Biological Sciences is putting up a series of online events that is specially customised to help improve job search capabilities. It includes sharing sessions, consultations, and talks by alumni, industry leaders and employers who have recently reached out to the department with available positions or internships in various Life Sciences-related environments. It also serves as a pit-stop for career opportunities and resources related to Life Sciences and more.

The upcoming third instalment of this series will be held on Saturday, 28 November 2020, from 10am to 11am via Zoom. The speaker will be Dr Lim Tit Meng (Science ’84), who is the CEO of Science Centre Singapore. The first and second instalments were held on 12 June and 25 September respectively.

A major contributor to science education and outreach, Dr Lim has championed STEM Applied Learning Programmes in schools. He has also given numerous talks to promote science locally and globally. An alumnus of NUS, Dr Lim was the first Direct Honours student in Zoology and graduated with first class honours in 1984. In 2016, he was recognised with the National Day Award, Public Administration Medal (Silver), and the National Day Award for Long Service to Singapore. Dr Lim is concurrently an Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at NUS.

To register, please click
here.

Submitted by Mr Steven TanPublished on 23 November.

How to Make Data Speak?
On November 13, the NUS Alumni San Francisco Chapter organised an interesting alumni event with Sachin Tonk (Business '16) on data analytics moderated by Chapter Chairperson, Anuj Jagannathan (Business '16). The session highlighted topics such as structured versus unstructured data, data scientists versus data artists, and how to tell a story with data.

This webinar was one of its kind; it was open to multiple NUS Alumni Chapters and had attendees from around the world. This opens a new trend on shared events by NUS Alumni Chapters that are open to alumni in multiple locations.

Submitted by Mr Anuj Jagannathan.
Au Revoir, Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library!
The NUS Business School community bid L2 & L3 a tearful goodbye as the library prepares to undergo a major facelift to make space for new seminar rooms for future generations of BIZADers.

The Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library was decorated with balloons and Latin music gave the party its relaxed atmosphere. All who attended were delighted to have the opportunity to network with NUS BIZ alumni and to meet with the Dean and other professors, especially in this age of AI and innovation.

The Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library Renovation Party included ‘Back to School’ learning about AI, where Prof David De Cremer gave a talk on “Leadership by Algorithm: Who leads and Who Follows in the AI era?". Prof Duan Jin-Chuan also delivered a talk titled “Am I Digitally Literate?”.

There was also lots of fun leaving handprints on the wall, with many enthusiastically leaving their mark with spray paints (a first time for many!), and enjoyable conversations over coffee, curry puffs, and kit-kats.

To support the refurbishment of the Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library, the NUS Business School has also launched a fundraising campaign. For more details, please send an email to xupiao@nus.edu.sg.

Submitted by Ms Linda Gouw, NUS BizAlum.
NUS Alumni Xiamen Chapter’s Mid-autumn Day Trip to Dehua in 2020
Between 17 October and 18 October 2020, the NUS Alumni Xiamen Chapter, the Xiamen Overseas Singaporean Returning to Fujian Association, and Mr Nelson Ng Chiun Ming, the Consul-General of Singapore Consulate in Xiamen, jointly visited Dehua, a county located in Quanzhou, Fujian Province and celebrated Mid-autumn Day together. Dehua is the world’s first “Ceramics Capital” where the Chinese ceramic culture originated.

On 17 October, upon arriving at the Luzerne Ceramic Hotel, a delegation of NUS alumni and their family members had a guided tour of the modern, automated, large-scale ceramics factory, the porcelain exhibition hall, and the Lu Cheng Museum, where the condensed history of the company’s development is displayed. Impressed by the fine porcelain and the exquisite skills, the visitors admired the potters’ entrepreneurial wisdom, focusing on the porcelain industry, and their craftsmanship in striving for excellence and perfection. The tour revealed the persistent efforts in the arduous journey taken by this branded company. At the conclusion of the tour, the alumni had the opportunity to experience the joy and passion of designing their own ceramic mugs.

On 18 October, as the alumni visited the Dehua Museum of Ceramics and a traditional brick kiln, they appreciated the finest ceramics, which were made at different times in history. The most treasured feature of Dehua porcelain is “China White”, which fascinates its viewers for being “white as snow, smooth as jade, fine as silk”.

This historical and cultural trip to Dehua lasted merely two days. Although short, it was full of genuine and generous sharing of thoughts among the alumni, who wished for a prosperous future.

Written by Dr Cai Shumei (Arts (PhD) '12) and Mr Huang Yulong (Design and Environment '15).
NUS Class Champions Investiture 2020 - NUS BIZ School
13 NUS Business School alumni from all over the world attended the NUS Class Ambassadors Investiture 2020, organised by NUS BIZAlum. The event was organised online, in line with current safe distancing measures due to COVID-19.

Class Ambassadors are formally appointed by the University and are key connectors to ensure the continual engagement of the class with the Faculty, School, Hall or Residential College, and alma mater after graduation. Class Ambassadors receive exclusive invitations to attend signature NUS alumni events and enjoy a rewarding network of friends. It was a good opportunity for the Class Ambassadors to be introduced to one another and to hear how everyone is doing after graduation.

Submitted by Ms Linda Gouw, NUS BizAlum.
NUS Department of Pharmacy's 3rd #PassionPridePurpose Contest
The NUS Department of Pharmacy wrapped up their 115th anniversary #PassionPridePurpose contest with the 3rd installment on 15 October.

This time, the theme was on transformation, and alumni had the opportunity to showcase photos from before and after graduation. Many things may have changed, but the one thing that was consistent throughout the submissions was the friendships that remained even after graduation. The lucky winner was Mr Chong Jin Jian (’18), while Mr Jonathan Francis Koh (’13), Ms Hilda Tay (’17) and Ms Say Mey Ling (’08) walked away with consolation prizes.

Submitted by Ms Ng Shi Ying.

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