Singapore: March 2013
In March 2013, MBA@UNC students and faculty headed to Singapore for our global immersion weekend. The theme of the weekend was “Dragons, Elephants and Tigers: The (Re-) Growth of the Asian Business Landscape in the 21st Century,” and sought to enhance students’ understanding of how to succeed in today’s globally connected business market.
Hosted by Professor Sridhar Balasubramanian, the event brought 55 MBA@UNC students from the U.S., Hong Kong and locally from Singapore together to interact with UNC Kenan-Flagler professors, participate in hands-on team projects, meet and learn from industry leaders and experience the culture of Singapore.
During the first academic session, Professor Sun Bae Kim of the National University of Singapore discussed the economic history of Asia and focused on the consistent framework of growth economies.
Professor Balasubramanian followed with a perspective called, “Entering and Succeeding in Emerging Markets,” that tasked small groups with working together to create frugal and innovative solutions to real-world problems.
The afternoon was capped by a panel of corporate executives from companies like IP Gurus Pte. Ltd, Aluzinc Asia, and DirectAsia.com Group, who provided unique insight into the Singapore/Asian economic landscape.
After the day’s events concluded, students had the opportunity to mingle with classmates over dinner and an exciting Night Safari at the world renowned Singapore Zoo.
During the second day of the Singapore Immersion, students participated in a simulation exercise in which teams made decisions from a global management perspective. As part of the simulation, student teams learned how their management decisions impacted the company they ran over the course of three years.
The day’s learning and simulation focused on the promise, perils and tradeoffs of outsourcing in the global market. Students competed in teams of five to seven, working together throughout the day, and ended the simulation by presenting their findings to the group.
Students had an opportunity to relax at the end of the day, after the stress of running a global enterprise, and unwind with friends new and old during a group dinner at Straits Kitchen, a Singapore favorite.
The final day of the Immersion focused on Singapore’s pivotal role at the epicenter of global economics and trade.
Students were treated to presentations from UNC professor Brad Staats, and Michael Zink, Head of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) at Citi, focusing on the globalization, urbanization and digitization of Asia.
The afternoon sessions showcased UNC Kenan-Flagler alumni, who shared their experiences as MBA students, as well as living and working in Singapore after graduation.
The immersion concluded with a town hall meeting with Executive Director Susan Cates joining via the MBA@UNC platform from the U.S. The town hall was an open forum for students, faculty and school leadership to discuss the program, the future and to ask questions.
Singapore Immersion Extension
The Singapore Global Immersion represented another exciting first for MBA@UNC. After the immersion concluded, 24 students stayed in Singapore for an Immersion Extension, a five-day elective course led by Professor Balasubramanian. The course offered a deeper understanding into the business and government of Singapore, as well as cultural activities.
During the extension, students had the opportunity to visit numerous businesses in Singapore, tour facilities and meet with influential figures to discuss issues of economic growth and environmental sustainability.
The Singapore Immersion Extension represented a unique opportunity for students to enrich their immersion experience. With the trip — and its extension —concluded, MBA@UNC students were able to immediately use the valuable global finance and development lessons they learned and bring new insights to their workplaces and the classroom.