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7 Rising Stars From The MBA At NUS Business School

What’s it like to study at the National University of Singapore? We spoke to some of the stars of The NUS MBA about what drew them to the program, and their favorite aspects of the program

Shalini Arulanandam


Shalini was the first woman to receive a Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) scholarship to study medicine. After graduating from NUS Medical School, she joined the Singapore Navy as a medical officer. 

In 2018, she was appointed as the Chief Medical Officer for the Singapore Civil Defence Force, where she has been working alongside her part-time MBA at NUS. 

1. Describe your personal brand.

When you move on from this current job, all you leave behind is your reputation, and all you take with you are your friendships.

As such, give your best in everything you do, and always work with your people in mind.

2. Why did you pick NUS? 

NUS has always been a huge part of my life: it was where I did my undergraduate studies, met my husband, and studied for all my post-grad exams. So, it holds a sense of home for me and I am confident of its reputation as a University.

Also, I was interested in the MBA specialisation in healthcare management, which was unique among the other local programs I looked at.

3. What has been the stand-out experience of your MBA?

The COVID outbreak fell smack in the middle of my second year. What I was impressed with was how NUS and my lecturers rapidly adapted to the changing regulations every week, gradually stepping down the size of the class and then going fully online. 

I didn’t think it would be possible, but we part-timers with full time jobs actually managed to navigate the various online platforms and deliver group presentations and projects without any face-to-face contact, even as some of us were going through unprecedented challenges at work.

4. Tell me something about The NUS MBA that others might not know.

The class is curated to have a good mix of nationalities, talents, and backgrounds, and as a doctor with no useful knowledge in business, finance, economics, for example, I was saved by my classmates’ deep expertise in these subjects many times. 

Doing group work with almost-strangers also forces you out of your comfort zone, and makes you more ready to engage with others outside your tribe in your daily life as well.

5. What advice would you give to other MBA aspirants?

I would advise anyone thinking about furthering their studies to just go for it. There is something about learning something totally new that gives you renewed energy and makes you feel younger, in a way.  

Student Reviews

National University of Singapore - NUS Business School






I have studied at the top university in the world and it was no doubt an overwhelming experience for me. I have gained skills as well as knowledge and it was the aim of this institute to give the insight of the skills besides theoretical learning.




On Campus

My journey at University of Singapore

1. In my opinion, the library (actually the library) was a great resource and facilitated a great learning environment. 2nd The professors and tutors were knowledgeable in their respective fields and were happy to help and involve students who visited them outside of class. 3. The students themselves were involved in each program in very different ways. You can meet everyone from lazy people to studious people. In my experience, students were motivated by grades and sheer intellect. 4. A myriad of extracurricular activities and facilities were available at a very low cost. 5. Academic performance is rated very high. when I applied to college S., my NUS transcripts had to be standardized in order for them to assign me a US GPA. During this conversion all C's were converted to As




On Campus

Prestigious university - learning is in your hands

Pros: - Great branding (one of the top universities in Southeast Asia) - Relatively easy coursework (As a business major, I spend about a third of my week studying and the rest working) - Qualify under the High Potential Individual visa that UK is handing out (all NUS students can apply to get a visa to work/ live in the UK for 2 years). I don’t expect NUS to be removed from this list any time soon given it’s reputation. Cons: - Lack flexibility in coursework (committing upfront on the major you are taking from matriculation




Great opportunities,

Perhaps the best part of NUS is the vast amount of opportunities it affords it's students. It's almost as if every week there's a new career fair, industrial visit, hackathon, or any other competition or event for it's students to join. NUS also offers multiple exchange programs ranging from 3 to 12 months (see the NOC programme) to grant it's students a more international outlook upon their graduation. There is a general atmosphere here that employability isn't an issue once we graduate. It's just unfortunate that it seems most students don't utilize these opportunities the best they can, but this attitude is simply a by-product of the results-oriented education system in Singapore that can be chalked up to the lack of diversity in the student body beyond Singaporeans. Perhaps bringing in more international students will help skew the results-focused nature of academics at NUS to a focus on more holistic education and development - what I personally believe a university education is really worth. However, with the right mindset and attitude, I believe NUS can truly offer a world class education, provided you're willing to put in the extra effort.




A dynamic and inter-disciplinary experience, that nurtured a love for learning

Coming from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, what I greatly enjoyed was the sheer breadth of courses available within the faculty and encouragement to take courses outside our faculty as well. Courses were always engaging, and professors and lecturers often gave students the freedom to pick topics for their final term papers or presentation and exercise creativity - for example, my interest in Art History meant that I could often delve deeper into this interest in my main academic leanings of Political Science and History. Professors and lecturers made themselves readily available to the students, and were approachable. During my time in NUS, there was a noticeable effort to invest in the students' global experiences (Exchange Programmes, Summer School, NUS Overseas College) - I truly believe that NUS was sincere in allowing as many students to have overseas experiences in spite of financial capabilities, and if one made the effort, the Centre for Future Ready Graduates was useful and invested in the potential careers of students too. When a friend from another local university did a local exchange to NUS, he remarked that NUS students truly loved to learn. I was content being surrounded by people who pursued their Arts/Social Sciences disciplines with a love for the content. It is also dynamic to be in a university that simply has so many different disciplines and faculties - one is just surrounded by people of varying interests and experiences, and forces them to look beyond their majors. Of course, NUS is commonly known for being too theoretical and content-focused. This is up to the students' prerogatives on how they want to exact their education and mould it for their lives, but generally NUS feels comfortable and safe within the academic realm - there is no push towards internships or whatnot that other universities might focus on. This could be a con. Another thing I did not like about NUS in recent times was the blatant grade inflation - that juniors from the 2014/5 batch could have liberties to S/U a lot more modules than their seniors could in some bid to take the focus away from grades, and towards learning and experimenting. Nevertheless, I greatly cherished my time in NUS and would highly recommend it.





There is an issue of overcrowding during peak hours such as before morning class and lunch time. This results in uncomfortable travelling experience for many students, it also becomes dangerous when the drivers make steep turns and brakes suddenly.




On Campus

never ending accademic excellence

Considering various aspects of my university experience, here is my review as a student at National university of Singapore. NUS is highly ranked globally and has a strong reputation for academic excellence across a wide range of disciplines. The school attracts a diverse student body and offers an international perspective through its academic programs and exchange partnerships with other universities. NUS boasts modern facilities, including libraries, laboratories, and recreational spaces. Accommodation is spacious. However, due to its high reputation, admission to NUS can be highly competitive, making it challenging for some students to gain entry. Singapore is known for its high cost of living, and this may pose a challenge for students on a tight budget, especially those coming from lower-income backgrounds. International students may face a period of adjustment to a new cultural and social environment when studying at NUS.




On Campus

rigorous yet a nurturing academic environment

As a student at the National University of Singapore NUS, I have found it to be a vibrant and diverse institution with a top-notch faculty. The faculty are not only knowledgeable but also approachable and supportive of students' academic pursuits. For me the University is rigorous yet a nurturing academic environment. The student life is rich with clubs and activities, and the accommodation options are comfortable and safe. While tuition fees may vary, there are numerous financial aid and scholarship opportunities available. Overall, NUS offers a well-rounded university experience with modern facilities and a strong emphasis on global engagement. Overall, my experience at NUS has been enriching, and I highly recommend it to anyone seeking a world-class education in a dynamic and inclusive environment.




On Campus

high cost of living

The cost of living at the National University of Singapore (NUS) is quite high for Chinese citizens, especially when compared to living expenses in China. Accommodation, food, and transportation expenses are significant, with rent for a room in on-campus housing ranging from S$400 to S$1000 per month. While there are affordable food options on campus, dining out can be expensive. However, the quality of education at NUS is excellent, with top-notch faculty and resources available to students. The university ranks among the best in Asia and offers a wide range of programs, ensuring a high standard of education. As for student life, NUS has a vibrant campus with numerous clubs, societies, and events to cater to various interests. Chinese students can find a sense of community through cultural groups, while also engaging in activities with local and international students. Overall, despite the high cost of living, NUS provides a diverse and enriching educational experience for Chinese students.




On Campus

dedicated staff

I am a local student studying at the National University of Singapore, I can confidently say that this institution truly lives up to its reputation as one of the best universities in the world. What I appreciate the most about NUS is the quality of education that is offered here. The professors are dedicated to helping students succeed. The curriculum is rigorous and challenging, but it is also very rewarding as it equips us with the knowledge and skills. I really lik the campus itself. It is well-maintained and equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. The campus is also vibrant and bustling with various activities and events. Furthermore, NUS has a strong emphasis on research and innovation, which is evident in the many groundbreaking research projects that are being conducted here. As a student, I feel proud to be part of an institution that is at the forefront of pushing boundaries and making significant contributions to various fields of study.

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