Malaysian engineering grad Vincent Teo, 28, had done two internships with Microsoft during his MBA at Nanyang. He tells us about his experience at the leading Singapore business school and where he hopes it will take him next.
Where were you working before Nanyang?
I was working in Malaysia before I came to Singapore. I started my career as an engineer in a manufacturing company and gradually transitioned from a technical role to a commercial role.
Before I decided to do my MBA in Singapore, I was a sales engineer for a Swedish company (Syntronic), driving sales and marketing objectives for the newly established R&D center in Malaysia.
Why did you decide to do an MBA?
I’ve always believed that is was an advantage to have both technical and business degrees. Hence, the decision to do an MBA was part of my career planning, to enhance my business skills and exposure.
What I wanted from the MBA was the structured business education that would give me a 360-degrees perspective of the product, operations, finance, sales and marketing. This is what I’ve had and it allows me to see how manager’s decision impacts across the entire organization and to break away from the typical functional silos and perspectives that are so common in large corporate organizations.
Why did you choose Nanyang? What appealed to you about the school?
I wanted to build my network across Asia. I also liked Nanyang’s diversity: 27 countries are represented and no one nationality dominates the class.
Did you get a scholarship?
I received a partial scholarship from the MBA program. In return I support the MBA office in their various activities and events.
What do you like about Nanyang MBA program?
People, people, people! Your experience more often than not comes down to the people you are with. The people here at Nanyang are awesome!
What classes are you taking and which one is the most interesting?
One of the most interesting courses I’ve taken is Mergers and Acquisitions. It was a great course taught by a great professor and what made it memorable for me was that we decided to do a project about the movies, entertainment and animation industry, which received great feedback from our peers.
A part from classes, what do you have to do to complete your MBA?
The MBA course is primarily based on classroom lectures. Additionally students have the option to complete two extra courses, submit a dissertation or participate in a Business Study Mission. In the Mission, students visit companies in another country to study different cultures and business challenges. Last year they went to South Korea, and this year to Thailand and Cambodia.
Has your previous work experience helped?
Definitely! One example is that when we were learning about driving cross-regional initiatives and incentives, I was able to use my experiences of how my company used market characteristics and partner and customer presence to structure the organization and resources so that cross-regional activities were executed more efficiently.
Is there a moment you’ve particularly enjoyed?
Perhaps it’s because it’s coming to the end of my MBA and becoming nostalgic, but the time I remember enjoying the most was the start of the MBA. Everyone from everywhere around the world was coming together for the first time, and it was fresh and exciting.
What are you currently doing at Microsoft?
I’m currently on my second internship with Microsoft. Earlier this year I was at the Asia Pacific Operations Center where I was interning as a Channel Rebates Specialist. I was involved in assessing the effectiveness and success of Microsoft’s rebates structure across the Asia-Pacific markets.
Currently I’m with Microsoft’s sales and marketing group in Singapore where I’m attached with the enterprise and public sector group. My job is to create marketing proposals and go-to-market strategies for specific products and target segments within Singapore.
What would you like to do in five to ten years and where would you like to live?
I think with markets and economies changing so rapidly nowadays, it’s almost impossible to predict what will happen so far ahead. But one thing is for sure: I’ll be in Asia as I believe this is the place to be, with the tremendous growth and opportunities here.
Would you like to stay in Singapore?
Singapore is a very cosmopolitan city and has a vibrant economy. While I would love to stay in Singapore, I’m also looking for opportunities outside Singapore, such as in Greater China.