Attracted by the vibrant student life, Mabel Tan makes the best of her many NUS Scholarship opportunities.
Why did you choose to pursue your course of study at NUS?
I chose NUS Business School mainly because of the quality and prestige not just in Asia, but also on the international stage. Besides, NUS Business School is located in Singapore, a strategic gateway to Asia and the world that offers endless opportunities for growth and exposure. As the flagship university of a multi-cultural society like Singapore, NUS stands out for its diverse student population on campus. Hence, I believe that the more diverse the student body, the richer the learning experience. Even though I have only been studying here for one semester, I feel that I have become better at articulating my views!
Why did you accept the NUS Scholarship?
To be honest, the results on my A-Levels slip came as a surprise and I never saw myself in this position of applying for a scholarship. Hence, I was deeply humbled and honoured to be granted one of the most prestigious scholarships at NUS, which bestowed in me a sense of obligation to use this opportunity effectively. The NUS Scholarship being bond-free is definitely a major draw, but there are certainly other attractions like special programmes and overseas stints. I feel that the NUS Scholarship will put my goal of a quality university education within reach, while also provide me with something equally, if not more, important – the recognition of a job well done.
What was the selection process like?
Truth be told, I was caught off-guard by the interview process. I expected it to be a classic “getting to know you better” interview, but it turned out to be a three-hour-long interview process! There were three sections to the interview, the first one being a General Knowledge Quiz where the questions covered a wide range of current affairs and economics-related topics. After the quiz, we were each handed a thick stack of files consisting of a case study about a company, for which we would propose strategies. In this second segment, all of us were given time to discuss as a team on how to respond to the criticisms and propose improvements, all under the watch of the assessors. This was the most daunting part of the interview in my personal opinion, as I felt that every single word and action of mine was being assessed. I felt that the key thing to remember throughout the selection process is not to make yourself shine alone. Personally, I spoke up quite often during the discussion to provide constructive comments and rebuttals, and build on the ideas that my other teammates had raised.
(This is the NUS Business School scholarship interview process. For most other faculties, scholarship applicants are required to attend one to two rounds of panel interviews to determine their suitability for the NUS Scholarship.)
Why do you think you were awarded the scholarship, and what are the qualities a scholar should possess?
Having integrity and strong convictions as a sports leader, I ensured that my responsibilities were never compromised. Back in JC, while it was a daunting task to juggle both academics and intensive training, I pushed myself equally hard in both aspects. Doing all these activities concurrently has led me to develop a strong work ethic and ability to prioritise. As such, I believe that besides the academic credentials a scholar should possess, he/she should always be willing to go above and beyond to do a better job, and to approach everything in life with the drive to exceed and work hard. University is a tough road to say the least, but with this mentality, should a difficult situation arise, one would always be ready and prepared! Looking forward, as a NUS scholar, I am extremely keen to give back to the community and contribute to the future success of NUS.
What are the benefits of taking up an NUS Scholarship?
Firstly, a scholarship would ease my parents’ financial burden and allow me to establish a significant degree of financial independence, especially since I have an elder brother who is also enrolled in the NUS Business School at the moment. Furthermore, the NUS Scholarship offers a guaranteed spot in the Student Exchange Programme, an experience that I personally look forward to for the exposure. The guaranteed two-year accommodation on the NUS campus also gives me an opportunity to participate in student life activities and save on travelling time, which I can channel for more productive use academically. Most significantly, with the introduction of the Community Development Learning Programme (CDLP), I believe the opportunity to work with scholars from diverse backgrounds will enrich me with different perspectives on handling organisational projects, an experience I can never get without this scholarship!
How has your NUS experience been, and what programmes and activities have you participated in so far?
My experience in NUS has thus far been amazing. I am honored to be offered a spot in Eusoff Hall, one of the most vibrant halls in NUS and widely recognised as one of the halls that excels in sports. The sheer spectrum of sports CCAs here in Eusoff Hall is overwhelming! Besides sports, the committees and cultural activities make hall life even more exciting. I have always envisioned a lifestyle like that on campus, where I am given a plethora of opportunities to push the boundaries and explore new areas. Besides that, joining Business Rag (an annual charity project participated by all NUS faculties/schools) was one of the best decisions I have made in my university life! It was indeed a tiring yet fulfilling summer experience where I forged new friendships. Following months of hard work and sleepless nights came the announcement of the results of Rag and Flag 2018, where the Business School repeated last year’s feat of sweeping the event’s major awards – Rag Gold and Flag Champion. It was possibly the best feeling in the world knowing that our hard work paid off. The best takeaway from Rag was definitely the friendships forged through difficult times. Up till today, I am contented to have my fellow Biz raggers as my closest friends in NUS.
NUS Merit Scholarship
Now: Year 1, Business Administration
From: Victoria Junior College