6 February 2012
At the end of last month, Simon and I went to The Sheraton Grand Sukhumvit Hotel to attend The National University of Singapore Asia-Pacific executive MBA forum. The purpose of the forum is to promote MBA courses from the University of Singapore. The speaker is Dr Prem Shamdasani; an academic director of Asia-Pacific Executive MBA program.
I guess Simon and I were the youngest attendees in the forum, other than us they have an average age of 30-50 years old. I would have thought that I went to the wrong place if there was no sign in front of the room. Personally, I have some interests in the program since I want to take an MBA course as my Master’s degree after working for a few years. But this is the first time I heard about an Executive MBA and realized that the two courses are different. The normal MBA program is for people who may have only a few years of work experience but the Executive MBA program is designed specifically for people who have work experience averaging 17 years and mostly possesses the position of manager, CEO or VP of a company. The thing that I find very interesting about this program is the study method. Dr Prem said he believes the best way to study an MBA is by traveling and to meet real local businesses and study the way they operate. So the program is shaped that students will have a commitment to meet every 3 months and study for two weeks; one week in Singapore and another week in the chosen Asia-Pacific country which supports each studying topic. I have a similar belief that the best learning is from experiencing the real thing. Especially for the Asia-Pacific MBA program which the cultural factors have major influence in business so the company needs to have an insight into local understanding to run a business. But it is not cheap at all to attend the Executive MBA program. The tuition costs with travel and accommodation expenses is around $100K for meeting 5 times in 15 months. So I guess if I wanted to join the program in the future, I have to be both rich in working experience and in my bank account!
I think you do not need to study another degree in University if you are able to learn continuously from your work. Work gives you more than financial stability but also gives a lot of experience from doing mistakes, achieving goals or solving problems. Experience develops humans to become a better person and it is priceless. But I won’t say that taking further study is wrong; if you have a specific interest that you want to be educated in and need professional guiding then further study is one of the good choices to take. The key focus is you have to choose the best way that suits you and do not stop learning! I hope everyone will find their way of learning and keep developing oneself for one’s own good.
‘The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as long as we live’ – Mortimer Adler quotes.
If you would like more information on the Executive MBA program please visit www.apexe.nus.edu