By Claudia Pumarejo, Global MBA 2013-2014, Mexico
How time flies! It’s been more than a week since we arrived in Singapore. Here’s an update on our latest and hottest (literally) happenings!
We got here on a Thursday afternoon. We were really tired after the long flight with a middle-of-the-night stop in Dubai. Dubai airport is a world class place, with all the facilities we might have asked for and even within our short two-hours stay, we were able to get a glance of Arabic traditions by the clothes some people wore, the indoor mosques (for male and female) and the great food!
When we finally got settled in Singapore, some of us went for a taste of its world famous food courts to try out local specialties, while some of our classmates went to meet their friends, former colleagues or contacts in this city.
The Far Plaza Residencies we’re staying at are in the heart of the city. The building is located within a short walking distance to the bus and the MRT stations and a lot of options for shopping and dining in the famous Orchard Road. We share a three bedrooms apartment with our closest classmates, or those we thought would have a similar lifestyle. Check out the views – Singapore sunset!
The next day, it was administration day. We headed to the immigration office to get our student passes sorted out. Even if it’s a rather long procedure, we witnessed the award-winning efficiency of the Singapore government.
Saturday was Valentine’s Day. Instead of being weepy about our dear ones, we decided to take the chance to explore the night life and headed out to a rooftop bar.
The last day of our long weekend to enjoy Singapore before starting classes was Sunday. On that day, some people still full of energy went to Sentosa Island to finish their reading of “The Adventures of an IT Leader,” a mandatory book for our Managing IT in a Networked World class, which was starting the next day.
On Monday we went back to reality and started classes in the Odeon Building, close to the National Library Building (actually, everything here is pretty close!). We met Professor Yan Li, an expert on the latest trends in IT, including cloud computing, big data, social networks, and media and mobility. We formed teams to present the different topics of the book (CIO leadership, IT cost and value, IT project management, IT priorities and budgeting, Managing IT crisis, Managing Emerging IT challenges and Managing Risk), and to act as a jury challenging the presentations of other groups. The discussions in class were very interesting, enriching and intense.
On Tuesday afternoon we stayed on campus to listen to a Paypal Manager talking about “The Asia Digital Payment Landscape.” We joined the audience, which was composed mainly of Executive MBA participants, who also came to Singapore and now are on their way to India. When we came back home, my Hult team (myself, Naoki Kitabayashi, Richard Huynh and Ingrid Cazalis) gathered for a couple of hours to work on our project for the Hult Prize Competition. We will be leaving for Shanghai very soon!
On Wednesday after classes, we had a talk with Mr. Laurent Pinna, a French headhunter focused on Singapore and Southeast Asia. His insights about the job market in this region were interesting and helpful. Later on we had one-on-one appointments with him to discuss our particular career paths and expectations.
On Thursday we had another career event. We welcomed people from Singapore Connect, who came to tell us more about moving to Singapore as an expat and some of the administrative implications in terms of permits and regulations.
After a long week, here comes the weekend again! Time for us to explore the city – beaches, cultures, gastronomy, night life, you name it!