Analytics Innovation Marketing

3 Key Skills for the Digitally Transformed Economy

I was recently listening to a news report in 2020 by Singapore state-owned media CNA, where Chief HR Officer of Singapore University of Technological Design, Dr Jaclyn Lee, outlined three of the most important skills to have in this new digital economy:

  1. Analytical and Computational Thinking Skills
  2. Innovation and Thinking out of the box
  3. Social Media Marketing

The interview particularly resonated with me as these are the skills which I have previously identified were important for my career development and listed as my top 3 skills on LinkedIn, and also in the summary statement too (Social Media is one form of Digital!) As my blog was created with the specific purpose to educate juniors and adult learners on analytics, innovation and marketing, I believed that it would be apt to share from my experience how I managed to build up my Analytics, Innovation and Social Media knowledge.

1. Analytics and Computational Thinking

Analytical skills has been around for the longest time, we may not know it, but the critical learning skills we have been exposed to all our lives also applies in terms of analytics.

For me, I acquired my analytics skills from my Business Analytics Education at Nanyang Business School! There are also several other Universities like National University of Singapore and Singapore Management University which has analytics courses as well!

Another way to gain this knowledge is from online courses. Coursera, EdX, Udemy are examples of online sites with free courses. In Singapore, the WSQ also offers adult learning courses in multiple courses including analytics and computational thinking!

To hear more about why I decided to specialise in Business Analytics, do read this post!

I also used my analytics knowledge to decipher the content of spam comments here!

2. Innovation

My experience with innovation is that the responsibility to build innovation lies in yourself. I always believed that I am an out-of-box thinker who will constantly find new ways to do things. These are some ways you could try improving on innovation!

I. Find new ways to do a project

Have you completed a work project or an assignment at school before and performed well? Now, think of another approach you could try to achieve the same, if not a better outcome. Many people would think that the end result is always important. While the end result is important, I always believe that the process is as well. Sometimes, I find myself consistently asking how I can do something better. While it does not always work, the thought process is also a good learning opportunity.

II. Get yourself more exposure to multiple fields

This may seem counter-intuitive to many who are interested in building their career in a one-track path, but from my experience, this was one way where I had the exposure to more innovation. I was fortunate to be able to do three MNC internships, where I had the exposure to the human resource, market research, product marketing and digital marketing functions, in the automotive, information technology and medical device industries. If you require some assistance in securing more MNC internships, do read this post!

I also had the chance to try out the consumer goods, retail and e-commerce industry at the same time by running my own startup, EcoTumble, where we offered Food Storage and Drinkware Solutions. While I was in charge of the marketing function, it was also important to learn how everything came together. Therefore, I also had the chance to take part in logistics, procurement, sales and strategy aspects of the business. I did this as part of the Minor in Entrepreneurship Programme in NTU, which I felt was a transformative experience and definitely recommend!

III. Always keep a continuous learning mindset

Adding a new point after having had a week of e-learning as a work incentive. As the saying goes, change is the only constant. In order to keep abreast of what our customer needs, we need to not only constantly change the environment, but also ourselves. In order to expose to more open innovation, learning is an integral part of it all. I had the chance to look through some of my general paper notes in junior college and realised the opportunity to read widely allowed me to learn so much more about how various parts of the economy are intertwined together in order to deliver value to consumers. Ultimately, innovation brings a solution to a unique problem that is faced based on changes in the economy.

3. Social Media Marketing

For people who grew up as digital natives, social media should be nothing foreign to us. For those who did not have the privilege of being exposed to social media since young, it is not too late to begin!

I have used social media since 2009, for my personal use, for my startup and also during my internship at KaVo Kerr.

Regardless of whether you have used social media before, there are some steps which can be followed. Here are some which crosses my mind:

I. Knowing your own personal brand

The first step to social media is knowing your own personal brand, what you stand for. For instance, I am personally interested in Analytics, Innovation and Marketing, and I want to help more people understand these fields!

II. Determine your Social Media Mix

The second step is to determine which social media to use. For instance, I would like more people to understand these fields which I am interested in, very academic fields. Therefore, I decided to turn to writing to get the knowledge across. The social channels which I have decided to use, which differs for what kinds of audience I want, is through LinkedIn (for Adult Learners) and Instagram (for the Student Population. I do occasionally use Twitter and Facebook to try to build Search Engine Traffic, still in the experimental stage, perhaps I might elaborate some day!

III. Decide on a posting schedule

The third step is to plan when to post. In order for social media to work, you will need to ensure that your readers/viewers are consistently engaged. This will keep them as returning users as your content is something which interests them. For instance, I have decided that on Mondays, I would post an Analytics or work-related post for my viewers to look forward to. I also wanted Friday as a leisure post day but it might prove to be tough as I am holding a full-time job as well and these posts do take up considerable time. Hence, it is important to also see not just what you want, but what is also theoretically possible from your schedule and nature of work!

That said I have not really prepared other posts on social media yet! Do let me know in the comments section on what kinds of social media posts you are interested in, or if you would like any elaboration on each of the paragraphs!

Sounds really daunting? It takes that first step to start learning and growing!

P.S. The links in this post are not sponsored.

If you liked this page, do bookmark this site, or follow us on our LinkedIn page.

Want to build analytics into your management decisions? This post may be for you.

Want to build other core and relevant skills? Do look at this post!

Want to track your website traffic using Google Analytics? This post shows you how.

Image Credits: Photo by NASA on Unsplash
Original Post: 3 Aug 2020, Updated 27 Jun 2021


University Internship Search Guide (Tips from 3 MNC Experiences)

Hello everyone! It’s me again. I understood from a few of my NTU NBS juniors that first year students are now required to do a compulsory internship as part of their curriculum. I am sure many of the other universities will start to have this requirement in place, and even if there is none, I definitely encourage you to think of how you can make full use of your time.

I did not have a year 1 Summer Internship unlike many of my peers so if you are reading this and did not manage to secure an internship in your first year, you are not alone! Here are some steps which you can take to find your internship.

1. Have a Good Resume or Portfolio with Unique Value Proposition

The first thing you need is your job hunt apparatus — your resume. I heard of many formats in the resume which may or may not work, but personally when I was looking for internships and my graduate job, I used the one page resume format. Some key parts to include is Education, Skills (Especially when you have no work experience), Work Experience, Projects, Co-curricular Leadership and Achievements.

However, the key focus is not on the format, but how your resume tells a story. Personally, I took a Business Analytics and Entrepreneurship Undergraduate Degree with an intention to apply these skills in management. Having the technical skills on my resume without work experience helped me in getting my resume spotted by the hiring manager for a Regional Talent Management role at my first internship company, Schaeffler, a German MNC operating in the Automotive industry. As for my other internships, I believe that most of my interviewers also looked at my co-curricular leadership as well as achievements in making the holistic decision to shortlist my resume for interview. One way to do it is to focus on what is transferrable to the job. With a business analytics degree, I am well-positioned to join almost any business function of any sector since it is a very broad and general degree with the technical power to do wonders in many functions and sectors.

If you need some reference, I recently ported most of my resume to my own portfolio site. If you need help refining your resume, do drop me a note in the comments section below or reach me through my LinkedIn! Do let me know you reached me through this blogpost!

2. Prepare a Good Cover Letter Format

In all honesty, when I found my first internship, I did not use a cover letter. However, I found out that after hunting for my subsequent internships and full time job, I had a higher rate of success whenever I included a cover letter in my applications. So please prepare a cover letter.

Each cover letter should be in a specific format which the recruiter wants to see. It is not merely sharing about your value proposition, but about how your value proposition aligns with the job description provided by the employer.

The general rule of thumb I have when writing a cover letter is to write it accordingly to the job description. This will do your recruiters a great favour when they comb through the many job applications for the particular role.

Same as before if you need assistance, do drop me a note in the comments or LinkedIn!

3. Utilise the resources you have in the Job Hunt

For starters, here are some resources which you can use during your job hunt:

A. Career Services Office(s) in your University

In Singapore, most local universities have a dedicated career office. Some like NBS has an extra one in the school for dual job search prospects! These career offices have dedicated career coaches and advisors who can help you with your career planning as well as internship search. Do reach out to them early!

The career services offices in my alma-mater also have exclusive job portals, CareerAxis and CareerFit for NTU and NBS respectively to help students with their internship and full-time positions.

B. Job Portals

To gain more possible avenues for internships and jobs, especially from the hiring freezes due to COVID-19, you could try job search portals too!

I have previously consolidated a list of useful job portals which could be used over on my LinkedIn post!

C. Professional and Personal Network

Another way to find an internship is through professional and personal networks. You could create a LinkedIn profile to reach many professionals who would love to connect with students and might even offer a role!

Some students have managed to secure internships through their professors, family members or friends.

If you love this post so far and want to connect with me, here’s my LinkedIn Profile!

4. Rehearse for Your Interviews

Forget those memorised long model answers for all the possible questions. From my internship and job hunt experience, the key questions a recruiter wants to know are these:

A. Is the candidate interested enough?

This is through your research about the company, their key achievements, how you want to grow while taking up the internship roles. Do prepare some questions which show your interest in the industry as well as proper research about the company.

B. Is the candidate able to do the job?

This part looks at your past experiences, how these experiences could help you with the role you are applying for. You might want to try learning the STAR and CAR approaches to tackling these types of questions when they are posed.

C. Does the candidate fit in?

For this, just be yourself. Do not try to be someone you aren’t. Many recruiters and hiring managers can tell if you are faking it. Even if you made it through, personality and cultural mismatch may be a potential cause for a less than ideal experience. Therefore, be as genuine as you can! Basically, most questions which don’t fit the first two belong here! (E.g. What’s a superpower you want to have, what is your favourite hobby, etc.)

5. Do Start Early

There is a saying that the early bird catches the worm. This is also true when you search for an internship. Some companies love to confirm their head-counts earlier as internship hiring may be just a small part of what they need to do. Therefore, do start early!

Hope that this helps with your internship hunt! Do let me know down in the comments below if you have other ways to hunt for an internship as well as you want to learn next!

Hope you liked our story today. Do bookmark this site, leave a comment in the section below, and follow us on our LinkedIn page as we look forward to curating new content for you!

Got your internship and want to make it a memorable experience? Here are some rules that I follow!

Tracking your web traffic? This post on Google Analytics may give you some business insights.

Working from home during this period? Here are some key takeaways from my in-office turned work-from-home internship.

If you are looking at acquiring some technical skills to stand out, try reading these selection guides for Business Analytics Modules or for General electives!

Image Credits: Photo by Peter Nguyen on Unsplash
Original Post Date: 27 Jul 2020

Analytics Marketing University

NTU-NBS Course Registration Guide

It’s the time of the year for students to take part in course registration again. Having already graduated for one year already, and understanding the full time work perspective, curating this post adds even more depth to my own reflections and hope it does in helping you choose your courses to register too.

Choosing What to Major / Specialise In for Business

If you’re new to this website and may be still in consideration of your business specialisation, you might want to read why I decided to do business analytics, and a comparison between business analytics and marketing, which were two of the specialisations I was contemplating between, but of course I still took a MiniMasters in Marketing afterwards.

Choosing Business Major Courses:

Notwithstanding the ever elusive STARS Wars Course Registration, when picking your major courses, my general rule of thumb would be picking the course which is relevant to you and what you are gearing yourself up for in the future, or would love exposure to. I have done Business Analytics and enough research on Marketing (I did one Marketing Analytics Module as an elective and it’s now a core.) to share my two cents.

For Business Analytics:
The possible tracks are in Finance, Operations and Consulting.
Do refer to this post on what modules to gear you on the right business analytics track.

For Marketing:
The possible tracks (I believe) are in the following:
Marketing Research:
Market Intelligence (I did this as a Masters Level Course which you may want to refer to)
Consumer Neuroscience: How Brain Science Is Informing Business
Marketing Communications:
Integrated Marketing Communications
Channel Value Creation
Marketing Strategy & Management:
Modern and Emerging Technologies in Marketing
Marketing Strategy (I did this as a Masters Level Course which you may want to refer to)

Choosing your Electives / Minor Courses:

For Minor/Electives, my general rule of thumb is to pick what interests you, and of course if it interests you and gives you a leg up in your career that is even better. For myself, I knew I was really interested in giving it a run at running and business and also an interest in the intersection between management and business analytics, so I supplemented my learning with a Minor in Entrepreneurship, as well as various marketing electives in Marketing Analytics, Luxury Brand Management and Product Innovation.

Other important and emerging fields which I have are:
1. Environmental sustainability which would get important as ESG reporting and triple bottom line emerges
2. Communications especially when it’s a world of increasing transformation and uncertainty and communications becomes more paramount.
3. Computer Science as the world is increasingly digital and it does not hurt to speak in algorithms and programming languages.
4. Foreign Languages especially if you have a flair for language but not the programming language, since the world is becoming more globalised and knowing foreign languages open doors to many new opportunities all around the world.

Do read more about selecting your general electives over here.


Hope that this post would have allowed you to give some thought over selecting your electives and all the best for the upcoming semester!

Newsflash: We have also did a tiering of modules in NBS and NTU on our Youtube Channel!

If you liked our post, do bookmark this site, or follow us on our LinkedIn page as we look forward to curating new content for you regularly.

Image Credits: Photo by Wengang Zhai on Unsplash
Course Content from NBS Website

Analytics Management University

3 Reasons Why I Make it a Point to Contribute back to University

Recently, I attended Nanyang Business School’s Fireside Chat for newly admitted students as an Alumni Co-host in the Business Analytics breakout room. This was my third event at Nanyang Technological University ever since I graduated. It felt like I was transported back to the time when I was selecting which university to head to five years ago, having to make an informed choice to cap off my years of formal education.

The post today is about 3 reasons why you should contribute back to the university community after graduation, be it through events, content writing (what I’m doing too), and mentorship. As a business graduate is always a win-win for everyone, and while the listeners gain, I feel I gain a lot as a speaker too!

#1 Being Able to Learn New Perspectives

I realised that one of the benefits to return to my alma mater to do sharings is that I can learn many new perspectives. I came to realise that people of different generations and backgrounds think very differently. I learned about the thought process which goes through the current student’s mind as they look at the next steps of their journey. One question which got me thinking was when thinking about Co-curricular Activities (CCAs) to join, which would be the most helpful in the business context, which of course I responded that there is no hard and fast rule and you are the master of your own ship. However, that did set me thinking of how much forward-thinking the next batch of students seen to be… Or perhaps I’m the only one who had not thought so far ahead when choosing a course, I knew I wanted to run a business and add value to society, which I did run one during my university days!

If you would like to learn about my perspective of university life, do read my graduation reflection post.

#2 Honing Listening and Public Speaking Skills

Another benefit of attending alumni events was honing my listening and public speaking skills. Being placed in a room of eager-eyed prospective students who ask any questions which you can possibly imagine, I found it interesting to have had the chance to thoughtfully formulate original answers to a new audience confidently over time! Over till my third event, I felt that I am improving in terms of my public speaking skills, experimenting with the various ways that I can potentially use to bring a message across.

I remember that back during my days as a Toastmaster, I hear that public speaking is the biggest fear of most people, of which I say yes I’m still fearful that I may make a mistake, but being able to articulate your thoughts clearly is a very important skill that I’m consistently improving on!

#3 Critical Reflection of Your Experiences

I felt that attending an Alumni event was also a chance to critically reflect on my experience. Through the various engagements I had about university life, internships, exchange and curriculum, I had the chance to narrate the experience I had and in the process realise how much of a transformative experience I went through.

One of the experiences I got asked about was whether I was already decided on Business Analytics when I entered university, and I responded that it was an informed choice between two majors, Business Analytics and Marketing.

Another experience was about the Stars Wars in university, which basically means course registration, it was ironic though when I responded that I hardly faced any issues, but when there’s an issue, there was a member in the undergraduate office team to assist, who coincidentally was the moderator in the room!

Thus, these back to school experiences I had removed any Halo effect or contrast effect of one’s experience and allowed me to objectively reflect.

Hope you liked our post today. Do bookmark this site, leave a comment in the section below, and follow us on our LinkedIn page as we look forward to curating new content for you every week.

Thinking of heading to university but can’t get decided? Do read our analysis of the Graduate Employment Survey 2020 here!

Photo Credits: Screenshot with Virtual Background designed by Nanyang Business School


Time Management: 5 Ways How I Stay Productive at Work

Time Management. An ironic topic to get back into my posting cadence after skipping a week. (Thanks for staying tuned to my blog!)

Over most of April, I had the opportunity to take on a different type of work (Project Management) which resulted in a lot of my schedule being spiralled off course. Last time this happened was in January, when I was doing my MiniMasters Classes while juggling with a big project at work. This post would not be a recount of that experience, which will be for another day when I fully see through the project. Here are some of my tried and tested secrets to staying productive at work:

1. Effective Calendar Management (Compartmentalising)

Firstly, let us begin with a tool which is commonly available to most of us while at work. It is called a work calendar. I tend to schedule most of my required meetings for the week, as well as any potential work preparation I would need for the meeting into the calendar. By doing so, I am able to set fixed timings in each week completing what I have set out to do. Blocking time on the calendar signals to the audience that there is limited time in the day, ensuring that my meetings stay succinct, and I would have time to complete my other to-dos.

When collaborating with multiple colleagues on a project, I would sometimes also block additional calendar time for myself especially when I know that there might be multiple rounds of discussion which may not have been set out in the diary. This way, I would not be thrown off guard and be left firefighting, which disrupts the productivity of other tasks in the day.

2. Setting Up a Dashboard of Items (Kanban)

Secondly, setting a dashboard of items, also known as Kanban, is a place where you can stay up to date with your deliverables, or even your team’s deliverables (I didn’t have a chance to do this at work yet).

Personally, I use Trello (Not Sponsored), where a Kanban Template lets me place everything in boards, cards and checkboxes, creating a directory cum to-do list of sort. I do this board not only for work, but also for my own weekend planning too. As a bonus, this well separates work and life, as each aspect is clearly documented for when it is time for which.

3. Prioritising (Eisenhower Matrix)

You may have heard the saying that goes, “There is no end to work, once you have no work left there is no need for you anymore.” When faced with mountains of work, the Eisenhower Matrix is one way to look at prioritising. Is the task urgent? Is the task important? If both checks out, do it immediately! If it’s urgent but not important, if it’s not too much of a hassle, just help, otherwise delegate to someone else who believes that it is important. If it’s important but not urgent, put it on calendar (back to tip 1) and ensure that you set time for it. If it is neither important or urgent, you can always delegate or just leave it there, perhaps automating the process for the long run using various techniques, for instance ETL or RPA.

In one of my recent reflections, I found prioritising especially important when I was juggling between work and study. While I’m finished with the extra studies for now, I learned that I need to stay mission oriented and prioritise according to what would be important for me.

4. Start of Day and End of Day Routine Planning and Reflection and stick to it.

While not having diligently stuck to it sometimes, I tend to make it a point for the first and last 30 minutes of the day to be planning out the day and what I intend to complete, as well as reflecting on the day, what went wrong, how I can do something more effectively.

As the saying goes, “when you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Each day should start with identifying the goals which needs to be achieved for the day, as well as how much time there is. This way, time can be effectively allocated (through calendar) to different levels of priority. That said, things may go wrong sometimes, for instance ad-hoc tasks assigned by your managers.

Sticking to the plans as much as possible will ensure that we stay mission oriented and focused.

5. Getting Ample Rest

This might sound counter intuitive, as spending more time doing more work means being more productive right?

Productivity is the measure of output over a given time. Just because you are spending more time doing work does not mean that you are productive.

Most humans require at least 8 hours of sleep a day, not trying to be a science teacher here but it is something about the brain needing to reorganise thoughts and reinforce learnings. Surprise, I usually try to sleep for at least 8 hours before my exams at university, and I do quite decently I must say! Anecdotally, this is a tried and proven method for me to be productive.

Hope you liked our story today. Do bookmark this site, leave a comment in the section below, and follow us on our LinkedIn page as we look forward to curating new content for you every week.

If you liked this post, here are some work rules that I like to stick to.

Photo Credits: Original Image by Tan Wei Xiang