Management Marketing

Why I decided to return to University while Working Full Time

I found myself back on campus again, not as a full-time student, but an adult learner. Just last month, I made the decision to enrol in the MiniMasters in Marketing Management at Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University. For those who may be contemplating whether you should return to campus for lessons while working, here is 3 of my reasons.

Awareness of Knowledge Gap

First of my reasons for returning to school was that I felt that I did not have enough knowledge in my current industry and interest in management. While in the retail and FMCG industry, the conversations tended to be along the lines of consumer behaviour, marketing strategies and trends. While I had taken some marketing modules before, as well as did two marketing internships, I did not have a deep enough understanding of the full picture of marketing. I decided to sign up to improve my understanding of marketing strategy, marketing research, branding and digital marketing.

Networking Opportunities

Going back to campus also gives me the chance to interact with people from various backgrounds and settled into different professions. This provides even more opportunity for an early career professional like me to understand the perspectives of both early career and experienced professionals and in my field and other fields. Honestly, in retrospect, I also found out after the first lesson there is so many different cultures which students from different schools in my university had both in class and outside of class! This meant even more room for intellectual growth and understanding of the whole business environment!

Application of Theory into Practice

One benefit which I realised as a working professional back in school is also the application of theory into practice. Having the context to think of (despite being just four months at work) is a really good chance to really look at my experience at work through a theoretical lens and understanding why certain decisions are being made at work.

Contrary to popular belief, I believe that both my MiniMasters experience so far and undergraduate experience is highly applicable to the working environment!

I’m sure that it would be a pleasant experience for me to immerse in the marketing space.

Let’s all continue prospecting forward in our journey of lifelong learning!

Looking forward to sharing more about my MiniMasters in Marketing Management journey! Here are some takeaways from my experience!

If you are interested in taking the Mini Masters in Marketing Management too, do read our course reviews here.

While I have this opportunity to do both business analytics and marketing, if you are faced with a choice between either, do read this post!

Don’t think you can commit to part time courses in university? Self-paced learning might be for you:

Image Credits: Photo by Wengang Zhai on Unsplash

Analytics Management

Integrating Analytics and Management: Where and How to Start?

Recently, while at work, I was given the opportunity to run some data analytics on some data in order to create some business insights and recommendations for a colleague. While I have learned about Business Analytics while in school, implementing it in real life as a one-man analyst is not just a walk in the park.

After practicing in real life and coming out with some insights so far. Here are some possibilities you could explore if you are keen on introducing data analytics into your day-to-day management work.

1. Establish the Goal of your Project

When given a project, there is surely an end goal which is required by whomever has assigned you the project. One way to establish the end Goal of the project is to ask the project leader who has provided the project. If he or she does not have a goal in mind, you could look into the data to propose the possibilities. With a goal, it would be easier to scope your project.

2. Determine the Nature of the Project

Once you have established your goals, you will have to figure out the nature of your project. Is it more descriptive in nature? Or more predictive? Do you want to see what your data says, or try to use the data to predict something else? With the nature of the project in place, it would help you to know whether you should be focusing on descriptive or predictive methods, especially since there is so many analytics tools out there and there is no way you can try everything on the same project in a limited period of time.

3. Try your Visualisations and Models

With so many models out there, which to use? I am also in the process of figuring this out and you could stay tuned to future blog posts if I come across the chance to do more projects.

For now, a good example of visualisations can be through Tableau, Google Analytics and Excel Charts.

A good example of models can be Machine Learning Models through R, Python and Microsoft Excel.

4. Prepare Insights, Recommendations. Rinse and Repeat

Once you are done with your models, you have to summarise your insights which are paired with specific recommendations. You can then engage your project leader, check if everything is going along the right direction. Over time, if you can continue to work on the project, find ways to consistently relook at the data, the insights and think of ways to improve the model and the connect to the business.

At the end of the day, when you are doing analytics, always focus on the needs and requirements of the business to propose strong insights and recommendations, and not the models which you are using.

If you’re interested in how to formulate insights, do take a look at my analysis of 500 users on Google Analytics.

Looking to improve on your skills amidst this pandemic? Here are some skills you could learn to future proof yourself!

Analytics Marketing

Which Major to Pick? Business Analytics vs Marketing (Ex-NBS Student)

As a recent business graduate, I was once faced with the choice to select my specialisation in business school. Two of the most important contenders being Business Analytics and Marketing. For the record, I have taken 6 Business Analytics Modules in Nanyang Business School, 1 Marketing Module in Nanyang Business School, and 2 Marketing Modules during my exchange at ESSEC Business School in France. I eventually decided after my first year to specialise in Business Analytics. I shall do a one by one comparison by features so you could make the informed choice in knowing what you want to specialise in.

Career Prospects

Let’s face it, most of us come to business school with the intention to focus on our careers. This shall be the first point which I will focus on.

As a Business Analytics Graduate, what I observed is that Business Analytics Students are very versatile. A large proportion would decide to go into Banking, Technology and Consulting related roles as business analysts, data analysts, financial analysts, operations analysts, marketing analysts, human resource analysts, etc. There would also be a certain proportion who will end up in leadership programmes organised by the various multinational companies due to the fluid nature of analytics being applicable to many walks in management!

For Marketing Students, classmates who I have met tend to be interested in a variety of careers. A significant portion would aim to go into the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) or Retail sector, or into Marketing Agencies, focusing on branding, trade marketing, social media, e-commerce, sales among many other possible roles. There would also be some students who move on to B2B marketing, non-profit organisations or Human Resources. Marketing also similarly can be applied to many walks in management and are also highly sought after by leadership programmes.

Be it whether you’re a Business Analytics or Marketing Student, this post may be relevant for you!

Quantitative Content

For Business Analytics, the quantitative content tends to be the massive amount of coding involved. I have personally been involved in Python, SQL, R, SAS, Tableau, PowerBI, Excel projects among many others. It is also important to understand the underlying assumptions behind each of the statistical models which are used when doing analysis. Some of the models include regressions, decision trees, linear and non linear programming, association rules etc. This content is generally more applicable to the wide business context.

For Marketing, there is some quantitative content. I shall use the example of the marketing module which I took in NTU, Marketing Analytics, where we did a variety of analysis, with perceptual mapping, Customer Lifetime Value Calculations, Regressions, Conjoint Analysis. This content is more specific to the marketing and management context.

Qualitative Content

For Business Analytics, there is a focus on problem solving approaches, problem formulation, analysis and conclusion, along with recommendations. It is a rather standard but important framework.

For Marketing, there is more qualitative content, including creative problem solving, connecting the dots between the theory and practice.


For Business Analytics, in Nanyang Technological University, there is a good mix of classmates, with a third of the cohort being students who take computing classes. This means that you could learn from the computing perspective, coupled with your own business knowledge.

For Marketing, classes tend to be majority business students, with a sprinkle of social science students occasionally. There will likely be more knowledge exchange while in class and expect class participation to be extremely exciting!


For Business Analytics, tutors tend to come from a variety of fields, with some who have a mathematical and programming background, and others with business management and consulting backgrounds.

For Marketing, tutors tend to come mainly from the business management sector, specifically in the consumer business industries.

Mode of Assessment

For Business Analytics, the mode of assessment is commonly group project heavy, with it taking up a majority of the semester time even outside of class, as well as some quizzes. Out of my 6 modules, only one had a formal final examination, and every module had at least one project deliverable.

For Marketing, the key focus is on in class activities, quizzes and final examinations. Besides some readings and exam preparation, most of the learning is done inside of the classroom while interacting with one another. You may have a bit more of a work life balance while doing marketing modules, but they definitely require in classroom attendance.

This is my two cents worth when comparing Business Analytics and Marketing!

Follow me on my newest journey of Adult learning in marketing:

Do read this article for why I took Business Analytics.

For more on how to maximise your business school experience,

Photo Credits: Photo by Samson on Unsplash


General and Unrestricted Electives Guide – From NBS Business (Business Analytics) Graduate

You have read about what to take in the Business Analytics Specialisation in NBS, you would also notice that there is a lot of General and Unrestricted Electives which would need to be done as part of the curriculum. There are many choices and it might be difficult to make a choice. (I experienced this first hand and ended up overloading unrestricted electives to more than twice the requirement.) I am here to help you plan your electives.

Study a Minor

One of the things about studying in a leading university like Nanyang Technological University is the chance to take a minor programme. As of writing, there is over 40 minors for students to choose from. Here are some minors which I feel would be complementary to the Business programme at Nanyang Business School.

Minor in Entrepreneurship

To complement my Business Analytics degree, I decided to take up a Minor in Entrepreneurship programme, where I was given the opportunity to start my own business with a team consisting of students from both Business and Engineering. Business and Entrepreneurship is complementary as there is a slightly different perspective when working for a business and running your own business. A key takeaway which I had was the ownership of the outcome of business decisions which my team and I had to make over the course of the whole minor. It was especially satisfying to make a profit after overcoming many hardships.

Minor in Environmental Sustainability

I did not manage to take this minor but it was one of my minors in consideration. In this world where sustainability is growing in importance by consumers, an environmental sustainability minor would expose business students to ethical decision making, and taking into account the true cost of business decisions. I took one module in this minor, AB0502 MANAGING SUSTAINABILITY, where I had the chance to come out with a business plan to revive the dying Peranakan culture in Singapore.

Minor in Strategic Communications

I was a bit too late when I wanted to do this minor, it was only offered at the point of admission to NTU. This would be a very useful minor for those who have to deal with interactions with people (basically most business majors have to.). Would not elaborate too much on this as I did not get exposed to any of the modules, do comment below if you took this minor and would like to share you experience!

Study Related Modules

Another way you can use your electives is to study modules related to your major. As a business student, there is only 6 specialisation modules which you are required to take on, which may not be enough knowledge, especially if you want to learn the many other aspects in Business. As a Business Analytics Student, my interest in management has prompted me to take on electives in Marketing, as well as Programming, as I feel that these would aid me in being a more rounded business graduate! No matter what your specialisation is, I strongly encourage you to at least try a module or two outside of the specialisation. For all you know, you might realise that the other specialisation may be more interesting to you!

Do Modules on Exchange

If you had the chance to go for exchange, you would realise that the lessons conducted while on exchange may be in an entirely different format from how lessons are at NTU and NBS. Some schools have specific specialties, for instance in ESSEC Business School where I went for exchange, there was a strong focus in marketing and entrepreneurship, therefore I decided to take up related modules to gain a world view in the world class institution for the subject matter. Engaging with the foreign students on exchange also challenged my perspective on things and developed me as a person.

Try Something Different

If the former three options don’t suit your taste, why not try something different? You could learn a new language, play a new sport, or take up art classes. With so many schools in NTU, I’m sure you will find electives which will interest you!

[NEW] MOOC Courses

Recently, Nanyang Technological University has allowed for credit transfer of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) from e-learning content providers like Coursera and EdX. I have personally tried some e-learning from them but not the approved courses for NTU. For more information do refer here! Do read about my MOOC experience here:

If you liked this post, you might also need help with an analytics module choice:

Otherwise, here is a general picture of why I took up a specialisation in business analytics:

Do read other Analytics related posts here!

I have also come out with a Tier List of Modules in NTU NBS on Youtube, do take a look here!