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

Management Marketing

Review: Nanyang Business School Mini Masters in Marketing Management

It’s been a while since I last written about course reviews. If you had been following the story, for various reasons, I had decided to enrol back into Nanyang Business School to pursue a Mini Masters in Marketing Management. 5 months of hard work since November last year has finally come to a close! Here’s my course review of each of the modules:

CET016 Marketing Principles & Strategies

This module provides the basics to Marketing Strategy, and also adds a deeper level of understanding. For the students who did Business at Nanyang Technological University, this is the equivalent of AB1501 Marketing, with some elements of BE2502 Innovation Marketing. Content-wise, it is considered rather heavy, however those with basic marketing knowledge should be able to keep up, and also get excited by new concepts introduced.

In general, I enjoyed the classes taught by Dr Lim Boon Chong and Prof Hooi Den Huan. The professors were really helpful in answering queries as well as facilitating the class.

In terms of course load, this is a 4au course. For those unfamiliar with the academic unit system at NTU, 1au is the equivalent of 13 classroom hours, which means 52 classroom hours is used. There was a mix of self-paced learning (22h) and in-class learning (30h), some of which was done through zoom due to the safe distancing measures in Singapore. However, I felt that the actual time and effort put into the course is heavier than expected.

The method of assessment is a 30% MCQ Quiz, a 30% Marketing Written Report, and a 40% Final Written Test.

CET017 Marketing Research

This module provides knowledge for conducting quantitative and qualitative research, I believe there was also some elements on consumer behaviour involved as well. For the students who did Marketing at Nanyang Business School, I believe it corresponds to BM2502 Market Research, with some knowledge from BM2501 Market Behaviour. The content was straightforward to understand, and a marketing manager from Irvin’s salted egg was invited to the session to share about his experience with marketing for Irvin’s.

The profs were very knowledgeable in their lines of teaching. Prof Julien Cayla is an ethnographer by training and he is really good at teaching semiotics, one of the way to carry out qualitative research. Prof Thomas allard was very knowledgeable on the quantitative research aspect, and also invited a speaker to share about quantitative research techniques.

In terms of course load, this is also a 4au course. There was a mix of self-paced learning (22h) and in-class learning (30h), all of which some learning was done through zoom due to the safe distancing measures in Singapore. I felt that it was the right workload for a 4au module.

The method of assessment is 10% Participation, 25% Reflection on Qualitative Research, 25% Reflection on Quantitative Research, 40% Group Brand Audit.

Besides this, I also managed to apply my knowledge in real life, do check my post on quantitative survey fielding here!

CET018 Branding

This module provides knowledge on branding done by a company, topics of which include brand identity, brand transgressions. The course also looks into different types of context of branding, for instance, luxury branding and international branding. I believe that this would correspond to the undergraduate course of BM3506 Strategic Brand Management.

Prof Caleb Tse and Prof Sharon Ng were very knowledgeable and understanding. Knowing that many of us are studying part-time while having full time work, they condensed the workload to a lot of the assessments being done in class, which really helped as I was very busy with a Branding project at work that month. Also, managed to get some brand strategy tips from Prof Caleb, who was really willing to help when I reached out to him via email.

In terms of course load, this is also a 4au course. There was a mix of self-paced learning (22h) and in-class learning (30h), all of which some learning was done through zoom due to the safe distancing measures in Singapore. I felt that the workload itself was more of a 3au course, but the complexities of the course certainly required a deeper understanding of marketing in order to fully appreciate.

The method of assessment was 40% through 4 online quizzes, 30% through two in-class group cases and 30% for a final short essay exam.

CET019 Digital Marketing

This module introduces us to the concept of digitisation, and how the marketing environment has changed in the world of digitisation. We were given the opportunity to also take on some certifications as part of the course assessment, and were taught of the various digital tools available for a digital marketer to work with. I believe that this would correspond to BM2506 Digital Marketing, with a lessened assessment load.

Dr Boey Yew Tung and Dr Wong King Yin managed to share a lot and let us understand more about digital marketing through various cases, where we can assess metrics like conversion rate, as well as measuring marketing effectiveness. I managed to also get some tips about how to improve my blog content and SEO techniques, which I hope to see results coming in and looking forward to doing a new sharing if it works out! (Yes! I changed the colour scheme of my blog because of something I found out during class.)

In terms of course load, this is a 3au course. There was a mix of self-paced learning (9h) and in-class learning (30h), some of which was done through zoom due to the safe distancing measures in Singapore. I felt that the workload matches that of a 3au course, however, the content does get a bit technical at times and it might be tough for people from a non-technical background to follow with the class.

The method of assessment is 15% Google Analytics Certification, 15% Hubspot Inbound Marketing Certification, 30% Reflection Report and 40% Final MCQ Quiz.

Final Words

Overall, I am thankful that I have embarked on this opportunity to further understand marketing, and believe that the knowledge will be useful for me in my career in the long run! I hope that this article is useful to you just like it has been a great reflective journey for me.

Thank you to NTU for the free Alumni Credits for 2020 graduates. I hope to put the knowledge attained to good use in future!

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

If you are interested in finding out more on my reflections on working and studying at the same time, do read this post!

If you are an undergraduate or graduate student deciding between marketing and analytics, do read my comparison of these two specialisations.

Photo Credits: Original Artwork by Tan Wei Xiang


University Graduation Reflection: The Best Time to Challenge my Comfort Zone

Last Wednesday, I attended my physical convocation at Nanyang Technological University. It was a unique experience as it was the first time any graduate from NTU attended a graduation ceremony with a mask on to receive his certificate, or rather just the folder. (the certificate was already at home!) Over the weekend, I was reflecting on my experience at university being the best time to challenge my comfort zone. Here is 7 ways where I challenged my comfort zone while in university:

Jump to Sections:
1. Joining Countless Co-curricular Activities at University
2. Starting my Own Business
3. Doing 3 MNC Internships
4. Going for a Semester Exchange in France
5. Taking Part in Case Competitions and Hackathons
6. Overloading in University to do Interesting Electives
7. Picking the Business Analytics specialisation at Business School

1. Joining Countless Co-curricular Activities at University

During my first two years of university, I engaged in more Co-curricular activities than I ever did for my other schooling years. I saw myself challenging my comfort zone, taking up leadership positions for the first time in NTU Students’ Union and NTU Entrepreneurship Society, to contribute to the broader student community. It was through these experiences that I learned to be a better leader.

NTU Students' Union Information and Research Committee 18/19
NTU Students’ Union Information and Research Committee 18/19

I also joined multiple other activities as a committee member, putting myself out there to interact with new people, and honing my communications skills through activities like Toastmasters, as well as volunteering for the main committee of a camp for underprivileged children.

While being from an A Level background, while it was uncomfortable to let my studies take the back seat, I am satisfied with the holistic development in university!

[back to top]

2. Starting my Own Business

I was doing a bit of research online about university and one of the conclusions which I had was university was the best time to give it a go at running my own business! I decided to sign up for the Minor in Entrepreneurship programme at NTU, where I had the chance to run my own business with a passionate group. The business we ran, EcoTumble, was a business which sells collapsible cups, and reusable straws, with the purpose of reducing the environmental footprint from takeaway drinks and food! I remembered that back then, reusable straws were starting to be popular, and instead of just saving the straw, why not save the whole cup too!

Showcase Night with my Minor in Entrepreneurship Team with our Business: EcoTumble
Showcase Night with my Minor in Entrepreneurship Team with our Business: EcoTumble

While the business was not the most profitable, we did manage to make a 40% profit off our initial investment, which was an incredible feat!

Running the end-to-end of the business also gave me the opportunity to understand how various business functions come together, and how to continually pivot from the various challenges faced.

[back to top]

3. Doing 3 MNC Internships

To be honest, I started my internships at university quite late. I only had my first internship in the winter break of my penultimate year! When I was at Schaeffler, I decided to take up an internship in Talent Management, which was a field very different from what I intended to do. For me, any internship experience was important to know more about the corporate environment and I was glad to have been with the APAC Human Resource Team.

Schaeffler Dinner and Dance 2019
Schaeffler Dinner and Dance 2019

Following that, I went for two internships with the marketing department, understanding about research, CRM, Digital Marketing and Product Marketing.

In my last internship in Kavo Kerr, managing the internship part time while juggling my final semester of studies challenged me to keep my timetable and priorities in order. I managed to find ways to work more efficiently, as well as keep my calendar properly documented so that I could do an internship, while study at the same time!

As internship season looms, here are some internship tips which I have previously written for my juniors!

[back to top]

4. Going for a Semester Exchange in France

In my final year of studies, despite having only 6 modules left for the final year, I decided to go for an exchange programme at ESSEC Business School in France, where I could only do 3 of my university courses. Despite that, I decided to overload some modules in marketing, where ESSEC is famous for, and also met international friends along the way.

Outside ESSEC Business School with my product innovation classmates!
Outside ESSEC Business School with my product innovation classmates!

While on the exchange programme, I also had the opportunity to travel to several countries and experience different cultures. For instance, I went to Munich, Germany to attend the Oktoberfest; I shopped at the various Passages (iconic shopping places) in Paris, France; I embarked on a solo trip to Belgium during one of the weekends! This gave me a more complete view of the world and if you are considering to go on exchange (once COVID ends), I strongly urge you to go for once as it is a transformative experience of a lifetime!

[back to top]

5. Taking Part in Case Competitions and Hackathons

While I did take part in some case competitions, time is limited and I did not take part in as many case competitions as many others in university. Of the various case competitions I took part in, I am happy to have made one podium finish for the NTU-AXS Video Case Challenge, where I challenged my comfort zone by putting together multiple clips of videos taken by my team!

NTU-AXS Video Case Competition
NTU-AXS Video Case Competition

In my final semester, I also took on the most difficult capstone business analytics course in business analytics consulting, where we did a business analytics consulting project for the course partner, Aon, an insurance brokerage firm. Months of hard work came to fruition when we claimed the best team title for the course.

[back to top]

6. Overloading in University to do Interesting Electives

Yes! That’s right! I overloaded by 5 electives while in university.

Electives are courses which are seemingly unrelated to the major of study, which for me is business analytics. As I took up a minor in entrepreneurship, I had no more electives left after my first year. However, I started sending in my first overload request for my 4th semester in school. The overload was wonderful, as I saw myself doing a few modules in Marketing, Innovation, Web Design and UI/UX Design. Being trained in the Analytics space, the exposure to marketing and design helped me further hone my interest that Analytics is a cross-functional field which integrates knowledge from various fields!

Snippet from my group video for AB0502 Managing Sustainability
Snippet from my group video for AB0502 Managing Sustainability

I also did video content creation while doing one of the electives from a compulsory basket of sustainability electives, AB0502 Managing Sustainability. In this course, we explored the sustainability of culture, while making a long term sustainable business concept out of it!

If you are looking for some electives to take, here is a post on some general electives which I recommend taking in NTU.

[back to top]

7. Picking the Business Analytics specialisation at Business School

When it came to picking my specialisation after my first year in university, I was making a choice between marketing and business analytics. Eventually, I did a specialisation in Business Analytics.

Why did I say this was out of the comfort zone? Well for one, two-thirds of my cohort in Business Analytics took a double degree, which meant that I would be pitted against the best of the best in the cohort. However, embracing the challenge, I decided to go into my course with both eyes wide open and put in my best effort into it. I ended up doing surprisingly better than I expected! The moral of this story is to stay true to your passion and try your best at whatever choice you decide on.

Do read this post on why I picked the Business Analytics Specialisation at Nanyang Business School!

[back to top]

With my first degree done and dusted, I feel ready to tackle the challenges in my next phase of life!

Well that was a really long reflection, and if you read till this point, hope that this experience may inspire you to challenge your comfort zone in university!

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

Photo Credits from: Nanyang Technological University


Working while Studying, Studying while Working (NBS Graduate)

Welcome to our second post of 2021! As promised in the last post of last year to be more regular in posting the various topics in this blog, we are catering to our management enthusiasts who may be on campus, or learning in other ways. As analysed in our previous post, we have quite a sizeable portion of student readers, we also wanted to create a post more catered to professionals who may want to go back to school to increase knowledge too! I previously shared about why I decided to return to school, but this post will be more targetted at my thoughts on schooling while working, and also while I was working while schooling while on my internship at KavoKerr. Here are some of my thoughts:

Improving Time Management Skills

I have received various questions on how I manage to work and study at the same time for last year, while also running an active blog. How do I find all the time? One of the techniques which I used was to have more time management. Part and parcel of my learning journey was to create pockets of time reserved for various activities. This meant scheduling time on my calendar to complete my coursework, as well as internship or work activities without cannibalising either activities. It helped that there was a timetable at school and I planned my internship around my remaining modules. The true challenge for me this month is that now I’m entrusted with a major work project, and how I’m going to continue to deliver with excellence, I believe that time management will be key. Do read more about time management in this post.

Learning to Prioritise

Knowing that we have limited time, knowing how to set our priorities is crucial in ensuring that we get the most.

For my current priorities, I ranked them as work first, classes and preparation next, blog post third (but rest assured you’ll see the posts you expect to see!), exercise, hanging out with friends, catching more sleep if possible (please don’t reduce sleep priority for too long, usually I’m an advocate that you sleep for minimally 8 hours a day, but please do not go less than 6 hours, I tried it before and do not recommend it!

Knowing this is only a 4 months long arrangement with 1 month having to work weekends too, it is something which I could manage. But that being said, I strongly urge you to know when and what you should prioritise, to prevent burnout. (It’s not the best feeling to have, felt it when doing 7 CCAs in Year 1 at school but that’s a story for another day!)

Maximising Value and Efficiency

Something I learned about studying while working is that we can’t be too perfect at everything, as we have limited time. Gone are the days where we could do multiple revisions of the coursework that we want to submit, in order to try to get the perfect score at school.

This is one of the times when we can apply Pareto’s Principle where we use 20% of the time to complete 80% of the work. While completing my coursework to a deliverable standard, I can gain 80% of the knowledge with just 20% of the time, this meant that I would be able to learn enough about what I am learning at school, without compromising on my work responsibilities.

Well that’s all for today’s reflection. If you’re considering to work while studying to gain more experience or study while working to gain more knowledge, I would urge you to consider your time, priorities and how you can maximise your efficiency, in order to achieve the best of both worlds!

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

Image Credits: Original Image created by Tan Wei Xiang, using image by Wengang Zhai on Unsplash

If you’re still in school, here’s a post for you to make the most out of your business school experience.

If you are interested in pursuing the Mini Masters in Marketing Management, do check this post out on course reviews.


Nanyang Business School: Business Analytics Module Selection Guide

You have finally decided that you want to do a business analytics curriculum, and want to know what you have in store for you in analytics; you log into the system and find out that there is so many courses available (correct as of July 2020):

Specialisation Core Courses

BC2402 Designing & Developing Databases
BC2406 Analytics I: Visual and Predictive Techniques
BC2407 Analytics II: Advanced Predictive Techniques

Specialisation Prescribed Electives –
Choose 3 Specialisation Prescribed Electives:
AC2401 Accounting Information Systems
BT2403 Service Operations Management
BC2408 Supply Chain Analytics
BC3402 Financial Service Processes & Analytics
BC3405 Lean Operations & Analytics
BC3406 Business Analytics Consulting (I did this)
BC3408 Decision Modelling & Analytics (I did this)
BC3409 AI in Accounting and Finance
New Course Programming for Business Transformation

Information from NBS Website

Business Analytics Core

The three cores are necessary to take and you would not be able to avoid them. Something new to you is probably the addition of prescribed electives, where you can pick 3 modules (or more if you want to) to add up to your final degree in Business Analytics!

Business Analytics Sub-specialisations

Something you may want to note is that in Business Analytics we unofficially have sub-specialisations too! I have classified according to how seniors have looked at how the courses fit in and also added my own opinion with regard to the newer modules.

Finance Analytics Track:

AC2401 Accounting Information Systems (Sem 1 & 2)
BC3402 Financial Service Processes & Analytics (Sem 2)
BC3409 AI in Accounting and Finance (Sem 2)

Operations Analytics Track:

BT2403 Service Operations Management (Sem 1)
BC2408 Supply Chain Analytics (Sem 2)
BC3405 Lean Operations & Analytics (Sem 1)

Management Science & Analytics Consulting Track:

BC3406 Business Analytics Consulting (Sem 2)
BC3408 Decision Modelling & Analytics (Sem 2)
New Course Programming for Business Transformation

What modules did I pick?

Prior to my year, there were modules which form a marketing analytics track. I was really interested in taking those modules, but unfortunately they were no longer offered. I decided to go with the next best alternative, which was in Management Science & Consulting. I took BC3407 R & Python, now restructured to the GER-Core BC0403, as well as BC3408 Decision Modelling & Analytics and BC3406 Business Analytics Consulting. On top of that, I stayed true to my initial interest by doing an unrestricted elective which is offered by the marketing department, BM2507 Marketing Analytics (Unfortunately not a Business Analytics Prescribed Elective though moving forward I hope it gets approved as one as inter-disciplinary knowledge is increasingly important).

While not the most commonly picked modules by most Business Analytics students, with very little seniors with precedent knowledge, I believe that benefitted greatly from taking the modules which I have taken and look forward to sharing more.

What modules should you pick?

At the end of the day, there is no fixed best modules to take, but rather what aligns with your passion and purpose. My advice is to picture where you see yourself in future, and take the modules to build yourself in that direction. Hope this helps with your module planning!

If you liked our post, do follow us on our LinkedIn, or our writer’s personal LinkedIn Account for more tips.

Now that you are done with planning your prescribed electives, you may want to read about general and unrestricted electives over here.

You may also be interested to pick between business and marketing.

Here’s another blogpost from a senior which I previously got some reviews and found really helpful!

Photo Credits: Photo by Wengang Zhai on Unsplash