Hacks for business school students

Hi! I’m Maggie and I will be sharing my personal experiences which may provide you with some insights into our school and how to ease into student life at NTU.


Take time to choose your specialisation

Firstly, the question that many of you will face would likely be what specialisation you wish to join. You may prefer planning in advance because your grades for certain modules may affect whether you are able to qualify for that specialisation. While it is good to have a goal to work towards, my advice is to keep your options open and enjoy the different modules that you take on. You can always change your mind along the way.

Have a plan that works for you

Secondly, I think it is important to have a rough idea of what you have planned for the 3 to 4 years in school. For instance, do you wish to take a Leave of Absence (LOA) for a 6-month internship or go for a semester exchange or an Overseas Entrepreneurship Programme (OEP).

There are other hacks such as modules that you can be exempted from based on your A Level grades or the subjects you took in poly. You need to apply for this early so keep tabs on the NTU website for key dates and timelines.

Another aspect relevant to academic planning would be how to use up your Unrestricted Electives (UEs). Many people will use them up for exchange and work study programme, but don’t be afraid to take UEs just as a hobby. I also know a lot of people who take minors to get ahead in their studies or careers and that’s a good idea too - but I’d really encourage you to enjoy your electives.


Keep an open mind when it comes to internships

Thirdly, I feel something everyone (especially my JC kids out there) will stress about is finding your summer internship to clear your Professional Attachment (PA) requirements. I struggled to find an internship initially mainly because banks and other similar organisations are not willing to take in freshmen and are more focused on recruiting penultimate year students.

While I was lucky to pick up an accounting internship to clear my PA, I know some friends who got really stressed when they couldn’t do so. However, do not be discouraged if this happens to you. One of my friends who did not manage to take a summer PA took a part time internship in Year 2 semester 1 instead. It was quite busy and hectic, but she loved her internship and was happy she waited for it. There are many opportunities for you to clear your PA including summer, winter, part time, 6 month LOA and even OEP, so don’t rush into something that doesn’t really meet your requirements.

The Career Affairs Office (CAO) does an excellent job of posting internship openings so always keep your eyes peeled for it. There are many platforms for NBS students (we are very lucky) such as Inplace, CareerAxis and CareerFit. These platforms not only provide opportunities, but CAO also conducts interview practices and resume reviews to help you out. You can also try to find internship opportunities on your own through the many search platforms available online.

Take your PA as a learning experience and a possible path for your future career – but keep your doors and your mind open. Because NBS really provides you with a lot of opportunities to be flexible in both your academics and the skills you pick up in class. For instance, skills such as coding, presentation and critical thinking will always come in handy regardless of the career path you choose.   

Make memories and have fun

For me, the best thing about NBS is that I don’t feel restricted in my choice of a career path after graduation, and I feel I have the flexibility of choosing any area that best suits my interests.

I believe that in university, you should try to get out of your comfort zone and explore new things that you are curious about. So, step out, join clubs and make new friends. All this will enrich your varsity life. I hope that each one of you out there can walk out of NBS having memories you hold to your heart and people you cherish. This is one of the greatest takeaways of university life after all.

All the best for your future endeavours and I hope to see you around school!