Academic Director for the Nanyang Professional MBA

Lee Boon Keng
Interview with Associate Professor Lee Boon Keng, Academic Director for the Nanyang Professional MBA specialising in International Trading 

Nanyang Business School (NBS) at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) is launching Asia’s first Nanyang Professional MBA (PMBA) programme specialising in International Trading to grow the talent pool for the trading sector. 

We asked Academic Director Associate Professor Lee Boon Keng about the design and highlights of the new programme, and how NBS is helping the industry with the right talent to compete in the market.
Question: What are the opportunities in commodity trading? 
Thirty percent of Asia’s trade is being conducted through Singapore, and over 400 global, regional, and local commodities players employing over 15,000 professionals across the entire value are located here. Clearly, commodity trading is an indispensable pillar of the Singapore economy, with tremendous job opportunities in the sector and its ancillary services such as finance, legal and technology. 

Question: How is NBS’ PMBA in International Trading contributing to the growth and transformation of higher learning and leadership development in commodity trading? 
There is a high demand for expertise both in Singapore and regionally as a result of strong demand on the back of robust economic growth. We need experienced expertise and leaders with both broad and deep skills, armed with a good understanding of the changing dynamics in global trade. 

The Nanyang Professional MBA (PMBA) programme specialising in International Trading develops participants’ cross-cultural intelligence so that they can be effective future leaders in the industry. It also provides them with a deep understanding of technologies that are disrupting the industry, sustainability and regulatory issues, and the skills to manage opportunities and risks in a dynamic global trading environment. 

Question: Can you share with us more about the design of the curriculum? 
The curriculum is developed for the industry by the industry with a focus on developing future leaders in the trading sector. Designed in close consultation with industry leaders and with the support of Enterprise Singapore, we ensured that the programme has direct relevance to industry requirements and challenges through focus group discussions with top industry experts on key issues and challenges facing the industry. 

Question: What can aspiring PMBA candidates expect from this programme? 
Held on alternate weekends over 18 months at an accessible location in downtown Singapore, the courses will equip participants with high level of practical skills and knowledge, and provide opportunities for peer-to-peer learning through case studies, hands-on industry projects, and simulations. 

Candidates can also look forward to gaining strategic insights and global perspectives through industry networking and sharing sessions by senior management and industry professionals from leading trading firms, as well as a learning trip to Geneva – a knowledge centre for commodity trading – together with learning visits to international organisations there. 

Question: Who will benefit most from the PMBA in International Trading experience? 
Future leaders of the industry and high potential individuals identified by companies will benefit highly from our PMBA (International Trading) programme. 

We also welcome highly-motivated individuals who want to join the industry – they could come from non-trading sector such as finance, technology, legal, etc.