Published on 04 Mar 2020

Attracting top talent: From Nanjing to Nanyang

“The support of the APEC scholarship has made my MBA dream become a reality." Lyla Wang from the Nanyang MBA Class of 2020 shares her journey so far.

Lyla Wang, Nanyang MBA ’20, has spent the past eight years studying and working in the picturesque city of Nanjing, China, located on the south bank of the Yangtze River. Surrounded by scenic lakes and mountain ranges, Nanjing is known for its relaxed pace compared to its bustling, megacity neighbour of Shanghai. While this tranquillity comes across in Lyla’s humble nature and considered approach, her drive and determination has been evident from a young age.

In 2015, Lyla graduated from Nanjing University of Finance and Economics with First Class Honours in Accounting. A recipient of the university’s national scholarship, she represented the university at both a national and international level, winning the prestigious national Chinese Mathematical Modelling Contest in 2013. Her proven analytical skills and strong quantitative abilities led her to secure internships with top companies such as Tencent and Bain & Company, providing important real-world experiences to complement her academic knowledge.

Upon graduation, Lyla joined KPMG’s audit function. Her diligent work ethic and ability to deliver results saw her rise quickly through the ranks. In a short span of four years, Lyla went on to lead international teams who managed two Hong Kong-share IPO engagements, and was awarded with KPMG Bravo Award. Never one to be complacent, Lyla also became a Chinese Certified Public Accountant, and began her Chartered Financial Analyst qualifications. Despite the many achievements early in her career, Lyla had a sense that it was time for a change. 

“It’s easy to get stuck into certain ways of thinking, or looking at problems from one angle. I think it’s important to continually think innovatively to improve. I wanted to learn from other perspectives that would give me different insights into the real business world.”

With her extensive academic achievements and professional experiences, Lyla successfully secured the Singapore Ministry of Education NTU-APEC MBA Scholarship in 2019 to undertake her MBA at Nanyang Business School in Singapore. The scholarship is awarded to deserving international candidates from APEC member economies to undertake the Nanyang MBA programme​. Making the move to Singapore wasn’t an easy decision, but Lyla says it has already started to pay off.

“The MBA has given me exposure to people from different industries and cultures that I had no previous experience with,” she says. “We have the opportunity to share our own experience and insights with the classroom, and more importantly to learn from different viewpoints and see things through multiple lenses.”

Lyla Wang (second from left), pictured with MBA course​mates
(L-R) Li He, Boseul Lee and Sarthak Jain following an in-class presentation at NBS.


In January 2020, Lyla had the opportunity to see the impact of these learnings in practice when she was selected to represent NBS at the John Molson MBA International Case Competition in Montreal, Canada. Lyla and her three team mates went up against 36 international teams from 18 countries, representing the top emerging business and consulting minds around the world. The week-long competition culminated in an impressive third place podium finish for Lyla and her team.

“It was a fantastic learning journey for the team. At the beginning, we encountered headwinds, but we demonstrated our active learning abilities throughout the competition and competed to our very best.” says Lyla.

(L to R) Julia Leuchtgens, Sai Sundaram, Muthamma Malanda, and Lyla Wang, from the Nanyang MBA Class of 2020, representing NBS to finish 3rd place at the 39th John Molson MBA International Case Competition in Montreal, Canada.

Later this year, Lyla will complete her MBA journey on academic exchange to the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. With a few months left to go, Lyla reflects on the path that has made this experience possible.

“The support of the APEC scholarship has made my MBA dream become a reality. I am inspired by the generous support I have received and will continue contributing to the programme and making the best of this opportunity.”


Gifts to NBS support our goal of attracting talented and diverse MBA candidates across different backgrounds and economic circumstances. Your support will enhance the diversity of candidates in the Nanyang MBA programme and enable us to provide more scholarships to promising future leaders like Lyla.