Hello from Singapore!
I’m leaving my second home for the past few years in a couple of days and already miss it! At the same time I’m excited to see my family very soon. Saying goodbye to Singapore as well as 2018 is not easy, both have been very special to me personally. I’m glad to come to Singapore and come back to NUS this year to rekindle the old and discover the new.
One of the highlights I’d like to share is a very challenging and fulfilling project called Lean Launch Pad that I enrolled this semester. It is a 10-week experiential learning programme designed by NUS Enterprise to commercialise technological innovation. Based on my interests, the programme manager introduced me to a group called Solar VTOL which is a fully solar-powered quadcopter which combined my interest in sustainable energy and technology. I started as the entrepreneurial lead for Solar VTOL working with another three highly talented NUS engineering students. Throughout the process, we worked on our business model canvas using lean start-up methodology, interviewed people from various industries and proposed pilot tests to validate the business model.
We learned a great deal from each other and from the process. We were extremely lucky to be coached by an entrepreneur to get us comfortable with the ambiguity and synthesize findings from our interviews. I hope we stay as good friends and keep on building Solar VTOL post Lean Launch Pad, I do believe the people I worked with will succeed in anything they chose to do later on.
Solar VTOL Team and our mentor after the final pitch to the Lean Launch Pad community and potential investors
Lean Launch Pad is quite a rare programme combining business and engineering students and I’d strongly recommend it to anyone who is interested in entrepreneurship and willing to get one’s hands dirty to gain real-life experience.
During this semester I challenged myself with two Analytics courses which helped me understand more in-depth how big data are shaping the business direction, how A/B testing is helping brand managers to make better decisions etc. and work on real set of data on my own. This is one of the differences between NUS and SSE whereby in NUS student could choose classes from other disciplines such as Finance, Economics or even MBA programme throughout the two semesters. It could be a good point if you want to understand deeper a specific topic of interest, which was analytics for me.
Soon and I will be back to Stockholm to write my Master’s Thesis, I have been receiving photos of snowy Stockholm from my friends which really bring out the Holiday spirit to me. Here in sunny Singapore, it is not easy to “feel” it. Nothing to complain because I appreciate the sunshine every day to build up an “invincible summer”* of my own, getting ready for the winter in January. Until then, I wish you all a Happy Holidays and a magical 2019.
Mai (first cohort, 2017-2019)
*”In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus