Help for NTU undergrads to reach Peak

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) students aiming for the summit of the corporate world can now join a new leadership development programme.

Dubbed NTU Peak, it seeks to match high-ability second- and third-year undergraduates with senior executives of partnering firms.

Three firms - Mediacorp, NCH Singapore and Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Company - signed memorandums of understanding (MOU) for the programme with NTU during the launch of its career fair on Thursday.

Professor Tan Ooi Kiang, the university's associate provost (undergraduate education), said in his speech at the ceremony that NTU Peak will allow students to work in cross-disciplinary teams and solve real-life business challenges while guided by the senior executives.

The selection criteria for the programme, which will start next month and last for a month, include strong leadership potential, academic ability, and a desire to work in top management and executive roles.

Mr Loh Pui Wah, director of NTU's Career and Attachment Office, said: "The intensity of this programme... is deliberate; in one month we are going to force them (students) into a time-compressed situation."

Speaking to The Straits Times, Mr Shavin Goswami, one of the 30 students selected, said he hopes that his experience in supervising the logistics of model United Nations conferences will help in the course of the programme.

"I feel this programme really helps us bridge the gap between our classroom knowledge and the industry, and face real-world problems," added Mr Goswami, a second-year undergraduate in mechanical engineering.

This sentiment was echoed by Mr David Weiss, president and chief executive officer of NCH Singapore, whose company plans to work with attached students on a real-world market research exercise.

"They can... go out and identify five big players in Singapore, learn what are the core principles of those companies... and then marry those principles together with our services... to see how we can solve the challenges of these companies," elaborated Mr Weiss.

Prof Tan also confirmed that the university will eventually expand NTU Peak through collaborating with more companies across various sectors, allowing as many students as possible to benefit from it.

He added that beyond the science, technology, engineering and mathematicssectors, the university wished to form new partnerships in the business, administration and marketing industries.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 11, 2017, with the headline 'Help for NTU undergrads to reach Peak'. Print Edition | Subscribe