Are you thinking of joining NTU’s Nanyang Business School? I remember feeling a little uncertain after junior college ended. I knew I wanted to go to a Business school, which was why I took Economics in JC, but I didn’t know what to expect.
This article is written in the hope of being helpful.
1. Nanyang Business School Dress Code
Call me a mountain tortoise, but I used to think that formal wear was compulsory for all lessons. I thought that Business meant blazers and ties all day, every day. I couldn’t be more wrong.
This is merely a hypothesis, but I believe that one in five NBS student wears the NBS shirt, almost religiously.
Once you start donning that piece of cloth, it turns into a convenient staple. Also, you can tell if a person lives in a hall or otherwise from the clothes he wears.
Discounting hall jerseys and the ilk, a person usually dresses casually when he lives in hall. T-shirt, shorts, slippers and perhaps a cap if he woke up late.
Slippers are also fundamental in NTU, and this is especially so during the rainy season. If he is somehow in charge of Freshmen Orientation Camp, you would know from the vibrant colours on his hair.
He might also have blue or green fingers (see what I did there) if he tried dying it himself. It isn’t hairspray guys, it is REAL. Also, if he bothers to wear long pants, then he probably stays far away. Or he might have a ‘smart casual’ presentation.
2. Transport within School
To cope with lazy people who swear against walking, we have internal shuttle buses. Arrival times can be checked online although it is sometimes inaccurate. The red and green buses take forever so you should probably board the blue one unless there isn’t a choice.
This is valid unless your class is at 8.30 a.m. then you are better off walking to class because not all buses can reach your stop by then.
Also, they have tiny coloured cards to signal the bus line that the bus is serving. One would expect the entire bus to be green if it’s serving the green line bus, but no.
A green bus can serve the blue line and you’re supposed to squint at the faraway, minuscule blue bus card to know. Strange indeed.
3. Competitiveness in Nanyang Business School
“Eh, I heard NBS very competitive right?” This is the question that I get asked the most from pre-tertiary students and students from other faculties.
The answer is a simple, monosyllabic, YES.
Put a bunch of academically inclined people together and the bell curve is bound to be challenging. Every mark counts.
In line with that, the Bell Curve God is often worshipped because an A might still drop to a B in the event that everyone else is smarter than you.
On a side note, I have a friend who sets the Bell Curve God as his background photo and I know there is one particular hall (hostel) that placed an altar for residents to worship the Bell Curve God haha.
It’s rather cute.
Truth be told, I believe that you determine the extent of competition that you want to be exposed to. It is not about how suffocating it is or how Statistics is ridiculously difficult for an art student like myself. (You thought H2 Maths is forever gone, YOU ARE WRONG.)
It is about how much you are comparing yourself with the others. It is about how desperate you are to get that shimmering First Class Honours that everyone is hyping about.
Ultimately, you decide how competitive or relaxed you want to be. But yes, the bell curve is indeed steep because everyone is academically smart and of course we cannot have everyone scoring 5.0.
Okay, this is a tough one because it is genuinely subjective. I think that Nanyang Business School students are generally more outspoken than the rest.
This is a huge stereotype and it obviously differs from individual to individual.
However, with Class Participation as a graded component in most, if not all of our courses, this is just a reasonable outcome. This means that if you are quiet or if you can’t present well, you will probably lose out.
This extends to both Accountancy and Business, but more so to the latter who specialized in Marketing. Class Participation goes beyond mere attendance and active contributions are valued. I am thoroughly happy with the weightage for it is a right balance that does not make learning overly competitive (which can drive it to be a bit meaningless when people start to ask questions just for the sake of asking questions).
I know some schools weigh Participation way heavier. As for presentations, there will be presentations for nearly every course. This means that you should get a set of formal wear and not wait until Year 2.
This spreads out your fixed cost and lowers the per-unit cost of the formal wear. Do factor in weight gain before you decide whether to alter or not.
This is especially so if you stay in a hall. Depending on how your group chooses to present, you may or may not need to get a blazer. You can also make friends with blazers your size such that borrowing becomes a breeze.
Moving on, I feel that NBS guys are a lot more gentlemanly as opposed to other faculties. Then again, this is, I emphasise, a biased and personal view that may not hold true at all.
So anyway, I realised that NBS guys tend to help the girls hold the door or offer to clear their tray more often. I’m not saying that NBS girls don’t clear their own food or hold their own door by the way.
A lot of emphasis is made on building connections and expanding networks. However, I feel that the general culture, or at least the culture of people whom I know, is healthy.
The sharing of notes isn’t an issue, for one. And I have never encountered a situation where one is unwilling to help me if I don’t know a solution to a question.
People chat if they want to, and there never has been an underlying motive thus far. Or perhaps the occasion hasn’t arrived yet.
7. That NBS T-shirt
I heard that there are also people who think that wearing the NBS shirt is snobbish. I admit we, or at least I, have worn it with pride since it is a symbol of identity.
But frankly speaking, 99.9% of the time it’s just because I’m lazy to think of what to wear. Maybe universities can consider having uniforms. I will gladly vote for it.
While there are definitely a few snobbish people here and there who brag about the businesses they own and how accomplished they are (when not asked at all), I believe that is normal across all universities.
I think that NBS people like all faculties and aren’t exclusive. I have friends who buy other faculty shirts too. That is all that I have thus far. I know that a lot of you still have burning queries (or perhaps more specific queries) on NBS or university life in general.
Do leave comments about what other aspects of university life you would like to know. Perhaps hall life or how lessons are like can be answered the next time.
Till then, bye!