2016 Best MBAs: Tan Wenyou, INSEAD

Tan Wenyou

Tan Wenyou

 
INSEAD

“The proudest achievement was when I was working on my social enterprise. My social enterprise was focused on helping ex-offenders reintegrate back into society by teaching them to become entrepreneurs. Through my social enterprise, I managed to successfully convert several ex-offenders into entrepreneurs.”

Age: 31

Hometown: Singapore

Education: National University of Singapore (Engineering Science Program)

Where did you work before enrolling in business school?

  • Founder of an Education Company in China
  • Founder of a Social Enterprise in Singapore
  • Investment Manager with the Singapore Government

Where did you intern during the summer of 2015? I am doing a short 10-month program with no internship.

Where will you be working after graduation? TBD

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: In my role as part of the leadership team with the INSEAD Private Equity Club, I set up the platform connecting INSEAD students with internship opportunities with start-ups in Southeast Asia.

I am also involved heavily with the INSEAD Entrepreneurship Club, where I was leveraging on my networks within the Southeast Asian entrepreneurial ecosystem to invite speakers to share their experiences with the students.

I am also part of the organizing committee that organize our annual Chinese week, with the sole purpose of sharing Chinese customs with our classmates from different parts of the world.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? While I was in INSEAD, I initiated the formal working relationship between INSEAD with the leading incubators in Singapore, facilitating study projects and placements with their start-ups in Southeast Asia. As a start, we have connected several students. I am still be working on it and hopefully, we can build up a permanent platform for the benefit of subsequent promotions of INSEAD students. Hopefully, we can provide a conducive environment for students to become entrepreneurs.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? The proudest achievement was when I was working on my social enterprise. My social enterprise was focused on helping ex-offenders reintegrate back into society by teaching them to become entrepreneurs. Through my social enterprise, I managed to successfully convert several ex-offenders into entrepreneurs. They have since turned their lives around and are doing well now.

Who is your favorite professor? My favourite professor is Claudia Zeisberger.

Favorite MBA Courses? Private Equity, Negotiations

Why did you choose this business school? I want to be based in Asia because of the growing amount of opportunities, and many of my INSEAD graduates will be graduating and staying within the Asia-Pacific region, far more than any other top-tier business school. INSEAD is, by far, the only school with a strong presence in Asia.

I also choose this program because this is a short program, and therefore the payback will be much faster.

What did you enjoy most about business school? Its unrivalled access to the Asian markets from the alumni networks. Besides that, I can go to practically any country in the world, and meet an alumni there for coffee!

What is the biggest lesson you gained from business school? It is really the networks that matter.

What was the most surprising thing about business school? I never expect time to pass so quickly, 10 months gone in a flash.

What was the hardest part of business school? Definitely the academic work. It is a 10-month program and you have to really balance your academics, socializing and career development. At INSEAD, we have to prioritize because it is an MBA program on steroids.

I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I decided to relocate back to Singapore from China.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school – I cannot imagine not going to Business School. INSEAD has done so much for me.”

Which executive or entrepreneur do you most admire? Lee Kuan Yew, our first Prime Minister. He successfully built up Singapore, a country with no resources, into a first-world country.

What are your long-term professional goals? Being in a role that allows me to give back to my country.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My wife and my family. Going to business school and being away from the family is a huge sacrifice, one that can only be made when you have the full support of your spouse and family.

Fun fact about yourself: I have written three books in topics ranging from venture capital to REITs, with publishers like McGraw Hill and Marshall-Cavendish.

Favorite book: Act like a leader, Think like a leader by Herminia Ibarra

Favorite movie: Shawshank Redemption

Favorite musical performer: Yanni

Favorite television show: Any History Channel or National Geographic Channel show

Favorite vacation spot: China

Hobbies? Basketball and Reading

What made Tan such an invaluable addition to the class of 2016?“Ambitious student who has worked hard and smart in developing his career. Actively involved in student life, enthusiastic and collaborative in nature, Wenyou has also been involved in social entreprise work in Singapore & India and believes in giving back to society. A good team player and great leader.” — Sven Biel, Associate Director, MBA Programme Management, INSEAD

DON’T MISS: CLASS OF 2016: THE BEST & BRIGHTEST GRADUATING MBAS