2017 MBAs To Watch: Nicole Teng, Melbourne Business School

Nicole Teng

Melbourne Business School

A determined individual with continuous curiosity and big dreams.”

Age: 29

Hometown: Shanghai, China

Fun fact about yourself: I am fond of collecting refrigerator magnets from different countries and cities that I have traveled to –and I have collected 17 magnets so far!

Undergraduate School and Degree: (Bachelor of Science (Major in Statistics), Nankai University

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? I worked as a Senior Consultant in Kurt Salmon (as part of the global network of Accenture Strategy), based in both Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2016? Since the full-time MBA program of MBS lasts for only one year (Aug 2016 – Aug 2017), I didn’t have summer internship in 2016.

Where will you be working after graduation? I aim to seek for consultant role in a strategy/management consulting firm, based in Australia after graduation in August 2017. I am currently still in the interview process with various consulting firms.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: I have been taking the leadership role in the MBS Retail Club since the beginning of the MBA program. Regarding awards and honors, I have obtained a Director’s Grant for Excellence Scholarship (a merit-based full scholarship) upon MBA admission. And I received a Dean’s Commendation Award for all-round excellence (based on grades and overall individual performance) in January 2017.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? As the MBS Retail Club leader, I took a significant role in the leadership team that invited the CEO of Myer, a leading, national, department store operator, to discuss their response to disruption in the retail industry in Australia. I received great feedback from the over 200 attendees about the event’s valuable networking and learning opportunities.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Working as a project manager in the past few years, I have established strategic and operational business plans for various multinational corporations by engaging diverse stakeholders and delivered long-term value for clients. I am very proud that I delivered significant impact for the organizations and the broader community.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Geoff Martin, Associate Professor of Strategy. Geoff is a great professor, with solid knowledge and strong passion. He always guides us in applying our MBA learnings efficiently to real business cases, which is a great way to combine theory with practice.

What was your favorite MBA Course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it? Operations and Process Management. I learned multiple methods for analyzing operational efficiency of a business, identify bottlenecks and make processes lean.

Why did you choose this business school? Besides the high-quality faculty members, I also have a strong resonance with the collaborative and dynamic culture that MBS has in abundance, as well as the close-knit community that MBS creates.

What did you enjoy most about business school in general? I most enjoyed the experience of working everyday with interesting classmates from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds.

What was the most surprising thing about business school for you? I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the overall learning experience so far and the huge amount of networking events and campaigns that MBS has held over the past six months, which has brought great value to us.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Be open-minded and try to network with alumni or industry professionals as much as you can, since networking plays a critical role in the business world of Australia.

What is the biggest myth about your school? I heard from alumni that time management is the most important skill to get out of my MBA studies. From my own experience, this advice has proven to be very valuable and true, especially when I need to handle individual studies, syndicate work and internship/job interviews simultaneously.

What was your biggest regret in business school? I wish I could have networked with more alumni and industry professionals in Melbourne ever since I moved into this city to start this MBA program. People here are so friendly and generous and always willing to share experiences and get to know more about you.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Sourya Pal. He is a really self-driven individual a creative thinker, and always trying to think outside the box. His entrepreneurial mindset is something that I really appreciate.

I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I was working as a consultant and found that I had a strong desire to further sharpen my business acumen, broaden my vision and gain global business perspectives.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…probably still working in my last employer and seeking a global, internal transfer opportunity to gain overseas working experience.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? I would like to arrange more pro bono/volunteering activities for MBA candidates to participate in, to make them think more about the impact they can have on the whole society.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? No student debt.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to firstly thank my partner who has always been fully supportive on every decision that I made in my career and life. I would also like to thank all the faculty members at MBS who have provided me with a precious opportunity to keep learning and growing.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? A very ambitious and interesting person, who is determined to chase dreams and deliver broader impact to her team, organization and society.

Favorite book: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Nell Scovell and Sheryl Sandberg

Favorite movie or television show: Discovery

Favorite musical performer: Maroon 5

Favorite vacation spot: Tokyo, Japan

Hobbies? Travel, Cooking, Reading

What made Nicole such an invaluable addition to the class of 2017?

‘I have had the privilege of teaching Nicole in one of my courses here at MBS and I can say without any hesitation that she exemplifies the characteristics of an ideal student – diligent, extremely hard-working, bright, and a good team player. In my 15 years at MBS, I have seen few students who have been as motivated to learn as Nicole. During her time at MBS, Nicole has consistently excelled academically and has contributed to classroom experience significantly’.

This is feedback I received from one of Nicole’s faculty members and it mirrors my own experience with Nicole. She is incredibly gifted academically and has a great drive to succeed, but she is also polite and courteous with everyone that she interacts with, whether they be her fellow classmates, professional staff or faculty members.

In addition to her insightful and considered input in the classroom, Nicole contributes to the broader MBS community through her leadership role within the MBS Retail Club. Nicole played a pivotal part in the Club arranging Richard Umbers, CEO of Myer, to address the MBS community about his strategy to deal with disruption in a rapidly changing retail landscape. This event attracted over 200 attendees and was one of the most successful club events I have seen during my time at MBS.”

Gerard Costello

Program Manager – Full-time MBA



Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.