MIT, Sloan School of Management
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Someone who is just trying to make a difference.
Fun Fact About Yourself: I once participated in a national innovation program in the 1990s which was meant to be a year-long evolution of thinking of problems and designing a solution around it. I skipped out on all my classes and realized one week before the competition that I didn’t have any product to showcase.
I was around 10 years old at the time and had just learnt about pulley systems, and hands-free earphones for handphone sets were the rage then. Two days before the competition, I walked over to the local hardware shop and bought two pulleys and some string and designed a “wire shortening system” to reduce the hassle and tangles of these wires. I ended up winning a top prize at the national innovation competition for the most practical and replicable design.
Undergraduate School and Major: National University of Singapore, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:
Medical Officer, Ministry of Health Singapore
Chairman and Founder, Children of Cambodia
Strategic Director and Founder, Optimimed
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I would say my biggest accomplishment thus far are those outside of my (paid) career. With Children of Cambodia, a philanthropic foundation which I have run over the last 13 years, we have established Cambodia’s first pediatric Cardiothoracic program, neonatal ward and dedicated pediatric burn and reconstructive unit. We are now working on establishing a second and third hospital in rural Cambodia. In total, the facilities we have helped to develop has seen a total of 600 children every day.
Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? Talk to as many current students as you can, the school is only as good as its students and I felt that these conversations would determine the fit and type of student population which each admissions committee tries so hard to build.
What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? The focus on impactful entrepreneurship was what struck me the most about this MBA. And it wasn’t just the school talking about it, but they had actually established endowed programs such as the Legatum Fellowship in order to attract and build a community of these individuals at the school. The entire ecosystem, from the class catalogue and curriculum to scholarship recognition system and the students I spoke to had all bought into this theme so much so that the students pursuing such endeavors that it seemed pretty much second nature to them.
What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? I’ve not touched a math module since high school and never done anything in accounting nor economics ever. Coupled with me continuing to run my startup and foundation in Singapore, I think merely surviving school, perhaps with a couple of new ideas, would be a great achievement in itself!