Meet The MBA Class of 2022: Samantha Mae Yau Bautista, National University of Singapore Business School

Samantha Mae Yau Bautista (Sam)

National University of Singapore, NUS Business School

“A banker by profession who is a creative at heart.”

Hometown: Manila, Philippines

Fun Fact About Yourself: Despite a day job that has always revolved around crunching numbers and making astute analyses, I’ve always nurtured my inner creative. I’m a surprisingly adept illustrator and graphic designer, and I’ve lent my skills to a handful of publications and small businesses. I’m always happy to bring color to people’s lives, whether it’s through my professional life or hobbies.

Undergraduate School and Major: Ateneo de Manila University – Bachelor of Science in Management (Honors Program)

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Security Bank Corporation, Customer Relationship Management Division Head (SAVP)

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the MBA curriculum or activities that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you?  I was attracted to The NUS MBA’s focus on transformation. My main motivation for embarking on my MBA journey was the goal of radically shifting my career trajectory. To accomplish this, I knew that I had to leave my comfort zone and spark change in myself. So far, my journey with the school has certainly been transformative; the school also gives me a wealth of opportunities to study and explore industries outside the financial sector.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? Joining The NUS MBA Class of Jan 2021 has been my greatest pleasure. It’s been great meeting and working with some of the brightest minds from all over the world. My class in particular has been so active and adaptable. 2020 was not easy for us as there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding our program’s start date due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, our experience thus far shows that we are certainly a resilient crew that’s always open to new experiences and to finding solutions for difficult problems.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In Security Bank, I was part of a dynamic transformation team in charge of digitizing and growing our retail bank. As a part of this team, I led numerous projects, such as the launch of our mobile banking application, the streamlining of our deposit products, and the creation of a new credit card and loan products (this role stretched and challenged me every day). All of our efforts were rewarded when we were awarded as the Best Retail Bank in the Philippines 2018 by The Asian Banker. Receiving the trophy with my colleagues in an event in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia continues to be one of the fondest memories of my time with the bank.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? We’re currently two months into the program. So far, I’ve been proud to be elected to our Student Council Executive Committee as Communications Liaison. In this role, I’ve been able to apply the hobby that I love (illustration and graphic design) to serve and bring value to my cohort’s experience.

What has been the biggest surprise in your first months of business school? Starting student life again has certainly been an adjustment. I have certainly been surprised by how booked up my calendar is with academic, club, and extracurricular activities. But I think what’s most pleasantly surprising is how I’ve been able to juggle these items well and the great experience I’ve had so far – especially with such engaging peers as my cohort.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Prior to my MBA, I had spent all my 7 years since university working and building my career in Security Bank. It was an experience I greatly treasured, and I grew from a tentative fresh grad to a confident professional. However, as the end of my 20s loomed, I could not shake my aspirations to see what’s beyond the Philippines and to test my skills in an international work setting. I did not want to look back on this in regret, and decided to pursue my MBA studies abroad.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I focused mostly on MBA programmes in key financial hubs in the world as I wanted to pursue a career in Fintech. I applied to Haas and Stanford in San Francisco, LBS in London and NUS in Singapore.


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