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Caroline Marianne Beelen, The Netherlands

The NUS MBA Class of 2021

Job Title

Describe your personal brand.

Energetic personality, team player who loves to manage and engage with others, eager to learn from other people and help them excel.

What were you doing before The NUS MBA?

I’m educated as an engineer and I used to work as a real estate developer in the greater Amsterdam Area in the Netherlands.

Why did you pick NUS?

The NUS cohort comprises a diverse group of students from different backgrounds. As I’m educated as an engineer, I’m very eager to gain more business knowledge. My classmates from different backgrounds gave me broader insights from their experiences. In addition, The NUS MBA offers me the opportunity to specialise in real estate and gain insights into the real estate industry in Singapore. The opportunities to broaden my business knowledge and expand my network, not only within the MBA cohorts but also with the Real Estate cohorts, makes the NUS the right place for me to pursue my aspirations.

Please share your key achievements and leadership roles on the programme.

Working together in diverse teams and personalities has been the most challenging achievement for me till now. Working with a small team of classmates on group assignments has definitely stretched my leadership abilities. Working with people from different cultures and from different backgrounds is definitely more challenging than working with the Dutch engineers which I’m used to.

What has been the single most stand-out experience of your MBA?

That must have been the boat trip we made with classmates on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Aside from the learning experience, the most memorable moments are making close friends with my classmates.

Tell me something about The NUS MBA that others might not know.

The specialisations add a lot of value if you already know that you want to stay within an industry. With my real estate specialisation, I got to opportunity to learn more about real estate modules that I wasn’t familiar with, but also helped broadened my real estate network in Singapore. The NUS MBA also gave me the opportunity to do a consulting project with a large real estate firm in Singapore, combining my MBA courses with the industry I enjoy.

Who is your personal hero? What is it about him/her that you admire?

Managing managers or highly educated students is quite different from managing people from different levels with different needs. Working as a real estate developer in my previous job, I had to manage construction workers, architects, engineers, finance teams, etc and realised how difficult it can be to keep all their needs and knowledge levels aligned. As I have watched a lot of Netflix during the “circuit breaker” period, I discovered the NBA coach, Phil Jackson. He did a superb job with a highly diverse basketball team. The way he engaged with teammates, understanding their personal needs and helping them excel, made me realise how good he is as a manager.

Where do you see yourself in 5 - 10 years’ time?

After my MBA, I hope to further gain real estate experience in Singapore for a couple of years. After my time in Singapore I would like to return to the Netherlands to a higher management role within the company I used to work in.

What advice would you give to other MBA aspirants?

There are many opportunities given to you, but there is simply not enough time to take part in all of the classes and activities offered. Make sure you decide which of them can add the most value to your MBA experience. Also remember to take the time to enjoy these classes and activities.

To learn more about The NUS MBA experience,
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