Doing Business in the Pacific Rim

Winter Term 2009

Day 9: NUS, 3M & the Singapore Night Safari

On Tuesday January 13th, the class began the day out early by visiting NUS, the National University of Singapore.  We met with students from the NUS Business School and they gave us a tour of the facilities.  The school currently has approximately 25,000 students enrolled.  It costs Singapore $6,000 for Singaporean residents and $9,000 for international students.  This equates to about U.S. $4,000 and $6,000 respectively.  Therefore, many students were interested in their MBA program and possible semesters abroad at NUS because of the price and reputation of their school.  The business school is currently ranked as one of the top five schools in Asia and has been ranked as high as 20th in the world.


The group then returned to the hotel for lunch and a few hours of leisure time where students caught up on laundry and sleep.  We then continued our travels to 3M.  3M is a very successful Fortune 500 company headquartered out of Minnesota and Texas.  They have invented many products including Scotch Tape, Masking Tape, Post It notes, reflectors for our sneakers, and films that are used on street signs, televisions, cell phones, and computers to increase brightness.  They also have invented the security films that help prove that licenses and passports are authentic.  We were given an in-depth description of their business, its operations, and their business plan.  One interesting thing we learned about their business is that 15 percent of every employee’s time is dedicated for working on projects that are of interest to them.  This method allows 3M to keep their employees motivated while opening the possibility for new innovative products.  We then were given a tour through 3M’s labs which were top-of-the-line and even included a weathering lab where products are put through accelerated weather cycles to show what the effects weather will play on their products.


After our visit to 3M, the students had the rest of the day off and everyone split up to do multiple things on their last night in Singapore.  I personally went with a group of three other students and both professors to the Night Safari in Singapore.  At the Night Safari, we watched a fire breathing show performed by aboriginals.  They even happened to select Andrea Melone from our group to go on stage and give her shot at using a blow dart to pop balloons.  We then went on the safari ride which took us through many African and Asian regions and allowed us to see many animals in their natural habitats at night including hyenas, tigers, elephants, giraffes, anteaters, and many forms of cattle and deer.  After the safari ended, we found front row seats for the Creatures of the Night show.  During this show, we saw many animals performing acts for the audience.  One hilarious part of the show was when the sea otters came on stage to recycle the garbage the raccoons had just spilled.  One otter struggled mightily trying to get his aluminum can in the recycling bin and even fell in the bin himself at one point.  Another student earned his five minutes of fame when Andrew Youssef was selected to be the “macho man” and go on stage to hold a boa constrictor.  Although being very frightened, Andrew stood up to the macho man persona.  Finally, we then traveled through the walking paths that took us to parts of the safari we could not see on the tram.  Our favorite stops were the bat room where the largest bats in the world were flying just inches from our face (luckily, they only eat fruit…).  We also enjoyed walking through the room with flying squirrels that are monsters compared to the many squirrels on Elon’s campus.


Tuesday was a very informative and fun day that really ended our great visit to Singapore.  I know that everyone really enjoyed the country and many are already talking about returning for a ten year reunion!


Credit: Andrew S. & Mike K.


January 18, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment