December 2015
NBS Alumni Leaders Dialogue: Managing Your Career

​Nanyang Business School invited Mr Lim Kang Song, Managing Director of Oracle Singapore, as speaker for the second NBS Alumni Leaders Dialogue with the MBA intake of 2015.

"Managing your career is your responsibility – your employer is not your mother."

Mr Lim Kang Song, MBA graduate of the class of 1998, did an excellent job in talking about the importance of networking and active career development. The current MD of Oracle Singapore has made impressive progress upon completing his MBA programme and displays a remarkable post-MBA career path.

Being an electrical engineer by training, he enjoyed several positions in technology-driven companies. Upon graduation, he went from being a Sales Rep at IBM to being a Country Sales Manager at Tandem to then head back to IBM in the position of Chief of Staff.

After spending about 10 years in the corporate world, he underwent a massive change in his career, and devoted himself full time to preparing the NASDAQ listing of 3rd Frontier, a start-up for software and applications for online auctions, together with his wife. In the light of the booming internet era, market conditions rapidly changed and placed his entrepreneurial attempts on shaky grounds. After failing to successfully secure funds for his business in Singapore, Mr Lim took his family to China to establish the company on the more promising market there. Spending two challenging years on the formation of the business, he eventually acknowledged that he was "not an entrepreneur, but a corporate guy" and left his position as CEO of the 3rd frontier to return to the corporate world. He ultimately joined Hyperion, a Singapore based company which was later acquired by the multinational computer technology corporation - Oracle, his current employer.

Mr Lim shared his story without polishing the ups or sugar coating the downs of his journey and hence enjoyed the undivided attention of the attendees. By encouraging the audience to share their own visions or concerns, and elaborately responding to the participants' questions, Mr Lim conducted a beneficial sharing session with the current class.

During the course of the session, the lecturer illustrated his career journey leading up to his current position in detail and, despite his humble presence, delivers an inspiring presentation on the principles of successful career management. He was refreshingly honest with the present MBA candidates and appealed to them to "be noticed for the right reason".

By refraining from stressing flattering experiences but rather offering conceptual takeaway from personal challenges and difficult experiences, he noticeably impressed his audience.

A "can-do-attitude" and seemingly unbeatable optimism make Mr Lim a much respected role model who reassured the younger generation to not only look forward to prompt success in their future careers, but to hang on in tough times as well.

The second NBS Alumni Leaders talk was filled with passion, determination and does not fail to emphasize the importance of a balanced lifestyle. Mr Lim Kang Song himself has five children and despite leading a busy life, makes every effort to network and spend quality time with his family and friends.

Event attendants witnessed an outstanding example that maintaining a healthy work-life balance is not impossible but the key to success. In conclusion, it is safe to say that listening to Mr Lim's speech was time well spent since the thoughts presented as well as the post-talk discussions were great empowerment for all aspiring MBA participants.

The monthly NBS Alumni Leaders Dialogue is a new initiative by NBS Alumni Affairs to engage alumni and students in a meaningful dialogue. We invite our Distinguished NBS Alumni Leaders to share their comprehensive industry experience and insights with current MBA participants. Please email us at for more information.

By Melina Loeven (Current MBA Participant)