Issue 148, July 2015
Creating an edge over competitors
​Participants at the 32nd Distinguished Alumni Forum learn from alumni speakers on honing one’s potential and improving one’s competitive edge

Over 150 alumni attended the 32nd Distinguished Alumni Forum titled ‘Hone your potential and improve your competitive edge’ at NTU’s one-north campus on 14 July.


‘Review, refocus and redefine your worth in the internet age’ was the title of first speaker, Ms Wong Mern Ney’s (NBS/1993) presentation. Ms Wong, who is an entrepreneur and private equity investor is also the first woman Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Volunteer Special Constable (Singapore Police Force). During her session, Ms Wong encouraged the audience to “persevere in what you believe to make it a reality.”

She spoke on Bernard Baruch’s 10 Rules of Investing, which included the importance of making periodic reappraisal of all of one’s investments and not to indulge in speculation. Research has shown that to reach one’s full potential, one needs to hone one’s strengths as success is attainable when employees focus on their strengths.

Second speaker for the evening, Ms Karen Leong (NBS/1998), shared four case studies from which lessons learnt could have an impact on life. The Director and Co-Founder of Influence Solutions Pte Ltd highlighted four important lessons: everything in the world is created twice, first in the mind and then on the ground and that the ability to verbalise with clarity what a person wants makes it a reality; the results we get often depend on the questions we ask; when we label a person, it can change the relationship we have with him; and one must take the time to add meaning to one’s life.

Mr Dennis Toh (WKWSCI/2007), the Founder Director of Feet Haven Reflexology LLP and Influencer Director of The Influencer Network Communications Pte Ltd, was the final speaker who concluded the forum session with five key points. These were; learn to manage yourself and not others; be pragmatic but seize an opportunity if it is the right time; build a strong team; play sports to maintain good health; and learn from your failures.

During the interactive question and answer session, the panel of speakers emphasised that for an entrepreneur to expand the business, not only does he or she need to have the passion and in depth industry knowledge, but also needs to be the spokesperson for the brand. They also advised gathering people who are equally committed, with the ability to contribute to the business, ​to build a strong team.

© Nanyang Technological University Singapore