As a student of the humanities and social sciences, I’ve always been a little skeptical of those frequent email blasts for business competitions.
“ISE Case Study Competition! High-flier Bootcamps! Business Competitions!”
Cue a somewhat pained smile and “Ctrl + Delete”.
“Spam email again lah, why they don’t want to just send to the biz students?”
Imagine my surprise when I realized that The Associate competition, held by The Advisors’ Clique (representative of Great Eastern Financial Advisors), doesn’t even see it as any cause for concern. Sure it seemed to tick all the boxes for your typical varsity business competition – fancy logos, glamorous event day photos, EDMs featuring an impressive list of corporate collaborations with MNCs.
Targeted at those who desire success and crave to experience the stark realities of what it takes to survive! We bring you the U-L-T-I-M-A-T-E CHALLENGE! Be a part of this, dare to think out of the box and to dare take the path less travelled.
So overused, just. Nope.
On the other hand, The Associate is in a league of its own. Originally a standalone programme, this year’s cycle of The Associate is appended to the end of the 10 week-long GREAT internship. It gears towards transmuting programme offerings take-home skills with real-life applicability for all participants, as well as the integral accumulation of social capital.
So, what kind of candidate’s suitable for the programme?
First, the nitty gritty stuff:
Minimum age of 21 by 31 July 2017
Studying in any one of the four local tertiary institutions: NUS, NTU, SMU, SIM (Or should I say, Singapore School of Social Sciences?)
Not under any prior scholarship or bond
You value structure and comprehensiveness
From 3 – 21 July 2017, you’ll be thoroughly engaged with daily tasks and challenges, on top of various opportunities to network across different industries and ample time for team-building activities. Wan Yi, an alumnus of the 2015 edition of The Associate, highlights the applicability of the case studies and programmes taught:
“They taught us about CPF in great detail, breaking down the different components and outlining how these panned out in real life. These are the kind of things that you never learn about in school but have to know about.”
Teams also have the chance to see their various branding and marketing case studies culminate into reality, with the winning team getting the chance to plan and implement their planned strategies with the endorsement of the company itself. The 2016 cycle, for instance, saw the winning team carrying out their proposal for W Hotel Singapore.
If you like money and everything that glitters
Not even joking HAHA contestants from past cycles have unabashedly said that they joined for the prize money, and the organisers and mentors don’t think any less of them for being upfront with that. I can definitely see why – On top of a stipend, the top three winning teams stand to walk away with a cash prize of $5000, $3000 or $1000 respectively, which can be potentially DOUBLED if they join as a representative of their respective halls/faculties. That’s a helluva good deal for just three weeks (Not to mention the 3D2N overseas business camp that’s inclusive of in the competition’s programme list)
Boys and their need for speed, or so they say. Clement, alumni from ‘14’s batch of The Associate, certainly lives up to that. He sheepishly admitted to being starstruck, saying that never in his life did he imagine himself sitting in an Audi. (Albeit his mentor’s car, but hey, something to aspire to!) #notsocheapthrillsindeed
Guess who left with the added fire and drive to chase success?
You get bored easily & need to constantly be in motion
If you work well by picking at people’s brains and constantly seek intellectual stimulation, look no further. The Associate features entrepreneurial challenges designed precisely to keep you on your toes and to think on your feet. At the end of the day, the most improbable of solutions could be the winning idea.
Clement recounts how they were tasked to raise the most amount of money for charity by using an initial given sum of money and maximizing the profit money. He and his team felt pretty good – they sold drinks by the beach and it was a resounding success but alas, the landslide victory went to the team who sold sweets. Beats me, but hey, props to them!
You hold fond memories of university orientation camps
Missing those ra-rah days as a camp participant and the jam-packed days of team activities, challenges and even beach day? Wan Yi, now a financial consultant at the Advisors’ Clique (Yes, she ‘upgraded’!), fondly recalls how she bonded with her team almost immediately. Unable to find a friend to join the competition with, she bravely signed up alone and went in totally not knowing who she’ll be grouped with.
‘In hindsight it was a little strange, we barely knew each other but I invited them over to my place to do work and prepare for our presentations, and when I got tired I went to sleep and just left them there’
Beats me too, but there’s just something about circumstances throwing you together for a solid three weeks and emerging triumphant through adversity that really accelerates the rate of friendships forged and most importantly, friendships kept.
This post is powered by Advisors’ Clique, a group of financial advisers representing Great Eastern Financial Advisers Private Limited. For more details on, feel free to contact Billy at BillyTan@advisorsclique.com.sg or drop him a text at +65 9475 6701