By Shawn Yip (22A01B)
If you’re interested in banking, capital markets, social entrepreneurship, investments, venture capital or even the allure of Wall Street, then the Raffles Business Leaders Programme is for you. Here, we learn and gain experience for both the front-end and back-end processes of operating a business; are given opportunities to participate in business-related competitions organised by Universities, banks and finance-related organisations; get to showcase our year’s work at the Raffles Business Symposium; and bounce ideas around a group of like-minded and highly driven individuals.
We convene every Wednesday afternoon, from 1.30-3.30pm, in the (ivory) Raffles Discovery Centre, hidden within the depths of Block H. Advantage: the classroom is right above the canteen, so if you’re hungry, grabbing a quick bite is not out of the question.
Our session agendas can be divided into 3 principal areas: (1) external speakers who are actually in the industry, (2) lectures & rigorous discussions and (3) individualised competition preparation.
If the notion of “lectures and discussions” is an unwelcoming one, I’d like to take the opportunity to clarify these doubts. During our sessions, we don’t just cover hard skills like how to calculate/read financial statements in lectures. In fact, we also engage heavily in business/finance centric debate with our other friends in the programme.
These discussions aren’t limited to a select group of people. Instead, our teachers facilitate debate, but only in a supervisory, non-didactic role to keep discussions as organic as possible. In the process, we’ve been made much more aware of the considerations that go behind a financial statement and business plan/decision.
A business is not a business without the art of persuasion. In BLP, we learn and practice the skills behind the business pitch – it takes on many mediums, from conventional speeches, to 20-page dossiers dedicated to selling the business, we all get practice in this regard.
Harvard Professor of Government Michael Sandel once mentioned that economics and markets should not be divorced from moral considerations – that is, the commodification and commercialisation of items in our day-to-day lives shouldn’t only be considered within a cold, utilitarian calculus. Instead, we should have an ethical sphere to our decision making/persuasive process – and this is a suggestion that the BLP truly takes into account. Closer to the end of the BLP term, we have a lesson & discussion specifically dedicated to ethics spanning from Aristotelian Virtue Ethics to Kantian categorical imperatives.
If your curiosity has been piqued, please do not hesitate to register your interest – after all, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. All the best!