In this edition of #SeniorsTalk, ACBS Year 2 undergraduate Xue Bin will unravel to you his decisions behind choosing to study in this "infamously" popular NTU course, based in the legendary Nanyang Business School (NBS). Through his post, we hope to find out if there are really true snakes around NBS or.. is it really just a myth? In addition, you'll be able to explore how competitive NBS really is and perhaps, you can compare the environment to SMU's in the next blogpost. Is an extra year for an extra degree really worth it considering the trade-offs involved? Or is that just an irrelevant concern since its future job prospects more than makes up for it? Let's find out more about it now!

(1) Why did you choose to undertake ACBS as a degree?

Like most JC students, I didn’t had any idea what course I wanted to do at first but I knew I wanted to do something along the lines of finance. Ultimately, I chose Accountancy and Business because I feel that this course would be challenging and I would want to improve myself. Besides, an extra degree just for one more year in University, why not? At the same time, I felt that the prospects for a Double Degree student is definitely better compared to one with single degree due to the prestige that comes along with it, so I decided to apply for it which luckily, NTU offered me.

(2) What are the best and worst things about your course?

The best thing about my course are the friends that you make at the start of the term that will help you tide through the rigours of the course. It is also especially helpful if you have nice seniors who are willing to share their notes and β€˜bibles’ with you, anything to help you score well. As opposed to popular stereotypes, there are not as much 'snakes' in NBS as what people perceive because it really depends on the kind of people you mix around with during regular school days.

The worst thing about my course are some of the professors that you encounter who can’t really teach so you have no choice, but to depend on your friends and yourself to score well for the exam. In addition, the competition here can be quite stiff so you have to be prepared and not be overly demoralised when your grades does not match up to your expectations.

(3) What is one thing you discover about your course only after entering university?

That it is super competitive, and the bellcurve is very steep. So if you actually want to score well and get a good GPA, you have to put in the work night-in and night-out, which means choosing between grades, social life or sleep. Unless you are naturally smart, which for me isn’t the case. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Also, A-listers would definitely do anything in their power just to secure their grades. Introverts be prepared to come out of your shell to participate in class okay!

(4) What advice would you give to juniors who are considering ACBS as a degree?

My advice is to really pursue your passion - sounds cliche but it’s very true. If you do not have any drive to work hard in the course that you want, you may just end up switching courses which delays a valuable one year for you, especially to boys who are already lagging behind by 2 years.

Also a common misconception is that if one really wants to earn money, they have to go to the banks and taking business will thus be the right course to go to. However, competition is steep there and the rigors that come with working in a bank will also present itself as you progress in your career. Talk to the people during Open House for a better idea of what to expect and regarding the prospects of your course. Do not overly-commit yourself to too many activities and basically, just remember that you are a student first at the end of the day.

(5) What made you choose NTU over other schools like SMU or NUS?

I think a big factor in my decision goes into the culture of the school. Personally, I feel like NTU was a good fit as I thought it was not as competitive as SMU (which I came to realise that isn't the case). NUS Business is 4 years compared to 3 in NTU and that's why it was an easy choice for me to go with NTU. I really wanted to experience the hall culture as well and I felt that moving to a place farther away from the comforts of my home will allow me to be independent. What I got in return was really rewarding and so far, validating my decision to come here instead of the other schools.

(6) What was your biggest takeaway from university thus far?

My biggest takeaway I would say will be the friends I made and the friendship that we share. Study hard, but also participate actively to forge memories with the friends around you. These people are the ones you treasure and cherish for life, and they are normally the ones who helps you endure through trying periods so don't take them for granted!

With that, would like to thank Xue Bin for his insightful contribution and we hope his experience provides you a glimpse of a typical NTU Maritime Studies student's life! Ultimately, we hope this will help you make better university decisions as you transition into adulthood. Should you also wish to contribute, do feel free to click on the Contribute section on and write in to us today! πŸ˜‰