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3 September 2018

Two SMU students in the winning team at the Maybank GO Ahead Challenge 2018

Master of IT in Business student Soo Zhi Kai (right) and SMU Bachelor of Business Management student Kelvin Fan (left) celebrating their win as members of the team S Club 7.

SMU Master of IT in Business (MITB) student Soo Zhi Kai and SMU Bachelor of Business Management student Kelvin Fan were members of the winning team in the Maybank GO Ahead Challenge (MGAC) 2018 in Malaysia in August.

MGAC is an annual competition which started in 2012. It is an international, multi-dimensional case competition, testing students' competencies including strategy, behaviour and general knowledge. It is also a practice-oriented and comprehensive talent-selection platform specially designed to test candidates' physical, mental, psychological and ethical limits.

The 10-day Global Finals, which were held in Kuala Lumpur drew together the best talents who advanced from MGAC National Levels around the world. This year there were 50 finalists, who came from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and the UK, and represented prestigious universities such as London School of Economics, Cambridge, Imperial College London and Thammasat University. Three students were selected from the Singapore round, including Kelvin and Zhi Kai.

The selected global finalists for the competition were put into 10 groups, selected by the organisers based on respective participants’ unique skillsets to level the playing field. All the teams were named after pop groups and after some trading of personnel, as part of the competition, Kelvin and Zhi Kai eventually ended up on the same team, together with teammates from Malaysia, Hong Kong and Indonesia.

The theme for this year’s competition was “Your Future Your Call” and the scope of competition was orientated around disintermediation of industries and humanising financial services.

Zhi Kai said that his MITB curriculum helped greatly. “A clear understanding of corporate and retail banking and feasible application of blockchain in other disciplines such as journalism and trade helped my team to stand out,” he said.

Kelvin added, “SMU’s broad-based curriculum and focus on presentation skills has helped me develop into a well-rounded competitor who could add value to the team in every task that came our way.”

He also noted how trust and inter-dependence strengthened the team. “There was no way we would have made it past the many days of continuous cases without a high-level of trust in each other. It is important to have a good grasp of each of the team member’s strengths, learning to be comfortable with empowering each member to take ownership and drive respective parts, while being open to critique on our work from each other. The journey not only made us an effective team, but a group of close friends whom we probably can see ourselves staying close and meeting up far into the future.”

Many congratulations to Kelvin, Zhi Kai and the whole team.

Celebrating their win, team S Club 7 (L-R): Waleed (Pakistan, City University of Hong Kong) Kelvin (SMU), Deborah (Malaysia, Kings College London), Dharmawan (Indonesia, Universitas Gadjah Mada) and Zhi Kai (SMU).

Last updated on 28 Dec 2018 .