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5Q with Dr Sun Xia, President of the Nanyang International Club

Our 5Qs series is a chance for the SGN members to know more about folks in the community, where we pose 5 questions to exciting individuals to find out more about what they do.

By SGN | 17 May 2021

Q1

What motivated you to start Nanyang International Club? Could you share with us a little more on Nanyang International Club and its presence in China?

First, as the founder of the Nanyang International Club (NIC), I would like to share why I founded it, and its journey and development since.

Since NTU established its Shanghai and Beijing Alumni Associations in 2007, there have been numerous large-scale activities. However, exchanges were not regular. Hence, the Presidents of the various alumni associations in China came together to form NIC with the purpose of encouraging NTU alumni members across China to participate in activities together.

On 18 June 2016, the Nanyang International Club (NIC) was formally launched and acknowledged by the leaders of NTU.

The following are NIC’s major developments:

Since its establishment five years ago, NIC’s primary focus is to connect people and to build relationships. In addition to large-scale annual meetings, there are quarterly and monthly networking activities. Interest groups in areas such as investments and financial management, poetry recital and exercise are set up, and regular activities organised. NIC also supports fellow alumni in placing internships, highlighting job opportunities as well as business matchmaking activities.

NIC has established platforms for corporate investments and operations through strategic partnerships and agreements with NTUitive and other organisations. This has laid a strong foundation for the incorporation of Nanyang International Club Pte Ltd and many subsequent spin-off companies. NIC has achieved success in investment projects in China, Southeast Asia, Central Asia and other regions.

NIC is also dedicated to public welfare, which is in line with its aim to contribute to her alma mater and society. In 2017, NIC donated S$100,000 to NTU to establish the Nanyang International Club Scholarship. In 2019, NIC again donated S$100,000 to NTU in support of education.

Q2

Can you share with us NIC’s upcoming activities? What are your thoughts for NIC’s future development?

We will be organising alumni activities such as the 2021 Dunhuang Gobi Challenge, a Hainan tour, large-scale annual meeting, Middle East and Europe tours of the Revisiting The Silk Road project.

NIC’s vision is to be the bridge between China, Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific, and to become the greatest alumni organisation in China and Southeast Asia! NIC usually accepts only NTU alumni as members, but other non-alumni may also apply for membership.

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Q3

As NIC members are all over the world, how do you engage and stay connected with them? In your opinion, what is the key to building a strong alumni community?

To strengthen interaction, we want our alumni to feel connected to our community.

We also offer support to our members in their business expansion plans through our networking platforms. Currently, our alumni have set up many companies on NIC’s platform, with many making significant achievements.

I believe that the key to building a strong alumni network is that leaders must possess firm ideals and beliefs and be willing to lead by example. First, NIC leaders must wholeheartedly and selflessly take on the role of serving the alumni. Second, NIC must build a strong committee that is young, capable and full of passion and imagination. Third, the more practical things NIC does for the alumni, the more it will win its members’ trust. This will continuously strengthen the team and improve its credibility!

Q4

We understand that you shuttle between China and Singapore regularly due to your business interest. As someone who is familiar with the business cultures of both countries, what advice would you give to a Singaporean company looking to expand to China, and vice versa?

I suggest that they make frequent contact with NIC because the organisation represents 30,000 NTU alumni in China and has tremendous network resources among provincial cadres and entrepreneurs. Being familiar with China and Singapore, NIC is an invaluable resource that can help Singaporean entrepreneurs rapidly integrate with China’s social environment.

For Chinese enterprises that are keen to enter the Singapore market, NIC can be their reliable partner. With a similar cultural background, NIC can help them quickly integrate and be part of a high-end network for exchanges and cooperation between China and Singapore.

Q5

A woman of multiple talents, we hear that you’re also a poet who goes by the pen name “铃铛” and also recently founded the Society of Dream of the Red Chamber (Singapore). Would you like to share your favourite works and inspirations with us?

I have accomplished two things in my life: first, a writer and second, an entrepreneur. I have written 12 publications, including poetry, novels, prose, and books on management. On literary works, I prefer the poetry collection, Selected Poems of Ling Dang, which is pure literature made up of words and sensibility. Of course, the most rational is Honglou Guanli Mima (The Secrets of Management inspired by the Red Chamber), which organically combines enterprise with literature and contains the wisdom and conclusions of the first half of my life. Entrepreneurs can find inspirations for intuition in management while literary writers can experience the world of entrepreneurship in the book, bringing out the best in both.

Check out Jane’s previous Student Academy Award Finalist short film, Under Darkness, on YouTube, and catch her latest project, In the Heights, opening in cinemas and HBO Max (for US audiences) on 11 June 2021 (take a picture of her name on the credits roll!)

About Dr Sun Xia

An alumnus of Nanyang Technological University, Dr Sun Xia obtained her master’s in business administration in 2006, and subsequently pursued a PhD in Sociology in 2019. Currently, Dr Sun’s business focuses on investment in schools in Singapore, oil fields in Central Asia, as well as science and technology, healthcare, and other industries in China.

Connect with Nanyang International Club here.

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