In Focus: California State University MBA




An Interview with Dennis Tan, Senior Manager, SE Asia and Emerging Markets, Electrical Sector, Eaton Corporation Inc, an American global diversified power management company with over 103,000 employees and customers across 150 countries worldwide with an annual revenue of over USD$16 billion in 2012.





What made you pick the California State University MBA programme among others?


  • 3 distinct factors that came to mind in deciding to embark on CSU MBA:Delivery of course contents by California Professors with a robust, well-balanced spectrum of business modules
  • 1 year accelerated program that meets my heavy schedule
  • Extensive and diverse student profiles that offer end to end B2B and B2C experiences within the Asia Pacific region


Are your expectations met?


Being the pioneer batch, hiccups are inevitable but we’ve managed to mitigate any cultural voids and expectations through the collaborative work of both Aventis and CSU Academic staff. I am especially impressed with Professor Monica Lam, Associate Dean for Graduate and External Programs, College of Business Administration and her dedication.


When did you start on the programme? Is it part time or full time?


Feb 2013 – A part time program delivered over weekend blocks.


What do you like about the programme?


Of the courses completed, I would reckon:

  • The opportunity to work and learn with many great classmates, all vastly experienced in their respective fields with different specialisation & skill sets.
  • The delivery of the course contents through engaging discussions, multimedia, social media, live and virtual by all the Professors so far makes my learning journey pleasurable and unique enough (as compared to other MBA’s) for me to look forward to when waking up in the morning

    Can you describe your favourite subject/module and why you like it?


    Global HRM taught by Prof Amy Mickel is my personal favourite as she plays the facilitator role perfectly while engaging the class to touch on the exhaustive course content, while shaping us well, relating & learning, with real-life examples in cross-cultural HR management. The class, with its diverse mix of 7 nationalities and exposures, was fully engaged, selflessly sharing their individual experiences.


    How do you find the lecturers/teachers? Can you describe their teaching modes?


    Classes are broken down into lectures, group assignments, discussions and presentation. In today’s social media era, it’s definitely inspiring to see Professors extensively doing their research and using Youtube videos to make their points. Parallel online delivery was also impressive. With required online face to face conferencing requirements for presentations and discussions combined with their positivity in embracing such methods, all the more motivates the class towards continuous learning.


    How do you think your MBA would help you in your career?


    Coming from a US multinational corporation, it is essential to equip myself with the necessary business management knowledge on top of my specialisation for career advancement. I’m earmarked to head a business unit before taking up the course and both the management and I clearly identified certain aspects of my competencies to gap up prior to my climb up the corporate ladder. This MBA will definitely help me to bridge the identified gaps while exposing me further in mitigating common business thought processes and communication with my US senior executives or even counterparts.


    Impressive for a Senior Manager of a Global Enterprise juggling work, travels, family and 3 lovely kids. A shining testament of the global leaders of tomorrow, Well done Dennis.


    For more information about the California MBA, please contact Aventis at (65) 6720 3333 or