2023 Best & Brightest Executive MBA: Dr. Vincent Nga Diong Weng, National University of Singapore

Dr. Vincent Nga Diong Weng

National University of Singapore

Age: 41

“A dedicated neurosurgeon with keen eyes for details while seamlessly blending empathy, fun and practical optimism.”

Hometown: Sitiawan, Perak, Malaysia

Family Members: Nga Hock Sing (Father), Ong Bee Choo (Mother), Victor Nga (Brother), Maureen Chen (Wife), Brayden Nga (Son), Braelynn Nga (Daughter), Katelynn Nga (Daughter)

Fun fact about yourself: Was definitely the only EMBA30 student without LinkedIn on the class profile sheet at the start of class, now I have more than 1,000 connections!

Undergraduate School and Degree:

NUS; Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery 2007

Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh; Member 2011

Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh; Fellow (Neurosurgery) 2016
Academy of Medicine, Singapore; Fellow 2021

Where are you currently working?

  1. National University Hospital of Singapore (NUH), Head and Senior Consultant in Neurosurgery
  2. National University of Singapore (NUS), Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles:

  • Head of NUH Neurosurgery
  • Residency Program Director of NUHS Neurosurgery
  • Asst Prof in the Department of Surgery, NUS
  • Co-Founder and Director of the Singapore Society for NeuroOncology – a society established to unite and empower the neurooncological healthcare professionals and scientists in the fight against brain cancers
  • Passionate about aiding the poor and the marginalized, led efforts (thanks to the support from my EMBA classmates and others) to raise funds for a new intensive care unit in a remote Indian village

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am particularly proud of the joint efforts in creating opportunities for our classmates to come together outside of the classroom, despite the numerous obstacles. This enabled us to build stronger bonds, and enhanced our collective learning experiences. It was rewarding to see the positive impact of these activities and contribute to a more cohesive and supportive EMBA class.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? It was never about the major career achievements that brought me the greatest professional satisfaction; rather, it was about meaningfully impacting the lives of as many patients as I could through either small or big ways as a doctor and neurosurgeon. It is just indescribable the heartfelt joy that comes from seeing the gratitude in a patient’s and/or their close family’s eyes after a successful surgery.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Professor Prem Shamdasani. He has an overflowing sense of energy and dedication to the program, despite decades as the Director of the NUS EMBA program. His dedication to teaching marketing with real world applications were most helpful. In addition, I was particularly impressed with the immense efforts he made to connect with the class and taking collective responsibility when things didn’t turn out quite as planned.

Why did you choose this school’s executive MBA program? It was a no brainer for me to select NUS EMBA. NUS EMBA is well known to be one of the top EMBA programs in Asia. It has impressive academic faculty members that are at the top of their “game” and a strong alumni network. With my plans to stay put in Asia (having previously worked in England and North America), it made all the sense to choose an EMBA program that is Asia centric.

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? The art and science of negotiation. It did not occur to me how powerful this tool could be, not just at work but in everyday life. I’ve applied it successfully in various contexts including requests for additional funding, administrative support and service expansion proposals.

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? Do explore the various options out there carefully before signing up for an EMBA program. It is likely going to be one of the most important decisions in your career development. Depending on your circumstances, a non-NUS EMBA program may end up being the better choice. Nonetheless, all else being equal, you certainly won’t regret going for the NUS EMBA.

What is the biggest myth about going back to school? It was almost impossible to juggle an unpredictable and demanding job (like being a neurosurgeon) together with a highly condensed, academically rigorous, back-to-school program like the NUS EMBA! It was certainly tough balancing between the two, sometimes managing opposing conflicting, demands. What made it possible though, was the immense support that I received from home, work and at business school.

What was your biggest regret in business school? Regrets? None really, except perhaps that I should have picked up golfing in between classes! It is almost impossible to do so, while working as a neurosurgeon in a busy public healthcare institution like NUH.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Without question, I hold each of my EMBA30 classmates in high esteem, but if I had to choose one person, it would be Shin Taeyang. Despite holding a prestigious CEO position at a listed company, he always remained humble, approachable and always willing to help. Moreover, his decision to leave the corporate world (after the EMBA) and successfully launch a Korean F&B venture, “Ziggle Kitchen”, is a testament to his admirable entrepreneurial spirit and determination.

What was the main reason you chose an executive MBA program over part-time or online alternatives? An EMBA made the impossible, possible (i.e., juggling between a highly demanding professional schedule and a highly demanding condensed MBA program). The networking opportunities with higher level senior executives have also proven to be immensely valuable.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal?

While on one hand, I could imagine how amazing it would be to be the CEO of an internationally renowned neurosurgical center in Asia. On the other hand, I feel what would be even more rewarding is the life-changing impact of global neurosurgery (and health). This is with the goal of making high quality neurosurgery (and health), accessible to the less privileged around the region.

What made Vincent such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?

“Throughout my interactions with Vincent Nga, I have come to admire his exceptional dedication and performance as an NUS Executive MBA student.

Vincent’s passion for his work as an academic neurosurgeon specializing in pediatric neurosurgery and endoscopic skull base surgery is truly commendable. His extensive knowledge and commitment to advancing the field are evident in his nearly 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals. This demonstrates his continuous pursuit of excellence and desire to contribute valuable insights to the medical community.

Further, Vincent’s role as the Residency Program Director of NUHS Neurosurgery showcases his outstanding leadership skills and his ability to shape the next generation of neurosurgeons. He takes great responsibility in training and mentoring young neurosurgeons, ensuring they receive guidance and support to excel in their careers.

In addition to his academic achievements, Vincent actively engages in teaching and mentorship of undergraduate medical students at NUS School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery. His dedication to education underscores his commitment to nurturing future healthcare professionals and shaping the medical landscape.

Vincent’s impact extends beyond his immediate professional sphere. As a Co-Founder and Director of the Singapore Society for NeuroOncology, he has played a pivotal role in uniting and empowering healthcare professionals and scientists in the fight against brain cancers. This initiative demonstrates his deep concern for patients and his commitment to advancing the field of neurooncology.

Notably, Vincent’s compassionate nature shines through in his interactions with his peers. He goes above and beyond to support his classmates, as exemplified by his proactive assistance with complicated visa applications during the pandemic. His willingness to lend a helping hand and ensure smooth processes for others reflects his genuine care for his peers’ well-being.

Vincent’s altruism extends to serving society at large. His recent organization of the “Forever 30” donation to an Indian village hospital, aiming to expand their Accident and Emergency departments, highlights his big heart and his unwavering dedication to making healthcare affordable and accessible for those in need. His selfless acts of service exemplify his commitment to improving the lives of others and making a positive impact on society.

Vincent’s recent promotion to the Head of NUH Neurosurgery is well-deserved, considering his exceptional achievements and unwavering commitment to the field. His passion, expertise, leadership, and altruistic nature make him an invaluable asset to the medical community, and to his peers on the EMBA program.”

Professor Prem Shamdasani
Academic Director, NUS Executive MBA


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