Dear friends,

Just want to share a recent proud moment in my life. I was extremely honored and humbled to receive the Eminent Alumni Award from NUS Business School last week.

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I still find it hard to believe that I could have been selected as one of the most successful business leaders among a class of thousands of elite students who have passed through the doors of NUS Business School in the last few decades.

Adam Khoo Business Award
Adam Khoo receiving the award from Mr. Lee Yi Shyan, Minister for Trade and Industry

What amazes me the most about receiving this award was the fact that two decades ago, nobody ever believed that I would qualify for a tertiary education (not even myself), let alone the National University of Singapore.

As a student in my teens, I was a slow learner and an underachiever. Fights in school had gotten me expelled in Primary four. I did so badly for my PSLE that I was rejected from all six secondary schools that I had applied for. Back then in Ping Yi Secondary School (a neighborhood school in Chai Chee), I was told by my friends that I would be lucky to qualify for a polytechnic and that going to university was an unrealistic dream.

Then at the end of secondary one, something happened that would change and define my life forever. After attending a motivational camp for teenagers Malaysia program program for teens, I learnt about the power of positive thinking and began to discover accelerated learning techniques that would allow me to learn five times faster than before.

Empowered and inspired, I leant to dream big. I set the audacious goals of becoming one of the top students in Singapore and making my first million by the age of 26. That was the time when I set the goal of going into NUS Business School, where I would get the best business education I needed to pursue my entrepreneurial dream!

While I started by first business at the age of 15 (a mobile disco business I founded in secondary three) and a training business at the age of 21, NUS Business School helped to give me the essential knowledge, skills and opportunities that gave me the competitive edge in building Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group to become one of Singapore’s largest education and training company.

Indeed, dreams do come true. However, I have learnt that you have to first start by believing in yourself and daring to dream big. If a once hopeless underachiever like myself can rise to become a top student and among the top business leaders, then anyone can! All of us have the phenomenal potential to design our own destiny. I am very proud to say that NUS Business School has played a significant role in helping me to design mine!