An earlier failed business venture inspired this avid learner to enrol a course in James Cook University to improve his business management skills
By Esther Teo
Feb 24, 2022
Mr Calvin Win Smith, 24, currently runs a start-up whose app helps to match services with people who need help with household chores and babysitting. He had one other start-up before that failed when the Covid-19 pandemic struck.
Upon reflection of that failed business, he decided that he needed to improve on his business management skills in order for his start-up to take off. That was why he decided to pursue the Bachelor of Business (majoring in Management and Marketing For The Digital Age) degree programme at the Singapore campus of James Cook University (JCU) in 2021.
“I picked JCU as I had heard of the high level of teaching, care and reputation it gives to the students. I think this degree programme is a great catalyst for me to achieve my goal of starting and running my own company,” he says.
Mr Smith, who is approaching his third term at the university, says that he has already found theories he is studying having direct applications to how he runs his business, which currently employs a team of 15 people. He says the modules on topics such as management, division of labour and data analysis were particularly instructive.
“Data analytics helps me to understand the market better. By crunching the numbers and creating a spreadsheet, I can analyse the market and deliver what people really need. I can make sound business decisions that are not based on sheer guesswork,” he explains.
Mr Smith admits that the workload at JCU can sometimes be overwhelming, but that has pushed him to work smarter to manage his time better. “Not only have I learnt new theories and knowledge, but I also picked up personal skills to keep up with the schoolwork while maintaining a good standard of performance.”
Through all the challenges of learning during a pandemic, Mr Smith appreciates the care that his lecturers have shown to him, especially in terms of addressing doubts and queries during tutorial classes.
“Particularly, the way my economics lecturer talked and taught piqued our interest. She made us feel comfortable and deeply invested in the topic. She paused often to check in on us, and to ensure that no one was left behind.”
In five years, Mr Smith sees himself running his own company. Once his business stabilised, he plans to pursue a master’s degree abroad as well.