April 2, 2019
As a child, he loved playing with Lego bricks and dreamed of working for the manufacturer so that he could create models that kids and adults all over the world could enjoy putting together.
Now 48, Dr Timothy Hsi is creating different types of building blocks instead — those that help people put pieces of their lives together.
A seasoned professional in the field of counselling, Dr Hsi’s career path has ranged from providing counselling services and teaching counselling skills in university to educating career counsellors.
Today, he is the founder and principal of Abundanz Consulting (Singapore), which specialises in providing training to certify career counsellors, coaches and practitioners.
“I continue to harbour the belief that I can help people find joy by putting into their hands, tools and ideas that enable them to find fulfilment and potential for themselves,” he says.
Having arrived at where he is today, Dr Hsi is grateful for the valuable lessons he learnt in the Master of Guidance and Counselling (MGC) programme he took at James Cook University (JCU).
“The MGC degree has created a great foundation for all the work that I do,” says Dr Hsi, who had a Bachelor of Arts degree from the National University of Singapore before he started his career in counselling.
In 2004, he was working at the Singapore Management University (SMU) when he was tasked to start up its counselling service.
He recalls: “My boss, the dean of students, encouraged me to take up a master’s programme so that I could have the qualifications and training to enhance the counselling service at the university.”
He decided on the MGC programme at the Singapore campus of JCU because it would meet his academic and professional growth needs.
“Most of the subjects — including counselling theory, career counselling, counselling assessments and the practicum component — could be applied directly to my work as a counsellor at SMU,” he says.
He graduated at the top of his class in 2005. Fourteen years on, he still treasures the insights he gained from it.
“Even after I left SMU and started my own training company in 2015, the exciting work I am doing now has its roots in the MGC course that I took. It has shaped my thinking and provided me with the mindset and ability to do what I am doing today,” he says.
Dr Timothy Hsi shares his experience as a part-time student in James Cook University while working full-time:
“My time to study and prepare for assignments could only be done after my two kids (aged one and four then) had gone to bed, and during the precious three hours before I had to hit the sack myself.
“On reflection, I realise that what enabled everything to work so well then was my wife’s support for what I was doing, and having a clear goal in my mind.”
“My most enjoyable moments were the lunch sessions with my Australian lecturers, who flew into Singapore from JCU’s Cairns and Townsville campuses during the block week.
“On weekends, about six to seven of us from my class would go the hawker centre near our campus and introduce our Aussie lecturers to various Asian dishes. It was generally a fun time getting them to taste the different flavours and seeing them react to food that was uncommon to them, such as durian.
“I am still in contact with at least three of my lecturers.”
Master of Guidance and Counselling
Singapore campus of James Cook University
28 months (part-time)