Most students don’t start thinking about their careers until graduation is a few weeks away, but not Ms Siow Huin Ling.
The 21-year-old Singapore Institute of Management Global Education (SIM GE) student can take it easy, as she knows her school values her career prospects as much as her grades.
Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in management and digital innovation from the University of London via SIM GE, Ms Siow is confident she made a good choice for her future.
She says: “Career development at the university stage is crucial for graduates-to-be. I feel that SIM GE has done its part in this respect, if not more — in terms of its outreach with potential employers to offer internship and career opportunities for its students.”
At SIM GE, Ms Siow makes the most of her time by getting involved with various student initiatives and clubs.
One of them is Project Protégé, a structured four-month mentorship programme that aims to provide participants with an opportunity for personal development.
With Project Protégé, Ms Siow gains firsthand experience at understanding how organisations work, and gets career advice and industry insights from a mentor.
Mentors share their professional experience, and provide their mentees with personalised career planning and coaching.
“Having friends and a professional working adult as a mentor allows me to consult them if I am facing any dilemma as an undergraduate preparing for the working world,” she says.
“I hope to come back as a qualified alumni mentor to share my own personal experiences, and give my own perspective and advice.”
Ms Siow was also the events executive in the SIM Accounting Association (SIMAA), a student-led club that brings accounting students closer to the accounting industry.
Along with her team, she mainly handles on-site preparations during events, interacts with guest speakers and facilitates group discussions.
“I’m grateful I joined this club because not only do the committee members give their best, they also have a fantastic working attitude,” says Ms Siow.
Her time at Innova Junior College taught her the importance of time management, which prepared her for university.
“My junior college experience gave me the discipline to avoid distractions,” she recalls.
Attending seminar-style lectures at university instead of classroom-based tutorials at junior college gives her more time for extra-curricular activities, and allows her to spend her time in a more fulfilling and productive fashion.
Ms Siow believes that the active style of learning in her university education correlates better with the real world.
She says: “Even though this degree programme is relatively new, I can say for sure I made the right choice.”
This article was first published in The Straits Times on Feb 23, 2019.