As Singapore's central bank, the MAS plays a vital role in nurturing the country's financial sector. It takes the lead in enabling stable economic growth by implementing appropriate monetary policies, overseeing all financial institutions in Singapore, and ensuring close adherence to international accounting standards in the industry.
At the individual level, MAS also promotes the growth of its employees through various means – the MAS Scholarship is one such example. The Scholarship provides opportunities to remarkable candidates who are looking for a career in the organisation, as long as they are interested in shaping the economic and financial landscape of Singapore.
Lim Jun Ren, a recipient of the MAS Undergraduate and Postgraduate Scholarships, joined MAS on that very premise. Hear his story as he shares with us his decision to join the organisation and how he personally helps with progressing Singapore's financial sector.
When asked if he has always been so sure about joining MAS, Jun Ren answered very candidly, "I did not feel it was a calling, if this is what you mean! I believe there are other jobs outside of public service that are personally very meaningful to me as well."
That said, Jun Ren still believes that MAS is the right fit for him. As the financial nature of MAS' work appeals to his passion for numbers, it only seemed logical for him to join the organisation. "I have always been very interested in mathematics as an academic discipline, and I am aware that this subject has a big role to play in its application to the finance industry. I was drawn to MAS as I could envision myself serving from a financial regulatory angle, and through the practical application of my intellectual interest in mathematics," Jun Ren explained.
Lim Jun Ren
MAS Undergraduate & Postgraduate Scholar
Supporting Singapore's Economy
Jun Ren's current role as a Policy Analyst in the Prudential Policy Department (PPD), has enabled him to pursue his zeal for mathematics and serve the public interest. Elaborating on his role, he said, "The PPD is primarily responsible for formulating prudential policies for banks from a capital angle. I am in charge of policies relating to public disclosures and standardised approach for market risk. My responsibilities include reviewing of policy proposals by the Basel Committee, implementing internationally-agreed rules in the local context, and supporting MAS' senior management at the Basel Committee's meetings. My portfolio also involves investigating the resultant implications of post-crisis banking reforms as an overall package, through evaluating their interactions, coherence, and calibrations."
"My work in PPD is not confined to the ‘prudential' perspectives only. There is a developmental aspect too. I am also part of an SME financing cross-departmental workgroup that spearheads initiatives to promote SMEs' access to finance. This is an important area of work, given their contribution to Singapore's economy," Jun Ren added.
This responsibility has become more than just a job for Jun Ren. He likes to see it as a means by which he can contribute to Singapore's economic growth. "I find that MAS' interest in coming up with initiatives to promote SME financing is noble and thoughtful. This gives me the correct perspective to my core regulatory work, which is not about eliminating all risks but to promote and maintain healthy levels of risks," he explained.
Jun Ren added that through meetings and conversations, he has gleaned insights into the unique perspectives of various stakeholders in the area of SME financing, such as banks, finance companies, P2P lending companies, SME associations, and relevant government agencies. To Jun Ren, consolidating these perspectives for the purpose of coming up with proposed solutions is a "very fulfilling challenge".
Exploring Your Full Potential
Someone who is on the constant lookout for new challenges, Jun Ren is already thinking about what the future holds for him at MAS. His excitement was evident as he tells us, "MAS offers a vibrant diversity of functions such as financial regulation, serving as a central bank and development of Singapore's financial landscape. The broad spectrum of responsibilities provides opportunities for officers to take on different roles. I look forward to rotating and trying out some of the different roles in MAS, particularly in the areas that relate to my interests such as data analytics for example."
For those who are still wracking their brains over their scholarship options, Jun Ren has some advice. "Since most scholarships have heavy implications on the foundational years of your career, it is important to carefully assess the suitability of scholarships based on your career interests - not monetary or reputational benefits. Such deliberation is important especially since it might not be immediately clear to you what your aspirations are at a young age," he shares.
Rounding off the interview, Jun Ren has some encouraging words for aspiring MAS scholars. "I think I got my scholarship because of my ability to think analytically, and in an out-of-the-box way, which brings a unique perspective to the table. However, I believe there is no one unique trait that defines MAS scholars, apart from the genuine desire to contribute from a financial regulatory perspective. Thus, I believe that aspiring MAS scholars should most importantly have this passion. Just be yourself as you go through the assessment stages and leave the rest to fate," he soundly concluded.