S IM GE, a flagship brand of Singapore Institute of Management (SIM), offers students boundless opportunities to excel through a global education. Its array of programmes groom students into beacons of excellence for potential employers to gravitate towards.
Firdaus Iskandar shares with us the fruitful experiences of being an SIM GE student, while a graduate, Rowena Chin, gives us an idea of the undergraduate journey she has had with her choice institution.
Why did you choose to pursue your degree at SIM GE?
Firdaus Iskandar: I always wanted to pursue a degree in economics after my ‘A’ Levels. SIM GE has a long history of partnership with the University of London (UOL). It was even designated as an Affiliate Centre with academic directions provided directly by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). The strong track record of collaboration with overseas partner universities and the ‘pure’ economics programme awarded by UOL gave me the confidence that I would get a great educational journey with SIM GE.
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Economics, awarded by University of London, UK
Rowena Chin: I like how SIM GE has been around as a trusted institution in Singapore providing quality and well-accredited programmes. I was researching for a programme in psychology that provides students with the flexibility to explore non-related modules to complement core subjects. The University at Buffalo (UB) partnership with SIM GE offers just that. The appeal of attending a non-traditional American styled programme convinced me to enrol into SIM GE.
What fond memories have you had in SIM GE?
Firdaus: I am going to share two wonderful experiences I’ve had thus far. I am always keen on knowing more about the Public Service, which led to my participation in the 2015’s Public Policy Challenge. This event is organised by the Public Service Division for tertiary institutions in Singapore. I was appreciative of the insights shared by the civil servants who are navigating the difficulties of constructing public policies.
Another striking memory was of my participation in Spotlight Singapore Mexico City, an official cultural exchange and trade mission. I was with seven other SIM GE student ambassadors. We received great learning opportunities through company visits, business forums and networking sessions. Along with students from the Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico, we participated in a business case-study competition and it was so enriching despite the challenges.
Rowena: I was active in the SIM Psychological Society (PSYSOC) and served as the President from 2012 to 2013. It was a rewarding experience with plenty of talks, workshops, and large events organised to promote awareness. In a particularly major collaboration with Singapore Psychological Society (SPS), we hosted PSY2010, a first inter-varsity psychology career event. I learnt much and had a great time networking with peers and experts in the field. Another memorable period was during my exchange programme at the UB home campus in Buffalo, US. I pursued valuable academic opportunities there such as being part of the honours programme and taking up more diverse classes. I was able to enhance my perspectives and gain precious friendships as part of my immersive cultural experience.
Research Officer, institute of mental health
Master of Science in
Cognitive Neuroscience (Distinction),
University College London, UK
Bachelor of Arts (Psychology),
summa cum laude with highest honors,
awarded by University at Buffalo (SUNY), US
Rowena, share one valuable experience that has prepared you for your future career.
Rowena: I feel it is ultimately a culmination of skills and experiences that has equipped me well to meet the challenges of the workplace. My SIM-UB education has helped me to develop critical thinking skills and confidence in expressing my opinions. A huge part of the SIM-UB education is building communication and presentation skills as well as self-directed learning. I felt I was often challenged to venture out of my comfort zone.
“Furthermore, scholars and new employees are invited to company events across the Group and this helps us to understand the business better. For example, Keppel Land has an annual staff conference that gives scholars a platform to network and learn. Scholars are also partnered with senior staff who mentor us and provide the necessary guidance. The best part is that we are also able to offer input on our job placements and training programmes, so it is very much a collaborative experience.”
A surprising yet rewarding experience was being conferred the UB’s Feldman-Cohen award in 2013 for the most outstanding departmental thesis. Writing the thesis was the most grueling experience of my undergraduate journey, and it was empowering to have been awarded such a distinguished award!
Firdaus, please share how SIM GE has prepared you for your future aspirations.
I enrolled into SIM GE’s Talent Development Programme (TDP), an in-house internship. The Career Development Office developed this programme to enhance the employability of SIM GE graduates. They helped me to identify my weaknesses and develop the strengths through challenging assignments and mentorship with industry leaders. I secured an internship with the US Embassy. This was critical in shaping my understanding of Singapore-US relations and policies development. I felt that this is important for my future career in the field of international business or international relations.
What else would you like to tell those considering to enrol into SIM?
Rowena: I definitely miss the interactive lectures at SIM-UB and the incredibly supportive faculty members that bring diverse experiences from around the world to the classroom. I believe if one makes use of the opportunities present in the course of the programme, it will not be difficult to succeed.
I would advise future students to plan ahead, find out what their options are, and don’t be afraid of exploring them. Be proactive about seeking out opportunities and get your feet wet as soon as you can. There is really no secret to success except perseverance and hard work.
Firdaus: I agree with Rowena on discovering your aspirations and being proactive in seeking out opportunities. You just have to do that for yourself so that you can grow. I gained a lot by participating in the TDP. It supplements my academic rigour with real world knowledge and skills. The SIM-UOL faculty actively encourages and facilitates two-way interaction. This is very important for developing communication skills. For future students, prepare yourself for a very challenging and rewarding undergraduate journey at SIM GE.