Date: 22 September 2015 (Tuesday)
Time: 6.45 – 9.30pm
Venue: CPA Australia, One Raffles Place
Following the success of the first NUS Accountancy Networking Night last year, the event made a much-anticipated return on 22 September 2015. Twenty alumni and fifty-five students turned up at CPA Australia, eager for a fruitful session. Alumni members were eager to share their experiences with NUS Business School undergraduates, and the students, in turn, were keen to glean industry insights and learn about the career opportunities in store.
Current student See Jun Zhe was one of them. “By listening to the alumni’s stories and experiences, I have a better idea of my career prospects and the type of exposure needed to get ahead,” he shared. Fellow undergraduate Chooi Jynn Chee had a similar plan. “There’s such a broad spectrum of fields to explore with this degree,” she explained. “Getting first-hand accounts from the alumni on what it’s like working in the industry will really help in selecting the right career after graduation.”
To maximise the alumni sharing session, a ‘speed-networking’ format was adopted for the alumni sharing session. Each alumni chaired discussions with two groups of students, sharing their professional insights and personal journeys, as well as answering questions from the students and proving advice. A student ambassador was on hand for each group, to facilitate the discussion. When the buzzer rang, the students moved on to the next table for a similar session with another alumni.
Daniel Lee (BAcc 1987) applauded such initiatives by the School. “We didn’t have such platforms in the past,” he said. “So I kind of fell into my career. But students nowadays can benefit from career counselling and networking events such as these and better plan their careers.” Daniel has made a name for himself in the specialised sector of family office over the years. With his years of experience and expertise in a specialised sector, he was able to impart practical career and life advice to the undergraduates. “Accountancy is more than just crunching numbers – you need to figure out how to resolve problems and institute a change,” he said. Adeline Kee (BAcc 1987) echoed similar sentiments, adding, “In today’s highly competitive global market place, graduates need soft skills as well as accountancy skills to succeed. They need to be able to promote themselves well.”
Thanks to the alumni’s diverse experience, the students were treated to a variety of perspectives and insights into numerous industries throughout the night. Recent alumni Fang Hui (BAcc 2011) provided an illuminating view of life at Deloitte, one of Singapore’s big four. She advised students on the internship process and shared tips on how to manage the transition from intern to working professional. Second-year student Pok Yuen Ping found the session highly useful. “I was planning to enter one of the big four after graduating,” he explained, “but after this session, I realised that it’s not a good fit for me. I need to be in something smaller.” Second-year student Zheng Xin Yan also benefitted greatly. “I attended last year’s event, but I feel that I’ve gained more this time round,” she said. “I’m starting my internship this year so everything I’ve learnt tonight has been extremely relevant and will help me make a better decision.”
The night was further enlivened by insightful and engaging speeches delivered by distinguished guests, Mr Melvin Yong, CEO of CPA Australia, Lucas Lam, Senior Relationship Manager from CPA Australia and NUS Head of Accountancy, Professor Ho Yew Kee. In all, the event was a rewarding affair. Students gained professional insights while our alumni had a chance to connect with future generations of accounting professionals. Alumni members were also able to catch up with old friends. Kelvin Tan (BAcc 1987) was delighted to reconnect with fellow alumni Daniel. “This is the first time that we’ve seen each other in 30 years,” he laughed.
How’s that for a sound testimony to the night’s success? If you’ve missed out on this round, keep your eyes peeled for the next networking event!