Path­way to a bright fu­ture

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - SINGAPORE EDUCATION -

SIN­GA­PORE Man­age­ment Univer­sity (SMU) is a pre­mier govern­ment-funded univer­sity known for pro­duc­ing grad­u­ates with a to­tal skill set, com­pris­ing hard knowl­edge skills, soft people skills and “heart” skills. Stu­dents de­velop these skills through an in­ter­ac­tive ped­a­gogy pi­o­neered in Sin­ga­pore by SMU.

In this un­ri­valled learn­ing ap­proach, stu­dents are taught by highly qual­i­fied fac­ulty in MBA-style sem­i­nar rooms where par­tic­i­pa­tion in class is the norm.

Stu­dents are em­bold­ened to speak up and share their opin­ions and per­spec­tives with their pro­fes­sors and class­mates. Par­tic­i­pants ben­e­fit tremen­dously from such dis­cus­sions and de­bates that are of­ten lively and spon­ta­neous.

SMU Ac­coun­tancy grad­u­ate Belinda Teo, a Se­nior Au­di­tor at Ernst & Young, ex­plained: “It gave me the con­fi­dence to speak up and com­mu­ni­cate ef­fec­tively, which is a valu­able as­set in the work en­vi­ron­ment.”

Added to this are the nu­mer­ous global op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able to SMU stu­dents. They have the choice of par­tic­i­pat­ing in an in­ter­na­tional stu­dent ex­change with any one of the 218 over­seas uni­ver­si­ties across 48 na­tions, or sum­mer study pro­grammes or over­seas study mis­sions.

In the most re­cent co­hort of grad­u­ates, ap­prox­i­mately 84% of stu­dents went on at least one global ex­po­sure trip. SMU hopes to have 100% of stu­dents em­bark­ing on an over­seas trip in the next cou­ple of years.

In­tern­ships are com­pul­sory for SMU stu­dents with more than 50% com­plet­ing be­tween two and six.

Over 10,000 com­pa­nies ea­gerly em­ploy SMU in­terns for a min­i­mum pe­riod of 10 weeks dur­ing which stu­dents put into prac­tice what they have learnt in the class­room, de­velop con­fi­dence and self-re­liance, and ac­quire new knowl­edge and skills.

In­tern­ships also en­able stu­dents to make in­formed choices about their fu­ture ca­reers, and give em­ploy­ers a chance to iden­tify good prospec­tive em­ploy­ees and of­fer them jobs even be­fore they grad­u­ate.

Stu­dents also con­trib­ute a min­i­mum of 80 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice. Such projects build their “heart” skills, teach­ing them to be so­cially con­scious and re­spon­si­ble. One such com­mu­nity ser­vice project, Project Na­maste, was set up in 2006.

A mem­ber, Janel Loi, shares: “My team heads to Nepal an­nu­ally to serve the com­mu­nity. Teach­ing Nepali stu­dents and teach­ers English is our main ob­jec­tive. We hope to raise the lit­er­acy stan­dards of the stu­dents and max­imise their ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties and hope­fully their stan­dard of liv­ing.”

The out­come of all this is that SMU grad­u­ates pos­sess a healthy bal­ance of IQ and EQ – qual­i­ties that are highly val­ued by em­ploy­ers. It was not sur­pris­ing then that its grad­u­ates con­tinue to do well in the an­nual Grad­u­ate Em­ploy­ment Sur­veys, with over 90% se­cur­ing jobs within six months of grad­u­a­tion, and 61% re­ceiv­ing two or more job of­fers in 2012.

Home to over 8,000 stu­dents, SMU of­fers six un­der­grad­u­ate de­gree pro­grammes in Ac­coun­tancy, Busi­ness Man­age­ment, Eco­nom­ics, ln­for­ma­tion Sys­tems Man­age­ment, Law and So­cial Sci­ences. SMU has also achieved the distinc­tion for be­ing one of the youngest uni­ver­si­ties in the world to be con­ferred the pres­ti­gious AACSB ac­cred­i­ta­tion for its Ac­coun­tancy and Busi­ness Man­age­ment pro­grammes, and the EQUIS ac­cred­i­ta­tion for its Busi­ness Man­age­ment pro­gramme.

Out­stand­ing stu­dents have the op­por­tu­nity to take a dou­ble de­gree pro­gramme, com­bin­ing any two de­grees. Sin­gle de­gree stu­dents may also enrol in any one of the 21 sec­ond ma­jors, in­clud­ing fi­nance, mar­ket­ing, ac­count­ing, cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and arts & cul­ture man­age­ment. Stu­dents en­joy the op­tions given, with 70% of them tak­ing a dou­ble de­gree or sec­ond ma­jor.

Malaysian Ed­win Chong Lik Ming, who grad­u­ated with distinc­tion (cum laude) in 2007, said he took a Busi­ness Man­age­ment & In­for­ma­tion Sys­tems Man­age­ment dou­ble de­gree be­cause he wanted to be as pre­pared as pos­si­ble for the work­ing world.

He said this led to his ap­point­ment as As­so­ciate at Deutsche Bank, be­cause “On top of my skills picked up from In­for­ma­tion Sys­tems, I had the busi­ness and fi­nance knowl­edge to quickly un­der­stand how the prod­ucts and busi­ness worked.”

He is cur­rently study­ing the SMU Mas­ter of IT in Busi­ness, An­a­lyt­ics pro­gramme full-time.

SMU is sit­u­ated in the heart of the city cen­tre in Bras Basah. It has a state-of-the-art cam­pus in close prox­im­ity to Sin­ga­pore’s fi­nan­cial and busi­ness district, and is the first univer­sity in Sin­ga­pore to have an un­der­ground train sta­tion (MRT) right at its doorstep.

In ad­di­tion, study­ing at SMU is also quite af­ford­able. Those of­fered ad­mis­sion are el­i­gi­ble to ap­ply for govern­ment sub­si­dies to al­low them to pay af­ford­able tu­ition fees. Fi­nan­cially needy stu­dents may also ap­ply for tu­ition fee loans and bur­saries to fund their stud­ies at SMU.

Ap­pli­ca­tions for the 2014 ad­mis­sion close on April 1.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.ad­mis­sions.smu.edu.sg.

An in­ter­ac­tive ped­a­gogy is part of the MBA learn­ing.

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