Insights from an Insider: Edward Lo

By the SMU Digital Marketing Team 

The transition to university life can be a period of adjustments for many students. Students who might have fared well in an exam-oriented system may struggle to grasp competencies that are now essential for the working world. That’s where SMU adds value to its students, explains SMU School of Accountancy student Edward Lo.

“Beyond the specific technical knowledge required for my double degree in Accountancy and Business Management, SMU’s core modules focus on developing soft skills, linguistics and thinking methodology – all of which are vital in working life,” he said.

Edward further built upon his soft skills through participation in co-curricular activities (CCAs), including his current position as president of SMU’s premier acapella group, SMU VOIX.


Edward at a SMU VOIX performance

Edward at a SMU VOIX performance


“Being in SMU VOIX is a practical lesson on confidence, interpersonal skills, and stakeholder management. My experience added another dimension to my university life, beyond academics.”


“My experience added another dimension to my university life, beyond just academics.”


Hi Edward, firstly, please tell us about student life and your choice of CCAs at SMU.

I had a very vibrant student life exploring SMU’s numerous clubs which offer a wide variety of interdisciplinary experiences. Some of the more “academic” clubs like EYE Investment and SMU Asia Private Equity Club fulfilled my intellectual curiosity, and develop knowledge that went beyond the boundaries of the classroom.


What is a module that has left a great impact on you?

Acct111 Financial Accounting – my very first accounting module – was unforgettable. My lecturer Tan Lay Khim transformed what some people might think was a “less exciting” module into an immersive experience that was enjoyable to learn, with her interactive group quizzes and insistence on our whipping up creative final presentations. The knowledge she imparted formed a sturdy foundation for future accounting courses.


What, in your opinion, are some uniquely SMU experiences?

There’re so many, such as SMU VOIX’s Valentine’s Day classroom dedication service where our members were allowed to “crash” classes to serenade dedicatees.

I also enjoy the BOSS bidding process – a competitive but fair bidding system for class selection – as well as SMU’s proximity to scenic locations like the Marina Barrage, Gardens by the Bay, and the Padang where I regularly go to exercise.


Edward performing with fellow choir mates of SMU VOIX

Edward performing with fellow choir mates of SMU VOIX


Tell us about your current internship, and how your time at SMU has helped you to stand out.

As a wealth management intern with Credit Suisse, I assist relationship managers on day-to-day operations. Working with the bank has given me a clearer understanding of the banking industry and developed my knowledge of the financial markets.

The communication and interpersonal skills I’ve developed at SMU enabled me to quickly integrate into my work setting and be at ease when interacting with counterparts. Also, participating in interactive seminar sessions in SMU developed my critical questioning capabilities, which has helped me to stand out at work.


How has SMU challenged you both personally and academically?

Given my introverted nature, speaking up was initially challenging, but the classes and presentations in SMU pushed me out of my comfort zone to be more vocal in my thoughts and opinions.

SMU modules typically focus on applying classroom knowledge to practical scenarios, and this is especially the case with SMU-X modules, where we partner with an external organisation to address real-life issues they face. This presented a great opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge from various courses, and to work with professionals in the working world while testing out classroom theories.


If you could go back in time, what would you advise your freshman self to do?

My advice is – enjoy your university life! Don’t spend all your time studying, but use that time instead to talk to people and explore industries you might be interested in. Your future self will really thank you for it. Never stop learning and asking questions!