Meet Incoming Freshman of SMU 2023 – Rivaan Dhingra

By the SMU Digital Marketing Team 

Picture going to school surrounded by a vibrant community, where you meet people from diverse backgrounds hailing from all over the world. Now imagine everybody’s ideas coming together in small-size classes, where – rather than simply listening to a lecture – professors actively engage with you and your classmates to spur discussions to fuel your learning.

This dynamic and interactive learning style is exactly the kind of culture that SMU has come to be known for; a lively exchange of ideas where learning takes on an exciting dimension.

Eager to join the SMU family is incoming SMU Bachelor of Science in Economics undergrad Rivaan Dhingra, a passionate young man with a knack for planning and managing events.

Rivaan’s choice to study Economics is motivated in part by an interest in advanced-level mathematics and business management since his time at the Calcutta International School. He is especially interested in how law and public policies can help to expand a competitive economy and reduce income inequality.


Quote by Rivaan Dhingra


A rich variety of experiences

Despite having been born in Singapore, Rivaan lived most of his life outside of its borders. Having spent his formative years in India, he has had the opportunity to travel extensively during his youth.

Musing on his experiences thus far, he says, “When I think about it, I realise that I’ve never actually got the chance to experience much of Singapore, since I left when I was so young.

That’s one of the things that I am most excited about as I look forward to starting my first semester at SMU – to experience more of Singapore and the melting pot of cultures both on campus and around the country.”

As for what makes him tick, Rivaan excitedly shares his unique experience; having been granted a TEDx licence two years ago, Rivaan has had the chance to organise official TEDx events within the city of Kolkata in India.

“I founded and served as the president of two nationally recognised TEDx events in my city, events that were undoubtedly fulfilling. But more than the event itself, I really found the planning process with my team to be the most rewarding.

Whether it was meeting sponsors to raise funds, or collaborating with talent from across the country, it was truly an exhilarating experience like no other.”

Besides the fulfillment he derives from event management, Rivaan also has a passion for sports like boxing and mixed-martial arts, something he has been a fan of since he was 13. His excitement is palpable when he tells us: “I’ve been practising boxing for the past four years, and am eager to join the SMU MMA club to further my interests and hopefully continue my growth in the sport!”


Building connections with people from diverse backgrounds

One of the main draws that inspired Rivaan to pursue his undergraduate studies at SMU is without a doubt its interactive pedagogy.

He shares. “It was particularly appealing to me since I prefer seminar-style lessons. My GCE A-Level programme was conducted with a similar pedagogy, and I’ve found that the smaller class sizes are more interactive and therefore conducive to my learning.

Another big factor was the flexibility to take a second major or even a second degree, and I can choose the number of modules that I am signing up for each term. I really appreciate the fact that SMU offers multiple pathways for my learning experience, making it a learning journey tailored to my needs.”

Moreover, Rivaan appreciates the practical and application-oriented nature of SMU’s teaching, which he feels will go a long way in equipping him to be career-ready. From the myriad clubs that SMU has to offer, to the strengths of its global exposure programmes, there is much that Rivaan looks forward to once his time at SMU begins in earnest.

“I am relishing the opportunity to connect with people from all over the world, each with their own unique backgrounds and perspectives,” he expresses.

“I think this is a great opportunity to make friends from all corners of the world, and while doing so, expand my professional network for the future.”



Be prepared to handle challenges of a complex and changing world through the future ready curriculum offered at the SMU School of Economics. Accept your offer before acceptance closes on 24 May 2023! 

Meet the other incoming freshmen of SMU 2023 here.