From One SMU Parent to Another: A-Levels to SMU

By the SMU Digital Marketing Team

For parents with a child graduating from the A-Levels, progression to university is a step towards a new journey punctuated by life-changing experiences, fresh hurdles and unique opportunities that will lead to a future career.

We talk to Jerome Yuen, father of Chloe — an SMU Year 4 Bachelor of Business Management student majoring in Marketing and Strategic Management – as he reveals his daughter’s journey from her A-levels in a local junior college to SMU.

For starters, Jerome believes that the world-class education system in Singapore provides the mastery of critical skillsets required for students to excel in various environments. Designed to prepare students for a knowledge-based economy, its framework hinges upon core competencies and values that will enable Singaporean youths to thrive in a changing economy.


Q: How do you think Chloe’s educational background helped her to stand out when she applied to SMU?

A: Chloe’s educational background has provided her with the foundation to excel and an opportunity to discover what interests her.

Other than just obtaining her A-level qualification, the first 12 years of the Singapore education have instilled in Chloe a strong desire to learn, a keen ability to discern, a high level of confidence to make those tough choices, and a willingness to speak up and express herself in a relevant manner. Chloe was able to showcase these competencies in the written application portion of the SMU admissions process, and articulate her areas of interest and key reasons for selecting SMU.


Q: What drew you and Chloe to SMU when you were shortlisting university options?

A: Chloe had researched the way lessons are conducted at SMU and how its campus culture reflects her personality and passions. As a parent, I also did not need much convincing as I have hired several SMU graduates in the past and had a positive impression.

Chloe was able to make quick adjustments to life on campus. She managed her time well — from planning her lessons to scheduling project team discussions — and had little trouble making decisions such as the choosing of modules and selection of internship. On top of this, SMU gave her the opportunity to actively participate in its vibrant student life, where she became the President of SMU’s Marketing Society, and wrote and acted in multiple school plays.

If there is one thing to share with parents, I would say that you must trust your child to make those tough choices and journey the paths that they have chosen. We should just focus on making ourselves accessible as a resource if our children turn to us for help. Otherwise, stay out of the way!


Jerome (right) and his family

Jerome (right) and his family


Q: Besides its academic rigour, how do you think SMU has equipped your child with skills to thrive in the real world?

A: Its pedagogy allows for a good balance between theory and real-world implementation, through the many opportunities to work with actual companies in and outside of Singapore.

I am appreciative of the fact that SMU promotes an all-rounded view of the real world with the inclusion of a social or non-profit element during the four undergraduate years. Chloe has been able to work with and learn from each of these elements during her SMU journey.


Q: What are some tips you have for parents who are now helping their children through the university application process?

A: It is important to have an open conversation with your child to discover their interests and choices, and inspire them to think beyond the current job landscape. We may motivate them to conduct more research on the options they seek, and offer ourselves as a resource to tap upon in areas where we have more knowledge or personal experience. And while it is vital to respect a child’s interests, the role of the parent is also to challenge their thinking to include practical considerations — especially in the choice of specialisation, and ultimately affirm their selection.



Is your child ready for SMU’s flexible interdisciplinary education? Applications are now open!