Ask a student: Why SMU School of Accountancy?

At SMU, the very existence of our School of Accountancy (SOA) puts paid to the common misconception that accountancy exists only as a subset of a business degree. Here are some good reasons why you should consider joining the School of Accountancy, from the experiences of our third-year student Tan Lixin. 

By Tan Lixin, SMU School of Accountancy

1. I’ve learnt from the best.

Whether you are a freshman or a graduating student, you get to learn from professionals who are well-respected in their industries. I’ve had many opportunities to learn from experts with invaluable experience in their fields. Their experience made lessons come alive, and helped me to see beyond the context of the textbook.

In a tax module I took, I had the chance to explore real-life cases regarding business restructuring and tax efficiency, and to have in-depth discussions with the lecturers who shared their experience handling the cases. I also had a professor who has been in the tax industry for many years. He did not simply tell us about his encounters with clients; he also uses his experience to shape us to be ethical accountants. I believe this is as important as technical skills and knowledge.

2. I’ve benefited from declaring a specialised track.

At SOA, we have the opportunity to declare a specialised accounting track. In fact, SMU is the first university in Singapore to offer specialisation tracks in our accounting programme, as a way for us to add depth to our knowledge.

As I’ve declared a track in taxation, I’ve found that this helps me to focus on my area of academic interest. It’s also helped me to gain greater exposure where taxation functions are concerned, which I hope will set me apart from other candidates applying for the same job or internship.

3. I have caring professors.

If you ever need help, the professors in SOA will always be there for you. During my time at SOA, I have experienced this first-hand. One of my professors always finds time to email me and my classmates to enquire about how we’re doing, and ask about progress in school. Even after we have completed his module, he continues to make the effort to keep in touch!

It’s clear to me that our professors aren’t just lecturers doing their jobs. They genuinely care about our well-being, and always go the extra mile to ensure that we’re doing well not just academically but in other areas of our lives, too.

4. I’ve developed superhuman determination and perseverance.

Any student from SOA will tell you that accounting modules are not simple (to put it lightly) and that every exam is a killer. These constant pressures, on top of a heavy workload, are definitely not for the faint of heart. But they’re vital to building our coping skills, which in turn train us to tackle similar pressures we’ll encounter in our future careers.



Although I know that work life will be very different from university life, I feel more confident about the next phase after having experienced what it’s like to persevere in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.

5. I’m part of a community that looks out for one another.

The first people I was introduced to at SOA were the seniors who organised and ran the freshmen camp. I had no idea what to expect, which modules to bid for, and so on. If not for the seniors who guided me along and provided me with help and advice, I would’ve found it a lot harder to adapt to life in SMU and SOA. Note to any incoming freshmen reading this: I will gladly pay it forward, so feel free to get in touch with me through my SMU email address!

Undergraduate applications are open — visit to learn how you can Transform into a Different U.