By Sheriel Chia Yun Zhen, SMU School of Accountancy
To be honest, when I left Junior College, I was not sure what I wanted to do in life or what kind of university life I wanted. I was fortunate to be offered a place in the SMU School of Accountancy (SOA). Having come from a family of accountants (Even my grandfather was an accountant. Not kidding!), it seemed like the “safe” route to take.
Four years have passed since I took that leap of faith, rejecting my university placements in the UK to study in SMU. It is only now that I realise my decision to come to SMU’s SOA was not a “safe” one, but the right one.
1. I’ve developed sheer grit that would allow me to go the distance
My accountancy modules are the most challenging. They require critical thinking, memory work and a lot of practice. Many times the modules tested my resolve and patience. But like many of life’s challenges, the eventual success of conquering seemingly impossible obstacles brings indescribable satisfaction. As the Chinese saying goes, “the strongest steel is forged in the hottest fire”. Having gone through the pressures in pursuing my degree, I am prepared to take on the next stage in my life.
2. I’ve learnt from the best
Professors from the SOA have a long list of truly awe-inspiring credentials. But a great teacher does not just possess a wealth of knowledge. Beyond that, it is the manner in which knowledge is imparted that makes the difference between nurturing students and preaching subjects. Lessons come alive when professors share their professional experiences together with academic theories. One such professor who had mentored me was a former Auditor-General of Singapore. He shared so many stories that never failed to captivate the class and effectively taught us the skills needed to make professional judgments.
3. I’ve had tons of fun
Entire semesters filled with activities to unwind and get together with friends and faculty. What more can I ask for? From Chinese New Year dinners, Accounting Society (ASoc) day, alumni night, community service projects, to ASoc Camp — there is an activity for everyone! The professors are more than game to join in on the fun with the students. I remember cheering for my friends as they took on our professors in a beer drinking challenge. At that moment, I thought we had the coolest professors ever!
ASoc Camp 2012
4. I found a family outside my home
The stress of university life can really take a toll. I’m grateful for the SOA community, who have made my journey such a happy one. Whether it’s collaborating with friends on work or goofing around in the library, these simple joys have built my sense of belonging. When I was struggling with an accounting module, my professor went out of his way to ensure that I found my footing. Even after a long day of consultations with students, he still welcomed me to consult with him at 8pm in the evenings. Another one of my professors also took the effort to periodically check in on how I was doing over tea break sessions and shared valuable life lessons.
Coffee talks with Professor Seow Poh Sun
5. I will earn a professional degree and benefit from a specialised track
The rigours of the accounting curriculum have armed me with hard skills necessary to succeed in many careers paths. In addition, SOA provides us with the opportunity to declare a specialised track of our interest. I have declared a track in Risk Management and Assurance that allows me to focus on modules that add depth to my knowledge. This will set me apart from my peers when pursuing an internship and career.
As I near the end of my SMU SOA journey, I recall these memories with deep fondness. I never imagined myself forging such strong roots in the short span of four years. These experiences have reinforced my decision in joining SOA. As I pen this post, the pinch of nostalgia tugs at my heart. Take it from the year 4 student who has seen it all. Your journey with SMU SOA will be an unforgettable adventure. What’s stopping you?
Undergraduate applications are open! Learn more about the Bachelor of Accountancy programme today.