Ask a student: Why SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business?

SMU began as an Asian adaptation of the North American undergraduate business school model. In the 15 years since we came into being, SMU’s own business school has developed a culture that’s uniquely its own. Find out more about why people choose our Lee Kong Chian School of Business (LKCSB), through the eyes of our second-year student Hubert Ng.

By Hubert Ng, SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business

1. LKCSB gives me the freedom to experience new things 

Throughout my time in LKCSB so far, I’ve been given the space and freedom to explore and discover my strengths and talents. It has been a meaningful journey with support from not just my peers but my professors as well.

In my first semester, I took a module that required me to work in a group and interview a local business leader. We were given minimal guidelines, so the task felt especially daunting since we didn’t know what to expect. While it felt initially awkward to engage with our interview subject, she was very candid in sharing her inspirational stories and her unconventional route to success. Ever since then, I’ve found that I enjoy such opportunities to approach and speak with people from various walks of life, whose experiences I can learn from.

2. LKCSB gives me opportunities to grow

I got to know about BONDUE, the SMU Business Club, during my freshman year. Through BONDUE, I’ve learnt how to plan events that cater to the entire business student population of 3,300 students. I’ve also been catapulted into circumstances where I unknowingly picked up various soft skills, such as how to negotiate with potential sponsors and how to manage a team’s expectations.

Currently, as the elected President of BONDUE, I feel humbled to have a great deal of autonomy in the running of this club. It’s exciting and challenging to meet the needs of the business student body, and to have the complete trust of our school office behind us. For the upcoming 11th birthday celebration of BONDUE, for instance, we’re planning every single aspect of the event from booking the venue to working out every detail of the activities. It’s hard work for the organising committee, but also an invaluable experience for us to learn the nuts and bolts behind organising and carrying out a successful event.

3. LKCSB is – in my opinion – one of the more vibrant schools in Singapore’s tertiary education landscape

During weekends or even holidays, LKCSB is always filled with people. The atrium in particular is constantly buzzing with camp activities and welfare drives. The group study rooms are perpetually occupied, too. This camaraderie among business students has been a great boon to my own experience of campus life: there’s always something going on, and it’s a great feeling to be part of this community.

Some may be sceptical about the value of various non-academic pursuits, but I believe that being involved in student life activities is a great way to develop the confidence that differentiates SMU students from our peers in other universities. Through my conversations with external parties, I’ve gathered that employers tend to look out for fresh graduates who’ve taken on active roles in clubs and societies during their university years. In fact, I know of LKCSB seniors who landed prestigious internships and jobs with only an average GPA, but a phenomenal BONDUE portfolio.

4. LKCSB students challenge each other to work harder and smarter

I truly believe that my peers in LKSCB are creative and intelligent thinkers. Whether it was completing project tasks or participating in an organising committee, I consistently found myself in the company of peers who constructively challenge my inputs. While this tendency was often responsible for escalating a casual discussion to the status of a debate, I’m grateful to have such classmates whose keen minds have helped to sharpen my own. Through such intuitive questioning by my fellow students, I’ve learnt to think more critically and communicate more effectively.

5.  LKCSB, and specifically BONDUE, is where I’ve formed amazing friendships

University life is different from any other stage of life prior to this – secondary school, JC, even NS – in that you don’t have a fixed group of classmates or platoonmates that you spend time with every day. That’s why I feel really fortunate that my involvement with BONDUE has given me a group of close and dependable friends.

They say that true friendship reveals itself through adversity. Once, when our transport back from BONDUE camp was delayed, the BONDUE team found ourselves stranded on Sentosa with 500 campers. I still remember the mad scramble we went through to figure out an alternative solution to our predicament. It was through working as a team that we fixed the problem, without causing any undue stress or worry to any one person.

Having experienced so many good and bad times together, I know that these are the people I can also depend on whenever I need help and a listening ear. It’s my hope that we’ll continue to be there for each other through the rest of our time in LKCSB and even beyond.

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