By Asnawi Jufrie, SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business
A few years ago, I had to make one of the biggest decisions of my life; and I’m grateful that I made the right call by choosing SMU. Coming into SMU’s Lee Kong Chian School of Business, I’ve taken away many meaningful lessons, experiences and friendships—and I’d like to share my top five:
Through the many camps you might join as a Freshman, the CCAs that you decide to enrol yourself in, or the rolling bunch of new faces and friends you meet during classes, somehow—sooner or later—you will naturally find yourself surrounded by the same group of people who will accompany you through the next four years of your university life. They will be your family and probably the most important people who will be your pillars of support when the going gets tough (and it will!)
So, meet my SMU family –
(1) Bondue – I had the opportunity to serve as part of the Executive Committee of the SMU Business Society, more affectionately known as Bondue. As a society, we planned camps, organised professional networking events, social events, academic events, as well as the popular welfare drives (where we give away free food). Because of the sheer amount of time we spent together, we were naturally very close to one another and we did pretty much everything together. Some of my best friends were in it! I’m so blessed to have them and call them my Bondue family. #mybonduelife #bleedbondue
(2) ComeSMUSleep gang – You tend to stick to a group of friends who will be your study buddies through your university years. My group was formed since the early days of our Bondue Freshmen Camp. We “adopted” new friends along the way and spent many studying hours together. This same group of friends was often also my lunch/dinner dates during the exam periods. Wondering about the name? Well, the truth is we fell asleep quite a fair bit too while studying. Hence, the name #ComeSMUSleep.
The best thing about SMU is its diversity in terms of the activities offered to students. You get to join what you love and even if you can’t find one that suits your interest, you get to create your very own CCA! Endless opportunities await.
For me, I joined Bondue ever since year one and remained an active member almost throughout my university life. I never once regretted the time and effort invested in the society. Someone once told me that you get what you put in at the end of the day. I’ve grown so much from this experience and it was definitely one of the most defining moments in my university life.
3. International Exposure
As a SMU student, many of us will have ample opportunities to go overseas—be it for a semester on exchange or an eye-opening Overseas Community Service Project (OCSP). Through these experiences, you get to immerse yourself in new cultures, tastes and perspectives.
I went to Tashkurgan, China, for my OCSP, which made me realise how we sometimes take the things we have and people we care about, for granted. The journey of helping others taught me to appreciate the little things in life, and be thankful to call Singapore my home.
4. Work Experience
Being right within the central business district (CBD) area has its perks. Besides being close to town and the many buzzing cafes, what I appreciate the most is the convenience of being close to the corporate world.
SMU encourages its students to seek professional development through internship stints during our university journey. We have an online portal we call Ontrac that allows SMU students to browse for internship and graduate offers made available due to the strong network and affiliation with our career office, the Dato’ Kho Hui Meng Career Centre. Because of that, it’s not surprising how going for 2 to 3 internship stints during our four years here is quite common. You will also have friends who choose to do a part-time internship and study at the same time. Alternatively, you can even take a semester off from school for a long-term internship stint. There are so many ways to do it and it’s completely up to you!
5. Finding the Real You
Last but not least in SMU, you get to discover the real you. Before diving deep into a particular major or specialisation, we are exposed to many different subjects within the business school and across other schools as well. By doing so, you get to have a feel of everything before making a decision. The key is keeping an open mind.
To share my experience, when I first stepped into SMU, I always thought that I would be pursuing a major in either the Finance or Operations track (which majority of business students pursue). However, because of the breadth of exposure to various subjects, it enabled me to decide otherwise and I, instead, chose to major in Marketing and Strategic Management.
Furthermore, with an interactive and dynamic seminar room style of learning where you are always encouraged to speak your mind, this will help you learn to become more articulate and definitely more confident.
SMU’s undergraduate admissions is now open! Find out more about our Bachelor of Business Management programme.