By Ranya Arora and Aishwarya Mirania Agarwal, SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business
At SMU’s Open House 2015, we spoke to the visiting prospective students to find out what they wanted to know about life at SMU. We received so many great questions that we couldn’t answer all of them in our first post!
As the second and final post in this series, this article will give you an insider’s take on SMU’s global exposure opportunities, the teaching and learning style in our seminars, and what we find unique about this university. A special thanks to our SMU Ambassadorial Corps for providing all the answers!
Global footprints: SMU’s overseas opportunities
1. Do SMU undergraduates really get the chance to travel a lot, especially with the heavy workload?
Yes, there are many opportunities available for SMU undergraduates to go overseas, for varying purposes. Overseas community service projects are available for undergraduates who believe in giving back. There are study missions to various parts of the world to learn more about how organisations operate (e.g. for business study missions, we learn about corporate culture and business models in other markets), overseas exchange and summer study programmes for a different learning experience, overseas internship opportunities, as well as competitions in the areas of CCAs or academics.
Through community service projects like Project Sukacita, SMU students have opportunities to serve the less-privileged while learning about life in a different country.
2. Which countries do students usually choose for overseas exchange?
SMU currently has 218 agreements with partner universities, spanning across Africa, Europe, America, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. The more popular destinations would include USA, UK, Canada and various parts of Europe.
3. Is it compulsory to go for exchange?
No, it is not compulsory to go for exchange programmes. Having said that, it is a once in a lifetime kind of opportunity for students to experience what it is like to study overseas, and also to experience a different type of culture – something that we wouldn’t get to do if we just stayed in Singapore.
Going on an overseas exchange is a great way to experience university life in a different culture, and to enrich your time overseas by taking short trips with the newfound friends that you’ll meet in your exchange university. Read more about the experiences that our students have recently had while on exchange.
Beyond mugging: how we learn
4. How many times does your knowledge get applied?
There are many platforms where we are able to apply the knowledge we learn in the classrooms. Internships, business study missions, and writing research papers, are just a few examples.
5. How are the lessons conducted in SMU?
Most of our classes are conducted in seminar rooms, where the class size is usually limited to 45 students. This enables a higher level of interaction between professors and students, which facilitates learning in the classroom.
Our MBA-style seminars create opportunities for meaningful discussions between peers, as well as with instructors and professors.
First off, it’s a group interview. You’ll be given an article to read and discuss in a group of 10-12, together with a professor. Come prepared to think on your feet, so as to engage with the ideas presented to you, and to engage with the ideas of your fellow interviewees. In our opinion, you will do well if you are able to form an opinion, present it clearly and convincingly, and discuss it with the group. And of course, don’t forget to smile 🙂
SMU: Truly a Different U
7. Other universities have similar courses, so why should I choose SMU?
As an SMU graduate, you will be distinguished by your exposure to our rigorous, open curriculum. Built from the ground up based on the best practices of top-tier American universities, our interactive pedagogy will shape you into a well-informed, well-spoken individual; equipped with the soft, hard, and ‘heart’ skills required of tomorrow’s leaders.
Choosing SMU also comes with many overseas opportunities. Among us, our students have completed community projects in Kenya, embarked on study missions to Silicon Valley, and performed before crowds of hundreds in Germany. We have a robust financial aid system, which means no deserving student will be deprived of any of these opportunities – no wonder 86% of our students have global exposure experience!
Study missions to developing economies such as Myanmar give our students insights that will serve them well in their future careers.
Finally, in our opinion, you should choose SMU because the world will choose you. Thanks to our dedicated career counselling and workshops, exclusive one-stop job/internship portal, networking opportunities and corporate partnerships, SMU graduates leave the school with a powerful combination of professional skills, job experience and drive. Employers collectively value this as the “SMU Advantage” – and it shows in the strong performance of our graduates in the job market.
8. What made you want to join SMU?
(Answered by SMU Ambassador Justin Lim.)
Personally, what made me choose SMU was because I wanted to learn and experience something beyond the books and theories. I wanted a sense of personal growth, to become more comfortable with speaking to the public, and to be more exposed to the international business environment. As a school with about 8,000 students, SMU was a natural choice for me as I appreciate the close attention and exposure that the school provides its students with.
We hope this series of posts has helped clear up any doubts you may still have about life at SMU. Best of luck with your applications, and see you in SMU soon!
Apply now for our undergraduate admissions programmes.