Studying for a University of London degree at SIM - reflections of a Scholar
Singaporean graduate Lance Ng talks about reigniting the joy of learning, assisting others, and why undergraduates should make every year count.
I began my journey at Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) with a strong resolve to succeed. My lacklustre A level performance was like a bitter pill and I was determined to turn things around for the better.
While on national service, I turned to my trusted old friends: books. Throughout my years as a student, being force-fed information made me ignorant of the true value of knowledge. Through books, I began to reignite the joy of learning that I once had as a child. I started taking more responsibility for my own learning, driven by an intrinsic desire to know more about the world. I emerged from national service eager once again to undergo formal education under the SIM-University of London Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Business and Management programme.
I questioned if doing well in my studies was all I wanted during my time at university. The answer was no.
Instead of learning ‘how’ to do particular questions, I learnt about ‘why’ there was a need for me to learn it. I learnt for the sake of acquiring knowledge, rather than simply for taking tests. I became a more consistent student, studying regularly instead of cramming myself with information right before the exams. Past exam papers provided by SIM-University of London were also invaluable in helping me get used to the different types of questions asked in exams and highlighted the gaps in my knowledge. I questioned if doing well in my studies was all I wanted during my time at university. The answer was no.
I wanted to share the joy of learning with others; to help them overcome frustrations that I had once faced myself. I took an opportunity to become a Peer-Assisted-Learning (PAL) leader. I found that the experience of helping others to overcome the initial difficulties that they faced in their studies was well worth my time and effort.
Other than helping students with their ‘hard skills’ in their academics, I also helped other students with their ‘soft skills’. This was done through the SIM Student Toastmasters Club. As a business student, being excellent at communication is a vital skill to have. It struck me as odd how many do not recognise its importance. To achieve that goal, my fellow EXCO and I held fortnightly Toastmasters meetings, giving opportunities for students to hone their public speaking and communication skills.
In addition to helping the student body, I also found the time to contribute to the less fortunate in society through SIM I-Care. As sub-committee members, we planned events for beneficiaries in welfare organisations. At the end of each event, I was always humbled by the joy reflected on the faces of the beneficiaries.
To the current University of London students at SIM, I would like to encourage you to make full use of your time as an undergraduate.
I would like to think that the Master’s Scholarship has been awarded in recognition of the meaningful three years that I spent at SIM, in addition to my academic results.
To the current University of London students at SIM, I would like to encourage you to make full use of your time as an undergraduate. Be it focusing on gaining work experience, studying for exams, or spending time in CCAs, these three years will pass by in a flash. Before you know it, you will be a fresh graduate looking for a job. Make these years count!
To the graduating cohorts, I encourage you to always be hungry for knowledge as this is just the beginning of a new adventure. Where possible, do challenge yourselves by exploring further opportunities beyond Singapore.
Lance Ng achieved a BSc in Business and Management (First Class Honours) in 2017 while studying for the University of London programme at SIM. He went on to complete a University of London Graduate Diploma in Mathematics (Distinction) in 2021, as a prerequisite for his master’s. We congratulate Lance on the award of a full scholarship to pursue the MSc in Operations Research and Analytics at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2021-2022.