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Building relationships, exchanging knowledge

Current MSc Professional Accountancy students Lin Yihuai and Lim Pei Ching talk about stepping out of their comfort zones and a recent visit to Singapore's ACCA office.

Written by Lee Zheng Yi |

MSc Professional Accountancy students at SIM visit the ACCA office in Singapore
"I cherish the chance I had to meet ACCA seniors who were so willing to share about their personal career pathway."

University of London (UOL) students, Lin Yihuai from China and Lim Pei Ching from Malaysia, had an opportunity to visit Singapore’s Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) office as students of the MSc Professional Accountancy at the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM). They share their thoughts on the master’s programme, their visit to the ACCA local office, and their experience of living in Singapore. [Main image: Lin Yihuai pictured second from left; Lim Pei Ching pictured fifth from left.]

Overseas ACCA members and affiliates visit the Singapore office

Lin Yihuai: As an ACCA member from China, I was thoroughly impressed with the hospitality of ACCA Singapore. It made me so proud to be a member of this worldwide body. The head of the Singapore office, Mr Daniel Leung, gave a presentation about the development of ACCA in UK and Singapore and how ACCA members can benefit from this international network. There was a further presentation by a British bank based in Singapore and a dialogue session that allowed us to dive deep and be more personal. The advice we received was practical and made it a meaningful visit.

Lim Pei Ching: The ACCA Singapore office has a fabulous view of the Marina Bay Sands and Merlion Park. The office is a modern co-working space. I like that meetings are no longer restricted to a room with four walls: the staff are free to work at any available workspace and can jump into a conference call from smaller private rooms. The flexibility and comfort of this hybrid work environment has changed my definition of an office.

I cherish the chance I had to meet ACCA seniors who were so willing to share about their personal career pathway. As an ACCA Affiliate from Malaysia, this visit to the local office in Singapore and, in particular, Mr Daniel Leung sharing of his experience, has left a deep impression. Mr Leung advised us to have an ultimate goal to guide our career journey. Given that we might not get our dream job at the start, we should not relent and should continue to build our foundation. Every step counts! 

Pursuing the University of London master’s degree in Professional Accountancy

Lin Yihuai: I was working in China as an audit manager in an accounting firm for three years. It was routine for me to evaluate the financial situation of my clients. By enrolling into the UOL MSc Professional Accountancy I have broadened my perspective because the curriculum does not just centre on specific accounting practices but builds a macroscopic financial management mind-set for students. So far, lessons in two core courses ‘Issues in investment management’ and ‘Capital markets and global perspectives’ have helped me develop an international and strategic ethos as an accountant.

Since starting as a full-time master’s student at SIM, I have met several exemplary students. We benefit from the exchange of viewpoints on academic and career matters; I am grateful to have obtained this learning opportunity in my academic life.

Lim Pei Ching: After becoming an ACCA Affiliate during the Covid pandemic, I wanted to continue studying and checked out numerous master’s programmes available in Malaysia and Singapore. It was not a difficult decision to decide on the SIM-UOL MSc Professional Accountancy in Singapore. UOL is a well-known federal university with 17 independent Member Institutions and a strong network between students and alumni. The agreement between SIM and UOL allows me to complete this highly regarded programme while benefitting from the wide spectrum of experiences on the SIM campus.

UCL’s syllabus is well-designed and acts as an extension to the ACCA programme. The coursework- and exam-based programme trains students to develop research and writing skills. Whilst studies at ACCA have taught me how to master the technical knowledge and build up a solid foundation, the MSc Professional Accountancy has enhanced my logical thinking to help me use my knowledge to make mature decisions.

Reminiscing on the onboarding experience at SIM

Lin Yihuai: Living in Singapore has been an unfamiliar experience as compared to life in China. Fortunately, SIM staff have been very gracious. I am thankful for Fion Lim, who has assisted me with my visa procedures and for providing accommodation suggestions. With support from SIM, I quickly assimilated into student life in Singapore. 

Lim Pei Ching: Sometimes international students are overwhelmed with homesickness due to language and cultural barriers, but for me Singapore has been great. Its society consists of a mixture of cultures which allows for a greater tolerance for newcomers. I feel lucky to fit into a society with love and passion, and to be able to enjoy new experiences and opportunities in this well-developed nation. 

Creating learning experiences

Both Yihuai and Pei Ching stepped out of their comfort zones when they embarked on a full-time master’s overseas in Singapore. From their experiences of the MSc Professional Accountancy to date, they strongly encourage juniors to be intentional in building relationships with people from different backgrounds. This would greatly facilitate the exchange of knowledge between individuals, entities, industries and countries. SIM is happy to enhance such student experiences with industrial visits. We wish Yihuai and Pei Ching the very best in their academic pursuits and career development!

Lee Zheng Yi is an Administrative Executive at SIM Global Education.