06
May
2020
|
08:00
Asia/Singapore

A Wild Leap of Faith

After completing his National Service, Wang Junfeng found himself in a dilemma.

Having graduated from a local polytechnic, the business accounting student was offered places at a few universities in Singapore.

But instead of plumping for the more established names, he decided on the newest kid among the universities: Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT).

He was enticed by SIT’s keen focus on developing industry-ready students, its applied learning curriculum and top-notch faculty. An SIT accountancy degree would prepare him for the working world, he believed.

“Looking back, it was definitely a leap of faith,” said the 26-year-old who now works as an accountant at Ernst & Young Global Limited.

“But seeing how much I’ve grown during my time at SIT, I can safely say for sure that joining the university has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

A million-dollar experience

As Singapore’s university of applied learning, SIT’s approach of providing practical and industry-focused education provided Junfeng with first-hand accounts of life in the financial sector.

For example, as part of his investment analysis module, he was given the opportunity to trade almost S$1 million worth of shares on a virtual trading platform, simulating actual market fluctuations. This taught him the most important lesson in accountancy — precision.

“It taught me how fragile and unexpected the market can be but more importantly, it taught me to always be on my toes — something I hold on to even till today,” he said.

The badminton enthusiast draws parallels between staying ahead in the professional world and mastering his favourite sport. In both cases, precision and foresight can mean all the difference.

“Similar to the strokes in badminton, every key decision we take in life can propel us to better things ahead,” he said.

As artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things disrupt the accounting landscape, he has been quick to read up on and acquire new skills for his professional development. The constant upgrading may be relentless, but he remains unfazed.

“Especially during times of uncertainty, continuous training and development helps ensure that we always come up tops.”

In fact, he is looking to improve himself through courses organised by SITLEARN Professional Development (SITLEARN PD) – the lifelong learning division of SIT.

Together with its industry partners, the division aims to help working professionals and SIT alumni upgrade themselves through timely and industry-relevant courses.

As an alumni of SIT, Junfeng can use his SITizens Learning Credits (SLC) worth up to S$2,000 to sign up for SITLEARN PD’s continuing education and training (CET) courses. The SLC can also be used to offset eligible subsidised courses funded by SkillsFuture Singapore.

“There will always be new horizons to scale, so the key is to never stop learning,” added Junfeng.

Stepping out of the shadows and giving back

As a self-professed introvert, Junfeng believes his time at SIT had also pushed him out of his comfort zone, allowing him to grow both as a student, and as an individual.

As president of the SIT Accountancy Student Management Committee, he helped to improve the welfare of fellow students by acting as an intermediary between them and the academic staff to disseminate important information and implement key initiatives.

Despite being shy, he decided to engage with his peers by visiting them during their classes and conducting regular meet-up sessions to get to know them better.

“Taking the first step wasn’t easy because I’ve never been used to large crowds. But once I overcame this, I realised that I was actually quite good at it,” he said.

“That’s the kind of effect SIT has on you. It teaches you that the only limit in life is the one that you set for yourself.”