Primed for Accounting
Constantly reinventing classes and pushing boundaries, the SIT Accountancy programme aims to produce the cream of the crop in the world of Accounting.
Shang Kuan Ke Xin, Associate, Ardent Associates LLP
As Singapore’s university of applied learning, the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) has distinguished itself with its unique applied learning pedagogy integrating work and study. With a curriculum based heavily on putting theory into practice, graduates from SIT can expect to be fully equipped with the essential skills to face major challenges in the working world.
Beyond its system of education, SIT is also known to be an institution of innovation and evolution. Exemplifying this is the introduction of its Accountancy programme in 2014. Despite its recentness, the programme already shows promise with its partnerships with huge names such as Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young, and KPMG Services.
We speak to two individuals from the pioneer batch of this Accountancy programme, Shang Kuan Ke Xin and Ong Xiang Feng. Ke Xin is currently working as an Associate at Ardent Associates LLP, while Xiang Feng is serving his internship at Ernst & Young. We learn all about how they have benefitted from SIT’s unique curriculum.
Why did you choose to pursue a degree in Accountancy at SIT?
Shang Kuan Ke Xin: SIT has so much to offer despite being a new university. What attracted me most was the Integrated Work Study Programme (IWSP), an 8-month long internship. SIT is the only university that offers such a long internship duration, providing students with a comprehensive and thorough experience to develop our skills and enhance our career prospects.
I’m glad I also got to be in the pioneer batch of this Accountancy programme. We literally set the benchmark and standards for our future juniors. How often do you get to do something like that?
Ong Xiang Feng: SIT offers a holistic education for its students. Not only does it offer an academically fast-paced curriculum which prepares us well for the accounting profession in the shortest time possible, it also offers the IWSP where students obtain first class industry training relevant to their academic programme. These definitely give us an edge in our future careers.
I was also genuinely intrigued by the prospect of being part of the pioneer batch when SIT launched their Accountancy programme in 2014. The flexibility for students to specialise in diversified areas such as Applied Finance, Corporate Accounting, and Tax was a very attractive offer.
What valuable skills have you gained from your undergraduate education?
Ke Xin: Good time management – a vital skill for auditors. In school, we were often faced with tight project deadlines. We needed to learn how to juggle between projects from different modules, and through this, I became capable of better managing my time in my daily work.
Also, IWSP had helped me build a good foundation in auditing. From my understanding, fresh graduates tend to lack experience and would need to be taught from scratch. With my experience from IWSP, I have prior knowledge and completing my tasks is not a problem at all.
Xiang Feng: I am currently undergoing an internship with Ernst & Young (EY) attached to the Financial Services Assurance team. In this team, my portfolio consists mainly of Banking and Capital Markets as well as a commodity firm. This experience has honed my interpersonal skills greatly due to all the interactions we have with clients regarding their work processes. I have also gained a greater confidence in my skillsets such as adaptability and assertiveness as an auditor when handling challenging tasks.
What other opportunities can a student expect to receive at SIT?
Ke Xin: Before we embark on our IWSP journey, we would attend Career Professional Development (CPD) modules and other relevant modules. These lessons taught us essentials such as resume writing and interview skills.
SIT also offers value-added programmes that allow us to learn new skills without affecting our GPA. I once attended a Traditional Chinese Medicine workshop where I learned different herbs and their purposes. It was quite interesting as this is my first time being exposed to the subject.
Xiang Feng: I had the privilege to participate in the most recent Chartered Financial Analysis (CFA) challenge. In this challenge, my team and I had to articulate effectively to bring across our reasoning in order to convince industry panels on why a particular stock should be invested in. This experience enhanced my skillset and stimulated my passion for the finance industry.
Ong Xiang Feng, Bachelor of Accountancy with Honours student
What advice would you have for future students of SIT?
Ke Xin: Opportunities are only given to those who are willing to take the first step. As university students, we ought to be more independent. SIT also offers different focus areas such as Finance and Management Accounting for those who prefer to be more specialised in these areas. A good foundation is key to achieve greater success.
Xiang Feng: SIT is where I realised life is more meaningful if you embark on the path of sustainable change. Be who you are, do what you want. Explore sides of you that you haven’t yet and just have the best time of your life! Your university life is where you will learn the simplest and harshest lessons of life. So never be afraid to step out of your comfort zone or to try things you have only dreamed of doing.
This article was adapted from the BrightSparks Higher Education 2017 publication with the permission of CareerBuilder Singapore.