I chose to study at SMU because of its young and vibrant culture, as well the curriculum’s focus on real-life business applications of IT.
I pursued a degree in Information Systems Management because this degree allows me to be proficient in both business and technology domains. I like to solve problems and be at the forefront of changes, and technology is one of the main solutions to many business problems, as it is often utilised to augment business processes and drive business improvements. Plus, I was confident that the programme had the right blend of business and technology, and would equip me with the right tools, knowledge and exposure to provide value to my future employer.
I was later enrolled in a fast-track master’s programme (sponsored by IDA scholarship) which provided me with an overseas master’s education in information systems. In my two years in the USA, I was exposed to many interesting subjects like ‘Acting in Management’, where I learnt to improve my communication and presentation skills in the corporate world from an accomplished Broadway director, and ‘Consulting in Non-profit Organisations’, that gave me a chance to provide IT consultation services to improve the operations of a non-profit organisation for a semester. With better operations, the organisation was then able to focus more efforts on its activities and campaigns.
Students at SMU are also given many opportunities to work with other organisations in class projects. On one such research project, I worked with OCBC on two-factor authentication, and this project later won a study award. In the 2006 Sino Singapore exchange, we got to host undergraduate students from China, and visit China to share and exchange cultural, educational, and economic insights.
Having graduated with a balanced education in both business and technology, I am versatile when it comes to the type of work I can do. I started out as a business analyst, and worked on system development projects for the first two years of my career.
Then I switched into a more process-oriented role, where I was trained in and practised Lean Six Sigma, a process improvement methodology, via a number of internal process improvement projects. In this aspect, SMU’s mindset, culture, and teaching methods have prepared me to proactively embrace change. As a result, I was able to adopt the role of a change agent who advocates and implement initiatives to improve employee morale and engagement.
Currently, I am part of a team that focuses on operational excellence through the practice of and synergy across process improvements, digital solutions and portfolio management, customer experience and enterprise social network. My education in SMU has certainly trained me to be a critical thinker, as I contribute to operational excellence in all those areas.