Pioneer batch of NUS-FinTechSG Programme Students Graduate!
The pioneer batch of NUS-FinTechSG Programme students have graduated!

1. All Singaporean participants received job offers.

2. They did not have FinTech backgrounds and grew into it.

3. They built their experience in FinTech and are able to jump into new roles.

“As the Roman poet Horace said many years ago, ‘Carpe Diem’, or ‘Seize the Day’ in English. The world as we knew it has changed because of emerging technologies, innovations, and geo-political factors. COVID-19 has further fuelled the change and we must adapt quickly to the new environment and seize opportunities when they appear on the horizon. I congratulate our first batch of FinTech professional certificate graduates who are facing the challenges that are transforming the financial industry. I wish them great success and may the things they learned propel them to great heights in their career, " said Prof Alex Siow, Director of the NUS Strategic Technology Management Institute.
Continuing and Professional Education Talk on Corporate Culture by NUSBSA
The NUSBSA Accountancy Wing organised its 8th Continuing and Professional Education (CPE) Talk on Thursday, 20 August 2020. The CPE Talk was held virtually for the first time amidst Covid-19 gathering restrictions.

The ethics talk on Corporate Culture was delivered by Mr Uantchern Loh (’87). Mr Loh, CEO (Asia Pacific) of Black Sun Plc, was the founding Chief Executive of the Singapore Accountancy Commission, where he spearheaded the development of the Singapore Chartered Accountant Qualification.

The event commenced with welcome remarks to an audience of 60 people by Edward Ta (’87), NUSBSA Director and Chairman of NUSBSA Accountancy Wing. This was followed by a corporate video from Food Empire, our esteemed sponsor for the talk. Derrick Kew (’17), the emcee for the evening, subsequently explained the webinar participation rules to the audience.

Starting with the quote “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”, Mr Loh methodically dissected and gave an engaging elaboration on Corporate Culture with contemporary examples and case studies. He shared the key elements of culture, and how culture follows from purpose and values, before pragmatically delving into the critical components for a successful implementation. 

Though webinars may sometimes seem boring, this talk was absolutely not. The presentation, besides being aided by interactive visual materials, was accompanied by several polls and open questions for audience responses in the chat box throughout the two-hour webinar. There were also several challenging questions from the audience via the chat box. With his wealth of knowledge and experience, Mr Loh untangled each issue with relatable illustrations, such as the prevalent “no U-turn” culture in Asian corporates.

The participants found the talk helpful for their professional development, and particularly enjoyed the topics of “Purpose – What is Your Why?”, for laying down the foundation; “Values and Ethics - What You Believe In and Dilemmas”, for reconciling professional and personal values; and “Commit: Tone at the Top and Regulations”, for setting the critical conditions of successful implementation with tone at the middle. Mr Loh’s takeaway message, “Build Resilience: Being Able to Bounce Back”, also resonated among the audience as it is particularly relevant during the COVID-19 health crisis.

The webinar was well-received by participants, and most wished to retain the virtual format for the next event. The audience actively participated in discussions using Zoom meeting tools and felt comfortable throughout the talk. This positive result reflects the skilful administration of webinar technology and thorough preparation by the speaker and the organising team.

NUSBSA gives special thanks to Food Empire for their generous sponsorship. The event was organised by a committee of Accountancy Wing members, headed by Kenneth Leong (’14) and comprising Chan Siong Woon (’17), Derrick Kew, Nguyen To Giang (’13), Pang Jun Xiang (NUSBSA Assistant Treasurer) (’17), and Rosy Ooi (NUSBSA Auditor) (’88), with advice from Edward Ta (NUSBSA Director) and Yong Chin Lian (former NUSBSA Director) (’87), and supported by NUSBSA Secretariat Administration Executive Ivy Tan.

Submitted by Ms Ivy Tan.
Career Sharing and Networking for NUS Economics Alumni

During the Kent Ridge Alumni Family Day celebrations, NUS Economics Alumni ran its biggest virtual event - with 101 participants! It was an engaging Q&A and Career Sharing panel discussion by four outstanding Economics alumni who shared their career journeys after graduating with an Economics Bachelor's or Master's degree from NUS.

Rui Hua Chang ('02), Group Managing Director (Capital Markets and Investor Relations) at ESR Group and who is based in Hong Kong, dialled in to talk about her flourishing career in investment banking and in logistics real estate. She pursued a Master's in Economics to grow her knowledge and emphasised the importance of social networks in propelling one's career.

KC Ho ('12), Facebook's Sales Strategy and Operations Lead for Greater China, shared how certain skills are transferable and how he successfully moved from consulting to banking and then to the technology sector. He also highlighted the need for soft skills and to manage one's stakeholders well.

Cliff Chew ('09), Senior Data Analyst at Grab, graduated with both an Economics Bachelor's and Master's from NUS. He spoke about working in start-ups and dealing with ambiguity and constant pivoting. To him, it is also crucial to constantly learn and upgrade one's skills!

Cheryl Heng ('18), who is an Epidemiology Team Data Analyst at Ministry of Health (MOH), is now helping the nation in the fight against COVID-19. It is an intense fight and she relies on the analytical skills that she has honed from her time reading Economics in her line of work.

The robust session was moderated by Valerie Chow ('97), the President of NUS Economics Alumni, who concluded the event by stating that Economics graduates go far beyond Singapore and go into diverse industries. She encouraged alumni to engage with one another and build stronger networks together. The event ended with break-out sessions where alumni could network with one another and strengthen their connections online.

Submitted by Ms Valerie Chow ('97).

Raffles Hall Alumni Learning Launch and PIVOT
Raffles Hall Association (RHA) launched Raffles Hall Alumni Learning on 1 August 2020 and created history!

RHA President Sonny Yuen (Business ‘85) welcomed the Guests-of-Honour: Professor Tan Eng Chye (Science '85), President of NUS; Professor Stella Tan (Science '98), Master of Raffles Hall; Johnny Tan (Science '82), Co-Chairman of NUS Alumni Advisory Board; Florence Neo (Arts '93), Director, Alumni Communications & Engagement; and RH residents and alumni from various classes. Sonny then invited Prof Tan Eng Chye, President of NUS, to officially launch RH Alumni Learning.

Prof Tan said, “It is a daring, innovative and challenging endeavour to present a learning event twice a month every month for at least a year. This programme resonates with NUS alumni’s goal of pursuing lifelong learning off-campus.” He added, “It is excellent that the RH Alumni, in a virtual manner, will regularly meet, socialise and learn together. I applaud Raffles Hall for embarking on their Learning Programme. RH indeed leads the way.”

The RH Alumni Learning project, the brainchild of Weilee Cheong (Law ‘87), draws from the collective wisdom and intelligence of the great minds in the RH alumni, and from expert guest speakers. With an enthusiastic team from RH and RHA, she will present a regular programme that covers diverse topics to ensure that there is something for everyone and to reflect that learning occurs in many facets of our lives. Here are the five areas:
  1. The Brave New World of technology and how to thrive in our disrupted world
  2. GameChangers - powerful concepts in business, leadership, politics and economics
  3. The Life! Series - discussions on personal development, our health and our lives in communities
  4. The Yoda Series - deep conversations with awesome alumni and friends, as they share their wisdom and insights
  5. Fun & Chill - for learning in specialised interests such as art, music, history, wine, cooking or travel
The first learning session at the launch, titled “PIVOT”, featured alumni Dr Lai Kok Fung (Engineering ‘88) and guest speaker Harley Young from Amazon, with both sharing ideas on how to change and innovate in this current time of uncertainty.

Kok Fung, who is currently teaching digital marketing at NUS, spoke of his personal experience running his highly successful global online advertising company, and Harvey shared Amazon’s DNA and formula for its innovation and growth. The session was very well-received as it was timely and the speakers were experts in their fields. More importantly, it was wonderful to meet up with alumni friends, albeit virtually, with a purpose - to nurture friendships, meet new friends, and learn together.

Submitted by Ms Lim Swee Kim (Computing '88)
Malay Studies Graduation Celebration

Amidst the COVID-19 global pandemic where disruptions to academic practices, uncertainty regarding future job prospects, and the urgent need to adapt are rampant, the Department of Malay Studies (MS) decided to honour their BA and graduate students with a virtual graduation celebration. On 25 July 2020, this well-deserving class was invited to a special online celebration to mark the completion of their final lap in this chapter of their academic journeys. Though their formal commencement ceremony was postponed, the Department recognized the momentousness of this exact moment in the students’ journeys and wanted to celebrate it somehow.

The resulting three-hour Zoom-hosted ‘Graduation Celebration’ was a delightful and spirited occasion. It brought together the MS family of staff, students, friends and family, and alumni of the Department. The afternoon’s proceedings were interspersed with music and shaer (poetry) crafted and performed by talented students and faculty. The moving occasion saw the exchange of congratulatory messages and words of appreciation, thereby highlighting the strong feelings of camaraderie among the graduates.

The participation of the alumni members, comprising graduates from various cohorts (going all the way back to more than three decades ago!) was especially heartening. Inspiring alumni with professional experience in various industries shared their stories and reflections on the impact the Department had in shaping their perspectives, and how these perspectives became the foundation from which they navigated their career trajectories. More pertinently, they also spoke of job opportunities ahead amid the economic gloom. 

Prof Yaacob Ibrahim (Engineering '80), Advisor to the President of the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), kick-started the event. A long-time active supporter of the Department, he advised students to take advantage of government-funded capacity building schemes that cater to a wide range of sectors. He also impressed upon them the need for lifelong learning and relearning. Students also had the opportunity to meet Ms Normala Manap (Arts and Social Sciences '82), Senior Associate Director at Duke-NUS Medical School, who shared her rich experiences in the frontlines of teaching and managing social services. She also spoke of myriad opportunities in the growing public health sector — especially in the areas of community and long-term healthcare, which require a deep understanding of people.

The Department was also pleased to welcome back Dr Norshahril Saat (Arts and Social Sciences '08), Senior Fellow at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute who spoke of how MS shaped his passion for teaching and research. He urged students to harness the niche knowledge of the Malays to give back to society through professional development and volunteerism. It was also inspiring to hear from Ms Azizah Zakariah (Arts and Social Sciences '00), a lecturer at Republic Polytechnic, as she shared her appreciation for how MS has shaped her career over the last two decades in the arts and theatre management and production. Students were also pleasantly surprised to be joined by Mr Izwan Othman (Engineering '14), current affairs researcher and news presenter at Berita Mediacorp. Izwan spoke on dynamic developments and traineeships in the media sector.

As the ceremony drew to a close, students were warmly welcomed into the alumni family and were encouraged to continue to enrich and strengthen their bonds with the community.  

Submitted by Assoc Prof Noor Aisha (Law '84).

The Inaugural LKYSPP Alumni Chapter Presidents’ e-Summit

With the majority of LKYSPP alumni based overseas, LKYSPP’s alumni leaders have an especially important role to play in fostering a sense of community and connection. Therefore, this July, the School convened the Presidents of LKYSPP Alumni Chapters from across the world to connect virtually, share ideas and inspire one another.

On 25 July 2020, 18 Presidents and Vice-Presidents from 17 Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) alumni chapters across the world connected on Zoom at 8pm (Singapore time) for the inaugural LKYSPP Alumni Chapter Presidents’ e-Summit. The Presidents of NUS Alumni Manila Chapter and Toronto Chapter, who are also LKYSPP alumni, attended the Summit too.

Organised by the School’s Alumni Relations Team, this bi-annual e-summit serves as a source of inspiration and new ideas for chapter leaders, as well as a platform for them to seek updates and clarifications from the School. 

Five chapters - Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, Shanghai and Vietnam - shared their best practices and provided insightful reviews of their respective chapters’ progress, events and initiatives. Strengthening the bonds within the alumni community and giving back to society were at the heart of many of our alumni chapters’ activities.

Mulya Amri ('16), President of LKYSPP Alumni Indonesia Chapter, shared photos and highlights from the Chapter’s annual event to send off new students to NUS, and welcome new alumni returning from Singapore.

Nadeem Muhammad ('09), President of LKYSPP Alumni Pakistan Chapter, shared the initiatives that the Chapter undertook to engage alumni in the three biggest cities in Pakistan: Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore.

Jamie Duque-Daileg ('16), President of LKYSPP Alumni Philippines Chapter, talked about how the Chapter joined forces with NUS Alumni Manila Chapter to raise approximately PHP 80,000 for the purchase and distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and related medical supplies for the frontline health workers battling Covid-19 in government hospitals around Metropolitan Manila.

Zhu Jianhao ('06), Vice-President of LKYSPP Alumni Shanghai Chapter, spoke about the variety of events the Chapter has organised, from vigorous fundraising activities to active communication and cooperation with Singapore communities, such as the Singapore Consulate in Shanghai, the Singapore Chamber of Commerce and EDB’s Singapore Global Network. As alumni of a policy school, they also contributed to social and economic progress by carrying out academic research on real-world issues and offering policy suggestions to the government.

Philanthropy plays a crucial part in keeping the alumni in Vietnam together. Bui Kim Thuy ('14), President of LKYSPP Alumni Vietnam Chapter, shared with the rest that the Community Library, built and run by the Chapter’s Vice-President Harry Pham ('17), has provided a local disadvantaged community with access to quality education. The Chapter has raised significant support for this project.

LKYSPP's alumni chapters pursue different plans and launch different activities to cater to different needs. However, they are united in working towards the same goals, namely to connect alumni with one another, keep them connected to LKYSPP and NUS, and help them maintain their connection with Singapore.

Submitted by Ms Sun Peiyi.

Let readers know about your alumni happenings.
From reunions to workshops, alumni awards to makan sessions, please share your memories and upcoming events with us!

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