The Fighter

Yays to actually writing more on a regular basis here heh, as this post will be on slightly deeper thoughts rather on the normal life updates. Y was talking about how his internship offer was a validation, and in the end everyone out there just needs that little push to start that motor running again. This is me hoping that this post becomes this small reminder for that push I need.

10 weeks, end of summer internship round 2. The structured internship that I wrote about in my cover letters… well let’s just say what I experienced was different from what I envisioned it to be. The mindset coming into this internship as compared to last year’s one is really different; as I have different expectations and different goals I wished to achieve. Rather than learning more audit itself as a profession, I got exposed much more to everything else; from office politics, team dynamics, developing interpersonal skills and the realities of the working world. The closest friends I made through internship was a Year 1 girl from NTU (4 years age gap omg cries) from another department, and another intern from SMU who was in advisory internal audit. Life continues to amaze me like seriously, as I would never expected myself to click well with people outside of my department. Ultimately, this internship provided a snapshot of the working world which I would be stepping in real soon, and it teaches you to really treasure student life where you have a superficial set of worries.

In the end, I got the thing I was aiming for at the beginning of the internship: that darn priority offer. Everyone in my department got it LOL, so it didn’t feel anything extraordinary but it still had that fine pinch of happiness when I held it in my own hands. There was a moment of relief among us when we opened our letters to see our POs because the constant worrying was over. The sister and I were joking how both of us are technically employed already, which is a position we are very fortunate to be in. I do not need to worry about pushing the CAP back up, and the pressure to search for a job in the future is no more. Pursuing audit as a full-time profession is a different story; and to be honest I liked what I do. The doubts come in the questions in whether I can handle the poor work-life balance of the job, along with the usual office politics that everyone in a company has to handle. Adulthood is real, and responsibilities are coming in because no one will be spoon feeding or taking care of you anymore. 

be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud

During the previous semester, I let my emotions get the better of me and before the summer holidays started I decided to take a step back. Back to simplicity, just meeting people whom I miss and doing the things I love. I have been spending time with slightly different groups of people and honestly, the mood feels way better. Still haven’t walked completely away from a specific toxic environment, but I’m keeping my distance. Don’t ask me why I walked away from certain people or treat people differently, I’m just like a mirror: I reflect my actions on how people treat me. Maybe I turned more selfish idk, but my threshold for shitty humans have decreased. Throughout this summer, I turned to dance (which I will talk in detail in a different post) and grew to really enjoy the process of learning and improving. A few years ago, I turned to running to occupy my time/generate endorphins/release stress and ended up doing a marathon, so the sky is really the limit from here.

And onto slightly different, I have witnessed too many cases of people letting the infatuated feeling get the better of them. I absolutely hate the feeling that you need another person who probably doesn’t care as much to validate yourself. I’m not saying it’s awful to like someone (who doesn’t HAHA), it’s just you are so much more than what others think of you. Looking back to exchange, one of the main reasons I really enjoyed the fuck out of it because I only needed to care about myself. Maybe I’m just not ready to let someone else into my life, and the sense of independence from exchange that I grew doesn’t help the cause. 靠山山会倒, 靠人人会跑,幸福还是靠自己最好. I said this before to myself and to others: it’s perfectly okay to think about yourself because no one else to going to look out for you. What others think about you isn’t important at all; be so busy improving yourself that you do not have time to criticise others. 

Year 1 summer was all about new journeys out of the comfort zone. Yes it didn’t work out, but I would have regretted if I haven’t try and thankful for the experiences I had. Year 2 summer was more of a blur, as it was just internship and preparing for exchange. Year 3 summer? There’s still time left and I haven’t planned on what I want to do. Spent the first week organising the room; it has looked the neatest ever since I came back from exchange. Next week is reservist so I’m left with 2 weeks, which I want to make as damn fulfilling as it can be. Slowly feeling like life is slightly back on track after weeks of autopilot? Be a fighter, and fight on.

Everyone encounters some type of struggle and pressure, which rips them apart and tortures them mentally. until there’s no one there to support them, and they feel like giving up. Just keep going, and you’ll reach there someday. Failure isn’t the worst thing in the world, and you leave behind our scars of the past, and pursue our dreams no matter the obstacles in our path. You’re always faced with the option to give up, or the option to learn from your mistakes, and continue. #RIPChester

Life of a NUS Business (Acc) Student: AY 16/17 Semester 2

P.S. I didn’t intend to finish this post so fast but I felt it would be good to release it as early as possible so that others could read it before the semester starts. I started on this post 1 month ago but edited accordingly so as to give an accurate reflection of the semester not clouded too much by emotions. Sorry no pictures again, didn’t take much photos throughout the semester.

Year 3 done & dusted! After a semester of exchange, the brain has been inactive but re-activated  as this semester is by far the most academically challenging. Okay I always say it’s the hardest semester ever LOL… but this semester was particularly challenging because it was just content overload everywhere and I didn’t manage my time well. Took all core modules this semester, 4 of which were the ACC3k modules so I’m left with ACC3619 for the last year.

It didn’t feel good at all to be back from an environment which was entirely stress free, to one where you constantly have to worry about deadlines every week. All my modules this semester were pre-assigned to me and I had a 3 day work week, which was nice but I found myself still being in school for all days of the week due to projects or CCA. On hindsight, maybe I should have dropped 1 of the accounting cores as the level of content from exchange to now was just BOOMZ. The mindset and lifestyle underwent a drastic change, so I was just glad the semester was over and move on from a clean state in the next and final year of the student journey.

Because I’ll take a picture in front of this sign during my last semester HAHAHA

ACC3604 Corporate & Securities Law

The only module for the semester that I liked the professor, Senior Lecturer Julie Huan. The module mainly focuses on company law, so your bread and butter here is the Companies Act and it will be good if you can get a hard copy of the act (you will need it for finals).

Course assessment consists of 20% class/forum participation, 30% group presentations & 50% finals. For group presentations, each group will present 2 times and you will have to do a report along with the presentation as well. Preparation for class discussions can be exhausting and time consuming, so this isn’t a straightforward course as there is no fixed answer. Although some questions in the class discussions are the same as previous years, Prof Huan will be able to tell if you just copy and paste so it is best if you are able to create your own original content for your assignment. If only it was as easy as it seems, as you are up against a professor with plenty of years of experience both as a professor and a practicing lawyer.

I didn’t do well for biz law back then, so I kinda have a mental block that I couldn’t do well in a similar module. I didn’t class part here AT ALL, as discussions were too high level that I couldn’t contribute anything substantial. Even reading up on cases and reading the act didn’t help me in my preparation for seminars. Given how well I did for class participation back as a Year 1 for corporate law, I knew that I screwed up quite a bit in finals that I didn’t achieve my desired grades. This setback probably shows that I just suck at writing law essays, because honestly I thought I answered well for the questions in the finals. Well, apparently not and not even fucking close LOL. 

Final Grade: C 

ACC3606 Advanced Corporate Accounting & Reporting

Better known as the hardest accounting module you will ever take in NUS, because it wouldn’t be as simple as just a few accounting entries. The module was taught by 2 professors, Adjunct A/P Sardool Singh and one who shan’t be named. 2 group projects, class participation and 1 shit in your pants finals which constitutes of 60% of your total grade. You are allowed 1 cheat sheet for the finals, so know what you want to include and squeeze all you can onto that paper.

A/P Sardool took topics such as accounting for financing instruments, FOREX, etc. He is a very knowledgeable professor so I would recommend being super attentive to his teaching. Like I mentioned, this module is hard so having a prof which is able to break it down to understandable parts is a major plus. The first project is on heavy application of recently revised FRS, so unlike the other project no one knows the correct answer as everything is subjective.

The second group project on consolidation is just lifted questions from the textbook. The questions usually have similar formats so if you have friends who took this module before, ask them for their answers so you can check if you are on the right track. This half of the module was particularly challenging because the professor taught it in a different manner when doing journal entries is the normal method. Everyone wasted a lot of time having to learn back the normal method because no one could understand what he was doing. The module is already hard enough, so why not make it harder? THANKS NUS roflmao.

The scary thing is that in reality, these accounting entries are way complicated than what we study in theory (which we are dying already). Like any accounting modules that involves heavy calculation, practice makes perfect! Try your best to understand how each accounting entry works to make the most out of the practices. Don’t be surprised that you will spending the most time on this module because it is that difficult.

Final Grade: B

ACC3614 Valuation

The “least accounting” module out of the 4 accounting cores I took during the semester, you won’t be going through any journal entries and more of calculations. Those who took higher level finance modules (especially FIN3001) in NUS would have a small advantage in understanding the concepts. The things you will be learning are just valuation of various financial instruments and REITs (the topic of REIT is solely for project).

The module was split into 2 parts, the first half is taught by “he who shan’t be named” yet again and the second half by Dr Lin Yupeng. Mid-terms were just wtf; the best analogy to describe it is imagine yourself being taught how to fish, but the test gives you the fish and ask you to cook in different ways (LOL okay that’s a terrible analogy). Finals were more straightforward though, Prof Lin recycles questions from past-year papers; meaning he just changes the values in the questions. Each exam was 30% and allows you to take two A4 cheatsheets into the exam venue, so there isn’t a need to memorize formulas as it is more of test of applications. Quizzes are recycled as well and open-book, so just print out those from previous semesters.

Final Grade: B

ACC3616 Corporate Governance & Risk Management

The “fluff” module for the semester; where it is possible to smoke your way through everything. Yet another module where 2 professors taught 6 weeks each; A/P Mak Yuen Teen for the first half and Mr Paul Gween for the second half. A/P Mak is a well-known figure in the CG industry so you shouldn’t try to smoke him during tutorial presentation and your written reports. There isn’t much avenue to class part so it shouldn’t be a difference maker. Instead of the usual FRS accounting policies you read, you study frameworks and guidelines which you will use to apply on various cases. Through the module, you will understand more about how board of directors work, along with certain key areas such as the various committees and remuneration structure. Course assessment is straightforward: 10% tutorial presentation, 10% class participation, 30% group project and 50% finals.

Not much variance in the marks given for the CA components except for finals. Finals are open book so if you have the time (which I didn’t whoops), it would be advantageous if you are able to write up your own notes as the notes provided are “everywhere”. You will face the problem of not being able to complete the paper, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the various cases and frameworks so when you read a question, you instantly know where to flip and copy down.

Final Grade: B+

BSP2005 Asian Business Environment

The only module I took this semester which had the old 2 hour lecture 1 hour tutorial format. Me & JQ bidded the same tutorial slots but got assigned different timings, so I didn’t know anyone in the tutorial and got grouped with 2 random students. Our group had to do the first group presentation and I was still in “sobs I want to go back exchange” mode, needless to say it didn’t turn out good. The only positive outlook presenting first was that I had one less thing to worry about when the term progresses.

Course assessment includes 5% in lecture polls, 25% weekly online quizzes, 20% group presentation, 20% class participation, 30% finals. You just need to attend lectures or be online during the lecture timings to get that 5%, and everyone will be comparing answers for the online quizzes, so you would see little to no variance in those 30%. The professor will release all the grades of the CA components so you will know where you stand before the finals.

Finals are just mehhh because it is mainly off the readings and every week you have around 2-4 readings to read. Granted you will have to read them anyway to complete the quiz, but there was no guidelines on things to note during the readings and there was no direction given so have fun reading 100 pages worth of readings… That was the thing I hated the most about the module; the fact that they didn’t give us any learning objectives which could have facilitated understanding.

Never liked the format and content of the module. Although there were some interesting guest lecturers, I found it a burden to study for this module due to the lack of direction. Those matriculating in 2017 and after, CONGRATS you don’t have to worry about this module because it’s not in your new revised curriculum.

Final Grade: C+


CAP (for Y3S2): 3.1

Overall CAP (till Y3S2): 3.89

Initial thoughts were: “You got to be fxxking kidding me.” Completely shitty semester, omfg my heart totally sank into the bottomless pit and it felt absolutely sick to the stomach. I expected myself to not do very well this semester, but NOT THAT HORRENDOUS. Oh my fxxking goodness that C for corp law is just absolutely filthy to the CAP. I even had to check the school website to see if C was a pass for the module lmao. Shows the importance of consistency; as 1 bad semester can really screw you up. The fact that my “base” wasn’t stable due to the many SUs over the semester made the drop even worse. What a complete meltdown sobs. 

I did my own calculations on how much I need to score to maintain getting second upper; borderline Bs would be able to achieve that goal but oh man the C absolutely killed the CAP. I wasn’t even mad at the C+ because I really disliked the module. Time to go find easy UEs and score high grades to pull it back up, and I won’t be pursuing the finance specialization because it isn’t viable for me to continue taking 3k fin modules. Crossing fingers for more As in the last year and a good FSP journey because it would be quite a bit to pull the CAP back. Time to go full super saiyan close mugger mode? LOL worst timing ever to receive this wake-up call but less ranting, more putting in of effort.

FXXK LAW oh my goodness gracious…

Life of a NUS Business (Acc) Student: AY 16/17 Semester 1 (Exchange)

Old Town @ Tallinn

It felt weird if I skipped a semester of module reviews even though I was on exchange. Thus, I decided to do a review anyways despite this being over 6 months overdue. I know it’s hard to relate unless you (the reader) are going to the exact same university, so I’ll keep the module reviews short and allocate more words on some tips in terms of studying and module planning for exchange.

For my SEP, I spent my Year 3 Semester 1 in Stockholm University (SU) in Sweden for this semester. It was my last choice so amidst the competitive semester I was grateful to just be able to get a slot. The 2 core modules I really wanted to map overseas were BSP3001 & MNO2007, so I only applied to schools which offered both the above modules. The semester in SU is split into 4 periods and how it works is that you will complete 1 module every month, instead of studying for all your modules continuously back in NUS. It definitely felt weird as it’s just 1 month of intensive studying for 1 module, and it was interesting nonetheless to experience a different education system in another continent.

P.S. For SU the grading system is as follows: A = 90 & above, B = 80-89, C = 70-79, D = 60-69, E = 50-59; and you need an E to pass. 

Fundamentals of Strategic Management

Mapped to: BSP3001 Strategic Management

This module is THE module to map if you are going for exchange. All the NUS Business peeps did this module together so I had the luxury of going the group project with my schoolmates. Did a case study on IKEA, group project on BMW and ended with a final test of 30 MCQs. Our group skipped the tutorials that we were not presenting to go travelling HAHA (yes this is the essence of exchange). Prof liked NUS students for some reason so did well in the CA components,  so I came into the finals slightly overconfident because I knew of the fact that I only needed to pass. Finished the paper within 20 minutes and left the venue to prepare for my first solo trip.

Final Grade: D

Fashion Marketing

Mapped to: MKT3422X Topics in Marketing.

Took this module with E, even though the ideal module for me to take during Period 2 is Corporate Finance (FIN3101), but dumb me didn’t do his module planning in a smart fashion. (this shows the importance of module planning kids HAHA) I could have taken a level 4000 finance module but it had a lot of pre-requisites so I decided to make life simple and take a marketing module instead.

I always found marketing to be a fun topic, so I was okay with taking this module because it gave me a chance to have a taste of how marketing is like without needing to worry about the end result. The module turned out to be slightly disappointing as I felt like it didn’t really value add to what I already knew about marketing. My group did an analysis of Adidas Originals for our project, which was really done in a half-fuck way. Finals were really simple because 50% of the paper was a copy and paste from last semester’s paper.

Final Grade: A (maybe I should change course and go to specialize marketing? lmao what a joke hahaha)

Business Ethics

Mapped to: MNO2007 Leadership & Ethics

A module I did alone I was assigned to this module several times and had to keep requesting to drop the module. I have friends who did well in this module back in NUS but given how bad I did for MNO1001 and it’s another 30% class participation module, it was a module I really really wanted to map overseas. This is one of the modules that isn’t commonly offered as compared to other modules (Among universities in Korea, only KU offered it).

Got grouped with a Swed, a French and a HK girl for this module, and it was only me who studied English as their main language. I had to go through a lot of pain to edit our paper because there were several grammatical and phrasing mistakes. The most memorable part of the module is how I trekked through a freaking snowstorm just to give a presentation, only to see half of my group missing when I arrived LOL. (yes fellow exchangers also not caring about school haha) 

The finals were something I was scared of failing because it was purely based on the textbook. I didn’t even buy the textbook, which cost $100 and I’m not going to spend that amount of money on studies for exchange please HAHA. Okay the real reason I was scared was because the re-test was in the middle of my travelling plans so I really had to pass it, which I did thankfully. In the end, it’s a relief that I managed to finally clear this module.

Final Grade: B

Finance II

Mapped to: FIN3102 Investment Analysis & Portfolio Management

Mostly calculations and to be honest, I felt it was easier than FIN2004 I took 1 year ago. The module was a whole was super straightforward and there was nothing complicated with the formulas learnt. There was online quizzes and a short paper which was done in pair work for continual assessment. Tutorials and past year papers are more than enough for revision of the final examination.

The final examination was 4 hours long so it’s opposite of what I usually face back in NUS: I have way more than enough time to finish my paper here. The joke of this module was how I pointed out an error in the question, and I was told that there was nothing wrong with the question. After 15 minutes, the professor announced the exact same error… yeahhhhh seriously? *insert bitch please emoji*. Yays to clearing a finance module here in Sweden!

Final Grade: A

happy mind, happy life

Final Thoughts + Tips on SEP 

I found myself having more than 1 month to travel because I ended my semester much earlier than my peers in SU. The norm is to take 1 module in each period, but I cleared 2 modules in Period 3 so my semester effectively ended at the end of November. YES TRAVEL TRAVEL TRAVEL!!! I listed some goods and bads about going to SU, which are as follows:

Why NOT SU? ):

  • If you are tight with your finances; Stockholm can be an expensive city to have your exchange in.
  • If your attention is to overload, because SU is one of the school which only allows you to take 4 modules and give you a free dummy UE module to make sure you clear 20MCs.
  • Not much variety of CCAs you can join, but then again you won’t have time to attend them if you are constantly on the move!

Why SU? 🙂

  • Very chill timetable, not very strict on attendance. You will find yourself with a lot of free time to travel 😛
  • You will find yourself having to put much less effort into studying (this is true for nearly all universities in Europe, but there are a few universities where you do have to study properly to pass)
  • English standard in Sweden is very high relative to other European countries, so no language barriers and I dare say locals in Scandinavian countries (which include Finland & are the nicest people ever.
  • Transport is as good as 24/7 in Stockholm, although frequency is much lower in the wee hours in the morning, so you won’t find yourself stuck if you are travelling in and out of the country at weird timings.
  • Did I mention Swedish Lapland is one of the best winter experiences ever? There are many student tours available from Stockholm and okay I nearly froze to death there HAHA.

In regards to module mapping and planning, the best tip I can give is to have contingencies/Plan Bs, because you might not be able to get all your preferred modules. This is especially important for accountancy students who do not have many UEs to play with in their module planning. If you can’t really map business modules and have to do UEs during SEP, be prepared that you might need to overload in your future semesters, so check that you will be able to clear your university-level requirements!

The worst case scenario is that you fail a module overseas, so study enough to pass but don’t go mugging like crazy because no one is going to care if you get straight As during your SEP. It’s not wrong to study hard, but you are wasting precious time overseas if you over-study; time which you could have used to travel around.

Apologies for the slight deviation and constant mentioning of travelling, but I really did break a lot of boundaries during exchange and it was a truly awesome possum semester which I am grateful that I had the opportunity to go for. To those who are reading this and going for your own SEPs,  There will be times where every exchange student have their own struggles, be it being home sick, missing your friends and family, or hating the weather. The months you spend abroad may seem like a long time, but as soon as it is all over, you wonder what happened to them. You might think you have a lot of time, but poof in no time you will be back in Singapore. When it all ends, all the mix of emotions you experienced will be all worth it.