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The Queen Stays Queen

Hello 2018! And here comes the mandatory review of 2017?! 2017 was truly a year of extremes; and a year that truly encompasses the meaning of “the only way is up”. The turning point in the year has got to be when I got the internship at the Big 4 and frankly, I didn’t deserve many things given the amount of effort I put into it. I was still unmotivated and lost as I approached my final year as a student, but I told myself that I would make that last student year the best damn year. It really is an interesting year because my sources of happiness wasn’t derived from achieving something but more of getting rid of unnecessary emotional baggage.

This winter holidays encompasses the true definition of “doing nothing”, but omg it felt so good HAHAHA. The last 2 months of 2017 really flew by as it went from being too busy with studying to being too lazy to do anything after finals ended. It rained a lot of well, which made cooping in home even more comfortable ROFL. Watched a lot of random videos, from anime (Attack on Titan omg loves), dance classes to reality shows such as Survivor. Inspiration of the title of the post came from the two-time winner herself the queen! One of the main reasons I love Survivor is the jury aspect; as people that you eliminated directly or indirectly essentially determine whether you win a million dollars. Oh how the tables have turned… which leads to jury management 101 aka how you act towards others. Kinda applies to real life, but not saying that every single move needs to be calculated. Treat others the way you wanted to be treated. Emotions do run high in such a game setting, and one slip of the tongue can be an instant death. Same goes to real life; you can’t take back what you say. Moral of story? Control those damn emotions.

Adios~!

The one main thing I carried onward from 2016 to 2017 was the sense of independence. It started during exchange where I did several things all by myself, so the trend just carried on for the whole year. You win some, you lose some. At the start it really felt like I lost a big chunk of my heart, but you live to fight another day and it turned out for the better. Part of the #independencetrain was getting off social media, as I became more private about my life and posted a lot less. The rants also got slightly less on twitter HAHAHA, if there was a need to express myself, I would do it here. And if there is something more private, I would just password-protect the post. Words have still continued to be my main way to express my thoughts and feelings, and as we are reaching a full 10 years here (holy smokes thats nearly 50% of my life), it is truly a diary worth looking back.

Stop looking for happiness in the same place you lost it.

THE QUOTE which embraced the year. Rather than trying to fit in certain places, at the end of the day you just have to stay true to yourself. This year would be a year of transition, from the university to the workplace environment. New start, new mindset, new rules. My tone may be totally different in a few months time as I really have no idea what to expect. Yays to finishing 2017 with at least a post a month HAHA! May not be able to post here on such a timely basis anymore, and perhaps I should write when the feel comes rather than forcing 1 out every month. I always feel like I’m yapping about the same topics, but there has been some new happenings that are worth noting about (hint hint about new post in the future HAHA). Feel like life is going upwards and on a high now, so as usual… KEEP IT GOING~!

Life of a NUS Business (Acc) Student: AY 17/18 Semester 1

because it’s rare that I even take a group picture nowadays

Happy 2018! 2nd last time I will ever write a module review here, as it has been a habit to get these out as soon as possible before the new semester starts. 3 years ago, it was a decision to start writing up all these to help online wanderers have some information about Business (Accountancy) modules. iIf one person benefitted from reading; then I am a happy man. Looking at how views spike up every time it is time to bid for modules, such information really can be important in making the right decisions.

3 modules + FSP for this semester; did contemplate overloading to make the last semester a more relaxing one; but in the end I just decided to go towards the conventional route. Needed to bid for 2 modules so I decided to just clear my 2 4k modules. On hindsight, I should have spread out my core accounting modules the previous semester by dropping 1 of them. It really is a tricky task to have the perfect module planning (from summer schools, exchange to taking modules which are only offered in a certain semester); perhaps I will do one summarising everything when I’m officially done with university hahaha we shall see.

ACC3619 Integrated Perspectives in Business & Accounting

This is called the ‘capstone’ module among our accounting core modules as the pre-requisite is to have completed or concurrently taking all the other accounting core modules. This module is relatively new and it served to prepare the

For AY16/17 Semester 2, the module coordinator was Prof Stephen Lynn and feedback wasn’t too positive due to the horrendous timing of the modules (6-9pm), and for my semester (AY17/18 Semester 1), we have module coordinators, Prof Tan and Prof Ho. The bulk of the module came from the group project (30%) and finals (50%). A company would be assigned to your project group, where each member has to do an individual presentation (10%). The last 10% consists of class participation, which is just asking questions during the individual presentations. The twist is this: There are 5 weeks in total, and you wouldn’t know whether you have to present. So if you are the last presenter for your group, you would have essentially prepared 5 presentations… which is totally overload. I understood the idea of the profs was to ensure that the whole group understood the whole project instead of just his/her own part, but it isn’t feasible from a student’s perspective to be preparing presentation after presentation.. like hello we still have other modules to study… I was also dabao-ing my lunch into class while watching the presentations. Yeahhhhh as usual no one really paid attention to the presentations HAHAHA.

The format for finals was kinda interesting; the profs will release the company which will be tested during the final 2 weeks prior to the actual date of exam (which falls on the last day of finals blehhhhh) and it is open book so it became a war of preparing the proper notes to copy in the exam. Previous semester was DBS while this semester was an e-commerce company called YuuZoo. The format of the final was similar to the previous semester, so those who are taking this module, go to the exam paper database and looked at the questions!

tl;dr: Idea of the module is there, but it really adds zero value to what we have already learnt in previous modules. Personally, I would have liked it to be more geared towards perhaps SQP preparation? I would suggest future module coordinators to review the format of the whole module because it hasn’t fully worked out yet.

Final Grade: B-

ACC4613 Forensic Accounting

There were 2 different sectional timings opened for the module; 9am and 1pm. You could get the module at 1 point if you took the morning slot, or pay an additional 900 points to get the afternoon slot instead like yours truly LOL. I wasn’t planning on pursuing the finance specialisation so I didn’t really care about spending points in the G account. This module is very popular among the 4k accounting modules which can be taken, content was very interesting as it involved studying of financial crimes such as money laundering and terrorist financing.

The module coordinator was Dr Larry Lam, a professor with many years of working experience in the related field and also with a nice mixed American accent HAHAHA (you could say that he is the MYT of forensic accounting). Course assessment got revised halfway into the course and is as follows: 10% data analytics in-class assignment, 20% quiz, 30% class participation and 40% group project/presentation. Although I had friends who were in the same sectional, I ended up grouping with a bunch of acquaintances who were pretty badass as it was a group that I just had to chip in my part and nothing more. The quiz happened in Week 12 and it was just MCQ AND open book, so there isn’t much to prepare. It turned out that many of us did really well so I would say this is a very good module to take as a 4k accounting module. Do take note that this module is only offered in Semester 1, so do your module planning accordingly!

Final Grade: A+ (Yays to yet another A+ in my NUS life)

ACC4615 Advanced Assurance & Attestation

I was contemplating this versus internal audit, and I figured that given how I did 2 audit internships and I actually do enjoy audit, I shall try this module and hope for the best. The module coordinator is Prof Tan Wee Cheng, whom may have taken taught some ACC3603 before. Prof Tan teaches half of the semester, which includes the more abstract content such as FV Audit, forensic accounting; while Prof Alima (which is her first time teaching in a university setting) teaches the other half which is the more technical stuff, such as materiality and group audit.

Course assessment is 15% class participation, 15% tutorial presentation, 30% group project & 40% finals. I was “in charge of my own destiny” as I formed my initial group of 3 and had 2 late additions. Group project is similar to ACC3616, where you do your own research on a certain case and write up your own case along with teaching notes. Our group had this zai double-degree law and accountancy guy and I got an A+ for the project. However, it turned out everyone did quite well for the project, as well as the tutorial presentation AND class participation. In the end the deciding factor lies on the finals, which was an electronic paper and open book (first e-exam in NUS yay~). Yours truly quite competitive and played a typing speed test to warm up the hands HAHAHA.

Again, what audit is in real life is not exactly the same as you learn in theory, but you learn to appreciate the various SSAs that we learnt in each topic.

Final Grade: A

FSP4003 Field Service Project

Grading for FSP is as follows: 45% Final Report, 25% Final Presentation, 10% Peer Review, 20% Learning Journal. I was mentally ready to do this with randoms, but L linked me up with a group of 3 and we were assigned to a hospital as our client for FSP, along with an adjunct professor who was taking FSP for the first time. As accountancy students, you will most likely find yourselves doing something non-accounting related for your FSP. Our group ended up with a project which falls under “Market Research”, but it ended up involving some form of modelling as well.

The journey to completing this FSP was anything but smooth. The supposed deadline for report submission was the first Monday of recess week, but as all Business students know, Week 13 is hell week for most of us so we literally rushed up more than half the report in the span of 3-4 days. I had presentation a few days before audit finals as well, but the COO was very relaxed and we were able to present while sitting down ROFL (imagine a 25% presentation being given while sitting).

The only advice I would give is that if possible, find your own professor because you would want one who views you in a positive light. No complains about the grade I got; felt it was a fair grade given the circumstances. Yes an A would be perfect given how it is 8MCs worth, but one shall not be greedy and be contented.

Final Grade: A-

FINAL THOUGHTS

CAP (for Y4S1): 4.4

Overall CAP (till Y3S2): (Yes, 4 flat…)

so ugly

What a comeback, like wow. Might have made dean’s list if 3619 came out a lot better; but whatever happens, happens. By far the best semester in NUS by a humongous margin. I wouldn’t say that I put in much more effort this semester compared to the previous semester, I still feel like I was putting in 70-80% effort, since I knew I could effectively not care LOL. Maybe that explains my lack of excitement seeing results this semester. The biggest change had to be in the mental state of mines, and a change in mentality really reflected well in the quality of work. Now the CAP is really in a precarious situation, so in short no fooling around in the last semester. Maybe the “excitement” will come in next semester when stakes are extremely high.

No calculation required; all B+ next semester would be sufficient. However looking back at my accounting core modules, holy shit I didn’t know I was so awful in them. It ended up very ironic that I did well in my 4k modules but failed atrociously in the 3k modules (I average a B in those 8 modules). Did I really enrol into the wrong course? Am I bad in higher level accounting? Or are my peers really just that good that I’m left drowning in the bell curve? Nonetheless, one good semester really can change the momentum of your student life, so I just need to ride this consistency into the last semester. Last semester, best semester; Let’s get at it.

P.S FXXK LAW I still hate you oh my fucking goodness…

cheers to starting 2018 well~!

Lonely

December 9 2017, 12 noon. Same old announcement; put your pens down. Yet another semester done, and the sense of liberation feels less and less exhilarating as we grow older. The wait for 3619 was particularly painful, seeing everyone else done and flying off while you are stuck here with this last final. It definitely sucked a lot to witness others enjoy themselves in different countries, but I did my fair share of travelling last year so I was content with living the chill life back here in Singapore. Bam end of Year 4 Semester 1, and one-third of December is over already. A little slacking, a lot more sleeping later boomz two-thirds of December is gone as we approach the final fews days of 2017 and snowy days here in WordPress.

Nothing much to add onto the academic side for this later part of the year. Very different group dynamics for each group project that I worked on over the semester; there were some which I could take a back seat because everyone was so competent, while there was others where I had to take the charge. You feel less in control of your grades since you are only putting in a small fraction of the entire product/deliverable. The intense chiong-ing of projects and studying for finals killed a bit of the vibes for #lastyearbestyear as the focus was back on the books. It wasn’t 100% focus on work, but I finally did flip the switch to mugging mode. Priorities as a student still stay and I can’t afford to fuck up my results anymore. 1 more week until results release so we shall see how well (or horrendous) I did this semester.

Getting there

Yours truly haven’t had a good honest break ever since the start of 2017; from resuming school straight from exchange mode, doing yet another summer internship to fulfilling army obligations. I did think about doing a winter internship, but I shall just let myself rest for this last winter holiday. Haven’t accomplished much thus far; did little organising and I just spent most of the time sleeping if I’m not outside. The most important aspect that I took stride into getting back a healthy mental state was a reset of the mindset; I knew I let certain happenings got the better for me, so it was only right for myself to distant myself away from them. No more playing the blame game, keep your head up and move on. It wasn’t a spontaneous decision but I had the feeling that it was a step towards the right direction. Trust your gut feeling sometimes; it works wonders.

Over-thinking kills happiness, insecurity kills self esteem, doubts kills more hope than actual failure will. I managed to reduce those 3 silent killer emotions in this later part of the year as I worked towards a slightly different self. One that embraced negativity in a positive way instead of drowning back into toxicity; One that didn’t require the recognition of others to cover the lack of confidence. Sometimes our thoughts are backed by so much insecurities, they create lies that we actually believe. In the end, a positive attitude gives you power over your circumstances instead of your circumstances having power over you.

#YouDidWellJonghyun

The Response

Sneaking in another quick update so that I can keep up the “one post a month” regime. Left with 2 finals and a presentation until I am done with Y4S1. That Week 12-13 stretch is probably one of the most intense week that I have experienced as a student, got especially grumpy and overly sensitive during that period. I’m relieved that I got through that tough phase, with the mind and soul having some breathing space. It’s good to go through hard times because it trains your mentality and when it is all over, you will come out a little stronger.

This semester has been challenging in a slightly unique way because of the mass projects. Y3S2 was still technically the most challenging and content heavy, but Y4S1 was painfully unenjoyable because of project-based grading. I’m not a big fan of collaborative projects as I’m more of a studying person who likes to work independently. Always secretly praying not for group meetings to happen LOL. With projects (almost) out of the way, I feel that I’m back to my peaceful state of studying actual content instead of busy editing Google Docs or Slides HAHAHA. Reliving JC days where I did my intense mugging in Bugis Library, going for quick meals because I’m always petrified about my books and notes getting moved away by the librarians. I have 3 weeks to cover 2 modules, which is really a very long time. Time will unfortunately fly though and before you know it, it’s day for the finals and I would be wondering where did all that time go whoops.

Y4S1 life in a snapshot

Mentality as a Year 4 has been very carefree as I am more focused on living life as a student instead of caring about pulling back my CAP. Like I should be desperate and motivated to pull myself out back to 2nd upper, but nope I’m like whatever goes~ The thought of me being stuck in my current CAP has never struck me, which is kinda freaky. Still hate myself so fucking much for the previous semester, but yes shit just happens. Feeling slightly distant from the biz people because the only we talk about are job opportunities, FSP and group projects LOL. Okays its more of everyone being more foreign as we all get caught up in our own lives…

This later half of the year has been more calming to the soul as I got rid of a lot of “excess baggage”. I wouldn’t say I am more happy per say; but a lot of less angst which typically equates to more happiness. Just following principles that I mentioned here before: do the things you love that makes you happy, and be with people who genuinely care. Those who truly care and make an effort versus those who only know how to talk… the difference is blatantly obvious. To those who took me for granted, sorry but I do not need people like you in my life. Yes, I am a nice person, but if you cross the line too many times, things can change very quickly.

Much frustration and sighing moments as I reach the end of November, but omg 11 months gone already and closing in to 1 semester remaining as a student?!! I was freezing away in Stockholm just last year zomg; 1 year can really make a lot of difference.

The Climb

October update time! Having the discipline to post at least once every month has been harder than I thought; and the challenge is actually having something worth updating about rofl. No new happenings in life since the last time I posted here; just the same ol’ shit with moments of gratitude along the way.

Y4S1 in a not so small nutshell so far: No midterms this semester but deadlines are piling up; it’s one project deliverable after another. It’s really a semester filled with just projects, and I’m here just wishing that I am not a burden to the groups that I am in. Group projects for level 4k modules aren’t as simple as straightforward as before, and clashes are bound to happen when opinions differ. Maybe I’m not used to having such a high proportionate of the workload being project-based so it has been a lot of visits to Starbucks typing away on the Macbook in Google Drive HAHAHA.

always going to be an uphill battle

Sometimes I wonder if getting that PO is really as good as it appears to be… Motivation is totally non-existent and I can feel that I am not “desperate enough” to be hardworking. I wouldn’t say I have been COMPLETELY overwhelmed, as the stress factor of needing to do well is much alleviated. Freedom in the form of winter holidays feel so far away, even though it is already mid October. Only 2 finals but one of them is on the last day of the exam period, which kills any travel plans sadly because a getaway would have been really good. Just going to take it week by week, deadline by deadline. 

Haven’t really taken care of the body; many nights of bad sleep, falling sick and getting injuries. You really need to listen to your own body, and you can’t just rely on willpower and determination to fight through. Haven’t been on social media much as well, which has been revitalising as comparison really stops and you feel contented with what you have. (plus the fact that social media can be such a blatant lie at times)  Indeed, social circles get smaller, responsibilities become heavier and threshold for bullshit gets much lower. Sick and tired of one-sided friendships/relationships and I know that I may not have given a fair chance for some, but sorry I’m really tired of needing to deal with such emotional bullshit. Optimism for #lastyearbestyear did feel like it’s shrinking, the laziness has definitely sinked into daily habits. Not good… not good at all.

Was backing up my photos during exchange (holy shit 9 months of procrastination) and I came across this post that I took a screenshot in my phone. Just going to copy it here as a friendly reminder for myself:

7 Secrets of Happiness

1. Have a good core group of friends.

2. Build some adventure into your life. Don’t fall into “the same old, same old”.

3. Research confirms that “stuff won’t make us happy” so clear out the junk – and only keep what you love.

4. Work on establishing balance in your life. Don’t be too busy or you’ll wind up depressed.

5. Give in to temptation every now and again. Too much discipline is boring in the end.

6. Like and appreciate yourself. Take time to notice and affirm your strengths.

7. Start living in the moment – don’t doubt every move. Accept your decision as the best one right now.

~

I always believed that the start for any journey is the hardest, and it has stayed the same. But it’s not how you start, it’s how you end it that really matter.  Yes it will hurt; it will take time; it will require dedication; it will require that drive. It doesn’t get easier, you get stronger. 

One In A Million

It’s useless to be mad on those who ruined your mood
When it’s unsolvable as you think, take a deep breath temporarily
Whatever they say, don’t be afraid
Shout out loud with the only voice in the world

I was contemplating doing my September post either now or during recess week, but feels were strong to type out one tonight. In the midst of a “busy” start to the last year of school, there hasn’t been an urge to do a post as other priorities in life start to pile in. Yes adult-ing is real and more responsibilities fall into our laps; so less excuses, less distractions, less procrastinating.

It wasn’t the most comfortable start during the first few weeks of school. I am only taking 3 modules with a FSP this semester, and my earliest lesson starts at noon? Omg this is a total heaven for the night owl life, but the body clock has been accustomed to waking up early ever since internship. Not sure whether it is a good or bad thing, but there is something about doing things at night which helps in bringing in the inner peace. Content-load wise it is actually not as bad as last semester, but the dreaded group work arrives as I am working with mostly unfamiliar people (acquaintances). I know it would be the same in the work place, but situations where you need to form groups make me realise the insignificant number of friends in the faculty. Okays this is quite a superficial problem HAHAHA so count your blessings, not your problems.

The harder the battle, the sweeter the victory

The lack of motivation is very strong; both in classes and in terms of a more serious job search, yet another instance of feeling lost & still wondering I want to accomplish in this last year. #lastyearbestyear still stands, as there has been many instances of the reinforcement of the life principles I love . It’s still the same ol’ shit: Grateful for the constants, blessed for the new. Yes no one is perfect, but there are just pet peeves that yours truly cannot stand. Not going to state them here, but I have encountered and witnessed too much of the people/cases. You always have 2 ways around it: either you fight it or you ignore it. I choose the option where I don’t let insignificant things get into my head. It’s all about finding tranquility amidst the storm, so work hard in silence and let your success make the noise.

Meanwhile, the mom is off back in Taiwan for a month, while the sister stays in school most of the time. It kinda felt like I was transported back to exchange lifestyle; just me and my Macbook in my room. It was a journey of finding the best version of myself back then, and it’s the same now just in a less foreign environment. Keep pushing, keep moving and get back to the right healthy mentality.