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Cultivating Life Skills
After graduating with a Gold Award as the top student from his Diploma in Management Studies at SIM GE, Tng Jian Yu went on to complete his degree in Business Management at SIM-University of Birmingham. The current Business Development Analyst at United Parcel Service (UPS) shares about his enriching university experiences.
Tng Jian Yu (right) with fellow classmate Thet Naing Tun, president of SIM Myanmar Students Community (My-SIM), at SIM’s diploma studies graduation
An enriching university life goes beyond textbooks, lectures and examinations. So, I feel that we should take the opportunity to enjoy our student days and get involved in co-curricular activities (CCA) before entering the workforce.
For myself, I plunged headlong into the many events that SIM GE offers. In 2012, for instance, I took part in the AG-SIM Youth Leaders' Summit, SIM Business Management Challenge, Peer Support Programme, the journalistic writing workshop and other skills development programmes.
I also joined many sports and special interest clubs such as the SIM Students Toastmasters, Young Entrepreneur Network and the Badminton Leisure Club.
As a result, balancing studies and other activities and managing my time was a real challenge. But whatever my schedule, my main priority was my studies. My hard work paid off when I graduated from my diploma course with a Gold Award and later completed my degree programme.
Practising Impromptu Speech
I love to get up there to hold the audience captive, even if only for a few minutes. Hence, my active participation in Toastmasters.
Toastmasters place emphasis on communication and leadership development. We practise both impromptu and prepared public speaking. An impromptu speech is one where participants have to speak for one to two minutes on a topic that is revealed only on the spot. The prepared section requires members to prepare a speech of five to seven minutes, and deliver it in front of the crowd.
In 2012, I was the Toastmasters’ vice-president for education, responsible for organising meetings each fortnight. It was time-consuming and I used to freak out if my fellow student officials didn’t turn up. With time, I was able to hold my nerves and make judgment on the next best course of action when key participants were absent. I later went on to become the president of the Toastmasters programme in 2013. The practice of making impromptu speeches has prepared me well for my current job and I am confident of answering questions with more composure.
I was also a frequent member in SIM Badminton Leisure club where I played for enjoyment and unwind.
Acquiring Skills For The Workplace
The University of Birmingham’s BSc (Hons) Business Management course (the SIM diploma programme qualified me to direct entry into the second year) which I graduated from provided me with a solid theoretical background to build my job and industry knowledge on.
I am able to apply the life skills that I picked up during the course of my studies. The rigour of the course has helped me in better managing my workload especially during critical peak periods where I have to ensure multiple tasks are completed within specific timelines.
As a whole, the experience of studying alongside a sizable proportion of foreign students in SIM (especially in SIM's Diploma in Management Studies) was beneficial. These experiences helped me in my current job as I’m able to keep communication smooth and maintain a pleasant working relationship when liaising with counterparts from other regions or countries.
Posted online September 2013, updated 04 May 2018