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Violy Tops The World In Auditing

Violy tops the world in Auditing -  Article Image 1
It’s a long way from Denpasar, Bali, but Violy has found a second home in Singapore, studying at SIM and now working in the financial services industry


SHE WAS the crème de la crème of the SIM-University of London students, scoring a First in all her 14 papers in her degree programme, and even topped the world for the Auditing exam in 2014.

A three-time winner of the UOL prize, Violy Purnamasari, 21, also won a scholarship for the Masters programme at the London School of Economics and Politics Science. She didn’t proceed to LSE, though, but instead started work as an auditor at Ernst and Young in Singapore.

Violy who hailed from Denpasar, Bali, obtained a UOL Diploma in Economics in 2012 at SIM Global Education. The Diploma enabled her to enter Year 2 of the BSc (Hons) in Accounting & Finance programme.

UOL's Flexible Study Programme

The flexible study plan instilled a strong sense of discipline and responsibility in her to study, says Violy. “I had to organise my own timetable since under the UOL system, there was no mid-exam or assignment-writing to force me to study. Having a timetable also enabled me to set aside time for activities outside the classroom.”

These activities included being president of the SIM Buddhist Bhavana Club in 2011-2012, as well as serving in other roles in the Investment and Networking Club, and the Scholars’ Network. Violy received an SIM GE scholarship in the last year of her degree programme.

The Buddhist Bhavana Club organises events for fellow Buddhist students and anyone with an interest in Buddhism, says Violy. “We organised temple tours around Singapore, a three-day camp at the biggest temple in Singapore, Kong Meng San Por Kha See, and a trip to a monastery in Johor Bahru. We also held weekly Dhamma classes, with invited speakers talking about topics ranging from daily life lessons to meditation practice.

“I was also involved in many other SIM events such as Open House where I helped in advising prospective students and their parents on UOL courses.

“I enjoyed myself a lot in these events, making new friends and learning new things in the process. Participating in CCA actually built my character, taught me skills like networking and leadership, and even landed me my current job.

“Student life is the best time to try all new things and to discover your passion and purpose in life. It is crucial to have a purpose in life, because one day with a purpose is much better than living a hundred years with no purpose.”

On her study success, she says there was no secret. “You just needed to stay focused and plan your timetable correctly. No last-minute mugging because it’s simply not effective, especially for UOL subjects.

“And in class, I would ask my lecturer a lot of questions to make sure I understood what they taught in each session. I guess many of my lecturers might have found me irritating because I kept asking them questions,” she adds with a chuckle.

Violy also took part in SIM GE's All-Rounder Student Development programme where external coaches were hired to train and prepare students in their final year to be work-ready. The students learn to write persuasive resumes, and participate in job interview simulation, networking events and presentation practice.

The All-Rounder programme has benefitted her greatly, Violy says. At that time, she has just completed her studies and she was sending out job application letters but didn’t get any replies. In one of the All-Rounder workshops, a career coach encouraged her not to feel discouraged, but to re-think a different approach to applying for jobs. Finally, through getting in touch with a contact, she landed her current auditing job.

Career Goals

Violy’s ultimate goal is to mind her own business, hopefully in the social services, she reveals. Although her current job as auditor doesn’t look like what she has in mind to advance her career goal, she points out that it is important to have work experience first, in the commercial and finance industry.

Gaining a working knowledge of the industry will be crucial in ensuring future success. Her advice at the workplace is not to be afraid to take a fall, because “without falling, there will be no rising”, she adds.

Violy says working as an auditor is an interesting experience. "As an auditor, we need to understand the business of our client before we can audit them, which is I think the most interesting part in audit plan. We get to know many different business processes in different sectors.

"Auditing also requires curiosity on our part. We must find out the rationale behind each audit procedure, and not blindly perform what senior colleagues told us to do. We also need human relationship skills because we will be in direct constant contact with clients. Good communication skills will ensure a smooth process in auditing.

"Above all, we must know the central purpose of becoming an auditor so that we can appreciate and grow to love the profession."

I Want To Play 10 Musical Instruments

“I am a big lover of music,” Violy says. “Basically I enjoy everything that is related to music, from playing instruments to singing. Now I’m playing the piano and guitar, and a little bit of the violin, ukulele, recorder and harmonica. My aim is to be able to play 10 different musical instruments!”And despite all the study, CCA and music practice in her student days, she also played badminton and tennis, and swam. “But most of the time I was just too lazy to exercise,” she admits. “I would rather watch a spectator sport, like badminton, tennis, archery and soccer. I follow news of my favourite football club, Liverpool, and watch their matches if I have time.

“I read books occasionally, mostly on motivational and religious subjects. My favourite title is by Ajahn Brahm, "The worm and its favourite dirt", a collection of stories on life lessons. We tend to be obsessed with life and its pleasures, like the worm with its favourite patch of dirt. This book shows how to see life in a simpler way and to be happy from within, not depending on external causes.

“By the way, Ajahn Brahm is my favourite teacher. He is an Australian monk trained in the Thai forest tradition.”

- Posted online, 26 Dec 2014