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Community Leader and Aspiring Academic
Bachelor of Arts (Psychology)
SIM-University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
Goh Jia Hao is currently pursuing his doctorate at the Singapore Management University. He is an alumnus of the University at Buffalo’s psychology programme.
Jia Hao’s decision to study at SIM turned out to be one of the best decisions of his life.
“Since young, my parents always taught me to put careful thought into my decisions, and to do what is right instead of what is popular. While my peers encouraged me to enrol in a local public university, the style of instruction at the University of Buffalo programme resonated more strongly with me. The culture of sharing and open communication between instructor and student really helped me optimise my time in university and prepare me for an academic career in my field of choice.
Even till today, I remain close friends with various instructors, visiting them at their homes whenever I happen to be in the United States, or going out for meals with them to talk about our lives. As such, apart from enriching my education and preparing me for career success, being a part of this programme also connected me with mentors whom I can turn to in times of need.”
Jia Hao saw how circumstances ‘even the most challenging ones’ are what we make of them.
“One of the biggest challenges that students from private institutions face is that opportunities and exposure are not necessarily plentiful or available to all students. However, if one is determined and willing to actively seek out openings, opportunities will present themselves. For example, while the lack of locally-based research faculty may have been a challenge for students keen on doing psychology research, I took my own steps to actively pursue external options and gain the relevant experience I needed to progress to graduate school.”
Jia Hao learnt the value of having a plan.
“One of the most important lessons any undergraduate can have while studying is to understand how to start planning for themselves early. Start planning early what kind of career you wish for yourself and work towards it as you progress through your education. A university education is more than just completing the required courses…it also involves preparing yourself to be relevant for the job market. Knowing early on what you need to get done gives plenty more room to build a niche for yourself.”