The NUS Business School Alumni Association (NUSBSA) Accountancy Wing, in partnership with NUS BizAd Accountancy Network (BAN), organised the first-ever Future Career Quest on 7 October 2021. Pivoting from the typical networking night held physically at CPA Australia (Singapore Division), the event shifted online due to constraints brought about by COVID-19. Future Career Quest was a networking event aimed at providing career guidance to NUS Accountancy undergraduates, with a focus on the Big Four accounting firms.
The event saw 70 freshmen and sophomore joining in for the evening over Zoom to learn and network. Executive Chairman of PwC Singapore, Mr Marcus Lam, graced the event with an impactful keynote speech on how students can prepare for a career a digitising world and amidst an ongoing pandemic. As Mr Lam shared personal anecdotes, his candour and approachability helped the audience understand his life experiences, how it influenced who he is and career decisions he made until today. Students walked away with a newfound appreciation of the future of accounting – where accountants are expected to possess multidisciplinary competencies, digital savviness and a passion for sustainability. Among other insights, Mr Lam impressed upon everyone that the type of internship or career one chose was less important than how proactive one is in learning and contributing to the organisation. This served as a good reminder that developing the right “heart-ware” is more crucial than amassing the right “hardware” as the journey continues beyond graduation.
After Mr Lam’s sharing, students also participated actively in breakout rooms with young alumni who possesses three to five years of work experience. These include alumni who had stints in the Big Four (namely in the areas of audit, advisory, tax and consulting). A total of nine young alumni, all graduates of NUS Accountancy, supported this segment, which made it easier for students in the same course to relate to them. Students were able to get up close and personal (albeit virtually) with each alumni to find out more about their experiences in university, during internship and in the workplace. Interestingly, each alumnus echoed the same encouragement for students: to keep an open mind and explore various career options – both the well-known companies such as the Big Four, and the lesser-known companies.
As the event drew to a close, students also received an opportunity to exchange contacts with the young alumni. It was a fruitful evening indeed for both students and alumni alike, with words of appreciation to the organising committee of BAN and NUSBSA Directors, Mr Edward Ta (Business '87) and Mr Pang Jun Xiang (Business '17). The organising committee would also like to extend special thank NUSBSA President, Mr Chua Hung Meng (Business '81) for securing Mr Lam as the event’s keynote speaker, and NUS BIZAlum for sponsoring the thank you gift to Mr Lam.
Submitted by Ms Catherine Chai (Business '92)