New beginnings can be exciting and daunting at the same time, especially the start of university life. For the next three to four years, you are in the driver's seat and in control of pursuing your passions and what is important to you. How you shape your student life is left entirely in your hands and your path may turn out differently depending on the decisions you make.
At Singapore Management University (SMU), every student's journey is filled with colourful and meaningful experiences that take learning way beyond the classroom. With over 120 student clubs and sports to participate in, community service projects to join, a packed calendar of campus performances to catch or be a part of, and so much to see and do on campus, student life at SMU is a moveable feast of events, activities and happenings.
Community service: Learning from serving
There's something about getting out of your comfort zone, helping others, sharing what you have with the less privileged, that changes you for the better.
Community involvement projects are a key pillar in SMU's innovative and transformational education approach. All SMU undergraduates complete at least 80 hours of community service before they graduate.
The time invested is always worthwhile at the end, with the positive impact it brings to both the community and the students. Many go on to participate in more projects beyond graduation.
An innovative learning-and-living concept
Living on campus is one way to foster independence. Prinsep Street Residences (PSR), SMU's newly renovated student residences, located an eight-minute stroll from campus in an arts and heritage enclave, offer students a taste at co-living in one of 23 fully-furnished modern apartments with shared communal spaces.
It adopts a co-live, co-learn and co-work living model, which was designed to encourage students to volunteer and engage in meaningful programmes that help build interpersonal skills, inter-cultural awareness and strengthen leadership abilities.
Besides movie nights in the student lounge, sports events such as cycling and leisure activities like art jamming and cooking contests, future PSR residents can look forward to collaborating on student-directed projects, attending topical workshops, as well as sharing sessions by industry guests and mentoring and career talks by alumni.
Valuable internship experiences
SMU is the first local university to make internships mandatory for all of its students. As a student, thoughts of entering the workforce might seem intimidating, especially if you are unsure about the career path to take upon graduating. Internships offer the perfect opportunity for you to gauge your interest in different industries.
According to the 2019 Graduate Employment Survey, which was jointly conducted by autonomous universities in Singapore, one in two SMU graduates secured full-time employment through internship.
Lee Kong Chian School of Business graduate Kelvin Fan Shih Lei is a good example. Curious about different industries and the differences between working in a multinational corporation and a boutique firm, Mr Fan grabbed the chance to do two internships to score a better understanding of the banking industry. The experiences not only sharpened his analytical and communication skills, but also secured him a job as an associate consultant in the former - management consulting firm Bain & Company - before graduation.
"I am thankful for all the opportunities which SMU had offered to me so as to develop myself holistically. Through my leadership positions, real-world group projects, innovative and industry-relevant coursework, as well as an amazing network of people, I was not only able to develop my hard and heart skills, but also gained a better understanding of myself. This provided me with a clearer perspective of what is important to me and where I should be headed post-graduation," he says.