Leow Zhi Lin
Bachelor of Commerce
What were the factors that made you choose NAA to pursue your degree education?
The two main factors that attracted me to Ngee Ann-Adelaide (NAA), a joint venture between philanthropic organisation The Ngee Ann Kongsi and a global top 1% University, the University of Adelaide (UoA) were the flexible curriculum structure and the prestige.
A member of the Group of Eight, UoA is one of Australia’s leading research-intensive universities and has developed a strong reputation for excellence in learning, teaching and research. Consistently ranked in the top 1% of universities worldwide, UoA has produced 109 Rhodes Scholars, 136 Fulbright scholars as well as its association with 5 Nobel Prize winners. With its stellar credentials, I was assured that a bachelor degree from UoA would be highly-regarded, recognised and sought-after by future employers.
Classes at NAA are structured such that students will focus on only one course at a time during an intensive study week. Thereafter, there will be a break of a few weeks before the second intensive of the same course begins. The advantage of such a schedule is that, it allows us to grasp an in-depth understanding of the subject before moving onto the next. I also like how students are given the freedom to decide the number of courses they would like to take in a trimester so as to better manage their own learning pace and the length of their course.
Lastly, the centrally-located campus is just a stone’s throw away from Dhoby Ghaut MRT station. The campus is also surrounded by major shopping malls and eateries which gives students ample meal choices before and after classes.
Can you share with us why you chose this programme?
Having completed a Diploma in Business Studies from Ngee Ann Polytechnic previously, I wanted to embark on an undergraduate programme that builds upon my knowledge in the business field. I also noted that the Adelaide Business School is accredited by the AACSB, the highest standard if achievement for business schools, awarded only to less than 5% of business schools worldwide.
In this increasingly globalised world, I realised the importance of understanding how businesses thrive locally and internationally and hope to learn more through this programme. I was privileged to have been granted the opportunity to undertake a dual-pathway majoring in International Business and Marketing, which allows me to think critically about the issues and key success factors when dealing with international corporations or when taking a local business into the international arena.
Were there any modules in particular that stood out? Why?
Market Strategy and Project III was a highly engaging and interesting module because part of our assessment was based on our performance in a game, instead of purely on tutorials and tests. My classmates and I found it easier to grasp the theories by being able to apply them directly to the game as compared to merely reading them off the textbooks. Best takeaway of all, we had lots of fun at the same time which also bonded us together as a team!
I also enjoyed Corporate Responsibility for Global Business III because it has further increased my exposure and knowledge about corporate ethics and how a corporation’s actions could widely impact all its stakeholders. The lecturer also shared many interesting stories and case studies which stimulated my thought processes and eventually made me more mindful of my actions too.
How has this programme benefited you personally and how is it relevant to your current job?
This programme has trained me to think critically and be more expressive in my opinions and ideas. My current job requires me to solve issues and present solutions or ideas to various stakeholders. The reports and presentations done throughout the course of the programme have trained me to excel in those aspects.
Please describe your learning experience in one sentence.
If I had to choose all over again, I would still enrol in this highly-valued Commerce degree offered by UoA.
Would you recommend this programme to others and why?
Definitely, without a doubt! In fact, I have shared my experiences with some of my friends who subsequently became students of NAA. The University grants generous credit exemptions to holders of a business diploma from the local polytechnics into the programme. In my case, I was granted exemptions of 12 courses, which meant I only had to complete another 12 to graduate.
If you would like to experience a high-quality Australian tertiary education without having to leave our Singapore shores, look no further than Ngee Ann-Adelaide!
What were your lecturers like and how did they enhance your learning?
My lecturers are one of the main reasons why I enjoyed my lessons so much. Especially flown in from the Adelaide campus in Australia, they are inspirational and highly-respected individuals who have excelled in their professions. Hence, they were able to make their lessons engaging by sharing many of their real-life experiences. Additionally, they are friendly and approachable which makes my learning even more fruitful as they are always willing to clear my doubts and even share their personal stories to enhance our learning.
Pick 1 value from NAA’s 5 values and how this value applies to you during your learning journey with NAA. (Choose from: Excellence / Leaders / Innovation / Teamwork / Ethics).
‘Teamwork’. School life does not revolve around books alone. What made my learning journey with NAA so fulfilling are friends whom I have met, made and rendered unwavering support to. We shared our notes, discussed assignments and tackled all challenges together. I can only learn that much alone, but when we are together as a team, we complement each other’s strengths and push ourselves even further.
Why should potential students consider NAA if they’re looking to further their education?
Students here undergo the same rigour and quality of the curriculum, receive the same sets of lecture notes and sit for the same examinations as our peers over at the Adelaide campus. We also access the same extensive database of academic journals, newspaper articles and materials available in the course of completing our assignments.
The institution also provides a conducive and quiet learning environment with ample rooms for study, project discussions and presentation. There is also a very cosy student lounge fitted with comfortable furniture and vending machines which is an ideal venue for students to relax and interact after a long day of lessons.
How do you feel about being awarded the Most Outstanding Student for your cohort?
I was rather surprised but very appreciative at the same time. I would not have been able to cope so well without the support of my family and friends who had encouraged me to persevere during my toughest times. Having recently graduated, I am really delighted that my journey with NAA ended on a positive note and that all my hard work has finally paid off. Thank you NAA!
The Most Outstanding Student award is conferred yearly to the one graduate with the highest GPA score in the graduating batch of each programme. Do share with your younger peers who are still in the programme, on how you managed to achieve your stellar academic results.
Remain focused and disciplined throughout the course of the programme, particularly during the intensive block period. Giving full attention to your lecturers and putting in extra effort with self-revision is very crucial. It is wise to always be on your toes and ensure that you read up on your materials conscientiously throughout the trimester, rather than to ‘burn the midnight oil’ catching up on your studies just before the exams.
Also, do not be afraid to ask questions whenever you need help. I consulted my lecturers whenever I needed a better understanding of the theories and that really helped to speed up my revision process. I also discussed key concepts with my peers which helped to build upon our existing knowledge. Not only does it aid memorizing all those concepts, it also helps to strengthen our friendship!
Lastly, “all work and no play make Jack a dull boy”, so remember to work hard but play just as equally hard thereafter!