Meet Allie. A current student at Singapore Management University (SMU), who is in her 4th year of Bachelor's studies in Business Management. Prior to entering SMU, she graduated from Victoria Junior College. And she is a local student from Singapore.
1. What school do you study in?
Singapore Management University (SMU)
2. Do you/others have a nickname for the school?
3. Why did you choose this school?
Because I only had the choices of Singapore Management University’s Business program or National University of Singapore’s Faculty of Arts and Social Science and I preferred a business program.
4. What is a scene that you often see in the school?
The library is always packed, especially during finals period and you would have to be there as early as 8am to get a seat.
5. What is one thing that you wish you knew before enrollment?
School fees. I wish that someone broke down the school fees and also explained how hard it is to graduate Singapore Management University’s business program with honors. A student will need to get a GPA of 3.4/4 to get honors but this information is not structured clearly on the school website. In other universities, a GPA of 3/5 would probably already get them honors.
6. Your school is great, but if you could change one thing, what would it be?
I would have canteens that are cheaper than normal food courts such as Food Republic and Koufu.
7. And if there’s one thing you’d never change?
Can't think of any.
8. The unofficial uniform of your school is?
SMU shirts and shorts, though a lot of students do put in effort to dress up also.
9. When you meet a new friend for the first time and you have to describe your school with one word, what would it be?
10. What is one place in the school that you are proud of?
11. If you could swap programs for a day, what would it be?
12. What is a common myth of your school?
A lot of people think that we are party school but we actually study a lot.
13. If you ever had to stay in school past 9pm, what would it be because?
Everyone stays past 9pm to study and do their projects.
14. What is the strangest thing you’ve ever seen in the school?
People making out on campus green, even in the afternoon.
15. What is your one guilty pleasure you indulge in in school?
Eating mala hot pot at Food Republic as it’s pretty expensive.
16. If you were given $5 million dollars to revamp the school, what would you do with it?
I would make the gym bigger, add more study benches, create more space in the library. Probably increase the number of food places if possible.
17. In between classes, where can we find you?
For long breaks, I would probably be at the library. Short breaks like mid class I would probably be at the food court getting a drink.
18. What is the best place to be as one with your laptop and lecture recordings?
Library and group study rooms (GSR) but for GSRs, you will need to book in advance. Each student also has limited hours to use the GSR for each semester.
19. In the occasion that the school has to downsize till only ONE food place remains, what will it be?
Food Republic because the food at Koufu is not good.
20. For free electricity in the school, where would you go to?
21. What program are you in?
Bachelor in business management, Year 4.
22. Is this related to your dream job?
Yes. I’m planning to go into the field of Human Resource Management in future.
23. Do you know the actual value of your degree?
$5836 per semester.
24. Do you think a degree in your course is cost efficient in terms of the quality of education you are receiving versus what you are paying?
No. There is no honors. And even though you learn a lot of soft skills at Singapore Management University that other universities don’t teach, it’s not worth that extra $21k, (as compared to fees of business programs from other local universities).
25. In your opinion, how much should a degree in your program cost?
$4.5k - $5k per semester.
26. What is the most unforgettable module you have taken?
Computer as an Analysis Tool which teaches you how to use excel.
27. If you could be exempted from any module in your program, what would it be?
All the basic 101 modules like team building modules etc. as it’s a waste of time.
28.What advice would you give to future students about module selection and planning?
Consult your seniors beforehand and get notes from them. Also, join all the telegram group chats available to get free textbooks, professor recommendations etc.
29. If you had to choose one, would you advise a Singapore Junior College (JC) or Polytechnic (poly) student to join your program?
A polytechnic student but as someone from Junior College, I feel that a Junior College student will learn so much more in terms of applying knowledge into the corporate world.
30. In what scenarios will any student be exempted from any modules?
If you do very well for A levels, you can be exempted from core modules like calculus, Economics and writing modules. If you did marketing modules and such in Polytechnic, you can also be exempted from basic modules.
31. Theory vs. Practical. In what ratio would you say your program content is?
In Year 1 & 2 probably 6:4
In Year 3 & 4 probably 35% to 65%
32. On a scale of 1 – 10, how employable do you think students from your program are?
33. Name 3 job fields people from your program go into.
Banking & Finance, Marketing, Operations.
34. Favorite Professor?
Prof. Ernst Orsinga who teaches market research.
35. What is one thing that most people don’t know about your program?
There are a lot of mediocre people around. A lot of times you will need to endure them as group members and suffer without any complaints. In addition, you cannot change group members as the professor usually expects you to be able to handle group conflicts.
36. Ideal tutorial class size versus reality?
Current class size of 40-45 is pretty good.
37. Given a chance to go on exchange, which country would you choose?
Japan, due to personal interest.
38. Common exam formats include:
For Qualitative modules, it’s usually essays and MCQs
For Quantitative modules, it’s usually MCQs and structured questions.
39. Outside of the curriculum, do you have any other commitments in school?
I teach Japanese classes in Singapore Management University outside of my curriculum.
40. Would you say that it is difficult to manage both studies and other school activities?
Not for me but a lot of students at Singapore Management University are very dedicated to their CCAs, with practices 3 times a week, and usually at night which eats into your rest time.
41. In your opinion, are there enough clubs & societies in school for students to choose from?
I feel there could be more but we are restricted by the size of the school. In addition, students do not spend enough time in school to want to be involved.
42. How do you think a Extra-Curriculum Activity add value to a student's overall experience?
Helps one to make friends, and introduces soft skills to students. When one run for exco, they also gain leadership abilities.
43. The most memorable school event that you have attended would be:
The Arts festival. It’s a week where arts CCAs put up performances and it’s quite fun.
44. If you had to pay to NOT attend a particular event in school, what will it be?
In Year 4, you don’t really need to attend anything outside of curriculum anymore but in Year 1, there were a lot of compulsory talks, like library talk, matriculation talk etc. that I wish I could skip.
45. Is the school doing enough to engage students?
Don’t know of any channels currently and have never used. But now there’s a student wellness center that may help school to communicate with students.