Sitti Nurarfazirah has some tips to help you navigate the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
If you’re feeling lost trying to figure out what you want to do in future, don’t worry – I’ve been there (a lot of times).
Here’s an interesting fact about me: Before studying Accountancy and Business in Nanyang Business School (NBS), I graduated with a Diploma in Biomedical Science.
Yes, I spent 3 years getting that diploma and ended up not using it. But frankly speaking, I don’t regard it as a waste of time and money. The 8-month internship I did at a research laboratory actually helped me realise that a career in biomedical research was not suitable for me, despite how much I loved studying the subject.
So, what made me switch to studying business? Long story short, after working in the private healthcare sector, I realised that I could make a bigger impact by helping organisations improve their brand value.
However, during my freshman year, I still had no idea which career path would be suitable for me. Meanwhile, my peers were already talking about roles in investment banking, insurance, consulting, corporate finance, auditing, tax advisory, and many more – many of which I knew very little about.
Hence, I decided to make the most of my time discovering my interests, and here’s how I managed to find my path and how NBS has supported me:
Self-discovery and self-development
There is a plethora of career opportunities available in the market, but not all of them are a good fit for us. Hence, it is important to be aware of our Values, Interests, Personality and Skills (VIPS). The most suitable career for us is the intersection of our VIPS.
NBS provided me with valuable resources that helped me embark on a journey of self-discovery. The AB1001 Career Foundations module in freshman year was especially helpful as we had the opportunity to profile our DISC personality type. It came with a detailed report, which helped me understand my strengths, areas of improvement, and communication, decision-making and working styles. The report also provided insights on how I could develop myself professionally and personally.
Learn more about different careers
You can do a quick internet search to learn more about the wide range of careers and job descriptions, but nothing is more insightful than listening to professionals themselves share their experiences and stories. I actively attended career talks hosted by NBS Career Services, as well as those organised by NBS Student Clubs, such as Tax Advisory Club, Business Analytics Club, MarkeTHINK, and others. These career talks helped me learn more about various industries and reflect on whether a career in that industry would be right for me. Besides attending career talks, I had the pleasure of listening to enthusiastic teaching staff share their work experience during our seminars!
Of course, the best way to discover whether or not a particular career/industry is right for you is to experience it yourself. I had the opportunity to intern at one of the Big 4 Accounting Firms under the audit department and gain meaningful insights
on what it was like to work as an external auditor who protects the integrity of financial markets. (Fun fact: my friends and I secured the internship as we championed a business case competition). In NBS, it is compulsory to complete a credit-bearing
professional attachment. However, don’t limit yourself to doing just one internship! Step out of your comfort zone and apply for more internships to experience other roles before you graduate.
I hope that you find the three tips I provided helpful! Remember that it is okay if you ever feel lost again – just take a breather, reflect, and re-navigate!
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