Published on 12 Apr 2020

Realising a family dream and making the most of it​

Accounting student Chua Junjie is the first in his family to go to university. Now in his second year, he shares how bursary and scholarship support has enabled him to immerse into campus life and find ways to give back.

“Growing up, I knew from an early age that I had to work hard to do well,” shares second-year NBS Accountancy student Chua Junjie. “My parents didn’t have the opportunity to go to university, so they have always valued education and made it a priority for me and my two younger sisters.”

In addition to the encouragement and dedication from his parents, Junjie discovered a knack for maths and sciences during secondary school and Junior College, which motivated him to be more involved in classes and participate in co-curricular activities. “Since I was young I have enjoyed working through calculations, analysing details, and solving problems,” he says.

When the time came to decide where to go for university, Junjie’s hard work and enthusiasm paid off. With a good A-level result, his options were wide open. “Accountancy at NBS was my first choice,” says Junjie. “NBS is well-regarded for its courses and faculty, and the three-year Accountancy programme was really attractive to me.”

Receiving support at University

When Junjie was accepted to NTU, he was grateful to find out that bursary support was available through the university’s Financial Assistance Scheme. About 1 in 5 students at NTU require financial aid, and Junjie says that this support went a long way in alleviating the burden of his university studies on his family.

“I am the first person in my family to go to university. The support I received meant that I could stay in Hall, focus on my studies, and properly immerse into university life without having to worry about the financial situation at home."

With more than 120 student organisations in NTU, there is always a buzz of activity on the sprawling campus. Last year, Junjie took on a lead role in his faculty orientation camp, designing a series of games and activities for freshmen students to adjust to university life and make new friends. He was also excited to become a member of several student clubs. Some of these, like the Audit and Assurance Club and Tax Advisory Club, give him insights into the industries and careers he is interested in pursuing. But Junjie says that joining the Welfare Services Club has been one of the highlights of his university experience so far.

Chua Junjie (far left), pictured with fellow NTU students at a CCA Fair & Recruitment Drive on campus in August 2019.

Giving back to help others

Founded in 1985, the Welfare Services Club connects students with volunteer activities and social work opportunities that enable them to give back to the community. Through one of the Club’s regular service projects, Junjie volunteers each week at the Shine Children and Youth Services Centre in Hougang, where he provides tuition for children in the local community.

“I have really fond memories of going to my local community centre when I was younger,” Junjie shares. “Now that I am in a position to give back, I try to do what I can and hopefully it will make a small difference to the lives of other children too.”

Every Friday night, Junjie spends two hours at the Centre giving tuition to primary school children, many who are from lower income families. On top of one-to-one tutoring to help them with their homework, he also organises simple science experiments and interactive games to connect with the children.

Junjie’s involvement with the Centre sees him act as a role model for the children, and helps to inspire their learning journeys. “When I first met the children there, many of them were very shy and hesitant,” Junjie reflects. “It has been really fulfilling to see them slowly open up, trust in others, and start to enjoy learning.”

​Chua Junjie, third from left, with fellow NTU students undertaking the Volunteer Orientation Program @ Pasir Ris Park in October 2018.

Looking ahead: Exploring the tax industry

While enjoying everything that university has to offer, Junjie has made sure his studies are a priority. Now in his second year, Junjie is the recipient of this year’s Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce Foundation (SCCCF) Scholarship. The midterm scholarship recognises and awards outstanding students who show strong academic and leadership potential in their first-year at university.

When asked what keeps him focused in the high-achieving environment at NBS, Junjie says, “I’ve learned that it’s not a competition with other people. I always try to focus on improving myself and the things that are within my control.”

Inspired by the encouragement and support of the scholarship, Junjie says he is excited for what lies ahead. He has especially enjoyed the tax-related modules he took last semester. As he starts exploring internship opportunities, this is an area he is keen to explore further. “Tax is something that affects everybody,” he explains. “It doesn’t matter what your financial situation is, I think that understanding tax is important, so I’d like to learn more and explore some opportunities in the tax industry. 

Chua Junjie receiving his award at the SCCCI Mid-Autumn Gathering & Inter-Chamber Networking Night in September 2019.

Gifts to NBS enable us to provide more opportunities for promising young students like Junjie to thrive and succeed. Student aid and scholarships enable students from all backgrounds, regardless of their financial circumstances, to benefit from the NBS experience and become the future leaders in business and society.​