Learning without Limits in Crystal Clear Skies
Participating in thought provoking seminars, meeting peers from other disciplines, leading student community projects and taking part in an overseas exchange in Netherlands. These are some of the exciting activities that make up third year Business undergraduate, Crystal Lim’s NTU experience, thanks to the Lee Foundation University Scholars Programme (USP).
Crystal is one of the recipients of the Lee Foundation USP Bursary. The programme provides an intellectually stimulating curriculum for exceptional students at NTU. Supplementing the core coursework of the undergraduate, the USP curriculum curates a broad selection of modules, specially designed to evoke critical thought and develop interdisciplinary knowledge. The Lee Foundation USP Bursary was made possible by the generosity and support of the Lee Foundation.
As a recipient of the Lee Foundation USP Bursary, how has it made a difference to your student life?
On top of my coursework as a Business undergraduate, I’m given various opportunities to explore interdisciplinary academic programmes, as well as to immerse in intercultural experiences with USP. The Lee Foundation USP Bursary has not only eased my family’s financial challenges but also enhanced my educational pursuits in various ways.
What were your initial thoughts and feelings when you learned that you had been awarded the bursary?
I felt extremely privileged and thankful to be able to alleviate my family’s financial burden with the bursary. My parents were not as fortunate because they did not have similar opportunities back then to pursue higher education which in turn further limited other opportunities in life. Being confronted with financial challenges while growing up has however helped me to realise the inherent value of a university education, and to appreciate the significance of this bursary.
How was your academic journey like prior to studying at NTU?
I was a Science stream student at Anderson Junior College where I also belonged to the college’s Alpha Programme for the top 5% of the cohort designed to develop students in the areas of leadership, communication and critical thinking. The Alpha Programme was significant to my Junior College experience as it cultivated life skills beyond the academic curriculum.
What do you think is unique about the USP and USP graduates?
The USP’s core curriculum strives for multidisciplinary learning across a diversified range of modules. This programme has developed my critical thinking, as well as the ability to deconstruct questions and identify inter-disciplinary links. USP’s exclusive modules such as The Great Ideas, Ethics and Philosophy encourage me to engage in thought experiments to evaluate arguments and form individual thesis, which has definitely enhanced my learning in Business.
By interacting with a diverse group of individuals, a USP student is introduced to different perspectives that will encourage a comprehensive and informed worldview. I believe that USP graduates are introspective and open-minded individuals who are capable of questioning fundamental global issues and finding solutions through various means.
What was your parents’ reaction when they found out that you had received the bursary?
My parents were unequivocally happy for me upon hearing the news. My mum, in particular, was deeply relieved that the bursary will be able to assist me through university, and enable the family to allocate more funds towards my two younger brothers’ educational pursuits.
“I wish to stay inspired and empowered by connecting with others, and by following my passion.”
Tell us about the campus activities you’ve been involved in.
I took up the role as Director of Special Projects at USP to give back to the programme. Some of my activities included leading the Special Projects Committee to create an Incubation Hub wherescholars are able to propose and test new ideas. I also encouraged fellow peers to provide feedbackon their experience in USP in order to enhance the programme for future students.
In addition, I have completed a 6 months exchange at the University of Groningen in Netherlands where I worked on projects with my Dutch counterparts, and even participated in weekly training ssessions with the track and field team. I also took the opportunity to travel around Europe to broaden my perspectives and meet new people.
As an NBS student, what is your view on the business sector in Singapore and how do you hopeto contribute to the field as a professional in the future?
I am interested in Singapore’s capability to maintain and improve our competitiveness within a rapidly developing Southeast Asia. Having a knowledge-based economy, Singapore is emerging as a global creative city in growing a strong marketing and communication services sector. This makes Singapore an attractive location for consumer businesses to manage operations and boost growth regionally. More multinational corporations are setting up consumer businesses in Singapore as they recognise the need for product and service innovations in Asian markets.
I am thus captivated by opportunities that enhance Singapore’s position in the global arena as an ideal location for Asian marketing. I aspire to join an MNC specialising in consumer businesses and after gaining a couple of years of professional experience, pursue a Masters in a relevant area.
What are your dreams?
I plan to enhance my skills in marketing and communications and hone other relevant inter disciplinary skills along the way. It’ll be ideal to accumulate as much practical experience as possible, and at the same time create social impact through the ventures I partake in. I wish to stay inspired and empowered by connecting with others, and by following my passion.
Any words of thanks to the donors (Lee Foundation) of your bursary?
My heartfelt gratitude goes to the Lee Foundation for their generosity in establishing the Lee Foundation USP Bursary. Not only has the bursary eased my parents’ financial burden, it has also facilitated many activities such as the student exchange programme, allowing me to gain valuable experiences and exposure.
It is my hope to epitomise the values that Lee Foundation stands for and by which it has attained its highly-regarded reputation.
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