Calvin Ho

When the Global Financial Crisis happened in 2008, Calvin Ho, former Singapore cue sports athlete and Air Force engineer, saw the importance of financial literacy. Wanting to safeguard his future, he enrolled in the SIM-RMIT Accountancy programme where he discovered his passion and strength in the subject. Today, he finds security and fulfillment in his role as a financial accounting advisory associate at Ernst & Young.

24 Mar 2020

5 mins read

A Turning Point

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How did you discover your passion for cue sports?

I was introduced to pool at the age of 13 by my cousin during a trip to Bintan Island and fell in love with the sport immediately. The thrill of knocking the balls in is just one of the aspects of the game that I enjoy.

Unfortunately, I had to reconsider my dream of being a professional pool player. Back then, players were not paid full-time salaries. I knew I had to start thinking about an alternative career path.

What were the steps you took afterwards?

I decided to sign on as an Air Force Engineer during Army while I took the time to figure out my interests. Doing this also provided me with the funds I needed for my bachelor’s degree.

What sparked your interest in Accounting?

The global financial crisis was a wake-up call for me. The importance of being financially literate dawned on me when I saw businesses fail and people losing their homes and jobs.

I began reading books and taking up courses on Accounting and Finance and realised I was pretty good at it. It then became a self-fulfilling prophecy as more often than not, people enjoy doing what they are good at.

What led you to pursue the SIM-RMIT University Bachelor of Business (Accountancy) programme?

As I was working full-time, the flexible nature of the curriculum appealed to me.

I also looked up the current employment of the University’s alumni on LinkedIn and had confidence that the programme prepares its students well for this industry.

Modules like Financial Accounting and Reporting, Performance Analysis and Simulations and Cost Analysis and Organisational Decisions have been most helpful in the areas where I advise my clients.

What advice would you offer to others who are considering a career switch?

Don’t make the switch for monetary benefits. The workplace values skilled and responsible professionals. As long as you are great at what you do, I believe that you will be rewarded accordingly.

Secondly, don’t let your decision be driven by passion alone. It can be a catalyst for greatness but passion by itself doesn’t guarantee success.

Be realistic by asking yourself if you have the ability to develop the skillset needed to do well in the industry you’re considering. This is the best way to set yourself up for success and happiness in your career.

Who is your hero and why?

My parents. They have been exemplary role models for my siblings and me. They instilled values that helped us make some tough but necessary life decisions. They also taught us that a great work ethic is important if you wish to be successful.

#SIM-RMITGraduate #GlobalHero

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