Chia Yong Hong

“Be good in numbers and able to analyse and model them.” Yong Hong on studying financial subjects
Discover SIM GE Yong Hong looks forward to working in the banking and financial sector BUSINESS consultancy is all about selling ideas, says Chia Yong Hong, an SIM-RMIT University student who has just completed his studies this year and is looking forward to make his mark in this field. “But a good idea is no good if people don’t understand or accept it,” he explains, adding that he once worked as an intern with a project team of consultants where they have to come up with ideas for the client. “And with the idea, you and your fellow consultants have to develop solutions. So your most important task is to get the client to understand and accept your idea first. If the client doesn’t appreciate it, then the idea is wasted,” says Yong Hong, who was a SIM GE scholar and the top student in his programme. The 25-year-old completed his Bachelor of Business (Economics & Finance) programme which gave him a well-rounded thorough grounding in both Finance and Economics. Financial subjects include Business Finance, Financial Markets, Investment, Risk Management and International Finance. “You must be good in numbers and be able to analyse and model them,” says Yong Hong. Economics subjects include Macroeconomics, International Trade and International Monetary Economics. “We have to write and make presentations during Economics lessons,” he recalls. This course requirement forced him to learn to use visual aids and diagrams to present his ideas across. Presentation & visual skills “The presentation and visual skills came in handy when I worked as an intern in a business consultancy, helping a client in their retail marketing to a new consumer segment. “And in a recent job interview with a major consultancy firm, I applied my presentation skill to demonstrate to the interviewers how I can help a consultancy team sell their concepts and ideas to clients.” CCA achievements It wasn’t all studies, though in his student days. Yong Hong was actively involved in co-curricular activities such as the Investment & Networking Club (INC) and the Scholars’ Network in 2013 and 2014. As the vice-president of INC, he helped to lead the other student officials to organise club events and published a newsletter that promoted financial and economics literacy among students. Early in 2014, he and other INC leaders organised the annual SIM INC Youth Financial Symposium that attracted close to 600 participants, including students from the other local universities. He also helped organise the symposium earlier in January 2013. Yong Hong also believes that to fit into the global workplace, new graduates must learn at least a second major language. “My priority now is to learn business Mandarin well, considering how vast and important the China market is. After Mandarin, I want to continue with Spanish, not so much as to chat up senoritas but just in case I find myself doing business with Latin America!” Secret in getting A’s The RMIT University scholar at SIM GE also shares his secret in getting A’s or at least high B’s. “When you learn something new during lecture, for instance, you must immediately revise the lesson. Then in a week’s time, revise it again.” According to Yong Hong, two revision sessions while the lecture is still hot in the mind will be sufficient to lodge the subject matter more or less permanently in the cranium. Relax with music Beyond academia, Yong Hong enjoys the theatre. “Musicals, for example, captivate and fulfil my artistic yearning,” he says. “Although I have not dabbled in theatre, my admiration for the actors extend beyond the stage. Their endeavour and determination towards perfecting their numbers serve to motivate me when the going gets tough.” Even the plot in a musical can be inspiring. “On many occasions, the moral of the plot made me ponder, from the harrowing cultural suppression in Spring Awakening to a state of self-awareness in La Cage Aux Folles. “Without doubt, musicals have enriched my life with a multitude of insights and perspectives.” Yong Hong plays the bass fiddle and a Chinese string instrument He has performed with the Singapore Youth Chinese Orchestra at the Esplanade and Singapore Conference Hall. - Interviewed & posted online, August 14, 2014