Edison Soon

Often, dealing with sensitive prosecution cases requires tactful communication skills. Having been a delegate at the Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN) and a Research Assistant at the University at Buffalo home campus, these experiences have equipped alumnus, Edison Soon, with the finesse needed in his role as a Senior Tax Officer at Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).

28 Sep 2020

5 mins read

The Art of Communicating with Finesse


What do you do as a Senior Tax Officer at IRAS?

I’m a Senior Tax Officer at the Enforcement-Business Branch in IRAS where the team handles prosecution cases related to the outstanding filing of corporate tax returns. As it can lead to charges by the State Courts, IRAS may even have to issue Warrants of Arrests (WA) in cases whereby the defendant fails to attend their court hearings. My work involves coordinating with the Singapore Police Force and the defendants to resolve this.

What motivated you to pursue your studies in the areas of Communication and Psychology?

My sister was a Psychology major in university and I would always borrow her textbooks for some light reading. Over time, I was drawn to the concepts covered in the books.

As I have an advanced diploma in Communication, the SIM-University at Buffalo programme naturally appealed to me.

How has the SIM-University at Buffalo double major programme been advantageous?

I believe pursuing a double major programme enables one to develop their proficiency across multiple fields. As Communication and Psychology are complementary disciplines, I was also able to gain a deeper appreciation for research and presentation techniques across both fields.

Having participated in HNMUN and spent a semester abroad as a Research Assistant at the Buffalo campus, what are some of the soft skills that you have gained?

I would say that the most tangible takeaways would be the enhanced presentation, public speaking and writing skills! Apart from that, I’ve cultivated a deeper appreciation for different cultures, work ethics and varying opinions. These have been useful in my work environment where it requires finesse and tact in my communication efforts, especially when dealing with sensitive cases.

How do you ensure work-life balance during this pandemic?

I practise Kendo, which is a form of Japanese martial arts. Since the weekly practice sessions have been put on hold in the wake of COVID-19, I’ve indulged in my penchant for botany in my free time. Right now, I have a small urban garden where I tend to my pumpkins, tomatoes and lime plants just to list a few. I even have a pot of Venus Flytrap!

Who is your hero and why?

My mother. She joined the Republic of Singapore Air Force in her teens in order to eke out a living for herself despite only having a secondary school education. Through frugality, ironclad willpower and sheer grit, she was able to put my sister and me through school and university. One of her mottos that I hold onto is, “If you’re going to do something, do it well. Otherwise, don’t do it.”

#SIM-UBGraduate #GlobalHero

Click here to learn more about the programmes awarded by the University at Buffalo.

Posted online, 28 Sep 2020