I think SIM lecturers are truly professional and they know what they are teaching very well.
Discover SIM GE Lim Jiun Hong (left) drops in to support a students’ charity fair at SIM campus on September 4, 2012. With him are fellow All-Rounder Students Prashant Kumar (centre) and Daniel Ho COMPUTER science graduate Lim Jiun Hong, 24, looks forward to becoming a systems analyst or an IT project manager. But first, he’s heading to the London School of Economics to do a one-year MSc in Management, Information Systems and Innovation. Affable Jiun Hong graduated in September 2012 with a BSc First Class Honours in Computing and Information Systems from SIM-University of London. His keen interest in IT was one reason he chose to take up this particular programme. When he enrolled in 2009, it was a toss between pursuing Business Studies or computing. “The final factor that pushed me to my choice was that I’ve always liked IT.” All-Rounder Student During his final year, Jiun Hong was a recipient of SIM Global Education’s All-Rounder Student development programme. A student who has been selected, gets to attend a raft of self-development and career-boosting workshops and training programmes, from resume-writing to grooming and presentation training, taught by professional trainers. “The two workshops that I found most useful were on developing inter-personal skills and developing presentation skills,” says Jiun Hong. “In the two-day presentation workshop, I learnt how to stand in front of people and present my message. The presentation was recorded on camera and played back so participants know which areas they need to improve. I did quite well during the workshop and I made use of the training in my class project presentation.” Mugging strategy before exam Jiun Hong notes that during his study period, exams and assignments seem tough because of the nature of distance studying. “We did not know when writing our assignments whether it was too much or when was too little. We also had very little idea what would happen during examinations or whether our answers were correct.” One effective mugging strategy was for Jiun Hong and a few other students to gather together before the exams do study together, in the SIM GE campus or sometimes outside school. “When we met, we would attempt the past year’s exam papers (no answer sheets were available), then we would compare, discuss and come to a conclusion on what is the better answer. When anyone needed help on any module that I was confident in, I would extend a helping hand,” he says. It pays to listen to lecturers “I think SIM lecturers are truly professional and they know what they are teaching very well. Therefore for most modules, paying attention in class really helps because it reduces studying time and makes preparing for exams much easier. “My advice to current students in the programme is to listen to the lecturers, keep an open mind, be creative with your answers. I think the UOL degree focuses on the thinking process, therefore showing good thinking process as well as producing adequate points, will attract good grades.” Another tip from Jiun Hong is to do your assignments as early as possible, especially in the final year as it is the most hectic. Managing time is also very important as you would have not much time once a new semester starts! His parting advice before flying off to London next week: “I urge new students to keep an open mind, help peers along as one day your peers might be the ones who could help you back. And don’t forget to live life fully at the SIM campus by joining a club or taking part in sports. It would also look good on an otherwise meagre resume (since you haven’t begun your career yet).” Straight to Masters After getting a basic degree, the conventional advice is to work first before taking a Masters. “I think there are people who believes in getting work experience, so that they can better apply what they’ve learnt in work to school,” says Jiun Hong. He believes that for an MSc, you could go straight after your Bachelor. “In this way, you won’t lose your intellectual momentum,” he explains. An important personal consideration for Jiun Hong is that he doesn’t want to pursue a career and then interrupt it halfway to go for a full-time Masters. “It’s not advisable to break a promising career path this way. So, I might as well go now to London where I would gain overseas experience and meet a broad diversity of people.” “There are also two motivating factors for me to go to London, first is for the experience and second was that my undergraduate degree is from UOL. I am thankful to have opportunities opening up for me because of it.” But his one-year full-time stint (starting in September 2012) at LSE doesn’t come cheap at over S$60,000 (university fees and weekly rent for a whole year sharing a private flat with another student). “I have to depend on Dad’s and Mom’s scholarship,” he adds with a chuckle. “But I would definitely repay them once I start working.” --- Interview, September 2012