Louise Han

I like to apply Economics principles in managing a business.
Discover SIM GE Economics is easy to understand and its theories are applicable in life, says Louise Han, president of the SIM Economics Society I LOVE economics. This discipline is easy to absorb and its theories very applicable in today’s world, says Louise Han, president of the SIM Economics Society and final-year SIM-RMIT University’s Bachelor of Business (Economics & Finance) student. Louise, 21, who scored several distinctions in the previous two years’ modules, attributes her grasp of both the meaning and logic of Economics to the fact that she was already studying it in her Junior College days. One sub-discipline in Economics that intrigues her most is Game Theory - strategic decision-making using mathematical models - which she will be taking in the next semester. Studying and understanding Economics is not something students could do overnight. According to SIM Global Education’s senior lecturer Dr Zhang Jianlin, to truly master economic theories and concepts, students would have to write essays and complete project-based assignments regularly until the subject matter has been ingrained in their mind. Agreeing with this observation, Louise says she herself has done many Economics-writing projects since her JC days. And her current RMIT modules require many real-world studies of the financial health of companies. SIM Economics Week Outside the classroom Louise is also involved in major Economics activities. Last year, she was Editor of the Economics Society’s magazine. She was also involved with other student officials, led by Sebastian Phua, then president of the Economics Society in organising the SIM Economics Week. Activities that week in September included a workshop and presentations by economics gurus, and even a giant Monopoly-type teaching game laid out on the floor of the main atrium. Info panels of text, charts, drawings and infographics explained to visitors the parlous state of the global economy, the Euro crises that plagued Greece, Spain, Italy and other EC states, and the economic performance of the US, China, India and Japan. Such an event is a showcase of the academic knowledge, organisational skills and logistics acumen of students at SIM GE majoring Economics, Business, Finance, and related subjects. This year’s SIM Economics Week takes place in October. Louise and Ethan Lim (vice-president of the society), are leading the team in the planning, design, writing and overall organising of the event. “My specific role is in marketing, promotion and getting the all-important keynote speaker,” says Louise. “Ethan focuses on writing and producing the text.” The editorial focus is on Asian economies, their performance and prospects. Career aspiration “After graduation next year, I don’t mind working as a full-time Economist,” says Louise. “But let’s be realistic. There are very, very few openings for such a job, even in large banking and financial organisations, and even in research firms.” Instead, she sees herself working in the financial services trade, perhaps as an analyst or consultant. “I need to work, earn money and pay off my study loan,” she says. Once cleared of the debt, she would dearly love to run an F&B outlet. “I like to apply Economics principles in managing this kind of business,” she says. “We know for an economics fact that in the first few months of operation, a new restaurant is bound to lose money. But this period is essential in monitoring sales and consumption level, and to experiment with the menu to determine the dishes that enjoy good demand.” Louise’s philosophy on career and money is pretty mature, for someone so young. “I don’t want to spend all my time earning money because there is no end to the amount you want. I prefer a normal life, with a balance between work and quality time with my parents and siblings. I also hang out with friends who are older and simply by listening to them recounting the mistakes they made and the wrong turns in life that they took, I’ve learnt quite a lot too.” Story published in VIBES magazine, September 2013, posted online December 2013; written by Ethan Lim, 26, vice-president of the SIM Economics Society. Ethan is enrolled at SIM-University of London BSc (Hons) in Economics and Finance Know your underlying principles Senior SIM Economics lecturer Dr Seet Min Kok points out that it could take up to a few years to understand the underlying principles of Economics, and to know when and where to apply them. “Take environment pollution, an Economics-related issue. In the past no one was punished when they polluted the air. As the supply of air was seen as unlimited, its price was zero (the law of supply and demand),” says Dr Seet. “But today, we don’t get clean air everywhere. So you would have to pay a price or tax when you pollute the air, There is the Coase Theorem that quantifies the price or social cost of pollution (sending out black smoke from your factory into the air).”