I constantly yearn for meaningful learning opportunities, and my learning approach is to challenge personal boundaries and seek experiences outside my comfort zone.
News & Events News & Events News & Events Highlights Renette Lee has gained a wealth of experience as a student in SIM GE having participated in student clubs and taking up several internship positions in various industries. To top it off, she also embarked on a memorable summer school programme at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) in the United States. She chats with us about what keeps her motivated to learn and grow. Fill in the blank with the adjective that describes yourself best: I am inquisitive Please elaborate on why you chose the adjective above. I approach my daily activities with a keenness and willingness to learn. I constantly yearn for meaningful learning opportunities, and my learning approach is to challenge personal boundaries and seek experiences outside my comfort zone. In my final year of studies, I took a year’s worth of leave-of-absence (LOA) to complete three internships in various industries that I was keen to explore professionally. I decided to embark on internships to gain exposure in particular industries, pick up professional competencies and learn required skills. Tell us more about your student life in SIM GE. I maximised my undergraduate experience by being involved in various facets of Student Life in school. In my first year, I joined the Talent Development Programme offered by the Career Development Office, a structured in-school internship meant for students to hone their career competencies. It was there where I realised the importance of taking up internships and being career-ready as early as possible. I was deeply involved with the SIM Sociology Club, where I was serving as Vice-President and subsequently President from 2016 - 2018. I led a team of executive committee members in planning events meant to raise thought-provoking questions about societal issues. We hosted organisations such as UN Women Singapore for in-campus talks and volunteered with organisations like Foodbank Singapore. I was also part of the UB Student’s Council which brings the student community closer and I speak to prospective students at Open House and pre-enrolment briefings. What sparked your interest to apply for the Summer Abroad Programme? I wanted to try living independently and gain first-hand experience of attending school on an American campus. In the summer of my freshman year, I attended summer school at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) in the United States. The opportunity opened my eyes to the vibrancy, openness and tolerance of different cultures and thoughts in a liberal American college. A mixture of thought-provoking professors, mentally stimulating classes and amazing international friends I travelled with made it the most unforgettable summer of my undergraduate life. What were some of the interesting highlights that you experienced on this trip? UC Berkeley is a university prominent for student activism, and I witnessed that in play with a Black Lives Matter vigil on the campus in my first week there. It was a little alarming seeing students protesting with signboards and chanting for reform, a sight that is not common in a Singapore university. Students were also very vocal and active- I recall fellow classmates clamouring to speak up to get their opinions heard in a human rights and politics class that I took. You were also a recipient of the SIM-UB scholarship. Tell us how the scholarship has further equipped you to achieve your aspirations? My summer abroad programme spurred my pursuit to look for further study abroad opportunities. I was privileged to receive the SIM-UB Scholarship to complete my final undergraduate semester at the UB home campus in Buffalo, New York. In my final semester many of the activities that I participated in exposed me to interdisciplinary studies and it concretised my desire to start a career in the social service sector. I would also like to pursue postgraduate studies in the future. How has the SIM GE Edge Award  given you the competitive edge? This award brands me as an undergraduate with a commitment to take charge of my personal development and as someone with key career-building attributes, such as resilience, empathy, confidence and resourcefulness. I believe these are qualities that prospective employers look out for. What do you enjoy most about being a student in SIM GE? I definitely enjoy (and miss) the sense of community and belonging I felt as a student. Through my engagements as an undergraduate, I’ve gotten to know students and staff not just from the UB programme, but students from other university programmes, as well as people from other SIM divisions. Everyone that I’ve crossed paths with was welcoming, encouraging and never made me feel out of place. #IChoseTheSIMPathway #ThisIsMyStory Click here to learn more about the programmes awarded by the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. The SIM GE Edge Award is a prestigious certificate developed in partnership with employers, to recognise students’ cumulative achievements in their learning journey. Posted online, 02 May 2019