Sebastian Phua

People are inter-dependent on one another. No man is an island, and no one can succeed without the help of others.
Discover SIM GE Scholar, student leader Sebastian believes in hard work, and learning from past mistakes Success means having the courage, the determination and the will to become the person you believe you are meant to be, says Sebastian Phua Jun Long, pulling a quote from George A Sheehan, a best-selling author on running. Sebastian, 24, third year with SIM-RMIT Bachelor of Economics and Finance, has indeed achieved much at SIM Global Education. As student president of the SIM Economics Society in 2012, he led the team in organising the annual Economics Exhibition in September, impressing not just students and lecturers in Economics but also SIM GE chairman Gerard Ee and CEO KC Lee. The exhibition, breathtaking in the scope of its coverage, dealt with the ongoing Eurozone debt crises (there are several), the US fiscal cliff and the sluggish performance in India and China. Scholarship achievement As an SIM scholar, Sebastian has been actively engaged in helping to organise prestigious events such as the International Youth Summit. He was part of the main committee as well as the head of the sponsorship team for the summit. The SIM scholarship scheme is open to all students, both Singapore citizens and internationals. According to Sebastian, to apply, you write an essay on why you wanted the scholarship, what you’ve contributed to CCA, what you’ve learnt from your CCA participation, and your job aspiration. Very wisely for Sebastian, in his application essay, he did not brag about his achievements but focused on his failures and how he is learning from them. “The toughest part of the scholarship application is the interview process,” he says. “There’s a panel of high-profile interviewers that includes the CEO, Assistant CEO and Director of Student Life Services. They will ask you questions that test your soft skills.” Competitive credo Sebastian is pretty competitive. “If someone is better than me, I will make sure that I double the effort required to compete,” he says. He firmly believes that hard work pays, and that nothing comes free in this world. (Economists’ favourite maxim is there is no free lunch in life!) He also believes networking is crucial to success. He recalls from one of the workshops on networking success, the speaker said networking is not just about making friends, but knowing people who will be there when you need them. Sebastian thinks people are inter-dependent on one another. No man is an island, and no one can succeed without the help of others. Career aspiration In the short term, Sebastian wants to accumulate working experience as a corporate treasurer. In the longer term, he wants to take charge of a company’s entire finances as chief financial officer. --- Interviewed & written by Kenny Tan, 24, third-year with SIM-RMIT Bachelor of Economics and Finance, and vice-president of the SIM Economics Society in 2012. Kenny, with Sebastian and other student leaders, wrote and presented the parlous state of the world’s economies at the annual SIM Economics Exhibition in September 2012. Posted online March 2013 SIM GE chairman Gerard Ee (left), with Sebastian Phua (next to chairman) and other student leaders of the SIM Economics Society at the global economy exhibition