“Chat with Alumni” – Aditya Aulia Wibowo, Growth Marketing Manager with Tazapay. He shared on his career transition to marketing field, his love for behavioral economics and also his continuous learning. An inspiring alumnus forever on a learning journey!
Chat with Alumni – David Lye, who is an entrepreneur based in Qingdao, China. An alumnus who went beyond the shores of Singapore!
A new series “Chat with Alumni” that showcases Economics alumni from all walks of experiences sharing on their career experiences after graduating from National University of Singapore. Our 1st alumni chat is with Cliff Chew, Senior Data Analyst with Grab, sharing his data experiences. The show is hosted by Valerie Chow, President of NUS Economics Alumni. Catch the video below!
Every year, the NUS Economics Alumni joins National University of Singapore Day of Service.
For 2020, we worked together with the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Science for the second time to host the patients of both Outram Community Hospital and Sengkang Community Hospital. The event was held online on 9th September through Zoom due to the pandemic.
The participants listened to a medley of songs, had a warm-up exercise and a round of Bingo game. All participants were given gifts. The nurses were gifted Polar food gift sets which were sponsored by the NUS Economics Alumni. The event ended with a recorded sing-along of 2 songs which were put forth by the NUS FASS community comprising of staff, students and Economics Alumni.
The event was well received from the patients, nurses, hospital staff, NUS team to NUS Economics Alumni. The alumni look forward to continuing this tradition of community giveback.
On Saturday 15 August 2020, NUS Economics Alumni created history with the biggest virtual event – Q&A Career Sharing Panel and Networking Event – attended by 101 people! A robust career sharing session by 4 outstanding alumni of Ms Rui Hua Chang (’02), Group Managing Director (Capital Markets and Investor Relations) at ESR Group, Mr KC Ho (’12), Facebook’s Sales Strategy and Operations Lead for Greater China, Mr Cliff Chew (’09), Senior Data Analyst at Grab and Ms Cheryl Heng (’18), who is an Epidemiology Team Data Analyst at Ministry of Health; and moderated by Ms Valerie Chow (’97), President of NUS Economics Alumni 2020. Followed by an online networking session to continue building ties among the alumni, staffs and students.
NUS Economics Alumni Committee organised its inaugural virtual networking session during COVID-19 Circuit Breaker period – created history as 1st virtual event. Alumni who graduated from 1980s to current, from around the world including Shanghai and Tokyo, attended the event. A fun, engaging and memorable networking.
Every year, the NUS economics alumni joins the rest of NUS in the Day of Service, and this year was no different. On the afternoon of 7 September 2019, we headed to Sengkang Community Hospital to chat with the patients, as well entertain them with games.
Sengkang Community Hospital has a variety of volunteering opportunities, including conserving and contributing to the greenery of the hospital by helping with garden activities, helping out with community events, livening up the atmosphere in the wards through a variety of arts such as music, guiding visitors and patients around the hospital, and also reading and chatting with patients. Volunteers can even play mahjong with the patients there!
After a short briefing by the hospital staff, we headed off to the wards to chat with patients and keep them company. We talked to the patients and their families, and also facilitated some activities with the patients such as colouring. We also helped to distribute some small souvenirs to the patients.
The inaugural Economics Alumni Homecoming event was held on 9 December 2017 at the NUSS Guild House @ Suntec City. Alumni, professors, postgraduates and undergraduates from the Economics department convened for reunion and networking over food. This year was particularly memorable, as it was the NUS Economics Alumni’s 10th anniversary.
Our alumni president, Ms Chang Rui Hua, warmly welcomed the = attendees of the night in her SEE opening address. She recounted the history of how the alumni committee was founded — an idea that was conceived during a dinner with her university friends — and hoped that the alumni circle will continue to grow. Ms Chang highlighted the need for maintaining the relations and friendships forged during our university days. Despite being the most active alumni in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, there is a need to continuously reach out to the alumni and encourage them to be active members. Many alumni give back to the alma mater through mentoring undergraduates and sharing their experiences in the job market with them. The NUS Economics Alumni has been active with the NUS Economics Society, co-organizing speed mentoring events and alumni sharing sessions for the undergraduates. Some alumni also provide financial support in the form of bursaries for the needy students in the Economics department. The Alumni Committee will continue working closely with the NUS Economics Society in helping the Economics undergraduates.
Following the opening address, attendees then enjoyed the sumptuous buffet dinner, accompanied by music from a live string trio. Icebreakers such as the “Human Jackpot” and the “Fashion Catwalk” were played. During the “Human Jackpot”, three members of the alumni committee played the role of symbols in a jackpot machine. To try their luck, contestants “inserted” $2 into the human machine. Contestants who won the jackpot walked away with highly sought after vouchers. Much cheers and laughter came from this game of chance.
The night drew to a close too quickly and the alumni gathered to take a group photo before bidding each other good-bye. It was a great night of bonding between the alumni, strengthening their sense of identity and spirit of the community. Many remarked that they were heartened to reconnect with their friends and are looking forward to the next event organized by the alumni committee.
First published in ECONews in July 2018
By Neo Teng Wei (ECONews reporter)
The event was organised by Mr Tang Wee Lip, a member of the class of 1966 who took on the job of organising an annual get-together of that class during the 1990s. Since then, the group has been meeting at least once a year, thanks to his hard work.
Since this is the only graduating class to organise an anniversary, Dr Lee supported it as he was the honorary adviser to the NUS Economics Alumni group (it is not a separate organisation but merely a subset of the Economics Department which pays for its mailing cost, hosts the email address and allocated a staff, Diana Binte Ismail, to help out quarter or half-time).
NUS Economics Alumni was started by Mr Tan Tai Kiat, class of 2002 and myself, as a grouping of alumni interested in keeping together. The current president is Chang Rui Hua who is ably assisted by a group of volunteers making up the committee. The website is http://www.nuseconomicsalumni.com/
This class is memorable because of the changing times Singapore went through in 1966. Singapore separated from Malaysia in 1965 and this dislocated those in Singapore, this class of students entering their undergraduate studies when Singapore was IN Malaysia, and graduating when Singapore was OUT of Malaysia.
There were changes in the university, political landscape and external changes around Singapore.
Changes in the University
With the Federation of Malaya becoming fully independent in August 1957, the formerly known University of Malaya split into two divisions – Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Renamed as University of Singapore, we got a new Singaporean vice-chancellor, Professor Lim Tay Boh. Former appointment holders were British. The class of 1966 were the first to experience a three year honours programme. One of the reasons was accelerating the replacement of expatriate senior civil servants with local talent.
The language of instruction was English to meet the growing needs of the then British colony. Back then most schools taught lessons in Chinese, many prospective students needed to go through further language instruction in order to enroll in the new university, a big challenge to many.
Changes in Political Landscape
Singapore left Malaysia in August 1965, the People’s Action Party (PAP) split in 1961 with left wingers, mostly chinese-educated, forming the Barisan Socialis. Nationalism was strong in the 50’s, drawing strength from both the Chinese and English educated. One of the students from the class of 1966 had leftist views and was politically detained. Two other graduates became ministers of state in the PAP government.
Changes in External Landscape
The class of 1966 went through the Indonesian confrontation in 1963-65, against the formation of Malaysia which led to bombings in Singapore. There was the Brunei opposition against British rule and also escalation of the Vietnam war by the Americans. The separation from Malaysia led to building up of armed forces, disagreements over common currency and formation of National Service.
The class of 1966 became close in the face of changes, going through crises and emerging stronger. They even hold meet ups at least once every year since 1986, despite that they had an English-medium and Chinese-medium divide years ago.
Some quotes from the class book:
“Immediately upon graduation from the Teachers’ Training College, I asked to be posted to Victoria School, my alma mater. That was a fateful move. At Victoria School, I noticed that my fellow teachers who were graduates drew double my salary, or more, even though we put in the same amount of work. So, I was determined to get my degree… any degree would do. While working as a school teacher, I prepared for my “A” level exams and also saved up for my tuition fees. I worked and studied day and night and finally made it.”Peter Sung
“On reflection, I must say the two subject degree of Economics and Chinese had greatly held my career development. BA Degree opened doors for my employment. Economics helped me to obtain employment in banking jobs as well as understand how to do business in Singapore. Chinese studies helped me acquire business knowhow to penetrate the China market.”Ng Kim Soon
“My economics training has come in useful in understanding international economic and financial issues in the course of my work. My foreign service experience has embedded in me a sharper sense of what Singapore’s interests are, the realities and challenges, the intricacies of power politics, and the causes for the rise and fall of nations, both big and small. To me, the legacy of a government, or for that matter, of a political leader could only be judged not by what the politicians and social media say, but by results and outcome.”See Chak Mun
“As it was the final year we were more engrossed in our studies and research work, each going about in his own way. But the study group became more rooted with better understanding and stronger fellowship. In fact, we were more concerned with one another in respect of common subjects. We continued with collecting and sharing exam worthy resource materials. We were earnest that we all would do well and graduate together. We were more conscious of the coming final exams and less aware of the changes outside the campus. The final exams finally came and finished off. It was a great relief. We were happy not so much about the performance but that the group had emerged unscathed. Members of our group had made it, some with flying colours! The climax came when we received the scroll from the first President of Singapore, Inche Yusof Ishak. Soon we marched out of the campus to face the harsh reality outside. We had graduated with new found freedom.”Foo Kia Toh
“The Sixties was the best time to be in college. Life was simple and promising. If the internet especially “Google” and other social media were readily available they would have influenced the way we viewed our lectures, selection of courses, library books. While it would have helped us in the pursuit of knowledge they could also have been a distraction. The world today has changed so drastically. Life has become so competitive and complicated.”Pearl Khoo Suat Choo
First published in ECONews in March 2017
By Chan Kok Hoe
Over thirty children and family members from the Kids Integrated Development Service (KIDS) 0-3 Centre had a fun-filled Saturday morning in their visit to the River Safari on Saturday, 22 October 2016. Professors Julian Wright and Basant Kapur joined with Alumni volunteers to accompany the families to see the various wildlife attractions, including the Giant Pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia, manatees and river otters.
KIDS 0-3 Centre provides health, social and educational services for vulnerable children and their mothers. The Alumni Committee has partnered with the Centre for this trip as an ongoing effort to help our alumni give back to the wider community. Volunteers such as Harry Lim (Class of ’89) found the event meaningful and interesting, and relished the opportunity to “bring cheers to the kids on a Saturday morning”.
During lunch break, volunteers led the families in playing Charades. Children were initially shy to act out scenes in front of the audience, but quickly warmed up with our volunteers’ help, and became enthusiastic participants. Participants received shopping vouchers for their efforts, and families also received goodie bags.
Acknowledgements: We thank the Department of Economics for providing generous financial support, Denieru Tatsu F&B Holdings (S) Pte. Ltd. for providing goodie bags, and Associate Professor Alberto Salvo for donating shopping vouchers. We also thank Committee members Shen Xiaoying (Coordinator), Daniel Lo, Edwin Chen, Chua Yeow Hwee and Chan Kok Hoe for their efforts in organizing the outing.
First published in ECONews in March 2017