25 Apr 2013

Thirst for Knowledge

Wu Xuan De, an undergraduate at Kaplan Higher Education Academy, shares why he looks forward to every lesson.

Learning is meant to be an enjoyable journey, and Wu Xuan De could not agree more. He found studying for his diploma in Banking, Security and Investment very engaging and this interest, coupled with his hard work meant that he excelled in the course.

Xuan De’s outstanding results led to a full scholarship being awarded by Kaplan Higher Education Academy for his further studies. The 24-year-old is currently pursuing a finance degree there, one which offers him direct honours in just 18 months, awarded by the University College Dublin, Ireland.

A chance encounter
Xuan De’s stellar academic career at Kaplan Singapore nearly did not happen, as he chose to start working for a few years after his GCE ‘A’ levels. But his interest in further education was reignited due to a chance encounter with the Kaplan’s campus at Wilkie Edge. “I was just passing by and saw some of their pamphlets. The conducive and professional environment left a great impression on me,” explains Xuan De.

Browsing through the pamphlets, Xuan De was further convinced by Kaplan’s top-notch education programs and tie-ins with reputable overseas universities. He hence decided to continue his studies with Kaplan.

Xuan De chose to study finance because he sees its relevance to his future. “Finance is an important building block of any organisation – big or small. Particularly in Singapore, where the financial sector and its services form a major part of our economy. So I decided to head for a career path in an area that is indispensable.”

East meets West
With the Bachelor of Science degree in Finance awarded by the National University of Ireland through Kaplan Singapore, there is a unique mix of East and West in teaching styles. Part of the degree course is even taught by Irish lecturers who fly in to the local Kaplan campus.

Having completed the first six semesters of his course, Xuan De has positive feedback for the teaching pedagogy. “The foreign lecturers come with a wealth of experience and this makes their classes very engaging and lively when they use their experiences to illustrate certain financial theories or principles,” says Xuan De. “The local lecturers have more examples that we may find easier to relate to in a local context.”

Being a Kaplan student has made Xuan De more open and confident in expressing his thoughts and opinions. He explains, “While most of my classmates are international students from the region and tend to be a bit more reserved, we’ve been encouraged to talk more openly during group discussions and presentations. There are no wrong or right answers to certain tricky questions and we learn how to present our answers confidently.”

The course includes modules in financial management, management accounting, security analysis and portfolio management and treasury and risk management. “The course can be quite demanding sometimes because of all the theories and numbers involved,” he admits. “But it also equips you with everything that you need and opens the gates to a diverse range of jobs in the financial sector when you graduate.”

Well-balanced student life
Apart from Kaplan’s rigorous curriculum and bustling classroom atmosphere, Xuan De is also appreciative of its lecturers’ dedication. “I always attend all my lessons and listen extra carefully and attentively. The lecturers go out of their way to do a proper recap at the beginning of the lesson so that you won’t forget what you have learnt the previous week. They make sure that everyone is on track before they move on. No one gets left behind.”

There are pre-course assignments and assignments for most modules, as well as a minimum one-week study break of intensive revision where students get sufficient time to prepare for the examinations.

For his timetable, Xuan De has been lucky enough to have all his lessons in the morning, leaving him with the second half of his day free. He makes full use of this free time by pursuing enriching courses. “I’m glad that I have time to learn Japanese and enrol in other financial-related courses in my free time. It makes me feel like I lead a well-rounded student life where I get to enjoy doing what I like.”

After graduation, Xuan De hopes to find a job in the financial sector – either in banks or brokerage companies. He sees his first job as a stepping stone into the financial world. Quoting the wise words of one of his lecturers, he says, “It doesn’t matter what your first job is because it will serve as a platform for you to move on to bigger things. The financial sector offers a myriad of jobs and I know I will have what it takes with my recognised credentials from Kaplan.”

By Joyce Lin

Contributed by JobsCentral Pte Ltd