09 May 2013

PSB Academy: Reinventing Education

Students Glenn and Stacie-Ann reflect on the exclusive opportunities that PSB Academy has presented them, such as an exchange programme to Australia and intercultural exposure.

The second week of September marked the first time third-year students Stacie-Ann Tan and Glenn Lim set foot into their university. No, they weren’t playing hooky. Rather, they were among the 30 students at PSB Academy who were picked to be part of the Student Exchange Programme to Australia.

Organised by PSB Academy, the exchange programme gave these students an enlightening glimpse of life in one of PSB Academy’s partner universities – University of Newcastle, Australia (UoN).

Stacie-Ann, a Business student under UoN, finds that the trip has opened doors of opportunities for her and her peers. “It was quite an eye-opener. I finally know what my school looks like!” she laughs. “When it comes to mixing with other students, it wasn’t that bad, but obviously you get some stares from the current students who didn’t recognise us.”

Still, she adds, “We made new friends at the university, and at the same time, our bonds grew stronger throughout the whole trip.”

Exchange programmes usually require students to adjust to a new study environment, unfamiliar campus grounds and working with students from other cultures and backgrounds. However, this one also stood out as an “educational holiday”. Students not only had time to explore the campus, but also do some sightseeing in the greater Sydney area.

Back in Singapore, PSB Academy provides many similarly enriching experiences for its students. Glenn, a Commerce student, testifies to this, saying that the multicultural environment of the institution has exposed him to a vibrant student life.

“PSB Academy is something like an international school; a lot of the students from different countries come here to study the courses,” he explains. “By coming here, I can get to know them and understand their way of doing things in their own cultures, with their own backgrounds.”

A holistic programme
For Stacie-Ann, the inspiration to pursue an education with PSB Academy came in the form of a newspaper advertisement she had spotted while weighing her options. Back when she was younger, her father had been a businessman, and hence her attraction to Business was instinctively innate.

“Since I was young, I would go around interacting with people, and it was something really interesting for me,” she recalls. “I guess when you’re young, you have a lot of dreams and aspirations, and as you grow up, you narrow it down to a couple. Business was the one I was most interested in.”

The academic calendar is typically split into four-month trimesters with a one-week break between each. The accelerated course is, understandably, very fast-paced and better suited for those who enjoy a dynamic and rigorous learning system.

Stacie-Ann, for one, is more than happy with the curriculum structure.

“I like the environment here. If you’re a polytechnic graduate, you’ll be exempted from the first year, and only have to go through two years of study,” she elaborates. “The lecturers here are very friendly and willing to help.”

The Bachelor of Business (Marketing & Management) programme in which Stacie-Ann is enrolled gives students a holistic view of the industry through subjects like Principles of Marketing and Human Resource Management, as well as business-related peripherals such as Foundations of Law and Finance. With such a wide breadth of learning, students do not graduate with a myopic view of the business world.

The course has also honed Stacie-Ann’s organisational skills by requiring her to constantly plan, schedule and prioritise her workload in order to meet the deadlines, yet have sufficient time for revision.

Besides optimism, Stacie-Ann also lists perseverance, diligence and a “can-do” attitude as important attributes for excelling at PSB Academy.

Ideal exposure
The Bachelor of Commerce course in PSB Academy is not just another run-of-the-mill degree programme. Accredited by CPA Australia, it gives students insights on how to apply foundational theories to the real world of accounting.

“I’ve always been interested in numbers and money. Since money is the basis of all companies, if I can understand it, I can manage it and be successful in the area,” Glenn shares. “When I go out in the workforce, there’ll be more options for me because of the broad scope of learning at PSB Academy.”

Furthermore, the school’s multiculturalism has given him countless opportunities to engage in intercultural communication, opening his eyes to the world beyond Singapore.

“We have group work and presentations, and I can learn from their ways of doing things, and all the different types of cultural backgrounds,” reveals Glenn. “The lecturers are also very thorough when teaching. They explain each and every theory so we can really understand what it is about. Normally, we’ll have a break in between the lectures, to ask further questions or clarifications on the lessons.”

Glenn is also involved in two co-curricular activities – namely basketball and the Student Council – from which he has picked up skills that test him in other ways. “I’ve learnt to be more responsible because of the many tasks I have to undertake,” he shares.

Students from PSB Academy can also be sure that they will secure a practical and exciting career in the workforce. Glenn says, “I’m trying to find a post as a financial officer in a board. Currently, our school provides internships, so there are plenty of opportunities for us to work as part-time students in these companies.”

Educational expertise 
Business and Commerce are not the only “fishes” in the vast sea of courses at PSB Academy. The diverse fields of Public Relations, Marketing & Tourism, Economics & Management, Sport Science, Molecular Biology, Mechatronics, and Engineering are just some of the choices offered by the institution.

“As a student at PSB Academy, I have benefited much from the realms of learning, the experienced lecturers and the opportunities given to students to go for exchange programmes and internships,” enthuses Stacie-Ann.

Says Glenn, “If you like progression and want to learn more about different cultures, you should really come to PSB Academy!”

Contributed by JobsCentral Pte Ltd