Q: How did you decide on your undergraduate course of study?
A: Based on my interest and strength at that time. I would say I was narrow-minded and have no one to give me advice or tell me to do some reflection on my weaknesses and strengths.
Q: In retrospect, what did you think were the most useful lessons/ skills/ knowledge you'd gained from your undergraduate education?
A: To have a lot of opportunities to speak in front of the class due to project-based curriculum of my course. Communication skill is one of the key skill sets that is very valuable. Not only do you learn to articulate your message, but to do it confidently and effectively. Another thing that is useful is to do dissertation and got to learn about statistical tool and write proper research paper. Writing is part of communication skill. It is valuable to be able to write good emails, good report at work. Most importantly, hone your grammar while in school. Join more activities or take up important roles in school. Search for internship not only through conventional channels such as school-wide career talk but also through LinkedIn. Talk to people on LinkedIn as early as you can on their jobs that interest you.
Q: How has your undergraduate education influenced your career choice?
A: I had a choice to go for marketing position in retail industry or planner in construction industry. In the end, I decided to work in the construction industry as I want to make use of my knowledge in construction and to rough it out in the dirty and dangerous working environment while I'm still young. I also thought that this is a good place to learn to manage so many stakeholders; developer, consultants, subcontractors and own peers. Furthermore, there are extremely few local graduates joining this industry. As such, I thought of trying it out for a couple of years before I switch. In addition, there were not many career choices made known to me. Besides being a consultant quantity surveyor (QS), other jobs would be more in the facilities management or contracts manager in LTA.
Q: Briefly describe your current job scope.
A: Started out as a planner to monitor construction project (condo project) on the progress and material delivery schedule. Subsequently rotated to tender department to join as Quantity Surveyor and gotten new condo project for the company. In the third year, I was back to planner for another condo project and eventually, handled a multi-million litigation case and working on a business plan for a new business venture of the company.
Q: To what extent is your current job related to your undergraduate course of study?
A: Totally related - I acquired the skills required to perform the job through my undergraduate education/ The course was a pre-requisite for my job.
Q: What are some additional areas you wish your undergraduate education could have covered?
A: Intensive and focused career advice from school or from alumni. I wished there were people telling me that I was not bound by what my course is and I am capable of doing beyond what I had studied. I also wished there were people telling me to be more proactive and courageous in exploring all kinds of career opportunities that I know may suit me or that I do not yet know.
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