Graduating student Lai Wai Kit has contributed to NUS and the wider community in many ways – from representing the University successfully at case competitions worldwide and at inter-varsity basketball matches, volunteering to assist low-income families in Singapore, to giving literary and arts classes to 800 Cambodian children.
Now, as he prepares to leave NUS, Wai Kit is continuing to give back. As a Commencement Class Champion, he is seeking support from his peers to help their juniors who face financial difficulties and has co-founded the Case Consulting Club to share his experiences in taking part in case competitions with his juniors to help them succeed.
“Giving back to University sustains a cycle of learning. Be it contributing with financials or coming back to contribute with one’s time and effort, I believe that we have taken much from the University and it is only apt to give back for the benefit of future cohorts,” says Wai Kit. “I believe that the greatest gift is the ability to give. From a philosophical standpoint, the value of life is defined by how many people one has helped. Giving back to University fulfils this element of “self-esteem” and truly creates value in one’s life beyond the tangibility of material needs.”
Wai Kit chose NUS for the global reputation it enjoys as a leading university in Asia. His belief was proven right. When taking part in numerous business case competitions around the world, people recognised NUS. What he did not expect was that despite the competitive nature at Business School, students have a culture of helping one another.
“NUS Business school has produced students that helped one another along the way. My friends would help me take notes when I skipped lessons to run my businesses. Even more counter-intuitive is how we help each other out at job interviews. We would pass on tips on what questions are asked and even whom to expect,” he explains.
“I look back with some pride that I belong to a school and cohort that defines success as collaborative, and that the meaning of life extends beyond just ‘A+’s and ‘job hit rates’.”
His philosophy of pursuing goals that extend beyond just self-enrichment and material aims is shaping his decisions for the future as well. Even though Wai Kit has received offers to join international trainee programmes at large multi-national companies, he has turned them down to join the Monetary Authority of Singapore because there, he will be able to play a part in shaping policy-making on a national scale.
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