University Scholars Programme (USP) and Computing graduate Ang Jin Hui arrived at NUS a few years later than his peers, but has made every second count since then.
The world is his oyster, but Jin Hui, who received his degree in Electronic Commerce on 9 July, would like to contribute to Singapore’s nation-building efforts. After graduation, he will be joining the Singapore Economic Development Board, helping to develop the Infocomms and Media industries in the city state and engaging companies that enable the global digital economy.
“My academic journey has been blessed with scholarships from the Government of Singapore. This has developed in me a strong sense of social responsibility to serve our society and Singapore in a broader vision,” said the son of a taxi driver and homemaker, whose accomplishments have garnered him four scholarships named after Singapore’s founding Prime Minister the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
He has been presented with the LKY Award for Outstanding Normal Course Students, LKY Award for Mathematics and Science, LKY Gold Medal and LKY Scholarship to Encourage Upgrading (LKY-STEP) Award. He has also been awarded an NUS Undergraduate (Merit) Scholarship, given to individuals who demonstrate academic excellence, present excellent co-curricular activities records and exhibit outstanding leadership qualities.
Not quite an achiever in his early academic years, Jin Hui took the less-vaunted GCE Normal (Technical) route, before heading on to a vocational institute and polytechnic. Most of his NUS peers would have taken the direct path via junior college.
When he was admitted into NUS, he only had two goals — to get a good honours degree and attend the NUS Overseas College (NOC) in Silicon Valley. The rest was a bonus, he added.
Jin Hui found his first year at NUS challenging, especially the USP modules, as they pushed him out of his comfort zone with topics such as evolution. But, he soon gained momentum and picked up new-found skills and experiences all over the world through the University’s global programmes.
Through his NUS-related sojourns to places like Beijing and San Francisco, Jin Hui accumulated valuable cross-cultural experiences and established a global network. He also jumped at the chance to gain new skills through an internship with Microsoft and a full-time job with a US-based start-up, on top of his academic commitments. During his final year at NUS, weekdays started before sunrise and were spent fulfilling work obligations, including taking middle-of-the-night conference calls with his US counterparts. Weekends were spent…catching up on schoolwork.
NOC Adjunct Professor Himawan Gunadhi found Jin Hui very driven, always aspiring to learn and excel at work and school. The Silicon Valley-based start-up co-founder, who helped Jin Hui write a case study on his NOC experience, said that even though the enterprising student had little knowledge or experience initially about the case method, he learned very quickly. Jin Hui hopes to publish an NOC teaching case on his experience in Silicon Valley.
The year abroad with NOC gave Jin Hui a chance to put the hard and soft skills he acquired at NUS into practice, whether it was applying his e-commerce knowledge to building a start-up or engaging in negotiations with his bosses.
“At NOC, I see everything falling into place. The theories I learnt here, the conversational skills with friends, fit like a jigsaw puzzle,” he said.
This article was first published on 9 July 2015 in NUS News.