A Respected National Audit Institution

Why did you choose the scholarship?
I chose the AGO scholarship when I was looking through a list of scholarships available. I knew that it was something that I truly wanted, to be part of this meaningful work in ensuring public accountability in Singapore. Additionally, AGO’s core values resonated with my personal values and hence drew my interest in applying for this scholarship.

Are there unconventional ways the company uses to select its scholars?
It was via the usual methods of the psychometric test as well as an interview with the senior management.

What course are you pursuing or graduated in? Why did you choose this?
I am pursuing the Bachelor of Business Administration (Accountancy) in NUS, and am currently in my last year. I chose Accounting as I felt that it was a really useful skill to have, and could expose me to other fields of work. Besides accounting modules, I personally enjoyed the compulsory finance and law modules that I had to take.

How is the job market for this course?
Accounting graduates would usually venture into Big4 after they graduate, doing things such as external auditing, risk advisory and many others. Hence, the job prospects are generally on the bright side for accounting graduates.

Any advice on how to choose a university?
After deciding on studying Accounting, I proceeded to research on the accounting programmes in the different universities. There were several considerations that I had considered such as professors’ accreditations, school rankings. Aside from these, it is also important to look at the culture of the university that you are interested to apply to.

What are the most memorable things that happened in your university life?
Without a doubt, the most memorable part of university life thus far is my exchange semester in Canada. Spending one semester abroad truly allowed me to learn so many things that I still hold dear to my heart now. I learnt how to be more independent, and forged many friendships along the way. I would not trade this experience for anything else!

Describe your role in your company and its challenges
As AGO’s auditor, our scope of work are mandated by the various laws, statutes and the Constitution of Singapore. Having interned twice at AGO during my summer breaks, I was exposed to the different types of audits that AGO carried out: Selective Audit and Government Financial Statements Audit. This has allowed me to challenge myself, in having to develop a greater eye for detail, whilst understanding the different laws and operations and carrying out the audit fieldwork. It was indeed an eye-opening experience.

What do you love about your job and the company?
My personal values resonate with that of AGO’s core values, which allows me to develop a greater sense of belonging and purpose during my work.

What kinds of career and personal development opportunities does your company provide for its scholars?
AGO scholars are able to do their internships in AGO during the school breaks. This helps us to gain first-hand experience, and an advantage over others as we get to experience what government auditing is like. Upon joining AGO, the scholar would join the other new joiners to undergo a series of structured training courses on auditing and data analytics. Aside from on-the-job training to gain practical work experience and leadership training, the scholar could also leverage on the sponsorship programme to pursue additional qualifications such as the Chartered Accountants, Singapore (CA Singapore), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified Fraud Examiners etc.

What are your interests? How do you balance it with working life?
Throughout my years in university, I have been actively singing with the Singapore Youth Choir/SYC Ensemble Singers. In fact, I have been singing in a choir since I was 9 years old and I only decided to join a professional choir when I first entered university.
I have been able to balance my studies with the choir, because I feel that there is a time for everything. As long as my mind is set on doing it, I would definitely make time for it.

What do you see are life’s most important values and why?
Gratitude and passion are examples of values that are important to me. We should always have a sense of gratitude, to always remember the help that we have received and to give it back to others when they need it. Hence, I hope to be able to give back to society in the near future.

Next, I believe that passion is the fire that keeps each of us going. Even though our workload or our job gets tougher along the way, having passion allows us to remind ourselves of where we are and why we chose it in the first place.

Any suggestion on how we can make Singapore a better place to live in?
Singapore could be a better place to live in if all of us develop a sense of graciousness in society. As cliché as it sounds, I believe that graciousness would definitely go a long way in the future.

ONG JIAQI
AGO Auditing Service Scholarship
Age: 23
Attained: Bachelor of Business Administration (Accountancy), Honours (Highest Distinction) from National University of Singapore
Now: Associate Audit Officer
From: Victoria Junior College

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