Understanding Both Sides Of The Coin

NUS Global Merit Scholar, Jia Rui ventures into a double degree in business administration and computer science thus diversifying his skillset for his future work life.

Why did you choose to pursue your course of study at NUS?
I believe NUS offers students a very holistic education journey. We have foundational pillars that give us a breadth of knowledge about different fields, such as in computing, liberal arts, and statistics. Furthermore, pursuing a double degree in Business Administration and Computer Science enables me to communicate effectively with both software engineers and marketing or business development functions in businesses, allowing me to become a better team player in projects. I am very interested in management consulting, and having a technical background would aid me in serving my client’s needs, especially since the speed that society is digitalising today calls for technical knowledge in consulting.

Why did you accept the NUS Global Merit Scholarship?
Ultimately, this scholarship allowed me to pursue my studies in Singapore without worrying about financial constraints, which I am truly grateful for. The NUS Global Merit Scholarship is bond free, which was suitable for me as I wanted to create my own path after university – to make an impact on corporate decisions through management consulting.

What was the selection process like?
The process started off with an online application, where I was required to provide a brief write up of my recent achievements, and also a personal statement. Subsequently, the actual interview I was shortlisted for comprised a panel discussion regarding a mock business in the tourism industry in need of advice. After analysing the case, various interviewees each voiced our opinions and recommendations, and the outcome of the scholarship interview was dependent primarily on the panel discussion.

Why do you think you were awarded the scholarship, and what are the qualities a scholar should possess?
Although I was nervous about my chances during the scholarship interview, I felt confident in my answers as I have been constantly reading up on current affairs and knew where to draw ideas from. I believe that being able to demonstrate awareness of current affairs beyond your immediate environment could show breadth in world view, which was important. I also believe that my work and CCA experiences allowed me to display my willingness to learn and gain new experiences. This is something I encourage everyone to do, which is to step out of your comfort zone and explore areas that you seldom venture into, as they usually provide meaningful experiences that may strengthen your scholarship application.

I believe a Global Merit Scholar should have a broad view and understanding of the world. One does not have to know everything, but it is good to be able to exhibit intellectual curiosity and the willingness to challenge ourselves to make the most out of our limited time in this world. A scholar should also demonstrate leadership ability, and be capable of handling the responsibilities that being a scholar of NUS entails, because I believe we should be role models who demonstrate holistic excellence, more than simply academic excellence.

What are the benefits of taking up the NUS Global Merit Scholarship?
Besides the monetary benefits, it has definitely opened up new doors for me, as being a Scholar garners respect from your peers, and professional acquaintances. Employers do see the scholarship as a proof of capability and it does give you an edge over your peers. Also, I am able to go for the student exchange programme (which is guaranteed by the scholarship) and gain global insights, without worrying much about my finances, as the scholarship provides an overseas stipend as well.

How has your NUS experience been, and what programmes and activities have you participated in so far?
Studying in NUS has been an amazing experience so far. I got to make new friends with people of different backgrounds, be it through my course or through my residential life on campus. I am currently living on-campus in Tembusu College (a Residential College), and would consider myself active, having kick-started my own interest group with several friends, and planning for our annual Halloween event. Also, I had the opportunity to join several hackathons and case competitions, something I truly enjoy as it tests one’s analytical skills. Additionally, I joined numerous student organisations such as NUS Entrepreneurship Society, which allows me to network with actual startup founders, which I find extremely exciting. 

Furthermore, I also play sports like Basketball and Floorball in Tembusu College, and have represented NUS Business School for Contract Bridge and Track and Field in the annual Inter-Faculty Games (an annual sporting event across faculties). Overall, these varied experiences in my first year has really challenged me, and also enriched my university life, which I may not find outside of NUS.


NUS GLOBAL MERIT SCHOLARSHIP
Liu Jia Rui
Age: 21
Now: National University of Singapore, Business Administration and Computer Science, Year 1
From: Raffles Institution

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