As a dynamic and distinguished university, UOL consists of 18 self-governing colleges and nine research institutes, including the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), King’s College London and Goldsmiths, University of London. These colleges and institutes provide a broad range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, many of which are available worldwide and can be studied locally in Singapore.
SIM Global Education is one of many international institutions that support UOL’s range of comprehensive business-centric courses. We speak to Gabriel Koh Jun Rong, a recent graduate of UOL, to find out how the school has provided him with the tools to fulfil his academic aspirations.
What motivated you to pursue a degree in Banking and Finance with UOL?
Gabriel Koh Jun Rong: I have always been passionate about the banking and finance industry in Singapore and knew that I wanted a career related to this fast-paced field. I chose UOL to pursue my Banking and Finance degree because it is a prestigious university which offers a vigorous, flexible and holistic course structure.
Gabriel Koh Jun Rong
Bachelor of Science (Honours)
in Banking and Finance,
University of London, SIM Global Education
Could you tell us about UOL’s programme delivery?
Gabriel: UOL only conducts exams annually and each module is covered extensively in both range and depth. Classes conducted are mostly lecture-based, with tutorials offered for certain modules.
As for modules, there was quite a bit of flexibility. Aside from the compulsory modules, the university gave me the freedom to pick my electives and tailor the course to fit my aspirations. With this flexibility, I was able to pursue my interest in quantitative finance and data analytics. The elective modules I chose to take were econometrics, higher mathematics and higher statistics.
My experience with the lecturers over the years has also been very pleasant. Most of them are industry experts in their field and have vast financial knowledge. They are able to tie their lectures in with real-world examples and give in-depth analysis. They are also approachable should you have any questions.
What was one highlight during your time at UOL?
Gabriel: The highlight of my UOL education would definitely be when I attended summer school at the London School of Economics. During this four-week programme, I was exposed to a very different education culture and had the full student experience in London. Instead of taking the usual banking and finance modules, I chose to study international relations and foreign policy analysis. During my time there, it happened to be a very volatile period for Europe as a Malaysian plane had been shot down by Ukraine. The lecturer jumped on this opportunity and decided to use it as a case study, in place of the conventional course material.
Lectures were conducted in smaller groups, which allowed them to be delivered in a more engaging and intimate manner. It was refreshing to see a current real-world event being discussed in the classroom, while details were still being unveiled on the news. This really left an indelible mark on me, as I got to experience first-hand how the theories from textbooks actually apply in the real world.
Share with us about your academic achievements at UOL.
Gabriel: When I first attended classes at UOL, I was still trying to find my footing and did not have a concrete plan in mind. During my first year, I had managed to score straight A’s and was given a letter of commendation from UOL. This came as a pleasant surprise as the letter is only given to the top six students around the world.
It also validated the effort I had put into my studies and spurred me to keep the momentum going for my second and third year. In my second year, I was awarded the SIM Academic Excellence and Leadership Scholarship for my consistently good grades and pro-activeness in school.
Tell us more about your decision to pursue a Master’s degree at the University of Warwick.
Gabriel: My degree at UOL has helped opened up doors to many universities which offer postgraduate programmes, especially those based in the UK. I have chosen to pursue my Master’s degree in Finance at the University of Warwick as it has a solid reputation for quantitative research. It is also well-known for mathematics and statistics, which strongly resonates with my interests.
In addition, the flexibility to take up electives freely is an important factor to me. As the Master’s degree I am pursuing is classified as a general one, I am able to tailor my electives and steer it toward my interests – similar to the flexibility that UOL offers.