Should I proceed with NUS USP? - Seedly
 

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Asked by Anonymous

Asked on 02 Jan 2020

Should I proceed with NUS USP?

I recently got into NUS University Scholars Program. However, I also got offered Business as a second major. I am deliberating between the two as I cant take both of them concurrently due to the workload. I feel that USP doesn't have very practical modules but its niche programme would help one to stand out in getting interviews upon graduation? I hope that someone could advise me if I should just drop USP to go for a more practical business route.

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Kenneth Lou
Kenneth Lou, Co-founder at Seedly
Level 9. God of Wisdom
Answered on 03 Jan 2020

Hello! I was in the exact same situation as you before.

I joined NUS BIZ + USP and stayed in Cinamon college for 2 years.

Pros:

  • Cinamon college and UTown (really awesome place)

  • Good people and smart people also to mingle around with

  • People who are passionate but also qwerky

  • Camps are really fun and the people there generally do well in life (I think, haha)

Cons:

  • I really hated the studying and writing modules

  • Basically there was a writing module called WCT which you have to keep re-writing the same essay like 5 times with edits

  • Alot of talk only but not alot of doing (if you are someone who likes to get your hands dirty, this is not for you)

Conclusion:

Just try it out first? And drop out if you really don't like it after year 1 or 1.5. There's no peanalty and I'm sure you would have made some really good friends also.

In the end, I just graduated with the normal NUS BBA with no USP. And I'm totally ok with that as well!

Let me know how else I can help you with this :)

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Question Poster

03 Jan 2020

Hi Kenneth, thank you for the valuable input! I am actually considering between USP or Management as a Second Major. Do you feel that USP provides a stronger edge in interviews given its rarity? Also, I find that Economics and Management is a rather common double major track economic students go through but it enables economic students to gain good knowledge in Banking and Finance/ Entrepreneurship. What are your thoughts? I am considering to work in a bank or government policy in the future.
Takingstock @
Takingstock @
Level 6. Master
Updated on 03 Jan 2020

See if there a way you can attempt to juggle both?

I dont know what your first major is, but from a practical point of view, having a business / finance / accounting background helps you in your future career... A lot.

As an accountant / business partner, the examples I can quote:

1) you become a trusted / dependable resource that your boss like. Mgmt (ie CEO / CFO / COO) outlines the business strategy for the year... Having the background can help you see what the company direction is, and how it affects your job, be it to increase sales, improve returns / efficiency / cut out unprofitable or unsustainable offices, do research with better prospects / ROI. And you learn what direction you should be taking to stay in line with the corporate strategy. Likewise, what you shouldn't do unless you want to get fired.

2) you become a department head. Finance gives you a budget for upcoming year. As the department head, you will have to trim expenses or increase some sales / revenue to help offset, so that you dont affect the things / projects / staff you want to keep. Having the background helps you learn the rules of the game, and be in a better position to negotiate.

Most of the big bosses know their numbers, and KPI and what they need to do to keep their job / get better bonuses. If you dont know the language of finance / accounting, its pretty much like they are talking in an alien language.

There are few jobs with a supervisory or managerial role where you do not need to know your numbers.

A doctor needs to know how much revenue an average patient generates, how many patients he needs to see a day for the clinic to break-even, and what are the good segments to operate in.

A lawyer will also need to estimate how many hours he needs to put into a case, what his cost per hour is, whether the client can pay, and therefore estimate whether that client's case is profitable.

A restaurant owner will need to know his margins, daily sales, and whether it makes sense to open a second branch and how likely it might be that it is profitable.

Even in public policy, you could be handling like what is the budget MOF gives you, realistically how much subsidies you could be granting to folks, and how to set the bar as to whether this or that family should be granted public assistance based on the funding you receive.

Knowing business / finance will help you pursue economically viable ventures, its always good.

I talk to engineers who don't know why they exceed their budgets, what they need to do to manage their budgets, and how to cut the spending the bosses dont care about. Its a pain for me because after quite a while, they still dont get it. If they dont get their act together, they could very well be fired for buying stuff they are not supposed to be buying or things we deem as non-viable prospects to pursue anymore. Dont be one of them.

End of the day, take it like knowing a third language so you can talk / discuss with very very important people.

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