If he had not taken up a scholarship offered by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Mr Lim Weilun would have missed many invaluable opportunities.
On the scholarship, he pursued a Bachelor of Arts (Economics & Psychology) at Columbia University in New York City from 2008 to 2011.
He then headed to the United Kingdom where he completed a one-year Master of Philosophy programme in Economics at the University of Cambridge.
He says: “This opportunity was a transformative one. It allowed me to venture out of my comfort zone and develop a better understanding of the diversity of various cultural beliefs and perspectives.
“It also gave me a better appreciation of the many comforts that I had previously taken for granted back home — be it the food court that is open 24 hours, the freedom and security of walking in a brightly lit park at night, and the reasonably efficient public transport system.”
More importantly, he highlights that the scholarship has given him the invaluable experience of working in the Central Bank of Singapore.
Says Mr Lim, who is now an assistant director in a banking department in the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS): “The organisation offers a conducive environment for the individual to grow professionally, and also provides an avenue for one to generate a tangible value-add to society.”
The right decision
The Raffles Institution and Raffles Junior College alumnus decided on an MAS scholarship as his economics education in junior college kindled his interest in the macro-economy and financial markets.
He also wanted to be involved in work that would have a tangible and constructive impact on society and MAS fitted the bill on both accounts.
During a summer break, he completed an internship at the Financial Centre Development Department.
It exposed him to the work, people and culture within the organisation while giving him valuable insights into the role that MAS plays in enhancing Singapore’s position as a key financial centre.
Mr Lim affirms that a career with MAS is rewarding.
“MAS’ unique position as a dynamic organisation with various functions housed under one roof accords its staff the opportunity to acquire both the breadth and depth of exposure in different fields within the financial or economic sector,” he explains.
Mr Lim has been exposed to a range of portfolios, from the surveillance function of assessing the implications of the turbulent external macro-environment for the stability of the Singapore financial system, to a bank supervisor, where he looks after several financial institutions and ensures the robustness and soundness of their risk management framework.
Furthermore, MAS places emphasis on lifelong learning and staff development.
An in-house MAS Academy allows staff to train and upgrade themselves in core skills required in the financial sector, such as accounting and risk analysis, as well as general life skills that are useful for one’s personal and professional development, such as business Chinese and effective presentation skills.
Always something new
Work at MAS may not be a piece of cake, but it is in overcoming challenges that Mr Lim finds fulfilment.
He points out: “Each day brings new challenges and no two days are ever quite the same. in the banking department also requires frequent interaction with key senior executives of financial institutions, many of whom have many more years of working experience.
Says the 29-year-old: “This in itself is a challenging but rewarding experience.
“It enhances my communication skills and motivates me to strengthen my expertise in my field in order to better engage these senior personnel.”