While other children would prefer to read comics, a young Goh Choon Guan would pick out books about finance and economics. The Public Service Commission Scholar (Public Finance) recalls being curious about his father’s investments and wanting to understand the rationale and thought processes behind his selection of stocks.
As he grew older, he realised that the world of financial governance could be very exciting. The volatility and unpredictability of financial markets can impact everyday lives.
Reading about the controls in the management of public funds and lapses in agencies reported by the Auditor-General’s Office (AGO) further piqued his interest. “It reaffirmed my decision to study accounting
and finance-related modules as it would help me develop critical thinking skills, hone my analytical skills and acquire deeper insights into the finance and audit world,” the 22-year-old says.
Mr Goh applied for PSC’s (Public Finance) Scholarship after his A levels. The scholarship is offered to students with a clear interest in a specialised finance career with the public service. Mr Goh will join AGO when he graduates from university. AGO is the national auditor that enhances public accountability in the management and use of public funds and resources. It audits government ministries and departments, organs of states, statutory boards and government funds.
Best of both worlds
Mr Goh is currently a second-year student at Nanyang Technological University, enrolled in a Double Degree in Business and Accountancy. He chose a double degree so that he will be equipped with business analytics skills as well as accounting skills, saying that the former will be extremely relevant in the future.
He completed a 10-week internship programme at AGO, which gave him a taste of what it would be like to work in the organisation. “I gained a sense of satisfaction when I saw the concepts I learnt in school being applied to my audit project. This allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of how concepts are applied and put to use in real life.”
Mr Goh chose to pursue a scholarship in the public sector also because he wanted a career in public service so that he can contribute to society.
“As I come from a humble family background, I am always appreciative of the opportunities that have been given to me to better myself. Joining the public service means I can serve society and fellow Singaporeans. The work is meaningful, which is a source of motivation for me.”