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He takes charge of his own learning journey at Yale-NUS

Photo Caption: As a Yale-NUS College undergraduate, Mr Matthias Goh has benefited from the wide range of external learning experiences that allowed him “an opportunity to interact with diverse communities”.

Mr Matthias Goh believes he has what it takes to make sense of the “new normal” in a post-pandemic world when he enters the working world. The fourth-year student at liberal arts college Yale-NUS says his multidisciplinary university education has made him more adaptable and open-minded. 

The 26-year-old is majoring in mathematical, computational and statistical sciences (MCS), but he has also had the opportunity to take modules on philosophy and political thought, as part of Yale-NUS’ Common Curriculum.

He says: “I love knowledge in all forms, and being in a liberal arts and sciences college allows me to learn from a variety of subjects.”

Having such a well-rounded education is even more relevant today, given the current Covid-19 pandemic.

Notes the Global Leader Scholarship holder: “A liberal arts education at Yale-NUS has broadened my perspective on topics that are particularly relevant in the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Coming from a science background in secondary school and junior college, I was trained in a one-dimensional approach where there is one precise method to obtain the outcome I wanted. 

“At Yale-NUS, I have developed the ability to draw on different methodological tools and theoretical concepts to analyse situations through deep and careful interrogation of a variety of subjects,” he says.

 A personalised learning journey

In addition to the interdisciplinary Common Curriculum courses, Yale-NUS students get to decide how they want to shape their learning journey and can start taking electives from their second year onwards. By diving deeper into the academic disciplines they are interested in, they can declare their major (and an optional minor) by the end of their second year. They then spend their third and fourth year reading modules in their major.

Such flexibility gave Mr Goh free rein to challenge himself in fields that he would never have imagined pursuing, such as biology, ancient history and data science, which he eventually chose to major in.

“I never would have thought of dabbling in biology, especially one as rigorous and time-consuming (eight hours a week) as Biology Laboratory. In hindsight, it was one of the best decisions I had made, as I gleaned a wealth of research skills and an understanding of scientific materials that would later be transferable to other projects and courses outside of the natural sciences.”

Mr Goh also benefited from the wide range of external learning experiences that gave him “an opportunity to interact with diverse communities”.

In May 2019, he did a summer internship in Singapore at Freepoint Commodities, a global commodities trading house. From September 2019 to January last year, he did a five-month stint at Shanghai’s Fudan University, via NUS Overseas College Shanghai, where he studied and worked in entrepreneurship and finance. He says those experiences have helped him become more independent and socially aware.

Before he graduates in June, Mr Goh is putting the finishing touches to his capstone project, which involves the back-end development of a web application for generating maps to visualise information.

He says: “The Global Leader Scholarship has allowed me to fully focus on my studies and interests without having to worry about finances. As it is bond-free, I can explore different industries and try out internships in different fields. As a result, I was able to discover that the best fit for me is likely a career in sales and trading.”


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