In any classroom, teachers are in a position where even small gestures – like an encouraging word or a pat on the shoulder – can have a substantial impact on students’ confidence, outlook and thinking. Most people will easily be able to recall the teachers in their lives who, usually unknowingly, had this effect on them.
One such teacher is Mr Aw Wah Soon. Just ask any of his students and you will inevitably discover how much his teachings and life philosophy have made an impact on their academic pursuits and future careers.
Mr Aw is recognized for his passion and commitment as a finance lecturer. He has the ability to turn a challenging subject like finance into an enjoyable experience through his innovative methods of delivery. Coupled with his 30 years of business background, he brings real-life perspectives into his classroom.
His past 8 years’ of teaching experience include subjects like financial and managerial accounting, financial management including international finance and risk management, to undergraduate and postgraduate international students in Singapore. He also conducted intensive teaching on accounting and finance in China and is external the examiner for these subjects.
“The young minds of today are the professionals of tomorrow. If I succeed in helping them to learn better, the students will be confident in mastering the subject and ultimately become outstanding professionals when they graduate. When I think of how I have the privilege and opportunity to contribute to the foundation of a person’s career and helped them to build a life and a future, I feel that I have been duly rewarded”, said Mr Aw.
Find out more about his aspirations!
1. An overview of yourself
I was in the corporate sector for more than 15 years and in the last 8 years, I was in the education industry. In the corporate sector, for the most part, I was involved in international trading of physical commodities, shipping and logistics, futures, financial derivatives, options and for a few years I was a stockbroker.
In the last 8 years, I have been teaching under-grads and post-grads in the private institutions in Singapore. I have also taught in China occasionally.
The Education industry was an option for me until recently. However, due to drop in student enrolment and competition, I am looking opportunity in the corporate sector where my experience and expertise could better be utilized.
2. What made you venture into your latest function?
When I was retrenched from my corporate position I decided to venture into stock broking and trading. However, this did not work out due to the financial crisis. Teaching and lecturing became an option for me. In fact, I found teaching rather fulfilling and gratifying.
3. What are you currently looking for?
Currently, I am looking for teaching assignments or position, full-time or part-time basis either locally or overseas.
The institutions that I was teaching at have scaled down their operation due to falling student enrolment. I am also looking at the corporate sector where my experience and expertise could be utilized.
4. What is your greatest professional achievement?
My greatest professional achievement was when took up the position as General Manager based in Yangon, Myanmar for a Swiss trading company. I spearheaded the company’s operation in Myanmar in the early nineties.
In face of numerous challenges such as very poor infra structure in every area, there was no proper banking system, inefficient government bureaucracy and red tape and a very poorly trained labour force with low educational level, I was able to establish the operation and run it successfully.
The company was firmly established and recognised as a leading operator in the country.
5. What is the most significant challenge you overcome at work?
The most significant challenge I had to overcome was I when head-hunted by Koch Nitrogen Company to develop its fertilizer business in Asia. Starting from scratch I had to build buyer and seller base and at the same time build up market knowledge and expertise.
Fertilizer business is based on relationship and I was able to establish good rapport and relationship with buyers and sellers within a short time and got the fertilizer business going.
6. What is one philosophy you bring to work?
I believe in teamwork. Without teamwork, no organisation unit can achieve its goal over the longer term. To have good teamwork, the team must be motivated so that every member of the team contributes his or her best.
Every member of the team must be rewarded according to the team’s and his or her performance and fairly. Any perception of unfair reward is the greatest obstacle to teamwork.
7. What career advice would you give to the next generation of young professionals?
Every individual has to make his or her own decision. No one can foresee the future and hence every individual must make his or her decision and be responsible for it.
Knowing that it is his or her own responsibility encourages responsible and accountable decision-making. This is what I inculcate in my students!