From a horticulture diploma to a Human Resources master’s

Singapore’s Wong Boon Pin opted for a University of London business degree and hasn’t looked back since
University of London alumnus Wong Boon Pin
"The University of London is a global university of a global city with global opportunities": Wong Boon Pin
In today’s context, continuous learning is important and the University of London International Programmes gives you the flexibility and opportunity to study anywhere and by various means. Take this opportunity and fully utilise it!

The future looks bright for Singapore’s Wong Boon Pin. He has a master’s from the renowned London School of Economics (LSE) and a sought-after job at an international company.

But Boon Pin wasn’t always so academically minded or career-focused. In fact, when he was at school, he never even planned to go to university at all.

Boon Pin explains: “I overstressed myself during my GCE 'N' levels that I had no mood to study for my GCE 'O' levels the following year. I told myself that I will just study for a Diploma and will not do further study anymore!”

He undertook a Diploma in Horticulture and Landscape Management at a polytechnic, but soon became concerned about the lack of career options available.

“Although I enjoyed the study, it was not the career I was looking for,” Boon Pin says.

A six-month placement with a landscaping company exposed him to the business world. Boon Pin realised that this was where he wanted to be, and he was prepared to do the study to get there.

He enrolled for a BSc Business with the University of London International Programmes at Singapore Institute of Management Global Education (SIM GE).

Boon Pin says: “I picked BSc Business to get a better understanding of businesses and as an opportunity to explore which area to specialise in. I was more interested in the soft-skills subjects like social psychology and sociology, so I decided to specialise more in Human Resources (HR).”

Despite his earlier lack of enthusiasm for education, Boon Pin found he loved the University of London’s approach, which challenged him to think critically and develop opinions.

“One of the most interesting courses I did was 'Principles of Sociology' that taught me to look at things from various perspectives and not to take assumptions for granted.”

“The courses are academically directed by the London School of Economics (LSE). The School's motto is 'To understand the causes of things' and I really understood many underlying causes of the social phenomenon I see every day,” he says.

“One of the most interesting courses I did was 'Principles of Sociology' that taught me to look at things from various perspectives and not to take assumptions for granted.”

Throughout his studies, Boon Pin was active on the University of London’s Virtual Learning Environment, making friends and contacts around the world. He also participated in the various workshops offered by SIM GE – allowing him to gain a very well-rounded education.

He graduated in 2011 and, after impressing in interviews, won a job in HR at a joint venture company of a major telecommunications provider.

Boon Pin says: “I was promoted to a Senior Executive of HR and Administration in a short time of about one and a half years. This was due to my good performance which came about because of having a critical mind and the relevant knowledge I acquired from my course of study.”

After two years in the workforce, he had the opportunity to pursue a master’s degree – something he never would have thought himself wanting to do as a teenager.

“The critical mind developed out of my BSc Business with the University of London led me to challenge existing assumptions in the HR field and I wrote a dissertation that got me a distinction.”

He set his sights on LSE in London and was accepted for an MSc in Management and Human Resources. He graduated a year later with a Merit.

Boon Pin says: “The critical mind developed out of my BSc Business with the University of London led me to challenge existing assumptions in the HR field and I wrote a dissertation that got me a distinction.”

On his return to Singapore he joined the graduate programme of an international company in the aviation industry. He is currently a Resource Management Executive responsible for developing and planning staff training, but as it is a graduate programme, he will rotate every few years to get experience in different divisions and roles.

He says: “This is something I look forward to as I will get to learn a company operations as a whole and it will be useful for an eventual aim of getting a senior HR position which requires understanding of a company's operations as a whole.”

Wong Boon Pin with Bloomsbury Bear at the 2014 London Graduation Ceremony.

Boon Pin is also an Alumni Ambassador for the University of London International Programmes, drawing on his own experiences to offer career and study advice to prospective and current students.

He says: “Go for something you are passionate in, as this will drive you to acquire more relevant knowledge and enable you to perform well in what you choose to do. It is both passion and relevant knowledge that aids one's career progression in my opinion. So, go for passion and acquire the right competencies.”

And his final word on the University of London?

“The University of London is a global university of a global city with global opportunities. It provided me with the opportunity of further study at the world renowned LSE, the opportunity of establishing a global network of friends, and equipped me with the abilities to have the opportunity of getting good jobs in companies with international reach. In today’s context, continuous learning is important and the University of London International Programmes gives you the flexibility and opportunity to study anywhere and by various means. Take this opportunity and fully utilise it!”

  • Boon Pin studied for his University of London degree at SIM Global Education, an Affiliate Centre for the Univerisity of London International Programmes.
  • Find out more about studying for a University of London degree in Singapore.