Meaningful Impact Stories: Nigel Fernandez, Tzu Chi-SMU Bursary and Worldwide Hotels-Choo Chong Ngen Bursary Recipient

Meaningful Impact Stories: Nigel Fernandez, Tzu Chi-SMU Bursary and Worldwide Hotels-Choo Chong Ngen Bursary Recipient

Friday Jan 17,2020

[Featured photo: Nigel Fernandez giving a presentation in The University of Hong Kong on his finance club, SMU EYE Investment Club]

I would describe myself as someone who is comfortable meeting new people and likes to be challenged. That’s how I stumbled upon a whole new industry of emceeing when I auditioned as an artiste and was selected to undergo six months of training by a professional entertainment company. This would not have been possible without the bursaries I received in my second and now third year at SMU.

SMU impressed me immensely when I attended the Open House in 2016. I wanted an education that would equip me with hard skills, soft skills, and “heart” skills. Building on my business background, I found insights in the areas of corporate communications and finance which I now major in. However, being able to finance my education was a huge challenge for my parents. With my father in poor health and unlikely to financially support me, the thought being able to pay for my tuition fees seemed daunting.

In the three years at SMU, I have received the Tzu Chi-SMU Bursary and Worldwide Hotels-Choo Chong Ngen Bursary. These bursaries really lightened my financial burden and gave me the chance to make the most of my time in SMU.

The Tzu Chi-SMU bursary introduced me to community service where I discovered the importance and impact of community recycling. My interest in purpose-driven work also lead me to take on an internship with Unilever, a company that believes in a sustainable future with a target of halving its carbon footprint by 2030.

The bursaries I’ve received have significantly impacted my life. I was able to take advantage of opportunities such as becoming the President of the EYE Investment Club, the official finance student club. The club develops the financial acumen of SMU students by conducting finance courses in basic financial analysis and equity valuation as well as organising talks and events with corporations. It was heartening to know that one of our events was even reported by local press, evident of the impact of the club’s work. My project management skills were also honed when I managed the logistics and implementation of an annual immersion trip for 30 club members to learn about the financial landscape in Hong Kong.

As I’m now more than half way through my studies at SMU, my plan is to take emceeing more seriously by supporting more university events and working on different types of events off campus. My hobby is to entertain people and emceeing can let me do that and earn some money at the same time. My sights are also set in applying for a management trainee position in Unilever in my last year at SMU.

Nigel Fernandez, Bachelor Business Management, Tzu Chi-SMU Bursary Recipient 2018 and Worldwide Hotels-Choo Chong Ngen Bursary Recipient 2019.