A challenging childhood became the powerful motivating factor for Philbert Lim to study hard and pursue excellence so as to give his family a better life in future.
He did well in his G.C.E ‘O’ Level examinations at Gan Eng Seng Secondary School and chose to continue his studies at a junior college. After two months, he decided that the learning route was unsuitable and appealed to take up the Diploma in Accountancy (DAC) in Singapore Polytechnic (SP).
SP became the nurturing ground for Philbert to excel in all aspects. He took up leading roles in activities organised by SP Business School, such as the People’s Association-Business School community leadership programme. As President of the DAC Chapter, he organised events to strengthen bonds amongst students and rallied them to participate in several community projects.
The most memorable SP experience for Philbert was a two-week overseas trip to Laos where he experienced the harsh conditions of villagers. There, he harvested peanuts, helped build a school hall and gave English lessons to the kids. The trip made him appreciate the simplicity of life there - where the kids exude happiness despite studying in classrooms much worse off than what we have here.
The Laos experience prompted him to sign up for another overseas community project – ASEAN Connect which involves helping some villagers in Yogjakarta achieve a sustainable income by turning their living environment into a tourist attraction.
To get an idea of the corporate world beyond our shores, Philbert, who is an SP Scholar and Model Student Award recipient, signed up for the China Immersion Programme where he visited four Chinese cities – Beijing, Dalian, Tianjin and Yingkou – to find out about business practices there. At the end of the programme, his team made a presentation to the management of Singapore Tianjin Eco-City on how to market their industrial assets.
Philbert’s internship with Ernst and Young opened his eyes to the world of financial auditing. The experience made him probe deeper into this very niche skillset and the possibility of a career in this field.
All of these unique experiences have changed Philbert from a quiet and reserved teenager to one who is now confident and increasingly outspoken.
After his national service, Philbert plans to further his studies in accountancy with a local university. In the long run, he sees himself contributing his skills and knowledge in the accounting or finance industry, and using his industry network connection to create community programmes that will benefit youths from broken families.