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Zhang Jiayi

Please tell us more about where you are currently working at and what you are doing.

I am currently working as a Research Assistant in the Society and Identity cluster of the Institute of Policy Studies. I help with research on matters relating to the Singaporeans identity – issues on race, language, religion, education and so on.

What made you choose to do a degree in Social Sciences and why choose to do it in SMU?

I chose to do a degree in the Social Science because I believe it will sharpen my critical thinking and writing skills. Most importantly, it instills a unique set of values which I believe will make me a more all-rounded, compassionate, empathetic and interesting individual. I chose to do it in SMU as I appreciate the teaching style and class sizes, which allows for more faculty-student interaction. I also appreciate the numerous opportunities that are available for us to grasp to add to the vibrancy of student life in SMU.

How has the SOSS experience been for you, and how do you think it has benefitted you?

The SOSS experience is one of a kind; I do not regret choosing to do my undergraduate studies in SMU. It is until I step into SMU that I found out how my mind has been blunted by all the rote learning before my undergraduate studies. The SOSS experience gave me a framework to think about and examine the world around me, which helped me immensely in understanding the dynamics of the larger environment. I thank SOSS for equipping me with critical thinking and analytical skills, and for sharpening my ability to dissect issues and articulate my thoughts on them. The SOSS experience is not complete without equally pensive, passionate and bright individuals who engage me in deep, meaningful conversations, who evoke my passion for various social issues. SOSS has transformed me from a rote learner to a thinker, which I am utterly grateful for.

Please tell us more about your student experience while studying in SMU SOSS. Did you encounter any events that were especially memorable to you?

The most memorable events that I encountered will probably sound mediocre to many. I remember the conversations that I share with professors in their offices and being in awe of their rich experiences and brilliance. I remember the discussions and debates that I have with my schoolmates along the corridors and mutually encouraging each other to take on the world without fear. I remember the consultation sessions I hold with project groups of the classes that I was TA-ing for and feeling that sense of satisfaction when they learn something from me. The best thing about the SOSS experience is that there is no one big event that made me go 'WOAH', but various small events that brighten up my days and make me feel proud to be part of this community that holds a special place in my heart.

Last updated on 13 Sep 2017 .