Loh Yu Jin is a 3rd year undergraduate in the School of Information Systems at the Singapore Management University, majoring in Business Analytics and Fintech. He is also a Quantedge Foundation Scholar since 2017.
Yu Jin was a member of the winning team in the UBS Group Chief Operation Office Case Challenge 2019. He hopes to embark on a career in the financial services or the consulting industry when he graduates.
What are your career goals and how do you plan to achieve them?
It all started when I was pursuing a diploma in Financial Informatics in polytechnic and was introduced to the term “finance”. Since then, I have been intrigued whenever someone discusses finance-related topics.
While having good results is vital, this alone is not everything. In today’s globalised world, being interconnected to one another and fostering good relationships are equally important. I think that one needs to be able to deliver and understand messages well. Focusing solely on hard skills is a thing of the past – employers now look at potential hires holistically and this is an area I should definitely work on.
You beat 50 teams to clinch the first prize in the UBS Group Chief Operation Officer Case Challenge 2019. What was your role in the team and why did you think your team won?
The problem statement for this case challenge was closely related to a project I did in one of my SMU modules – IS210 Business Process Analysis & Solutioning. My project group mates and I were doing our internships but thought it aligned well with what we were trained to do. The case challenge was split into 3 major parts – business operations, technologies and finances. Being well-versed in the financial aspects, I naturally took on this part of the challenge.
My main takeaway from this challenge is to tailor our pitches to different stakeholders. The management team would be interested to know more about the efficiency of the proposed solution as well as the KPIs, whereas an employee would be more concerned about the impact of the solution on his job – whether his job role remains or if he will be transferred to another team to take on a more value-added role.
You seem to spend a fair amount of time in out-of-class activities. Besides the UBS Case Challenge, you have completed coding courses and participated in the Bosch Ville 2018 Hackathon. Tell us more about these activities and what motivates you to participate in them.
I feel that there is a huge gap between real-world problems and school-taught problems. Besides the UBS Case Challenge, I participated in the Bosch Ville Hackathon, Punggol Digital District Hackathon and CodeIT Suisse, as I hoped to use these experiences to broaden my exposure to and perspectives on these real-world problems. Bridging this gap will help me better understand and tackle such problems when I embark on my future career.
Through these case competitions and hackathons, I gained exposure to different kinds of possible real-world problems and had the opportunity to meet different people. Learning hard skills in school is one thing, but industry insights can only be acquired when you take a chance, go out and meet people.
"Through these case competitions and hackathons, I gained exposure to different kinds of possible real-world problems and had the opportunity to meet different people. Learning hard skills in school is one thing, but industry insights can only be acquired when you take a chance, go out and meet people."
2019 CodeIT Suisse was yet another coding challenge by Credit Suisse for university students passionate about technology. Groups were tasked to solve small but real-world problems using various algorithms. As most of the problems did not have a full solution, the focus was on getting an optimal algorithm that would give the correct output for any given input (including corner cases), while keeping the code running within the runtime limit.
Punggol Digital District Hackathon 2019 was a 2-day ideation hackathon to reinvent the Punggol District into a more liveable place, as part of a larger, integrated masterplan. As students ourselves, the idea that came to us naturally was one that would address the needs of other students. My group came up with an idea for a holistic job portal for the SIT students and JTC employers in the future Punggol District. While we made it through the next round, we decided to scrap the idea at the end of Day 1 after learning that many other groups were proposing something similar. We went back to the drawing board and came up with a whole new unique solution that would cater to all the Punggol District residents - an errand-running app that would help anyone living in the Punggol District with their last-minute errands. Alas, we did not win in the end and the winning entry was actually a proposed job portal!
What advice and tips do you have for a new QF scholar on how to navigate the first semester in SMU?
I recall how I initially struggled when transiting from National Service to student life at university. Adapting to the fast-paced learning environment in SMU was not easy. For new QF scholars, here are some tips: