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Master of Professional Accounting
Institute: Singapore Management University
Programme: Master of Professtional Accounting (MPA)
How I Have the Best of Both Worlds – in Accounting and Law
Balasubramanian Arvind, an alumnus of SMU’s Master of Professional Accounting (MPA) programme and a law graduate, shares how his accounting knowledge gives him a different perspective at work and how he gets the best of both worlds.
As a law graduate, what made you choose MPA?
Tax and revenue legislation, which blend economics, law and accounting principles, have always intrigued me. I wanted to undertake postgraduate studies in an area that would complement my legal background and better equip me for a career in tax consulting. MPA proved to be a great way of doing that.
What are the challenges that you faced throughout the programme and how did you overcome it?
They say lawyers are no good with numbers, and I wanted to try dispelling that myth. I achieved some success at that, thanks to the professors and classmates who were always there to answer my most intractable questions! The numerous field trips and bonding sessions that we had in Singapore and overseas also gave us respite from the challenging academic terms.
What did you enjoy about being in the MPA programme?
The diversity of the student body and vibrant in-class atmosphere stands out the most to me. The curriculum was very well-designed, challenging and deeply enriching. We had many opportunities to bond, work together and debate over coursework. I was able to make friends from all walks of life and a variety of professions including accountants, lawyers and even CFOs of multinationals. I enjoyed the classes taught by industry stalwarts like Mr Chan Yew Kiang and Associate Professor Cheng Nam Sang.
How would you advise candidates who are interested in pursuing the MPA programme?
He or she has to understand what are the objectives to get a Master’s degree and work towards it from the very start. Is it for a career switch? Do you wish to upgrade your skills? Are you a professional looking for career advancement in finance but comes from a non-accounting background like engineering?
A postgraduate degree is very different from an undergraduate degree, and one that offers you not only a chance to gain a much deeper understanding of an academic discipline but also a chance to stand out! I believe the MPA programme can help you achieve all goals.