Feature on Ang Yew Shen, the Alumnus with a Heart of Gold
Written By: Sofilia Zaidee
28 January 2022 marked a momentous occasion for Mr. Ang Yew Shen and the institute he proudly graduated from back in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the School of Business in SUSS. To date, Yew Shen has donated S$50,000 to his alma mater, on top of the Ang Yew Shen Study Award – which gives S$3,000 to the most improved final-year business student each year.
This story was highlighted in January, and this time around, we delve into Yew Shen’s experiences in the institute that encouraged him to give back in the name of social good.
Question: How would you describe your experience at SUSS?
My experience at SUSS was one that pushed me beyond my limit, I am grateful for it. I made a choice to juggle my career in the Republic of Singapore Navy, classes, assignments, sailings, a minimum 4-hour commute between places, and to give my very best in every aspect. I would always tell others that it was tough, but tough times don’t last, tough people do.
Commitment is one essential ingredient for one’s success, however, I believe in having an environment that can positively shape us into a better version of ourselves. SUSS provided me with that environment. I was blessed to have lecturers that were professionals in their fields and were able to convey their knowledge to students effectively. I feel SUSS is able to achieve this high standard because of the university’s core philosophy of ‘Head, Heart, Habit’.
In my early twenties, I was honored to have incredible lecturers in SUSS and leadership in the Singapore Armed Forces as my role models. I witnessed passion, dedication, integrity, and leadership firsthand. My experience in SUSS played a role in shaping me into who I am today and who I will be in the future. I am doing extremely well in my profession in the field of finance and holding a leadership role to support the growth of our youngsters professionally.
Question: You mentioned in an interview that you wanted others to believe that even those from a humble background can become successful. Could you tell us more about how you made a name for yourself?
In my opinion, one might get too proud when they feel they made a name for themselves on one or two occasions. I do not feel I have made a name for myself yet, even though I was the Top Rookie Wealth Manager in 2017, Top 1% of the company for several years now, a member of Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), and I achieved the Top of the Table 2022 which is the pinnacle of the financial industry recognized internationally. The moment I would consider where I have made a name for myself would be on my deathbed, surrounded by people, friends, and families whom I have impacted positively throughout my life. I constantly ask myself questions to keep myself grounded, it is easy to fall astray with lots of achievements at a young age.
I have had the opportunity of working with a vast diversity of individuals and I realized that people are the core of everything; people can build a company or they can destroy an empire. At the beginning of my career, I discovered that being around people who were the best at what they do, allowed me to raise my standards. The conversations we shared would tend to be uplifting and inspirational. Our circle will shape who we are. I regularly spend my time with the champions of various fields and we are mentors to one another. I can have my success today because I understand that it is crucial to have someone to guide us no matter what stage we are in.
One final ingredient that aided me throughout my little success journey is that I believe in staying true to my principles. I personally always stand firm on being ethical, being one who always delivers massive value, acts from love, being a giver, and staying grounded. Till date, I am proud to say that I resist the temptation to own a car and have not fallen into the comfort of an extravagant lifestyle. I believe that living within my means will allow me to have an abundance of cash flow for investments and having money work for me, which I have practised for close to a decade. This requires lots of discipline, therefore I would be happy to meet people who have a similar mentality and we can create that environment together.
Question: How has your education contributed to who you are today?
My Degree and studies in SUSS changed my life and outlook on life tremendously. Throughout my four years with SUSS, I witnessed firsthand how there were many individuals like myself who would voluntarily enroll themselves to learn and grow despite our busy schedules. Everyone is working hard to outpace others to survive and prosper as this is our survival instinct in the working world. Akin to a gazelle that wakes up knowing he must outrun the fastest lion to survive or a lion that wakes up knowing he must outrun the slowest gazelle or starve; to ensure that we can lead the life we desire, we have to join the race and run.
Question: You are now known as SUSS’ youngest endowment fund donor – what are some words of wisdom you can impart to encourage others to donate to either SUSS or other organizations?
Though this sounds like a cliché, choose your circle wisely, and stay close with people who are experts in their field and people who contribute to our society. I am certain that anyone can achieve success with the right attitude, right environment, and right guidance. Seek out and strive to fulfill your destiny, you will meet some incredible individuals who will hold your hand along the way. Always remember your roots and the people who played a positive part in your life. There is an abundance of wealth in the world, give and you shall receive. What goes around comes around.
To learn more about giving back to SUSS, visit https://www.suss.edu.sg/giving.