Interview with Venon Sim
Interview with Venon Sim

"I have been looking for a globally accredited university that is affordable and flexible.
I came across UniAthena, which met all the requirements."

Venon Sim
Manager, Career Services 
ESSEC Business School, Asia-Pacific

Master of Business Administration Batch 2021

Please tell us about yourself and your family.

My name is Venon, and I am from Singapore, a city-state located at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. I am happily married with 3 children who keep us very busy!

What drew you to the programme you are studying at Athena? Do you think it would help you realise your career goals?

I have been looking for a globally accredited university that is affordable and flexible because this is important for a busy professional like me. While googling for all these requirements, I came across UniAthena, which met all the requirements.

What would you like to learn next? What are your next career steps?

I would like to apply what I have learnt in Master of Business Administration in my career first and get ready for a new academic challenge which remains to be defined.

 What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I love the saltwater aquarium hobby because there is always something to learn, and my tank is always changing with amazing fishes and corals.

Suppose you had to live alone on a deserted island for a month. What are the 3 things you would bring with you?

I would bring a knife, since it could be used for hunting and protection. Next, I would bring a fishing net as it would make it easier for me to catch fish and allow me to feed myself. Lastly, a satellite phone could be used to call for help as it could be used anywhere in the world (including a deserted island), as long as there is a clear line.

If you face a problem at work, what is the first thing you do?

I start by trying to calm down, breathe and think clearly. Since I am a strong believer that if I want to find solutions to my problems, I will need to clear my mind and calm down. I don't want to make any wrong decisions. If I am not calm, I am more likely to make a mistake that I will regret later.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your life? How did you tackle it?

Challenges in life are a given, and I always believe they could be used to my advantage. My biggest challenge I faced was being retrenched during COVID, since I was operating remotely, and I wasn’t prepared for it. I spoke with my wife, close friends and mentors who made me realise that my life was not defined just by my career, as retrenchment was not an indication of my self-worth and my capabilities as an individual. I decided to focus on the positives and blessings in my life. I realised that changing my perspective could help me cope when the circumstances were not in my favour.

If you could only change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would like to shed the icy layer that surrounds my inner self because my personality is considerably warmer. I am quite active, and I enjoy the company of others, but you need to break through all that ice to get there.

What did you want to become when you were a child?

I have always wanted to be a veterinarian since I was young when my parents brought me to the Singapore Zoo. I would always go to a pet store and look at all the amazing pets that sparked my love for animals.

What is the last book you read and the last movie you saw?

The last book I read was The Rules of People: A Personal Code for Getting the Best from Everyone, by Richard Templar. I wanted to understand how someone could be a "people person." And they seem to understand what people really want, what they really think, and what they really mean. I wanted to effortlessly connect with people and keep them happy and motivated.

Who is the person you admire most and why?

I admire Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, the first Prime Minister of Singapore (1959-1990). He was credited with transforming Singapore from a third-world to a first-world country. He had a clear vision, planned and led with deep conviction.

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