Things i wish i knew when i was a College Student

This is the time where some of us transit from education to working life and is when we are shaped most by our little decisions made. InvestCouple share with you what we wish we had known, reflecting from our own experiences back in University/ College.

Bank Accounts

“I wished I’d had gotten one bank account with the highest interest rates and one bank account with no minimum deposit requirement.”

I, personally believe having 2 separate accounts would have provided me better discipline in keeping track of my finances. The one with high interest rates motivates me to save more for higher returns and the one with no minimum sum deposit allows me to have the ease of spending without worrying.

You, as a student can do the research now. Here’s a link for 2017:

– Gary


Education Loan

“I wished I’d had try to pay back the education loan as soon as the start of the first semester instead of accumulating them till end of my University life”

The loan interest rate in Singapore is at 4.25% per annum, that’s an additional about $10,000 on top of the full tuition fee if I take 1 year to repay this. However, if I had try to repay this during school term, the interest rate would be at 0%. Luckily, I had my GF to loan me the additional money to repay the loan in the first few months after graduation :’(

– Gary


Daily expenses

“I wish i’d had brought my own meal to school and only buy dinner if I had to in school.”

In the past, I tried doing this for a few times but not having a microwave oven in school meant that food were always cold. But if i had researched more into other types of no-heat lunch box to prepare: like chicken Wraps, Sandwiches, Pasta Salad and more!

So now, for most of the working life, we prepared (actually GF did most of the cooking) for our weekday lunch and sometimes dinner too!

Two quick googling links to share:

– Gary


Freelance work

Although I did some freelance website application development work but i only started it during my 3rd year.

“I’d wish I had started freelancing before Year 1 and pick up more Android and IOS App Programming.”

The challenge here is getting clients and is still the biggest challenge for us right now. If I had started participating more actively (with a business mind) in the International Internet spaces, I would have accumulate the business contacts from then. Forum, Facebook, business directories are places where a lot of people discuss their problems.

I am only starting to slowly build and keep my customers happy now and have already lost the era to reap the benefits of current Android and IOS app programming demand.

– Gary


Education choices

While I did follow my own interests to pursue the Major, courses, modules and subjects I liked, I could have studied the trend better.

“I’d wish that I had started researching and reading up news on the upcoming technologies when I was in my Year 1 and Year 2”

For students, be it you are an IT or non-IT trained student. You should look at how Artificial Intelligence related technologies and Robotics would trend.

– Gary


Additional Skill sets

“I’d wish I had gone for more outside-of-school financial events, developer and technology groups”

I was never good in the money-counting math and never had great interest in those. My thoughts that time was that I just had to earn more money than what I am spending – having a higher income velocity.

However, now it is not the case. Personal financial management, Business accounting, Investment, Stocks, Understanding insurance and financial jargons are basic skills that everyone should practise everyday. The more you track your money, the more you make your money work harder for you. Luckily again, my GF was a very financially literate person and was able to help track our portfolios.

On technology, again it’s about knowing people so that you have a customer base right from the start. In Singapore, being a MICE hub, there are tons of events, seminars that sometimes is free. I only realised that when I started working.

I could have been more ‘globalised’ in my thinking. Currently, YouTube is my next best source to catch-up and I watched it with 1.5x speed.

– Gary


Travelling overseas

“I’d wish I had the gut to travel to technology hubs as a student and not for leisure nor study exchange”

One of my client whom I helped to build a marketplace web application had invited me to visit Boston’s startup space and culture, but I didn’t gave it much thoughts and turn down the offer politely.
Now when I think of this, I wanted to scold myself for being stupid. Even though the trip was not paid for, I could have gotten sight of the global startup scene and be more mature in thinking about solidifying the freelance business into a actual company!

After graduating, I joined a government board instead of trying to continue and set up my technology business. It’s not something I regret but just something that I could have ‘optimised’.

– Gary


Where to do our internship

“I’d wish I had to my internship in a government board.”

No particular reason on this choice, just thought they are more focused and serious in internship projects.

I did my first internship in a small website hosting and design firm and basically, I am the only employee there. I learnt a lot on my own but also lose the chance to know more people who can advise me better on my career. But I still want to thank the bosses for looking up to me to manage the business there.

The second one in a government board and there were more resources, real people to mentor me and peers to learn new stuff from!

– Gary


Preparing for career

“I’d wish I studied more in-depth in the technologies I have interest in and done more hands-on technical work and ‘portfolio’ those results instead of just reading research papers.”

Simply because reality is all about doing the work, walking the talk.

– Gary