CCAs, or co-curricular activities, are a significant part of one's journey in JC. Options are endless, from sports to performing arts, and it's sometimes a huge pull factor to some when considering the different JC options. Why then, would Joseph Chong go out of his way to set up an investment club while in Victoria Junior College? In this week's edition of Deep Dive into JC, we'll get to know from the perspective of this finance-enthusiast on his journey in VJC.
Getting to know Joseph Chong
What do you do in your free time?
I'm watching a series on Amazon Prime called Jack Ryan. It's about a CIA analyst who uses his finance background to track and stop crime. I'm also weighing whether or not to purchase Disney Plus as I'm very interested in the animal documentaries by National Geographic.
Recently, I’ve been reading more, mostly on investing and entrepreneurship. I would highly recommend *One Up on Wall Street* by Peter Lynch if you are looking to start your investing journey. For those looking to read up on entrepreneurship, you can check out Zero to One* by *Peter Thiel.
During the pandemic, I started volunteering at Twinkle Hearts too, conducting games and birthday celebration sessions for the elderly via Zoom.
How do you rate your school uniform?
I think it's the colour can be easily paired with any accessories or jackets.
Joseph's experience in VJC
How would you describe your two years in VJC?
To me, the two years spent in VJC was a huge chapter of growth. I took up a leadership position in my CCA – VEconomist and started an investment club as well. I also started a social enterprise with my schoolmates, collaborating with Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS), as part of a competition.
I think everyone reading is curious as to what your journey of starting an investment club is like. Could you elaborate on it?
Sure! As mentioned, I was in VEconomist and it was great there. However, I became more interested in investing and wanted to share my research. Thus, I started an investment club - Erylius Investment Fund. I focused on teaching members basic equity research skills through an 11-week value investing course. At the end of the course, we held an internal stock pitch competition with judges from Standard Chartered and Arabesque Asset Management. Some skills taught in the course included fundamental analysis and constructing a discounted cash flow model to value a stock.
That's brilliant! How is it doing after you graduated?
It's doing alright! With the impact of Covid-19, I have been mentoring the members on taking the first few steps in investment, pointing out what's the right resources to learn from and guiding them to lay the foundation.
What's your biggest takeaway in founding the club?
It would be to address problems in creative manners. An example I can give is when we were sourcing for the judges for the stock pitch competition. At first, it was rather inefficient as we were sending out emails to support and PR emails, which yielded zero replies. We carried on for two weeks but eventually changed our approach and turned to LinkedIn, and not only we were getting replies but they were almost instantaneous and directly from potential judges themselves.
Great! You mentioned you started a social enterprise? Tell us more about it
Yes! It was a competition by Junior Achievement called Company of the Year. We had to form a team and embarked on a 12-week program to eventually start and run a social enterprise. The first four weeks were used for ideation with practical steps and advice from our mentor. The next five or six weeks were used to connect with the right people, as well as manufacture the products. In the end, we have to liquidate the company, create an annual report. Our company is called The Snuggle Co. and we worked with MINDS to produce hand-knitted pouches.
Which role were you doing at Snuggle co?
My interest meant it was natural if I were to take up a role in finance. However, I wanted to learn a different role, thus I was part of the marketing team. One big involvement of mine was crafting the marketing message across the board to erase the stigma surrounding people with disabilities.
What did you learn from the competition?
I think more than just the practical steps of creating a business, I learnt the importance of taking initiative like bringing up ideas during ideation processes and asking for opportunities to do more than your role requires.
What kind of profile of students would thrive in VJC's environment?
I think students who are self-motivated and enjoy trying different things would thrive. VJC has a strong school spirit, showing in abundance during the national school games and performances. If you are someone who enjoys having a strong school identity, VJC is perfect for you.
What would you have done differently?
I would have tried a lot more activities in J1 to find out what interests me the most and go deeper into it in J2.
What's one advice for juniors looking to join JC?
It's really about coming in with an open mind, trying different things and enjoying your time there!