Different people enroll themselves in higher education for various reasons. For some people, the reason is personal in nature – to feel satisfaction in pursuing academia. For others, the reason might be professional in nature – to climb the corporate ladder, or to have a competitive edge over peers.

Despite all these reasons, we can all agree on one thing – the journey to complete a Masters education will not be easy. Not only it is costly (unless you are one of the lucky few who managed to snag a scholarship), but it will also be time-consuming.

How do you make it out alive? Here are 3 ways to get the most out of your Master’s education.

Set your Expectations: Student life as a Masters student is not the same as student life as a Degree student

Depending on where you end up studying, your university might have a healthy student population mainly consisting of Degree students.

Ah, you remember those days, don’t you? Late nights study sessions. Budget vacations with friends during semester break. More club activities than you can participate.

It might be tempting to relive your college days and fall back to the Degree student lifestyle. Sure, a little nostalgia won’t harm anyone. But no, you shouldn’t get too carried away – partying all night should be a thing of the past. Plus, hangovers are no longer ‘cute’ at your age (or any age, really).

Life as a Masters student is not boring, just different. You have matured, and that’s a good thing. You used to like junk food; now you genuinely enjoy a bowl of salad with all the trimmings. You used to like Forever 21; now you get better quality wardrobe pieces from Ann Taylor.

Another significant change is your accountability to self-study. Unlike Degrees, where everyone is more or less the same age, students in your Master’s degree class will tend to come from different age backgrounds.

They will have their obligations – family and career, just like you. So unlike the group study sessions you had in the past, you will now have to rely on yourself to get that studying done.

We suggest you simply to cut off your ties with the Degree student lifestyle – your life is ahead of you, not in the past.

This might be the last time: Take advantage of student discounts and university facilities

Last time, you had a lot of perks as a student. You remember it as being pretty sweet. In fact, you were quite sad to give it up.

Well, in this case, you get to do it all over again. Your student status means that you are eligible for student discounts! With your student card, you can gleefully claim cheaper movie tickets, reduced admission fees, extra sales in select stores, and access many other discount options available only for students.

You might also find yourself in a position where you have extra disposable income – this is the time to check out and take advantage of student-only travel discounts, higher-end stores, and gadgets. We don’t know about you, but we find that the student discounts for the Apple store are especially tempting.

You can also take advantage what your university has to offer. Some universities offer student gyms with great equipment – some are even comparable to commercial gyms, so go ahead and save money by cancelling your gym membership.

Depending on where you enrol, you might also have access to swimming pool, track field, tennis court, rock climbing, and more. If you prefer group fitness or sports, you can also join fitness clubs or sports club for a minimal fee.

Academia-wise, do make sure to take advantage of digital libraries and free access to journals and publications – those are more expensive than you think. While we don’t have data for Singaporean universities, we do know that some universities pay between 6 to 7 figures for those academic journal subscription.

There are many other universities facilities you can use: study space, rehearsal space, internet access, health services, and many others, depending on what your university can offer.

Plant those seeds: Networking, networking, networking

You have probably heard about the importance of networking, perhaps even one too many times.

Well, the reason this advice is repeated over and over again is simple – it’s true. Networking allows you build relationships that will be invaluable to your career. It is not uncommon for people to be recruited, headhunted or promoted after a great networking session. Recommendations via word of mouth are the best form of advertisement for you.

Thankfully, it is easy to network during your Master’s education – you will have lots of opportunities to build relationships during classes, lectures, group work, and other class-related activities. During class discussions, use your unique strengths and viewpoints to shine.

If networking doesn’t come easily to you, start small – even having a small circle of friends will be good for your career (and your studies!) However, don’t be content with that – start expanding your circle of friends and acquaintances when you can.


Having a Masters education is an excellent way to set yourself apart from other graduates – the trend in developed countries suggests that the Master’s degree will become the new degree. In Germany, for example, graduates entering the workforce with a ‘basic’ Masters degree is already a norm.

However, an education is only as good as how it’s used. With the tips above, we hope you will get the most out of your Master’s education.

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Founder @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is the Advisor (former CEO) of The New Savvy. She is currently the COO of ABZD Capital and the CMO of Gourmet Food Holdings, an investment firm focusing on opportunities in the global F&B industry. She is part of the founding committee of the Singapore FinTech Association and heads the Women In FinTech and Partnership Committee. Anna is the President of the Singapore Management University Women Alumni. Anna invests and sits on the board of a few startups. Anna is also part of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Career Women’s Group executive committee. Anna’s story is featured on Millionaire Minds on Channel NewsAsia. She hosts TV shows and events, namely for Channel NewsAsia’s “The Millennial Investor” and “Challenge Tomorrow”, a FinTech documentary. Anna was awarded “Her Times Youth Award” at the Rising50 Women Empowerment Gala, organised by the Indonesian Embassy of Singapore. The award was presented by His Excellency Ngurah Swajaya. She was also awarded Founder of the Year for ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards. She was also awarded the Women Empowerment Award by the Asian Business & Social Forum. Anna has been awarded LinkedIn Power Profiles for founders (2018, 2017), Tatler Gen T, The Peak’s Trailblazers under 40 and a nominee for the Women of The Future award by Aviva


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