Student Stories

Anson How Yi Fatt

Class of 2023
Diploma in Business Studies (E-Learning), PSB Academy

School of Business and Management

From Finance to Digital Marketing: How this Father of Two Made a Successful Career Switch at the Age of 35

Growing up, Anson was not very good in his studies during his secondary school days. He did not manage to finish pursuing his GCE ‘O’ levels, and only completed his ‘N’ levels. He said, “I worked as a chef, went for National Service, and then went back to work as a chef for a year again. After that, I decided to prepare for my ‘O’ level exams by taking night classes for a year.” He ended up working as a financial consultant, providing financial advisory for more than 10 years and drawing a high salary.

Recently, much to his peers’ surprise, he left the finance industry to pursue a new career in business development at a digital marketing agency. “Making the decision to switch from finance to digital marketing/business at age 35 was a significant move,” he recounted. “After over a decade in the finance industry, being self-employed and with a work pace that was very fast, I felt burnout and found myself feeling drained and lacking the motivation to continue. I wanted to look for a corporate job and found a position in a digital marketing agency, handling client acquisition and management, as well as project management. With the encouragement and support of my family and friends, I embarked on this new journey, even if it meant accepting a pay cut of more than 50 percent.”

Making such a career switch was not easy. “It was very tough initially; my colleagues were so much younger and had extensive technical knowledge,” Anson recalled. “But I knew I had to put in more time and effort to learn, so I went to all the departments and consistently asked them a lot of questions. That is how my knowledge and skillsets increased hugely, and I found motivation in persevering.”

He continued, “Since I’ve always wanted to enhance my knowledge and get the relevant credentials, I enrolled in PSB Academy’s Diploma in Business Studies (E-Learning). I felt that it’s important to have a good educational background as a strong foundation for better career progression.” He managed to clinch SAFRA’s Bond-Free Education Scheme, which allowed him to pursue his studies with less financial burden.


Benefits of the Online Diploma at PSB Academy

Anson valued the 100 percent online format of the diploma, which gave him the convenience of studying from the comfort of his home. He was also glad that two of the subjects — Business Marketing and Finance — would fill in the knowledge gaps that he had always hoped to address. “There are multiple modules, from finance to leadership management. In each module, there are video tutorials by instructors from PSB Academy, with milestones to achieve, such as mid-point assessment and final assessment. These are all planned in bite-sized content. This method of learning is very effective for me as I can easily focus on the content. Clearing these topics bit by bit creates a momentum that keeps my motivation high to reach the next milestone.”

Striking a Good Balance Between Work, Studies and Family

Having two children aged 5 and 9 in his family, Anson did not have much free time. “With the support and understanding of my family, I would set aside 3 to 4 days on weekdays, about 2 hours each day after my work to study,” he revealed. “While my weekdays are indeed quite packed, I still prioritise quality time with my loved ones during weekends.” There were minor challenges along the way, but he tackled them with resilience. He mentioned, “The Business Finance module posed a particular challenge for me. At times, I had to watch the tutorials repeatedly and practise using the formulas to ensure I got them right.”


Takeaways from PSB Academy

In his role as the head of the business development team at the digital marketing agency, Anson discovered that the knowledge acquired at PSB Academy could be directly applied to his job. “The knowledge and skills that I learnt have allowed me to have a broader perspective when making any important financial business decisions, putting the best interest of the company first. I have also made some changes in the way I conduct my meetings, applying some methodology in the leadership management skillset that I learnt from the programme. This has also helped my team’s group discussions to be more effective.”

Being a mid-career professional also has its advantages. Anson explained, “My work experience has provided me with many relatable scenarios that enhanced my understanding of the diploma’s curriculum. It makes the learning process more engaging and stimulates my interest in the subject

His academic experience has benefitted his family too. “One of the most valuable experiences I had during my learning journey was the opportunity to serve as a role model for my children,” he said. “My kids would ask me on the progress of my studies and the topics covered in the diploma course. I would share with them my experiences of returning to school to study at my age, emphasising that learning is a lifelong journey that continues well beyond graduation.”


Ready to Take On Future Challenges

Overall, Anson’s experience of pursuing further education at this stage in life has been positive. “I’m glad I made the decision to commit to this online diploma course. I would encourage anyone considering pursuing further education to not let age or any other challenges deter them. The rewards are well worth the effort,” he concluded.

Anson is eager to continue learning. “I want to pursue a degree after this, building up my knowledge and skillset, and eventually transit into a chief executive, or “C level” position, where I can take on more challenges to drive positive changes.”

Like Anson, if you’re also keen to know more about e-learning programme options, you can check them out here.