It is very common to choose a particular field of study in high school, study that for a Bachelors and Masters degree at university, and then become a specialist in it at work. In economic terms, this is purely efficient and a good use of comparative advantage. However, often times this “over efficiency” leaves us incomplete as individuals, since we are only able to see our world from a particular point of view. Moreover, as time passes and our acquired knowledge and skills become outdated, we become unable to contribute to society in a meaningful way.
Hence, in order to both enhance my existing skills and complete myself as a global person, I have decided to study the JD (Juris Doctor) program after my graduation from BBA Accounting & Finance this summer. This will be a whole new experience for me, since I will be making a huge transition from the accounting/finance field to the legal field in JD. Instead of seeing the world merely as a balance between assets, liabilities & equity, I will be seeing it as a blend of law and order from various jurisdictions. My future JD classmates will not necessarily come from the business field. I may meet people with backgrounds as diverse as Math, Chemistry, Medicine, Zoology or Fine Arts! This is yet another positive thing about the JD since in our diverse, multicultural environment, having the ability to interact with people from completely different backgrounds is a must!
But why the JD specifically? Because, in today’s globalized world, having technical skills is not enough. We must also be aware of why certain standards, policies and rules that set the mechanics for different fields exist. This can only be understood after we have learned how laws come about, why they come about, and why they vary among different countries. For example, for the past three years, I have spent numerous hours punching data into my calculator according to specific accounting standards adopted by the US GAAP, Hong Kong GAAP and IFRS. I have determined the price of certain financial instruments that are made available in certain countries. But why do these certain standards come about? Why is it that some companies have to disclose more information on their financial statements than others? Why are gains from the securities market taxed differently in different countries? Why are businesses subject to different rules and procedures? For this, I need to have a thorough understanding of the legal context, which can be acquired through the JD.
Therefore, I have decided to change my lens and start seeing the world afresh, from a legal standpoint. No successful company or country can operate without proper law and order, and this rule of law is becoming increasingly vital as we progress towards a more interdependent environment. With this in mind, I plan to begin my JD experience at one of the following universities: The University of Hong Kong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The City University of Hong Kong, The National University of Singapore and The Singapore Management University. I have narrowed my choice down to Hong Kong and Singapore , because these two countries have a rule of law that favors cross border relations; an activity that encourages globalization.
I am both excited and curious, getting ready for my graduation results and a JD program at one of the universities mentioned earlier. This will mark the beginning of a new journey for me, as I overcome the challenges and enjoy the experience of sharing opinions with different kinds of people. Although this might not be the typical post-BBA road, my understanding is that everyone’s career path should ideally be different. This is because, despite learning the same mechanical things, we all have a different perspective on life and are in a pursuit of different types of knowledge/skills.
I hope that the combination of my BBA Accounting & Finance degree, the JD degree, and a unique background will shape my future career. I look forward to sharing my progress with you via this blog and thank Project Firefly for giving me the opportunity and platform to do so. I hope you will enjoy reading about my experiences and encourage you to share your comments and views. I would like to hear your take on having a unique career path, the JD program in particular, the importance of a legal understanding or anything else you might find interesting and relevant.
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