Jess Lee

Financial Services Consultant

Contact:jesslee@aia.com.sg

I am very blessed to grow up in a small and closely-knit family with just a younger brother to play with.

My parents run a food stall selling chicken rice, a business which was passed down from my grandfather.

Long working hours are the norm for my parents and the only rest day for them was on one of the weekdays. So due to their long working hours, it led to my independence since a young age.

I could never relate when most of my friends mentioned ‘Sunday is our family day.’

Life started to get harder when competition in the F&B industry increased and sales at my parents’ chicken rice stall started to plummet.

Despite my parents working almost every day and grinding out long hours day in day out, we were unable to pay off some of our bills due to poor financial planning.

My dad would often lament, ‘What is the purpose of financial planning? It is not like I am earning a lot for me to even plan.’

Hence, I wanted to help alleviate the burden for my family. However, being young there was nothing I could do to help, except to sacrifice my weekends to provide an extra pair of hands at the stall.

That was when I fully understood the phrase ‘hard-earned money’.

I felt helpless whenever I saw the red warning letters from authorities to pay off the bills but that reminded me always to study harder and not to take life for granted.

However, I failed to perform well for my ‘O’ levels and it hit me hard. I was not able to secure a course of my choice even in a local polytechnic, let alone a good junior college.

Some of my closer friends would know, I work extra hard to manage between school work and helping out at my parents’ stall.

Fortunately, my hard work paid off for ‘A’ Levels in Millenia Institute and I got enrolled into NUS Business School!

I majored in Business Administration as it was a broad and generic degree. At that time, I was only focused on getting the good grades, and I barely thought about my future career and prospects.

But along the way, one good thing led to another, and I was very fortunate to have met my director, Kevin Goh, and my manager, Nigel Wong, who were my seniors in NUS Business School.

They introduced me to a meaningful career which they enjoy and excel in.

As both of them studied and graduated from NUS Business School, they could understand my situation and provided me with lots of advice on my career and life.

Thanks to Kevin and Nigel, I found a career that I am interested and passionate in!

What’s more important was given my family situation, I truly understood the importance of financial planning.

So, I hope that through this career, I am able to help many other individuals and families effectively plan their finances, thereby ensuring that they are well protected and avoid enduring the same plight that I had experienced.