“There is no greater weapon than a prepared mind.” – Zhu Ge Liang
In this writer’s humble opinion, Conrad Lim is someone who lives and breathes this quote.
He is a senior lawyer specializing in Banking and Finance and a strong advocate of the humanities. In fact, his decision to pursue law was fueled by his love for the humanities. Back then growing up as a teenager in ’80s Singapore, career opportunities for a humanities student were few and far between. He had 2 practical options: journalism and law. Since he acquired decent grades, Law, to his mind, offered more possibilities at that point of time. He therefore chose to become a disciple of the Law.
Furthermore, as a son of a serial entrepreneur, he saw first-hand how quickly the tides could turn. Entrepreneurs (and their families) had to live through cycles of good and difficult times. Conrad wanted the stability that a professional career could offer. Becoming a lawyer was therefore an easy career choice.
Since members of his extended family had a tradition of working in banks and having a personal interest in it, he naturally gravitated towards working in a bank. In doing so, he could enjoy the best of both worlds – he could continue building on his love for the humanities through his Law practice while applying it in the field of Banking.
His favorite parts about being a lawyer in a bank?
Unexpected and unpredictable challenges and the responsibility to make decisions and take actions.
Conrad takes a similar stance on life.
To him, “life is not about assured outcomes. Everyone gets a different set of opportunities and challenges. How you manage it is a question of how you apply your judgment, knowledge and skills or whether you let Life overcome you.”
However, he quips regretfully that our local culture seems to result in many of us becoming risk adverse and adopt a rigid process-driven attitude towards life. He terms this as an ‘engineering mindset’.
In his words, “without detracting from the importance of engineering, continuing with this mindset has unintentionally rendered our society a little monolingual. There are in fact many alternate routes to achieving success in society. It is not just one linear path.”
How then do you open up said ‘other paths’? By being conversant in both the Sciences and the Humanities as both have much to offer. The Humanities, for instance, teach us about nuances and subjectivity.
In his work at the bank, Conrad has had the distinct privilege of working in multidisciplinary teams. The beauty of such diversity is that everybody brings something to the table. Yes, to answer this writer’s question, even liberal arts such as History are relevant in such a context. History teaches one to analyze events through lessons from the past. It also gives one the ability to relate to other cultures. In the context of his work, this helps one connect easily with people from varied countries and cultures.
Of course, reading widely certainly helps too. He jokes “in my ‘analogue’ youth, the public library and books were my “internet” – giving me access to ideas, concepts, information and stories of far away places and different people’s lives far beyond the borders of Singapore.”
Conrad’s personal favorite book is The Romance of the Three Kingdoms (三国演义). It is a book that is, in his opinion, so much richer and deeper than the dragons and dungeons in the Game of Thrones. It is an inspiring read on human nature, which he returns to every few years, drawing different insights at different stages of his life (he first encountered the book when he was 13).
Therein lies with one of the many values of the Humanities. Such works can educate and inspire.
However, despite all his talk on the beauty and worth of the Arts, Conrad jokingly proclaims that being a Humanities guy, he is quite hopeless with technology. He needed help with his WiFi setup and was thus introduced to Geoff, the Regional Director of Fireshot. They instantly hit it off and he has been “totally happy with the Fireshot’s expertise and services” ever since because “Geoff and his team are very hands on and Geoff is a marvelous addition to Singapore. He embraces Singapore culture while still staying true to his British and Canadian roots.”
In fact, Conrad and his wife have brought Geoff and his wife (Fireshot’s Finance Controller), Zuzanna, to local Wild Rice functions and events, to share their enthusiasm for the Singapore local theater scene.
If you would also like to bring Geoff to a play or would like to engage Fireshot’s WiFi, smart lighting or audio system setup services, please contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org