Getting to know Lai Wan
Official Designation: Associate Director, Internal Audit, Dean's Office
Industry Experience: 20 years



 Friends from Orientation group with inspiring photo-shoot poses!

TI: This is your first job in a school setting. How does it compare with your prior work experiences? 

LW: I have worked in both private and public sectors in various roles in external audit, regional and global internal audit, operational accounting, regulatory and compliance functions. The technical know-how and requirements of each job are largely similar in nature, so what makes each job interesting and different is the industry and sector that I have had the opportunities to work in. Yes, this is my first job in a school setting in the healthcare sector. Working in Duke-NUS provides a conducive environment as it brings back fond memories of my student life back in school, college and university. It is good to be ‘back in school’ after all these years since graduation.

TI: The role of an Auditor in Duke-NUS is… 

LW: I joined Duke-NUS to set up its Internal Audit Department. Pioneering work is something that I enjoy, and setting up a department from scratch is both exciting and fulfilling. My role involves independent reviews of various work processes to provide an objective assessment on the adequacy and compliance with the relevant policies and procedures. I also work in partnership with process owners to improve and value-add to the various operational processes. These would help to support the Schools’ endeavors in accomplishing its key objectives and enhancing and ensuring good corporate governance throughout the organization.

TI: What is a typical day for you?

LW: Being alone in the Department means that I have to attend to everything, big and small. I usually plan the tasks I have to do for the day so that I can multi-task effectively. A typical day would include attending meetings, scheduling discussions on various audit projects, writing reports, clearing emails, and filing documents.  

TI: Diversity and Respect is one of the Schools’ values. How can we embrace this value? 

LW: In the course of my Internal Audit work, I interact and work with various (diverse) departments. There is so much to learn from colleagues who have the expert and specialized knowledge in their areas of work, and I am very fortunate that my work allows me such learning opportunities. At times, it can be extremely challenging to attempt to audit an area of work that is very specialized in nature. In such instances, I would first understand the intricacies of the domain involved, and work in partnership with colleagues in the departments to identify relevant areas related to risk and governance , and formulate practical recommendations and improvements. Diversity can create new synergies and add value when we view things from different perspectives. When we are mutually inclusive and respectful of each another’s objectives, we can potentially achieve new paradigms that would otherwise not be discovered. This leads to value creation and a win-win situation that benefit all parties involved.  

TI: What are three adjectives that best describe you?  

LW: Open, Friendly, Practical 

TI: Things that make you laugh?

LW: Several things that I do during my free time –  jogging and swimming, watching the sunrise and sunset, being with my family, acting silly and laughing at ourselves.  

Lai Wan spending quality time with her family (R): Singapore Zoo (L): Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, USA