Although she learned some valuable lessons during her time in banking, Sandra Lim’s real joy is in helping people improve their maths skills.
What’s your story?
My name is Sandra Lim, but my students know me as Teacher Sandra. After completing university, I worked in corporate banking for two years. But I soon realised that wasn’t the right fit for me, and I decided to leave the industry. It was then that I started tutoring a friend’s daughter in maths. She made remarkable progress, and that inspired me to create Math Nuggets. I’ve taught maths for over 15 years, specialising in primary education. Math Nuggets offers small group coaching sessions customised for each student’s unique needs.
What excites you most about your industry?
Working in the education industry is exciting because it allows us to play a significant role in shaping young minds. We impart academic knowledge and help students develop their overall skills and abilities. Believing in each student, nurturing their talents, and instilling a growth mindset in them is fulfilling. Witnessing their transformation as they learn to embrace challenges with resilience and persistence is rewarding. The industry’s dynamic nature keeps us engaged, ensuring we provide the best possible learning experiences for our students. Ultimately, we aim to positively impact young lives and mould them into successful and contributing members of society.
What drives you in your career to push beyond what other people consider normal?
My drive in business is fueled by my desire to be a role model for my daughter and students. I aim to demonstrate that one can achieve great things with determination and perseverance. I want to show them that success is attainable through hard work and a positive mindset, encouraging them to pursue their dreams without fear of setbacks. This commitment to exemplify resilience and ambition pushes me to transcend conventional limits in my professional endeavours.
What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?
As a mortgage specialist, I had the chance to interact with people from a wide range of backgrounds, and being in the sales line has taught me how to communicate effectively with each of them. My experience has shown me that students also come from diverse backgrounds and, as a result, require different kinds of support. I learned how to meet people at their level and understand their needs and requirements. This has given me the ability to communicate with people of all backgrounds and levels, which has helped me to build strong connections with my clients.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
The best advice I’ve ever received is to ’embrace every challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow.’ This perspective has been instrumental in both my personal and professional life. It taught me to view difficulties not as obstacles, but as stepping stones to greater understanding and resilience. This mindset shift has encouraged me to approach each situation with curiosity and a willingness to evolve, significantly impacting how I navigate life’s ups and downs.
Who inspires you?
Mother Teresa is my inspiration. Her selfless service and compassionate action towards the poorest and most vulnerable in society resonate with my own values. Her humility, simplicity, and ability to see beyond immediate suffering have influenced my approach to life and work, especially in education. Her life story and messages continue to inspire and guide me in my journey, both personally and professionally.
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
Recently, I learned about the concept of ‘neuroplasticity,’ which completely amazed me. It’s the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. This discovery highlights how adaptable and capable of change we are, regardless of age. It’s a powerful reminder that learning and personal development are lifelong processes, and we’re never too old to acquire new skills or change our thought patterns. This understanding has profoundly influenced my approach to education and personal growth.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
If I could have my time again, I would focus more on embracing and enjoying the journey, rather than being overly fixated on the destination. I’ve learned that while goals are important, it’s equally vital to appreciate the process and the learning that comes with each step. Earlier in my career, I often rushed through experiences, eager to reach the next milestone. Looking back, I realize the value in savouring the moments and lessons along the way. This approach not only enriches the journey but also leads to more meaningful and fulfilling outcomes.
How do you unwind?
I value self-care to maintain balance in my life. Reading, spa days, and travelling are my favourite ways to unwind and restore my physical and mental well-being. These activities allow me to step back from the demands of daily life and come back with renewed energy and focus.
What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your career?
A significant mindset shift for me was realizing the importance of resilience over perfection in business. Initially, I aimed for flawless execution in all aspects, which often led to unnecessary stress. The ‘aha’ moment came when I understood that it’s more vital to be resilient, adaptable, and open to learning from mistakes. This shift from a perfection-focused approach to one that embraces resilience and continuous improvement has been transformative. It’s allowed me and my team to innovate more freely, respond to challenges effectively, and grow both personally and professionally in the dynamic landscape of business.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Everyone in business should read “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol S. Dweck. This book profoundly changes how you think about success and growth. Dweck’s concept of fixed vs. growth mindsets is a powerful tool for understanding how our beliefs about our abilities influence our business approach. It teaches the value of embracing challenges, persisting in the face of setbacks, and the importance of effort over inherent talent. The insights are transformative for business strategies and personal development, making it a must-read for anyone looking to foster a culture of continuous learning and adaptability in their professional life.
Shameless plug for your business or career:
Transforming maths education into a delightful, bite-sized experience. Our mission is to make learning progressive and enjoyable, helping students overcome barriers with empathy and care. We aim to boost confidence and empower them to tackle life’s challenges with ease.
How can people connect with you?
Social Media Links?
This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.