Family Office Management Work-Study Elective



The Family Office Management Work-Study Elective (WSE) is a course curated by the Business Families Institute (BFI) in collaboration with family office advisory firms and family offices to provide students with the opportunity to undergo a 5-month extended internship course with BFI’s partnering companies.

The WSE involves a local internship where students enrolled will work for at least 4 days each week at the host company and take courses on campus for up to 1 day each week during the school term.

While undertaking this elective, students may enrol in up to 2 additional courses provided that there is no clash in schedules. The WSE is a Pass/Fail course and students who successfully complete the work-study and satisfactory completion of a final report will be awarded 2 CUs. Students who have not completed any credit-bearing internships before embarking on the WSE may also use this experience to count towards the 1 CU for internship (from AY2019 intake), provided that all the necessary internship requirements are met. 

The MGMT348 Family Office Management Work-Study Elective is managed by BFI and offered as a course under LKCSB but is open for enrolment to all SMU students.

Expected Deliverables

Students enrolled in the WSE will be required to submit a final report to the faculty advisor at the end of the elective. Details can be found in the course outline (MGMT348). 


Benefits to SMU Students:

  • Obtain a first-hand glimpse into the Family Office set-up and governance.
  • Able to undertake more substantial work projects during the internship.
  • Opportunity to develop deep insights into the family office ecosystem comprising wealth owners, industry professionals and governing bodies that will be instrumental in your subsequent careers.
  • Able to take up longer internships during the academic term, earning credits in the process, and without the need to apply for a leave of absence.
  • Take additional modules and earn up to 2 CUs while completing your internship.


Benefits to our WSE Industry Partners:

  • Develop a talent pool for Family Office professionals to help business families and wealth owners create sustainable, meaningful impact across generations.
  • Tap on a pool of digitally savvy talent who are able to provide fresh perspectives and support business innovations.
  • Empower your staff to mentor future talent, thus honing their leadership skills.
  • Cultivate sustainability by having ready talent join your ecosystem.


In order to be enrolled in this course, the following are the eligibility requirements:
  • Must have good academic standing (not under Academic Probation or Academic Notice);
  • Must have no prior disciplinary records;
  • Must have completed at least two semesters of coursework;
  • Must not be in your last semester of studies when intending to do the internship;
  • Preference will be given to students who have completed courses related to corporate governance, family business, finance, or accounting.

Please refer to OASIS for more information on a WSE.



What can I expect from the Family Office Management Work-Study Elective?

Students will be assigned an SMU Faculty Advisor and will be required to submit a final report to the Faculty Advisor at the end of the elective.

The WSE is graded on a Pass/Fail basis by the Faculty Advisor who will review the work-study report and internship performance appraisals.

The internship component will be graded by DKHMCC based on the internship reflective inputs and the performance appraisals. Students may use this to fulfil their internship requirement simultaneously.

What is the work-study arrangement like during the internship period?

During this work-study internship course, students will alternate between working at least 4 days a week at the host company and studying on campus for up to 1 day, each week during the same term, so long as there is no timetable clash in schedules with the internship requirements. This facilitates students in taking up to 2 CU of courses while on the internship. 

NOTE: Students have to ensure that there is no clash in schedules.

How is this WSE different from the usual 6-months internship?

The WSE is held during a regular school term and extends into the summer/winter vacation. It is a graded course, and students do not need to take any leave of absence (LOA) or delay their graduation to take up the WSE. The period of the WSE internship is a minimum of 20 weeks.

How many courses can I take while on the WSE?

Students can bid for up to 2 more courses (i.e. bid for up to 2 other CU but schedule-wise, it needs to fit into your internship schedule. For example, if the WSE is Mon-Thu, the class you bid for should not clash with your internship schedule).

Where can I find the course outline for WSE?

Students may refer to BOSS for the WSE course outline (MGMT348).

Can I count the WSE towards my degree graduation requirements?

The 2 CU earned may be used to fulfil degree requirements as part of a major elective, track elective or free elective, provided it satisfies their respective school’s elective requirements.

The WSE carries 2 CU (Pass/Fail). In addition, the WSE will count towards the credit-bearing internship requirement (1 CU) - for those who have not completed their mandatory internship, provided it satisfies their respective school’s internship requirements.

The WSE 2 CU Pass/Fail do not automatically replace the 2 Exploratory Courses that students can declare as Pass/Fail. However, do note that as part of SMU's degree requirement, students are required to complete a minimum of 21 CU that count towards their GPA.

Can I take more than 2 courses during the WSE?

Students will not be allowed to enrol in more than 2 courses so as to give sufficient attention and achieve optimal learning from the WSE. The class and exam timetable of the 2 courses must not clash with WSE commitments.

What do I need to submit at the end of the WSE?

At the end of the WSE, students are required to submit a Work-Study Final Report to the SMU Faculty Advisor. 

Is the WSE graded?

This is a Pass/Fail course. Students who successfully complete the WSE, and satisfactory completion of a final report, will be awarded a Pass grade and 2 CUs.

Do I need to pay school fees when I am on the internship?

Yes, regular term tuition fee is applicable as students will be enrolled in the WSE, plus the other 2 courses permissible during the term.

IMPORTANT: Students on tuition fees grant/subsidy should plan their study plan carefully so as not to exceed the normal candidature period.

Can I withdraw from the WSE after submitting my application?

Students who have accepted the offer of work-study elective will be enrolled offline (outside BOSS) into the course at e$20. Once accepted, the student shall honour their acceptance of the offer by undertaking the WSE to its completion. Students who withdraw without a valid reason will receive an F grade for the course. There is also no add/drop for this course. 

Am I allowed to clear any courses on exchange?

No credit transfers (local and overseas) are allowed for the WSE.

Who can apply for the WSE?

Please refer to the eligibility requirements.

I am an International Student. Can I apply for the WSE?  

Yes, International Students who are NOT in SMU for an Exchange programme can apply, including students who have completed their internship requirements. 

Can WSE be considered as my internship if I have not fulfilled any internship?

WSE may be used to satisfy the mandatory internship requirement. Students who have not completed any credit-bearing internships may also use this WSE to count towards your 1 CU for internship (with effect from AY2019 intake where the internship programme is credit-bearing).

NOTE: This is subjected to DKMHCC’s approval and the respective school’s requirements. Those who intend to fulfil their internship requirement simultaneously will have to double-check with their school before registering for the internship via OnTRAC.

Will I be able to choose the company in which I want to do the WSE internship?

As the WSE is similar to any internship, you may indicate your preference for the internship. However, we would share your application with all the companies for that semester. Most companies would also shortlist the applications for an interview before confirming the internship.

Will I receive remuneration for the internship?

Yes, students will receive internship remuneration according to the company's HR policies. 

What happens if I fail the WSE?

You will be deemed to have not completed the course. There is no retake option for this work-study elective.