Matthew’s choices: Critical career decisions

Publication Type


Year Completed



This case study discusses the critical career decisions that Matthew Tan, a young university graduate, has to make. The case is in three parts. In Part A, Matthew, a 27-year old graduate from the National University of Singapore (NUS), has a good job at Ernst and Young (E&Y), and yet he is restless. His childhood experience of growing up without his parents in a financially strained household has ignited within him a desire to work for the poor and fight for social justice. He is toying with the idea of opening a hotel that would help under-privileged youths. But the risk is high as he has no experience in the hotel business, and also no capital to start such a business. Matthew has to decide whether or not to take the plunge.

In Part B and Part C, Matthew’s story continues, and he remains in a dilemma about what he should do next.

This case is designed to help students think critically about career choices, and the challenges faced when deciding upon a career change, and specifically starting their own business. Through classroom discussion, students should be encouraged to think carefully about the careers they wish to embark upon.


Career change, career choices, decision-making process, motivators, entreprenuership


Asian Studies | Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations | Higher Education | Human Resources Management | Leadership Studies

Research Areas

Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources

Data Source

Field Research

Geographic Coverage

Singapore, Vietnam

Temporal Coverage


Education Level

Executive Education; Postgraduate; Undergraduate


Singapore Management University

Case ID



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