Diploma in Food Science & Nutrition, School of Applied Science, Class of 2020
DEFYING ALL ODDS
I was often asked this question, “Why did you choose NYP?” The answer to that is a long story.
After completing my ‘O’ Levels, I went to Millennia Institute to pursue the three-year GCE ‘A’ Level course, hoping to enhance my chances of entering a local autonomous university.
However, I came to realise that a polytechnic education would be more suitable for me. I withdrew from the Institute and participated in the Direct Admissions Exercise (DAE) to pursue a diploma course in applied science. NYP was the only poly that offered me a place and I decided to take it up.
I was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and depression, which affected my communication, emotions and mindset. I faced many challenges, but I am grateful for the support given by the Student Care & Guidance, especially from my counsellor, Ms Belle Chia, for her unconditional support throughout my polytechnic journey. It helped me to become more confident in overcoming my demons.
My greatest challenge was when I had to defer a semester due to my medical condition. However, my lecturers and counsellor never left my side. They would always check on me throughout my deferment period and held my hand tight when I returned to NYP the following semester. Of course, I had to learn to be independent and manage my condition, especially after I have graduated from NYP.
I was also determined to be less of an introvert and hence I took up a few CCAs in NYP. I was a subcommittee member of the Mentoring Club, orientation group leader for the Freshman Orientation 2018 and a student photographer for the Photography Club. I met many fabulous and energetic people and made a few close friends whom I still keep in touch with today. After all, polytechnic life is where we work hard and play hard!
While I was pursuing my diploma in Food Science & Nutrition, I discovered my interest and aptitude in chemistry. My lecturers also recognised my interest and gave me various opportunities to strengthen my passion for the subject. Aside from that, my lecturers have a plethora of experiences and they make every lesson meaningful and relevant to the industry. They also set aside some time for me whenever I needed to consult them or just for a chat.
I was also given the opportunity to intern at the Agency for Science, Technology & Research (A*STAR), where I experienced work in the research & development (R&D) industry. My projects at A*STAR were related to pharmaceuticals, a different discipline from what I was taught at NYP. I also had the opportunity to interact with the research scientists who gave me valuable career and educational advice.
Moreover, my interest in chemistry and the transferrable skills I acquired at NYP helped me pick up unfamiliar contexts quickly. My internship at A*STAR inspired me to become a research scientist. I am currently pursuing my chemistry honours degree at the National University of Singapore and I hope to come back to NYP as a lecturer.
If there’s one piece of advice I could give to my fellow NYPian juniors, it would be this: Take this time to develop yourself holistically. Chasing after a perfect GPA has no worth compared to having an excellent character, so have fun and enjoy the learning process!