Living a Dream at Columbia University

Julius Tan remembers the day he got the offer from his university – and it wasn’t just any varsity. The graduate from our Diploma in Banking and Finance had been accepted to one of the most well-known Ivy League institutions – Columbia University in the United States.

He is reading his degree in Political Science there. He’s attained a place on the Dean’s list for three of his semesters and received a General Studies Scholarship for all his studies at Columbia.

Julius credits NYP, his first choice poly, for helping him build the strong foundation he needed for his university education. He feels that NYP’s environment resembles that of a university, acting as a natural stepping stone to further education. “I can say with confidence that NYP excels at adapting their syllabus to present and future industry needs,” said Julius.

At NYP, Julius also participated actively in various CCAs, representing NYP and Singapore in debate competitions, leadership forums, and even emceeing for the first-ever Youth Olympics held in Singapore in 2010. His training at NYP’s Current Affairs and Debating Club (CADC) ignited his interest in political science and philosophy, which would grow to take centre stage in his life in the years to come.

Even after he graduated, Julius continued to contribute as a coach for the debate team.  Maybe this type of dedication is why the NYP's debate team has won the annual Inter-Polytechnic debate competition more times than all the other polytechnics combined. “The club holds a special place in my heart because it allowed me to have so many opportunities and to meet so many talented people,” he says.

During his time in Columbia, Julius made a bold choice - instead of doing a second internship for his degree programme, he opted to use the allocated time start his own non-profit organisation, focusing on offering social impact measurement as a service to other non-profit and socially-oriented businesses.  He says this sprouted from the foundation he got at NYP – where he was challenged to constantly apply an innovative and enterprising approach – looking for new solutions.

In March 2017, Julius played host to a group of NYP students and lecturers who were visiting New York as part of their school immersion program. Best of all, one of the lecturers was his former Personal Mentor Mr Moses Koh, whose support and encouragement Julius cites as being vital to his success. For Julius it was a chance to look back and share fond memories from his past at NYP, as well as relish the present with new members of the NYP family.

 “I would say my experience at NYP allowed me to make real choices - and sometimes mistakes, which are very valuable if you learn from them. That has definitely benefited my experiences at Columbia University.” 


Because We Can


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