She Brings the Industry to Her Students
NYP assistant manager Leow Zhen Zhen (middle in picture) makes an effort to check in with students on their work attachments or workplaces. Here, NYP Specialist Diploma student Alvin Quek is pictured with ST Electronics (Info-Software Systems) Internship supervisor, Samantha Lee.
Meet Leow Zhen Zhen, an assistant manager from NYP’s School of Information Technology (SIT).
Apart from regular teaching, Zhen Zhen is constantly engaging with her industry contacts. All just so that she can open up internship opportunities or bring real life projects back for her students to work on.
She firmly believes that this is an invaluable part of a student’s NYP experience. Working on real-life issues with companies moves students beyond their comfort zones as they have to learn how not be too reliant on their lecturers, she says with a smile.
Plus, her students become highly motivated and inspired when they see their creations on the Apple iOS and Google app stores, for instance.
She leads by example by demonstrating how innovation and creativity are essential in projects and jobs. One project Zhen Zhen made possible for her students is the NYP Alumni e-Card mobile app.
The app allows NYP to continually engage with NYP alumni members, and allow them to use smart phones in place of smart cards to access facilities within NYP compound. Zhen Zhen was able to strike a balance between delivering the project with binding obligations and at the same time provide opportunities to her students who were still learning the necessary technical skills. Today, the app is used by more than 4,400 NYP alumni.
Zhen Zhen also often makes time to visit her students who are on attachments. Her students are very grateful as she constantly answers their many questions, even outside school hours. Many cite her as an inspiration, and attribute their academic success to her unstinting care.
The many unsolicited thank you notes she has received from students are mute testimony to how she has truly poured in countless hours to groom, guide and inspire her students.
Because of her commitment towards service excellence, Zhen Zhen was awarded the PS21 Star Service Award (SSA) earlier this year.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe in developing 21st century skills, such as instilling the importance of lifelong learning in our students so that they will be ready to take on the challenges of the future. Having the ability to learn fast and grow accustomed to the working environment is also important and I believe that students should be taught this skill when they are still schooling.
Recount one touching/memorable incident involving a student/students you taught.
One touching incident was when a student popped by with a thank you card during the last day of her Final Year Project. In her card, there were many words of appreciation, but one sentence that stood out was: “People may see you as a fierce and strict teacher, but you have your own style. You are actually a funny and silly teacher.”
I was touched because many people do not regard me this way.
What is one thing most people do not know about you?
I like painting on canvas and two of my paintings are displayed in SIT.