Christina Ong Ling Yee - Forging Ahead with Confidence
If you had met her 10 years ago, you would not have imagined that Christina Ong Ling Yee would one day become Singapore Polytechnic's Tay Eng Soon Gold Medal winner. Christina confessed that she was playful and lazy during her primary school days. She failed all her exams in Primary Three and Four.
After her 'N' levels, the former student of CHIJ St Theresa's Convent came to her senses and went on to score a perfect GPA (Grade Point Average) of 4.0 at ITE. This paved the way for her to pursue the Diploma in Property Development and Facilities Management course at Singapore Polytechnic.
Family finances were tight with her mother working as a cashier and her father as a coffee-shop assistant. Christina came forward to work during her secondary school days to help out with her family's expenses. Despite having to juggle her time between her work and studies, Christina emerged as the top student of her cohort, scoring 35 distinctions and As for her Polytechnic course.
She has been working at McDonald's for the past seven years to support herself. And through sheer determination, hard work, and an excellent work attitude, the bubbly 22-year-old has worked herself up to become a floor manager.
"I meet so many people everyday and learning to deal with all sorts of people has also moulded and shaped my character, made me an independent woman, as well as trained me to handle almost any situation calmly," said Christina.
And even though Davies Langdon & Seah, a well-known firm providing professional consultancy services in quantity surveying and project management, recruited her six months before graduation, she is still working at McDonald's on weekends. "This is such an exciting job and it has shaped me to become the person I am now. How can I give it up?" she laughed.
Christina was also very active in co-curricular activities. At Singapore Polytechnic, Christina was the School of the Built Environment Club's organising secretary, the Rotary International Service's Vice-President and a karate club member.
She believes in taking part in a wide range of activities to increase her exposure and meet more people. So much so that this bubbly girl won both the Model Student Award 2007 as well as Singapore Polytechnic's Sports Award 2005.
"I enjoy studying, working and sports as all these enrich my life," Christina enthused.
Despite having a very packed schedule, Christina ensured that she devoted time to help the needy. She organised community service projects at the Renci Hospital when she was in ITE. In addition, she volunteered at the Singapore Christian Home for the Aged. She even took part in regional projects. Christina went to Vietnam to help villagers build a cultural centre. She is delighted that she is able to help these people.
She gets great satisfaction from the knowledge that she has brightened someone's day. "I'm so happy when I see them smile!" she said.
Christina is confident about her future. She will pursue a degree in project and facilities management at NUS. Following that, she wants to work for a few years before proceeding to do her Masters programme.
- Tay Eng Soon Gold Medal
- Singapore Contractors Association Gold Medal
- Davis Langdon & Seah Prize
- REDAS Prize