SP Business School

Designing Business. Defining Tomorrow

The Road Less Travelled - From Poly grad to Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medallist

Jacqueline receiving the Lee Kuan Yew medal at her convocation in Nanyang Technological University

“In life, there will always be people who are smarter than us, better than us and even cooler than us
but there will also be people who have less than us. Learn from anyone and everyone you meet and never cease to work at bettering yourself. Most IMPORTANTLY,   be empathetic to the voices of the weak and of the different.”

These words are from Jacqueline Melissa Hongadi, who is the proud recipient of the Lee Kuan Yew gold medal from Nanyang Technological University. This prestigious award is given to the top performing student of each degree course in NTU. Jacqueline graduated top of her class with a First Class Honours in the Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.

Journey in Singapore Polytechnic

Jacqueline began her journey in Singapore Polytechnic (SP) Business School where she took the Diploma in Human Resource Management with Psychology. Hers was the pioneer batch of students who read this maiden diploma in 2008. 

According to Jacqueline,  ”Joining a polytechnic at that time was quite unusual for students who qualified for a junior college. I however decided to take this path as I wanted a more hands-on and practical course.”

 “It was a funny story how I joined SP. I knew I wanted to further my education in a Polytechnic instead of JC but had no idea which Poly I should go to. So, I came for SP’s Open House back in 2007 and met Mrs Sheila Kee, who later became one of my lecturers throughout my time in SP. She convinced me to join DHRMP – a new programme then, during our short interaction in SP’s Open House and I have to say that I have never regretted my decision.”

I remember SB’s environment as very vibrant and energetic. I remember the newly renovated library to be my favourite hangout then. My friends and I would spend all our breaks brainstorming ideas to tackle the next project we had to do. Academically, the curriculum is very rigorous and applicable to industry settings. Even up till today, I find that many employers value my education in SB.

I was never the smartest person in school and rather average. I guess my academic success boils down to my personal mantra of doing and giving my best in everything I do. Competition never motivated me. Also, I am a huge advocator of working smart!”

Jacqueline managed to juggle both her academic studies with working part-time, and enjoy an all-rounded student life. She was an SP ACER back during her Poly days which involved being an ambassador for the school.  She also emceed for the diploma’s internal event. She recalls that her internship while in SP as a Learning & Development Intern at Club 21 Pte. Ltd. helped her understand the demands of work and better prepare her for working life.
She treasures the warm friendships and relationships she established with her lecturers. The lecturers were friendly and their doors were always open. All matters, academic or personal, were open for discussion. She found her lecturers inspiring!

Suzhou Immersion Programme

“The most memorable experience I had in SP was when I went for an overseas immersion program in Suzhou, China. The 5 months alone in a foreign land, experiencing snow for the first time and learning in another language was indeed life-changing.”

Jacqueline in Suzhou

Father’s Influence

Her father has been a profound influence in her life’s journey. In her own words,

“My Dad was a very strict mentor and always expected me to do my best. I remember when I was much younger in Primary School, he never once expected me to top the class or score full marks in my exams but he always reprimanded me when I made careless mistakes. His reasoning was simple, but very wise – you didn’t have to have all the correct answers in the world, but you cannot slip up on those questions you already have answers to. I guess this philosophy stuck with me growing up!”

Jacqueline with her parents at her poly graduation

Today Jacqueline can stand proud of her achievements. We are glad that she chose SP in her learning journey!




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