Atikah Binte Zainuddin, who is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Business Management in the Singapore Management University's (SMU) Lee Kong Chian School of Business was awarded the Anugerah Khas Mendaki recently which recognises and rewards polytechnic graduates from Singapore's Muslim community who have achieved a merit in their diploma and/or are book prize winners.
When asked how she felt about receiving this award, “It goes without saying that I felt very honoured to be recognised by my community for my academic achievements. But what's more significant is that, because the award came at a time when I was still struggling with my transition to university, it served as a reminder of all the hard work and effort I've put in to be where I am today.”
So how has the transition been like for this young lady? “DBID has played a big role in preparing me for my academic career in university. It has taught me many things which put me at an advantage over my peers. But more importantly, it has also imbued in me soft skills which are much needed in a university system that places an importance on group projects as well. Furthermore, having worked on multiple client projects and gone through an internship, I'm also able to evaluate how the things I'm learning in university might apply in the workplace.”
Now as a full-fledged undergraduate, she reminisces about her time in DBID, “They say you don't know what you have until it's gone - only after I graduated from SP did I realise how the people in DBID felt like extended family to me. You could say that it's because the course is small in size but I also think there's this DBID spirit that you can't find anywhere else. Overall, I guess when you see the same people almost every day for 3 years and you go through the same experiences, it's hard not to develop a sense of attachment to them.”
“DBID lecturers are also the most supportive and nurturing mentors you could ever have and I say this with confidence, having had both good and bad experiences with teachers in the past. I recall many times when I went to my lecturers for advice on projects but ended up leaving with valuable life advice as well.”
“I've grown so much as a person throughout my 3 years in DBID that it's hard to just pinpoint one lesson I've learnt about myself. In Singapore, the pressure to conform to society's standards and to make practical decisions in life is high. But we have to remind ourselves that there's no singular idea of success and no singular path to achieving it either. Think with your head and your heart, make decisions based on what you think is right for yourself, and the rest will fall into place.” And things have definitely fallen into place for her. And we wish her the best for things yet to come.