Growing up as a student in Singapore, I’ve always felt more inclined to join design-related courses because of my appreciation for the arts and aesthetics. However, I recalled my secondary school teacher advising me to apply for business studies as I could eventually merge my passion with a discipline that was more practical.
After my ‘O’ levels, I heard about a new course offering a learning journey that was slightly unconventional, including a ‘classroom’ that looked nothing like what I expected to see in the poly. We would be the first students to study in a business studio, the likes of which have never been seen in any tertiary institution in Singapore. The students who join the diploma would challenge convention, and hopefully make positive ‘dents’ in the world.
With the prospect of being part of the pioneering batch to graduate from this diploma, I placed the Diploma in Business Innovation and Design (DBID) as my top choice, and to seal the deal, I even applied for the course through JPSAE which was how I came to be part of DBID!
We shared many similarities with other Business Courses in the school, with us students attending the usual lectures, tutorials and slaving through tight project deadlines and heart racing exams.
However, despite being the same, we were different. It was not just about our many field trips to innovative spaces like Gardens by the Bay, S.E.A. Aquarium, or Art Science Museum, but also the intangible feeling of belonging and knowing that I made a difference to this group of crazy, hardworking, loving individuals who saw each other through the good and bad. Trust me, we had our fair share of group tensions, raised competitiveness and disappointment. But I’ve come to appreciate that these are part and parcel of growing up. And I did grow up, with the support of people who cared enough about me to call me out on my nonsense and to also celebrate my achievements.
My future holds much possibility and so many unknowns. The world scares me a little, but DBID has taught me that living life needs to come with challenges that will make us stronger. That constraints are but opportunities to get better at what we do; and that unknowns are just experiences waiting to be found.
It has been 3 years. I have graduated. But I will always be a part of DBID, just as DBID will always be a part of me.