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Student Success Stories

Daniel Ho Jing Yang

The Cyber Protector


  • Lee Kuan Yew Award
  • IDA Gold Medal
  • OCBC Prize
 

Daniel Ho’s interest in cyber-security started when he was a teenager. As smart televisions and internet banking systems became mainstream, the Victoria School alumnus began to wonder about the security measures behind these technological devices. There and then, Daniel knew that he wanted a career related to cyber security.

It was no surprise that the Diploma in Infocomm Security Management (DISM) course offered by Singapore Polytechnic (SP) was Daniel’s first choice after getting his G.C.E. ‘O’ Level results. He was particularly interested in SP’s Cyber Wargame Centre, a simulated-practice learning environment where students learn to defend against cyber-attacks and delve into the world of forensics investigation.

During his first year at SP, Daniel was an introverted student who was hesitant to approach his peers. However, that changed during a two-week overseas community service trip to Nepal where he experienced the kindness and empathy exhibited by the locals in helping him to settle in. The unique exposure to a foreign culture brought him out of his shell and sparked his desire to serve the community.

Building on this resolve, Daniel initiated a student mentorship programme to help new DISM students settle into their polytechnic life. A community where seniors and juniors can seek support and share relevant knowledge was thus created. To gain first-hand knowledge of the infocomm industry, Daniel also served as President of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association Student Chapter, where he took charge of organising networking events with industry professionals as well as workshops.

Daniel was also a student leader of SP ACERs where he helped to promote SP to the secondary schools at outreach events. Despite his busy schedule, the determined student still managed to excel in his course.

A recipient of the DSO Diploma Scholarship, Daniel completed a six-month internship as a defence researcher at the DSO National Laboratories. During his internship, he had the unique opportunity to be involved in research projects related to network forensics and malware detection software. For his final-year project, Daniel and his team members worked with the DSO National Laboratories to develop an application that could scan and remove viruses from PDF files. His project was subsequently showcased at the national GovernmentWare conference and exhibition in 2015.

Daniel will pursue a degree in Information Security at the National University of Singapore after serving his national service. He has already been awarded the Public Service Commission Scholarship and wants to be involved in Singapore’s journey towards becoming a Smart Nation. With the rise of security issues world-wide, we certainly look forward to Daniel making a difference in keeping the cyber world safe!

Glenn Ng Guo You

Just Do IT


  • Tay Eng Soon Gold Medal
  • IDA Gold Medal
  • Microsoft Singapore Award
 

When Glenn Ng was just a primary three kid, he was diagnosed with dyslexia and found it difficult to juggle both English and Chinese languages. Subsequently, he was moved from the EM2 academic stream to EM3 and eventually went on to the Normal Technical stream at Greendale Secondary School. With his learning disability, he thought that he would never keep up with his peers.

In the midst of his struggle with languages, Glenn discovered his passion for Information Technology (IT). He received multiple awards during his secondary school days for doing well in computer application and science subjects. He chose to pursue a Nitec in Info-Communications Technology at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and worked doubly hard to maintain a perfect GPA score to secure admission to Singapore Polytechnic (SP)’s Diploma in Information Technology course, his first choice.

In SP, Glenn honed his IT skills further by taking part in various competitions such as the national-level Microsoft Publish IT Hackathon, where he was selected as one of the top three finalists.

For his outstanding academic achievements, the SP Model Student Award recipient was selected for the Singapore Management University’s (SMU) Advanced Placement Programme where he had the opportunity to take two modules alongside undergraduate students. This experience allowed him to gain a deeper appreciation for IT and sealed his determination to pursue a career in this field. He also helped his SMU mates to organise the APEX Business-IT Global Case Challenge, a student-run case competition that highlights the intertwined nature of business and IT.

Glenn’s passion for IT also led him to share his knowledge and skills with his peers. As a Student Partner appointed by Microsoft Singapore, he planned and executed various campus activities to help develop the IT capabilities of other students. He also inspired his peers to immerse themselves in extra-curricular activities such as industry networking sessions and hackathons through his student leader role in the S.E.E.D (Sharing, Exploration, Enrichment, Development) Student Interest Group.

He explored his passion for IT further during his internship with SingTel, where he had the unique opportunity to immerse himself in the latest technologies and gain an insightful exposure to the telecommunications industry.

Glenn plans to pursue a degree in Information Systems at the Singapore Management University after national service. His aspiration is to create solutions to benefit businesses and the community in future.  In fact, Glen has already seen his dream come to fruition - together with a course mate, he has already started a company to develop customized IT solutions for organisations.

Anything is possible if you believe in yourself and just do it. Glenn is a living example that dyslexia is no obstacle to thinking big and achieving success.

Goh Wei Sheng

Mission To Save Lives


  • Low Guan Onn Gold Medal
  • All Eights (Singapore) Gold Medal
  • Alfred Robert Edis Prize
  • The Diploma-Plus Book Prize
 

“I want to be a doctor, and I want to save countless lives when I grow up.” This statement resonated with Goh Wei Sheng when he was growing up. The teenager then was fascinated by how healthcare professionals treat diseases and help improve the lives of the less fortunate.

This sparked the precocious Riverside Secondary School alumnus’ interest in science related subjects. With his excellent G.C.E. ‘O’ Level results, he had many options opened to him.

However, Wei Sheng selected Singapore Polytechnic (SP)’s Diploma in Biomedical Science (DBS) course as his first choice during the Joint Admissions Exercise. SP’s reputation for nurturing successful alumni for the healthcare sector was the key reason that led to his choice.

During his time in SP, Wei Sheng’s passion in wanting to improve the lives of others was further stoked. Following his grandmother’s passing after a stroke, and witnessing his brother’s dramatic recovery from a traumatic brain injury, Wei Sheng gained first-hand experience on the dedication of healthcare professionals who had treated them and was further motivated to pursue his dream.

Recognising the importance of empathy and servant leadership, the SP scholar and SP Model Student Award recipient organised and participated in blood donation drives through his co-curricular Activity club, the SP Red Cross Youth Chapter. Wei Sheng further developed his character through the SP Outstanding Talent (SPOT) programme where he went on an overseas community service programme to build flush toilets for rural villagers in Shangri-La, China.

During his stint as the President of DBS Student Council, the big-hearted individual also sourced for voluntary opportunities to encourage more of his peers to contribute to the community. His holistic achievements earned him the National Youth Achievement Award (Gold) in 2015 which he proudly received from President Tony Tan.

As an A*STAR Science Award recipient, Wei Sheng had the opportunity to go on a three-month internship with A*STAR’s Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology. There, he was exposed to a scientific research environment and had a chance to experiment with the latest technologies in treating oncology and infectious diseases. In recognition of his dedication to this research project, he was listed as a co-author for an internationally peer-reviewed research paper. Besides A*STAR, Wei Sheng also worked as a phlebotomist intern for three weeks at Woodlands Polyclinic. These experiences further fuelled his interest to serve in the healthcare sector.

Wei Sheng is now one step closer to his dream after receiving the offer to study medicine at the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine.

Kwek Ai Ling

Designing Her Own Success


  • Toh Chin Chye Gold Medal
  • DBS Bank Gold Medal
  • Norton Prize
 

Growing up, Kwek Ai Ling always had a passion for everything to do with design and has a flair for creating things through arts and crafts. She took a strong fascination to how things were made and always admired the aesthetic values in things around her.

The Geylang Methodist School alumna proceeded to study in junior college after her ‘O’ levels, hoping that she could use a couple of years to figure out what design related course best suits her.  But life did not go as planned – she scored mediocre results for her G.C.E ‘A’ Levels and did not qualify for the course of her choice. As she watched her aspirations evaporate, her self-esteem plunged.

Ai Ling’s family and close friends stood by her through this difficult time and encouraged her to follow her heart and take alternative routes to achieve her goals. Determined to follow her passion, she decided to walk the path less travelled and enrolled in a part-time course in jewellery design at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. She also visited Singapore Polytechnic (SP) during the Open House as she heard about the Diploma in Experience and Product Design (DXPD) course offered by SP Design School. Mesmerised by the design exhibits, Ai Ling made up her mind to enrol in the DXPD course.

Throughout her SP journey, Ai Ling was academically consistent, landing herself on the Director’s Honours List three years in a row. The SP Scholar was also extra motivated, taking up the role of class leader, and volunteered as the Organising Chairman for her DXPD course during the SP Design School Graduation Showcase.  To validate her ability and challenge herself, Ai Ling took part in the Singaplural 48 hours Challenge during the Singapore Design Week, designing a showroom experience for Castilla – a furniture company.

Outside of her demanding school schedule, Ai Ling finds great joy in giving of her time and effort to helping others. She volunteered to bring underprivileged primary school children for eye screening and a tour around SP. She also helped to teach the elderly how to use new technology via Project Savvy Silvers. Ai Ling also carved out time to enrich herself by learning Korean through online language courses and can now easily carry a conversation with a Korean native.

Ai Ling, who plans to further her studies by pursuing her dream course in industrial design at the National University of Singapore (NUS), has already been awarded the NUS Global Merit Scholarship. With her abilities, she hopes to positively influence the community by improving the lives of people through design. After getting her degree, she aspires to be an experience and product designer, and hopefully set up her own design studio one day.

Lee Boon Yao

Like Father, Like Son


  • Lee Kuan Yew Award
  • SIA Engineering Gold Medal
  • OCBC Prize
  • The Institution of Engineers Gold Medal Award
 

Father knows best. This adage certainly holds true for Lee Boon Yao. After all, the senior Lee was a graduate of Singapore Polytechnic (SP), has worked with the air force and now owns an engineering firm. All of his father’s experiences made Boon Yao decide from young that he wanted to take up the Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering in SP after his G.C.E ‘O’ Level examinations.

A hiccup almost ruined his plan. During secondary three at Evergreen Secondary School, Boon Yao did not do well in his studies and his grades surely would not get him to SP. He hit the panic button and told himself to buck up and not get retained. Through sheer determination, he not only improved his grades but came in second in his school’s N(A) cohort as well at the ‘N’ level examinations. Realising his potential to do well, he continued to study hard and finally gained admission into one of SP’s most competitive courses.

There was no looking back once in SP. Being enrolled in a very popular course meant he faced competition from course mates who did way better at the ‘O’ levels. He did not let this demoralise him, instead it spurred him to work even harder, eventually earning him an SP Engineering Scholarship as well as the A*STAR Science Award.

When Boon Yao came across subjects that he labelled as ‘killer modules’, he would challenge himself to understand the module so that he could help others who also had difficulty with it. Today, the Model Student Award recipient is graduating with a remarkably high level of self- motivation and self-discipline.

Getting good grades was not his sole preoccupation though. Through his three years in SP, he participated in numerous community service projects. He was the Organising Chairman for community service programmes at the Lakeside Family Centre and was the Community Service Officer for SP Red Cross Youth. He also spent one semester tutoring academically weak students in a primary school under the SP BP Mentoring Club.

Boon Yao experienced first-hand working on aircraft components during his internship with Taikoo Aircraft Engineering Company in Xiamen, China. The internship further fuelled his passion to join the aeronautical industry.

As an A*STAR Science Award recipient, Boon Yao had the chance to also intern with them. This second internship at the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technologies taught him how to conduct engineering research alongside engineers and scientists.

Boon Yao has received the Nanyang Scholarship from Nanyang Technological University, and plans to continue his aeronautical engineering studies after his national service. Upon getting his degree, he hopes to work for an established engineering firm and eventually join his father’s company and expand it overseas.

Pavan Singh Gill

Grabbing Every Learning Opportunity


  • Lee Kuan Yew Award
  • SMRT Gold Medal
  • OCBC Prize
  • The Institution of Engineers Gold Medal Award
 

From the day he stepped into Singapore Polytechnic (SP), Pavan Singh Gill made sure he would not let any learning opportunity slip by. Not even when dire situations arose.

After his G.C.E. ‘O’ Level examinations, he visited SP Open House and left with the decision that “This is the place for me!”. He knew he wanted to be an engineer but was unsure which field of specialisation he should take up. Thus, he chose the Common Engineering Programme and found his niche in the Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering a few months later.

The former Woodgrove Secondary Student initially thought that he may be disadvantaged because he is dyslexic. To his amazement, he found that his condition actually helped in his course because he could visualise better. Therefore, modules that involve AutoCAD or 3D drawings were easy for him. His excellent performance in Year 1 won him the SP Engineering Scholarship.

Pavan’s interest in engineering research led him to intern with SP Nano Fabrication Lab where he learned about technological process such as photolithography. The Model Student Award recipient also participated in the Polytechnic Student Research Programme where he and his team mate worked with A*STAR researchers to develop an award-winning biochip that could simplify and speed up the breaking down of blood cells to diagnose viruses while speeding up diagnosis and reducing the costs involved.

A lung infection almost halted his progress last May. He missed lessons for 10 days and spent his June vacation catching up on his modules with help from course mates and lecturers.

Not wanting to be an engineering nerd who is oblivious to the world outside, Pavan participated in various non-academic programmes such as the LEAP Camp in Malaysia where he picked up leadership skills and played a key role in the Youth Model ASEAN Conference 2014. He went to Cambodia for a community service project where he helped to build a study shelter, repair broken facilities and teach English in an orphanage. Back home, he also volunteers with community involvement projects such as the distribution of food to needy homes in Chinatown.

The dream of becoming a technopreneur in the future led him to join the SP Student Entrepreneurs Club where he eventually became its President during his final year.

Pavan is exploring his options for further studies in local and overseas universities. He has secured a place with the Singapore University of Technology and Design with a Global Leadership Programme Scholarship to University of California, Berkeley.

In ten years’ time, he hopes to own a technological start-up that focuses on robotics, sustainable energy or aerospace. He also hopes to spend some time researching how to help children with special needs learn.

Philbert Lim Sin Ping

Counting On Himself To Do His Best


  • Chua Chor Teck Gold Medal
  • Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants Gold Medal
 

A challenging childhood became the powerful motivating factor for Philbert Lim to study hard and pursue excellence so as to give his family a better life in future.

He did well in his G.C.E ‘O’ Level examinations at Gan Eng Seng Secondary School and chose to continue his studies at a junior college. After two months, he decided that the learning route was unsuitable and appealed to take up the Diploma in Accountancy (DAC) in Singapore Polytechnic (SP).

SP became the nurturing ground for Philbert to excel in all aspects. He took up leading roles in activities organised by SP Business School, such as the People’s Association-Business School community leadership programme. As President of the DAC Chapter, he organised events to strengthen bonds amongst students and rallied them to participate in several community projects.

The most memorable SP experience for Philbert was a two-week overseas trip to Laos where he experienced the harsh conditions of villagers. There, he harvested peanuts, helped build a school hall and gave English lessons to the kids. The trip made him appreciate the simplicity of life there - where the kids exude happiness despite studying in classrooms much worse off than what we have here.

The Laos experience prompted him to sign up for another overseas community project – ASEAN Connect which involves helping some villagers in Yogjakarta achieve a sustainable income by turning their living environment into a tourist attraction.

To get an idea of the corporate world beyond our shores, Philbert, who is an SP Scholar and Model Student Award recipient, signed up for the China Immersion Programme where he visited four Chinese cities – Beijing, Dalian, Tianjin and Yingkou – to find out about business practices there. At the end of the programme, his team made a presentation to the management of Singapore Tianjin Eco-City on how to market their industrial assets.

Philbert’s internship with Ernst and Young opened his eyes to the world of financial auditing. The experience made him probe deeper into this very niche skillset and the possibility of a career in this field.

All of these unique experiences have changed Philbert from a quiet and reserved teenager to one who is now confident and increasingly outspoken.

After his national service, Philbert plans to further his studies in accountancy with a local university. In the long run, he sees himself contributing his skills and knowledge in the accounting or finance industry, and using his industry network connection to create community programmes that will benefit youths from broken families.

Shantel Neo Rui En

The Write Passion


  • Tan Kay Yong Gold Medal
  • Beach House Pictures Silver Medal
 

Since young, Shantel Neo has been fascinated with dance and harboured a dream of one day becoming a dancer. This was not to be, as Shantel’s parents felt dance was not a viable career path. They encouraged the Ang Mo Kio Secondary School alumna to focus her energies on her other love – writing. Blessed with an expressive personality and a strong interest in the arts, Shantel pursued her passion for writing and has never looked back since!

After scoring an aggregate of five points for five subjects at the G.C.E. ‘O’ Level examinations, Shantel could easily have qualified for entry to most junior colleges, but her sights were set on Singapore Polytechnic’s (SP) Diploma in Creative Writing for TV and New Media. There, she was able to develop her passion in writing through scripts and creating films.

As an SP Scholar, Shantel not only excelled in her academic subjects, but also made it a point to pursue activities outside of class. She never passed up on opportunities to dive head-first into filmmaking and scriptwriting, and was involved in the development of numerous productions, notably “Behind the Arts” – a documentary short film on the controversial A*STAR researcher, Dr Eng Kai Er, and “Waiting for Tomorrow” – a heart-warming story of a homeless man in Ipoh, a film which was eventually featured at the Young Writer’s Festival 2016.

In 2015, Shantel served as a new media journalist for the SEA Games 2015 where she experienced the adrenalin rush of writing and publishing articles within tight deadlines. These experiences put Shantel’s writing and storytelling skills to the test and she always came out on top.

While lectures and tutorials already take up the bulk of a typical SP student’s schedule, her outstanding time management allowed her to dabble in other interests. Shantel loves the moon and the stars, and joined the Astronomy Club where she served as Vice President. She also participated actively with SP Strictly Dance Zone where she had many chances to indulge in dancing again!

Shantel’s passion also extends beyond herself. Her big heart shone during an overseas community project where she taught English to a group of students from the Don Bosco School in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. She was humbled and inspired by the dreams and aspirations of the native students, and drew inspiration to better herself. Till this day, Shantel still keeps in touch with the students she taught. Coincidentally, they are graduating at the same time as her!

Shantel plans to further her skills with a media or film degree in the United Kingdom, eventually becoming a media producer with her own shows.