From Diploma to Degree, Multidisciplinary - The Way Ahead
DEB graduate Munmit Singh Dhillon has been accepted to a Double-Degree program by SUTD (Engineering Product Development) and SMU (Business Management). He was also offered a scholarship for the program. Yet another testament to students leveraging on the strong engineering and business foundations acquired through the DEB course!
Transcending Disciplinary Boundaries
Marc Yeo graduated from the DEB course in 2016 and has received the Nanyang Scholarship to read History in NTU. An example of DEB students acquiring broad-based skills and further pursuing professional interest in various disciplines!
Engineering & Business Skills for Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit
DEB graduate Timothy Tang received Singapore Industry Scholarship 2016 to read Electrical and Electronic Engineering with Business Minor at NTU. The scholarship sponsoring organization is SMRT and upon completing the 3 years programme at NTU, Timothy will be joining SMRT as an Executive Engineer.
Switching Between Studies and Work to a Stronger SkillsFuture
Alvin Wong who graduated from DEB in 2013 has received the National Infocomm Scholarship (NIS) offered by IDA to read Information Engineering & Media with Business Minor (IEM@ NTU).
Alvin was one of the seven students who took part in the 3 month Immersion Program in BTBU during his final year. He was an active member in the SP band and also participated in the SP Entrepreneur Bazaar.
After his ORD in 2015, Alvin worked in IDA as a permanent contract staff while he applied for the scholarship. His main responsibility was a tour educator to promote awareness of Smart Nation SG to local and foreign delegates and university students. He also conducted coding and 3D printing workshops for school children as part of the Smart Nation Outreach by IDA.
Engineering a Macaron Business
Graduate Tay Kuan Yu shares how his course gave him the keys to building his very own macaron business, J’adore Macaron.
We hear many stories of bankers and lawyers ditching well-paid jobs to sweat away in the kitchens of their cafes and restaurants. All in the name of passion – for food, to be precise. Over here among the graduating cohort we have Tay Kuan Yu, who also prefers reading baking recipes than engineering or business books. This young aspiring baker has started an online macaron business.
When he got his ‘O’ level results, Tay Kuan Yu realised that his choices of poly diploma courses were limited, as he had scored a D7 in English. His elder brother helped him to narrow down the options available before he nailed down Diploma in Engineering with Business (DEB) in SP as his first choice.
The decision had made an impact for the former North Vista Secondary School student. The course, which has business modules such as Principles of Marketing, Financial Management and New Venture Planning, gave him ideas to start a business of his own. Not only that, he also took a liking for the engineering modules too. This May, he graduates with an impressive GPA of 3.905 out of 4 and has secured places with the local universities.
The decision to start his business came about after his internship where he realised that even if he gets a good job, it’s still just a regular income, just like everyone else in the company. But if he runs his own business, he can at least try to make sure that his business can grow and grow, and so will his income.
With his love for baking since his secondary school days, why not turn it into a business? Moreover, he has a relative who owns a café where he could use the ovens there. Rather than churning out cakes and cupcakes like every other bakery store, Kuan Yu decided to focus on macarons. His reasoning, something he refined from his business modules, was that macaron is the most difficult pastry to make, which in turn meant there would be less competition.
“But to compete with the others, I have to offer the best. That is why I use only expensive ingredients such as almond powder and Hershey’s chocolates,” says Kuan Yu.
J’adore Macaron (meaning “I Love Macaron” in French), an online macaron business, was born in July last year. He took orders on Facebook and Instagram. Today, his business is already turning in nice profits. “I’ve made close to $10K in net profit so far. Most of the orders came from Facebook friends as well as my poly friends. The best sales came from my Valentine’s Day promotion,” he proudly declares. He could sometimes sell 200 macarons in a single day, which would rake in about $240 in revenue.
During SP Open House this year, he took up a store and sold his macarons for $2 a piece. They were all sold out!
National service duties will knock him out of action for a while but he is determined to continue growing this business. “My dad and brother will help me oversee the business while I would work as much as possible on weekends,” he says.
An average student in secondary school and now a successful poly grad going onto university: where did the motivation come from?
“When I joined SP, I told myself that if I’m not going to help myself, no one else will help me. I’ve learnt to be self-reliant. I’ve also made many good friends who helped me in my course. Luckily, I’m strong in maths so the engineering modules were not difficult for me, although I preferred the business ones more,” says Kuan Yu, who has accepted Nanyang Technological University’s offer to study business.
“I think there will be a lot of opportunities to showcase my macarons in university through their events. There are some people who want to fund my business after tasting my macarons but I’ll take it one step at a time,” he adds.
He has already made that one big step while in SP. Thanks Kuan Yu for living up to the statement, “With SP, it’s So Possible!”
No Longer Chicken Little
After graduating from her course as the top student with a Grade Point Average of 3.992 out of 4, Joo Yee is now pursuing a degree in Maritime Studies (a course on shipping, business, management, and maritime science and technology) at Nanyang Technological University. She shares more about how she has changed since her days as a youth in Henderson Secondary School.
What do you like best about the learning environment in SP?
The lecturers in SP don’t only teach students, but also take the extra mile to groom them into a better person, preparing them to be ready for the real world. One of my favourite lecturers was Mr Chee Choong Yang. I first met Mr Chee when I requested for a transfer to the course. Despite the tendency to give long advice, every word he said was filled with profound knowledge through simplicity and his effort to bring his students towards the path of success.
He often told his students that initiative is the key to success. This piece of advice is frequently used by many other people in our lives. But what more he did was to give his students a helping hand, or even a push in taking the first step towards our dreams. He was the lecturer that gave me all the opportunities to unleash myself and my abilities. He provided me with the chance to handle important events and programmes. He left me with great responsibilities in the major events of my course to groom me to who I am today. Without the opportunities that he provided, I would continue to be the introvert me, the Chicken Little who is always scared that something bad might happen. I became more optimistic through his advice, willing to step out of my comfort zone and be in charge of several events of my course.
What has been the biggest motivating factor(s) that helped you to perform very well in your course?
Everyone has a rebellious stage in their lives, including me. It happened when I was in secondary 3, when I was only 15 years old, a period where most teenagers wanted to experience a taste of freedom.
It was the period when I had my first boyfriend, where I was too blind to see anything beyond the fun I had while hanging out with my friends. I turned moody at home, but hyper outside. Being a regular top student in my school, my results dropped to a state where I would not even dare to show my parents the report book. I did not have the mood to study and all I thought about was going out and having fun.
When my parents started to realise things had changed, they first began nagging, and being a rebellious me, I would leave house and slam the door to avoid such happenings. It was when I started seeing E8 on my report book that I woke up from all the devils hanging around inside me. I clearly knew that this kind of result was not what I wished for. I consider myself as someone who is very ambitious, and seeing such results totally turned me off. I started to look back at what I had done, realising how I was jeopardising my future with something that was not important enough to hold me back. I quickly got back on my feet, and moved from the thirty plus level position I stood at in secondary 3, to second in the cohort during my prelims.
I worked hard for what I dream to become, and I knew every moment was precious enough to bring me towards what I want to achieve. Despite having an E8 for physics and D7 for additional mathematics in secondary 3, I managed to obtain an A1 for both of these subjects, allowing me to pursue a Diploma in Engineering with Business. It made me realise that hard work indeed pays off and that as long as we are determined and motivated to strive towards our dreams, we will be able to achieve it. A mistake from the past gave me an inspiration to achieve more, work harder as well as to strive further.
What are your most memorable moments in SP?
I consider myself as a person who enjoys serving society. In September 2012, I decided to join an overseas community service project, Nepal Project 3. This project enabled us to give a helping hand to the children in Nepal through helping out in teaching the children, and putting our best efforts in constructing several classrooms for the students.
During my immersion trip to Beijing, we also organised numerous community service trips to the Chinese migrant schools to teach the Chinese students who were eager to learn English and other subjects. Being involved in the current issues and serving the community brings me joy, knowing that I could actually contribute and play an important role in helping to improve the community that we live in. SP provides the opportunities for students to be involved in community service efforts that allow us to step out of our comfort zone. With extensive experience in the volunteering area, I have the heart to bring forth my knowledge and understanding, and spread such eagerness to contribute to the society and the rest of the world.
Being a part of a community, we all share the responsibility of helping and supporting each other. The importance of giving back to the community makes a huge difference in one’s life and society. I first began contributing during secondary school, where I was involved in community service through my co-curricular activity, Saint John Ambulance Brigade. Not only was I involved in helping the less fortunate, I had also participated in a number of overseas community service in hopes to improve the society.
The main reason why I had an interest in such community involvement is because I have the desire to make a difference in the world, even if it might be as small as it can be, and such desire greatly inspires me to continue what I had done before. Not only was I able to be exposed to the diversification in the world that others might not be able to experience, I was also given the chance to strive for something that could result in a difference in my society.
One main advantage of participating in such community service is that these interactions with different people in the world allowed me to change my perspective and view of the society that everyone lives in. People living in the developing areas strive as hard as or even harder than those living in the developed regions. Such facts allow me to realise that these people continue to work and that even though we are people living in a place that is much more fortunate, we might have taken that for granted. Being a part of the society makes me deeply understand how important it is for one to serve and return something to our community.
Ong Yong Lin, Class of 2012, received the National Infocomm Scholarship in 2014 to read Computer Science at the prestigious University College London
Goh Yihui, Class of 2012, was awarded the Singapore Industry Scholarhip in 2014 to read Electrical and Electronic Engineering with Buisness Minor at NTU.
Zhang Shuwen, Class of 2014
Offered the Nanyang Scholarship from NTU and a Study Award from NUS to read Business.
“As someone who has truly benefited from studying in DEB, I’m confident to say that my experience in this course has given me a competitive edge as the training in this course exposes me to both fields and nurtures me to demonstrate risk-taking spirit and perspicacity of a businessman, as well as strong analytical aptitude and problem solving skills of an engineer. The knowledge gained along the way has greatly shaped my perspectives and developed the path for me to pursue my true passion and interest.
Wellon Chou and Gerald Lim, Class of 2015, founded the company Memory Ark in 2014 during their final year in the course. They successfully received a $50,000 ACE Start-Up Grant for their business.
Ng Yu Xin, Class of 2013, is awarded the NTU Scholarship to pursue a double degree program, Business and Computer Engineering (BCE) Scholarship.
“Through the large variety of modules available in DEB course, not only did I gain knowledge and exposure in various areas such as mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering as well as business, but also discover an interest in electronic projects….
Now in NTU, my DEB experience provides me with the basics of both business and programming which are required in my current degree. DEB has also trained me to cope with the heavy study load in NTU better as compared to my fellow classmates.”
Thomas Tham, Class of 2012, is awarded the Ng Bok Eng Renaissance Engineering Scholarship. He will be pursuing the Renaissance Engineering Programme at NTU which awards a dual-degree comprising Bachelor of Engineering Science degree and Master of Science in Technology Management.
“DEB gave me the opportunity to explore and learn a wide range of subjects. The teaching of both engineering and business modules in this course allows me to integrate the technical aspects of engineering with essential business concepts. This approach provided me with an insight on how these concepts are applied to engineering products and services in the world of business.”