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Beyond the confines of the classroom

Journey from SP to NUS of our Food Science and Technology alumnus

At the recent graduation ceremony at NUS, one of the proud graduands of the Class of 2012 from the Bachelor of Applied Science (Food Science & Technology) - First Class Honours, was none other than CLS’s Matthew Koh!

Matthew’s journey started with his achievement of 6 distinctions for his O levels in 2003. Matthew says, "While most students might have opted to take the junior college route, I think I made the right choice to join Singapore Polytechnic. Chemistry was all along my favourite subject, so it spurred me to take up a Diploma in Chemical Process Technology (Food Technology)."

Life was not easy during Matthew’s polytechnic days. He needed to learn how to manage studying and working as a part-time tutor and piano teacher to provide financial support to his family. Facing a future where he could not afford an overseas university education, Matthew told himself to work doubly hard, so as to make a difference to his own future.

This self-motivated youth started working hard right from year 1 at SP. Matthew enthuses, "I knew my goal was to enroll into NUS for further study in the field of food science. I persevered and received the CLS Roll of Honour award for all semesters during the 3 years of polytechnic studies!" Graduating as a top student from Food Technology option, Matthew was admitted to NUS and even received the NUS Faculty Award, which covered his full tuition fees at NUS.

Having honed his juggling skills from SP days, Matthew was able to continue to divide his time between part-time tutoring and his studies during his undergraduate days at NUS. Matthew reveals, “I have to thank SP for giving me the solid foundation grounded in food science and technology. It provided me with the relevant hands-on skills to survive well in NUS. It was a tough battle but I am grateful to my SP and NUS lecturers who have given me so much moral support and encouragement to keep me going. I’m glad to make SP proud by achieving a 1st class Honours in Food Science and Technology from NUS and to be nominated for the NUS Science Dean’s List.

Matthew always believed that success does not happen by chance. It is only when one puts in one’s utmost effort that one can achieve one’s true and full potential. At SP, that’s what we want for our students too! 


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