DTZ Debenham Tie Leung
Class of 1972
Singapore Polytechnic, BE School
Professional Diploma in Valuation & Surveying
"My overall SP Experience instilled intrinsic qualities of sheer hard work, drive and determination to succeed. In particular the course requires me to secure an attachment to a professional of Chartered Surveyors in Singapore. It was physically and mentally exhaustive routine, but it provided me with a wealth of working experience which no college or university could provide in the same measure in addition to exposure in interacting with fellow consultants and clients in the Real Estate Industry."
Life was tough for Edmund Tie when he was a student at the Singapore Polytechnic in 1967. There he was, in the Prince Edward Campus, attending Architecture classes and feeling stressed by the mathematical calculations in Structural Design.
He could have dropped out and foregone that degree in Architecture. Instead he took his best option, that of studying for a diploma in Valuation Surveying, even though it would entail more pain, like, working in the day as a trainee valuer with a chartered surveyor firm for the paltry sum of $75 , and attending classes at night for four years.
He says: "I spent six years in the Polytechnic, trying to balance work with studies. From 9 to 5, there were site inspections and reports to write; from 6 to 10 at night, there were classes. Those early days were tough but have nonetheless made me a far better professional all round." He was one of the four who graduated, out of the class of forty.
With his tremendous drive, he rose quickly in his career, doing everything that needed to be done - from site inspections, drafting of reports and making legal searches to managing property. At every point, he received better offers from competitors and industry recognition from his peers.
Apart from his illustrious career, Mr Tie is a prominent figure in the community for his voluntary services to charities like Community Chest. He chaired its Real Estate & Construction Committee and the organisation of its Charity Gala for three years, raising a record $1 million in 1997. He has also served in several Boards and is currently a member of the National Heritage Board.