Tan Hui Tian Esther

Writing her way to success

  • Tan Kay Yong Gold Medal
  • Singapore Press Club Gold Medal
  • The Diploma-Plus Book Prize

Esther Tan Hui Tian has been passionate about writing since her days in Jurong Secondary School.  When she learnt of Singapore Polytechnic (SP)’s Diploma in Creative Writing for TV and New Media (DTVM) course, she knew that it was her dream course but family and societal pressures made her choose the junior college route instead.

When her GCE ‘A’ Levels results were released, Esther was dejected as she didn’t do well enough to enrol in a local university to pursue her interest in writing. Undeterred, she retook the GCE ‘A’ Levels as a private candidate but failed to qualify once again.

While deliberating over her options, she attended SP’s Open House and met friendly and assuring lecturers, encouraging her to pursue her dream course.  Upon enrolling into the course, the conducive learning environment and great friends laid to rest her initial worries of being older than her peers and being labelled an ‘A-Levels failure’.

At SP, the budding writer bloomed. Her documentary “Heartware” which explored the topic of the aging population in Singapore was nominated in the Best Documentary, Best Editing and Best Camerawork categories at the National Youth Film Awards and was featured in two international film festivals!

As part of the SP Outstanding Talent Programme, Esther was given the opportunity to develop her personal and leadership skills with an overseas learning trip to Shangri La. The experience with the local villagers and helping them with their daily chores humbled her and helped her realise the essentials of a happy life.

Not forgetting to keep herself healthy, Esther picked up Tennis in SP. Even though she was new to the sport, Esther trained hard and was rewarded with a 2nd place position in her first competition during her first year of study. Several other prizes followed in the next two years.

One of the highlights in this Model Student’s polytechnic journey was her involvement in writing and producing SP’s very own web series, The Leon Theory. As part of her 22-week internship with Big 3 Media, she was entrusted with the role of the 1st Assistant Director – a role that no intern had previously been given – and assisted with the filming of the web series. Esther’s passion and good work ethics impressed her supervisors so much that they offered her a full-time position which she gladly accepted.

With a meaningful and enriching polytechnic education behind her, Esther hopes to accumulate hands-on experience and learn more about the media industry before pursuing further studies.