Pursuing Careers

Alex

 

Alex Chua
Founder and Managing Director, Polygems Dental Care
Diploma in Biomedical Science (2016)


 “Becoming a dentist is a way of remembering my father,” Dr. Alex Chua told Straits Times 6 years ago when he became the first ever poly graduate to clinch a place in NUS Dentistry. His truck driver father died when he was just 12, and Dr. Chua still fondly remembers his toothless grin. Since his enrolment in NUS, he has graduated and is now the first polytechnic graduate in Singapore to become a dentist.

The top performer of Swiss Cottage Secondary School at both ‘N’ Levels and ‘O’ Levels examinations picked SP’s Diploma in Biomedical Science (DBS) as his first and only choice during his Joint Admission Exercise (JAE).

Back then, he picked the polytechnic route for practical reasons – he needed a flexible timetable that allowed him to work part time. He had to juggle several jobs to put himself through school and support his family. He also needed a course that can let him excel and fulfil his dreams to become a dentist. SP’s DBS allowed him to gain fundamental research skills for his medical studies later on in life.

Dr. Chua not only did well – he excelled. Besides juggling his studies and part-time jobs – giving tuition, working in fast-food outlets and as a security guard – he even found time to volunteer at orphanages and old folks’ homes, and also obtained the National Youth Achievement Awards (NYAA) Gold Award. He graduated with a diploma with merit, and was admitted to NUS under the Exceptional Individual Admissions Scheme in 2009.


 



Esther Tan
Assistant Director, Big 3 Media
Diploma in Creative Writing for TV and New Media (2017)
 

Seeing her dreams in motion

You might have laughed at the funny moments in SP’s own web series, The Leon Theory, without realising the hard work put in by Esther Tan behind the scenes.

As part of her 22-week internship with Big 3 Media, Esther 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, who is also an Institutional Medallist, hopes to accumulate hands-on experience and learn more about the media industry before pursuing further studies.




Crystal Wong
User Interface Artist, Bandai Namco
Diploma in Digital Animation (2016)
 

Earning her stripes at Bandai Namco

Playing games for work would be the dream for many. For Crystal Wong, life as an artist at Bandai Namco sees her playing games at work as she has to design and implement user interfaces such as menus and displays in a game.

Crystal’s career started when she was an intern at Bandai Namco. Crystal impressed her bosses with her impressive work on the game “Pokken Tournament” and they offered her a job after her internship ended.  

Crystal attributes her successful career to her meaningful time in SP. Her lecturers equipped her with the knowledge and understanding of digital animation and the latest technologies in the market, which gave her an edge over her peers.




Fenny Aw
Assistant Operations Manager, Kingsmen
Diploma in Integrated Events and Project Management (2015)
 

Bringing events to life

The 2015 Southeast Asian Games and the Louis Vuitton Kim Jones pop-up store in Bangkok are some of the memorable events that Fenny has worked on during her two years with Kingsmen, a leading communication design and production group.

Liaising with designers and suppliers, managing of profit and loss, responding to clients, and overseeing the set-up of events are some of the daily excitement in Fenny’s job. 

However, Fenny almost did not think that she was suitable for the events industry. Back in SP, she disliked and almost failed a module due to her weakness in Math. But, with the encouragement of her lecturer, Mr Fan Ay Deng (in picture), Fenny managed to pull through that module and graduate. Fenny also acknowledges that experienced lecturers such as Ay Deng, who came from the industry, prepared her well for work after graduation.

 




Vicki Lau
Vicki mainly works as a visual effects compositor, but lately, she's been venturing into Virtual Reality
Diploma in Digital Media (2011)
 

Handprints on Hollywood

You've probably watched Vicki Lau's work many times in the past few years without realising it. This is because her visual effects magic can be found in top movies and TV series across a wide spectrum of genres. The Walking Dead, Grey's Anatomy, Parks & Recreation, Independence Day 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy are just some of the hits she's worked on.

This Diploma in Digital Media graduate left SP in 2011 as an Institutional Medallist, and in the past five years since, has been furthering her studies and working as a freelancer in California, USA.

In May 2016, Vicki had the chance to share her knowledge at the TEDxNapaValley conference.




Shun Ng
Professional Musician
Diploma in Music and Audio Technology (2010)
 

Taking The World By Storm

Shun Ng worked very hard and cherished every opportunity given to him. After SP, he realised his dream and went on to enrol at Berklee College of Music. Shun said, “When I first graduated from SP, I told myself to dream big. I advise all SP graduates to not be afraid to take the world by storm. Be creative and daring. You are equipped with the right skills, use them and be the best that you can be.”

His time at SP prepared him with the knowledge and understanding of music recording and music synthesis, which gave him an edge over his peers at Berklee. His practical abilities in music and audio technology also gave him an advantage over other students who came from a more theoretical music background.

In June 2016, Shun Ng was presented with the prestigious Songmasters' 2016 Holly Prize at the Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.




Shirdeen Chow Xue Tian
Fleet Management Executive, SIA Engineering Company Ltd (SIAEC)
Diploma in Aerospace Electronics (2006)
 

Career Took Flight

“I count my blessings every day. I have been given an opportunity to do what I want as well as learn and improve in the process. What more can I ask for?”

Graduating from the pioneer batch of SP’s Diploma in Aerospace Electronics, Shirdeen certainly felt prestige, honour and great responsibility.

Upon her graduation from SP, she was invited by the SIA Engineering Company (SIAEC) to join the apprenticeship scheme as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer. She became a full-fledged licensed Aircraft Engineer in 2008. She then pursued a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) at Coventry University and graduated with flying colours in March 2013. She was later promoted to Planning Executive from her role as a Licensed Engineer.




Justin Tan, 25
Co-founder and Creative Director of Design and Innovation Agency APT811
Diploma in Creative Media Design (2009)
 

"Design is not just about creating perceived value or beautifying things. There is more to it. To truly
understand how different cultures can come together using design, or to improve processes or things around me, I needed to experience it first-hand. I had to go out there and see how things were done."

This thirst for knowledge has pushed him to take extraordinary steps during his time in school. Today, he co-owns his own Design and Innovation Agency APT811 and even makes the time to mentor his juniors from SP.

Read more.




Fauziah Ally
Research Officer at the Institute of
Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB)
Diploma in Biomedical Science
 

Aiming for her PhD

Fauziah Ally took the brave step of entering the Diploma in Biomedical Science (DBS) despite not having studied biology in secondary school. She worked extra hard to understand her lessons in SP, and eventually went on to read biology in Nanyang Technological University, graduating with a first class honours degree. Today, she is a research officer at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), an institute under the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A * STAR). She aims to study for her PhD in future.

Read more.




Dr Alex Chua Koon Ting
Diploma in Biomedical Science (2007)
 

First Poly Grad to be a dentist

"Becoming a dentist is a way of remembering my father," Dr Alex Chua told the Straits Times six years ago when he became the first ever poly graduate to earn a place in NUS Dentistry. His father died when he was just 12, and it was his toothless grin that inspired Alex towards his dream.

Since then, he has graduated and is now a fully-fledged dentist, the first polytechnic graduate in Singapore to do so.

The top performer at Swiss Cottage Secondary School for both his 'N' and 'O' Levels picked SP's Diploma in Biomedical Science (DBS) as his first and only choice during his Joint Admission Exercise (JAE). In SP, he made use of the school's flexible timetable for lessons, juggling several jobs while studying to fund his schooling expenses while supporting his family. Not only did he manage to excel despite his many commitments (such as giving tuition, working in fast-food outlets and being a security guard); he also found time to volunteer at orphanages and old folks' homes, and obtained the National Youth Achievement Awards (NYAA) Gold Award.

To his juniors in SP, the young dentist has this to say: “Put aside all eyes of judgement; focus on your dreams and work hard towards it!"




Ng Tian Hwee (2008)
Reuben Shuan Raman (2010)
Mandric Tan (2009)
(Not in photo)
Founders of SoundFarm
Diploma in Music & Audio Technology
 

SoundFarm

Two careers tend to worry parents of enthusiastic children more than anything else: music and entrepreneurship. Yet these three DMAT graduates have done both and come out smelling like roses. SoundFarm is a music production company set up by them in 2009 to provide music recording and audio solutions for live performances and concerts. So far, the business has already worked with more than 100 clients (more than 25 projects a year) ranging from children’s e-book makers to pop music and even church music productions!

Currently, Mandric and Reuben are furthering their education in Berklee College of Music and New York University respectively, with Mandric’s studies being financed by the Berklee Achievement Scholarship and the MES scholarship from the Media Development Authority of Singapore.

Photo source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.




Patrick Siah
Owner of W5A
Diploma in Architecture
 "I feel my dyslexia was actually an advantage in SP. It’s said that many dyslexics have a strong ability to visualise things in 3D, and I know that personally, I was able to learn very quickly in classes involving 3D elements."

He’s well-built, trained to design buildings well, and has a winning smile that’ll melt any client he meets. Diploma in Architecture graduate Patrick Siah seems to have it all. He’s even recently started his own interior business, W5A, named after the architecture block in SP where he spent three memorable years. Make no mistake though. What Patrick has gained, he has earned.

Read more.

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