01 July 2014
Imagine the chance to study in one of the world’s top universities and experience living abroad! That was the opportunity given to me and four other Diploma in Business Information Technology (DBIT) students. In March to April 2014, we had the privilege to go for an Overseas Industrial Training Programme (OITP) at University College London (UCL). For those of you who may not know, UCL was ranked as the top 4th university in the World University Rankings 2013.
During our 6 weeks in London, we were wonderfully hosted by Mr. Richard Pettinger, the Director of the BSc/MSci Information Management for Business programme at UCL. Mr. Pettinger is also the External Examiner for our DBIT course.
Mr. Richard Pettinger with 5 of us in front of UCL
Experiencing Student Life at UCL
The UCL students' presentation for
the Critical Analytical Thinking Class
During the first three weeks, we sat in to classes for 3 modules: Human Resource Management, Critical Analytical Thinking, and Business in a Competitive Environment. We found that lessons in UCL are rather similar to lessons in SP except that students there are definitely more vocal-- unafraid to voice opinions and clarify doubts.
DBIT students are able to be directly admitted to the second year of the BSc Information Management for Business course!
Meeting with the CEOs
One of the most memorable events during our 6 weeks OITP was the SAP Conference where we were able to interact with Mr. Bill Dermont, Vice CEO of SAP, one of the world’s top software companies. We were also able to meet other CEOs of startups! We were really inspired listening to their experiences and personal success stories.
Gaining new perspectives through Company Visits
Throughout the 6 weeks of our OITP, we were provided with the chance to visit several MNCs such as GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Capgemeni and E-Skills UK, a government body.
These visits allowed us to learn about the importance of technology in business and gain insights into prospective jobs we could take up in future.
The employees of Capgemeni with us
Working on our Project
During the last 3 weeks of our OITP, we did a Microsoft Research Project that was concurrently being undertaken by the full-time students in UCL. The purpose of having 2 groups doing a similar project was to serve as a comparative study between our findings and the UCL students’. The project required us to conduct market research to determine whether one of their products, the Psion, could be commercially viable again. To us, this was a very unique and exciting project as it enabled us to fully apply knowledge gained from our DBIT course.
This 6 weeks OITP at UCL was truly a great learning experience and exposure for us. It allowed us to be able to be immersed in an entirely new culture as well as experience life as a student in a foreign environment. We are so grateful to be given the opportunity to gain skills and knowledge that will last a lifetime.
So for students going on ITP soon, look out for overseas opportunities. It really is an opportunity that should not be missed!
Finally, we would like to extend our special thanks to Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) for the sponsorship under the IDA Enhanced Learning in Information Technology (ELITe) Programme, Singapore Polytechnic, Ms Wong Shin Yueh (DBIT Course Chair), Mr Ho Kah Hong (ELITe Co-ordinator for SP), Ms Dora Chua (DBIT Course Management Team) and most importantly, University College London, Mr. Richard Pettinger for making all arrangements, hosting and taking care of us, without which this OITP would not have been possible.
This article was written by Tan Wei Xuan, a DBIT Year-3 student.