Ambassador for Beijing Cultural Exchange Programme
Led and participated 2 terms of IDEERS (Introducing Demonstrating Earthquake Engineering for Schools) teams to competition in Taiwan
Class of 2011,DCEM, Singapore Polytechnic, School of ABE
At age 15, I failed 7 out of 8 subjects dropping from the Express to the Normal (Academic) stream. Upon completing my ‘O’ levels, I saw no point in furthering my education as my priority was financial independence.
When I was serving my National Service, I saw one of my closest NS mates struggling to support his shotgun marriage earning $800/month as a delivery man. I questioned myself. “How will I be able to support my family with just an ‘O’ level certificate? What is my purpose in life?”
I realized I needed an education to pursue my dreams and eventually support my family. As I was searching for my answers on which Diploma should I pursue, I came to light that I have a strong sense of satisfaction upon completing any projects that I undertake. Coupled with my strong interest in physics and mathematics, I chose Civil Engineering.
Till today, people are still asking me, “Why Civil Engineering? It’s a sunset industry and it’s a dirty job, why?”
My answer towards Civil Engineering as a sunset industry has always been, it’s a misconception or even a fallacy that people think Civil Engineering is a sunset industry in a developed country. Even if our country remains economically stagnant, Civil Engineers are still needed to maintain the buildings; furthermore, Singapore is a nation with an ambitious population target. A target which requires infrastructures, residential buildings, entertainment centres, etc. to sustain.
Towards my choice of Civil Engineering, there is no other job in the world that is able to provide me with such a sense of satisfaction. Something tangible, something which we can touch and feel and say that “I am part of this!” at the end of the day. Seeing a project grows, is like seeing a child grows, I can be at my 70s or even leave this world one day but a part of me stays with the projects I’ve worked for. Taking a bridge construction for example, I know that the bridge would stand hundreds of years, providing convenience to motorists 24/7. I have always picture myself driving through a bridge that I’ve constructed, with my family at age 60, telling my children, “I am part of this! Though I will leave this world one day, I know that my children, grand children, great grand children, etc. will benefit from this monumental structure!” Though dirty at times, I can confidently say that, no other jobs can provide such a sense of satisfaction and achievement as strong as Civil Engineering.
School of Architecture and Built Environment was part of Singapore Polytechnic since establishment. Being the oldest polytechnic in Singapore literally translates to a strong heritage and experience to its course offered. I think my choice of polytechnic can be sum up in a phrase, “If you want to learn, learn from the best.” SP does not provide us with just a formal education but a holistic environment for a student to grow. You can be a Harvard Scholar but if you posses a poor social, leadership and managing skills, you will be just as any other ordinary employee. Through international competitions, exchange programs, CCA clubs, etc. I graduated Singapore Polytechnic life ready, work ready, world ready!
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