A holistic education defines the pedagogy at Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore). With a myriad of programmes catered to the interests of each and every student, young talents of all passions are given the opportunities they need to bloom.
Two of these young talents are Aerospace Engineering student Smrithi Keerthivarman and Accountancy (with a minor in Strategic Communication) student Leong Wei Ming, who are both also Nanyang Scholarship holders. The Nanyang Scholarship recognises students of all disciplines who excel academically as well as outside of the classroom. For Aerospace Engineering student Smrithi, she is also a beneficiary of the CN Yang Scholars Programme (CNYSP), a Premier Scholars Programme that aims to empower students with a deep passion for science and engineering through research opportunities.
Today, we talk to these two individuals with largely different ambitions and learn all about their undergraduate and scholarship journey at NTU.
What made you choose to study at NTU?
Smrithi Keerthivarman: I received an offer from the Georgia Institute of Technology first and had almost accepted it. After being given admission to NTU’s renowned Aerospace Engineering programme, I was offered the CNYSP together with the Nanyang Scholarship.
I suppose the real game changer was a tea session held by the distinguished faculty of the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. After interacting with them, I understood that NTU had my best interests in mind and was committed to helping me pursue my dreams. NTU basically gave me the best of both worlds, since the professors were willing to let me spend two semesters in Georgia Tech or any other university of my choice.
Leong Wei Ming: I chose NTU because of its beautiful campus, supportive environment and established programmes. The professors here are passionate and will go to great lengths to educate, while students here are generally friendly and helpful. This makes for a very conducive environment for learning and growing.
Furthermore, NTU offers an excellent Accountancy course because of its rigorous syllabus. The Nanyang Business School is also one of the top business schools in Asia with many successful alumni who make time to provide us with guidance.
Nanyang Scholarship holder
CN Yang Scholars Programme
Bachelor of Engineering in Aerospace Engineering
What benefits do you receive from your scholarship?
Smrithi: Apart from the monetary benefits of the Nanyang Scholarship, I also benefit from the CNYSP which offers several other opportunities. CNYSP gives students a strong grounding in Science and Math via a rigorous curriculum for the first two years, and continues to promote research experience at every stage of the journey. The CNYSP office generously supports our academic and research endeavours, enabling students to follow their passions rather than feel held back by the lack of funding or resources.
Wei Ming: For us Nanyang Scholarship holders, our subsidised school fees are fully covered and we receive an allowance of $3,000 per semester along with a one-off laptop allowance and book allowance. On top of that, we are given $2,000 allowance for accommodation in the NTU hostel. I am also given a $5,000 overseas exchange grant and priority for exchange programmes.
Leong Wei Ming
Nanyang Scholarship holder
Bachelor of Accountancy with a Minor in Strategic Communication
Share with us some highlights during your time as a scholarship holder in NTU.
Smrithi: I attended Georgia Tech in the US as an exchange student in Spring 2016, a school that is rated amongst the best Aerospace schools in the US. For the space enthusiast in me, attending classes at the world renowned Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering was a dream come true.
I will also be returning to Georgia Tech to undertake an aerospace research project as my Final Year Project (FYP) in 2017 with the support of NTU and CNYSP. This is going to be an extremely exciting opportunity because I will be one of the first scholars to undertake an overseas FYP. I look forward to returning to Georgia Tech and doing NTU proud.
Wei Ming: I had an internship at Lexcompass LLC where I was attached to a Lawyer who handled Syariah, Civil, Criminal and Commercial Law. I was a Legal Secretary, managing court and client schedules and documents, taking notes in court, and doing legal research to draft affidavits.
The highlight of my time was my experience at a high court hearing for a capital offence. It was then that I discovered the rigour and preparation necessary to present legal documents and the passion needed in order to flourish in the Law industry.
What would you say to future NTU students and scholars?
Smrithi: This is one of the best decisions I have ever made. CNYSP is suitable for students who have a predisposition and passion for science and engineering because it supports their endeavours in their areas of passion. If I had to make a decision again, I would definitely still pick this path. I have gained so much both from NTU and Georgia Tech, so I would definitely recommend this path to any student eager to make the most from their undergraduate years.
Wei Ming: Do something to differentiate yourself from your peers – be it through a leadership role, internship, or co-curricular activity! It is also important to remember that life is much more than just studies, so always leave room for those whom you consider your pillars of support.