The benefits reaped from an enriching university experience is contingent on a personal effort to make the most of one’s time in university. Nanyang Technological University (NTU) identifies with this notion and encourages students to make a conscious effort to question and to learn.
Mentored by dedicated top-notch professors, NTU students are groomed to co-own, co-drive and co-create a valuable student experience. We talk to three passionate and enterprising NTU Scholarship holders, all of whom are ready to forge their own paths in their chosen fields.
What sparked your interest in your course of study?
Roysmond Sim: I was initially offered the Nanyang Scholarship that would sponsor my bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics and subsequently my master’s degree in financial engineering. I knew that those qualifications would have been able to send me soaring in a career that commanded a good starting salary.
However, I wanted a career that would be fulfilling, and identified a teaching career as one that would best be able to help me balance the dual priorities of work and life. I thus took up the MOE Teaching Internship Programme with Montfort Secondary School. It was then that I realised my ability to connect with the students and the sense of fulfilment I derived from doing so.
Sim Zhen Wei
NTU-NIE Teaching Scholars Programme
Studying: Bachelor of Science (Education), Nanyang Technological University
Pang Si Hui: When I worked at the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), I saw many children and youth who were victims of adversity and unfavourable social circumstances. I also saw how workers who read psychology were able to make a difference in the children’s lives, and I felt inspired to do the same.
While I was at NCSS, I also analysed income trends and tried my hand at formulating the criteria that would allow a family unit to qualify for a certain programme. My decision to take up a second major in Economics stemmed from the desire to make more informed decisions in that aspect.
Michele Tan: I was initially interested in architecture but later felt a stronger inclination towards mathematics and science. I thus chose to take up civil engineering and picked a second major in business because I was drawn towards the vast array of career prospects it would give me.
What is unique about your educational journey at NTU?
Roysmond: My NTU-NIE Teaching Scholars Programme focuses on three areas. It gives me a more in-depth understanding of Physics as a subject, how it should be taught and the methodology of teaching. Our programme sees us taking various modules associated with the psychological aspects of teaching and the art of conveying the subject in an easy-to-understand manner.
NIE also partners various other schools such as the Institute of Education, a college in the University of London dedicated entirely to education and related areas of social science. Our participation in summer exchange programmes there gives us an insight into their education system, which I hope will help me make a difference in Singapore’s education system.
Si Hui: I am currently participating in the Undergraduate Research Experience on CAmpus (URECA) programme. I am working under Professor Setoh Peipei and our research interest is centered on examining moral development in infants and young children. I am grateful that I am able to gain hands-on research experience as a Research Assistant and I hope to be able to start conducting experiments next semester.
I am also planning to apply for an exchange programme in Year 3, and I am certainly looking forward to learning in a new culture and environment.
Michele Tan Yi Hui
Nanyang Scholarship Holder
Studying: Bachelor of Civil Engineering
with a Second Major in Business,
Nanyang Technological University
Michele: Most of my modules are already fixed due to the nature of my double major programme. This reduces the trouble associated with registering for other electives in order to fulfil my academic unit requirements. I also like how we have the freedom to arrange our lesson timings, making our academic schedules more flexible.
Tell us about some of the school activities you are involved in.
Roysmond: As part of the NTU Catholic Students’ Apostolate (CSA), we went on a mission trip to Cambodia where we reached out to children studying at local public schools. We taught them English because we felt that doing so would help them break out of the poverty cycle.
At NTU’s Crescent Hall, a residential place on campus which allows students to integrate learning both within and outside the formal curriculum, a bunch of us formed a band called Crescendo. We recently performed at two events, one during Halloween and the other during the biannual Exam Welfare Pack giveaway. I am glad to be able to bring people together through music and contribute to creating a family-oriented hall culture.
Si Hui: I am in the NTU-Christian Fellowship and my committee organised the Janitors’ Appreciation Programme (JAP) recently to become acquainted with the janitors in school and to show our appreciation for them. We set up a booth for students to write notes of appreciation to our janitors, and also organised events for us to interact with both hall and school janitors over food and drinks. We managed to cobble bits of sentences together to strike a conversation and I picked up a bit of Malay as a result!
Pang Si Hui
Nanyang Scholarship Holder
Studying: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a Second Major in Economics,
Nanyang Technological University
I was also the project leader for the Volunteer Connect Bank (VCB), an IT platform that connects volunteers, corporations and voluntary welfare organisations. I think it is important to find a way to synergise the efforts of all parties, and VCB offers an avenue to do just that. We also hope to cultivate a culture of volunteerism – not just among the NTU population, but also in Singapore’s wider society.
Michele: As a member of the NTU Outdoor Adventure Club, I get to tread forests and tunnels in Singapore to source for routes for the next Adventure Trail Challenge ― an annual sub-urban adventure race. I am the secretary and treasurer of the club and I take charge of all welfare matters as well. I find this extremely fulfilling as I get to experience university life beyond the classroom.
What do you look forward to in the future?
Roysmond: As scholars, we have succeeded in the education system. But what about those who did not become scholars? Teaching is not just about grooming scholars but about shaping individuals. I hope to effect a change in the lives of young people so that they may contribute positively to society.
Si Hui: I would like to work in a field related to social services. Goals tend to be fluid and a lot can change in one or two years, but I know I am interested in working with children, youth and families. I am glad that I am able to learn more about human behaviour in school and understand why we think the way we do.
Michele: I hope to go into the civil engineering or business sector. I feel that one should be optimistic and forward-looking in order to do well in NTU and in life. There is little point in looking at past mistakes and mulling over what happened or what didn’t – what is most important is that we pick ourselves up and learn from our mistakes.