Yap Sune Aik is an SIT Mid-Term Scholar, currently pursuing a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Mechanical Design and Manufacturing Engineering in Singapore Institute of Technology - Newcastle University.
Contrary to the image of a scholar, Yap Sune Aik did not study much during his polytechnic days. Hence, he was humbled and grateful when the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) accepted him into their Bachelor of Engineering programme, and vowed to do his best to repay the institution that had taken a chance on him.
His efforts paid off magnificently – he was awarded the prestigious SIT Mid-Term Scholarship, which will absorb the remainder of his school fees without an attached bond commitment.
“I feel that there are two main reasons people pursue a scholarship,” he outlined. “One: To ease the financial load in university to allow students to fully concentrate on their studies. And two: as a form of recognition of the hard work that students have put in.”
A Degree Programme Unlike Any Other
“I chose SIT because the university emphasises a hands-on learning approach instead of textbook learning,” Sune Aik told us. “Applied learning allows students to brainstorm and create solutions to solve real-life problems. It allows us to cultivate new, relevant skills that could be necessary for our industry. Despite being a relatively new university, I was attracted to the modules provided for the degree programme.”
Other than the well-curated curriculum, he was also fascinated with other facets of an SIT education. His cohort only consists of approximately 70 students, and they will continue to study together throughout the programme, sharing the same classes and the same timetable. There were also overseas study opportunities, and so he ventured into the United Kingdom for the Overseas Immersion Programme (OIP), a key facet of SIT’s overseas university degree programmes.
Sune Aik is full of fond recollections about his time in the UK. “During our three weeks of the OIP, we got to enjoy living together and attended classes together taught by professors from the Newcastle University,” he reminisced. “We had an inter-disciplinary group project where we worked together with students from other joint-degree courses like Electrical Power Engineering, Marine and Offshore Engineering, and Chemical Engineering where we had to design a car model based on recycled materials. This allowed us to interact, work with and create ideas with peers from different engineering disciplines.”
He was also appreciative of the professors and lecturers, who always made time for their students. This included a special shout-out to Associate Professor Steven Tay, Degree Programme Director, Energy and Sustainability, Newcastle University. “He has helped all the students tremendously throughout our journey in SIT. Despite his busy schedules, he will always try to make time to offer consultation sessions for the students,” Sune Aik enthused.
Such a thorough and gruelling programme means that SIT can only award its scholarships to the truly exceptional. Though Sune Aik is humble about his own achievements, he is quick to assert that an SIT Scholar needs more than just good grades.
“An SIT scholar should be genuine, helpful and possess a positive mindset when facing challenges,” he outlined to us. “Being a good leader does not only take place in a workplace setting, but also personally. In the competitive world today, leadership skills are essential for management to help businesses.”
“The ability to influence people to strive and work hard in achieving the team’s goal is important in every company.”
It goes without saying that such characteristics are necessary for SIT’s prospective students and scholars as well. The university adopts a holistic evaluation for admission, which includes an interview. For that, Sune Aik advised: “The interview focuses on the holistic approach where relevant experience on the programme that you are applying for could help, regardless of the polytechnic results that you have achieved in the past.”
“Be confident during the interview and show your passion.”