If you seem to get a sense of deja vu while on campus, you might just be noticing the pair of sisters we have at SUTD— Geraldine and Jolene Quek. Geraldine is one of SUTD’s pioneers that have just graduated, while Jolene is starting her Sophomore year. What is it like to go to school with your sister?
Geraldine (Graduate, Architecture and Sustainable Design (ASD)) and Jolene (Sophomore, Engineering Systems and Design (ESD)), are both cheery, jovial and full of laughter as we met up for a quick chat with the sisters. Asking them to share more about themselves, it’s clear that they have many common passions and hobbies. Both enjoy music and singing. Interestingly, the sisters have recently started a new gathering on campus— yoga. “We started doing yoga at the hostel rooftop. We have some girls that join us to do it together, and we’re really enjoying it!”
For Geraldine and Jolene, life is not dramatically different even if they go to the same university. “Our parents just need to send us to one place!” they quipped. Like many of the students here, their time is full with classes and projects. Geraldine is usually busy at the studio, so Jolene would ask if she’d like some “da pao” food, during the busiest times of the term.
One of the biggest challenges for Geraldine was the move from the Dover Campus to the new East Coast Campus. She felt that the atmosphere changed somehow, during the final term at Dover, as if the students were quietly anticipating the big change and were not entirely sure what to expect. The moment quickly passed when school started at the East Coast Campus proper. There was a buzz and energy in the air, and surely everyone felt it. Geraldine shared that “It was exciting. Everybody was here. We have a new campus. For my final year, I wanted to make a change as well, to have a more balanced life and not just work all day. It’s been an exciting and rewarding year here!”
“You have to create it yourself. Nobody is going to tell you to do things.” – Geraldine
Our culture here at SUTD is one of the things the sisters enjoy most about life here on campus. Geraldine shared, “I would tell people to just do what you want. Go for it. You will find people who’ll support your cause or project.” It is this attitude of openness, experimentation and can-do attitude that many of us love about SUTD.
Looking to the future, Geraldine will be pursuing her Masters degree at SUTD. Jolene has always been interested in airports and would love to explore an internship with Changi Airport. When asked what advice she had for her juniors and fellow SUTD students, Geraldine was clear that it was about the culture for her.
“Preserve our culture. Keep it lively and kind. We’re very current with the times. We seek to be on the edge. We’re always pushing and breaking that boundary. That’s the cool part about SUTD. That’ll always be changing. What’s most important is for us to be supportive of each other. We’re in this together!” – Geraldine