Three former polytechnic students share their triumphs and challenges in following where their passion takes them – SUTD.
By Camillus Wee
– Engineering Product Development, Class of 2018 and Former Student of Singapore Polytechnic, Electrical and Electronics Engineering
One of the factors that attracted me most at SUTD is the multi-disciplinary design projects. Working with people from different pillars allowed me to apply what I have learnt in class while getting to know about what my peers were being taught in their respective disciplines. This has broadened my electrical knowledge and honed my adaptability in working with people from different foundations to design a prototype.
The other attraction is the class size. With a smaller student-to-faculty ratio compared to other universities, the professors and lecturers could reach out to students easily and provide more help to those who needs help understanding any problems.
I had a hard time coping in my first year as I had to learn stuff outside of my electrical and electronic engineering diploma. Thankfully, I had friends in class who helped me understand these topics, as well as lecturers whom I could turn to for help in understanding any problems. With their support, I gained confidence and started feeling comfortable learning non-electrical subjects during my EPD pillar years. From there on, I was able to apply both electrical and non-electrical knowledge and skills into my projects.School project with ST Andrew’s Community Hospital
While studying in University can be difficult for polytechnic students, don’t give up as you are not alone and the experience will help you grow. The challenges I faced in my first year strengthened my learning ability and study techniques. With help from friends and lecturers, the SUTD learning style became a lifestyle and I enjoy the freedom in building prototypes for school and personal projects.
Overall, SUTD has enriched my education life and I have friends in Singapore, MIT and other countries. In the end, I have never regretted my choice in applying to SUTD. If you are passionate about something and want to make it a reality, SUTD equips you with the necessary skills, knowledge and tools to help produce what you desire.
By Lam Ying Sheng
– Engineering Systems and Design Sophomore (SUTD-SMU Dual Degree Programme) and Former Student of Singapore Polytechnic, Financial Informatics
Coming from a very different background (Financial Informatics), the different learning style and interactivity at SUTD is very appealing to me. It is not just practical, but involves fusing theory and a scientific way of examining problems. Being able to put what we learn into real world projects with a design objective is a very refreshing change.
I am also particularly attracted by the fact that students can get a lot closer to their professors due to the smaller class sizes. This made classes more engaging for me.
SUTD is full of people who are willing to try something new with you as they are all as curious as you to give it their best shot and see how the results will turn out. My experience has been nothing short of memorable and stellar thus far. From interacting with peers of diverse mind-sets to experimenting with unknowns, I learn something new every single day.
I believe SUTD prepares me for the world well because I don’t just learn something in class and forget about it. I am able to apply it in a very real and raw way. This learning experience has allowed me to better appreciate how ideas from another field could be used to solve problems in another.
By Shaun Phua
– Engineering Product Development Junior and Former Student of Singapore Polytechnic, Mechatronics & Robotics
My most memorable project at SUTD was taking “Introduction to design” with the pioneer batch in 2013 when I was still at Singapore Polytechnic. I will not forget the passion and drive that everyone had. We designed a science exhibition for Singapore Science Centre and I really enjoyed the open ended nature of the project where we were able to do almost anything we wanted. With the guidance of our faculty and Fabrication Lab staff, we were able to fabricate almost anything we could imagine. Through this experience, I was introduced to SUTD. Its unique curriculum and the hands-on learning environment attracted me to eventually apply to SUTD.
To my fellow polytechnic mates who are applying for university, I encourage you to follow your passion, and not be swayed by naysayers. Work hard to differentiate yourself. Above all, choose a course you are genuinely interested in and don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith. As Steve Jobs once said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”