Two of Our Top Poly Students, Through Their Lecturer’s Eyes
by Ashraf Aris
Vani (left) with TP’s CapitaLand Award for All-Round Excellence winner, Jason Yong
Although it has been almost three years, Vani, DES Deputy Director, still remembers what it was that impressed her about then-freshman and Communication Design student, Jason Yong.
“It’s his passion for design. It’s rare for students of that age to have a very clear idea of the career path they want to pursue but Jason was one of them,” said Vani.
“He was so determined to be enrolled in the best Communication Design course that he was willing to spend almost two hours daily travelling from his Jurong West home to TP. When I asked him if all that travelling tired him out, he said that he welcomed the time spent on his commute as it allowed him to sketch and think about ideas for his projects.”
On top of his rigorous project-based curriculum, Jason still found the time to take on numerous industry projects as well as play a significant role in DES’ many outreach activities.
“He never said no when approached to take on additional projects. Jason always embraced and welcomed these as opportunities for growth without expecting any rewards in return,” said Vani.
Even when he received remuneration for two of his projects, with Levi’s and the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Jason generously donated all of his earnings to the School of Design Project Fund, which was set up to help needy DES students.
Jason’s Levi’s project also happened to be one of the proudest memories Vani has of him.
“Together with another course mate of his, Jason had to paint two live-sized Levi’s icons on a wall measuring 4 metres by 3 metres at the Levis outlet at ION Orchard – and this was when he had just completed his freshman year,” Vani recalled.
“His work was so amazing that passers-by just stood there watching him in awe as he painted. I’m delighted that Jason has been awarded the CapitaLand Award for All-Round Excellence. Truly deserving.”
Poh Bee (left) with Lee Kong Chian Award winner, Charis Sim
Charis Sim enrolled into TP with an incredible O-Level score of 3 points and will graduate with her Diploma in Law & Management with an equally impressive 28 distinctions, three A’s and a perfect cumulative GPA of 4.0.
BUS’ Lim Poh Bee, who taught Charis during her early years in TP, remembered her as an enthusiastic student.
“She was always determined to do well in her studies and during her time in TP, she learned to balance her priorities and developed into the pleasant and personable young lady she is today,” said Poh Bee.
It is this balance that allowed Charis to achieve her stellar results while juggling two demanding CCA roles – as the TP’s Debates Club president and the honorary secretary for TP Enactus.
Under her guidance, the TP Debates team took first and second places, sweeping all available awards including Best Speaker, at the Inter-Polytechnic Debates Championship. It was the first time since 2008 that the championship trophy was brought back to TP.
Charis’ achievements come as no surprise to Poh Bee.
“Despite her excellent academic performance, she’s always willing to receive guidance from her teachers and listen to feedback in order to continue to improve herself,” said Poh Bee.
Charis did her Student Internship Programme (SIP) at Kalco Law LLC, which opened her eyes to the realities of family law, and from then on made it her goal to eventually join or start a firm that provides affordable legal services and free workshops to benefit the community.
“Her SIP employers cited Charis as being a responsible individual, who contributed well to their trial cases, as well as produced excellent draft affidavits and submissions,” shared Andrew Chia, another of Charis’ lecturers.
“They went on to describe Charis as a pleasant person who is a team player and is able to adapt and work well with people.”