'Big Brother' rediscovers youth, renews confidence and skills after ITE stint

This article was contributed by the Institute of Technical Education (ITE).

Alan Ho Wei Jie
Higher Nitec in Service Management @ ITE College West
Recipient of Lee Kuan Yew Model Trainee Award

Big Brother Triumphs

After his 'O' levels and National Service, Alan Ho took on several jobs in the Business Services sector. However, his career options were always hindered by his qualifications.

Just as he was nearing his forties, his sponsoring company encouraged him to upgrade his skills. Alan jumped at the chance to join ITE’s Traineeship Programme, despite knowing that he could be the oldest student in his cohort.

A highly motivated Alan adapted quickly and got along well with his younger classmates. In fact, his classmates looked up to him as a role model and helpful ‘big brother’.

Now, this 40-year-old is able to perform tasks using Microsoft Excel and Word, and draft correspondences to clients with ease.

The practical skills, which he picked up at ITE, transformed him into a competent Admin Assistant who can shoulder a range of tasks, from administrative and secretarial work, finance and human resource, and even Infocomm Technology.

With renewed confidence in his competencies, Alan aims to excel in his career.

Learning is the Fountain of Youth

Alan said: "It’s never too late to study again! My time in ITE made me re-discover my youth. I feel young again, and look forward to learning and having fun with my classmates.

"In the past, I used to drag my feet to school. Now, it is so refreshing to attend school once or twice a week. There, I can take a breather from work and gain knowledge that I can apply immediately in my job.

"My Class Advisor, Damien Chua, always goes the extra mile to check that we understand difficult concepts. He also guided me on managing group projects.

"I feel energised when I return to office. These transferrable skills help me perform better at work.

"I must also credit my encouraging supervisor, Serene Kek, for providing valuable advice on how to cope with studies and work at the same time.”

Life after ITE

  • Alan intends to apply for a Work-Study Diploma in Business Marketing or IT in a polytechnic.

  • After completing his Diploma, he hopes to use what he learnt to help his company grow.

Top Achievements

  • Despite a long absence from formal studies, Alan maintained high grades in his tests and examinations and graduated with a GPA of 3.22.

  • Within months of being in the company, he has taken on the role of an IT Manager, revamping and maintaining the IT infrastructure, setting up laptops for new employees and researching on solutions to IT problems. When the pandemic hit, he successfully moved the company’s operations online, allowing staff to work from home; and took the lead in liaising with their Malaysia Branch on admin and IT matters.

  • He is also a model employee at work, often going beyond his usual scope of work to assist colleagues, and is willing to put in extra hours during the company’s peak period.

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