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This article was contributed by Singapore Polytechnic.
Graduate: Chiew Kang Lin
Awards: Tay Eng Soon Gold Medal, ST Kinetics Silver Medal
Chiew Kang Lin has come a long way since her secondary school days. Failing the English subject was a norm for the Normal Academic student, and she realised that ingesting theoretical concepts was not her learning style.
Back then, the kinaesthetic learner’s favourite subject was Design and Technology as it allowed her to create functional products and explore the use of complex machines.
Recognising her learning style and interest, the Fuhua Secondary alumna enrolled into the Mechanical Engineering course at ITE College West after her G.C.E ‘N’ Levels, despite being eligible for Secondary 5 with a score of 10 points.
The first three months in ITE was rocky. Due to her good G.C.E ‘N’ Levels score, Kang Lin’s classmates ostracised her. Kang Lin recounts going home in tears often. However, supportive lecturers and friends helped her overcome this challenging period.
The resilient individual also never lost sight of her motto in life – "never give up and push through life’s challenges".
She continued to study hard and eventually graduated from ITE with a perfect GPA of 4.0. She then chose to further her studies in Singapore Polytechnic (SP)’s Diploma in Mechanical Engineering in view of the institution’s esteemed reputation for engineering education.
In SP, Kang Lin was able to build on her Engineering skills and knowledge. She got the chance to intern at ST Kinetics in the Calibration and Dimension department, where she developed a software to automate the process for machine calibrations.
She also underwent a 6-week overseas exchange programme in Chang Chun, China, where she learnt about the various automation systems used by automotive manufacturer FAW Group. There, she learnt how to design programmable logic controller (PLC) diagrams used in factory production as well.
Kang Lin is thankful that her parents never gave up on her. Kang Lin’s father even encouraged her by reminding her that the extra years in the education system has given her more learning opportunities.
Kang Lin has been accepted by Nanyang Technological University to pursue Mechanical Engineering. She wants to work as an Engineer for a few years before becoming a polytechnic or ITE lecturer, as she hopes to inspire and nurture the minds of the younger generation.
Read more about Singapore Polytechnic's top graduates here.