We welcome guest writer Zhongyi Ho from Year 13 to tell us more about the KLASSics Alumni Sharing event last week.
"It is always exciting for alumni to visit and share their experiences - and this first KLASSics Konfidential sharing session with Zhi Yan, Lee and Valerie Ho is no exception. Zhi Yan, Lee (KLASS 2018-2020) is a third year BA Chemical Engineering via Natural Sciences undergraduate at the Pembroke College, University of Cambridge. Valerie Ho has just graduated with her LLB Law from the University of Warwick. Both of them are our scholars. Zhi Yan is the first recipient of The Alice Smith School Foundation’s Tertiary Study Grant while Valerie is a CIMB scholar. As our former seniors, we look up to them a lot as we understand that they have gone through a rigorous academic journey in school which we are currently going through.
The sharing session started off with a brief overview of a day in their life as a first-year undergraduate student when they first started their university journey. I particularly enjoyed this part of the talk as it allowed me to visualise the differences between being in school and being in university; from this section, I’ve come to a realisation that teachers play a bigger role in schools, whereas being in university means more self-guided and independent learning, as well as having the need to manage time wisely.
This sharing session was then followed by a Q&A session. I could see how enthusiastic and eager our students were by seeing the many questions our students asked during this session. The talk was well attended by our secondary students from various year groups.
One question that particularly stood out for me was a question from a Year 12 student who asked for ways to stand out as a university applicant. As a Year 13 student myself, I find the responses from both Zhi Yan and Valerie to be very practical and insightful; the key takeaways are to firmly know why one is applying for the course, to be involved in any super-curricular activities (super-curricular activities are learning a subject beyond what one has learnt at school or college), and to ensure personalising one’s personal statement by including personal experiences instead of just solely relying on generalised statements. Through the way both alumni speakers spoke about their subjects, I could tell that passion for a chosen course really matters as I could feel Zhi Yan and Valerie radiating their passion for Chemical Engineering and Law respectively. I believe that once a passion for a course is established, one will be naturally inclined and motivated to learn more about all things related to the course.
With these various experiences the alumni speakers shared, I, along with all the other students, have gained insights into how to prepare ourselves for what the future is beholding. Listening to Zhi Yan’s talk inspired me to follow my passion in a certain course, and listening to Valerie’s talk reassured me that we will figure things out along the way. This KLASSics Konfidential sharing session is a very productive and motivating session, and I couldn’t thank the alumni speakers and KLASSics Alumni Association enough for organising this session and providing us with such a great opportunity to gain insights into what university life looks like!"