Being a YTL Foundation Scholar meant a lot of things: scholar camps before the start of every academic year, regular coaching sessions with our scholar coach – Helen, summer internships with YTL and the opportunity to meet and be inspired by wonderful peers. The entire programme was structured to ensure I was able to excel academically while building meaningful connections with people and acquiring useful skills that can be brought to my working life.
To name a few highlights, I still remember how we played water sports for team building at my very first scholar camp. I also think back to my second year of internship at FrogAsia. In the course of just six weeks, I was given the opportunity to dive into social media analytics, learn how to film and direct videos as well as research and prepare leadership training material. It was an exciting time to see how the skills I’d acquired in university could be applied to solve real-life problems. My colleagues were also very enthusiastic about taking me to explore different lunch spots around town. The experience was undoubtedly positive since I’ve landed myself back in FrogAsia after my degree. Three years in and I’m still finding many opportunities to continue growing and developing myself.
My choice of degree in Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Oxford has been perhaps rather unconventional (there were only 10 of us in my year at university!). However, grasping how language and mindsets work has helped me better understand and empathise with people in general. Moreover, the rigorous academic environment meant that I developed the ability to be resourceful, to know how and where to find the information I needed even without prior knowledge of a subject. Both of these things have proven to be extremely useful for my current role in an educational technology company.
My department heavily focuses on managing and producing the educational content published by the company such as lessons, quizzes, etc. Therefore, being able to understand and empathise with our target demographic (i.e. public school students), especially their language challenges, has been very valuable in shaping the content we release. Moreover, as a Project Executive, I am expected to adapt to a wide range of tasks, both within and outside of my department. What all of them have required is a willingness and ability to learn new things in a short span of time.
It took a while to get used to the pace and unpredictability of working life, compared to the structured pathways and fixed deadlines as a student. I’ve had to learn how to bring abstract ideas and creative explorations into something that can be actioned upon and applied in a business setting. These are all skills that I am still developing. But it is an exciting time in education to be exploring and growing one’s self, since the field itself is evolving greatly as a result of the pandemic. I am looking forward to seeing where this wave will take me.
For those of you who are interested in exploring being a part of the YTL Family, prepare yourself to be challenged and stretched. That being said, know that you will be supported and invested in your scholarship experience. If your journey is anything like mine, you can expect to look forward to friendship, growth, challenges and support - both as a student and in the workplace.