Top poly graduates choose work over university
These top students from Singapore Polytechnic's graduating cohort of 2017 would rather gain experience first
They are top graduates from Singapore Polytechnic's (SP) graduating cohort of 5,600 this year.
Yet they will not be pursuing a degree anytime soon.
They have chosen to work first to gain industry experience.
Miss Esther Tan, 24, and Miss Chong Han Lyn, 20, are Institutional Medallists.
Miss Tracy Ong, 19, won the Batey Scholar Award, and was mentored under brand guru Ian Batey, who came up with the concept of the Singapore Girl for Singapore Airlines.
Miss Chong, who is working with media agency Starcom, said she does not feel that a degree is necessary for her career in the industry.
The former media and communication student said: "A degree might matter when it comes to promotion.
"But my company has directors who do not have degrees and they are on the same level as degree holders."
Miss Ong also studied media and communication and did a four-month internship with advertising agency Arcade.
She said: "My internship experience made me realise that you do not need studies to get you far. You just need to learn fast and adapt.
"That makes you more valuable than someone who holds a degree but does not have the skills nor the ability to adapt quickly."
Miss Tan, who studied creative writing for TV and new media, was made an assistant director during her internship at production company Big 3 Media.
No other intern had taken on the role before.
She said: "Since my company gave me a foot into the industry and people are willing to invest trust in me, I think working first is a good path to take."
Miss Tan added that the company's culture is quite good.
The role challenged her to step out of her comfort zone, and Miss Tan joked that she even developed a scary alter ego in the demanding production field.
The graduates are not ruling out university completely, but may do so to explore other fields of study, such as visual communications or film.
Miss Chong said that pursuing a degree appealed to her because she enjoys learning.
She said: "You can learn on your own but it will take a lot of discipline.
"University still gives you a platform to expand your knowledge."
But all three are happy where they are now.
Miss Chong said: "School is always there, but the job may not always be there.
"If you let go of your job, it may not come back to you."