“Suffer first, enjoy later”
For this avid tinkerer, being able to work on machines in the day and then learn about them in the evening was like a dream come true. However, the reality was not what he had expected.
His first few semesters were tough, especially when he was offered a career opportunity too good to pass up – a mechanical design role, which he really wanted. The challenges of studying part-time while taking on brand new responsibilities at work, compounded by having to be away from home, took a toll on Ezer’s studies.
The diligent engineering student saw his results declining, and was losing his drive – until a phone call with his parents reenergised him. His father told him patiently, “It is alright. There is still time to pull your grades up. We are still proud of you. In life, we must suffer first, to enjoy later.”
A reinvigorated spirit, and leveraging on NUS’ resources
Those words encouraged Ezer to double down on his studies and improve his results. He realised that what NUS offered to its BTech students could be used to his advantage, to regain lost ground.
He began to more closely engage with the lecturers and teaching assistants in the NUS BTech programme. “I would often book their time after lectures, and they would always explain anything I was unsure about in incredible detail – until I fully understood the concepts and information,” he shares, crediting the faculty with helping him to better grasp complex ideas and prepare for examinations.
“The lecturers have a lot of industry experience and are really dedicated to our success,” Ezer notes. “On Saturdays, they would run clinics and go through past-year examination papers with us. For working professionals like me, all this extra help was incredibly useful and really helped to optimise the students’ time.”
Ezer also made use of the comprehensive resources at NUS libraries, and formed close bonds with classmates – especially as they were also working professionals who understood the challenges of juggling work and studies, and importance of cheering each other to the finish line.
As a result of the support he received and also his own efforts, Ezer’s grades shot up. He graduated in early 2021 with 2nd Class (Upper) Honours. Not long after, he discovered an unexpected bonus to having attained the degree he had pursued with vigour for four years.
An exciting next chapter, and an influx of opportunities!
Even before he came to Singapore to advance his studies and career, Ezer had gotten a fairly good idea of the value that NUS offered its students and graduates. He and his peers recognised NUS as a top university, and held especially high regard for its engineering faculty. Throughout his four-year degree programme, Ezer always felt inspired by how the lessons he learnt in the evening were immediately applicable in his engineering work during the day.
However, this knowledge and experience did not prepare him for the deluge of opportunities that suddenly opened up to him after he earned his NUS BTech Mechanical Engineering degree. “It’s been very surprising” he says. “After simply updating my qualifications in my LinkedIn and JobStreet profiles, and doing nothing else, companies and recruiters have been reaching out to me with offers.” He declares, “The NUS brand really is very valuable in this field.”
Despite being headhunted, Ezer assures us that he is exactly where he wants to be right now – developing his skills and career as a Mechanical Engineer at CyberOptics. He is settling into the role and aspires to eventually step up to a managerial position in the company. For now though, Ezer simply hopes for the pandemic to go away, so he can visit his parents freely again – and personally thank his dad for the invaluable advice that turned his academic (and professional) career around: “Suffer first, enjoy later!”