Optimism courses through Aug 2019 BTech cohort


13 August 2019 – Seated among the 240 freshmen at the NUS Bachelor of Technology (BTech) orientation programme for the August 2019 intake on the previous Friday (Aug 2), Zhang Dayu initially wore a pensive look on his face.

The thought of having to juggle the BTech Mechanical Engineering programme with work and personal commitments again – he had in 2013 pursued a part-time diploma from a local polytechnic – would be daunting to some. If time was already a luxury for him then, the addition of two young children to his new family would further stretch his 24 hours in a day thinner.

Zhang probably had the company of his fellow coursemates in this predicament but deep down, Zhang actually exudes calmness and a belief that he can make it through the storm.

“There would be a bit of pressure definitely on me because it won’t be easy balancing studies with my commitments at home and work,” said the 42 year-old process engineer in an interview with NUS SCALE on the sidelines of the orientation programme.

“There is that bit of apprehension, but at the same time I believe I can come out on top. Afterall, I did it before in polytechnic, and I am sure I can do it again.”

He cites the support at home and at work as further encouragement in his journey to attaining a university degree to improve his prospects.

Confidence was a common thread running through this BTech cohort, as exemplified in Jordy Cheah.

The 23-year-old operations associate in real estate leasing is pursuing a second degree in the BTech Software Engineering programme, having just graduated last November with a Bachelor of Business Management from a local university.

She recognises the challenge of delving into an area of expertise that is entirely different to what she has been exposed to previously, but she remains bullish about her prospects.

“It would be a challenge for me to be competent in a field like software engineering, but it is a hard skill that would help me remain relevant in the times ahead and that excites me,” said Cheah.

“Furthermore, I want to be productive with the time I have on my hands and if I have the ability to do this, I should go for it.”

The strives like Cheah’s and the rest of the new BTech cohort would be fuelled by the highly-qualified faculty members of the distinguished NUS Faculty of Engineering and School of Computing. The BTech curriculum would also be delivered via a flexible modular structure that is designed to help BTech undergraduates succeed as much as possible.

Only time will tell how far the BTech intake of August 2019 can soar, but they would at least get a fighting chance to reach for the stars.

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13 August 2019