Monday, October 31, 2011

Working Hard While They Study

By Julian Abraham Chua, Diploma in Business Management Graduate

Working part-time jobs while studying is common for students in tertiary schools across Singapore. In NYP, there is no exception. It is easy to find students who work part-time these days.
In any case, working part-time jobs while studying can be challenging but it provides invaluable job experiences and a great source of income. We interviewed three NYP students who hold part-time jobs to find out why they do it:

Name: Syazwanie Sulaiman
Age: 19
Course: Diploma in Space & Interior Design, School Of Design

How did you land your current job? And when did you start working?

My sister and cousin recommended the job to me. It has been more than a year since I first start working.

Tell us more about your job.

I’m working at IKEA Tampines under the food and beverage section. It might sound funny, but yes, I love to work around food.

Currently I work part-time on weekends. Although my main job is to serve food to customers, my job scope also includes tasks like cooking rice, frying, baking, making sauces and cutting fruits.

For someone who was never interested in cooking, it was a quite an eye-opener for me and I learnt many things. I also love interacting with people and working at IKEA has given me the opportunities to do just that. I get the chance to meet customers from other countries as well.

For me, it’s easy to commute to work as I live in Tampines. In addition, I get to enjoy perks such as staff discounts at the IKEA cafeteria when I eat there with my families and friends. There are also monthly company dinners for staff.

Why did you choose to take up a part-time job?
I wanted to relive the financial burden of my father, who is the breadwinner in the family. I have three other younger siblings who require financial support.  The money I earn will also help me to pay my school fees and design materials for school projects.

Share with us any memorable experiences while working or anything that is fun about your work.

Working is fun to a certain extent. I made good friends while working there and we organize our own outings with some of the supervisors. We had Hari Raya outings and we even went to Universal Studios Singapore together.

Has studying in NYP helped you do a better job at work? How so?

I guess in a way, my school had also taught me to think of more ways to deal with varying challenges; learning to approach challenges in a different ways actually helps widen my understanding of things.

Are there any challenges you face juggling both school and work?

I feel that I’m always fighting against time. I wish that there are more than seven days a week as there is just too much work to do with so little time.   But I’m trying my best to cope with the pressure. Juggling both is time-consuming and I had to make sacrifices like spending less time with family and friends.



Name: Lee Mun Ning, Magdeline
Age: 17
Course: Diploma in Banking & Financial Services, School of Business Management


Tell us more about your job.

I’m currently working at Fish & Co, Parkway Parade. I’m a waitress, so my job is to do tasks like taking orders and clearing the tables.  .My working hours are flexible. Staff meals are provided as well, and staff get 10% discount if they dine in.

This is my first job in the food and beverage industry, as my previous jobs were mainly administrative in nature.  I soon discovered that I love this job very much!

How did you land your current job? And when did you start working?

I first joined Fish & Co in the month of January 2011. My initial plan was to work while waiting for the polytechnic term to begin. After term started, I continued working after school and during the weekends.

Share with us any memorable experiences while working or anything that is fun about your work.

I have had my share of mistakes, like sending wrong orders in or breaking glasses.  However, the good times I had outnumbered these tough ones.  I made wonderful friends there. We laughed and enjoyed times together. The boss even organizes staff gatherings at chalets on a yearly basis!

Besides your current part-time job, did you or will you ever consider the option of doing other jobs?

If nothing goes wrong, I guess I’ll stay in my current job as I feel that I may never find another part-time job I love so much – I enjoyed the friendships and the fun times.

Being a student is stressful at times. How do you manage to juggle both work and studies?

Indeed, being a student is stressful as there are much assignments and homework to be done at times. However, I made it a point to only help out at the restaurant when I’m coping well with my studies. Hence, there isn’t any much problem juggling both school and work.

Has studying in NYP helped you do a better job at work? How so?

I learnt how to provide good customer service in school, which is helpful in my line of work. Having group assignments and projects in school also enable me to learn how to interact with others and build teamwork.  I bring such skills to my workplace as well .



Name: Tan Kok Wen Eric
Age: 20
Course: Diploma in Space & Interior Design, School Of Design
Tell us more about your job

I am a part-time guitar instructor who gives private lessons at students’ homes. Each lesson is around one and a half hours. I strive to develop the skills and knowledge of my students, according to their pace of learning.  I also encouraged them to be creative with music, improvise or even compose their own songs.

Why did you choose to take up a part-time job?

I actually took up this part-time job for three reasons. Firstly, I wanted to finance my education here and my personal expenses. Secondly, I wanted to build up my music portfolio and lastly, I am passionate about spreading the love of music to others.

How did you land your current job? And when did you start working?

I usually advertise my services online. I started teaching a couple of months ago.

Share with us any memorable experiences while working or anything that is fun about your work.

I would sometimes stay back after conducting lessons to chat with my students. I had one memorable lesson where I was invited to stay for dinner with my student and his family. They made a delicious home-cooked meal and we chatted till late evening!

Being a student is stressful at times, how do you manage to juggle both work and studies?

I believe commitment is important. Thus, I would sacrifice my leisure time to give lessons and do my school assignments.

Has studying in NYP helped you do a better job at work? How so?

Definitely. Being in a design course moulded my attitude, character and thinking. This, in turn, helps me to become a better and more effective guitar teacher.

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