Tuesday, July 1, 2014

WorldSkills Singapore 2014 Through The Eyes of Three NYP Competitors

From 10th-12th July, 39 NYP students will be competing at the bi-ennial WorldSkills Singapore (WSS) competition against students from the other polytechnics and ITE for the chance to represent Singapore on the international stage in Brazil, next year.

But what is training for WSS like and why would anyone want to participate? We spoke to three NYP finalists to learn more.

Health and Social Care - Zaryl Loh

“Nursing has always been my passion since I was about 13 years old.” - Loh Zaryl
When she was 13 years old,  Zaryl Loh was visiting KKH when she witnessed the kindness exhibited by the nurses working there. It left a deep impression on Zaryl and set her on a path to study Nursing at NYP.

Becoming a nurse encourages her to take on new challenges and enables her to fulfil her dreams of caring for people. She feels a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction when she reaches out to people in need. To Zaryl, nothing beats the genuine smile of the patients as they recover from their illnesses. With her outstanding O level results, she made a conscious choice to study Nursing in NYP. She said, “Nursing is not all about academic results. Anyone can be a nurse as long as they have a caring heart”.

When asked why she did not pursue a career in medicine, Zaryl answers without hesitation: “Doctors treat, but, nurses care”. In many ways, her happy-go-lucky and optimistic personality makes her a good fit for the health care sector. Bubbling with excitement, she said, “I like to see the people around me enjoy themselves and I like to hear laughter, I think being happy and laughing is very important in life because that's how we're supposed to live our lives.”

 Always looking for new experiences and opportunities to grow, Zaryl took a leap of faith and tried out for WSS. Training has been physically and mentally tough but encouragement from her supportive lecturers and classmates have proven incredibly helpful despite the pressure.

For the “Health and Social Care” Skill, Zaryl and her fellow competitors will need to complete a total of nine tasks across three days. Tasks such as wound dressing and case studies will be used to test her capabilities in timed, simulated environments. Judges will award points respectively on the competitor’s level of communication, knowledge, aptitude and of course their skill.

Aircraft Maintenance - Mohamad Khair

"My goal is to be a licensed aircraft engineer.” - Mohamad Khair
Mohamad Khair is the lone competitor representing NYP in Aircraft Maintenance. He hopes that his prior experience -- studying Automobile and Technology at ITE -- and his current study of Aeronautical and Aerospace Technology at NYP will give him an advantage over his competitors.  

I was amazed when he shared his daily routine with me.

On top of his WSS training, he works part-time to cover his expenses. Being both a student and a part-time waiter sure is tough. One can only imagine the cycle of going to school, followed by training and ending  the day with a 6 hour shift. His time management is top notch and despite his hectic schedule, he manages to stay afloat, maintaining good grades. He stresses that it is “important to move on from mistakes and learn from them” and “endurance is key”.

With much dedication, Khair has been through several months of training in various skills. He will be tested on seven topics like plane inspection and flight control rigging. The tests are spread over the three days period, with each lasting an hour. The pressure is high for this lone competitor, but he remains confident and optimistic. Regardless of the outcome, Khair has found the experience to be incredibly rewarding and helpful for his future.

He looks forward to utilizing what he has learnt in the real world.

Graphic Design Technology - Andrew Chen

“It is always good to leave your comfort zone.” - Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen has always dreamed of becoming an animator. Filled with the ambition of one day working at Disney Pixar as an Animator, he applied for the DPA to the Diploma in Digital Media Design (Animation).

Soon after, Andrew set his sights on WSS because he wanted to go beyond his comfort zone and learn more about design. “There are so many things in design out there,” said Andrew. While animation was his forte, he had little knowledge of the other aspects of design but after receiving guidance from his lecturers and seniors, he has become more confident and sure of his work. “It is good to think more about design, and not only animation, as an artist”.

The Graphic Design Technology Skill Area is especially daunting due to its longer testing durations. Over three days, participants will have to complete three modules, each lasting five to six hours. Contestants will have to use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to design for media such as posters, brochures, cards and logos. This Skill Area will be an interesting show for the audience as they will be able to view the design works of the competitors from start to end. Despite the competition, Andrew feels that “it is more of a battle for myself”, to strive for the stars and do his best.

Support our competitors!
WSS will be held at ITE Central and ITE West from 10th-12th July 2014 and all competitions will be opened to the public! Do visit your friends and support them as they clash in a battle of skills. Winners for each Skill Area will receive $3000 prize money and will go on to represent Singapore at WorldSkills International held at Sao Paulo, Brazil . Visit www.worldskills.sg to find out more!

By Sean Yap, Year 3, Diploma in Information Security

Sean enjoys playing recreational tennis and international chess. He has a huge interest in films and is addicted to watching movies. Writing articles are also a hobby for him. Writing allows him to be creative and express his opinions on different matters.

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