Monday, August 27, 2018

Goal Digger’s Dream Come True

Year 2 Multimedia & Infocomm Technology student Tea Pei Qi calls herself a Goal Digger.

 Yes. You read that right.

She recently won one of NYP’s 12 Gold Medals in the WorldSkills Singapore 2018 competition, and she calls herself a Goal Digger because she refuses to settle for mediocrity.

She is deeply passionate about her skill area – Web Design & Development.

I was part of the WorldSkills Youth New Media Team and managed to score an interview with her. Here is what she has to say about the competition:

Q: How do you feel about winning Gold in WorldSkills Singapore? Did you expect it?

A: I was shocked at first, because I didn't do that well on the first day: There were very obvious and serious bugs in the program that I submitted.  For example, I was supposed to direct the user to the "/home" URL, but I directed them to "/home/home".

On day one of the competition, we had to draw lots for our seat, and I drew a seat where the visitors' chatter was out of earshot. It was indeed quieter than the other seats, but I found it slightly difficult to tune out the conversations the experts (judges) were having behind me, but it got better as the days progressed.  

I decided not to think about what happened on Day 1, and just do my best on Day 2 & 3. I felt fatigued throughout the competition as it was *that* time of the month… but I persevered and I’m very happy and relieved that things turned out well, and my hard work has paid off.

Q: How did your close ones react? (family/friends)

A: They were happy for me. Some of my classmates wanted me to treat them to a meal, since I'll be receiving $3,000 for winning Gold. 😊

Q: What was your motivation to persevere throughout your training and the competition?

A: I joined WorldSkills because I wanted to challenge myself, so whenever I felt like giving up because it was so difficult, I'd remind myself about my main motivation, and my brain stops complaining immediately. Attaining a WorldSkills Gold medal was also one of my goals. I treat my goals as legally binding contracts (!) that I have to fulfil, so achieving them becomes a necessity, not a nice ‘want’. I find that I make fewer excuses with this mindset.

Q: How do you cope with your studies and WorldSkills at the same time?

A: I nearly didn't cope, haha! At first, my body reacted to the increased stress and sleep deprivation in the form of headaches and extreme fatigue. I am happy that I have listened to my body and adjusted my work habits accordingly. I made sleep, yoga and meditation a priority, and started planning my time more meticulously. All of this helped. #wellnessgoals

Q: What are the training hours for WorldSkills?

A: I started training in June last year, but the most intensive training sessions were during the holidays: My seniors and I trained from 9am to 6pm every day during the semester break. Most of the free periods in our timetables were replaced by training sessions.

Q: What are 3 things you have learned from participating in WorldSkills?

A: Give your ‘bestest’ in everything you do, because your best is often not enough.

Life is unpredictable, so don't give up until it's over. It's something I've learnt time and again, from 'O' Levels, to poly exams, right up to WorldSkills.

Move on quickly from setbacks. Every minute you spend on self-pity and wallowing is a minute you could have invested in making a comeback.

Q: Now that you’ll be representing Singapore at WorldSkills ASEAN, how do you feel?

A: I am extremely grateful for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (twice-in-a-lifetime for me, since I'm going to ASEANSkills as well). It is a great honour to be given the opportunity to represent your country, and I'm working hard to make the best out of it.

Q: How did WorldSkills change your life?

A: WorldSkills (WSS) has made me a faster learner and a more resilient person.

The former because I have less time to pick up the new things (compared to the time given in normal school curriculum); the latter because 90% of things didn't go as planned during the competition and I had to move on quickly in preparation for the next paper.

As for the skill trade itself, it has made me more appreciative of developers who develop tools (frameworks, libraries, etc.) that simplify the lives of other developers. The people in this skill trade never fail to impress me (have you checked out those pictures made entirely with script?) and I'm really happy to be part of such a wonderful community.

Congratulations once again to Pei Qi and all our WorldSkills medallists. We wish you all the best in the next phase of your WorldSkills journey! #BecauseWeCan

By Sabrina Loh, Diploma in Multimedia & Infocomm Technology

Aside from juggling her studies and CCA duties, Sabrina is consumed by wanderlust. She loves travelling, exploring the latest carnivals, and trying new food during her free time. As part of The Communicators, she contributes to NYP’s social media platforms like this blog!

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