Class of 2020: Reflections on the SIT Journey

For the Class of 2020, graduation has truly been a memorable milestone. Here are some poignant learning points shared by our valedictorians.

“As we embrace the new norm, I would like to remind everyone not to tunnel-vision into just furthering your career. Invest in your well-being as well. Learn to meditate, read that book you have always wanted to, or hop on the bandwagon and pick up chess after watching ‘Queen's Gambit’, like everybody else. While you are at it, do consider contributing back to SIT and the society. We are blessed with the greatest skill of the modern age to effect change: the ability to develop software and secure digital data. Let us fully utilise our knowledge and help the next generation of ICT professionals and community at large.”

- Ernest Boey, Valedictorian for Class of 2020, Information and Communications Technology (Software Engineering)


“I believe the unique challenges and different group dynamics that we had to face with every assignment and presentation helped us grow into the people we are today. I have always enjoyed the thinking process we went through for each project — where we all come together to look at the projects from different angles and offer our own perspectives on the ways we can work on them.”

- Victor Lee Guo Wei, Valedictorian for Class of 2020, Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering (Land)


“I could go back and reminisce about the past three years of university, but I guess it’s more important to look forward to the future— where each and every one of us will be in the next three years. Whether we will move on to create the next superfood, become a famous video game streamer, or even start our own business; I genuinely hope that we will find joy and love in whatever we do.”

- Cheryl Lee, Valedictorian for Class of 2020, Food Technology


“I think most, if not all of us, have already started work for some time now. I’d like to share some reflections from my short experience with work thus far. One day, as one of my colleagues was standing the patient up using an assistive device, his mum whispered to herself, ‘Now’s my chance.’ And we thought ‘Now’s her chance for what? A break? A coffee?’ – all of which would have been valid. But what she did next, completely stunned us. She went and gave her son a hug, because it was the only time she got to hug him from the front, as he was supported standing upright… It is on these days that I am reminded of why I do what I do.”

- Gabriel Ou, Valedictorian for Class of 2020, Physiotherapy


“For the final lesson, it was an inspiration from Prof Randy Pausch’s ‘Last Lecture’, where he said, ‘Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.’ To my fellow radiography peers, remember during our nursing modules back in year one? We lamented about why we needed to understand details of ECG, SPO2, and the proper donning of PPE. Guess what, the knowledge came in handy when most of us were ‘enlisted’ to support national efforts in curbing the spread of COVID-19. In my personal life, the in-depth understanding of physiology, and later pharmacology, came in useful three years ago when my grandmother suffered an end-stage kidney failure. It was comforting to be able to contribute my knowledge for her well-being and walk with her through the last two years of her life. The knowledge we learn is not purely to ace the papers but for when we need them.”

- Ang Xu Kai, Valedictorian for Class of 2020, Diagnostic Radiography


“My personal journey as an SIT Accountancy graduate has seen me entering the workforce with industry-ready skills that enabled me to adapt quickly to my new role. The hands-on experience I gained through the Integrated Work Study Programme (IWSP) has allowed me to outshine my peers from other universities. I am a strong advocate of SIT’s applied learning approach and I am more than proud to represent SIT in the industry and as a SITizen in the workplace. That said, SIT is not just where we learnt about the financial analysis and accounting, it is also where we made personal development.”

- Tan Jordon, Valedictorian for Class of 2020, Accountancy


“One day, when I was in the queue at the economy rice stall, my anticipation grew as I saw people in front of me getting a mountain of rice. However, to my disappointment, I only received half the portion of rice, as compared to the person before me. This was the first valuable lesson I picked up here. As we graduate, I would like to remind everyone that there will always be someone getting more rice than you.”

​​​​​​​- Lau Jacob Julian, Valedictorian for Class of 2020, Hospitality Business


“And when we thought we had already overcome the biggest hurdle of our studies with IWSP, the dreaded final-year project brought us to a whole new level of stress. The sleepless nights of research and meetings, the never-ending process of trying to converge our simulation over and over again, only to realise the culprit was a negative sign. But the beautiful thing above all of these is how, despite all we have been through, we’ve all managed to be seated in this hall today because of our resilience and strength.”

​​​​​​​- Chan Wei Chin, Valedictorian for Class of 2020, Chemical Engineering


“IWSP helped some of us find a job with the skills we had developed and the industry exposure we had gained through the programme. Then came the 2 Cs — Capstone Project, and COVID-19. It was the worst period for us to be hit with a global pandemic. It tested us on our resilience and ability to adapt to change.”

​​​​​​​- Edward Dassan SO Rajanderan, Valedictorian for Class of 2020, Mechanical Design and Manufacturing Engineering


“I would like to share two insights that I’ve gained in SIT. Firstly, we had to adapt fast. Businesses and people who can adapt the best will be able to make the most of the current climate. Secondly, we had to learn how to turn lemons into lemonade. More often than not, we cannot control the situation or environment we are put in. Instead of wasting precious time focusing on the negativity, the energy could be channelled into making the best of the situation.”

​​​​​​​- Bryan Tan Jun Yu, Valedictorian for Class of 2020, Telematics (Intelligent Transportation Systems Engineering)


“In the blink of an eye, we are now here at our graduation ceremony — at one of the most important milestones of our lives. But graduation is not the final goal. Rather, it is part of a lifelong learning journey. There may still be challenges ahead of us — our grit and ability to adapt will be tested in our workplaces, we will need to consult our bosses and colleagues for their advice in work, and we will face anxiety in job interviews or in the huge project that we’ll be given. In the end, what I ask of each of you, and of myself, is to raise our heads high, and face the challenges with the right attitude.”

​​​​​​​- Au Wei Ming, Valedictorian for Class of 2020, Civil Engineering