Going back to school after years of being in the workforce may make working adults feel like a fish out of water.
However, 27-year-old Lim Yee Hui reminded me that nothing is impossible until you’ve given it a shot.
Her advice? Keep an open mind, be disciplined and persevere.
A ‘mermaid’ dabbling in UX design and ICT
Lim, currently an executive at a statutory board, is also a professional mermaid and a freediving coach.
“Freediving and mermaiding keeps my life balanced. I workout (freedive) and be girly (mermaid) to de-stress and refocus... I teach and coach as well,” Lim said.
While freediving is a means for Lim to relax after work, it is also what made the Sports and Physical Education and Management graduate decide to dive into an entirely different field.
After Lim keenly observed how “digitalisation is taking place so quickly, especially due to the pandemic”, she decided to take up a Specialist Diploma in User Experience (UX) for Infocomm Technology (ICT) at Republic Polytechnic (RP) last October.
Without any background in design, studying about UX design and ICT can be daunting to someone like Lim.
But her freediving experience has made her a go-getter, she said:
“[Freediving] has taught me that to a very large extent, the reason we are unable to achieve something is because before we try and explore, we tend to tell ourselves ‘we can’t’ or ‘it’s impossible’. Hence, keeping an open mind, having discipline and perseverance are some of the skills that I have applied from freediving to studying for this Diploma while working.”
That said, the decision to take up the UX design and ICT specialist diploma was not completely unchartered waters for Lim as she chose to return to her alma mater.
Thankful for conducive learning environment at Republic Polytechnic
Lim said that her specialist diploma experience was made easier with the support and guidance from her peers and lecturers at RP where she used to study.
She shared that her classmates are very driven and “serious” about learning as they are either looking forward to changing industries or to gain a competitive edge at work.
She even formed a small study group with other classmates to share resources and support each other emotionally during stressful periods near assignment deadlines.
She is also thankful to her lecturers Keynes, Garion, Daniel and Mustafa who are always prepared for lessons and ensure students’ doubts are clarified, even if that means exceeding the stipulated three-hour class duration.
The lecturers are also generous in sharing their experiences and knowledge about the industry that they are in.
“Not only they imparted knowledge that is not taught in books, but also [from] the effort that they put in, [you can tell that] they wish for us to succeed in what we want to achieve out of this course,” Lim said.
Besides having supportive peers and lecturers, Lim also appreciates hands-on lessons at RP which consist of small-group activities and simulations that are modelled after real life situations.
Not just making eye-pleasing stuff
Lim has since gained much insights into UX design and the course has introduced her to a “whole new world”.
She used to think user experience is just about designing “eye-pleasing stuff” but she has now come to realise that it is definitely more than that.
Understanding the users’ needs and their frustrations with the product or service can improve quality of life, save resources and retain customers, she explained.
Moving forward, Lim hopes to become a “well-rounded digital solutions professional” upon graduation and join the UXUI industry to apply what she’s learnt.
The Specialist Diploma in User Experience for Infocomm Technology is one of the many Continuing Education and Training (CET) courses that RP offers to those who wish to upskill and get a headstart in their career.
RP will also be offering two new full-qualification courses in the upcoming October intake: Part-time Diploma in Design and Media (Digital Entertainment and Events) and Specialist Diploma in Agritechnology and Agribusiness.
Register for RP ACE’s Oct/ Nov intake for Part-time Diplomas, Specialist Diplomas, and Work-Study Programmes today. Registration deadline is Jul 28. To find out more, click here.
Top image courtesy of Lim Yee Hui and screenshot of SNOC video. This sponsored article brought to you by Republic Polytechnic hopes to inspire more working adults to pick up new skills.