This MDIS psychology undergraduate hopes her story can help to dispel prejudice against private universities
By Bryant Chan
Oct 20, 2021
Twenty-four-year-old Bavanezvari Subbramaniyam had always dreamed of being a psychiatrist.
Her grades at polytechnic, however, did not meet the cut-off for any of the local psychology undergraduate programmes, bringing her dreams to an abrupt halt.
Still, she refused to give up. Searching for alternatives online, she came across an Honours degree in Psychology at the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS).
She met with an MDIS counsellor who suggested that she take a Higher Diploma in Psychology (MDIS) before embarking on the degree proper, seeing as her background was in biomedical science – a diploma more suited towards a career in medtech and biotech.
The Higher Diploma was specifically designed for students like Ms Bavanezvari, who are considering a career completely unrelated to their post-secondary qualifications.
The curriculum allows applicants to complete their full-time higher diploma programme in just 10 months.
The Higher Diploma in Psychology, the counsellor said, would ensure that she has a good foundational knowledge in the field as other entrants with a diploma in psychology. So Ms Bavanezvari took the advice – and 10 months later, she emerged at the top of her diploma class.
She proceeded to matriculate straight into the degree programme.
She herself was surprised by how adept she was at mastering introductory concepts, thanks to the foundational knowledge she had acquired from the Higher Diploma programme.
On top of that, the crucial research skills she had gained through the course of her Higher Diploma came in very useful as the degree programme focused heavily on hands-on experience.
An 80-hour internship module – in her case, at the Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association (SANA) – further developed her skills in teamwork, crisis management and research techniques. She was given the responsibility of leading a team handling house calls and visits to families of ex-offenders.
Now in her final year, Ms Bavanezvari has become even more enthusiastic about her field of study. She continues to volunteer in the yellow ribbon project at SANA and is expanding into art therapy and working with special needs individuals as a volunteer at Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore.
Above all, she hopes her path will help dispel notions of private universities being less prestigious than their public counterparts – and that MDIS gave her a good education to prepare her well for a career in psychology.
“I’m sharing my story to make students realise that it’s never the end,” she says. “My path was rough too, but I am where I am now because of MDIS.
“I encourage poly graduates who feel demotivated, or who are unsure what their next path should be, or who don’t know if they should change course, to start their journey with MDIS.”
Learn more about MDIS’ Psychology programmes at www.mdis.edu.sg/school-of-psychology