Pursuing Singapore’s first and only full-time bachelor’s degree in HRM at SUSS proves to be an eye-opening experience for Ms Audrey Tang
By Cheryl Leong
Feb 26, 2020
The saying “When one door closes, another opens” could not be more apt to describe Ms Audrey Tang’s situation.
The 20-year-old, who obtained “mediocre grades” for her A levels, was not successful in her applications to enrol in the top three local universities of her choice. But she did not give up hope to pursue higher education.
“I was disappointed after receiving my results, but my former teacher in Serangoon Junior College consoled me by saying that this would allow me to explore a path I’d never have thought of,” she says.
When the opportunity came up for Ms Tang to enrol in Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) to undertake a Bachelor of Human Resource Management (HRM) with a Minor in Communications, she seized it. The four-year programme is Singapore’s first and only full-time bachelor’s degree in HRM.
“I treated it as a second chance and was determined to do well. Now, I think I made the right choice,” she adds.
The Year 2 student considers her Overseas Winter School exchange experience at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, last month as one of her most fruitful learning experiences in SUSS so far.
She says: “I met people from all over the world, listened to their amazing stories and learnt about social and political issues, such as women’s rights in Germany and World Trade Organization laws.
“Becoming a prosecutor used to be a dream of mine, so I was also glad for the opportunity to take up two modules — Human Rights Violation in Germany and Introduction to International Economic Law — to get a taste of what it would be like to study law.”
Reaping unexpected educational returns
Ms Tang recalls a particularly memorable Training and Development module, which required students to design their own HRM training programmes.
“It was interesting to see how creative my classmates were when coming up with their training programmes, such as a cabin crew training that involved us simulating a plane evacuation,” she says.
Aside from offering innovative modules that increase students’ potential, another thing Ms Tang found unique about SUSS is its flipped classroom concept, which aims to help students engage actively with their lectures.
In contrast to conventional teaching methods where lecturers instruct students in class and assign homework, this approach lets students review learning materials in their own time at home. Class time is reserved mainly for the discussion and reinforcement of what they have learnt.
She feels that this helps her to improve her discipline and be more responsible, especially when it comes to effectively juggling her studies, her part-time job as a tutor and her community engagement commitments.
Ms Tang’s interest in working with children led her to join Serve, Grow, Excel (SGE) Association last year as a co-leader. Its partnership with Fei Yue Student Care Centre last year offered her the chance to tutor under-privileged children, and plan outings and events for them during school holidays.
Looking back on how her academic hopes took an unexpected turn and led her to SUSS, where she is now relishing new and exciting experiences and maximising her potential to the fullest, Ms Tang has some advice for A-level holders: “I’m a very average student, with no dazzling grades or impressive credentials. If you think you can relate, I want to assure you that you’re going to be just fine — so long as you stay optimistic and treasure the opportunities given to you.
“Sure, it’s disappointing if you can’t get into the university of your choice at first. But, like me, you could also be charting an unexpected path that may turn out to be right for you.”