Recognising the potential for a career within the aviation sector, Miss Charmain Leow Lijuan chose a relevant course at ITE
Jan 13, 2018
AFTER completing her O levels in 2016, Miss Charmain Leow Lijuan, opted to pursue a Higher National ITE Certificate in Passenger Service at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College Central. She will graduate from the course this April.
ITE’s focus on pre-employment training appealed to her.
The 18-year-old says: “Such practical training allows me to acquire both knowledge and skills that are relevant to the aviation industry. In ITE, I can go on an industry attachment and gain valuable first-hand experience. Opportunities are also available when I complete my two-year course — I can progress to the first year of a related diploma course at a local polytechnic.”
She chose the two-year course after researching the ITE website.
Says Miss Leow: “The course modules comprise a good mix of both business studies and aviation. Aviation is a vast and growing sector which offers many job opportunities.
“Modules are very well spread out throughout the two-year course, so that there is sufficient time for us to learn. Theory lessons are first taught in the classrooms and we put our knowledge into practice through projects.” Real-world application.
The skills and lessons Miss Leow has learnt at ITE are relevant to the aviation industry.
She says: “Many skills that I learnt, such as sending and replying to e-mails and handling the arrival and departure of passengers, are very useful. I can apply what was taught to me in school to my current job duties.
“We also learn about the different types of aircraft, ferries and cruises available, as well ashow to calculate time differences between countries.”
Her assignments also include role-playing real-life scenarios. For example, she and her classmates took on the role of tour agents to sell a travel package to a customer, played by their lecturer. They had to plan the package from scratch and present it to the customer.
Says Miss Leow: “It was fun trying to convince our lecturer to buy. In class, we also conduct presentations regularly, and they improve my communication skills and boost my confidence in public speaking. “What makes our projects engaging is that I explore places of interest with my group mates while doing research for a project. It helps us to bond while making sure we get our work done.”
One of the challenges Miss Leow faced when she first entered ITE was getting out of her comfort zone.
She used to be shy and quiet in secondary school, but attending the ACE Leadership Programme — which grooms outstanding ITE students into all-rounded achievers — made her more confident and better able to express her opinions.
Miss Leow is now on a five-month internship at WingsOverAsia, a private aviation company that provides flight concierge and aircraft maintenance services.
She says: “The aircraft marshalling training that I went through was especially exciting. It has only been a few months since I joined the company but I love it already. It has deepened my interest in the aviation industry.”
With the implementation of Earn and Learn Programmes and the SkillsFuture scheme offered by the Government, many companies want to hire employees who not only have paper qualifications, but relevant skills and working experience as well.
She says: “This course has equipped me with skills and knowledge that are highly relevant to the aviation industry. I have learnt how to communicate effectively and this is essential in the workforce, no matter which industry I am in.
“In the digital age, employees must know how to convey and receive messages effectively, in person, as well as via phone, e-mail and social media. This industrial attachment gives me a glimpse of what to expect when I apply for a job in the future.”
The vibrant and diverse campus at ITE also makes going to school more enjoyable.
Says Miss Leow: “There is no unhealthy competition among the students — just a supportive spirit. There is also constant interaction between lecturers and students.
“ITE is more than just a school. It is like a family, where we receive support from our lecturers and have friends who work hard together to achieve our dreams.”
This article was first published in The Straits Times on Jan 11, 2018.