By her own account, Ms Laetitia Wong (above) was, academically, a late bloomer.

Studying was not always the polytechnic graduate’s forte, until it was time to earn her degree, she says.

After seven months as an intern reporter at a free news tabloid, coupled with various stints as a writer for school publications, Ms Wong knew she wanted to work in an industry where she would not only be able to write, but also communicate with people from all walks of life.

It was then that the 22-year-old felt ready to go back to school and earn the degree that she hoped would open doors for her in the industry.

She pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Communication & Media Studies and Public relations double major programme with Murdoch University through Kaplan.

Students with polytechnic diplomas, as well as Kaplan and Murdoch University-recognised private diplomas, can qualify for direct entry into year 2 of the programme. They can complete the course in 16 months instead of 28 months — she completed hers in 18 months.

Ms Wong, who earned high distinctions for most of her modules, says the practical aspects of the course appealed to her.

“I liked that the programme was structured in a flexible manner. For example, I could mix and match modules, and take on as many or as little as my time allowed,” she explains.

It helped that the locations of Kaplan’s four campuses are central and easily accessible by public transport, as she knew she would continue to work while studying for her degree.

Now a community executive at Level3, a new workspace that supports emerging start-ups and entrepreneurs, Ms Wong says her course has prepared her well for the demands of the job.

Her role requires her to create content for social media and interact with the workspace community to understand their needs better, among others.

She says: “The course was facilitated by experienced lecturers and trainers from relevant industries.

“For example, we learnt about public relations from a lecturer who had over 15 years of experience in the industry.

“Our lecturers passed on their skills and experiences to us, and were generally wiling to share relevant contacts when we requested for them.”

Ms Wong also felt that many assignments and group projects were realistic and could be implemented in the industry.

In fact, her project for the Campaign Management module, for which her group designed and presented a comprehensive social media campaign for the Singapore red Cross, will be implemented by the organisation this year.

The programme structure and the conducive environment at Kaplan helped her become more disciplined and independent too.

“We had to do everything ourselves, including taking the initiative to do extra research and printing our own notes,” she says. In fact, Ms Wong discovered a “hunger for success” she was unaware of.

“I didn’t know what I wanted and wasn’t interested in studies, but I’m now really passionate about my work and want to continue learning to improve myself,” she adds.

Click to view PDF

Article by Esther Au Yong
Source: The Sunday Times© Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.