Saturday, May 2, 2020

University acceptance for Andre

Last week, Andre received an offer to pursue his undergrad studies at SIT.

This was pretty momentous for him. If you've ollowed my (now defunct) blog, you would know that academics is not in Andre's DNA. His two favourite periods in primary school were recess and PE. This continued all the way to poly, where he aced his practical modules and bombed the theory ones. If he's ever held hostage for information, all the kidnappers have to do is threaten to make him write an essay. He will cave.

In his final semester, he poured his energy into his internship at Changi Airport. Despite the crazy shift hours, the irregular meals and covid-19 scare, his enthusiasm bubbled over. He loved the work so much he told me this was what he wanted to do as a career.

The snag was that he discovered the career path and pay of poly grads were significantly limited compared to those of degree holders. It's an antiquated system but an unfortunate reality of working in SG. So I advised him to look at uni courses.

But what? Reading the synopses of programmes in NUS, NTU and SMU bored him to tears. He declared rather dramatically, "I will DIE there. Three years of HELL." So we prayed. God, show the way to something he will enjoy and not expire from boredom.

Then one day in the car, Kenneth heard an ad about a pop-up Open House for SIT at Suntec City. Coincidentally, it was on a Saturday when Andre wasn't working (which was rare). We went down to take a look and the very first person I ran into was an ex-colleague from SMU whom I hadn't seen in more than a decade. When she heard that Andre was looking at the Hospitality programme, she replied, "oh, I'm in charge of that! Let me know if you have any questions at all."

The Hospitality programme appears to be tailor-made for Andre. It's heavily practicum-oriented, with two 6-month long work attachments, and Andre will likely get advanced standing for some of the theory modules as he's already taken them in poly. Later at the Admissions booth, Andre struck up a conversation with a current undergrad and they got along so well that the student started surreptitiously sharing tips on what to do at the interview.

We were there only about an hour or so, but Andre told me with all certainty that this was the degree he wanted to pursue. All the doors seemed to open in this direction, so he applied. And in faith, he decided not to even apply to other universities as back up.

He got called up for an interview and due to covid-19, it wasn't a face-to-face but an automated video interview, which doesn't play to his strengths as he's best when interacting with people. Clearly it didn't matter anyway, since he eventually got the offer ☺️

I often call Andre a big sparrow because he lives a carefree life and doesn't worry too much about tomorrow, which has in the past, given me many moments of angst. Yet looking back, I see that God has always provided for him. Grateful for the blessings and for the timely reminder. Hence this post of thanksgiving.

"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" - Matt 6:26

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