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Athlete-Friendly Diploma In Business By Ngee Ann Polytechnic

Partnership With Ngee Ann Polytechnic: Diploma In Business Studies

Singapore Sports School student-athletes have an option to pursue their post-secondary education via the customised Diploma in Business Studies (Entrepreneurship Management Option) (DBS). This academic option was made available as a result of Sports School’s partnership with Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) when the two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 17 May 2016.

The collaboration stemmed from the recommendation that Sports School should offer its student-athletes extended academic through-train pathways to better support the sport progression of outstanding young athletes. Student-athletes on this academic pathway will bypass the GCE O-Level Examinations.

The DBS is customised by NP’s School of Business and Accountancy (BA) to suit the academic needs of high-performance student-athletes. The programme caters to up to 25 student-athletes with an interest in a business-related course.

The diploma programme will expose student-athletes to key functional business and strengthen the spirit of enterprise in students through a suite of entrepreneurship-related modules. The diploma prepares graduates to work in business sectors such as banking and finance, hospitality and tourism.

National shuttler Jaslyn Hooi Yue Yann (Extended DBS) is one such student-athlete who has benefitted from the programme.

“The Diploma in Business Studies helped me in juggling my sport and studies. I’ve always enjoyed learning, especially about the business world. So in Secondary 4, I was at a crossroad. I was deciding on which pathway I should take, one that fits my interests academically yet does not compromise my sport aspirations. I am grateful for this programme because I can pursue a diploma that I am interested in, and at the same time, I can continue intensive and competitive sport,” explained Jaslyn.

Jaslyn is the National Open Champion in 2021 and 2020, and was a semi-finalist at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, placing fourth in the Women’s Singles. She also nabbed a bronze for the Women’s Team in the 30th Southeast Asian Games in Philippines in 2019. Jaslyn is also a Ngee Ann Polytechnic Scholar and a Sport Excellence Scholar (spexScholar).

“I appreciated the flexible course duration as I was frequently overseas for training camps and competitions. On occasions where the trip lasts more than 2 weeks, we can defer the module and revisit it in our fourth and fifth year. This came in handy for me as I was preparing for the Youth Olympic Games in 2018. I was away for almost 3 months and the course allowed me to put my studies on the backseat while I prioritise my preparation for the YOG,” she added.

Paddler Ethan Poh Shao Feng (Extended DBS) also pointed out that the small class size of 15 to 20 student-athletes allows the lessons to be more focused. Ethan also lauded the lecturers for being flexible and accommodating to student-athletes who miss out on lessons due to competitions.

“I remember once my lecturer stayed back with me till 6 pm, which was way past the lesson time, just to catch up with my work and to answer my queries. This DBS programme also adopts a modular system, which is different from mainstream polytechnics. Over here at DBS, we only have to focus on one topic per month. This allows me to have a perfect balance between my sport and studies. It also allows me to not worry so much about having too much on my plate,” said Ethan.

Ethan made his way to 2nd place for the Men’s Team and Men’s Doubles events in the SEA Games in 2017 and was in the Top 4 in the Men’s Doubles and Men’s Team events in the Commonwealth Games 2019. He racked up these achievements during his time in the DBS programme. The real-world application of the DBS modules is also immensely useful to graduates.

“NP is always evolving its course structure to help us stay relevant in the industry. I have learnt what I should do and what I should avoid if I were to start my own business in the future. Several modules really stood out for me: Business Planning, Enterprise Creation and Development, Innovation and Product development. These are the modules that taught me the skills and knowledge a successful entrepreneur should have,” said Jaslyn.

Ethan, too, got a first-hand experience of the business world from his modules: “I learnt about what happens during the process of exporting and importing, how business fundamentals like finance, operations, Human Resources. I also gained a brief understanding about the law. The most significant part of the course for me was the internship as it allowed me to experience the real working world.”

Jaslyn and Ethan are two of 13 student-athletes to graduate from NP on 3 May 2021. They are among the top scoring graduands from the Class of 2021. Paddler Tan En Hui was the top scoring graduate of the batch. Six of the graduating batch have won medals at the SEA Games, and they are Jaslyn (Badminton), Si To Jia Rong (Badminton), Toh Han Zhuo (Badminton), Jefferson Cheong Jia Hui (Fencing), Edlyn Ho Zen Yee (Gymnastics) and Ethan (Table Tennis).

The Early Admission Exercise for admission into polytechnic begins in June 2021. Students taking their GCE O-Level Examinations or in their final year of the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) may apply to join Sports School’s customised diploma programmes. Find out more about the admission process here.