How a 57-Year-Old Student Enriched His Journey Through Lifelong Learning

Posted on: 18th May, 2023

By Chelijyaan Ho Seng Tuck, Diploma in Media and Communications, PSB Academy | Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Media and Communications, Coventry University

In today’s fast-paced and rapidly changing world, adaptability and quick learning have become critical skills that we need to continually cultivate after graduating from school and entering the working world. Embracing lifelong learning enables us to stay relevant, maintain mental sharpness, acquire new knowledge and skills, and find fulfilment and purpose in life. This belief has led me to pursue higher education at PSB Academy, making me a living example of a Generation X mature student on a lifelong learning journey. So, how did my journey begin?

The Path to Lifelong Learning

Years ago, I headed a general insurance department in a financial advisory firm, providing support to a team of about 80 financial advisors while managing my own portfolio of clients. In the midst of my thriving professional endeavours, I felt a sense of inadequacy. Despite my accomplishments and achievements, there was a nagging realisation that my highest qualification fell short of my aspirations. Holding a professional certificate in Food and Beverage Management from the American Hotel & Motel Association (AHMA), I wanted a more substantial academic foundation to expand my knowledge in other industries and explore my career prospects.

While my career trajectory had been remarkable, with noteworthy accomplishments and recognition along the way, I couldn’t shake the feeling that there were unexplored realms of knowledge and skill that I had yet to conquer. I yearned to acquire a comprehensive education in a field very foreign to me – Media Communications.

Driven by this burning desire for personal and professional growth, I made the biggest decision of my life in the year 2021— I resigned from my job to pursue a full-time Diploma in Media and Communications at PSB Academy. I had set my sights on PSB Academy, an esteemed institution known for its commitment to nurturing lifelong learners. With their wide array of academic programmes and emphasis on practical learning, I knew I had found the perfect avenue to embark on this transformative journey.

I chose PSB Academy due to its diverse range of programmes, including what I was interested in — media and communications. It also has partnerships with several renowned universities worldwide, all of which have programmes specially designed to help students gain practical skills with real-world experiences. PSB Academy was able to provide a comprehensive education that would equip me with the tools necessary to navigate the intricacies of an industry with confidence and finesse.

My decision to pursue this diploma full-time instead of part-time shocked many of my peers and clients. They doubted my decision and termed it as ‘reckless’ because I was walking away from a very successful career. But I felt otherwise as a full-time course would allow me to focus wholeheartedly on my studies. My hard work eventually paid off — I completed the diploma course in 2022 and was awarded the Top Student Award for Diploma in Media and Communications for my cohort.

An Even Bigger Challenge

My achievements motivated me even more. I was ready to embark on the next chapter of my journey, ready to take on an even greater challenge that had long lingered in the depths of my aspirations – the pursuit of a degree before my 60th birthday. With unwavering determination, I seized the opportunity that presented itself in November 2022 and enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Media and Communications programme at PSB Academy in partnership with Coventry University.

Choosing this particular degree was a deeply personal decision, as I wanted to delve deeper into the intricate workings of the media landscape, recognising its immense power to shape our opinions, beliefs, and ultimately, our society.

I chose Coventry University as a result of careful consideration and extensive research. The university’s esteemed reputation preceded it, renowned for providing students with a rigorous academic experience that equips them with the knowledge and skills required for a successful career. I knew that by choosing Coventry University as my academic partner, I would be embarking on a transformative educational journey that would not only broaden my horizons but also empower me to make a meaningful difference in the realm of media and communications.

Another practical consideration that factored into my decision was the affordability of pursuing a degree locally. While studying abroad in the United Kingdom had its allure, the financial implications were a significant deterrent. Opting to pursue my degree with Coventry Singapore at PSB Academy not only allowed me to save on costs but also ensured that I received the same education and guidance.

What I Like About PSB Academy

I like PSB Academy’s programmes because they are specially designed to provide students with a solid foundation in their chosen field of study, with an emphasis on real-life and industry-relevant applications. There are also industry placements that allow me to apply my knowledge and develop valuable skills to enhance my employability. Their programmes’ curriculums are also regularly reviewed to ensure that they remain relevant and in tune with the latest industry trends and developments.

Being part of the student community at PSB Academy was a truly enriching experience. The diverse mix of students from various age groups and nationalities created a valuable opportunity for cross-cultural learning and allowed me to learn from their perspectives and experiences. I was also able to draw on my previous work experience and share it with them, besides integrating it into my projects. Such a holistic approach to education makes my journey as a lifelong learner even more rewarding.

The lecturers at PSB Academy inspired me too. They made learning less daunting by breaking down complex topics into bite-size information and provided me with tips that helped me rethink my approaches in my real-life business engagements.

The Pathway Thereafter

After finishing my degree course, I aspire to be a corporate relations specialist with a learning institution or in the financial sector, where I can showcase my new skillsets, such as writing press releases, pitching stories to the media, and developing social media strategies. With my vast experience in the corporate sector, I am confident I will be an asset to any organisation. Ultimately, a qualification only serves as a stepping stone for you. It is the effective application of your knowledge that matters the most.

My education journey with PSB Academy has definitely impacted my personal growth, professional trajectory, and overall sense of accomplishment. As I navigate the stimulating academic challenges, I was able to forge meaningful connections and uncover newfound insights that have enriched my journey.

For mature students like me, I would say: Face your fears and go ahead to pursue your knowledge as a lifetime passion. It may seem intimidating, but a sound education is one of the best investments you can make for your own future. Just go for it and you too, can celebrate the triumphs and tribulations that come with pursuing lifelong learning, proving that age is merely a number when it comes to fulfilling our dreams!