Joel Sasmita Naidu D/O Nivender
My Journey from N-Level to University
The year sure flew by in the blink of an eye, didn’t it? It’s already December and if you’re an N-Level candidate like I was, you’ll definitely have a lot more to anticipate on top of Christmas and New Year countdowns.
As you await your N-Level results, I want to encourage you never to give up no matter how you fare! If going to university is your goal like how it was mine, it is absolutely achievable. Here is my story.
I had a really tough time in secondary school
A lot went on during my early teenage years.
While my family had high expectations of me, I found myself easily distracted in class. Certain learning disabilities made it hard for me to understand what I was taught, and I also couldn’t get along with some teachers.
On top of all that, I began facing health issues in Upper Secondary—often missing lessons or entire school days due to illness and hospital appointments. My grades inevitably slipped, and I fared unsatisfactorily for my N-Level examinations.
My dream of becoming a university student one day felt impossible to realise back then.
PSB Academy offered me an alternative route
I went on to study the Nitec in Applied Food Science at ITE College East for about ten months, before realising that this course wasn’t the one for me.
Thankfully, my mother introduced me to PSB Academy! The IGCSE preparatory course offered by the School of Foundation Studies felt like a second chance for me to do better and make up for the time lost in secondary school, so I signed up.
The course schedule was intensive, but this only motivated me to push myself even more. It also helped that class sizes were kept small. There were only about ten students—myself included—and this gave me more chances to interact with my teachers and get all the help I needed.
After I successfully completed the course and passed my IGCSE examinations, I decided to continue studying at PSB Academy. In just two years, I’ve embarked on the Certificate in Business Administration, progressed to the Diploma in Business Administration (Digital Marketing), and here I am now—doing a degree like I’ve always wanted!
Studying has been intense but fun
I really enjoyed studying for my certificate and diploma courses!
Classes were very interactive, and I learnt a lot from my lecturers. Many of them generously shared with us their knowledge and industry experience. For example, my lecturer who taught me the ‘Digital Engagement and Loyalty’ module that I took during my diploma studies, was an industry practitioner himself. He would share examples of what he does during his lessons.
I was kind of shocked that I’ve made this far after graduating with a diploma, and am now living out my dream. Things feel good but overwhelming; having matriculated directly into year two of my digital marketing degree, I have a lot of prep work and revision to do. This allows me to keep up with the momentum of my studies, however, and start preparing for the workforce much earlier. I’m ready for any challenges that come my way!
I found my passion through PSB Academy
Yes, I did! I aspired to become a neurosurgeon as a child but, as I progressed with my diploma studies, I discovered that I was more interested in numbers and marketing. My end goal is to work full-time in either Google or Disney.
PSB Academy’s education route not only offers a fast progression but also enables students to explore their interests. I was exposed to the basic concepts of digital marketing during the Certificate in Business Administration; hence, it was easier to choose and confirm that this was the path I wanted.
My diploma studies, in turn, allowed me to improve on my presentation skills, acquire project coordination skills, and gain relevant industry experience through applied projects. More importantly, it allowed me to specialise in Digital Marketing and gain a head start in my undergraduate studies.
PSB Academy has helped me to learn better and achieve my dream, and I look forward to the day I graduate!
To all the students out there who are currently in secondary school, especially those about to complete the N or O-Level examinations, or just about anyone: things can get difficult and stressful. There will be moments when you compete not just with others, but also with yourself. You may even start wondering whether you are doing enough, and if higher education or getting a degree is out of your reach.
At the end of the day, however, we are all different people with different learning abilities! You may have messed up once, but that does not mean there is no second chance; you may not have gotten the course that you wanted, but that does not mean you have to stick with it—there are always other opportunities that will come your way.