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Never give up on oneself

Kenneth Tay

“If there is any one lesson I can share with others, it will be never give up on oneself, hard work will definitely pay off sweetly!” - Kenneth Tay, final year student, Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical), University of Newcastle, Australia


Studied: Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) by University of Newcastle, Australia

Since young, Kenneth’s attitude towards his studies has always been a constant worry for his parents. Lady Luck finally left him during his “N” Levels, leaving him with the sole option to enrol in ITE. Four years ago, a casual but stinging remark by some friends about his obesity finally woke him up to take control of his life. With sheer hard work and determination, Kenneth proved he is in charge of his own life.

Tell us about the course you are pursuing at PSB Academy.

I am currently in the final year of my full-time Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical), awarded by University of Newcastle, Australia. Definitely looking forward to completing this and moving on to the workforce to apply what I have learnt!

We heard you went through rather rocky times to eventually get your act together?

Oh yes, those were the days when I simply chose to idle my time away and do nothing constructive. I remember being a constant worry for my parents, as I was nonchalant about my studies and barely made it through year after year. Unfortunately, my luck did not tide me through my “N” Levels, which resulted in me enrolling in ITE to pursue a NITEC followed by a Higher NITEC. 
To add on to my woes, I was obese, weighing close to 110kg. Four years ago, a casual remark made by some friends that I would never be able to lose weight given my unhealthy diet just hit me enough to take control of my own life.

Sometimes, motivation comes in unexpected and sudden ways…

It did, and I knew all I had to do was to believe in myself and work hard to achieve what I want. Not only did I shed almost 30kg, I also got my education back in place.
After my National Service and a brief work stint, I took up a Foundation Diploma at PSB Academy, with an eye on advancing to a Degree programme. I am sure glad I chose this path as the Engineering programme I am doing now has been keeping me engaged. I am curious about many things, and I am thankful my lecturers here are helpful and generous in sharing their knowledge. They even encourage me to continue keeping in touch with the academy after I complete my course, so that I can network with people who can value add to my career and keep myself up to date with industry trends and requirements. It is great that the academic staff here are concerned about us not just when we are studying here, but also as we progress to the workforce. 

Looking forward to completing your studies aside, how are you keeping a balanced life?

I try to dedicate time to all aspects of life that matter to me, such as my family, my studies and my passion for music. I have been a drummer with the PSB Academy Music Club and perform on a regular basis. This helps me to relieve stress and socialize with like-minded peers.