Your focus determines your reality
Aung Kyi Kyi
At age 18, Kyi Kyi Aung found herself sitting next to students two years her junior for the Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education (Ordinary Level) Examination. Having just relocated to Singapore then, the Myanmar national flew in from her hometown and landed squarely atop the steep learning curve of Singapore’s competitive education system. It was a vastly different structure and society from what she had known her whole life. It was new, it was exciting, but it was also exacting.
While Kyi Kyi relished the opportunities and experiences that came her way, emotions sometimes triumphed over willpower which often resulted in pangs of homesickness and battles with academic insecurities. Fast forward to a decade later and the the 29-year-old is now a confident young lady, set to graduate from PSB Academy with a first-class honours degree along with two prestigious awards. As Kyi Kyi looks upon her September convocation with much anticipation, she shares that her road to success in the instution was not at all a walk in the park.
Offered as a part-time degree by the Loughborough University (LU) of the United Kingdom, the Bachelor of Science in Business Studies programme has been known to give young business professionals an edge in career advancements within the market. Having heard of how esteemed the programme was, the high-achiever actually wrestled with a spectrum of doubts and fears prior to enrolling for the three-year course. As Kyi Kyi held a full-time position as an Executive Assistant at the National University Hospital, she lacked the confidence in juggling both career and education.
Although Kyi Kyi finally mustered up the courage to submit her degree application, she found that her first year of university was nothing short of an uphill battle. She struggled to adjust to the pace and demands of the curriculum, citing that every assignment was tagged to a vast amount of research. In those trying moments, Kyi Kyi would turn to her laptop screen and draw strength from three seemingly perfunctory words - Focus. Inspire. Succeed. This quote by professional wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson flashed brightly at Kyi Kyi each day and eventually became a mantra by which she lived by.
Over time, Kyi Kyi gradually began to grasp the academic expectations required of her and started mastering the skill of critical independent thinking in both group and solo assignments. This new-found fortitude eventually enabled the go-getter to perform exceedingly well in her modules and go on to graduate top of her class.
Having previously graduated with a Diploma in Business Administration (Marketing Management) from PSB Academy, transitioning to university life within the same campus was a natural decision for Kyi Kyi. Her 18-month journey pursuing the diploma alerted to her to the outstanding management committee of the institution and the effort that the team constantly exerts to enhance student experience on campus.
The recipient of the Nimal Wijayaratna Prize and Final Year Prize also accredits her meaningful journey at the academy to her lecturers. She said, “There are several lecturers whom I admire and feel deserve great respect. One of them is Dr. Belinda Dewsnap, a Senior Lecturer in Marketing Strategy and Planning. She is a great lecturer who is full of drive and always highly committed to guiding her students. In terms of local lecturers, Dr. John Heng is someone that I will remember for exemplifying deep insights on current affairs. He is very approachable and I will miss having chats with him during breaks.”
After a total of four and a half years at PSB Academy, the curtains of Kyi’s Kyi’s journey as a student have finally been drawn. As she looks back on the many fond memories, Kyi Kyi shares that she misses the corridor conversations most. She recalls how students of all nationalities, from all walks of life would turn into a singular unit huddled outside the classroom door in the minutes before lessons began. Though the conversations were always filled with complaints and commiseration, it was their own unique way of introducing a note of levity to brighten an otherwise toilsome day.
While Kyi Kyi now embarks upon a new chapter, she is not quite ready to bid farewell to tertiary life just yet. The business professional hopes to someday pursue a Master’s degree that will further enable her to climb the market ladder in the Operations and Administrations industry. In the meantime, Kyi Kyi continues to root for PSB Academy and their plans for the upcoming city campus in Marina Square. She said, “I’m quite excited to see the future of PSB Academy and I do hope to see it becoming the top private education institution in Singapore.”