As Singapore continues to invest in and upskill local talent for the next stage of the country’s growth, unconventional pedagogies such as an arts education have an important role to play in designing the future of Singapore. It is against this backdrop of Singapore’s economic transformation that 870 graduates received their diplomas and degrees today at LASALLE College of the Arts’ 33rd Convocation.
The ceremony was officiated by Guest of Honour Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Communications and Information, who presented the McNally Award for Excellence in the Arts to valedictorian Jennifer Chua, BA(Hons) Animation Art. Jennifer is currently a Senior Graphic Designer at Up to Speed, where she uses her artistic skills to facilitate creative thinking through designing characters and storyboards for multinational corporations.
“Art used to be a side hobby for me, but after my studies in Raffles, I seriously pondered what I wanted to do in the future,” said Jennifer, who was educated at Raffles Girls’ School and Raffles Institution before LASALLE.
“The thought of a long-term job that wasn’t stimulating worried me. I realised art was a significant part of me, and more importantly, an aspect of life with unlimited room for improvement and application. It is challenging, invigorating and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else,” she continued.
Shaina Tan, who graduated today with a BA(Hons) Design Communication, was handpicked fresh out of College to join a team focused on innovation at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. She applies her design skills to her role as a service designer, where she interacts with employees from diverse backgrounds to improve healthcare systems processes.
Shaina was motivated to pursue a career in healthcare after losing her younger sister in 2018 to chronic illness. She said, “My hope is to keep promoting this expanded notion of design to position it as a powerful strategic and creative problem-solving methodology within the complex healthcare environment. I want to keep developing, augmenting and pushing the boundaries of healthcare innovation in Singapore.”
Other fresh graduates making their mark in varied vocations include Sarah Yap Soke Kee, a fine artist turned interior designer at Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA)’s luxury residential properties division, and Pooja Paras Mehta who joined LASALLE’s BA(Hons) Arts Management programme with a prior Diploma in Interior Design. Having gained experience in festival and events management as well as the entertainment industry, Pooja is now a Sales and Marketing Assistant with production company Bomanbridge Media.
LASALLE President Professor Steve Dixon said, “I am delighted to see our graduates making an impact in such a wide range of industries. It is a testament to the value of an arts education, and how LASALLE prepares its students well to take on a variety of roles in a changing and challenging world. Our students are trained to consider multiple perspectives, collaborate across programmes, adapt to change and be socially and globally conscious, which will serve them well when they enter the workforce.”