Miss Hazel Bong was devastated when she did not perform well in the O-level examination and was unable to get into a local polytechnic or junior college.

The dream to pursue diploma studies in law was seemingly over for this N-level certificate holder then.

“There were people who doubted me, put me down and believed that I was not cut out to pursue legal studies,” recalls Ms Bong, 19.

But that was just the beginning of her learning journey.

While searching for other education options online, she found out that Kaplan Higher Education Academy Singapore offers over 25 diploma programmes across eight disciplines that include accounting, communication and media as well as property management.

But what drew her interest was its full-time Diploma in Business and Law.

In order to take up a diploma programme at Kaplan, she needed to complete and pass three Foundation Studies (English Language, Critical Thinking and Mathematics) subjects, which are a pre-requisite for N-level and O-level graduates.

Ms Bong says this preparatory module enabled her to gain a certain level of English proficiency, critical thinking skills in adverse situations and knowledge of the American Psychological Association style of citation to aid her in writing reports.

She once lacked focus, but she renewed her drive to ace all her subjects and commenced the diploma course in June last year. And she went on to achieve mostly distinctions.

One reason that influenced Ms Bong’s decision to further her studies at Kaplan was the good reputation it had built up over the years.

Her choice was affirmed by the school’s conducive environment for learning, as well as facilities that allow students to print assignments and borrow reference materials.

What made her learning journey at Kaplan most memorable were the helpful lecturers.

“To help us excel, they are willing to go the extra mile by addressing any
queries we have out of class, even though they are not obliged to,” she says.

When approached after classes, some lecturers would even spend up to two hours sharing their experiences and giving her one-on-one coaching.

Ms Bong’s positive experience with Kaplan led her to further her studies with the education institute.

After completing her diploma, she signed up with Kaplan again for the Bachelor of Business Studies with Law (Hons) degree that it offers in partnership with the National University of Ireland, University College Dublin.

She commenced the one-and-a-half-year programme in October and will graduate in 2018.

As Kaplan offers flexibility, she is able to work as a public relations manager at FDK Automobile & Leasing Services while studying.

Ms Bong has always been interested in law and how people resolve a dispute in a professional and legitimate way.

And the knowledge she gained from her studies at Kaplan enabled her to understand contracts and agreements peppered with legalese.

Her responsibilities include drafting leasing and rental contracts, official company letters of claim and purchase and sales agreements.

She even helped her company claim compensation arising from dispute cases.

Recognising her passion and potential, her managing director gave her a raise and even authorised her to represent the organisation in resolving civil disputes in court.

Says Ms Bong: “Grades do not define a person’s character, personality or even success.

“I believe that everyone has a unique set of skills that will lead them to achieve success in future.”

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Article by Meredith Woo
Source: The Straits Times© Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.