At times, the road less travelled offers a more powerful and meaningful experience. Ms Yeoh Wan Qing (Arts & Social Sciences '20), a co-founder and Chief Product Officer of a social enterprise, chose to follow her bold ambition. Read on to learn more about her journey at NUS and her non-traditional path.

What was your family situation like when you first entered university?

My family’s breadwinner has always been my father. My mother works part-time at a F&B outlet; and my younger brother had just enlisted in National Service. Shortly after deciding to do a mid-career switch in 2019, COVID-19 hit, and it became difficult for my father to secure a job. He was jobless for almost two years. 

In 2020, my mother suffered from an illness and was hospitalised. It was challenging for my father to pay for our family’s expenses. He had to manage my university fees, his course fees and my mother’s medical bills.

How has the financial aid enabled you to achieve your goals?

The financial aid took a lot of stress off me. I could focus on my studies, and work on my start-up, develop my skills to go after my dreams and passions, without being constrained by financial limitations. The alumni donors are very selfless in supporting their juniors in their different pursuits. I personally know of many others who have benefitted from the generosity of donors like them.

A lot of us build friendships and life-long memories in university that we cherish and hold close to our hearts. The donors’ support enables many of us to do not just that, but also pursue more boldly, the dreams that we have without (financial) worry.

What is your most significant experience at NUS?

In Year 3, I attended the NUS Overseas College (NOC) Stockholm programme. The experience changed my outlook about work; and was integral in my growth as an individual and a start-up founder. I was matched to a venture builder; and my time there empowered me to dream. I was immensely inspired by the founders' dedication and devotion to their companies. It taught me a lot about the commitment it takes to build a company, and the trade-offs that one needs to make. It also ignited my passion to pursue entrepreneurship as my career.

What are your aspirations and future plans?

Our immediate plan as a company is to grow and scale our operations, targeting more learners and organisations. We noticed that the challenges our clients face are strikingly similar. We are working towards building a stronger name for ourselves as a training academy that can bridge learners from across backgrounds into digital and design roles. Accessibility is a key tenet in our work, so we are constantly looking for ways to make our products and services more accessible to more impact groups.

Our work represents our attempts to rewrite norms that we have come to accept as a society; and that is exciting to us. As we believe that our work is far from done, we constantly look for new opportunities to reach underserved groups.

I want to thank all donors for their generosity. While I could have chosen to embark on a more predictable career path to ensure financial stability, the financial aid I received enabled me to chase my dreams, and take the path less travelled to serve the community.