26 May 2020: Yale-NUS graduating seniors to contribute to diverse industries from education, to aviation and the arts

By Muhammad Firdaus 

This month marks the official completion of undergraduate life for the Class of 2020 as the graduating seniors get set to embark on their next phase of life. For some, they are looking forward to contributing to diverse sectors in Singapore, namely education, aviation and the arts.

Krishan Sanjay Mahesh (Class of 2020). Image by Darren Ang for Yale-NUS College. 

Among them is Krishan Sanjay Mahesh (Class of 2020), who plans to be a secondary school teacher. After graduating, Krishan will enrol in the Postgraduate Diploma in Education course at the National Institute of Education. Thereafter, he will teach Physics and Mathematics to secondary school students.

During his time in college, Krishan, who is a recipient of the Ministry of Education Teaching Scholarship, spent a summer break at a secondary school attachment where he taught classes and led a project to set up a Science Talent Programme.

As a Physical Sciences major who minors in Psychology, Krishan believes that the wide range of courses offered at Yale-NUS has allowed him to explore fields outside of his major that are especially relevant to his future career.

“As an educator, I’ll be working with students from different backgrounds and varied interests. Ultimately, I am invested not only in their academic but also their holistic development. Psychology courses at Yale-NUS have informed me on the intricate workings of human behaviour, and I plan to apply what I’ve learnt about development and social psychology in the classroom.”

Juliette Chia (Class of 2020). Image by Darren Ang for Yale-NUS College. 

For Urban Studies major Juliette Chia (Class of 2020), Yale-NUS offered a unique opportunity for her to integrate her academic interests with her future profession at the Changi Airport Group (CAG).

Juliette is excited about how her interest in Urban Studies could align with CAG’s vision of building an aerotropolis in Singapore. “Learning about the Changi East developments, I began to see the promise of aviation and how the airport empowers residents to get in touch with the rest of the world,” she added.

After graduating, Juliette, who is a recipient of the CAG Scholarship will join the Group’s Airside Transformation Office, to contribute to transforming processes like baggage-handling to become more efficient and automated.

During her first summer break in 2017, she interned at a passenger-facing cluster and witnessed new, innovative measures being rolled out to self-check-in kiosks. The experience sparked her enthusiasm to be at the helm “of conceptualising and ideating change in an industry like aviation.”

According to Juliette, the topics covered in the Urban Studies major has enabled her to better define her views on transformation and how such changes ought to be implemented responsibly.

“When it comes to these mega-projects, the Urban Studies major offered me a different perspective and taught me to ask questions from a more critical lens. I think such questions are important and could positively affect the way future projects are rolled out,” she said.

Nathaniel Mah (Class of 2020). Image by Darren Ang for Yale-NUS College. 

Nathaniel Mah (Class of 2020) will be joining the National Gallery Singapore after graduating.

An Arts & Humanities major, Nathaniel is a recipient of the Singapore Industry Scholarship. The scholarship is a partnership between the government and the private sector, targeting young Singaporean talents who are keen to contribute to leading organisations in Singapore’s strategic sectors. For Nathaniel, what drew him to join the National Gallery Singapore was his passion for the arts.

“I am always interested in the arts and know I want to work within the arts sector. My main practice is in theatre and music, but I’ve always enjoyed the visual arts,” he said.

In particular, Nathaniel is interested in the Gallery’s Audience Development & Engagement team and hopes to be involved in the planning of the annual Gallery Children’s Biennale.

Nathaniel values his experiences at Yale-NUS and shares that they have prepared him well for his future career. “During my time in college, I’ve done oil painting, animation, music and theatre. The different classes and programmes I took part in widened my understanding of what art can be, and how different art forms interact and interface with each other,” he shared.

One particularly impactful experience, for Nathaniel, was his Learning Across Boundaries (LAB) trip in 2018 to Maine, USA, led by Assistant Professor of Humanities (Writing, Literature) Heidi Stalla and then Yale-NUS faculty member Dr Diana Chester. LAB is a flagship Yale-NUS programme that allows faculty members to share their scholarship with students outside of the classroom and create an opportunity for students to explore themes of the curriculum in a broader context.

“We went to Maine for a week, for an artist retreat. That was a really eye-opening experience for me, in terms of the insight it gave me into art-making and the process of translating ideas into art,” he said.

“After all, if I’m going to be working with artists, an understanding of the process behind art-making will be very important.”