/18-year-old S’porean who failed to get into desired polytechnic course by 1 point now on track to earning her dream degree – Mothership.SG – News from Singapore, Asia and around the world

18-year-old S’porean who failed to get into desired polytechnic course by 1 point now on track to earning her dream degree – Mothership.SG – News from Singapore, Asia and around the world

Not doing well enough to gain entry into polytechnic was a huge blow to Kaylee Tan.

Tan, who was from the Normal/Academic stream in secondary school, narrowly missed the cut-off for a polytechnic foundation programme at the end of Secondary 4 which would have allowed her direct admission to poly.

“I scored 13 points but the cut-off for the programme was 12, so I missed it by one point. I was devastated as I studied really hard but did not make it,” said the 18-year-old.

Tan shared that as a result, she “lost motivation and the drive to do well for her ’O’s’” in Secondary 5.

Failing to gain entry into a polytechnic media and comms course that year via the early admissions exercise was also another setback for Tan.

“I was very disheartened as I was afraid I could not study something I was very passionate about,” shared Tan, who describes herself as an aspiring content creator.

However, to simply call Tan an “aspiring content creator” is probably an understatement.

Despite her young age, Tan already has close to 57,000 followers on Instagram and more than 53,000 followers on TikTok.

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Like many other Gen Z-ers, otherwise known as the TikTok generation, the video-sharing platform was what got her hooked on content creation three years ago, while on a secondary school trip to Shanghai.

“As most of the social media platforms were blocked in China, I decided to try out TikTok and from then on I discovered my love for filming and taking pictures,” enthused Tan, who posts videos of herself dancing, doing humorous skits and offers followers a glimpse into her life on TikTok.

However, Tan doesn’t deny that the potential opportunities to work with a wide range of companies and brands was part of what drew her to be a content creator in the first place.

“When I just started using social media, I often saw content creators sharing about new clothes and make-up launches, and I was thinking if it’s possible for me to create creative content like them too,” said Tan candidly.

“They would attend exciting events for product launches and I thought that was amazing because I have always loved dressing up and doing make up.”

It wasn’t long before Tan was invited to her first-ever event in 2020. It was a huge deal to the then-16-year-old.

“I felt very grateful that brands wanted to work with me and even pay me, even though I was just starting out on social media.”

Kaylee at her first invited event in 2020.

Despite being able to earn a decent income from creating content, furthering her education, especially in a field she was passionate about, was always at the back of her mind.

That’s when she came across PSB Academy’s certificate course in Media and Communications, which she eventually signed up for.

“I like that PSB Academy has a certificate to diploma route which takes less than two years to complete. They have also partnered with universities which allow module exemptions and if I continue to a Media and Comms degree I will be able to enter at year two. This allows me to finish my studies quickly so that I can pursue my dreams.”

And her dream — besides earning an income from being a full-time content creator — includes possibly starting a public relations (PR) firm in the future.

“I hope to maybe start a PR agency, so that I can connect creators and brands,” she shared.

At PSB Academy, Media and Communications students are automatically members of the Student Chapter of Institute of Public Relations of Singapore (IPRS).

Student members also get to experience industry visits and IPRS hosted events on an annual basis.

Knowing that there are options available to her helped to allay Tan’s fears for the future, instead of “constantly feeling stressed and worried” about not being able to continue her education journey.

“PSB Academy helped me realise that I can still pursue my dreams despite not doing well for my ‘O’ levels,” she shared.

Tan is currently on track to pursue a Diploma in Media and Communications.

The social media pathway in the diploma is in collaboration with Nas Academy, an educational platform by content creator Nas Daily.

While she acknowledges that academic qualifications are hardly a requirement when it comes to being a content creator, her keen interest in all things media has been a driving force.

Although it’s only been a few months since enrolling in PSB Academy, the skills Tan has picked up and enhanced — such as writing and effective communication — have been invaluable.

Tan counts herself as one of the lucky ones who has discovered her dreams early in life, telling us that it’s her wish to inspire others to follow their dreams and continue doing what they love.

“I would tell those studying for their ‘’N’ or ‘O’ levels this year to work hard in their studies and be daring enough to try out different hobbies or activities which will eventually lead them to something they like.”

“After that, pursue a diploma course of their interest so that they can have a wider view of the different jobs that relate to what they are passionate about. It’s important to discover your dreams.”

Click here to find out more about the Diploma in Media and Communications offered by PSB Academy.

PSB Academy will be holding a physical open house on Feb. 4, 2023, Saturday from 11am to 5pm at their campus in Marina Square.

Find out more here.

This article is sponsored by PSB Academy.

All images courtesy of Kaylee Tan