Growing up, she dreamed of becoming a fashion designer.
But when the time came for her to pick her desired polytechnic course, Miss Vienn Han, 21, put Early Childhood Studies at Temasek Polytechnic (TP) as her first choice.
Miss Han attributes the 180-degree change to her father's foresight.
"He's seen me since young being very comfortable with children. Looking back, I think he is a very wise man," she said.
Of his daughter's decision to become an early childhood educator, Mr Han Chee Kwang, 61, said: "I'm happy she's chosen a job which is suitable for her character."
She was a speaker at the Beyond O Level Seminar on Jan 9.
Miss Han said: "It was a difficult decision that required a lot of courage.
"Even my aunt, who is a fashion designer, told me I should go for Early Childhood Studies.
"I came to the conclusion that what I learn in the course will come in handy anyway, since I'm going to be someone's mum one day."
By the end of her first semester, Miss Han knew she had made the right choice.
"I have never been academically inclined, but once I started (school), I got really good results. It just came naturally to me. Everything seemed to fall into place," she said, her eyes lighting up.
During school holidays, Miss Han took up relief teaching "just to be sure of my ability to communicate with children".
"It all felt very natural to me," she said of her relief teaching stints, one of which was in a private preschool and another in My First Skool..
Miss Han received the PAP Special Industry Foundation Award for her excellent performance during her internship.
She went on to secure a $25,000 scholarship from the Early Childhood Development Agency and NTUC First Campus.
After graduating in 2014, she started work at My First Skool, NTUC First Campus' childcare arm.
Miss Han said the children sometimes inspire her to look at things from a simpler, different perspective.
"Some things, like how the tables are arranged, are done in a certain way. We don't think of changing it, but one day, the children suggested arranging them in a different way.
"I found myself thinking, why not? Since then, they have been coming up to me with various suggestions," she said.
When asked if she wonders how different life could have been if she had pursued design, she simply shook her head.
"If you don't think of what could have happened, I think it means you truly love what you're doing," she said.
This article was first published on Jan 9, 2016.
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