When she chose to study in a polytechnic, she never imagined flying to Dubai for a dream internship.
Miss Vythiswari Muralli, 19, is a third-year sustainable urban design and engineering (SDE) student at Ngee Ann Polytechnic's (NP) School of Design and Environment.
She did a three-month internship with DP Architects, one of Asia's largest architecture firm.
She told The New Paper: "Dubai is home to many iconic structures designed by famous architects. So, when my lecturer informed us about the internship, I jumped at the opportunity."
She thought she would not be handling much work as she was an intern. But she was surprised when her supervisor, the associate director of the Mena (Middle East and North Africa) region, with 27 years' experience, asked for her input on the design of commercial buildings and hotels.
"I was asked how I felt about building facades, their decorative elements, and what I thought could be done to make them better. I was honoured because I was only two years into architecture," she said.
Miss Muralli assisted with 3D modelling, drawing floor plans and did site analyses and reports.
She said: "Some of the projects I worked on are going to be built soon.
"I feel really proud of myself as I played a part, and it is my first step as an architect."
She added that her brief stint in the working world opened her eyes to the industry, and the course had equipped her with the relevant skills she needed.
"In school, when we had to do 90-page site analyses, I complained a lot," she said.
"But during the internship, I realised what I thought was small was actually relevant."
DP Architects has also expressed interest in hiring Miss Muralli full-time after she graduates.
She said: "I am so grateful I decided to study SDE in NP, because I never expected I would experience so many things. I thought I would simply study and graduate, but I got to visit many places such as Milan, Rome, Bali and Bandung for study trips and workshops."
Head of office of internship and careers in NP, Ms Christy Chung, said a polytechnic education is very industry-focused.
She said: "Poly has a close connection with the industry, and coupled with applied learning, graduates will be industry ready.
"A poly education is interdisciplinary in nature as it mimics the real world environment."
This article was first published on Jan 4, 2017.
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