When she was in secondary school, Miss Nadia Natasha Azmi was terribly shy.
"I avoided public speaking. During class presentations, I would get my groupmates to talk instead," she said.
Today, the 23-year-old has overcome her fears and commands a crew of technical producers - all older than her - as a studio director at MediaCorp.
"In video production, I can't be soft-spoken. I have to give directions to get the shots I want," she said.
She credits her transformation to her education at Temasek Polytechnic (TP), where she graduated from the Communications and Media Management course in 2011.
"When I first entered the course, everyone was so outgoing. I knew I had to step up," said Miss Nadia, who enrolled in a public speaking course in TP and joined the student council.
She shared these anecdotes with prospective students as a panel speaker at the Beyond 'O' Level Seminar at TP on Saturday.
Also on the panel of speakers that day were two other alumni - Mr Samuel Gan, 33, team leader at A*Star's Bioinformatics Institute, and Mr Larry Peh, 38, creative director of design studio &Larry.
Both said they chose the polytechnic route as it offered them a specialised education.
The only current student on the panel was final-year student Eddie Chew, from TP's Business Intelligence and Analytics course (see above).
Koko Than, 16, who attended the seminar, was inspired by Mr Chew's story.
Koko, who hopes to enter one of TP's business courses, said: "I used to think people like (Mr Chew) were overachievers.
"But after hearing his story, I realised it's possible for me to be like him."
This article was first published on January 13, 2015.
Get The New Paper for more stories.