Extra courses lead to bronze medal in regional competition for ITE graduate

After graduating from one course at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College East, she went back to pursue her dream course.

Miss Khloe Ng's persistence and hard work was rewarded when she won a bronze medal in the Beauty Therapy category in the 11th ASEAN Skills Competition last month.

The ASEAN Skills Competition has been around since 1993 and, every two years, it lets competitors from regional countries showcase skills such as cooking and hairdressing.

Miss Ng, 20, a former Serangoon Secondary School student, enrolled in the Electrical Engineering course after missing the cut for the Beauty and Wellness course.

She performed decently in her course, but remained more interested in Beauty and Wellness.

Her twin sister, Miss Kaylyn Ng, was in that same course.

Miss Khloe Ng told The New Paper: "I really liked studying in Electrical Engineering, but I felt that the beauty and spa industry would be more appropriate for me. The hours required in Electrical Engineering were a little too long."

Her teacher told her to change courses, but she wanted to finish what she had started.

After two years, she joined the Higher Nitec in Beauty and Spa Management course and she did so well she was shortlisted by her form teacher, Ms Heather Leung, 51, to enter the competition.

Ms Leung said: "Khloe is very reserved and can be very quiet in class, to the point that you don't realise she's there sometimes.

"She follows instructions to a T and picks up skills quickly, executing them professionally with high standards. She also thinks on her feet and that's how I knew she would be fit for the competition."


The days leading up to the competition in Kuala Lumpurwere mentally and physically draining for Miss Ng as she had finished her exams just two weeks earlier.

To add to her stress, it was mandatory for candidates to go through extra in-depth training classes outside of their curriculum to prepare them for industry-standard skills.

"I was nervous about the competition and wasn't sure if I was ready," said Miss Ng.

"But my friends and family encouraged me to seize the opportunity as it was an experience, so I did."

She said she became so nervous during the competition that she did badly on the first day. She kept forgetting the steps and dropping her tools.

While she was taking a break, she walked around to calm herself down and tried to remember what the procedures were.

Said Miss Ng: "I had to tell myself to treat it as if it's a normal training in school."

The three days of competition included a segment on manicures, pedicures and facials on the first day, express facial and spa/body on the second day, and nail art and make-up on the last day.

When she found out she had won a bronze medal, both she and Ms Leung could not believe it.

Miss Ng's mother, Madam Solvin Goh, 48, told TNP in Mandarin: "I'm so proud of my daughter and that her efforts have paid off. This competition wasn't about winning the prize, but the experience and striving to do the best that you can."

Miss Ng won the bronze medal with an Indonesian candidate, while two Malaysian candidates won the gold medal.

Dr Yek Tiew Ming, 56, principal of ITE College East, said: "The school and I are very happy for Khloe.

"I felt she worked hard and had an immense amount of self-discipline, given the fact that it was an international competition and she was pitting herself up against others who are the best in the country.

"I hope that she can continue to pursue her passion in this field and continue to prove herself, like others before her."

This article was first published on October 08, 2016.
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