Apr 2015

Design Grads Experience a Burst of the Real World

Internships are generally a hit or miss. We either like them or we don’t. The transition from an educational atmosphere to a corporate atmosphere can be nerve-wrecking – and that’s what students dread. Some people claim their experiences have been a walk in the park (must’ve been a blissful experience!) while others vow to never relive their intern days.

We spoke to two design students Eliza Liaw and Shi Min Wong, who were engaged in the Student Internship Program (SIP) and the Overseas Student Internship Program (OSIP), respectively. Both ladies mentioned their internships were much more than swimming in paperwork and mastering the art of coffee-making.

Meet Eliza. Graduating this May with the Interior Architecture & Design (IAD) Diploma from TP’s Design school, she had the opportunity to work with EDG Design. She was their first intern in the Singapore office.


“They were very interested in what I wanted to learn, so on different days they would let me do different things. It was more hands-on, they taught me a variety of things and let me be a part of their ongoing projects,” said Eliza.

Eliza set up material boards and helped them with their presentation slides and sketches. She even had the opportunity to travel to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to present designs (of F&B outlets) to a prominent hotel group.

Eliza had the opportunity to be a full-fledged working adult as Managing Director, Michael Goodman, of EDG, instructed his staff not to treat her as an intern, but with all the responsibilities of an employee.

“You get to know how the industry functions – like how people think, how people work, what are the realistic things to expect,” said Eliza. “Working there just confirmed what I really wanted to do.”

Eliza was offered a full-time position during her second week with EDG. Talk about making an impression!

Just like Eliza, Shi Min is also in the IAD Diploma. She’s traveled across waters and adapted to a different culture for three months while interning with Steven Leach in Taipei, Taiwan.


“Quite a few people are afraid to go overseas for internships, I was quite hesitant myself, but in the end, it was great,” said Shi Min. “Even if you can’t speak the language, you get to learn how to communicate in other ways – drawing graphics etc.”

Shi Min’s manager allowed her to take control of certain projects – even the design work. With a high level of responsibilities, she faced real-world challenges that she had to manage.

“In school we have two weeks or two months to do up a whole project, but at work it’s only one week or less – I was quite shocked and stressed.”

Learning the reality of things prepared her for the working world. She was also offered a position in the company and similarly, most of her friends had secured their jobs through their internships.

“They got to know what kind of working style they like and some of them realised that they love being in the field, while others realised they were more interested in other things,” said Shi Min. “I think that’s the most important thing – the internship confirms our passion for the subject.”

Shi Min had the opportunity to venture around Taipei and even picked up surfing! She aspires to own her very own interior design or architecture firm in the near future.

Like both graduates, we too feel uneasy jumping out of our comfort zones, and into new environments. But once we get the hang of it, get ready to shine! Internships not only help us learn and grow as a professional, it allows us to create bonds with others and make memories to last a lifetime.

Taking on an internship real soon? Show ‘em what TP students are made of! Strut your best knowledge and have a blast!

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Jan 2015

Alisa Parveen: Fusing Architecture And Henna Art

Alisa Parveen has two great talents – a creative knack for architecture and an intricate talent for henna designing.

Alisa, TP School of Design Alumni (2009), has since pushed limits in her professional career and personal hobby – showing us that we can truly achieve our goals. She now stands as an international henna star with her recently launched book, The Henna Narrative, and come this December 2015, she will have completed her   Master of Architecture at the University of Melbourne.


A bubbly and talkative individual, Alisa recalled her unforgettable times at Temasek Polytechnic. She was completely sold when she attended TP’s Open House. The unity and liveliness of students made her want to be part of the TP family – and so she did! Alisa applied for the Diploma in Interior Architecture and Design, making tons of friends in the process. In Design School, it is important to share ideas with your course mates and keep expanding creativity, according to Alisa. She was constantly meeting people through events and Temasek Poly helped mold her in order to prepare for the real world.

“I would have to dress up for presentations in school and actual architects would come in to look at my work. I think what prepared me for the outside world was building that ability to take critiques of my work,” Alisa added.

And when she’s not busy in the studio, Alisa is getting creative with henna drawings. With 15 years of experience under her belt, Alisa’s designs are no ordinary ones. They are unique, intricate and have an underlying story behind them. From Indian, Moroccan, Indo-Arabic, Gulf to Western, Alisa has crafted henna with an international inspiration. Alisa enjoys taking up challenging and new designs as they push her creativity.

What’s more – the cover photo (below) of her new book features TP’s very own third year Design student, Trishna Goklani, who is currently pursuing a Diploma in Apparel Design and Merchandising.


A popular face at the Hari Raya and Deepavali Bazaars for years, Alisa has taken her talent out to the art markets in Sydney, Australia. Every Saturday without fail, you would spot Alisa creating modern and traditional henna art on eager people from all over the world. She gets her design inspiration mostly from beautiful historical landmarks—the Victorian, ornamental and traditional places that Sydney has to offer.


Alisa even gets henna design inspirations from her architecture lectures at times. She might be sitting in a café and suddenly have a light bulb moment on a new pattern idea. It’s so interesting to see how architecture and henna designing go hand-in-hand, and Alisa is able to connect these two.


Siobhan is the model pictured above – who is also Alisa’s friend from the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Her neckpiece was so beautifully done that it could even be mistaken as a piece of lace fabric. As a designer, Alisa feels the need to break out of her comfort zone and experiment with new art constantly.

Six years after graduating from TP, Alisa continues to keep in contact with her friends from the School of Design; she could never forget them as they were a big part of her poly life – practically siblings! They would work in the studio, eat together, share ideas and spend a lot of time in school. She’s made some good friendships.

“TP Design is all about creativeness,” Alisa said. “As much as practicality kicks in once in a while, they like to push your thinking boundaries.”

Alisa continues to chase her goals and set higher achievements for herself. She intends to create more design books in the future, become a renowned architect and continue her henna passion.

Just like Alisa, we all have huge goals and dreams – don’t ever give up TP family!

*Stay tuned for more inspirational stories as we venture into the lives of TP Alumni*

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Jan 2015

“I’ve got my O level results, now what?”


Calling out all post – O level students! Since you’re about to make one of the most crucial decisions of your life starting with the Joint Admissions Exercise (JAE), we’ve decided to throw together a quick guide of all the things you need to take into account before making that all important choice!

  1. The last Aggregate Score – the aggregate score of the last person who made it into the course in 2014. Naturally, the first person in, must have had a lower aggregate score. However, the score last year may not be the same this year. So while a low aggregate score may indicate that the course was popular last year, it doesn’t mean you don’t stand a chance of getting in if you score a wee bit higher. Remember to use the score strictly as a guide!
  2. Minimum Entry Requirements (MERs) – To first qualify for a course, you need to meet the MERs. For most poly courses, this includes passing Mathematics and English. When you get your O level results, the Form A given to you will include all the courses that you qualify for. Course codes that start with T are the TP courses you qualify for. Pay attention to this list and look up the courses that you are keen on applying for. Visit the TP website for more information on the courses you’re interested in!
  3. ELR2B2 – This is how your aggregate score is computed. Just add your grades for English Language (EL) + 2 relevant subjects (R2) + 2 best subjects (B2). There are four types of ELR2B2 – A, B, C, D. That’s because the relevant subjects varies across different courses. For example, the relevant subjects for Communication Design are different from those of Veterinary Technology.
  4. Course Intake – Click on the Course Intake link here and find out what the intakes for the courses you’re interested in will be in 2015. This, together with the Last Aggregate Score, will give you an indication of how competitive a place in those courses will be.
  5. Twelve Choices – You will get to apply for 12 courses so be sure to put down the courses you’re most interested in as your first few choices, even if you don’t meet last year’s score. After that, put down the courses that match your area of interest, and which you stand a good chance of getting into. Your last few choices are for courses that you are very confident of getting into, as their last scores are a few points higher than your aggregate score.

Now in addition to the quide above, Temasek Polytechnic has put in place a set of plans to help you make that decision a tad bit easier!

From 12th till 16th January, we have course advisors on standby here at TP to handle any questions you may have about the different diplomas. Parents are welcome to come along!

Individual Course Counselling Sessions

• 12 Jan (Mon): 3pm – 5pm
• 13 Jan (Tues): 9am – 7pm
• 14 Jan (Wed): 9am–7pm
• 15 Jan (Thu): 9am – 7pm
• 16 Jan (Fri): 9am – 4pm

For those of you who want more detailed information on each of our six schools (Design, Applied Science, Business, Engineering, Informatics & IT, Humanities & Social Sciences), head down to the JAE Centre at TP on 13 Jan and 14 Jan for the JAE Course Preview Talks.

JAE Course Preview Talks

13 Jan
2.00 pm: School of Engineering
3.00 pm: School of Applied Science
4.00 pm: School of Humanities & Social Sciences

14 Jan
2.00 pm: School of Business
3.00 pm: School of Informatics & IT
4.00 pm: School of Design

On top of this, TP has an online initiative called Live Chat which starts from 9.30am daily and ends at 1.00am. Our alumni are ready and prepared to answer your questions about the various courses and more importantly, what poly life is like at TP.

Now, lighten up and relax! The JAE isn’t as daunting as it appears to be! If you think about it carefully, this really is your chance to get closer to your dream. All the best and remember to choose wisely!

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Jan 2015

Day three of #bestdayevertp!

The following blog post was written by Nurul Asyikin Binte Yusoff, first-year student from the Diploma in Communications & Media Management.

Nurul Asyikin Binte Yusoff
Photo credits: Nurul Asyikin Binte Yusoff & Naadhirah Binte Razak

The third and final day of Temasek Polytechnic’s Open House (TPOH) 2015 began with the annual Beyond O Level (BOL) Seminar at the Temasek Convention Centre (TCC). The BOL seminar is an informative and in-depth session about life at Temasek Polytechnic, targeted at parents and soon-to-be O level results takers. Course structures, admission exercises, student life – you name it, they covered it!

Some of our successful alumni came down to TCC to share their experiences and advice with the audience, followed by a question-and-answer session with a group of esteemed faculty members from each school.


By the time the seminar ended, the final day of TPOH 2015 had begun proper. Perhaps because it was a Saturday, the number of visitors seemed to have tripled over the last two days. The campus was once again a flurry of activity as people clamoured to get the most out of the last day of this year’s Open House. TP students were on hand once again to answer burgeoning questions about student life at TP as well as the 51 diplomas on offer across the six schools.

I was involved with my diploma’s studio tours for much of the afternoon, ushering groups through MediaBiz Studio and showing off our industry-standard equipment. But the most fulfilling part of the tours was being able to share my experiences in Communications and Media Management (CMM) with the interested parties, especially when they expressed their desires to join the diploma in the new academic year.


For those who were hoping that TPOH 2015 would end with a bang, I think I can safely say that they were not disappointed. After much anticipation, the Temasek Polytechnic Dance Ensemble (TPDE) finally performed for the crowd and it was well worth the wait! More than 20 dancers were involved in the performance, and their fluid dance moves had the crowd chanting for an encore despite the light drizzle.

In fact, TPDE’s performance had everyone incredibly pumped up for the final mass dance of TPOH 2015. By this time, it was raining buckets but no one was paying any attention to the weather. For one last time, students from each school gathered in the Plaza to dance and laugh and, despite the downpour, thoroughly enjoy themselves. The famous TP spirit was on show once more, and the feeling of togetherness in the air made me feel incredibly proud to be part of this family.


As we bring the curtains down on TPOH 2015, a very big thank you is in order to everyone who was involved – students, iGuides, lecturers or performers – in making TPOH 2015 a huge success and truly the Best Days Ever!

Not to mention the secondary school students, teachers and parents who attended our Open House and made the past three days what it was. The best of luck for your O level results, and we hope to see you on campus in April!

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Jan 2015

Day two of #bestdayevertp!

The following blog post was written by Nurul Asyikin Binte Yusoff and Rachel Agatha Oh, first-year students from the Diploma in Communications & Media Management.

Nurul Asyikin Binte Yusoff
Photo credits: Nurul Asyikin Binte Yusoff & Naadhirah Binte Razak

Day 2 of Temasek Polytechnic’s Open House 2015 is now over, but what a wonderful day it was! Once again, the campus was overflowing with secondary school students, all clamouring to find out more about the 51 diplomas TP has to offer.

Over at the Temasek Convention Centre, the Engineering Project Show brought each course to life with their innovative creations and inventions, while the diploma showcase at the School of Design left me in awe from the amount of artistic talent on display. I’m certain that there was more talent on one table than there is in my entire body—just kidding! The final-year students from the Diploma in Apparel Design & Merchandising even showed off their own designs in a fashion show, and what a visual feast that was!


Visitors were once again treated to a display of performances by the different CCAs and Interest Groups on campus, including an amazing performance by the ladies of TP’s Dikir Barat team. With each precise move, you just knew that these girls have been practicing for a long time and should be applauded for their efforts!

To conclude Day 2, students from all six schools gathered in front of the stage at the Plaza for a mass selfie before everyone danced together to the school song. The TP spirit on display was overwhelming and it has made me even more excited for the third and final day of TPOH 2015.


Let’s end Open House with a bang!

Rachel Agatha Oh
Photo credits: Rachel Agatha Oh

Welcome back to TP’s Open House 2015 as we set off on our second day! The turn up today outshone Day 1’s, with visitors sweeping in by the hundreds. If yesterday was big, today was bigger and better. The number of iGuides lining the hallways seemed to double in size from the day before, and their voices drummed out everyone else’s in a thunderous roar.


Today more secondary school students arrived in huge clusters, and more free gifts and goodies were handed out. Free notebooks were being handed out, and girls could even get their faces dolled up for free at the Etude House booth nearby. I was amazed at the amount of free things I was getting at every corner, and even went back for more of the free ice cream and cookies at the Applied Science School booth. Kudos to them, because it tastes awesome!

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Neither was there a shortage of captivating performances! The white tent situated near the school’s entrance was once more set aflame by TP’s brilliant performing arts groups. The Dikir Barat girls stole the limelight with their vivid sarongs and lively clapping as they sang in harmony. The Chinese Orchestra fascinated onlookers as well with their melodic rendition of the Super Mario theme song. Fingers flowed expertly across guzhengs while bows slid delicately over the huge cellos in a flurry of movements. Music Vox also returned to serenade the audience as they belted out songs, such as Elton John’s Bennie and the Jets.

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Not forgetting the ever-popular TP Mass Dance that was held at the stage, too. Many visitors and students alike did a double take as the iGuides and furry mascots set the scene with chirpy, choreographed moves! You could tell from their lit-up faces that they were having a blast; I was guilty of living vicariously through them.

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If you haven’t had the chance to come down for Day 1 and 2, there’s no need to fret. Head down to TP tomorrow for Open House Day 3 to learn more about our wide range of courses and our dynamic culture—and of course to join in the fun!

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