19 Apr 2010

Shelton: Stepping onto the Global Stage

Three students share their rewarding experiences at Shelton, where they are exposed to a cosmopolitan student population and internship opportunities in preparation for the real world.

From a very young age, Vanessa d/o Sundrasagar has always known that she wanted to work in the media industry. Thus, when she was looking through her options in furthering her studies, the diverse and challenging mass communications modules offered at Shelton College International immediately caught her eyes.

Spanning across only eight months, a Mass Communications diploma course at Shelton offers a shorter alternative for students, as opposed to the typical three-year courses in polytechnics. Students can then choose to augment their diploma with the advanced diploma and degree courses also available at Shelton.

In addition, the wide range of teaching strategies and learning methods at Shelton ensures that their students are not any less stimulated. “The lecturers are very experienced and their knowledge of the industry always makes lessons very interesting and fruitful. We are also encouraged to contribute our own inputs during discussions so that we can feed on each other’s ideas and help in each other’s learning,” Vanessa says.

Taste of the working world
The 19-year-old was also given the opportunity through her Shelton course to go on an industrial attachment as a marketing executive with a local company, Collagen Science Ptd Ltd.

This industrial attachment not only provided Vanessa with a platform to apply what she has learnt in school, it also gave Vanessa first-hand experience of how fast-paced and stressful working life can be.

During the half year stint at her attachment company, Vanessa got a taste of what her dream job will be like, as she shuttled between meeting up with clients to market the company’s products and managing exhibitions and other company events. She also touched on advertising campaigns, copywriting and website designing.

On Shelton’s role in helping her cope with her job demands, Vanessa says, “There is no specialisation in our course and we get to learn a bit of everything, so I can apply what I learnt to my job.”

“Throughout the six months, Shelton also regularly gave me feedback forms to make sure that I was alright there (with the company),” she adds.

Pressing on with passion
Though Vanessa now realises that her desired vocation is not always a bed of roses, she is still full of passion and determination for her future. Having completed her diploma course, Vanessa is now studying a one-year advanced diploma with Shelton, after which she hopes to continue studying at Staffordshire University.

“Since the internship, I am now more certain of what I want. I like how advertising is about thinking out of the box, which pushes me to tap into my creative side and channel all my ideas into fulfilling the demands of the client.”

The mini global village
For foreign students like Chen Yi Jun and Peng Zhi Hao, school culture is an important criterion when it comes to choosing an education institution. Thus, the multi-racial and multi-cultural student population at Shelton is a big draw for both China-born students.

“The international student population is one of the reasons that I chose to come here. I can get exposed to different cultures, which is useful for my studies,” says Yi Jun, who is pursuing an advanced diploma in Travel, Tourism and Hospitality at Shelton.

Similarly, budding entrepreneur Zhi Hao from Shanghai chooses to obtain a degree in International Business Management offered by Staffordshire University at Shelton because of its lively and harmonious learning environment.

“This school provides us with many opportunities to interact with and build relations with people from different countries. You can learn a lot from the international culture,” says the confident 20-year-old.

With students from countries like Korea, Russia, Thailand, India and China, Shelton is almost like a mini global village. According to Yi Jun, the abundance of co-curriculum activities, school events and festive celebrations serves as a good ice-breaker among the students of different nationalities.

Effective learning systems
Another huge draw for Yi Jun is the hands-on modules offered at Shelton, as the 20-year-old admits to not liking modules that are too theoretical.

“The course curriculum offered here is very interesting. My favourite module is Tourism Geography because I majored in Geography and History in high school, so I already have some foundation,” she shares.

On the other hand, Zhi Hao likes the flexible arrangement of his curriculum which comprises of eight core modules and some electives spanning across 12 months. This effectively means that he takes around one module a month in school. “I think this is more efficient. We go for class everyday, and then have exams at the end of the month. In this way, we can remember the contents of the module better,” Zhi Hao says.

While studying abroad may be daunting at first, both Yi Jun and Zhi Hao have no problems adapting to student life at Shelton. Shelton also provided them with English foundation classes to help them overcome their language barrier before they officially start their courses. “My teachers will also stop me from using Chinese and interact with me in English so that I have more chances to practice,” Yi Jun elaborates cheerfully.

Future stars on the world stage
At Shelton, students of different backgrounds are groomed into team players for the global stage. For Yi Jun, who plans to work for famous international hotel chains like Shangri-La in the future, such global exposure is invaluable. “I get to interact with Singaporeans and students from other countries and learn more about their culture and thinking. This will definitely help me with my career next time.”

Meanwhile, Zhi Hao believes that his interactions with his Korean classmates at Shelton will give him an edge when he helps out in his family business in Korea after graduation. “My uncle runs his business in Korea and I can help him communicate with the Koreans because I know their culture (through Shelton) and we can connect with each other better,” Zhi Hao says.

He elaborates, “This school sure provides us with more opportunities to build international relations and interaction because students come from different countries and we can communicate with each other, which is very important in business.”

Contributed by JobsCentral Pte Ltd