Mother, businesswoman, and now Ngee Ann's star graduate: Learning not limited by age
Sophia Ho, 48, goes back to poly to plug 'gaps' and scores a GPA of 3.93
It is never too late to upskill, and graduate at the top of your class.
Twenty years ago, Ms Sophia Ho, now 48, co-founded Vintedge, a digital agency that provides digital marketing and professional technical services.
In the hopes of growing her business, she recently decided to upskill herself.
Ms Ho, who previously attained a diploma in visual communications from Temasek Polytechnic, told The New Paper recently: "The competitive landscape in the industry has changed over the years. We have to level up in our business strategy to be more sustainable.
"I had been learning on the job for the past 18 years, and I realised there were gaps in my understanding of business management."
While Ms Ho always felt she was not academically inclined, even suspecting that she suffers from undiagnosed dyslexia, she will graduate from Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) with a diploma with merit in business practice next Tuesday.
She is the only one who will receive the Achieve Group Prize for the most outstanding academic performance in the cohort. Ms Ho scored an almost perfect grade point average of 3.93.
The secret behind her most recent academic success?
Her 11-year-old son.
"From observing him, I realised that learning is natural to humans and a result of our curiosity," said Ms Ho, who reinforced what she learnt in school by applying it to her business.
"Learning and achieving good grades are two different things... When I seek to understand, the grades come naturally.
"Learning is not limited by age, it is limited only by mentality. We are unique and full of potential so always believe that the best has yet to come."
NP's graduation ceremony for the Class of 2021, which kicked off yesterday, also saw national table tennis champion Tan En Hui, 21, graduate with a diploma with merit in business studies.
She received the Activa Media Prize for most outstanding academic performance in the entrepreneurship management option.
Formerly a student at the Singapore Sports School, Miss Tan began her journey with NP via the through-train pathway programme, which provided her the flexibility to train and compete without compromising her studies.
She said: "I chose NP for its business course as I aspire to be an entrepreneur."
As a student-athlete, she had to be disciplined when it came to studying while competing.
Her efforts have paid off and she will be pursuing a bachelor's degree in business management at Singapore Management University.
Outside of school, she participated in voluntary efforts to provide welfare packs for the elderly and low-income families.
"I believe it is important to give back to the community and not only be on the receiving end."