Chen Yu Lin graduated from the Chemical Engineering degree in 2015 and in the same year, he enrolled himself into the joint NUS-TUM Master degree in Industrial Chemistry. This decision was unprecedented in TUM Asia’s history, and is especially uncommon when it comes to Singaporean students. We speak with Yu Lin one year into his Masters, on his motivations and experiences.
Hi Yu Lin, as an introduction, perhaps can you tell us how did you first enroll into TUM Asia?
Yu Lin: I first heard about the Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from my polytechnic lecturers. They shared with me that a German-based education is ideal as the Germans are renowned for their engineering and scientific expertise and knowledge. Being interested to know more from that moment on, I did more research. TUM is highly rated amongst other prestigious and internationally recognized universities in education and research. I believed that completing my undergraduate studies at TUM Asia will enhance my learning and knowledge in science and engineering.
We know that most Singaporeans are satisfied with just a Bachelor’s degree, plus they will not consider a Masters so quickly. What made you decide to pursue TUM Asia’s Master degree right after graduation?
Yu Lin: In the highly competitive global market, getting a Master’s degree would set graduates apart from other candidates for specific job positions, particularly since engineering jobs require more technical skills in order to advance. My passion towards the subject and my experiences from my Bachelor programme and overseas exchange to TUM further directed my decision to pursue the Master of Science in Industrial Chemistry degree offered by TUM Asia.
It would benefit me immensely to achieve my career aspiration and learn a wide spectrum of specialized knowledge. The programme combines discipline-specific, business knowledge, advanced coursework with skills like critical thinking, analytical ability, and innovation that are easily transferred even if your career path changes. I gain a highly practical and industry focused training.
Why did you choose to start your Masters immediately?
Yu Lin: As I was a fresh graduate, jumping from a Bachelor to a Master degree was a smooth transition as I am still in the “student” mentality. Although the modules are filled with conceptual and specialised knowledge, I did not have a long break between my degrees compared to someone who worked before starting their Masters, so I was able to handle the challenges that came. I was able to find the energy and motivation to grasp and remember fundamentals. Besides studying, the Master programme provides direct industrial experiences in the internship and Master Thesis with a company or an institution.
You will be heading for your internship and thesis soon, what are your plans for them?
Yu Lin: Towards the end of our Master programme, we have to complete an internship and thesis. I will be doing my internship and Master thesis with a European oil and gas company in Singapore. During this time, I would like to broaden my knowledge horizon, gain industrial exposure and deliver my enthusiasm and contribution to the organization. The internship and industrial thesis will provide me with a chance to apply the education and knowledge that I have learned in school. I hope to strengthen my professional and transferable skills through actual experiences. This would also enable me to develop a better work habit to manage tasks and learn to carry myself in a professional environment.
We know that you have performed outstandingly for both your degrees. How did you manage to do it? Share your success story with us!
Yu Lin: It’s not rocket science or a special formula. Forming study groups with my classmates gave us a better chance to tackle the problems together. Having effective study plans, good time management, being attentive in class, focusing on the important information being taught and consulting our professors are some good practices I learnt to adopt. One thing I noticed is that the Masters programme involved a greater emphasis on independent and self-directed study compared to the Bachelors. It will challenge your ability to undertake a more comprehensive and higher level of subject knowledge. I also utilized more critical, independent and innovative thinking through group assignments or case studies from the Master degree.
Yu Lin graduated from the SIT-TUM Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, offered by TUM here in Singapore. He is currently completing his final semester of his Master studies, working on his Master thesis in an industrial setting.
Yu Lin will graduate in 2017 with his Master degree. It took a total of 4 to 5 years (BSc 2.5y, MSc 1.5y) for him to complete both his Bachelor and Master degrees, with the possibility to continue with his PhD (doctorate) if he wishes.