Tessa Tan

TESSA TAN, Class of 2014, Singapore

“In life, there will definitely be uncertainties, but they help you mature. No decision is a bad one; we just have to live through our choices. ”

“Following the path of any typical Singaporean, my parents were conflicted on which secondary school I’d go to after PSLE. They chanced upon HCIS one day, and decided to give it a try.

My time in HCIS was bittersweet, but fruitful. When I first entered in 2009, the school was very young, and I was uncertain of what will happen back then. One thing I didn’t regret was that I stayed in HCIS for 6 years, and I’m glad to have grown over the years, and to watch the school grow into one of the most successful international schools.

The experience in an international school was unlike any other. The friends you meet are from all parts of the world, and it nurtures you to mingle with people from different paths. That was in fact one of the fondest memories that has helped me to grow as a person.

Perhaps my best times in HCIS was that on a yearly basis, the school allows students to go on an internationalism trip, where we get to travel overseas with friends and teachers. Not only do we get to bond with our classmates, we get to learn about cultures and experience new things in a foreign country. I was fortunate to have been able to travel to South Africa, a country which one wouldn’t normally think of as a holiday destination.
Apart from academic learning, the school plans for many events to cultivate the spirit of internationalism such as racial harmony celebrations and international food festival. Seeing classmates dressed in their own traditional costume, and learning more about their culture really hits close to my heart. I’ll never forget these days in HCIS.

After International Baccalaureate (IB), I didn’t know where to go – what school, which country, what course… (Fret not, because before you graduate, the teachers will guide you on your applications if you intend to study overseas.) As I was unsure of my path, my dad suggested that I pursue a degree related to IT since technology is constantly evolving in our lives. Back then, it was also one of the newer courses that many people have not heard of. I admit, I was struggling in my early semesters as I had no prior experience to computing. Truth is, you don’t have to choose a degree relevant to your IB subject combination, though it’d definitely help you in your university study.

I ultimately landed in Singapore Management University (SMU) studying Information Systems. During my time in SMU, I took up different internships for job experience, and made many new friends in school. In a blink of an eye, 4 years passed and I graduated back in 2019.

Here I am today, a Project & Product Manager in an investment firm. (Yes, my projects are tech related; fintech). While it has nothing to do with what I had learnt back in HCIS, it definitely taught me how to work with colleagues from all parts of the world, and honed my interpersonal skills.

I am thankful for what HCIS has given and taught me, and I’d never forget my time here. In life, there will definitely be uncertainties, but they help you mature. No decision is a bad one; we just have to live through our choices. 🙂

If you are an HCIS graduate and would like to share your story with us, please contact us for our submission guidelines.