Parents who are genuinely invested in their child’s education and future prospects should be paying attention to what school alumni have to say.
After all, former students are a treasure trove of valuable information—from their experiences with university scholarship programs to their views on the realities of early adulthood in the workplace. It’s unfortunate that their knowledge is often underutilized in the academe. Often, they are relegated to giving graduation speeches once or twice a year, when they could bring so much more to the table with their previous experience of going through the same tough academic and professional journeys.
In a country like Singapore, the level of competition in schools —no matter if it’s part of the mainstream school system or a private school — is incredibly fierce. Your child would need all the help they can get, which is why top international schools in Singapore provide avenues for students to reach out to school alumni.
In this article, you will learn why you and your child should take the time to listen to what school alumni have to say. What can they contribute to a student’s academic and professional success?
They Can Provide a Much-Needed Reality Check
Most school-aged children in Singapore live sheltered lives, and so they may see the world beyond school in a more flattering light than most adults. While this is all well and good, it won’t prepare them for the realities they have to face when they grow up, finish school, and enter the workforce.
The most important thing you can do for your child is to give them all the tools to prepare them for the real world. Take note that these tools are not limited to just money and things. More than all of these, knowledge imparted by mentors such as school alumni is invaluable in preparing your child for the challenges ahead.
Having mentors and trusted advisors is a privilege that’s not afforded to everyone. As such, if your child is lucky enough to meet school alumni who are willing to give their time and share knowledge, you and your child should go and take the opportunity to find out what they have to say.
They Can Share What it Takes to Have a Successful Career
In most cases, teachers’ perceptions may be limited to the world of the academe. Unless your child’s school employs part-time teachers that also work in the corporate world, it’s more than likely that your child’s teachers will have a different outlook than a working professional in specific fields.
For high school students, most especially, meeting these professional school alumni is an opportunity to pick their minds about the careers the kids are thinking of having in the future. Who else but a working doctor can share the pains and triumphs of serving patients, for example? Who else but a working pilot can tell you about the stresses and joys of flying an aircraft? Who else but a working soldier can tell your child stories about the lives of unformed men and women on a mission?
Schools in Singapore should regularly invite their school alumni to give talks about their careers in order to inspire and challenge the student’s perceptions of their work. They can give valuable insights that are more in-depth than hearing about it on TV or reading about it on social media sites. For example, they can talk in-depth about their daily routine at their workplace and notable situations that they face regularly. From there, your child will get a better understanding of the profession they might similarly want to pursue later in life.
They Can Talk About Their Experience in Applying for Scholarships
It’s not just the older high school students who would benefit from an alumnus’s insights. Younger students who would like to apply for various scholarships can also get advice from school alumni about their previous experiences applying for particular scholarships. What they have to say can be incredibly valuable as no one would know better than those who come before.
It can be beneficial to your child if you can talk to recent graduates who undertook the challenge of applying for scholarships. Since they’ve been through the process recently, their experiences are still current and may be applicable to your child’s situation.
They Can Help You Decide Which University or College Is Right for You
While you can tour colleges and universities in Singapore to see if they fit your values and objectives, interviewing or talking to one of their graduates would give you a broader and further perspective on life after school. Learning from uni alumni can be even more helpful to expat families who intend to send their kids overseas.
You and your child can ask them about the curriculum and how they applied it in their current job. Did the school provide the right training for their careers? Are the professors really knowledgeable about the subject they are paid to teach? What was their overall college experiences like? Knowing all of these can give you and your child some deeper insight into the quality of education and values the university or college provides.
Tapping into school alumni as resources is a great way to enrich a student’s school experience. Whether your student is in primary school or high school, they can benefit from the wisdom imparted by graduates. They would have a better appreciation and understanding of the work and the world that lies ahead.