Assoc. Prof. Dr Irene Tan, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Veritas University College, shared valuable tips for academic success with over 100 participants in the last session of the online orientation programme held on Thursday, 16 April 2020.
A seasoned academic with experience in training academic staff and developing teaching and learning workshops, Dr Irene discussed key areas for students to achieve academic success i.e. self, goals, time, friends and resilience.
Achieving academic success is a journey which involves self-reflection, namely, determining one’s own strengths and weaknesses. A good starting point would be a psychometric test. She also stressed on important skills to cultivate such as listening attentively, asking and answering questions in class – “Make it a habit or your routine in class as these skills are your academic DNA”, she said.
“To maintain greater focus, avoid being glued to your mobile phone in class”, she added.
More importantly, Dr Irene spoke about learning as a lifelong process of overcoming one’s weaknesses. Having short term and long term goals and good time management skills are equally important to achieve success in life.
She recalled her own personal story of resilience studying for her first degree in Chinese Studies in Universiti Malaya. For a person who was not fluent in speaking or writing in Mandarin, she persevered by listen attentively in class, committing to memory key terms and also devising her own strategy in answering exam questions which ultimately led to her passing with flying colours!
“Just focus on what you need to do and never give up!”, she emphasised.
During the Q&A session, Dr Irene advised students on ways to stop procrastinating and that personality traits such as introversion is never an obstacle to academic success.
To sum it all up, she said – “Academic success is for everyone. It is hard work. At the end of the day, it is about doing the best you can to be the best version of yourself”.