With a 3.85 grade point average and acceptance offers from Singapore Management University and Nanyang Technological University, it seems like Belden Chua has it all. However, the Diploma in Integrated Events Management graduate’s road to success is paved not just with hard work, but also met with adversity.
After his parents went through a divorce, which Belden describes as the toughest period of his life, he spent a large part of his time outside of school working. As one of three siblings, Belden felt the need to help his mother shoulder some of the family’s financial expenses through part time employment at places such as Uniqlo and UParcel. Through these part-time work, he helped pay the family’s utility bills, phone bills, and even his own school fees.
How does he juggle part-time work with stellar grades? According to Belden, the key lies in time management. “My mentor advised me to plan out what I need to do every week,” the 20-year-old said. His mentor in year one had advised him to plan out a time table before the beginning of every week, and for Belden, that advice had helped him cope with a lot of anxiety. “I still mark out all my calendars today,” he said, “With everything in one picture, you’ll remember it clearly.”
Aside from part-time work and his studies, a large part of Belden’s life also revolves around giving back to the community. Through his religious group, Belden participates in outreach programs that help both the elderly and youth. However, he says that his area of expertise lies in reaching out to other youths. “We conduct training sessions for the youth, towards things like their character development. Every week, I have a follow up session with them,” he said.
Though Belden’s journey in RP has ended, his pathway to his future is just beginning. He hopes to pursue his dream of setting up a vegetarian food business – a dream he credits RP for.
Belden had originally been enrolled in the Diploma in Hotel and Hospitality Management, but was transferred to the Diploma in Integrated Events Management merely a week before school started. He said: “At first, I was very critical of things. Like I wondered, ‘If I join this course, what will happen to my dream?’ But along the way, I realised I had attained some skills in events management such as hospitality revenue, financial accounting, and marketing, which would all help me pursue my dream.”
Belden also cites this as advice he has for RP’s freshmen. “Believe that whatever you study has to play a part later on,” he said. “I feel like every module really can help you, step by step. It’s like planting a tree – you don’t see the results right away, you have to wait to see them.”