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​First year student bags gold at 44th WorldSkills Competition

Published on: 18-Dec-2017

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Photo: Chan Luo Er, CNA | Pictured: Olivia Low, proud gold medal winner for Singapore

Ms Olivia Low, a first year business student in Nanyang Business School, took part in the 44th WorldSkills Competition last month in Abu Dhabi, and bagged the gold medal for her efforts. 

The biennial global skills competition for youth, birthed in 1950, is now the biggest vocational education and skills excellence event in the world. 

The aim of the competition is to raise the profile and recognition of skilled people, and to prove that skills are important tools in achieving economic growth for a country and also for personal success. 

From 15 to 18 October 2017, 1251 participants from 58 countries pitted themselves against each other across 51 skills, setting the stage for a truly unique exchange experience. 


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Photo: WorldSkills | Pictured: Medal winners for the freight forwarding category - Gleb Shmonin, Russia (Gold), Olivia Low, Singapore (Gold), and Sarah Ruckenstuhl, Austria (Bronze). 

Singapore bagged two gold and three bronze medals. Two gold medals were in freight forwarding and 3D digital game art – both new additions to the competition.  The Singapore participants who won the various medals will each be awarded with SkillsFuture Singapore cash prizes, ranging from S$1,000 for a medallion of excellence to S$20,000 for a gold medal.

The biggest challenge for Olivia en route to her gold medal was the sales pitch during the presentation portion of the competition. She learnt that “even if you are not confident of what you got, you got to act like you are” – something her two internships at CH Robinson and Dimerco Express, plus a week’s consultation at DHL express prepared her for. 

Just by competing and being around like-minded people, she has realised that when it comes to entering the workforce, skills and academic excellence are actually equally important – “what is above it though, is the attitude towards learning”. 

Throughout the competition, industry leaders, government heads, and education chieftains took the opportunity to engage in conversation about best practices and oversaw budding talent dedicate themselves to technical and technological careers, and a better future. 

Olivia’s future has Associate Professor Tung Lai Lai from NBS’s Undergraduate Programmes Office to thank: “I appreciate the help in making the necessary arrangements with my timetable to accommodate trainings for the competition! I just want to add that it’s the best experience of my life.” 

With her enormous cash bounty, she plans to indulge in recreational activities like diving and treating her family and coaches to a good meal. For her potential employers, she had a special shoutout prepared: “please hire me to do your shipping in future!"

We wish Olivia all the best in her future endeavours, and hope this takes her confidence to newfound heights. The freight forwarding industry has a gem of a talent to look forward to!


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