She overcame her concern of Maths and is now crunching numbers for a living

HP revenue operations analyst Christine Kunasekaran had significant desires but struggled with Maths. She got around this by tackling her fears head-on and strengthening her basis at ITE. Schoolbag finds out the journey she took to do what she loves now.
By Sabrina Lee

It’s hard to think when Ms Christine Kunasekaran tells you that Arithmetic experienced been her undoing when she was in school, but she admits, “I was obtaining 40 out of 100 on most exams.”

Hunting at what she does right now as a gross sales operations analyst at Hewlett Packard, scrutinising sheets of information on a everyday foundation, would not you want a head for numbers?

“It took me far more time to understand them,” says Ms Kunasekaran, who found Maths ideas challenging to grasp in college. Individuals challenges price tag her superior grades at her O-Amount examinations, but relatively than fuss about the regular junior higher education-college route, she made a decision to enrol at the Institute of Complex Education (ITE) – to confront up to her fears in Maths. 

“I failed to have a distinct career route in brain, but I realized that Maths was essential to practically almost everything in the globe. A lot more importantly, I wished to deal with my weakness head-on,” she describes of her decision, “My teachers also explained to me, ‘Maths modules at ITE will be foundational and fingers-on. Work on your failures and understand from them’.”

And so, she utilized for a National ITE Certification (Nitec) in Precision Engineering. “Altering to modules this sort of as machining that involved Maths took some time,” she claims. Trying to keep a interesting head, she braced herself to tackle the matter she experienced been fearing for many years.

Her mother did not will need convincing of her ideas she observed benefit in vocational education, as very well as in generating useful decisions. “My mother, who lifted me as a one mother or father, gave me the flexibility to pick my personal academic path and the indicates to achieve it,” she recounts adding, “I have two other siblings. She was also chaotic to hold my hand each and every step of the way.”

Numbers no extra a nightmare

ITE revealed a edition of success that labored for Ms Kunasekaran. She describes her time there as just one of her most enjoyable intervals of finding out, exactly where she could learn at her have pace. 

Identified to develop her expertise of Maths and mechanical engineering, Ms Kunasekaran made the decision to pursue a Increased Nitec in Mechanical Engineering, adopted by a Technological Engineering Diploma (TED) in Machine Technological innovation. She sought support from research teams and dedicated excess time to subjects these as Maths, Physics, and the Mechanics of Solids — a branch of mechanics that research how supplies deform, crack, and respond to various styles of forces. As she aced modest examinations and assessments, her self-self esteem grew.

To the finish of her two-yr TED programme, Ms Kunasekaran and her coursemates experienced to produce a mechanical bicycle pump that could inflate bicycle tyres by pedalling backwards mid-experience. “The most tricky section was bringing our prototype to fruition. It was only a theoretical idea right up until it was analyzed and verified,” she explains. Via this undertaking, she realised that “failure is not the conclusion but a further way to realize how to do something superior”.

According to her, the TED enabled her to bridge her comprehension of Science, Maths, and engineering. She was taking pleasure in studying so much, she even signed up for modules in business, accounting, and the German language. 

Her tough perform and perseverance paid out off when she was awarded the Countrywide Precision Engineering Research Awards by the Economic Growth Board (“this award took treatment of my school fees, allowing me to concentration exclusively on my studies”).

Chasing ambition in the encounter of doubters

Just after graduating from ITE in 2011, Ms Kunasekaran embarked on a occupation in income functions investigation, becoming a member of organizations that leverage on machine-studying capabilities. “My engineering background will help me to consider critically about details,” she states. 
Her career look for was not without the need of its issues. She was fulfilled with scepticism from some who doubted her skills, citing her lack of a university diploma or polytechnic diploma. Refusing to allow for naysayers to distract her, she remained targeted.

“I are unable to afford to pay for to give in. Negativity is a waste of headspace and feelings.”

– Ms Christine Kunasekaran, revenue operations analyst at Hewlett Packard

Whilst performing, Ms Kunasekaran pursued greater education element-time, initial earning a Bachelor of Small business (BSc) from Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), adopted by a Bachelor of Legislation (LLB) from Birmingham Town College, Uk. Pushed by a extended-standing curiosity in examining legal scenarios and judgments, she does not have any plans to practise regulation at the minute but adds, “you never know what could arrive up on the horizon”.

Questioned how she balances work, examine, and increasing a spouse and children, the 37-calendar year-aged mom of three admits to not obtaining a distinct remedy. “I try not to overthink it and just retain pushing ahead,” she shares. Nevertheless, she credits ITE for instilling in her the values of determination and patience that have assisted her in her journey thus significantly. 

“A diploma is not an close in itself, but somewhat a stepping stone to higher possibilities and achievements.”

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