by Heng Hui Mei
Ng Rui Qi, a recipient of the Lee Kuan Yew Award and Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s Outstanding Achievement Award, has been balancing work and play and has never had a dull moment in her life.
“I find technical stuff really stimulating,” Rui Qi, 19, remarks passionately about her course, Engineering Science. “I really enjoyed my internship at A*STAR’s [Agency for Science, Technology and Research] Institute of Microelectronics, where I could apply what I have learnt in school to make little breakthroughs in my research work.”
She jokingly refers to herself as nerdy and does not believe in its negative connotation. Being labelled as such is something to be proud of.
“Nerdy is a euphemistic way of saying this girl is very passionate about her studies,” says Rui Qi, matter-of-factly.
She relates her typical day in school as spending an enormous amount of time in the school library, burying herself in books. During the weekends, she would proceed to the public library. Any extra time would be spent on “studying more”.
She hesitates a little when asked to talk about her interests outside of school. After musing on it for a while, she realises that she had not one, but a diverse range of leisurely pursuits.
The bubbly, bespectacled girl reveals shyly that she likes “cute stuff” and takes pleasure in conversing with her Winnie The Pooh soft toys. She has five of them and even gets her parents and boyfriend to talk to them. These exchanges brighten up her day.
When she has the time to spare, she shops online for clothing and bags. She usually does this in the semester breaks.
“For me, success is to achieve academic excellence but I don’t know if it will change over time,” Rui Qi shares her belief in success. “Luck sometimes plays a part too.”
Her life is not all cooped up with her books and computer. She adores food and tries a variety of them, especially after getting influenced by her boyfriend whom she calls a “foodie”. After a day of hard work, consuming good food is a reward to her.
Apart from savouring delicacies, she seeks excitement in riding roller coasters. Thrill-seeker at heart, Rui Qi lets on that she has tried roller coasters in several countries. The first and largest wooden roller coaster, T Express, in South Korea is the one she raves about.
“I like the stomach pressure when you go up and drop down,” Rui Qi presses on her stomach, grinning from ear to ear.
Besides going to other countries to try their roller coasters, like many youngsters, she loves watching comedy sitcoms. She recommends Big Bang Theory, a show about “a group of nerdy scientists and physicists”. Being into the study of science, she can relate better to their jokes, which makes it more entertaining for her.
As much as she partakes in these intriguing activities, the pursuit of academic excellence stays at the top of her list. The key to success, she emphasises, is discipline.
She advises, “Take pride in what you do to the best of your abilities, then you wouldn’t feel disappointed if you don’t do well because at least you have tried your best.”
Her Role Model
Rui Qi does not exactly have a role model. If there has to be one though, a person she looks up to will be Weilin, her classmate and final-year project partner. She explains, “We have the same high level of motivation to do stuff. She is on par with me, in terms of getting work done. She is also graduating with a diploma with merit.”