Meet Joan Chong Lay Kheng

Talent: Graphic Design Techonology
Institution/Organisation: Nanyang Polytechnic
Award/s: Gold Medallist in 40th WorldSkills Competition

For Joan Chong, WorldSkills was more than just a competition.  In fact, for this gold medallist in the 2009 WorldSkills Competition (WSC) in Graphic Design Technology, the WSC opened doors for her, as it exposed her to the world of graphic design.  This eventually led her to make important life decisions to do a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Visual Communication and to embark on a graphic design career.

When Joan first joined the WorldSkills Competition, she was a Diploma in Digital Media Design student, specialising in Animation.  Joining the WorldSkills, however, exposed her to a whole new world of graphic design.  At Nanyang Polytechnic’s (NYP) School of Interactive & Digital Media (SIDM), Joan underwent months of intensive learning, where she picked up new-found skills and knowledge in the graphic design area.

In Calgary, Canada, Joan had a memorable four-day competition.  And despite intense competition from 20 countries, she emerged as the top competitor.  It was the first gold medal for Singapore since the nation took part in the Graphic Design Technology trade in 2001.

Winning the gold medal was like a dream come true for Joan and it further increased her passion for the field of graphic design. So after graduation in 2008, Joan worked as a Development Technologist in NYP to gain further work experience in graphic design.  In 2010, she furthered her studies by taking up a degree in Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication at NTU’s School of Art, Design and Media.  When she graduated, Joan started work in Black Design, a creative agency, in 2014.

Taking part in the WSC certainly benefited Joan in her current work.  She said:  “During the competition, we worked under very tight time constraints.  So now, at my work, I am more conscious about being timely, and learnt how to speed up my work.  This has helped me when I have to work with tight deadlines, such as having to come up with a new poster within four hours.”

It has been several years since her WorldSkills Competition, but for Joan, winning the competition has left a deep impact on her.  She now feels inspired to want to contribute more to the Singapore design scene, which she feels is a growing one, with much potential for growth.  She also continues to give advice and encouragement to her juniors who take part in WorldSkills in the Graphic Design Technology area.