Meet Viridis Liew Mei Qi

Talent: Information Technology - PC Network Support
Institution/Organisation: Nanyang Polytechnic
Award/s: BEST OF NATION & GOLD MEDAL in 38th WorldSkills Competition

If Viridis Liew had not taken part in WorldSkills, she would have gone on to secure a high-paying job in management or technology after completing her studies. It was after going through the competition that Viridis realised her priorities had shifted.

 

Viridis won the coveted Albert Vidal Award, Best of Nation Award and gold medal when she participated in the WorldSkills Competition (WSC) in Helsinki Finland in 2005 in the IT PC & Network Support category.  With a stellar score of 571 points, she became the first Singaporean to win the Albert Vidal Award, which is given to the top competitor, from all the competitors who take part in the WSC.

 

The then Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) Diploma in Information Technology student decided to join WorldSkills as a personal challenge, as she wanted to learn something new.  It was also this mindset that helped her to determine her path forward. She was then invited to train the next batch of competitors after her Helsinki win, and spent eight months training them as a Development Technologist in NYP.

 

In fact, she enjoyed training students so much that she decided to take up an NYP scholarship to do her degree at the University of Manchester.  She attained First Class Honours, and returned to NYP in 2009.

 

“I wanted to come back to contribute to NYP and train future participants,” she said. “When I went through WorldSkills, I had to do a lot of independent self-learning. There was a training plan, but the knowledge I needed to acquire and what to expect at WorldSkills was still new. I didn’t want the future students to face the same issues, and wanted to make sure they can anticipate what would happen.”

 

Viridis began working as a software developer at NYP and was involved in tutoring students from NYP’s School of Information Technology. She soon found satisfaction in teaching bigger class sizes.  After a few years as a software developer, she converted to becoming a lecturer, and began to teach more classes.

 

In addition to her teaching duties, Viridis was also a vice president in the WorldSkills Alumni Network and has had various WorldSkills related appointments. In addition to WorldSkills, she also coached Microsoft Imagine Cup IT challenge students from 2010 – 2012.  Her students have been doing well, clinching gold medals in both the national and international rounds.

Viridis greatly enjoys WorldSkills competitions as she gets to learn and upgrade her skills with every new batch of students. Her desire to explore new technologies and handle new projects and challenges is well suited to her aptitude.

“Technology is rapidly changing, so with every batch we get to learn new things, and the difficulty level increases,” she said. “If I had the choice to repeat everything, I would still go for WorldSkills because I’ve grown a lot working here and NYP has given me a lot of opportunities to learn new technologies and be broad based, multifaceted and specialised in certain technologies.”

She summed up: “My career evolved and came about from WorldSkills. If I had not participated in WorldSkills, I would not have had the chance to coach the next batch of competitors after winning at Helsinki. It was only going through this competition that I realised it’s not the money that counts, but the satisfaction from doing what you are doing, be it IT or teaching, as long as you are making a difference,” she emphasised.

 

Viridis is currently a project officer at the Quality & Planning Office in NYP, working on analytics and big data. She is mentoring Lee Wei Meng, Daniel, who will representing Singapore in WSC in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2015.

because I’ve grown a lot working here and NYP has given me a lot of opportunities to learn new technologies and be broad based, multifaceted and specialised in certain technologies.”

She summed up: “My career evolved and came about from WorldSkills. If I had not participated in WorldSkills, I would not have had the chance to coach the next batch of competitors after winning at Helsinki. It was only going through this competition that I realised it’s not the money that counts, but the satisfaction from doing what you are doing, be it IT or teaching, as long as you are making a difference,” she emphasised.

 

Viridis is currently a project officer at the Quality & Planning Office in NYP, working on analytics and big data. She is mentoring Lee Wei Meng, Daniel, who will representing Singapore in WSC in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2015.