If you read my article talking about how to prepare your EAE Portfolio, you will know that there are two types of portfolios we look at here in The Mindful Youth. Your School Portfolio and the Relevant Work Portfolio.
Basically the contents of the School Portfolio is so common that some interviewers will skip it altogether. The contents of the Relevant Work Portfolio is what they are really interested in.
You are here because you do not have a Relevant Work Portfolio for your EAE interview.
I mentioned in the EAE guide that there are two main components to your EAE application. The Portfolio and the Interview, with the portfolio being more important. So if you don’t have a portfolio then you’ll just have to work harder for your interview.
For applicants with a portfolio, they have already stood out from the rest of you and will have a much easier time with their EAE application. For you, our aim then is to help you stand out from the other applicants who don’t have a portfolio as well.
To do this, you need to first understand what most students do for EAE.
COMMON EAE APPLICANT’S PROCESS
- Starts thinking about EAE on the year of application
- Gets information about EAE from school a few months before application starts
- Visit Polytechnic websites and read about the courses there
- Some students who happen to know a senior studying in the course might ask them for more information
- Choose a few that looks interesting enough
- Prepare one portfolio comprising School Awards, Teacher’s Testimonials, and CCA Transcript (School Portfolio)
- Attend group interview at the polytechnic
- Answers questions by polytechnic interviewers (who are probably course lecturers), using information obtained from the polytechnic’s website, that were probably written by the same interviewers asking the questions
In other words, when the interviewer asks a question, the answer they get is not only the same answer that many of the other applicants will give, but it is also an answer taken from the website that tells them nothing new about the applicant.
The way you can stand out then is to basically give better answers.
You give better answers by obtaining better information through research.
HOW TO RESEARCH A COURSE
Every course in a Polytechnic, Institute of Technical Education (ITE), and University is directly tied to an industry. Every industry has jobs/careers relating to it. Search those industries and jobs on Google and learn as much as you can about them.
- What are the major companies in this industry/job
- What are the challenges that this industry/job faces
- What is the history of this industry
- What is the latest development in this industry
- How will this industry change in the next 5/10 years
- How does all this relate to Singapore’s economy/society/defence
By doing this, you will have interesting things to talk about during the interview.
When the interviewers ask for your opinion, you will have an opinion to share because you have read up about current events pertaining to the industry. Even if you don’t have a portfolio, you can still substantiate what you say with facts that you’ve read. This will at least demonstrate to the interviewers that you are at least knowledgeable enough about the course that you are applying for.
Now I’m not saying that this will guarantee you passing your interview. What I am saying is that this will at least give you an advantage over the other students who are only looking at the course website and have no portfolio.
HOW TO DO BETTER IN THE FUTURE
This is actually my main intention for writing this article.
If you are here reading this article, then chances are you are panicking at the last minute trying to find a way out from the predicament that you are in.
When you go for your interview, you will meet students who scored distinction for all the relevant subjects, has a strong Relevant Work Portfolio, holds three leadership positions, and also did all of that research I just taught you to do.
There is no fight there. You will lose because that student has spent years preparing for this interview – even if he or she didn’t realise it.
Are you going to be caught unprepared again for your next interview?
I am not saying it is your fault for being in this situation right now. We all come from different circumstances, face different difficulties that no one else knows about, and have different levels of advantages and privileges. What I am saying is that I hope you will take the necessary action to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
It is within your power to be prepared for the next interview.
Regardless of whether you get into the course of your choice now, start thinking about your future, figure out how you can prepare for it, and take action to work on it.
I believe in you so I hope you will believe in yourself too. You have the initiative to search for help and read a guide like this one until the end. You definitely have the ability to do better.
Good luck for your interview and also all the best for your future.