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While addressing the nation in his National Day Rally 2015 speech, Prime Minister Lee shared the success story of Chen Zhangkai. Zhangkai is a DigiPen (Singapore) Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate, whose educational journey helped him realize his dream of becoming a professional animator.

In his speech, Prime Minister Lee recounted the story of Chen Zhangkai:

“One such student is Chen Zhangkai, who is 27. Zhangkai is a late bloomer; when he was young, he played truant, he got into fights, he was streamed into EM3, almost failed his PSLE. So he took a longer path than usual. From PSLE he went to Normal Technical, then to ITE, then to Nanyang Polytechnic, then to SIT. Step by step, persevering, overcoming setbacks, climbing up. Last year, Zhangkai graduated from SIT with a DigiPen degree. His final year project and portfolio were good, and a director of an animation studio came, saw it, was impressed, offered him an internship, and after that offered him a job. So Zhangkai has now landed himself a dream job as an animator. Well done, Zhangkai.”

The Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) was established in 2009 to provide alternate pathways for students to obtain industry-focused degrees. SIT started by partnering with overseas universities such as DigiPen to offer niche courses.

Zhangkai, who was in attendance during the Prime Minister’s address, works today as an animator at Sparky Animation in Singapore.

This is my dream job,” he told The Straits Times after the speech. “I really don’t know where I’d be if I weren’t given all these opportunities.”

You can watch the video of the National Rally Day speech in three languages at