One is driven by his desire to craft a game with a diverse team; the other wants to pursue art, which she fell in love with as a child.
Though they come from very different backgrounds, Tan Yao Wei and Jasmin Tan do have one thing in common — they are both attending DigiPen Institute of Technology Singapore, and they were able to do so thanks in part to a scholarship award from the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT).
Since 2010, DigiPen (Singapore) has received dozens of students who have taken advantage of awards such as the SIT Scholarship, the Media Development Authority scholarship, the Infocomm Development Authority scholarship, the Ministry of Education scholarship, and the Lee Kuan Yew Scholarship to Encourage Upgrading. Thanks to these and other scholarships, many talented students like Tan and Jasmin are able to attend DigiPen and fulfill their dreams of creating games.
Tan says he has been interested in attending DigiPen for a long time, but in order to have options, he applied to another university as well. Though he was accepted to both, Tan says the SIT Scholarship is what convinced him that DigiPen was the right school for him. “Now, I can worry less about the money and focus on studying,” he explains. Tan is now a freshman at DigiPen, pursuing a BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation.
For Jasmin, it was never a question of whether she would attend DigiPen or not. Jasmin didn’t even apply for the SIT Scholarship — the scholarship committee awarded her the scholarship after spotting her impressive portfolio at the Singapore Polytechnic Design School graduate showcase. She was interning at Ubisoft Singapore when she got news of her award, and she leapt at the opportunity. Now, Jasmin is a freshman in DigiPen’s BFA in Digital Art and Animation program.
Of course, it wasn’t just the scholarship that attracted either Tan or Jasmin to DigiPen. For Tan, the opportunity to work on a team and make games was his primary driving force. “The projects are something I am looking forward to,” he says. “The fun part is working with people with different dynamics and different contributions.”
Above all, Tan says he is eager to learn how to help a team create the best product possible. Ideally, he would like to not only contribute to the game’s story and design, but also take up a leadership role making sure the team members work as a cohesive unit and are equally invested. But he makes sure to refer to himself as only a part of the larger team, and he emphasizes that a project succeeds when a group of diverse people can work together toward a shared goal.
“I don’t believe in the philosophy of: One person does everything,” Tan says. “I believe in the philosophy of: Everyone contributes to what they are best at, and the game will be good.”
Jasmin, on the other hand, is motivated more by her craft than anything else and can name specific inspirations from as far back as her childhood. “My interest in art started from Japanese manga,” she says, citing Takehiko Inoue’s classic Slam Dunk series in particular. “But the past few years I’ve been trying to break up from the manga style. I’m looking more at American comics, looking more at current concept artists right now, like the concept artists for [Irrational Games’]BioShock Infinite and for other games that came out recently.”
Tan and Jasmin are just two of the many students who have been able to chase their passions at DigiPen Institute of Technology Singapore thanks to scholarship programs like the SIT Scholarship.
To learn more about available scholarship programs and forms of assistance, visit the Financial Assistance page.