You thought that would be it. An appeal for support to help him get into school. Then it got exposed by the Sunday Times article yesterday that Alvin Wang, the person seeking support for his appeal to get into NUS, actually did get into NUS. In fact, he was offered a place in the School of Computing’s Information Systems course. But he did not want Information Systems, he wants Computer Science.
All the theatrics about the online call for support was to help him choose specifically which course in the School of Computing he wanted. He got into NUS. He got into the School of Computing. But he did not get the Computer Science course he wants.
Today, Alvin put up an update on his appeal-support website. He explains:
“Just some further clarification, I was offered Computing (Information Systems Courses), and as the skills that the website portrays, and rightly so, there are no majors in Information System Courses that are relevant to me. When I said Computer Science, I meant Computing (Computer Science Courses), which gives me an option to become a Communications and Media Major. I will be then able to specialize in Content Creations and Mass Communications Group (which is User Interaction and Experience) as well as Games Technology Group.”
His appeal-support website was misleading in that it did not present us with the whole truth. But he did not lie. If you were really passionate about something, and you really, really, wanted that something, what would you do?
It does sound like Alvin is extremely clear about what he wants to do. Possibly even too clear. It’s good to have some direction and focus in what you want to do. Yet, at the same time, don’t let that prevent you from broadening your horizon. A university education is different from that in a polytechnic. I hope he knows that NUS will make him, as part of his degree fulfillment requirements, to take enrichment modules from other faculties.
It’s also possible for Alvin to fuel his passion with personal projects outside of school. Afterall, it looks like he’s quite capable of doing it. He doesn’t need NUS to help him do that. He could study and graduate with a still-somewhat-relevant degree, and he could supplement his resume with plenty of real projects that he’s completed. Employers like to see real projects done, not just university transcripts on the modules you’ve taken. (I’m assuming, of course, that he plans to work for someone.)
Now, we’re all going to be suspicious about his true intentions. Did he come up with that explanation after he got exposed, or was that all truly the original reason that drove him to setup his appeal-support website.
At any rate, I’d still say, let’s give him the benefit of doubt.