Pursuing her childhood passion
Ms Rebecca Tan, 60, had always like animals since young and wanted to be a veterinarian. However, due to her family’s financial situation, she had to start work after completing secondary school and was unable to pursue her dream job.
Now that Ms Tan’s children are older, she does not have as much family and work commitments and has more time for herself. “I’m soon reaching the retirement age, and as my current full-time job is quite stressful, I started to seriously think about what I wanted to do in the later years of my life. I want to pursue something that I can enjoy and be passionate about,” stated Ms Tan.
She decided that she could possibly become a veterinarian as pets are her passion and is not deterred by the switch in industry.
Upskilling herself for the challenge
As a pet owner of 5 cats herself, Ms Tan is aware that there are certain qualifications and skills required to become a veterinarian and to care for different types of pets. In preparation for this, she searched online for relevant courses to attend and came across the National Silver Academy (NSA) website, where most courses are SkillsFuture Credit eligible. She took the opportunity to take up courses related to pets and so far she has attended NSA courses like Basic Dog Grooming, Therapeutic Dog Massage and First Aid for Pets by Ngee Ann Polytechnic.
“I first attended the Basic Dog Grooming course, and even borrowed my daughter’s dog to bring along to the class for the hands-on practical, to learn how to groom the dog and trim its nails,” she laughed.
“The classes are conducted on Saturdays and are perfect for my schedule as it would not affect my work on weekdays, and I won’t feel tired out. In fact, I found that life became more fulfilling and meaningful as I get to destress during the class and learn new knowledge,” she says.
Building up social connections
Ms Tan got to meet like-minded peers during the classes who shared the love for animals and pets. She shares that having social connections with similar interests is important as they get to share about each other’s own experiences and learn from them. Moving forward, she hopes to further hone her skills and knowledge by attending more pet-related courses.
**Special thanks to Ms Rebecca Tan who accepted our interview, we wish her all the very best in her lifelong learning journey.
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