Gaming and anime enthusiast Issac Ting Quan Xian, 26, recalls that as a teen, he was a science stream student with his heart set on becoming an engineer.
However, during his national service (NS) days, he found himself at a crossroads.
“I had a lot of time during NS to think about what I really wanted to do for my career,” he says.
It was then that he decided to pursue his passion instead.
His love for playing video games — ranging from Darksiders to League of Legends — and a desire to create his own games inspired him to make a life-changing decision to enrol in Nanyang Technological University’s School of Art, Design and Media.
Meanwhile he also applied for a scholarship offered by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).
Now known as the Singapore Digital (SG:D) Scholarship, it supported his studies for a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art, Design and Media, majoring in Interactive Media.
He says: “I chose this scholarship because it offered me opportunities to reach out to technology companies like Singtel that I would be interested in.”
PLAYING AN EVOLVING ROLE
After graduating in 2018, he worked as an experience designer, creating user-centric designs for the various digital products at Singtel, which co-sponsored his scholarship.
He says his scholarship has helped to connect him to people who have contributed to his career development.
“I interacted with seniors who have taken the same path as me and also received guidance from the company to find a place that will suit my skills,” he says.
“I was fortunate enough to get a role that allows me to bridge the gap between design and development, which essentially helps to improve the overall experience of the users.
“Thanks to this arrangement, I also found co-workers who are passionate and driven to create better services for our users,” he adds.
He continues to learn every day.
“In the infocomm media industry, you need to have a growth mindset.
“You need to be able to accept that you might not have all the answers, that the things that you are familiar with now might change because of design convention, as well as technology and structural changes.
“I realised that it is important to be open and resilient to change.”
Just like his passion for playing games, he also enjoys problem-solving, the challenge of finding ways to create new designs and pursuing his technical understanding of user experience design.
He says: “I find a lot of joy in my work. I think where I want to be is creating things that are gratifying and meaningful for people to use every day.”