APEL.A Ambassador Spotlight: Joey's Journey from Diploma to MBA

The road to higher education has long been defined by the traditional succession from school to pre-university to undergraduate studies and ultimately to postgraduate studies, so it can be hard to imagine an alternative to this linear pathway to education. But when one’s real-life trajectory is anything but linear, the learning journey calls for defying convention. Meet Choong Yee Leng (fondly known as Joey), as she shares her experience of making the leap from her Diploma straight to joining Sunway University’s MBA programme via the APEL.A process.

A portrait of Joey Choong Yee Leng
Choong Yee Leng (fondly known as Joey) was part of Sunway University's inaugural cohort of APEL.A candidates who completed their assessments March this year.

Motivation to upskill and reach new heights 

For a business professional like Joey, staying competitive and adaptive in today’s dynamic professional landscape demands the pursuit of continuous learning. "Pursuing an MBA felt like a natural progression for me to enhance my skills and knowledge, ultimately advancing my career prospects”, she explains. She found great appeal in the University’s reputation for academic excellence and commitment to providing alternative pathways like the APEL.A Assessment Programme, for nontraditional candidates like herself. 

Joey’s core values 

When it comes to things she values the most in her personal and professional pursuits, Joey underlines 3 principal elements:

  1. Securing the fundamentals, which requires addressing questions like “Why should I do this?” and “How should I complete this?” to stay motivated and resilient when facing challenges
  2. A growth mindset which empowers professionals to thrive in dynamic environments, drive innovation, and achieve sustainable growth
  3. Embracing fun to lighten the mood, clear the mind, and make challenges less daunting, though it can be hard to do when navigating hurdles 
APEL.A Ambassador, Joey
Joey (centre) drew strength from her professional experience and continuous learning to productively balance her full-time work with her part-time APEL.A commitments.

Anticipating growth despite the odds

When asked about things she looks forward to as she gears up for her MBA at the Sunway Business School this May, Joey cites “insights and mentorship”. Firmly believing that "the people we meet are the most valuable sources of learning", she is excited by the prospect of networking with key players in the industry and collaborating with peers who offer diverse perspectives and experiences that will enrich her learning journey.

Fulfilling this vision would be quite the reward for Joey, who previously found it challenging to balance numerous commitments and manage her time during the APEL.A process at Sunway University. Reflecting on this obstacle, which she faced as a working adult with multiple responsibilities, she shares that prioritising tasks and setting doable goals daily helped her overcome stress and avoid last-minute work. She is also grateful for the support she received from her employer and Sunway University in keeping her on track and successful throughout the APEL.A journey leading up to her official certification in March of this year!

A champion for APEL.A 

When asked to rate her recommendation for APEL.A, Joey gives it a resounding 5 out of 5. Her advice to lifelong learners contemplating this pathway: "It's never too late to become the person you aspire to be". She also encourages others to take the first step “when inspiration strikes”, pointing out how tomorrow’s possibilities remain unknown until we make the effort to explore them.

In assessing her readiness for Master’s level studies, Joey (bottom right) completed an online interview with Sunway Business School academics Assoc. Prof. Dr Jolyne Khor and Dr Stella Ong, which focused on her prior learning milestones and skills.
In assessing her readiness for Master’s level studies, Joey (bottom right) completed an online interview with Sunway Business School academics Associate Professor Dr Jolyne Khor and Dr Stella Ong, focusing on her prior learning milestones and skills. 

Joey's journey is a testament to the power of determination and alternative pathways in education. In a world where barriers exist, she dares us to break them down, one educational milestone at a time.