SOH Valedictorian 1: Keeping an open mind-future-proofing myself

30 May 2018

Daphine Ong, School of Hospitality



  • Cyndi3

    SOH Valedictorian: Cyndi Tay Kai Xin, Diploma in Restaurant and Culinary Operations.

  • Cyndi2

    SOH Valedictorian: Cyndi Tay Kai Xin, Diploma in Restaurant and Culinary Operations.

  • Cyndi1

    SOH Valedictorian: Cyndi Tay Kai Xin, Diploma in Restaurant and Culinary Operations.

Growing up as the youngest in the family, Cyndi Tay Kai Xin has to live up to the high expectations of her family members. Both her elder brother and sister are graduates of RP’s School of Hospitality. Through their constant guidance, Cyndi realised her passion for the F&B industry and she too excelled in her studies. The intensive practicum and projects she worked on during her study in SOH prepared her with skills ready for her future.

Her sacrifices for family and personal time were not made in vain, given her astounding achievements. Cyndi was also fortunate to experience a six-month internship at Odette, one of the best restaurants in Asia. Although she struggled throughout the internship, she managed to learn new things to cultivate her own growth and become more confident. It was her continuous effort and optimistic personality that led to her success today.

We spoke to Cyndi and here's what she has to share on her secrets to success.

  1. During your 3 years in RP, what were some of the challenges faced and how did you overcome them?

    Rather than criticisms, I took them as suggestions and kept an open mind. In my case, time management was an issue. I took part in 3 competitions during my course of study – WorldSkills Singapore, FHA (Food Hotel & Asia) Barista challenge and SG One Specialist challenge. To top it off, I had to juggle my heavy academic studies load.  Good time management was essential. I took in advice from my lecturers and friends, which enabled me to balance both my studies and those heavy-commitment projects

  2. How have your siblings, who were SOH alumnis, influenced you?

    My brother took the Diploma in Integrated Events Management while my sister was in Diploma in Customer Relationship and Service Management (Now known as Diploma in Customer Experience Management with Business). That was how I discovered the Diploma in Restaurant and Culinary Operations in SOH.

    Coincidentally, before I joined RP, I also chanced upon a student wearing a chef attire walking out of a SOH training facility.  That deepened my interest as I didn’t know that RP offers business food culinary course and decided to enroll in it.   In my family, we are taught by our parents to be independent and make firm decisions.  Hence, once I have made up my mind, I will commit myself to my decision.

  3. You mentioned Mr. Julian helping both your siblings and you in your speech, in what way has he rendered his assistance to you?

    All my mentors and lecturers like Ms Yenny Zein helped me greatly throughout my 3 years in RP but Mr. Julian, in particular, shared a strong connection with us.  For instance, Mr. Julian was in charge of liaising my brother with a company for internship. He supported my brother throughout times of difficulties during his internship. As for my sister, she managed to successfully enroll in the course of her choice with Mr Julian’s help.  Mr Julian helped her review her CCA involvements to see if it aligned with the course’s minimum entry requirement.   He was also the Assistant Programme Chair during my course of study. So, he helped us all in different manners.  He is also very approachable. Whenever I had inquiries on my academic materials, he would gladly assist me to give me suggestions. He also took time to guide me through drafting my valedictorian speech and practicing it with me.