Home News Featured News Pandemic pushes newbie NTU grad to pursue career as YouTuber

Pandemic pushes newbie NTU grad to pursue career as YouTuber

From Normal stream to Dean's List, Angelyn Chew charts her rocky journey...

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“Through the pandemic, I learned that life is unpredictable and can take a turn at any moment. Take the leap of faith and follow your dream. It will be stressful to take the road less traveled, but nothing beats the thrill of chasing your dream.”

“What will be my biggest regret if I die tomorrow?”

This was the question Angelyn Chew asked herself when Covid-19 struck. It made the Gen Z student wonder if she’d regret it if she did not take a shot at her dream career. She decided to do it while she still had the time and energy.

The Dreamer

Photo: Instagram screengrab/simplyshow

“I never thought that I would actually have the courage to pursue my dream career as a YouTuber—as it is not a common career.”

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Ms Chew, known as simplyshow on YouTube and Instagram, graduated recently from Nanyang Technological University who creates Mandarin-speaking videos about navigating life as a Chinese graduate. 

In her final year at NTU, she regularly created English-language videos, honing her skills and determining the direction of her YouTube channel. She was more comfortable in Mandarin, so she decided to create content in Mandarin with English subtitles to make it accessible to a wider audience.

The Struggles

Photo: Angelyn Chew En Qi

“I have been a slow learner since I was young, but I never give up.”

She wasn’t a star student. Her Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) score of 180 placed her in the Normal Academic stream, but her relentless spirit drove her to top the class and move to the Express stream in Secondary 2. 

In her first year at NTU, her grade point average (GPA) was very low, possibly the lowest among her peers. She worked late nights and spent weekends working on videos rather than going out with friends. A video takes on average 20 hours to produce, she said. She also opted out of high-commitment co-curricular activities to devote more time to creating videos.

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Due to the pandemic, Ms Chew also missed an opportunity to go for the China overseas exchange program, but she made up for the global exposure by going on a grad trip to the United States and Mexico with just $6K in the bank which she saved up from her part-time work and internship allowance.

Having to convince her parents that she sought a career as a YouTuber and the arduous process of creating content as a one-woman show added to her stress. Handling every aspect from storyboarding to filming, editing, graphic design, proposal writing, accounting, and financial management has been a challenge.

The Beginning of Rising

Photo: Instagram videograb/simplyshow

The road ahead will be tough, but if I do not give it a try, it will be a regret. As the saying goes, we more often regret what we did not do than what we have done.”

On the way, she went from struggling academically to making the Dean’s list. Her determination also allowed her to achieve her first YouTube milestone of 1,000 subscribers in October 2020.

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She may have no awards or impressive numbers to show for it now, but discovering that she has a global audience – far beyond friends and family – who enjoy her content was a watershed moment in her life. /TISG

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