As the eldest of six children, Ms Serena Seah was expected to find a job after completing her A levels and graduating from Raffles Girls' School in 1974. Though she secured a place in the arts and social sciences programme at the then Nanyang University, she abided by her parents' wishes to enter the workforce instead. "My parents were not too well off. I remember my mother saying that my other siblings needed to study, too", said Ms Seah, 63.
Determined to upskill, however, she took a local two-year part-time course while working and acquired a diploma in marketing, accredited by the United Kingdom's Institute of Marketing in 1986, at age 30. "It was my desire to improve myself and gain something," says Ms Seah, who works in the sales industry.