SINGAPORE - When 33-year-old Eudora Tan made the switch to early childhood education from architecture five years ago, there were many people who questioned her decision.
She had spent five years studying to be an architect at the National University of Singapore, including completing a master's degree.
"To them, architecture seemed like a profession that took me such a long time but I gave it up after just a few years of working," said Ms Tan.
She found the work too demanding because of the long hours involved, and decided to try something different.
"I've always had an opportunity to be with children in terms of like Sunday school in church or even with my nephews, and that got me thinking - that I do like working with children," she said.
In 2014, Ms Tan took the leap by taking a Diploma (Conversion) in Kindergarten Education - Teaching at Singapore Polytechnic.
She joined St James' Church Kindergarten (Gilstead) as a maths teacher in 2015, and was promoted to principal in July this year.
She received the Outstanding Early Childhood Teacher Award at the Early Childhood Development Agency Awards for Excellence in Early Childhood Development virtual ceremony on Saturday (Nov 28).
"I just enjoy going to school; the children are just amazing. I simply love the conversations with them. They reveal their curiosities and their thought processes."
Her training as an architect has been put to good use, said Ms Tan, who is married and has a two-year-old son.
"Being an architect is not just about design but seeing a project through and thinking how to solve problems, and working through the details.
"It has translated into how I work with children, by helping them to solve problems instead of just giving them the answers," she said.
"I may not be designing a building but I am building the lives of the children, and that goes a long way."