Esther Tan

Year CS'04:

Five years after graduating from Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Esther Tan clinched one of six spots in Singapore’s first all-women’s expedition team to scale Mount Everest.

“Very few are given the chance to step afoot the mountain of mountains. More than anything, I was grateful to be there,” said Tan.

Initially, the 35-year-old did not expect to qualify for the climb due to its rigorous selection process.

“We had a five-year long ‘survivor style’ selection process where only the fittest and most altitude-apt would make the team. Till this day, I look back and wonder if that was really me,” she said.

While preparing for the climb, Tan was concurrently working as a copywriter with the advertising giant Ogilvy, where she took one to three months off every year for five years to get her body at peak condition for the climb. After a decade, she left her career behind to look after her three children. At Ogilvy, she has worked with clients like Google, Nike and American Express.

When asked to recount her fondest memory in WKWSCI, Tan singled out her time as a student taking up the Visual Communications module.

“It was a course where we were truly allowed to express ourselves,” she said.