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13 Jun 2022 | Sarah

Qistina: Distance Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

What would you consider your dream job?

Most of us would envision ourselves doing something that we love, preferably in a location that's convenient. That’s not how it seemed for Qistina, our student from the Holistic Training (HT) Programme’s 30th intake. On her work days, she’s up bright and early at 5.30 am, in order to get ready for her long commute from the West of the island to the North.

You might wonder, what keeps her going? It must be her passion for coffee. Guess what… she doesn’t even drink coffee. Her will and motivation run deep.


Qistina never imagined that she could pull through this ‘love-hate relationship’ with her newfound interest. She was first introduced to the HT programme by her family counsellor.

“I wasn’t schooling then. On my first day of school, there were so many people, and I panicked. I told my mother that I can’t do this, so I stopped schooling. Later on, I found a job as a packer at Redmart. Facing the crowd on my first day at work, my anxiety kicked in again, so I stopped working too.”

Subsequently, she cooped herself up for months and was constantly consumed by negative thoughts. Witnessing how her mental health was affected, her mother saw this as a timely opportunity for her to try something new. Initially, she was hesitant to be part of the programme since she wasn’t a coffee lover. With her mother’s encouragement, she picked herself up and decided to give it a shot.

“I’m grateful that I found this programme. Now, my mother thinks I’m slightly crazy for such dedication, especially when I’m not a fan of coffee - I don’t like drinking coffee. But honestly, I don’t mind it, because I enjoy working here.”

She enjoys being a barista at our Khoo Teck Puat Hospital outlet, even though she’s usually flying solo on shifts.

“I really enjoy the beverage-making process. There are so many different kinds (of drinks). It’s really fun and interesting to me, as I get to learn and explore the different types of coffee.”

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Over time, her affection towards work has grown thanks to the motivation she’s received from the team at Bettr. There have been times when she was stressed by assessments, afraid of underperforming due to the fact that she holds high expectations of herself. Yet, the constant encouragement from her trainers has given her the confidence to persevere and not to give up.

"My trainer, Jo, was really supportive. She noticed my mood. Whenever she sensed that I wasn't my usual bubbly or cheery self, she'd talk to me and motivate me."

Ever since she’s been part of the HT programme, besides equipping herself with new skills, she’s also realised that it has become much easier for her to reach out and open up to others about her struggles.

“I’d really recommend others to join this programme too. Have fun learning and enjoy yourself in the process!”

Keen to explore options and possibilities, just like Qistina? Enquire to find out more about our social programmes.