BAG Draft 102


Published on

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

BAG Draft 102

  1. 1. TheBLUEANDGOLD Issue 11 • November 2010 • MICA 254/07/2010 GlassroomCafeDiscounts! Find out how students’ perspectives change as the years go by! fresh? still Travel: From Laos to USA HPAIR 2010 Professor de Meyer Interview PLUS: Sports Fiesta, Grad Night, Eve, Vegetarianism, and more! Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 1 23/10/2010 3:09PM
  2. 2. TheBLUEAndGOLD All rights reserved. No part of this publication should be reproduced without the prior permission of the authors concerned and The Blue and Gold. The Blue and Gold is does not necessarily endorse the opinions put forth by its writers. Printed by KHL Printing Co Pte Ltd. The Blue and Gold 81 Victoria Street Singapore 188065 Editor’s note If you picked up our previous issue at our news- stands a month or two ago, you might have been awed by the great photographs of the sports CCAs that we featured. You might also have been impressed by the statistics that we have of BOSS bid- ding of this semester and the previous years – I was certainly surprised when a professor teaching Intro- ductory Economics contacted me one day to verify my sources, especially since they were not retrieved from the official statistics. In a dramatic turn of events, I provided our methodology to an academic instead of the other way round! We provide you, hopefully, with even more reason to pick up this issue. Apart from a fantastic cover shoot with a talented photographer and mod- els, this issue does not focus on particular CCAs, or even groups of people; this issue is all about you. We attempt to figure out what freshmen like; what second and third year students think about Finishing Touch; what makes seniors have such positive impressions on their first presentation and project; and what Freshmen Bash, unfortunately, has to do with Ana- lytical Skills and Creative Thinking classes. Looking to travel? Our travel section returns with reflections of trips rang- ing from backpacking (page 38) to Work and Travel (page 39). While res- taurants have proven rather elusive at granting us interviews, we decided that circumventing the situation involved a little food subsidy for our re- porters – read all about going to Wendy’s, on a budget (page 42). We are also honoured to feature an exclusive interview with our new President of SMU, Professor Arnoud de Meyer. In his article he reveals more about his experience and what he hopes to achieve with SMU. We hope you enjoy this issue. Owen Tan Managing Director The Blue and Gold Communications secretary, smusa Lee Cher Hern Managing Director ACTING EDITOR-In-CHIEF Owen Tan Deputy Editor-in-Chief Aashna Nasta ADVISORS Michael Ng Ephraim Loy managing EditorS Shobana Nadaraja Senthil Sukumar marketing director Deborah Lim SENIOR EditorS Talisa Kaur Dhaliwal Nadim Ali Kapadia Tobias Yeo Sheena Lee Ankita Prasad Graphic Design & layout Melvin Tiong Owen Tan COVER STORY PHOTOGRAPHY Lee Chei Ren A publication of the Singapore Management University Students’ Association This issue of The Blue and Gold is proudly sponsored by Prudential Singapore. Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 2 23/10/2010 3:09PM
  3. 3. ngapore. nom InsideThisIssue ViewpointViewpoint Cover StoryCover Story TravelTravel Campus News! Thumb Sup! Perspectives The Magic of Laos Sanva Saephan gives us a perspective of this special part of Indochina.6 Face/Off Should schools have the right to endorse their students for elections? Four stu- dents give their views. 7 Still fresh? We take a look at what SMU students are happy and not-so-happy about.8 Sowing the Seeds of Innovation Aashna Nasta and Emile Law find out more about our new SMU President Ar- noud de Meyer. 20 The Green, not the Library Claudia Wong reports on the Sports Fiesta. 22 Welcome, the 11th SMUSA Exco 26 Graduation Night 201028 Eve 2010 Lydia Toh reports on a night of ap- preciating the arts. 30 A musical and a play Reflections on the Law Musical and Home, Nearly. 32 HPAIR 2010 Reports from participants and organisers.32 For a variety of reasons From backpacking in India to working in the USA.38 Wendy’s, books, movies Our new recommendations section.42 and. 46 Overheard @ SMU Excerpts from everybody’s favourite Facebook page. the blue and gold 3 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 3 23/10/2010 3:09PM
  4. 4. From Our Desk From Our Desk “THIS IS BY FAR THE BEST BLUE AND GOLD ISSUE EVERRRRRRR...I love the photos and the new layout format! Looks qualifying as a Newsweek! Great job to the team! Its FANTASTIC.” - Lee Jun Kiat (Year 3, Business) “Very well done. I like how you made me flip to page 31 [The Glassroom ad]. Haha. So Singaporean. “ - Hazel Ang (Year 3, Economics) Ed: We’ve got more Glassroom discounts inside! TheBLUeANDGOLD Sportsissue TheBLUeANDGOLD Sports Edition Issue 10 • September 2010 • MICA 254/07/2010 Capturing the Spirit of Sport PLUS: ■ Events Around the World ■ Bidding Woes ■ Exclusive Interviews: Glassroom and Colours Glassroom Cafe Discounts inside! From alumni... Congrats on the new Blue and Gold mag! It is AWESOME!!!! - Angela Anthony, former Editor-in-Chief, The Blue and Gold AWESOME Blue and Gold issue. AWESOME. - Elvin Ong, former regular contributor, The Blue and Gold Memo fr. Advisor Ephraim Loy I don’t like too many yellow boxes. September 2010 An Overheard extra... “You come in as a fresh piece of dough. You get slammed about and stretched to the limit. Finally, when you’re moulded into a fluffy prata - you get eaten!” - V Kumar Sharma reflects on school life while eating prata at Jalan Kayu Write to us and win prizes and vouchers. Send us an email at the blue and gold4 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 4 23/10/2010 3:10PM
  5. 5. n assroom Cafe Discounts inside! Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 5 23/10/2010 3:10PM
  6. 6. Visitors often spend at least one or two days here before continu- ing on their journey to Vang Vi- eng (if they travelling north). Vang Vieng is a five-hour bus ride from Vientiane, a town that visitors must not miss. The sce- nic beauty of the town has cap- tivated many tourists; a place where you can experience the purity of nature, and let the fresh air will purge the pollution from your lungs. There are also many breathtaking caves to explore, and wherever you go, the moun- tains greet you smiling. I would say that this town is as impres- sive as the famous Guilin city in China. To accompany the mountains of Vang Vieng, the Song River is a buzz of activity. Tubing, where you sit on a tyre and let your- self flow with the current, is one relaxing activity that the river provides. The slow flowing riv- er also has turbulent currents at some junctions, and is a won- derful place for kayaking. How- ever, the most popular activity is slinging, where you can jump from a high platform to grip a bar and drop into the river. The night sky of Vang Vieng is filled with stars, and those of my friends who went there for an overseas community service programme (OCSP) are still in awe of this sight. Each night, we would lie down “talk” with the stars, ready to close our eyes and make our wishes on a shooting star. The starry night was a per- fect respite after each tiring day, and the sixteen souls in the Wan Mai OCSP team – Amanda, Al- fred, Yi Chen, Linh, Vy, Heng Yin, Charmaine, Xue Kun, Jie Han, Derek, Tian Sheng, Swee Leng, Zhen Zhen, Mervyn, Yen Soon, and myself – quickly fell in love with the town. After our OCSP, the team trav- elled north to Luang Prabang for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. This small, beautiful town is a UNESCO World Heri- tage site; French architecture and Buddhist temples domi- nate the town, creating a tran- quil atmosphere. Life here is slow and simple, and taking a stroll through town is enough to experience the loveliness and charm of Lao culture. Wherever you go, Laotians greet you with simple Hellos, but you can sense the liveliness and sincerity. Af- ter your walk, shops along the streets offer aromatic Lao cof- fee and delightful refreshments. At night, the market in Luang Prabang showcases elegant Lao handicraft from a variety of eth- nic groups, such as the Hmong and Mienh, ideal gifts for friends and family. Outside Luang Prabang, there are also magnificent waterfalls at Tat Guangxi where you can relax and get in touch with na- ture. Home stays are another way to learn more about the cul- ture and lifestyle of the people. For art lovers and appreciators of simple lifestyles, Luang Pra- bang is the perfect place to visit. To the partygoers and sightseers, Vang Vieng is the perfect get- away. Laos also has many other amazing places to offer, such as the Plain of Jars in Xieng Khuang or the historical sites and ma- jestic waterfalls of Champasak. The best time to visit is from No- vember to February, when the weather is cool and lovely. I hope this article has helped you to learn more about Laos, enough perhaps to make Laos your next holiday destination. When I tell people that I am from Laos, they often give me perplexed looks. Some even embarrass themselves by asking “Is Laos in Myanmar?”, “Is Laos part of Cambodia?”, or even “Is Laos a country?” I remember an incident at Chan- gi Airport a few years back; a memory that will not leave my mind for years to come. An Air Asia officer refused to let me check-in, insisting that I needed a visa to visit Thailand. Even af- ter explaining that, under the new ASEAN agreement, Lao passport holders can travel to some ASEAN nations (including Thailand) without a visa, she re- mained adamant that I needed one. I was furious. To make matters worse, she even asked, “Where is Laos?” I was ready to explode, but I managed to compose myself, and request- ed to see the manager. The prob- lem was quickly solved, and the officer apologized. I dismissed the matter, but it is a reminder of how little is known about Laos. Laos is a land-locked, indepen- dent nation sharing borders with China, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. De- spite recent development, Laos is a laid-back country with a peaceful atmosphere. Many are content with the simple lifestyle that has been passed down from generation to generation. Only after SEA Games 2009, which Laos hosted, did the country gain some international recognition. Even though Laos is still un- known to many of us, the coun- try has many things to offer. Vientiane, the capital of Laos, is aneconomicallyemergingtown. Yet, many historical monuments built during the French coloni- zation are still well preserved. The magic of Laos Sanva Saephan gives us a perspective of this special part of Indochina. ViewpointViewpoint the blue and gold6 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 6 23/10/2010 3:10PM
  7. 7. FACE OFF The School of Eco- nomics had thrown its weight behind one par- ticular candidate, a deci- sion presumably made by the small student committee heading the school. To maintain an even playing field, SMUSA understand- ably intervened, and reminded the school to remain neutral. For fair- ness, a body in a position of strength and power should not be using its influence to take sides. Of course, we must assume that the student committee in question is discerning enough to make that judgment.By disallowing bodies in-the-know using their influence to help their constituents make in- formed choices, many votes will be cast blindly, especially as voters are often apathetic and will not make the effort to determine the ca- pabilities of each candidate themselves. This may eventually lead to a sub-optimal SMUSA board, and in turn, a decrease in student wel- fare. By extension, only if an informed student body elects student com- mittees will we then be able to count on them making the right choice in endorsing a particular candidate for SMUSA elections. Loh Wei Quan In SMU, societies and student bodies are entirely student-centered – by the student, for the student. Unlike the political agendas that real world orga- nizations may have, school elections should have only one aim: to search for students who are most passionate in serving the student community. As such, all initiatives should be led by students, and the primary concern should be the quality of candidates and their mandate. In the journey leading up to voting day, candidates have campaigned aggressively – using posters, Facebook pages, bookmarks, and bal- loons – just to convince voters that they are worthy of the checkbox next to their names. However, if schools step into the electoral process by endorsing cer- tain candidates, it would give those candidates an unfair edge. While it could mean extra firepower for some- one who is competent, would that be at the ex- pense of another passionate, but not as estab- lished, candidate? Whichever school the candidates hail from, we must always remember that we come from one place, one fam- ily, one SMU. These students are all striving to serve their fellow stu- dents, and thus should at least be accorded the privilege of a level playing field. John Huang SMUSA serves as the voice of SMU’s stu- dent population, so why should schools have to re- main neutral by not endors- ing candidates for elections? It is only natural that each school would seek repre- sentation in the SMUSA Exco to voice their opinions and fight for their interests. Successfully elected members rely on the votes of the student population to arrive at their privileged positions, and if schools were to remain neutral by not endorsing candidates, large swathes of support would be missing in the elections. Each school represents a different part of the student body, and thus they should be allowed to endorse the candidate they feel would best rep- resent their interests. It is unfair to prohibit schools from supporting candidates purely due to their relatively greater power of influence. The support from schools represent the collective view of a signifi- cant set of students, and should not be ignored. Even though school committees and portfolio holders have great- er power and influence compared to the average student, students should still be allowed hear their opinions, and will eventually draw their own conclusions based on whatever is personally important. Jeanie Hue I believe that the email supporting the SMUSA election campaign of Economics student Gary Tan was simply a call from the Oikos family to support one of its flock. It is beyond my comprehension why SMUSA was so affected by this endorsement. Though I must agree that the email probably boost- ed the votes for Gary, as some Economics students may have felt in- clined to vote in line with the School’s endorsement, thus throwing their collective weight behind Gary. I believe that SMUSA ought not be too put off by this move, as I believe that the Oikos Committee purely wanted to put up a display of support for Gary. They must have had prior knowledge of Gary’s capabilities to serve the student body well, and would not have taken a blind leap of faith in support- ing Gary Tan. After all, they are putting the reputation of SOE on the line. Furthermore, we are highly educated students, and our ideals and morals will not be easily swayed by endorsements, even one from a school committee. After all, the SMUSA elections are important, and students will not take voting lightly. If The New York Times can endorse Barack Obama in the US presidential elec- tions, I don’t see why SOE cannot declare its support for Gary Tan. In fact, I think it shows solidarity and unity within the Oikos family. Tan Yi Heng Jason Aye Aye Nay Nay Recently, Oikos, the society representing the School of Economics, was reminded by SMUSA that endorsing one of its students for the SMUSA elections is not allowed. In our new section, we ask the students if schools should have the right to endorse candidates for elections. the blue and gold 7 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 7 23/10/2010 3:10PM
  8. 8. fresh?still Cover StoryCover Story the blue and gold8 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 8 23/10/2010 3:10PM
  9. 9. In this issue, we take a look at what SMU students are happy and not-so-happy about - and how your perspective of SMU changes as you progress through school life. By Owen Tan With additional reporting by Serene Tay, Stephanie Yow, Shobana Nadaraja, Ankita Prasad, Aashna Nasta, Tobias Yeo, and Senthil Sukumar Photography by Lee Chei Ren Models: Lim Zihui, Tan Siow Yun, Kingley Lim the blue and gold 9 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 9 23/10/2010 3:10PM
  10. 10. “[School] started out as being really rosy, but now it’s lost a bit of its shine... though I’m not really complaining.” “SMU’s lifestyle is more hectic than other universities; high stress levels and expec- tations in school.” “The pursuit for grades is becoming more and more intense.”` - Final year SMU students who responded to our survey Losing its Lustre? Cover StoryCover Story the blue and gold10 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 10 23/10/2010 3:11PM
  11. 11. 5. First lesson of university 4. Analytical Skills/Creative Thinking (AS/CT) 3. Matriculation 2. Leadership & Team Building (LTB) 1. Freshman Bash Don’t be mistaken by the title: indeed, there are a lot of great things about school that all of us love. We will go to those later, but rather than going the conventional route of giving you the good news before the bad, we decided to show you the peeves of the SMU student as he progresses through his school life. The myth, of course, is that all SMU students are satisfied, content, enriched with every course that they take; being on the Dean’s List; balancing school life, a part-time job, and a relationship ex- tremely well; loving their project group mates; es- sentially enjoying every second of their SMU lives. For this issue, we sent out an Internet survey that had over 200 respondents to figure out what exact- ly peeves the SMU student. We realise, interesting- ly, that some things consistently appear on the list of poor impressions (we explore a couple of these further in the next few pages). We present to you, from our survey results, The Blue and Gold’s very own “Top of the Bottom” list. Not So Fresh 5. LTB  4. AS/CT 3. Internship 2. FTB 1. Freshman Bash 5. Convocation 4. First presentation 3. Matriculation  2. Freshman Bash  1. AS/CT  5. Vivace  4. Matriculation  3. Overseas community involvement project 2. Freshman Bash 1. AS/CT IncreasingSeniority Arranged in ascending level of negative impression, where 1 = most negative. Events in bold denote new entries compared to previous years. Did you know? Most participative: Seniors Graduating students seem to be more vocal in class, our survey suggests: 41% of them participate at least two to three times every lesson. the blue and gold 11 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 11 23/10/2010 3:11PM
  12. 12. Cover StoryCover Story the blue and gold12 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 12 23/10/2010 3:11PM
  13. 13. Save for the pet peeves that all of us have, it seems that there are some things that SMU students of all levels of seniority like. Orientation camps, for instance, seem to be the most memorable among all levels; receiving the accep- tance letter after what is arguably the toughest ad- mission process for a university here is ranked top of the fresh list for both second and third-year stu- dents. Interestingly, fourth year students have a very differ- ent fresh list from the rest. Most of them, having had the opportunity to go overseas, now place that as the most memorable impression; the first projects, pre- sentations and lessons at SMU now seem to be the most positive impressions that they will take away from SMU upon graduation. IncreasingSeniority 1. Orientation camps 2. Acceptance into SMU 3. Vivace 4. First project in SMU 5. Convocation 1. Acceptance into SMU 2. First presentation 3. OCIP 4. Vivace 5. Orientation camps 1. Acceptance into SMU 2. Orientation camps  3. LTB 4. Vivace 5. Internship 1. Overseas programmes 2. First project in SMU 3. Finishing Touch 4. First lesson in SMU 5. First presentation  Arranged in descending level of positive impression, where 1 = most positive. Events in bold denote new entries as compared to previous years. The Fresh List Did you know? Most respondents to this survey: Freshmen Thinking of sending out a survey for your classmates to complete? Perhaps targeting freshmen would be the best option. Close to 50% of the respondents in the survey were freshmen. the blue and gold 13 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 13 23/10/2010 3:11PM
  14. 14. 0 12.5 25.0 37.5 50.0 Very dissatisfied Dissatisfied Somewhat dissatisfied So Satisfaction!(and who’s getting it) We take a look at how happy SMU students are with their school life, and debunk some myths. MYTH OR FACT #1: The majority of SMU stu- dents are dissatisfied with school. A contentious point, but it seems that the proportion of dissatisfied students in the survey stands at 21.5%, while satisfied students are at 78.5%. - MYTH MYTH OR FACT #1: The majority of SMU stu- dents are dissatisfied with school. A contentious point, but it seems that the proportion of dissatisfied students in the survey stands at 21.5%, while satisfied students are at 78.5%. - MYTH MYTH OR FACT #2: The people who are most dissatisfied with school are typically the senior students. Unfortunately, the myth seems to be accu- rate. 14% of seniors indicate that they are “very dissatisfied” with school. - FACT MYTH OR FACT #2: The people who are most dissatisfied with school are typically the senior students. Unfortunately, the myth seems to be accu- rate. 14% of seniors indicate that they are “very dissatisfied” with school. - FACT Cover StoryCover Story the blue and gold14 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 14 23/10/2010 3:11PM
  15. 15. sfied Somewhat satisfied Satisfied Very satisfied MYTH OR FACT #3: Most senior students are not satisfied with school. 59% of fourth-year students are either sat- isfied or very satisfied (73% if you add in “somewhat satisfied”), which suggests that dissatisfaction with school is greatly exag- gerated. - MYTH MYTH OR FACT #3: Most senior students are not satisfied with school. 59% of fourth-year students are either sat- isfied or very satisfied (73% if you add in “somewhat satisfied”), which suggests that dissatisfaction with school is greatly exag- gerated. - MYTH Conclusion: Freshness guaranteed... (for most anyway) If we are to believe the naysayers, we sin- cerely believe that the bars would have been much higher on the facing page. What we see from this survey, however, proves them wrong: a majority of stu- dents are satisfied with life in SMU, and within this a significant number is more than just “somewhat satisfied”. It seems that we can say that the majority of our student population are, as of this mo- ment, still fresh. The school administration, of course, should still note that there are little warn- ing signs that should be resolved. A sig- nificant (14%) proportion of final year students are “very dissatisfied”. As with all surveys, ours has limits: the people who are dissatisfied with school life may be under-represented, since they may not even bother to check their emails. Response rates for the senior stu- dents, most of them busy with their final year projects and internships were much lower than for the freshmen. For now, however, it seems that SMU stu- dents are mostly satisfied. - Owen Tan the blue and gold 15 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 15 23/10/2010 3:11PM
  16. 16. Most are happy to get in here ■ Tobias Yeo SMU has just celebrated its 10th Anniversary, by no stretch an achievement in a world of Harvards, Oxfords, Princetons, NUSs, and NTUs. Still, in those 10 years, we have grown from a fringe institution into an extremely popular main- stream one, and each year stu- dents face stiff competition for a place here. An acceptance letter has become a mark of achieve- ment, a symbol of pride. SMU’s progress can be easily summed up in the words of Social Sci- ence student Lydia Low – “It isn’t NUS.” For many, SMU also represents a university with unconventional admission criteria. Top students sometimes fail to gain admis- sion, while other students, like Daniel Soon from Lee Kong Chi- an School of Business, are grate- ful that “SMU recognized me – a talent!” I understand his sen- timents deeply; only SMU would allow me, a polytechnic student with an IT diploma, to change tack and pursue a Social Science degree. The transition into University is a significant event. Often, it is the last barrier between a rel- atively comfortable school life and the cold, hard reality of the working world. It is that first (curse you, competitive Singa- pore society) necessary step we must take in climbing the corpo- rate ladder. However, the unique SMU sys- tem also creates its own prob- lems. When asked how they are adapting to school, students like Cheryl Loh from the School of Accountancy simply say, “It’s tough.” Fortunately (and en- couragingly), many freshman feel they are helped somewhat by their orientation experience. Besides the opportunity to meet new friends, perhaps the most important benefit is the chance to “learn quite a bit from se- niors,” in the words of School of Information Systems student Jonathan Lim. In fact, in a survey by The Blue and Gold, orientation camps and acceptance into SMU have been listed by freshman as their 2 best experiences. If anything, fresh- men are at least enjoying the ex- perience of starting school. SMU today is known today by both potential and current students for having the snazziest advertisements for undergraduate admissions What you think!Here we post some of the comments you made in our survey. Freshmen Liked orientation camps because... “Awesome fright night” - Jonathan Lim, Information Systems Liked Vivace because... “of goody bags!” - Rebecca Ling, Accountancy Didn’t like their first lesson because... “I got lost distinguishing between SR, CR and GSR” - Mervyn Lee, Information Systems Didn’t like LTB because... “I know it prepares us for the corporate world and all, but leadership theories are boring” - Daniel Soon, Business It was very interesting to see how foreign students or exchange students participate in class discussions. Most of them were more outspoken than Singaporean students, even those from South East Asian countries. - Anonymous Sophomores Liked OCIP because... “Made us realise that we should be grateful of what we have now... Probably the greatest experience of my SMU life” - Edwin Eduardo Kalisaran Didn’t like LTB because... “Team mates weren’t very cooperative” - Gary Liang Jun Hao Juniors Liked orientation camps because... “Loved it! Pure fun, no conse- quences!” - Yessita Azeharie, Information Systems Liked Vivace because... “I found my calling in the unlikeliest of CCAs” - anonymous Liked internship because... “It means time away from school” - Kyna Tan Disliked AS/CT because... “CT seemed to have served no purpose in my tertiary education” - Sophia Seniors Liked going for exchange because... “It was the best semester of my university life!” - Xinyi, Business Liked their first lesson because... “It was interesting because it was my LTB project. Had a great group there.” - Jurena Chan Didn’t like Freshman Bash because... “didn’t do much even though I attended.” - Chen Yongzhe Benjamin Cover StoryCover Story the blue and gold16 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 16 23/10/2010 3:11PM
  17. 17. When I think of camps, I think of flickering, cozy campfires, hot melted marsh- mallows, and jolly songs being belted out loudly in a night out at the woods. Singapore, how- ever, has no woods whatsoever but only a concrete jungle, so we have to make do with pitched tents at East Coast Park. But there is noth- ing wrong with East Coast Park. It is near food places selling re- ally good barbe- cued stingray, with public re- strooms located at a stone’s throw away, and we still get mobile phone reception. We are Singaporeans, after all. We thrive on comfort and conve- nience. We love reclaimed land and imported sand, because it makes our island city so much bigger and speaks of our govern- ment’s ingenuity. Iamafreshmanthisyear,andthe first step that I ever took towards university life was in orienta- tion camps. Do you remember your first day? A bleary morning, A Toast to Orientation Camps with everyone shuffling into the reporting venue with large duffle bags and different co- loured shirts according to clan, and guys checking girls out and vice-versa (never underestimate this, for it is an important step in evaluating the future market size of potential boyfriends and girlfriends). There was a certain level of ex- citement in the air, and we all had the taste of anticipation on our lips- Who were going to be our team- mates? Would the camp be fun, or a total bore? Would we fit in? The more meek ones naturally took a longer time to open up, but the more boisterous ones simply thrust their big smiles in people’s faces and welcomed new friendships. Whatever the approach you might have tak- en, I believe that the main take- away for most of us was connect- ing with new individuals, and seeing our lives intersect on so many different levels. These in- “Whatever the approach you might have taken, I believe that the main takeaway for most of us was connecting with new individuals, and seeing our lives intersect on so many different levels.” teractions, on hindsight, gave us friends that would pore over textbooks till midnight with us, laugh, and cry with us. How can we forget the bizarre, crazy games? I remember trudg- ing to the showers at night feel- ing completely exhausted, with several bruises and cuts on my legs, flour and peanut butter caked on my face, and drenched clothes from water games. I hon- estly questioned the credibil- ity of the games. Some of them were only present to get fresh- men dirty, and had no learning value at all. But as I watched my team mates erupting into peals of laughter, with every one of us sweaty, tired and hugely un- glamorous, I knew that we were having a blast. Now that was what mattered most. So here is a toast to freshmen orientation camps, urban camp- sites, and ever-lasting friend- ships. Let us, from freshmen to seniors, not forget the signifi- cance of our baby steps towards becoming a bona fide Singapore Management University stu- dent- polished, confident, intel- ligent, and eloquent. If I may put it this way, orientation camps are merely the gateways of warm hospitality to get you settled into university life. The future behind our campus’ tall, auto- mated glass doors is ultimately for you to create. Stephanie Yow gives her take on the orientation camps that freshmen went through. The Freshman Teambuilding Camp is mandatory - but certainly does not seem mun- dane - for SMU students the blue and gold 17 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 17 23/10/2010 3:12PM
  18. 18. ■ AS/CT AS/CT modules were consis- tently ranked as the ‘Worst 5 First Impressions’ that student have in SMU. Many students feel that the two modules add little value to their overall curriciculum. CT in par- ticular has a bad reputation for being a waste of time and focus- ing more on class participation then instilling creativity. This could be a consequence of the module’s central tenet that cre- ativity is relative, and the reason why any and all verbal quips are given merit regardless of wheth- er or not they are constructive contributions. As one student puts it, “CT quickly becomes a battle for class participation, with TAs just ticking names of people who spoke up.” AS is a completely different ball game, and class participation alone does not guarantee a good grade. We all remember redraw- ing arrows and redefining state- ments that can be held to be true or false after discussing home- ■ Freshman Bash Students vented that the Fresh- man Bash organized by Biz- com at Zouk didn’t meet their expectation. It was just another clubbing night for many and found the pageant long and time-consuming. Some also hinted that the selection crite- ria of the pageant winners could have been more transparent. Even some final year students who expressed their nostalgia about most other school events commented that “The Freshman Bash didn’t leave an impression on me.” Nostalgia? Final year students have a much different Fresh List as compared to the rest of the co- horts. For them, the first lesson in SMU, their first project, and first presentation appears to be the most memorable. Does nostalgia come into the picture? Mohan Jeyapalan, an IS student in his graduating year of SMU shares his experiences over his four years in SMU. Mohan feels that the first few milestones in SMU were essen- tial in shaping one to survive the upcoming challenge. “Even though I came from a polytech- nic the standards of projects in SMU were just different. It felt more formal. However we grew together as a team. This was just the start point of my journey in SMU, an indicator as to what I was to expect in future projects.” With regards to academics, “with freshmen entering every year, I feel that the current batch becomes more competitive than the previous one.” He remarks, “as cliché is may seem, GPA is not the only important thing. Instead we should be aware of other non-academic issues; the lack of integration between the foreign students and local stu- dents.” He also shared his disap- pointment of pre-planned class participation among two peers which they executed timely dur- ing class. In his emphasis of personal rela- tionships, Mohan believes that “at the end of the day it is the people that I have met in SMU who will leave a life-long im- pression on me, not very much of the digits (GPA). My group of friends, which we have named as Malay, Indian and Chinese (M.I.C.) has been there beside me through these four years. School would not be as fun without them. I also found the love of my life in SMU.” He concluded with a quote im- parted from his favorite pro- fessor, Mr Kirpal Singh, “Fight for the things you really want” in which Mohan explains that “fruitful outcomes can only be achieved if you believe in your- self.” Looking at it from an entirely different perspective, a few stu- dents think that it was too ex- pensive and not worth the mon- ey; a sophomore was tongue in cheek about it, “There are a lot of needy people out there, who would have done much more with the money!” Being held on a Thursday night was also the concern of some SMU students - Clinston Tan said that he did not attend espe- cially since he had class the next morning. Like a date, both qual- ity and timing are essential in holding a successful event. work questions with other stu- dents, only to redraw and rede- fine the exact same questions after even more discussions with more students. Unlike CT, in AS students are given a strict set of clearly-de- fined rubrics for coursework. But like creativity, at times even logic seems perplexingly subjec- tive. In addition, with its weekly assignments, presentations and exams, the AS module is decid- edly more intense, and com- plaints abound that it takes up too much time and effort for just a half CU. Perhaps the reason why SMU students share a love-hate re- lationship with AS and CT is because we come from a strin- gently grade-oriented education system, and the well-rounded- ness that these modules aim to inculcate in us jars with our ac- ademic sensitivities. However, love them or hate them, these two modules are here to stay and leave their impression on suc- cessive generations of SMU stu- dents. Shobana Nadaraja believes that missing the “good old days” is strong for final year students The Dark Side AS/CT classes and Freshman Bash end up regularly on the not-so-fresh list. Senthil Sukumar and Aashna Nasta report. This was just the start point of my journey in SMU, an in- dicator as to what I was to expect in future projects. - Mohan Jeyapalan, year 4 Cover StoryCover Story the blue and gold18 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 18 23/10/2010 3:12PM
  19. 19. ■ Serene Tay SMU inflicts changes on us we may or may not appreciate, but as both facilitators and spec- tators of this transformational process, our professors are proud champions of this nurturing en- vironment. For the typical year one, the nu- merous pre- semester camps and orientation sessions do nothing to alleviate the feeling of alien- ation in his/her new school en- vironment, which admittedly looks nothing like a school. Glass paneled buildings, escala- tors and seniors brisk walking to their next lecture in full- on business suits can really throw off a freshman on his/her first day from the familiar school environment of painted school blocks, chatty classrooms, can- did pranks, scheduled lessons with disciplining teachers and in all a protected environment. As much as we grapple helpless- ly in a bid to survive, professors feel this change in environment is not simply desirable, but nec- essary, with “an exponentially more difficult curriculum at the tertiary level, the teaching style has to take on a more individual- ized approach.” This is what freshmen struggle with, the sudden burst of inde- pendence and clashing timeta- bles with their peers, and being intimidated to no end by the se- niors’ intellect and abundant experiences. Dr Margaret Chan very aptly names this period a “liminal” period, a period of “be- twixt and between”, in which we struggle to make sense of why we subject ourselves to this dis- comfort and figure out what we hope to gain from being in “A Different U”. In Dr Chan’s words, “within the year, most freshmen get used to this and come to relish their in- dependence.” As long as we ful- fill the course requirements for our degrees, we may choose to take whatever else modules we wish. Should we want to go on exchange, business study mis- sions, overseas community proj- ects, conferences, extended in- ternships,SMUgrantsusleaveof absences. Countless case compe- titions, business quizzes, social enterprise opportunities abound in this institution fully commit- ted to expanding the potential of those who walk through it. The power dis- tance that ex- isted between students and teachers in s e c o n d a r y schools is c o m p l e t e l y eliminated in university. We often bump into professors while eating lunch or working out at the gym, and Ms Carla Lim feels this contrib- utes to a closer relationship and facilitates the education process as professors are more in touch with the lives of students. All agree that confidence is the most exponential growth. Ms Rosie Ching feels that “their con- fidence level grows exponential- ly with years at SMU, together with more lines and grey hairs.” “They actually start something concrete like small enterprises instead of merely planning their futures, and are much less afraid and more determined to “get out there”. Still, no less humble, but nicer, grittier and definitely smarter.” Ms Carla Lim adds that a differ- entiating factor between year ones and beyond is the level of class participation. But of course. Class participation is the ultimate infamous grading requirement, and might have single handedly scared off some potential applicants. Countless debates have arisen on this top- ic, professors experiment with dogged determination in hopes of discovering the perfect grad- ing system, students furiously research the ongoing debate in real time to spur discussions.. but class participation is no doubt fulfilling it’s core purpose- to nurture more outspoken indi- viduals who challenge what is presented to them. And for the level of class participation to be visibly differentiated, it shows that freshmen ultimately do break out of their shell to benefit from the increased confidence and enriched learning process a greater involvement in class par- ticipation provides. Ending on a heartwarming note Dr Chan adds, “I have attend- ed the weddings of many of my former students, and it always moves me to see them so poised and assured. I look forward to be- ing an ‘SMU grandmother’.” De- spite all the freedom SMU stu- dents receive, we exist with the assurance that we have dedicat- ed professors behind us, support- ing our development and ready to offer advice. Growing in Confidence Class participation is fulfilling its core purpose - to nurture more outspoken individuals who challenge what is presented to them. Most professors think that the difference between freshmen and seniors is the latter’s belief - in themselves ! ... the blue and gold 19 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 19 23/10/2010 3:12PM
  20. 20. Scanning the array of books neatly arranged on the shelves in the office of SMU’s newly elected President’s office, one can definite- ly presume that President de Meyer is a keen academician. Well, we weren’t too far off the mark, but much more lay beneath that book- ish façade. Just 15 days into his official days of work in SMU, our president shared with us ideas and foresight that surpasses the compass of knowledge that can be found in literature. A self professed ‘Academic Entrepreneur’, his words resonate with wisdom amassed from his de- cades of experience in the academic arena. Previously the Director of Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge, and with 23 years of experience in INSEAD under his belt as well, he unfolds SMU’s next chapter of change to come. SMU’s STRENGTHS: “The People. When I came here, everyone was so enthusiastic.” Which encompasses the staff, students and faculty; and he at- tributes this to the culture of caring in SMU. Students in SMU make an effort to improve the university and that, he says, is “very difficult to grasp, to maintain, and even to say what drives it” President De Meyer definitely loves it, as he finds the enthusiasm spilling over to him as well. ON WHY HE CHOSE SMU: Having been in Singapore from 1998 to 2003 for work, our Pres- ident’s familiarity with the lo- cal surroundings was certainly among the motivating factors. He knew that Singapore will be a place where he could live in, and that was something he regarded tobeimportanttosomeonefrom overseas. But beyond that, it was the nature of the wide opportu- nities of this unique position that drew him to here to SMU, “I will learn about Law, Economics, Social Sciences and Information System- I have a very broad port- folio of topics, which I thought was very interesting”. President De Meyer: Sowing the Seeds of Innovation With SMU continuing to strive for success, Professor Arnoud de Meyer’s appointment as the fifth President of SMU has sparked curiosity and enthusiasm amongst all. Emile Law and Aashna Nasta share with you his opinion of SMU and how he plans to navigate its path further. Campus News! the blue and gold20 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 20 23/10/2010 3:12PM
  21. 21. A TYPICAL DAY OF WORK? “I don’t have a typical day. All my days are different! Every day is exciting, everyday is a huge dis- covery for me” However, he cites his responsi- bility over SMU’s financial equi- librium, its quality of teaching and research, as well as its im- age and brand. “The Responsibil- ity starts with me.” He likens his role to that of a CEO and points out the importance of him work ing with his team of people who help drive SMU. He also stresses the need for him to provide SMU with a clear strategy and vision that is “dy- namic and lives”. “You have to give people a view of where they will go in this university” Well notwithstanding, the role of be- ing a spokesperson for the orga- nization, in this case SMU. THE CHALLENGES: “SMU has been doing so well … the challenge is, ‘Where do we go from here?’ ”. Moving forward, he identifies SMU’s challenges manifest in three aspects: The growth of graduate programmes, building the SMU brand internationally, as well as research. As he says, “Any good university that wants to survive in the long term has to have good research.” Yes, he says, those are the main challenges. But underlying all that, we will still need “to pro- tect what we have” to make SMU a more robust place in the future. BRINGING SMU TO THE WORLD ARENA “In the short run, we can be very good at explaining to the people what we have achieved, which will enhance our brand.” But he elaborates, the short term pub- licity “can only go so far to the point where we have to deliv- er results and the delivery will need to come out of research.” Again, our President espouses the need to create research that “has an impact on organizations, and makes a difference in the lives of people [&] improves the quality of teaching” With SMU’s young faculty, the President says, “Given the right environment and incentives, they [the faculty] will produce great ideas” He explains that thus far, ideas have largely migrated to Asia from countries like Europe. “I think we are at the ‘tipping point’, we are well positioned to take advantage of it” Hence, in the long term, SMU’s success will certainly come from its re- search. “Oh, and when I think of it, your [students’] successes as well.” He adds. KEEPING ABREAST OF COMPETITION With regard to how other in- stitutions are following SMU’s unique pedagogy, President de Meyer states that, “It’s great that others copy us”. It shows that we definitely have something worth emulating. However, our President believes that “it is not that simple to copy us. It’s easy to say, we have lecture theatres that look similar, but it’s going to be very difficult to copy the culture of the place. I’m rather optimistic that they won’t catch up too quickly. But they will.” And that is where President de Meyer reiterates the importance of for SMU “To continue to in- vest in innovation in the way we teach, the way we educate” SMU needs to keep on improving. He draws analogy to Apple “It’s like Apple with its iPhones, so easy to copy.” “But it’s not the product of the iPod or the iPhone. It is every- thing that comes with it- The culture, the brand, the service, and the people who care to make applications that come with it. And Apple is constantly inno- vating!” With SMU continuing to strive for success, Professor Arnoud de Meyer’s appointment as the fifth President of SMU certainly will be the herald for many changes to come. Congratulations President Ar- noud de Meyer! We certainly look forward to your leadership in days to come! The iPhone is not just an iPhone. It is everything that comes with it - The culture, the brand, the service, and the people who care to make the applications.” “You have to give people a view of wheretheywillgo in this university” “Any good university that wants to survive in the long term has to have good research.” the blue and gold 21 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 21 23/10/2010 3:12PM
  22. 22. Held at Singapore Manage- ment University’s Cam- pus Green, this year’s carni- val-themed event had 240 participants take part in three competitive sports- Soccer, Dodgeball and Captain’s Ball. Fringe games such as Face Soc- cer, Goggle Ball, The Balls ‘R’ on the floor and Sledge Mania also attracted curious onlookers to have a go at the innovative ver- sions of their sport. Liu Xinghui, a third year School of Information Systems (SIS) stu- dent, who headed this year’s or- ganizing committee, sees Sports Fiesta as an event to engage and interest students in playing sports to escape the mundane routine of studying. Said Liu: “The aim of Sports Fies- ta is to promote student life. The sports at Sports Fiesta are rela- tively easy to play, so everyone can enjoy them. One difference this year was that fringe games were organized by our own stu- dents for the very first time. We typically get external vendors, but this time round we let our own sportsmen run the games, to promote their sport.” “We’ve noticed an increasing number of students who coop themselves up in the library to study all the time and we wanted to provide an avenue in which they can lead a more active life- style by playing sports.” Chrystal De Anda, a 19-year-old exchange student from Mexico, not only scored a hat-trick but also the winning goal for Team Kofi Annan in the third place play-off. She has been playing soccer since she was four but this was her first playing at a soc- cer tournament in a futsal-like pitch. De Anda formed a team with other exchange students from Denmark and Spain, who were visibly a head taller than their Singaporean opponents, Team Ramesh. In a high-scoring game, both teams were tied 7-7 before De Anda netted the winner with a few minutes remaining on the clock. In the soccer finals, Team Un- derdogs, whom seemed to be the favourites even before the start of the competition, beat Team Patrick Star 6-4 to be crowned champions. Chang Guo Guang, a first-year business student at his first Sports Fiesta, scored countless goals for his side but lauded his team for their effort. He said, “I credit the win today to my team, both the guys and the girls. We came here just to have fun and I’m proud of my team’s achieve- ment.” Chang, who plays as a winger for SMU’s soccer team and also for Gombak United, has just joined the SMU team but has found his place among the sporting com- munity. “I feel that the SMU sporting body is a very tight knit one. Sportsmen and sportswom- Claudia Wong throws light upon the sixth Sports Fiesta kicked off to a fanfare on the third Friday of the new school semester. The Green, not the Library en alike commit a lot to their CCA and it is this strong bond that make the team.” The 7 Dwarves ironically fielded a team of towering giants to beat Team Floorball 19-10 in the most popular sport, Captain’s ball, in which a record of 24 teams took part in. Elsewhere in Dodgeball, Team Douchebag edged out Team Ba- nah Randoas in a narrow 2-1 vic- tory. Even as Sports Fiesta ended on a high note for the winning teams, for the SMU sportsmen and women, they will return to their training routine to prepare for the upcoming SUniG (Singapore University Games). This tertia- ry level competition pitches the four universities against each other in 16 sports, such as soc- cer, tennis, aquathlon, basketball and handball. Sports Fiesta 2010 Campus News! the blue and gold22 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 22 23/10/2010 3:12PM
  23. 23. CIT0338ClearC500A4FAP.fh1110/1/104:36PMPage1 Composite CMYCMMYCYCMYK Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 23 23/10/2010 3:12PM
  24. 24. The Prudential-SMU Business Case Competition 2010 is the first in- ternational business case competition to be held by Singapore Man- agement University (SMU), and organized by Cognitare -- the SMU business case club Prudential Singapore has made the competition possible through a generous sponsorship. This is part of Prudential’s strong ongoing re- lationship with Singapore Management University. Prudential seeks to support a world-class business case competition for undergradu- ates from around the world. A business case competition is about using a case study of a real world business problems, to help a team of students to focus on finding answers to the problems. This is a gruelling but enriching experience under intense time pressure for all participants,. Said Mr Philip Seah, CEO of Pruden- tial Assurance Company Singapore: “This competition will provide you a platform with which to sync your academic and career goals by gaining an awareness of real-life critical issues faced by global business leaders, and applying your academic knowledge to craft innovative solutions for these issues. You will be able to exchange ideas and experiences with fellow participants and faculty members, thus establishing cross-cultural global ties. “Additionally, through networking with Prudential Singapore staff, you will be able to gain first-hand knowledge about the financial ser- vices industry and the general economic climate of Singapore.” The objective of a business case competition is to champion the drive for innovative solutions to strategic and managerial challenges faced by global business leaders, encourage the establishment of global networks through cross-cultural exchange, and facilitate the sharing of ideas and experiences among participants and faculty members. A diverse mix of top-ranked local and international business schools have been invited to participate. Each team consists of four under- graduate students, hand-picked to represent each university’s elite. This year’s teams come all the way from HEC Montreal (Canada) to the University of Auckland (New Zealand). Other participating uni- versities include Concordia University, Chulalongkorn University, Nanyang Technological University, Queen’s University, Rikkyo Uni- versity,theUniversityofFlorida,SingaporeInstituteofManagement, and Singapore Management University - the host of the competition. Each team will have 24 hours to complete their analysis and present their recommendations to the judges in the form of a a presentation and 2-page executive summary. Prudential-SMU Business Case Competition 2010 Standing out from the crowd One objective of the compeitition is to champion the drive for innovative solutions to the strategic and mana- gerial dilemmas faced by global business leaders. Singap the blue and gold24 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 24 23/10/2010 3:12PM
  25. 25. During this period, students are required to work on their own. Any communication or interaction with advisors, faculty members or ex- ternal parties is strictly not allowed. Before the competition begins, participants will be taken on a tour of the Prudential office at Scotts Road, with presentations by Pruden- tial’s management team, followed by a networking session. A short tour of SMU will help international participants understand SMU’s campus life as well, thus giving participants an overview of a real business context and a snapshot of academic life in Singapore. The competition will be held the following day. Participants are ex- pected to complete and present their findings within the stipulated 24-hour deadline. Happenings Case competitions are about more than just cracking a case - it’s also about establishing new friendships. A special dinner at Wave House Sentosa for all participants will be organised for participants to let their hair down and experience Singapore. SMU Cognitare Cognitare strives to spread the business case culture within SMU as well as earn international recognition for the university through competing in international business case competitions. It hopes that through this process, it can offer a challenging and rewarding learn- ing experience for all its members. Cognitare also engages in consult- ing and case writing efforts together with some of the leading indus- try partners in Singapore. Prudential Singapore is one of the top life insurance companies in Singa- pore and is a wholly owned subsidiary of UK-based Prudential plc. As one of the market leaders in investment-linked plans, Prudential Singapore has over S$7.7 billion funds managed under PruLink funds as at 30 June 2010. With the dedicated team of approximately 3,500 financial consultants and over 600 employees, Prudential Singapore has been serving the needs of more than 600,000 policyholders with over 1.3 million policies for almost 80 years in Singapore. A diverse mix of top-ranked local and international business schools have been invited to participate. Each team consists of four undergraduate students, hand-picked to represent each university’s elite. Prudential TowerSingapore Management University the blue and gold 25 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 25 23/10/2010 3:12PM
  26. 26. Welcome,11th SMUSA Exco Daniel Minardi What’s your motivation for joining? This is a question that I have heard so many times for the last few weeks. My answer is always the same: it’s PASSION. The passion to contribute back to SMU and being actively in- volve in the betterment of stu- dent life. The major challenges? The election and campaigning period. I am not the type of per- son who like to see my face all over the school. It was really tough but the journey definitely paid off. Things you intend to solve? The quality of study place in SMU. SMU students need more space to study. Gary Tan I want to thank every one of you out there who has voted for me. Without which, I will never be able to pen down these thoughts in a position of a SMUSA Exco. My motivation from running for SMUSA comes from my desire to serve the student population, and to me SMUSA is the most di- rect avenue for me to realise this passion. The road to entering SMUSA exco was not a smooth-sailing one. I have to constantly con- vince, not only my friends, but people whom I have met throughout my campaigning process. You might have remem- bered seeing me pitching in your classes, or giving out book- marks/balloons as part of my publicity campaign. One of my greatest challenges is, therefore, stepping out of my comfort zone to approach people and con- vince them of why they should vote for me. Realising the importance of maintaining a healthy studies- student life balance, I want to spread this belief and promote active participation in school ac- tivities; be it in Waikiki or Adra- ce or even in the recently con- cluded SMU Challenge! Once again, thanks everyone! Bryan Lim What’s your motivation for joining? Running for elections was an opportunity I couldn’t resist in the end. Of course, the deci- sion wasn’t just about me div- ing into an open window. I def- initely made the decision with full confidence in my leadership abilities and experience as well. I thus thought it’d be a great waste to not at least put myself up for the student population’s consideration. The major challenges? I realized that I needed a con- crete and somewhat improvi- sational action plan to succeed. It’s a long competitive journey where you have to always on the ball – ready to unleash the next trick up your sleeve. The elec- tions voyage - along with its as- sociated stress and uncertainty – only truly ended when the re- sults finally came out; it was un- doubtedly a challenge managing the campaign on top of my aca- demic work. Things you intend to solve? The validation of students for entry into the gym via ezlink cards, however, would be a real- istic and feasible change. Matric- ulation cards should no doubt be the primary means of validation. Amanda Chua What’s your motivation for joining? All along, I have the passion to improve student life and to do my part as a member of the school community. My expe- riences in the Meridian Junior College 5th Students' Council have been really meaningful and memorable. The major challenges? Promoting myself to the school and to be confident enough to campaign for what I believe in in front of the lecture halls and classrooms. With the strong sup- port and encouragements from friends however, I managed to overcome that and campaign confidently. I would like to take this chance to thank school mates who be- lieve in me and voted for me and friends who are always there for me, especially mention ZiRui , Rena (campaign manager), Quek, Yikee, Wenqi and Vic. Things you intend to solve? The first thing I would like to improve is the students' dia- logue session. A more effective student dialogue can help in planning of student policies. Campus News! the blue and gold26 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 26 23/10/2010 3:12PM
  27. 27. We interview the newly elected student rep- resentatives to find out their motivations and their future plans. Jazmine Oh What’s your motivation for joining? To serve and contribute to the school that has made me who I am today. Apart from academic pursuit, I believe having a fun- filled life in SMU is very impor- tant. Ambitiously, I aspire to make SMU a home that students love to stay and return! The major challenges? The greatest challenge I faced during the election process is to put myself upfront for judg- ment and surviving the culture shock. All my life, I have never put up so many pictures of my- self around places I go every day! Nonetheless I am thankful for those who stood by me, in par- ticular my pillars of strength Mr Lee Jun Kiat and Mr Avnish Ash- vin Desai. Things you intend to solve? One of the first few things I in- tend to work on epitomizes the opening up more interesting possibilities for students to mar- ket their events and raise aware- ness of ongoing activities. I en- vision that these avenues could provide opportunities for orga- nizers to reach out to SMU on a more personal basis instead of relying on emails. Watch out for our upcoming plans! Majella Tay What’s your motivation for joining? During summer, I attended four runs of FTB and FIDES camp as a facilitator, and was also part of the Bondue camp. Apart from meeting many new friends, I felt that I wanted to be more in- volved in school. I wanted to cre- ate and be part of this vibrant school life that we often speak of. For me, the most obvious way to do it was via the SMUSA Exco and being part of the SAC. The major challenges? In year one, I hardly made any friends at all so I was afraid that I would not be able to rally enough support as compared to my other peers running. I had to work really hard on getting votes from people who did not know me prior to the elections. Things you intend to solve? Two things I really want to im- prove is toilet paper in every toilet cubicle at all times and to integrate international/ex- change students more.I would also like to create an event that involves the whole of SMU, an event that students want to go for. I would really love to regain our student discount at Ice Cold Beer. This may prove to be the most difficult one but I’m will- ing to try. Zizie Zuzante What’s your motivation for joining? I did not have any fancy reason to justify my motivation. I sim- ply wanted to serve the school. I wanted to take an active role in helping to create the SMU expe- rience. The major challenges? I believe I was my only obstacle. I wasn’t exceptionally active in school life during my first year and chose to concentrate on my studies instead alongside my CCA and CIP commitments. Of course, time was another chal- lenge as it was a month-long ral- ly and there was a lot that need- ed to be done. Things you intend to solve? I want to improve the students’ perception that the Exco does not make enough effort to hear the student population and also motivate them to take a more active role in shaping their own SMU experiences. I’ve already got a couple of ideas to build upon the current initiatives that have already been put in place by the current and previous committees and can’t wait to pitch them to my fellow friends! Ryan Tan What’s your motivation for joining? I felt that whatever I could do in school would be of minimal significance, until I became part of the Freshmen Teambuilding Camp (FTB) 2010: it dawned on me that I could do the same for the rest of the students of SMU as long as I wanted to. The major challenges? Upon hearing of my decision to join the SMUSA Exco, my friend advised against it, saying it is ‘too time demanding’ and that ‘it would adversely affect your GPA’. In response to that, I would explain to my friends that I would be willing to do it regard- less of the strain that would be put on me. Things you intend to solve? I would look into streamlining some of the events which are not as well received by the stu- dents as well as pushing of new events that students would like to see and be a part of. At the same time, I would like to build a stronger SMU identity, for stu- dents and alumni alike. the blue and gold 27 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 27 23/10/2010 3:12PM
  28. 28. Themed “Friends”, SMU Grad- uates’ Night 2010 was held on the 17 July at Island Ball- room, Shangri-La Hotel. The tagline ‘Life wouldn’t be fun without friends’ is definitely be- fitting for this special occasion. It captures the essence of sup- portive friends who have been through the craziest moments together and made our mun- dane school life much more en- joyable. As the Class of 2010 embarks on a new journey, this is the eve- ning for them to celebrate this “I’ll describe this as my ‘three-in- one’ evening: Meet-up, celebrate and party with my friends!” – Vincent Bei, School of Business “It was definitely exciting to catch up with my friends I’ve made throughout my years at SMU. I had enjoyed taking pictures with them interesting backdrops at the event!” – Elvin Ong, School of Social Sciences, Class of 2010 “I like dressing up to theme! The question I asked all evening was ‘Where’s the gold?!’” – Sentill Ananthan, School of Business “We had a great time and wish all of you the very best. – Professor Howard Hunter, 3rd President of SMU “I’m sure it was a memorable time for all the graduands, one which they will remember and tell their kids about :) I myself had a smash- ing time! Thank you!” – Professor Low Aik Meng, Dean of Students “It was a memorable evening and I wish all of you every success in the next stage of your life journey.” – Professor Phang Sock Yong, Interim Dean of School of Economics transition with, of course, their friends! The dress code was “A Touch of Gold”. Why gold? Well, simply because the Orga- nizing Committee couldn’t re- sist the temptation of gold! We wanted something effortless to dress to the occasion! With the metallic color, anyone can ef- fortlessly shimmer and shine for the evening! Besides, Gold repre- sents one of SMU’s school colors. The Class of 2010 were definite- ly high on school spirit as they decked themselves with the col- or of Gold! Graduation Night 2010 Campus News! the blue and gold28 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 28 23/10/2010 3:13PM
  29. 29. Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 29 23/10/2010 3:13PM
  30. 30. ing to keep it short and sweet, he addressed and greeted the different groups of friends from the ACF clubs, exchange students, alumni and members of the Office of Student Life (OSL), wishing them an enjoy- able evening ahead. This year, to honor individuals who had contributed substantially to SMU’s Arts scene, four Eve ambassadors were nominated to be the ‘faces’ of the event. These were students and alumni, who not only excelled in their respective artistic fields, but also represented their club in leadership roles. The Eve ambassadors - Amanda Voon (presi- dent of SMUBE 2009, member of SMU Chamber choir), Goh Xin Ying (president of Indancity 2009, member of Ardiente Latin ballroom performance team), Melvin Tiong (Music Director of Samba Masa- la 2009, member of Eurhythmix and Artdicted) and alumnus Joshua Jonathan Lim, Vice president of Symphonia 2008, involved in Arts Festival from 2008-10, a member of Stageit during his time and still actively involved in the local musical theatre scene. The evening continued with performances by ‘Sharp-dressed Men’ a group of four Blues enthusiast from Crossroads, the new Blues sub- club under SoundFoundry. The four-man band consisted of Sid Singh and Saurav Ray vocals and the guitar, backed up by lead guitarist Na- ren Gunawardene and Sahj Chawla as the rhythm guitar. They ser- enaded the crowd for a good, enjoyable half hour as guests contin- ued mingling. This was followed by a dance performance by Nach Le, the Bollywood sub-club under Indian Cultural Society. Guests were treated to the debut of Nach Le’s first self-choreographed dance, as they shimmied energetically to a musical line-up of popular Bolly- wood songs: Khwaab Dekhe, Mind Blowing Mahiya and Move Your Body! Next up were the stage games. Sporting guests participated in vari- ous rounds of trivia and walked away with exciting prizes! Some were even game enough to stick their hands into a slushy tank of the unknown to retrieve items as specified by the hosts. This was fol- lowed up by a ‘Best dressed’ segment as contestants gamely struted their stuff in pairs, thrilling the crowd with their poses and charm- ing antics. Finally, what would appreciation be without some form of acknowl- edgement and recognition! Outstanding CCAs for the past year were presented with ACF awards. These were Most popular Arts Camp workshop (Samba Masala), Best new initiative (Ballare – g’lamour), Most no. of workshops held (Japanese Cultural Club) and the Special Service Award (SMU Broadcast Entertainment). OSL Associate Direc- tor, Jimmy Ye, was invited onstage to present the awards to represen- tatives of the various winning clubs. The night eventually closed with the much anticipated lucky draw segment. Guests were delighted by the many prizes up for grabs – among them, Ben & Jerry’s vouchers, Sony earphones/headphones and Doc Marten’s. These, however, were dwarfed by the grand prize of a Sony digital camera which one lucky guest walked away with! Appreciating the Arts! To sum it up, that’s what ‘Eve’ is all about. Inaugurated in 2009, ‘Eve’ was conceived with the intent of giv- ing the CCAs under the Art & Cultural Fraternity (ACF) a chance to kick-back, relax and mingle, apart from their usual hectic schedule of events, workshops and performances. The very first ‘Eve’ last year was a cozy affair held at 7ateNine restau- rant, at the Esplanade Mall. This year’s ‘Eve’ organizing committee decided to up the ante and make the event a bigger, glitzier affair. A cocktail event, Eve 2010 was held at Klapsons, a posh boutique ho- tel located at Tanjong Pagar, just a stone’s throwaway from the Cen- tral Business District. Entering the main lobby, guests were greeted by a futuristic silver globe of a front desk reception, magically sus- pended above a shallow pool. This set the scene for an impressive event venue on the 28th and 29th floors, with an expansive balco- ny wrapped around the building, boasting a panoramic night view of the surroundings. Guests got the chance throughout the night to go out for a breath of fresh air, and take in the skyline. Admittedly, one side of the building faced a very industrial view of a container- filled PSA shipyard, while the other was unfortunately blocked by the gargantuan K-REIT Asia building. Nevertheless, the thrill of be- ing 29 floors up dressed to the nines with groups of friends made it memorable. But back to the highlights of the evening – As the doors opened at 730pm, food and wine were promptly served by waiters carrying platters of hor’dourves between guests clustered around the cocktail tables. On the menu for the night were mini potato croquets, fried fritters stuffed with cheese, mini sandwiches, delicate squares of tira- misu and marinated chicken sticks. Our guests particularly enjoyed the generous free flow of liquors – Bacardi as well as Red and White wine! For added entertainment, a roaming magician enthralled guests with his deck of cards and sleeve full of tricks. Our friendly hosts, Felicia and Kevin of SMUBE kicked off the night by inviting ACF President, Ken Chang, to say a few words. Promis- Eve 2010Eve 2010 A night of appreciating the Arts! By Lydia TohA night of appreciating the Arts! By Lydia Toh Campus News! the blue and gold30 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 30 23/10/2010 3:13PM
  31. 31. the blue and gold 31 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 31 23/10/2010 3:13PM
  32. 32. ■ Lydia Toh This year marked SMU School of Law’s first attempt at stag- ing their first full-fledged musi- cal. Helmed by powerful female lead vocalists, Zara Fung (Mari- na, aka the little mermaid) and Genevieve Wong (Lady Lucida), audiences were treated to an eve- ning of pure entertainment in true Singaporean fashion. Throughout this modern adap- tion of the “The Little Mermaid”, cleverly woven into its musi- cal lyrics and script were refer- ences to judicial terms, life’s lit- tle quirks and stereotypes (such as Chinese eating everything!) and of course a favorite topic amongst local playwrights – a host of none-too-subtle jibes about our Singaporean system of rule. This was evidently portrayed in one of the opening songs “Third World to First” which drew much giggles of amusement from the audience. We managed to catch Samuel Ng, Assistant Director (one of amongst many other roles for this musical), for an exclusive “Home, Nearly”: A play ■ Tobias Yeo “We are Singaporeans.” – Singa- pore Students “And we are how you got here in the first place.” – International Stu- dents On the evening of 21 Septem- ber, in celebration of SMU 10th  Anniversary and Interna- tional Day of Peace, this year’s Peace Day Organizing Com- mittee presented their inaugu- ral production – Home, Nearly. About 100 people gathered to watch the production the SMU Arts and Cultural Centre, but the small room and did nothing to dampen the response to an amazing evening. An inspired script, a passionate cast, and thought-provoking me- dia fused to form a truly magi- cal production. There were both laughs and tears as we followed the adventures of Desmond and Janet from Singapore, Robert from India, and Alisa from Cam- bodia as they learned to appreci- ate each other over the course of a group project in SMU. The final scene, where the cast held hands and sang a version  Home,  was particularly touching. Script- writer Jonathan Lim has a lot of talent, a fact clearly on show in this production. Considering the objective, it was ironic that much of the hu- mour was based on “arcane lo- cal knowledge”, as said in a line from the play. Still, the message was clear, and if just one student learned that valuable lesson of interview about “The Little Mer- maid: A Law School Musical”. Samuel was instrumental to this musical in his various roles as co-scriptwriter, composer, lyri- cist, music arranger and over- all music director, as well as, a member of the cast in this pro- duction. He is also no pushover at grades: he was Top First Year Law Student, amongst a host of other academic awards. Name us your: Biggest regret for the play? I don’t think I could say it any better than Sinatra when he sang, “Regrets –I’ve had a few. But then again, too few to men- tion.” In fact, the song sums up quite aptly how the entire pro- duction team feels about the whole experience. The path leading to the actual perfor- mances was long and tumultu- ous, fraught with internal dis- agreements (sometimes due to our personal anxieties, insecu- rities and petty ego issues) and doubts constantly thrown at us by naysayers, which rocked our confidence every now and then. I guess the team feels very proud to be able to say at the end of the day that “[we] did it [our] way”, and I’m honoured to have had the opportunity to be part of it. Proudest moments I really appreciated my musical compositions and arrangements being transformed into reality on stage and sung with much fervour. For someone with hard- ly any formal musical training, every act of encouragement or affirmation means a lot of to me. Funniest moment / Most embarrassing thing that happened I do not think I am at liberty to disclose the most embarrass- ing thing that happened (it con- cerns someone else’s wardrobe mishap during final warm-ups)! But the next most embarrass- ing thing on the list must be the little-known fact that one of our cast members split his pants on stage very badly during the first show as a result of his very en- thusiastic dancing! Most memorable moments When I saw members of the ensemble slowly gathering to sing–with the help of the lyrics booklet–a song they did not get to perform on stage (it was only sung by the two leads). It con- vinced me that my music and lyrics would live on in the hearts of my friends for a long time. I dropped a tear –so did another, and the rest, as they say, is his- tory. Thank yous I would like to use this opportu- nity to thank each and every one who took part or watched our la- bour of love. And to the produc- tion team and cast/ensemble: I love you. peace and inclusion, I say, Bra- vo. Home, Nearly has earned my admiration, and the only shame here is that more people didn’t get the privilege to see this pro- duction and smile like I did. The Little Mermaid: SMU’s Law Musical Campus News! the blue and gold32 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 32 23/10/2010 3:14PM
  33. 33. In previous years, New Bal- ance’s annual APAC (Asia-Pa- cific) project has been grounded in Asian culture.However this year, the project takes a break from the artist/store collabora- tions and goes back to the com- pany’s sports heritage of classic running footwear designs with the Tricolor collection. New Balance took inspiration from their past, applying three of their heritage footwear colors - burgundy red, navy blue and classic gray - onto a pack of lim- ited edition running shoes. The highlight of the Tri- Color collection will be the CM1500SB, which is inspired by the recent re-released of the orig- inal M1300JP cult favorite that is highly revered by New Balance fans and collectors worldwide. The CM1500SB is individually numbered and limited to 600 pairs worldwide and is a show- case of New Balance’s heritage and history. It is made from pre- mium nubuck and mesh, and will only be available at select top-tier New Balance accounts. The CM1500SB comes with heri- tage print inserts, shoe bag and in a special drawer box. On a wider scale, the hybrid M150 model - a modern inter- pretation of the 1500 classic de- sign - has been made over in bur- gundy red, navy blue and classic gray colorways. The uppers of the three shoes are made up of a mixture of suede, leather, nylon mesh and synthetic materials, and will be available at key New Balance stockists worldwide. The launch of the collection will be supported by an exhibition of photos based on the TriColor theme titled ‘Your Balance. Your Color’. The photo exhibition is the finale of “Balance is Every- where” campaign in 2010. Now for the first time, New Bal- ance brings together 3 renowned photographic artists in Asia – Mr. Kim Hyeon Seong (Editor- in-chief of OhBoy! magazine) from Korea, admired for his fash- ionable and unique everyday visuals,Mr. Masatoshi Nagase (award winning actor) from Ja- pan for his storytelling images and Mr. Quo Ying Sheng (Art Di- rector and artist) from Taiwan for his contemporary and artis- tic crossovers. About New Balance Lifestyle New Balance, based in Boston, MA, continues its tradition of premium footwear. Designed for both men and women, New Balance footwear features the finest construction and quality. Ranging from all-time classic favorites to reinvented mod- ern silhouettes, each Lifestyle shoe features innovative ma- terials and technologies that keep the New Balance brand as relevant and sought after today as it was 100 years ago. Celebrating heritage, crafts- manship, innovation and imag- ination, New Balance Lifestyle fuses classic designs from the past with bold ideas from the future. For more information please visit The photographic works of the artists will also be compiled into analbumthatwillbesoldatNew Balance stores, with proceeds from the sales going towards the visually impaired communities within the respective city. The ‘Your Balance. Your color’ photo exhibition will run from: Sept 27 - Oct 3, 2010, at the Omotesando Stadium, Tokyo. “The ‘Your Balance. Your Color’ photo exhibition will kick-off at the Omotesando Stadium, To- kyo, from Sept 27 – Oct 3, 2010. The New Balance Tricolor col- lection and charity photo al- bum will be hitting stores on 10/10/10. The CM1500SB will be avail- able at LeftFoot and Limited Edt Vault while the M150 will be available at Leftfoot, Limited Edt stores and New Balance Concept Stores. Unique New Balance collection launched the blue and gold 33 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 33 23/10/2010 3:14PM
  34. 34. ■ Wang Sha & Hu Nian Bo HPAIR 2010 holds a diverse group of distinguished speakers from both academic business worlds. What attract- ed them to HPAIR? Speaker Prof. Gopinathan from National In- stitute of Education of Nanyang Technological University shared his answer. As a Singaporean and expert in teaching, he is eager to share with young people how Singa- pore was transformed into a de- veloped country within a few decades by some wise decisions in the field of education. On the other hand, he came to HPAIR to appreciate what young people are doing for themselves. Speaker Mr. Richard Pond from Cadbury, world’s biggest confec- tionery company, offered a dif- ferent answer. He came to “learn from and share with young peo- ple”. Indeed, he very impressed by the quality of the penetrat- ing questions raised by the dele- gates. Mr. Pond also commended the design and organization of the conference, especially in the sense that the speakers are well complementary to each other, as they lifted up different customer challenges in various industries. Sungwon Han, a delegate from Sungkyunkwan University of South Korea, who was also the President of last year’s HPAIR Committee, said this year’s con- ference is very well organized and that he was moved by the thoughtful preparation. Com- menting on the difference be- tween HPAIR 2010 and 2009, he said while last year delegated had the opportunities to appre- ciate Korean culture through different events during the con- ference, the choice of location this year, which is Singapore, provides delegates a platform to learn about multilateral Asian cultures. Sungwon believed that the theme of this year, “Sustain- ing Momentum: 10 Years into Asian Century”, plus Singapore, 2010, conveys a meaningful message to all participants. Despite of its high participation expense and strict selection cri- teria, HPAIR is viewed as a not- to-be-missed opportunity by students representing 150 uni- versities. The seminar sessions and panel sessions covered a va- riety of topics relevant to busi- ness, economics, education, en- trepreneurship, politics, science and technology, etc, not to men- tion this year HPAIR first merged the traditional HPAIR Business and Academic conference. With so many denoted speakers from different industries sharing their opinions, students are able to get more insight into a field they were not familiar with. You can be amazed by how much you can gain from a single sem- inar. A final year student from Hong Kong University was en- lightened by Prof John Khong, who have successfully started several businesses, during his seminar on biotechnology. She was even considering changing her major to biotechnology. Another irresistible benefit of HPAIR is its role as a platform for friends making. Since stu- dents have all gone through the strict selection process—part of it is to submit 2 essays ---they are “screened” to some extent. Thus HPAIR is able to bring to- gether lots of passionate young students with brilliant ideas, or valuable questions, on the world development in the new Asia century. Apparently, It is easier for them o find their comrades here. Leisure time after intensive sem- inars and discussions was also an important part of the dele- gates’ HPAIR journey. Even be- fore the first day’s tour ended, Li Yijing, a year 3 student from Ren- ming University of China, invit- ed her newly made internation- al friends to her birthday party, which happened to be on the second day of the conference. She was surprised by how they reacted, “I didn’t expect them to be so enthusiastic about my birthday party. “ The only drawback of this is that the attendance turned out to be low as the end drew near , when young participants took off their suits to network and have fun. Some delegates showcased dif- ferent cultures through perfor- mances on International night ,and all delegates enjoyed a club carnival at the Butter Factory. Who said making a bunch of new friends is less important Behind the splendid stage is a team of committed students from SMU and Harvard Uni- versity. Benjamin Chong (Yr 3, School of Business), Director the Organizing Committee, noted that the Committee has been preparing for HPAIR since Sep- tember last year. All Committee members worked extraordinari- ly hard to put together ideas and resources. The two teams from SMU and Harvard worked close- ly with each other to materialize HPAIR 2010. Nevertheless, as no success should be taken for granted, the organizing process of HPAIR has presented many challenges to both SMU and Harvard. Ms Lucy Zhang (Yr Harvard), Executive Director of HPAIR 2010, said one of the biggest challenges during the organizing process is the dif- ferences between Singaporean culture and the American cul- ture. For instance, she said, in US if students want to contact a speak- er, they usually call or email the speaker directly; while in Singa- pore, the Committee had to go through many levels. Further- more, the distance between the two teams added to the difficulty of communication. Conflicts oc- cur even during the conference. It is understandable that student leaders and associates from Har- vard came all the way to Singa- pore not to merely take care of the logistics when so many in- fluential speakers are around , but SMU organizing commit- tee found them sometimes too aggressive in networking with the speakers. The two Organiz- ing committees negotiated and managed to achieve agreements on liaisons and operations, and this is critical to the success of this year’s jointly organized HPAIR. Ms Zhang stressed that she found worthy of the interaction and the friendship between her and her SMU peers. HPAIR 2010: A Review Perspectives the blue and gold34 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 34 23/10/2010 3:14PM
  35. 35. ■ Ian Lim Ihad the privilege of attend- ing HPAIR 2010’s panel on Business Strategy and Manage- ment: Winning in Asia and Be- yond from August 20-24, 2010. As a business student, I have al- ways been curious about what kept CEOs awake at night, and what better way to do so than to hear from the men (and women) themselves! Together with 70 other delegates from the Asia- Pacific and Europe, I partici- pated in four days of discussion with eleven of the head honchos themselves. They hailed from diverse backgrounds and indus- tries - ranging from Garuda Indo- nesia, McDonald’s Japan to UBS Singapore. As your correspon- dent, I would like to share the highlights of some of the most pertinent themes discussed in the panel – leadership, global strategy and creative capitalism. In the first conference, the cor- porate leaders shared with us lessons on leading global orga- nizations. Contrary to popu- lar belief, the hardest decisions made by CEOs were not busi- ness decisions (because that could be done through a well thought-through framework), but people decisions – who to hire (and fire), how to increase performance, and how to moti- vate team members. However, employees can be leaders too, ac- cording to Mr Gerald Chan, CEO UBS Singapore. He is often on the lookout for “serial entrepre- neurs” – people who constantly strive to improve the organiza- tion and identify market oppor- tunities, regardless of rank – and will groom them to become top potentials in his organization. However, they also stressed that self management is also equal- ly important for the successful 21st century corporate leader. Eikoh Harada, CEO McDonald’s Japan (a man who possesses a wise, zen-like demeanor), ends meetings every day by 6pm, and gets most of his ideas walking in the park (not cooped up in the office. Mr Hsieh Tsun-Yan, for- merly from McKinsey’s Global Leadership Institute, said that the best consultants were often the ones who were not always “busy, busy, busy” but those who were able to live in varying times – fast-paced in tight dead- lines, and to slow substantially down to reflect on their actions (much more so than the average person). The CEOs also explained their companies’ global strategies to the delegates in the next engag- ing discussion. Sunny Verghese, CEOofOlamInternational,relat- ed that since commodities were a cost competitive business, the company’s strategy was to iden- tify geographical regions where it was cheaper to grow a partic- ular commodity, invest in them, and work extensively to also by- pass the various middlemen to reach his customer directly. Pra- da’s Regional Retail Director, Ms. Cristina Ventura-Steinmann, stressed the importance of tech- nological innovation, even in a seemingly “low-tech” luxury goods business! For example, her company’s latest focus was in employing information tech- nology to allow women to see, virtually, how they would look in different outfit/handbag com- binations online, to reduce the hassle of trying on clothes. Lastly, the captains of industry also shared their experiences in creative capitalism, a.k.a. doing business in emerging markets. In a world of 6.7 billion people, often only 2 billion people in the developed markets are served by most companies. The remaining two-thirds of the global popula- tion need to be served as well, but they do not even have ba- sic necessities like clean water, food, and sanitation. Apart from the usual, token corporate social responsibility initiatives, com- panies who are able to rethink their business models and lever- age on these untapped markets may reap tremendous econom- ic benefits as well! For instance, Nokia (which has been losing market share to Apple and oth- er brands in developed markets) still enjoys a leading market po- sition in emerging markets like India and Indonesia. Nokia pro- vides simple applications on its handsets for villagers who need to check prices of commodities on their mobile phone, through Ovi Life Tools. Closer to home, Singapore’s Jack Sim, CEO of the World Toilet Organization, has a business idea to provide sanita- tion in the developing world by selling USD 30 latrines to fami- lies, and making them “sales- men” for his products by pro- viding them with a one dollar commission for the next latrine they sell to the next family. One day, he hopes to franchise this business model to emerging markets all around the globe. These were only some of the many innovative business ideas and innovations shared that tru- ly opened our minds. Overall, the Strategy Panel was a great panel to be involved in, especially for business students who want to complement their existing classroom knowledge with real-world experience from people at the top of their field. For those interested to develop their understanding of business in Asia further, I would encour- age you to check out for details of next year’s confer- ence, and sign up (early!) for this panel! Ian Lim is a Year Three double-degree student at the School of Accountancy and the Lee Kong Chian School of Busi- ness), and is currently on exchange at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. All errors and/or omis- sions are entirely his own. Please contact him at if you have any questions or comments! Conversations with CEOs HPAIR 2010’s Business Strategy in Asia Panel The Strategy Panel was a great panel to be involved in, especially for business students who want to complement their exist- ing classroom knowledge with real-world experi- ence from people at the top of their field. Perspectives the blue and gold 35 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 35 23/10/2010 3:14PM
  36. 36. In SMU, student-led events are a dime a dozen. Look around you, and I am sure any student singled out would have been in- volved in some planning in one way or another. Involvement in such activities is insidiously be- coming an integral part of the SMU student life; an emblem, an unspoken must-have before SMU students graduate. Yet, amidst being caught up in this hectic, whirlwind swept lifestyle of 4 years, have we paused for a moment to ponder upon these past experiences and glean the essential life lessons taught to us via such unassum- ing avenues? As Chairperson and Vice-Chair- person of Host Country Orga- nizing Committee at the recent- ly concluded HPAIR 2010 Asia Conference, the closing of that significant page in our lives def- initely left us much to relish, savour and think about. Term- ing the end of the conference as a significant milestone in our lives might seem nothing less than an augmented, exaggera- tion, yet that was what it truly meant to us and the rest of the committee who toiled tirelessly for it for a year. A conference aimed at bring- ing together like-minded under- graduates across the globe to dis- cuss various issues pertinent to society today, the HPAIR 2010 Asia Conference was held at the Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Cen- tre from 20 August to 24 August 2010. It was an event jointly or- ganized by two different student groups from two different uni- versities i.e. the students from the Singapore Management University that was led by the SMU Ambassadorial Corps and students from the Harvard Proj- ect for Asian and International Relations (HPAIR) organisation of Harvard University. It was an event bringing together groups belonging to two different coun- tries, cultures and living in two directly opposite time zones. It would be an understatement to say that that working togeth- er was no mean feat; to refute claims that we never felt like giv- ing up would also be a sheer lie. Nonetheless, as with all events, the end will and did come about eventually. At the final moment, just as del- egates streamed out of the ball- room and gala dinner came to a close, reality suddenly hit us: no more 1am late night calls followed by urgent 8am meet- ings to deal with the latest emer- gency, no more coming back on Sundays just to test out the feasibility of systems and pro- grams put in place and no more seeing each other 5 out of the 7 days. It also spelt no more trials thrown at you to test one’s ma- turity and train one to behave in a calm-headed manner, no more instances for one to prac- tice removing emotions from the equation before reacting and most importantly, no more time to be shared with the team who fought together for one vision: to make the conference a success. As much as the organizing of this event has given us much wrinkles, grey hair and hair loss, until then it was when we ful- ly appreciated that this experi- ence has also give us so much in terms of character building, per- spective moulding and learning so much more about yourself. Not only did it teach us how to appreciate the positivity of the situation amidst the negativity, a lesson so very important be- cause no event-planning would ever go smoothly, but time and time again, we were also taught how to draw our strength to trudge that next step from the team; the awesome team who fought with us right from start to the end regardless of the ob- stacles thrown in their way. We have also been humbled by the dedication of the volunteers who had joined us at a later stage but were equally dedicated to making the conference a suc- cess. Last but not least, amidst remaining task-oriented all the way, this experience was also a wonderful opportunity for us to discover more about ourselves: how Steffi becomes a laughing maniac at 3am in the morning while doing work to how Steph- anie really likes her items orga- nized if not she will get cranky. Learn more about your strengths and weaknesses to your quirky tendencies, likes and dislikes, because only when you under- stand yourself well, then you can enhance the working rela- tionship with your team. Thank you HPAIR, for all the awesome memories you have given us with our team, for let- ting us see ever so clearly who are our true comrades in times of difficulty, and most importantly, helping us to grow so much in times of adversity that we can quite confidently say that we are no more the little girls of yester- day. As much as the organizing of this event has given us much wrinkles, grey hair and hair loss, until then it was when we fully appreciated that this experi- ence has also give us so much in terms of charac- ter building, perspective moulding and learning so much more about yourself. From the Organisers ■ Stephanie Liow & Steffi Tedjo HPAIR Perspectives the blue and gold36 Blue & Gold 11 Sat 23-10-2010 1300h.indd 36 23/10/2010 3:14PM