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The Blue and Gold Issue 9


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The Blue and Gold Issue 9

  1. 1. THE BLUE AND GOLD The student’s voice • MICA (P) 200/03/2009 Issue 9 • March 2010 Being your own boss in SMU...
  2. 2. THE BLUE AND GOLD Editor’s note COMMUNICATIONS SECRETARY, SMUSA Dear readers, Lee Cher Hern Picking up this magazine would mean that you are part of a growing group of students: one that MANAGING DIRECTOR is not only updated with student trends but news that concerns you! Owen Tan ACTING MANAGING DIRECTOR In this issue, our writers sprawled the school campus for new stories on school events and Michael Ng student trends. From the arts festival to the marriage in SMU, we went around looking for things that you were part of (like some of you during Patron’s Day) and you would want to know. EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Ephraim Loy Student entrepreneurship has always been a dream state that SMU students hear about. Not only is it the off-beaten path, it is also full of uncertainty. And if running a company for profit seems ACTING EDITOR-IN-CHIEF too simple, try taking on a social enterprise for size. Anthony Angela Talking about size, one the our largest CCAs, SMUBE gained flak after releasing their official rate MANAGING EDITOR card. Non-ACF clubs will now need to pay for SMUBE’s event services. Ankita Prasad Looking further from our school backyard, our world is facing a painful and dangerous reality: be SENIOR EDITORS it terrorism or the environment. Globalisation has brough many more players onto the chess- Esther Yeo board and it is going to be messy. Talisa Kaur Dhaliwal That’s the ninth edition for you and I do hope you would enjoy it! From all of us here at the Blue EDITORS and Gold, We’ll see you again in August! Nadim Ali Kapadia Tobias Yeo Zhi Qiang Anthony Angela Sheena Lee Acting Editor-in-Chief, The Blue and Gold Aashna Nasta GRAPHIC DESIGN Chloe Sng This issue of The Blue and Gold is proudly sponsored by THE BLUE AND GOLD is a fully student-run publication of the Singapore Management University Students’ Association. All rights reserved. No part of this publication should be reproduced without the prior permission of the authors concerned and The Blue and Gold. Printed by KHL Printing Co Pte Ltd. The Blue and Gold 81 Victoria Street Singapore 188065
  3. 3. THE BLUE AND GOLD March 2010 • Issue 9 Contents Viewpoint 22 Writing can be a form of student Digital 4 Expectations of love activism 38 Picking the right smartphone for Anthony Angela shares on Shobana Nadaraja finds out why from you expectations when in love this publication’s Editor-in-Chief Techonology blogger Daniel Tsou 5 Foreign workers? Foreign talent? 24 Getting a life — Managing CCAs helps us to find the perfect match Cover Story and GPAs Spotlight 6 Being your own boss... in SMU Narem Gunawardana speaks to 40 From showbiz to business Wang Sha checks out the students to find out how they have time Travel entrepreneur culture in SMU and to actively pursue their CCAs 42 Korea through a native’s eyes finds it thriving Chiang Chia Wen provides a glimpse Worldscope 12 Creating the social enterprise of into the Korean cultural experience 28 Environmental efforts: The big tomorrow 44 Vita in Italia three Anthony Angela explores the social Lim Si Hui discovers a new dimension Sumedha Jalote studies the issues in side of business of romantic Italy climate change through three major School Events 46 Unrestrained freedom agreements 13 On turning 10! Michael Ng introduces us to the 30 Major environment conferences Shreya Vora captures the highlights culture of student power in Hong 32 Reflections on the war on terror of SMU’s 10th birthday celebrations Kong Higher Learning 16 Meet your perfect brew in school 48 The Shangri-La I documented: 34 A milestone for the first HPair Saunders Shen keeps up with beer Project Argali 2 2010 Asia conference appreciation — SMU Barworkz Talisa Kaur Dhaliwal explores from Sohail Sardana reveals how SMU will newest hobby the edge of paradise embrace future leaders worldwide 17 Sports at its best 50 Entering the USA: Easier than I 35 An encounter with the men in Ephraim Loy attends the SSU Sports thought white team Awards Night Owen Tan gives his take on the Anthony Angela unveils challenges 18 10th SMUSA sworn in security measures at US airports behind the writing process Michael Ng sums up the SMUSA Campus Arts Annual General Meeting 2010 36 SMU Arts Festival 2010: A 19 SMUBE’s new policy questioned reflection Michael Ng revisits the debate on Denise Seetekbeng, Elle Lim, Kimberly student remuneration Yap and Teena Ngo look back on their 20 Being young and married in SMU favourite art festive performances Anthony Angela sits down and discusses marriage in SMU
  4. 4. Viewpoint ExpEctations of lovE Anthony Angela shares on expectations when in love Being absolutely career driven, I want to be passionately in love with my career (wherever it took me)…and my boy- friend. But as things turn out, you cannot always have the best of both worlds. We are still working towards a compromise, I still absolutely adore him and I think we’re good. Having the time to share would be the big issue for students. For some of my sports friends, they are lucky since both boy- friend and girlfriend are in the same CCA, but that’s not always the case. I believe each relationship needs time to build and if there is too little maintenance, it crumbles because you’re not updated “ ...each relationship needs time to build and if there is too little maintenance, it crumbles...” I t is the end of week 7 and my friends have shared their stories with me. boyfriend’s family is still celebrat- Some get furious by the fact that their ing Chinese New Year. Yes, and they other half demands too much from them with the latest on what your sweetheart is invited me and I came and did my best to while others cry that their sweetheart thinking or feeling. Trouble starts here. smile, chit-chat and hide the fact that I’m does not spend enough time with them. I worried about that assignment that I have guess everyone has different expectations Tough as it sounds, we just have to deal due or that reading that I haven’t done. of their beloved and letting them know with it. One of my all time favourite movie That’s love for you I guess. yours should not be too damaging. quotes is from Star Trek’s Generations movie: “When something’s important, Having a relationship in SMU is absolute- Expectations can include the little things you make the time.” It is hard enough to ly, at least for me, not simple. Due to my like being on time to the more serious get attached but to stay attached means commitments in sports and now, in this matters like career progression – especial- working on the relationship. Sharing publication, I realised that I haven’t spent ly for those thinking of working overseas. expectations may be the first part of that that much time with my beloved. Though process and though it does not always he is very understanding and does let me Why not let him know about your ambi- work, we at least have the knowledge have my way, one can’t help but feel bad tion and ask him about his. This little that we tried. for all the times I have made him wait (the conversation can help you understand longest I remembered was three hours), what kind of life your dearie wants. Think about it! all the times that I canceled on him and all the times I wasn’t there for him. For me, expectations sharing came as a surprise when I learnt where my boy- But I’m certain that not everyone is as friend wanted to live in future. It was lucky as me. Through my SMU life, totally not what I expected. January 2010 THE BLUE AND GOLD 4
  5. 5. ViewPoint Foreign workers? Foreign talent? By Linette Lim M eet Labu, a 26-year old con- is Hong Kong, where minimum wage is of their siblings, children and parents. As struction worker in Singapore. guaranteed by law. Piper and Yamanaka I sat in Sutha's restaurant off Cuff Road Labu is unable to work because also assert that Filipino migrants in Hong registering workers that came in for free of an injury to his right thumb. Without Kong are more likely to undertake col- meals, I realised I have not felt this happy work, Labu goes without food. But that is lective action (in the form of organi-ed in a long time. I felt free, unjudged and not all - there is no insurance payout, and protests) to oppose policies that threaten completely at ease in the presence of the there is no medical care. There is no safety their economic rights. workers. We teased Abdul, one of the net for the likes of Labu, because the gov- workers who was wearing sunglasses ernment is not obligated to protect their Of course, in any discourse on the rights (due to an eye injury), saying that he welfare. They are migrant workers. and treatment of migrant workers one now looks like a movie star. I entertained should not solely examine government personal questions ("How much you earn- I only started volunteering at Transient legislation. An issue of grave importance ing?") and explained the concept of volun- Workers Count Too (TWC2) this year, is how Singaporeans perceive these teerism, drawing smiles and thumbs ups. so I cannot claim to know much about foreigners and how we want them to be I impressed them with my vocabulary of the situation. However, from what I have treated. Many citizens are either apa- twenty Hindi words (of which five are the seen and learnt from migrant workers thetic or do not support equal rights for words for the numbers 1 to 5). and TWC2 social workers thus far, it does migrants. Some fear that giving their seem like manpower laws allow errant domestic helpers a mandatory day off will The most important part however, was employers to get away with not paying give them opportunity to ‘fool around’ listening to their problems and offering for medical bills resulting from work- with male company; while others claim solutions - in other words, making this place accidents. It does seem like people that the low wages are justified by the for- wonderful place I call home a better place like Labu are treated as mere factors of eign worker levy they have to pay. While for them to live in. Barely literate and production or labour units. Dehumanis- these concerns are not unreasonable, poorly educated, Labu needs someone ing them like this exempts one from treat- there is a need for greater understanding like you and me to stand on his side - to ing them with dignity. and mutual respect between citizens and accompany him to the hospital, offer migrants. legal help, or navigate the convoluted In Prime Minister Lee’s speech at the hallways of the manpower building — Nanyang Technological University Stu- Singapore in a recent UNDP report was and demand social justice. dent’s Union Ministerial Forum in 2009, ranked 7th in average incomes, using he stated that 55% of the non-citizens in GDP per capita (PPP US$) as an indicator. Singapore are transient workers. The non- Even though Singapore has a relatively citizen population currently stands at higher average income than many OECD 1.25 million. These transient workers are countries, we have not achieved similar denied basic rights, like mandatory days human development, ranking only 23rd off and minimum wage. Unlike foreign in the Human Development Index. Can talent that needs to be wooed with incen- this paradox of economic growth be ap- tives, these transient workers are in large plied to the Singaporean individual? supply, and will agree to any terms of employment. This sets up opportunities Perhaps in our pursuit of economic for exploitation. well-being we have dehumanised not just migrant workers, but ourselves as well. In their 2007 book on migration in East and Southeast Asia, researchers Piper and Once we stop seeing them as factors of Yamanaka classify Malaysia and Singa- production, we can relate to them as pore as migrant-receiving countries that human beings, as brothers and sisters, “severely curtail pro-migrant actions”. or fathers and mothers who have come a The most liberal migrant-receiving area long way from home to improve the lives 5 THE BLUE AND GOLD January 2010
  6. 6. Being your own boss... in SMU Wang Sha checks out the entrepreneur culture in SMU and finds it thriving Photos by Wayne Lim Ting Ke and Wang Guangzhao SMU life can be stressful but certainly not enough to get to Adam Teow Li Chong. Adam is part of a group of students in SMU who run their own businesses while studying. A third year student at the Lee Kong Chian School of Business, he is the founder of Achievers Science, a subsidiary of Edulink Learning Centre. Achievers Science carries out workshops in Singapore and reaches out to more than 250 students, generating revenue of more than $10,000 a month. Adam’s passion to create Achievers Science start- By the time he decided to start his own busi- ed at the age of 18 when he was in India. “I went ness, Adam had been in the tuition industry for to New Delhi for army training, I saw kids along 5 years. He taught tuition, ran workshops for the street begging for money. At that time it hit schools and centers. He had also completed a me that someone should reach out to educate 10 month leadership training that gave him the them.” He remembers. And with that, there was courage and confidence to start up Achievers no turning back. Science. Adam’s first investor was his mother; He paid her back with the profit within a month.
  7. 7. Adam’s big break came. He won a contract to run science initiatives available like The Loft below (where Screme is at) and courses with a local organisation. After that, other opportunities Treehouse. streamed in. For those interested in participating in bazaars and business re- Adam was approached in April last year, by an international lated activities, consider the initiatives from BIZCOM, the finan- publisher to write two books on learning science and is now cial arm of SMUSA. Their aim is to create a practical business having one of them published. environment for students. The club organises bazaars that allow students to set up their own booth and experience running their The road for an entrepreneur, however, has never been an easy own shop. Jack Moy, a second-year business student and director one. Desmond Lim Huang Hui is one of the students behind of the SMU-BIZCOM described the club as a place for everyone, Treehouse at SMU. He shared how the lack of experience and knowledge of running a cafe became a serious issue. “The profits that we make through organising events are all channeled to students. This channels include SMUSA activities, “We found that our ideas were not feasible when we started to freebies etc.” prepare. We were not sure how to start because we didn’t have much experience. We have to make decisions based on nothing, Another initiative that aspiring entrepreneurs should look to- from what kind of plates to buy to what decorations are needed.” ward is The Institute of innovation and entrepreneurship (IIIE). The IIE was launched in 2009 with the help of various initia- The team behind Screme, consisting of Seth Lui and Leong Tang, tives provided by the Singapore government. Adeline C. Tan, both final-year business students and Rachel Tan Weili, a senior the Evangelist of SMU IIE, shared with us that aspiring SMU in economics, also faced similar problems. They had a tough entrepreneurs could get help through the whole innovation time at first. Seth recalled those time when things went wrong, entrepreneurship value chain. “We had little revenue, we ran out of supplies, we got so stressed. Teamwork also played an important role.” Students could consult with experienced business mentors; get access to an incubation space, the Business Innovation Genera- As they say, if there’s a down, there must be an up and for an- tor (BIG) to run their business. They also can take advantage of other student entrepreneur Chua Zhi Hon, David that could be the Entrepreneurs Corner, a monthly networks session to meet his experience in a nutshell. David is one of the co-founders of investors. So far, IIE has assisted 23 start ups in their pursuit for, a successful IS project extension which just got entrepreneurship. Adeline emphasised: “Our focus will always government funding SMART. be on quality more so than quantity.” In 2007, David started his first business, Frro LLP, together with The risk involved a NTU student and an engineer. He recalled, “Frro LLP was my It is necessary to think through all the pros and cons of starting first registered business. It was an IT company, which provided student ventures. Pursuing this path is exciting, but also requires web posting and IT solutions. We provided small businesses courage, perseverance and the willingness to sacrifice. with consultancy services and helped them go online.” The Frro LLP, however, ran only for a year or so and David moved on Seth recalled his life when he first started: “We are either in to, an IT solution that fuses online search with school or here “. When Rachel, who is also juggling with her social networking. “At many stages in my life, I was either run- grade, was asked how to balance, she answered “Grades are ning websites or doing other projects. It is my dream to create important, so in my final year I will work more on it. something that can help people. I cannot imagine life without my own business.” Jack shared with us his thoughts: “My first year was nothing but study. But if you give up an opportunity to try out something Similar thoughts were shared by Rachel from Screme, who didn’t new because of fear for lower GPA, you will lose track of more intend to become an entrepreneur. “I learnt time management important things in life.” and communication skills. Most importantly, I discovered the thing I want to do.” For those who are interested in becoming student entrepreneurs, Adam suggested: “Never be afraid to try. Have courage to jump Starting up a business of your own into new experiences. And always remember to push yourself For those looking to start their own venture, take a peek at the to the limit of your abilities! You will be surprised what you will available options in and around school for help. For those inter- find living your life at the edge.” ested in the cafes, OSL and SMUSA have some student-friendly January 2010 THE BLUE AND GOLD 8
  8. 8. sMU claiMs that its stUdEnts arE daring and willing to takE risk. To prove if this statement was true, The Blue and Gold went in search for entrepreneurs in SMU and realised that there are quite a number of students and graduates running their own businesses. Agnes Ang School of Information Systems, Year 4 The Venture: Agnes is one of the founders of Tocco Studios, a multi- touch solutions provider. Tocco focuses on big screen multi-touch systems allowing two to four people can collaborate with ease. Tocco Studios offers services that ca- ter to the entire value chain includ- ing interface design and production. Contact: For more information on the multi-touch solutions available, do contact Agnes at agnes@toc- Anthony Chang Chia Joo Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Year 4 The Venture: Anthony started Prosperity Bird Nests Pte Ltd recently. He aims to sell processed bird’s nests to Chinese restaurants in western countries. A word of caution for those who are interested in the bird’s nest business, Anthony says learning about bird’s nest is awfully expensive. Once, he went for a one day course on bird’s nest and it cost him a whopping $1,000! Contact: For those who would like have find out more about Anthony and his bird’s nest, contact him at
  9. 9. Keith Ng and Damon Widjaja Lee Jun Kiat SMU graduates Lee Kong Chian School of Business, The Venture: Keith and Damon are the founders of Socialico. Their flagship Year 2 product is the FAME league, a social game that allows one to buy and sell shares of friends and celebrities on a virtual stock market. That then pro- The Venture: Jun Kiat started Reactive Design vides information and predictions of different events becoming a powerful with some friends in JC1. They started with stage system for data collection. designs and event photo productions but today, after six years of experience, their service offerings The Fame league is currently available on Facebook and has been selected as include advertising, branding, copywriting, T-shirt one of the 50 finalists (out of 400) in the fbFund 2009. printing and much much more. Contact: Check them out on Facebook at Fame league or visit www.famelea- For those looking for an effective and affordable advertising, visit sg Contact: You can also contact Jun Kiat at David Chua Zhi Hon School of Information Systems, Year 3 The Venture: David and two other SMU students run Baboon, a new kind of website that blends your social network with your online searches. is now funded by the Singapore- MIT Alliance for Research and Technology Explorer Grant and is in the midst of raising 2nd round funding from venture capitalists. Contact: You can drop David an email at
  10. 10. Creating the social enterprise of tomorrow Anthony Angela explores the social side of business M ost SMU students would not stand how the outcome could be carried “If the organisation is an entity that runs choose social work as a career out. It’s not easy to make money out of a business and earns profit that goes back route. They usually complete this.” And therein lay the first problem to the entity, then the organisation can be their 80 hours and continue with studies, that many social enterprises face. self-sufficient. This brings many benefits internships and many other activities. But in terms of providing employment for for Goh Aik Chuan, he does everything A more general problem is the public’s your beneficiaries. You don’t have to rely the normal SMU student does, apart from reaction to donations made to NGOs. “The on charity or funds from the government. one: running a consultancy program for public still thinks that every dollar that You can get your own source of income.” NGOs. they donate, the full dollar should go to Despite possible negative social respons- Aik Chuan, a final year economics stu- es, support for the movement into social dent in SMU, is part of a growing number enterprises seems to be looking good, at of individuals and groups in Singapore least in SMU. starting social enterprises. Though his or- ganisation is technically not an organisa- Edwin estimated that there were around tion, the program has been successful and 70 members in the ISE with 30 of them running for a few years. actively involved in projects locally and abroad. “Usually when people join ISE, He started the idea of consultancy they do it for varying reasons. Some of with the intention of changing the way them join because they want to start students got involved in community proj- their own business while others because ects. “Students are trained in marketing of their passion for community services.” and crunching numbers and many other Edwin said. What is particularly interest- skills that are much needed in the non ing is that the projects themselves are profiting world especially at low cost.” As almost independently run with periodical such, Aik Chuan and some friends came monitoring from the vice-president of together and after a failed attempt at projects at the ISE. market research, they settled on consul- tancy. “We decided to cover the larger In Singapore, where the social enterprise scope of the value chain where someone scene is young and small, Aik Chuan had to implement ideas.” enlightens on me situations one would be facing, “There are not many case studies To date, Consulting for Cause has profes- and not many people you could look at or sional advisors and permanent team seek advice from.” As such, there are two leaders like Aik Chuan to run the daily the poor. There’s no such thing as the full things that you need, according to Aik Ch- operations of the program. Student vol- dollar going to the poor. There’s adminis- uan. One is entrepreneurial spirit and the unteers come in for each project with a trative cost, there’s a project management second, ego. “The truth is that you have permanent team leader who guides them cost and many other cost associated with to have certain sense of value of yourself. to complete their projects successfully. a dollar donated.” You have to know that you can accom- But things are not as smooth sailing as it plish something and you have to have the seems. The same thing applies to social enterpris- guts to say that you can accomplish it.” es. Speaking to the vice-president of the Aik Chuan laments, “We have come to SMU-ISE (Initiative of social enterprises) realise that NGO in Singapore are not Edwin Leong Chen Sheng, he makes it very familiar with the concept of consult- clear that social enterprises are entirely ing. They don’t know what is expected of different from the traditional NGOs. them and they don’t necessarily under- January 2010 THE BLUE AND GOLD 12
  11. 11. School School Events Events On turning 10! Shreya Vora captures the highlights of SMU’s 10th birthday celebrations Photos by Tan Zeyan, Michael Ng Wai Ting and Patron’s Day Committee W e’re finally 10. What a celebra- Free flow! MegaTwister was a game developed right tion it was! A sea of students We were drawn like bees are to honey, to from scratch for this special occasion. wearing the 10VE SMU the well-stocked food stalls, enticing us Nine teams battled it out fiercely, but the t-shirts shed off their studious personas with goodies ranging from ice-cream to Dragon Ball 1 team beat the rest to win for a while, and came together at Campus hot and spicy Ramly burgers! While no the war. Good job guys! Green to salute SMU’s ten years of excel- one complained about the free Mountain lence, effort and endurance. The three Dew and 7UP Revive which quenched our Bouncing to the beat months of hard work and planning put in thirst in the scorching heat, it was the free The new, peppy soundtracks that were by the organising committee culminated beer that kept everyone’s spirits high. being played added to the fun and frolic. in the most happening ‘birthday party’ in Those in search of a little more thrill and town! We recapture for you the ten most Poker with a twist excitement bounced their way through exciting activities at this fiesta: A combination of Twister and Poker, the music on the bungee trampoline. 13 THE BLUE AND GOLD January 2010
  12. 12. School Events Face-off! dent life at SMU was portrayed through Faculty have made our institution reach The different CCAs and school teams let the displays of the different Constituent new heights of success. their muscles do the talking and compet- Bodies such as the SICS, SMUX, SSU, SMU ed against each other, while the rest of the Icon, etc. This display, along with the SMU’s got talent! school rooted for their favourite teams, warm greetings from the SMU faculty and The celebratory performances by Just So, in the most energy-filled event of the day, students, was a perfect welcome to SMU Eurhythmix and Samba Masala added an- the Tug-o-War. The Sailing team and Bon- Patron, President SR Nathan, who graced other dimension to the formal segment of due emerged as the champion tuggers. the occasion. the celebrations. They indeed portrayed the true flavour of SMU’s spirit and cul- Artistic expressions Words of wisdom ture. The ceremony was concluded with A hand-drawn caricature, beautiful Hen- The ceremony was inaugurated by the Chamber Choir seeking blessings for na on your hands and a creative airbrush President Howard Hunter, whose words, SMU in Irish. design on your casual top — all for a mere “In less than a decade, SMU has grown S$25! Where else would you get such a from an idea on the drawing board to a Soaring high great deal? No wonder these stalls were so vibrant university,” perfectly described In the days leading up to Patron’s Day, overcrowded! the University’s growth in a nutshell. Mr. some members of the SMU community Ho Kwon Ping, Chairman of the Board of — students, faculty and staff alike – had Spectacular spectacles Trustees, highlighted how SMU is syn- penned their wishes for the University’s The stilt walkers and a magician com- onymous to an agent of change and urged tenth birthday on three gigantic, com- pleted the transformation of the Campus us to continue our pursuit for excellence. memorative balloons. On D-day, the pink, Green into a carnival ground. The various The third speaker of the day was Mr Lim white and blue balloons soared high and stalls and joy-ride added to the ambience. Kong Wee, Valedictorian of the Graduat- lit up the sky at dusk. ing Class of 2004. Remembering his days A walk to remember at SMU, he spoke about how the faith of Of course, that was by no means the end. A glimpse of the vibrant and dynamic stu- the students and the effort put in by the In fact, the party had just begun! Students January 2010 THE BLUE AND GOLD 14
  13. 13. School Events satisfied their building hunger-pangs at the all-you-can-eat mass barbeque and feasted their eyes at the SMU-ASEAN Artist Residency Exhibition, Content: A Navigating Point at T-junction. This was followed by parties at student hotspots - Screme and Ice Cold B’s. As promised to us, everyone was truly a VIP at this birthday bash. Remembering the past and anticipating the bright future, we commemorated the tenth year of our exis- tence in a very memorable way indeed. Here’s to SMU — We 10ve You! 15 THE BLUE AND GOLD January 2010
  14. 14. School Events Meet your perfect brew in school Saunders Shen keeps up with beer appreciation — SMU Barworkz newest hobby S MU Barworkz, in collaboration with a group of NTU students, organised the first ever beer appreciation event at SMU recently. From 12 to 2 pm on the 14th of January, “Meet your Perfect Brew” and Brewerkz offered SMU students free beer samples ranging from Iguana to Fruit and Golden Ale to Oatmeal.  One of the organisers, Chrystal Chan who is a fourth-year student from NTU’s Wee Kim Wee School of Communication & Information had initiated this project. Together with her team of like-minded in- dividuals, they are striving to reach out to tertiary level students here in Singapore. The team intends to offer students an alternative to the conventional hard li- quor and spirits that most students would consume during their “down time”. Their aim is to raise awareness and change the perception that people have towards beer.  introducitng the various types of beer Not only did this project aim to allow that Brewerkz has to offer. Their intention students to appreciate the taste of beer, “The complexities involved in the appre- is to show that there are alternatives to but also it aimed to increase awareness ciation of beer can be equally as challeng- the regular Tiger or Carlsberg found in on the beer brewing process and how ing and fun as wine,” said Chrystal. the market. Brewerkz offers an exciting Brewerkz differentiates itself with their array of beers, from interesting fruit beers unique flavours. Beer unfortunately had long been as- to more exotic flavours like pumpkin sociated with the negative image of infused beers. This is the first event of its kind to be “old-uncles” sitting by the coffee shops, co-hosted by Barworkz. Barworkz is an drinking beer while watching a soccer Tan Jin Li, who is assisting Chrystal in SMU Co-Curricular Activity (CCA) that match according to Chrystal. Students do this project, has admitted that a plau- focuses more on cocktails, flair bartend- not like to be associated with this image sible disinterest in beer could possibly ing (the art of manipulating bar tools for and hence avoid consuming beer. stemmed from its lack of availability. The entertainment e.g. juggling the bottles) project’s target audience, being tertiary and promotes bartending skills. There are also others who are repulsed by students, frequent clubs like Zouk or The the slight bitterness of beer. “By varying Butter Factory for a night of party and Barworkz may look into further devel- the basic ingredients of the beer brewing many have a preference for hard liquor. oping beer appreciation courses if the process, the acidity of the drink can be response from the school is good. altered to suit one’s taste,” said Chrystal. Brewekrz has brought beer to another “Like wine with its grapes - it is all about level of appreciation but their beer finding the right beer.” choices are not readily available at the clubs. Nevertheless, Brewerkz prides itself With the help of Brewerkz, a popular as an alternate joint for relaxation and/or chain of restaurants that brews its own a place to have silly banter with friends beers, Chrystal and her team have been and colleagues. January 2010 THE BLUE AND GOLD 16
  15. 15. SSU Sports Awards Night Honour Roll W SSU Smart Jock Award Catherine Chua, SMU Sailing “I thought no one was looking” Award Ong Jet Wui, SMU Run Team Sports at its best SMU Best Biceps Award Allen Poon, SMU Dragonboat Ephraim Loy attends the SSU Sports Awards Night SSU Hottest Legs Award Agnes Yap, Women’s Rugby I f there was one thing that made the SMU Sailing was a big winner at this year’s Concourse Head Turner Award annual SSU Sports Award Night a ceremony bagging four awards in total. And SMU Track and Field memorable one, it would be the format it is not an easy feat. The team had been of presenting the awards. Not to mention the working hard since last year and has been Face of SSU Award pun the organisers adopted for their tagline supportive of SSU events over the past year. Ashley Liew, SMU Aquathlon — super awesome night. From getting nomi- nees to drink a clear liquid from a shot glass, Said Christopher: “The team put a lot of to a pole dance item by winning SSU Team effort. There’s no secret to success and ev- Competitive Excellence Club Award of the Year, SMU Dragonboat, there wasn’t an eryone played their role well. The club takes 09/10 awesome lack of stunts. in new people and it is the well structured SMU Sailing training programme and the commitment The event took a markedly different approach. and dedication of the seniors that help to Sportsman of the Year Award While previous awards ceremonies organised train the new members. It is about mentor- Koh Seng Leong, SMU Sailing by SSU were held in SMU, this year’s event was ship, faith in the structure and the sending of held at The Butter Factory. freshmen for competitions.” Sportswoman of the Year Award Tan Siobhan, SMU Sailing “Sports Awards Night is a casual affair, not Proceeds from the event will be channeled about regime - it is about showing a different towards fund-raising for SSU according to its side of sportsmen and sportswomen,” de- Events Manager, Poon Wei Xian. SSU Team of the Year Award scribed by SMU Sailing’s President, Christo- SMU Dragonboat pher Lim, who also contributed to the mood of the event through his role as the emcee.
  16. 16. School Events 10th SMUSA sworn in Michael Ng sums up the SMUSA Annual General Meeting 2010 play a pivotal role as well. She cited past dialogue sessions with the faculty that sought to bridge the gap between faculty and students. We are students too “Just like you, we are students,” incoming SMUSA President Sophia Lo acknowl- edged. “Your journey in SMU will not be lonely. SMUSA will always be there with you and for you.” She also revealed that there would be more regular feedback sessions for the students. SMUSA would also be look- ing to interact and communicate with students via Facebook as well. T his year’s SMUS Annual General Internally, the outgoing Exco faced some Meeting brought an end to the challenges. On separate occasions, two Sophia also highlighted that there has bumpy ride for the outgoing Exco members of the Exco left due to personal been increasing importance placed on and unloaded a new burden on shoulders issues. The remaining members took on striving for academic excellence by SMU for the incoming one. the extra responsibilities as they felt that students. Thus, the 6th Students’ As- they were able to handle it on their own. sociation Council (SAC) will aim to help The outgoing SMUSA Exco presented The duties were either administrative in students cope with academic excellence. their past achievements to the students nature, or overlapped with other Exco present. Many ad-hoc issues, which the members’ roles. After alerting the relevant In a separate meeting with Tessa Ang, Exco was not prepared for, such as the offices regarding the situation, SMUSA SMUSA Vice-President, it was revealed change in the Group Study Room booking President Rachel Kok said, “We braced that the school CBd’s will be streamlin- policies and the recent rise in carpark ourselves, sucked it up and just did it.” ing events such as Know Thy Major talks rates were cited. and opening more networking sessions There was also trouble with succession for students with professionals from the In addition, a new position in the Exco in this year’s Elections Committee. The field. was initiated to meet changing needs. past practice has always been that one This included an International Students’ member from the previous commit- The SMUSA Exco will also be looking Secretary to manage the affairs of the tee would stay behind to head the new into BOSS bidding, and find ways to increasing international student popula- committee. This year, however, all four of improve the system for students. They tion in SMU. the past committee members had either will be releasing the student satisfac- graduated or were on exchange. Thus, the tion survey soon to compile figures on The SMUSA Exco further streamlined committee was formed purely from FTB the academic issues that students face. financial paperwork for clubs with the facilitators who happened to be available. Substantial recommendations for change introduction of a cashless deposit via AXS to the university administration would be machines and a new claims process. A In her final speech as SMUSA President, made thereafter. dialogue session was held with student Rachel Kok commented that the respon- constituent representatives to discuss on- sibility of the changes to student life does going financial issues. Budget standards not only lie in the hands of the SA. Rather, were also set for clubs to keep expendi- staff from the administration offices, fac- tures in check. ulty and the general student population January 2010 THE BLUE AND GOLD 18
  17. 17. School Events SMUBE’s new policy questioned Michael Ng revisits the debate on student remuneration A new policy by the SMU Broadcast whether they need grand scale sound “There may be instances where friends and Entertainment (SMUBE) to system,” Michael Quilindo, SMUBE Vice- with DSLRs will volunteer to cover events charge clubs for providing emcees, President said. SMUBE sees the rate card or take Exco photos pro bono. However, equipment, and stagehands has roused at- as pushing organisers to do better plan- that should not be an expectation placed tention on campus. A rate card, listing the ning for their events since there is money on all photographers,” according to a pricing and conditions, was formed with involved. It should be fine as long as clubs statement from the club. the approval of the Office of Student Life budget for their events properly, now that (OSL), Arts and Cultural Fraternity (ACF) OSL and SA are fully aware of the rates. “Taking on an assignment involves tre- and the Student’s Association Council. mendous effort before and after the actual Compensation shoot, and photographers should be “The fact is that we are just a club that The ethical debate on whether students rewarded and recognised for their work,” fosters interest and we help people learn should be compensated for their efforts on the statement reiterated. about all aspects of media,” said Amanda campus is not new. Voon, SMUBE President. “Helping other “In addition, photographers own and clubs is just a sideline effort that has SMUBE’s official release on the remu- maintain their own equipment, and these grown over the years,” she added. neration states that the policy “give(s) our costs should definitely be covered … Just members an incentive to continue sup- because the photographer happens to be a The SMUBE situation porting (clubs) events on top of their own student of the same educational institute First and foremost, SMUBE is obliged to BE activities and schoolwork”. Michael does not detract from the fact that effort provide their services to certain universi- feels that members of SMUBE are always has been put in and the use of his/her ty-wide events demarked by OSL, and em- the “unsung heroes” behind events. There equipment incurs costs on the part of the cees on the Arts Excellence Programme needs to be some token of appreciation for photographer,” explained SMUSAIC. (AEP) have to serve for ACF events as well their efforts. as university-wide events. ACF events A compromise come free as SMUBE receives long-term When asked if students were taken advan- People familiar with the situation have annual funding and support from ACF tage of because they worked for free Art- said that providing stagehands is already and OSL. dicted President, Lin Ding Xiang replied: at a cheaper rate. Without providing “Sometimes, if students do not understand financial incentives, SMUBE would SMUBE serves over 90 events per term, why they do something they are asked to simply not have anyone left to do events bringing it to an average of three events do, they will usually end up feeling that and clubs will have to foot the full cost of per week. It reserves the right to reject they’ve been taken for granted. Hence, it hiring external organisers. requests from clubs. “It’s not nice, espe- is always important for them to question cially when (clubs) come in last minute themselves or the person who assigned the SMUBE also proposed that for smaller and don’t have any alternatives,” Amanda task, why they are doing it.” events, clubs could borrow Passport commented. Fenders-simple-to-use portable amplifiers Ding Xiang added that “the school pro- from SMUBE for free to cut costs. Resource allocation vides all the necessary opportunities and “Any creative service depends on man- platforms for students to expose them- Also, events organised by schools or power, availability, etc. Resource alloca- selves within their area of interest. And school CBds should look to seek help tion is crucial.” SMUSAIC commented in return, the students should give back from the IITS (previously known as on SMUBE’s rate card: “A rate card will to the school by providing services that CIT), which supports requests for audio help (SMUBE) focus energy on more require their area of specialisation.” visual equipment from academic schools important events, and sieve out those that (including CBds), centres and corporate lack support to the artistes, performers or SMUSAIC, on the other hand, feels dif- offices, but not CCA clubs. insincere and half-baked proposals.” ferently when asked whether students should charge for their on-campus assign- “Event organisers will have to think ments. 19 THE BLUE AND GOLD January 2010
  18. 18. School Events Being young and married in SMU Anthony Angela sits down and discusses marriage in SMU B eing young at SMU is not a big divorce rate has been on the deal. After all, everyone’s between Financial rise, from 4,705 in 2006 the age of 18 to 24 for the ladies concerns to 5,155 in 2008 ac- and a little older for the guys. But being could easily cording to the young and married would send many become a Depart- heads turning and lead to gossip that problem ment of would spread like wildfire, through the for couples Statistics. concourse, to all six schools. who Such forget the rates, But before anyone starts thinking “shot- practical though worrying, gun”, there are those, in our school, that aspects of do not shake Aaron’s con- are not shotgun triggered. Aaron Khoo Fu marriage. fidence in his union. Chern’s marriage is one example. He wed Aaron last October as the term was nearing to an said that “Because I come from end and recounted to me what his friends’ while he a Christian back- first reactions were. “They thought I was had used ground, we try our best bluffing them. They could not believe many not to resort to divorce. It is it until we showed them the ring,” he of his really the Biblical principle that laughed. contacts, you shouldn’t. At the most, we go for the entire wedding, including the photo counseling.” The idea of marriage had begun when shoot, still cost him around $40,000. Un- Aaron joked with his mother about get- less one is already working, footing such a To play it safe, Aaron also underwent a ting married on the 10 October, 2009. The bill would be difficult. pre-marital course to help him and his effect of such an idea sparked an immedi- other half prepare for life after mar- ate response. “My mother took me seri- For Aaron, his parents footed the bill. Aar- riage. “I met up with my pastor to talk us ously and told me to go and book now!” on recalled: “They said if they make a loss, through, to make sure we know what we he remembers clearly. As unique as such they will take it. If there were any profits, are getting into before we get into it. So, a response is, Aaron’s family had seen the they will keep it. I think my parents were we are more mentally prepared in case marriages of all his sibling sisters — and very kind to sponsor the whole thing.” anything goes wrong and hopefully noth- with him married, his parents, particu- ing will go wrong,” Aaron said. larly his mother, would be more at ease. In fact, this has been the case for shotgun “My mother said that with me married, a marriages too. Timothy Hsi, Assistant Such marriage preparatory courses are burden had been lifted off her shoulders.” Director at the Centre of Counseling and available through various religious Guidance at SMU shared that in shotgun communities and are also offered by the Aaron is a part of the minority of males marriages parents are generally sup- Ministry of Community Development, who have married below the general portive of their children once the issue Youth and Sports. marrying age of 29 (for guys) as published is exposed to them. However, he also in the Department of Statistics database. highlighted that support from friends is Considering Aaron’s love story, one can He reflects on his choice to marry young equally important due to the image that somewhat understand that there is noth- as one that enhances stability. “Once you pregnant girls who are still studying have. ing quite wrong with marrying young. get married, you have less to think about. There’s this uncertainty about the whole “In our culture, we’re still very Asian and dating thing that sometimes keeps a though we seem to be more westernised person distracted.” and open-minded, we are still very con- -Such distraction, though eliminated, servative.” does not replace other issues that arise with marrying early. As conservative as we are, Singapore’s January 2010 THE BLUE AND GOLD 20
  19. 19. ADVERTORIAL { ask the financial experts } Certified financial advisers from Prudential answer your questions on money matters 1. How do I decide whether to take on more installment plans for my purchases? Is there any way to calculate the limit? As a general rule, we should not use more than 35% of our net take-home pay to service our loans. For example, if John’s take-home pay is $1,000, he should not spend more than $350 a month to service his loans. Before we start a purchase installment plan or take on another one, we must first determine whether the purchase is a need or a want. If John wants to change his TV that is working fine to a brand new 42 inch flat screen TV - just because he wants to - it is definitely a want. It will not benefit him by entering into an installment plan and getting into debt. Chan Keng Leong, CFP, ChFC, MBA Installment plans for purchases seem attractive as they enable one to own things without actually paying in full. It also allows the consumer to buy numerous Chan Keng Leong joined Prudential Assur- items with the same monetary amount. For example, if John has $1,000 to spend ance Singapore in 1994 and is now a Finan- on his new house’s electrical appliances, he can either purchase one flat screen cial Services Director. He achieved numer- 42 inch TV that costs $1,000 or he can use instalment plans to purchase five ous awards and recognition, including $1,000 items, paying $200 down-payment for each of the items. Sounds good, Life Member of the Million Dollar Round right? However, John is now a slave to his loans for a long time, paying interest Table and ranked Top 3 amongst Senior which benefits the credit company. To make matters worse, if John defaults on Financial Services Managers. He is also the these installments, the creditors will re-possess these items, which leaves John creator of Prudential’s sales programme - with nothing! The Prudential Way System. 2. Is there a way I can mitigate the risk of cyclical unemployment? (i.e. every Keng Leong is among the first batch of three to five years) local Certified Financial Planners (CFP) in Singapore in Year 2000. He was the Head Cyclical unemployment occurs when there is not enough aggregate demand in of Certification and Examination in Fi- the economy. It varies with the business cycle – it rises during economic down- nancial Planning Association of Singapore turns and falls when the economy improves. During a downturn, the demand (FPAS) for four years. He was also FPAS’ falls for most goods and services, hence less production is needed and conse- immediate past Vice President. quently fewer workers are needed & unemployment results. As a financial planning practitioner, Keng If you are in a job that is affected by cyclical business cycles, take action well Leong is a frequent writer of financial in advance of any developments. Constantly upgrade your skills to ensure that articles in the local newspaper. He is a you stay relevant. Lateral transfers, additional duties and responsibilities, and well sought-after speaker and has spoken even internal job applications are all good ways of avoiding any crisis. During a at many local conventions and seminars, restructuring exercise, choose new jobs if you are given a choice, as they will be including LUA Singapore, insurance com- stable for a while. panies, Singapore Institute of Banking and Finance, MoneySense, MINDEF etc. He has The alternative is to switch to jobs which are not in danger of being restructured. also spoken on many overseas platforms, This requires doing more work but it is worth it. You can also do this as a form of including the prestigious Million Dollar career progression too, adding value to your CV. Round Table Annual Meeting. He has been interviewed frequently for his views on However, dodging bullets is a lot easier if you are not in the target zone. Choose financial matters. industries or sectors that are inmune or have a lesser impact from cyclical unemployment (e.g. education, healthcare or civil services etc.). Generally these sectors are cushioned & spared from cyclical business movements. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. Even if you are in ‘vulnerable’ jobs, so long as you keep acquiring skills that your chosen industry requires, you will not fear when the dreadful day comes.
  20. 20. School Events Writing can be a form of student activism Shobana Nadaraja finds out why from this publication’s Editor-in-Chief W riting is a form of student ministration for holding on to its beliefs. editor is also a diplomat, someone with activism if the words of “We receive calls from the offices when strong project management skills and Ephraim Loy, Editor-in-Chief we touch on sensitive issues. However, has to feel the pulse of life on campus,” of The Blue and Gold, are anything to go as long as our claims are backed up by he adds. by. evidence there is nothing too sensitive that cannot appear in The Blue and Gold. “Initially it went up, then it steeped The recent SMU graduate now works for Ultimately we are the representatives of downwards, after which it rose up the Singapore Youth Olympic Games Or- students’ voices and they have the right to again. If you were to ask me if I regret ganising Committee but is still evidently be well-informed.” not focusing solely on my studies, I will addicted to this school publication. say no without any hesitation. Not only One such incident was the stolen BIZ- have I been actively involved in school He recalls the early years of his as a writer COM T-shirts which had rippled rumors activities but also in external activities. with the now defunct SMU publication throughout the student body. “As a publi- Through my social interaction outside, I Vie. cation, we strive to report on issues that had managed to secure two internships students are concerned about. And this which have proven to be a valuable expe- “My first article hit out at a poorly organ- was something on everyone’s lips - there rience to my personal development. My ised student activity by the SMU Students’ was so little information in the open and philosophy in life is that maintaining an Association (SMUSA) in 2006. SMUSA has so much speculation on what had hap- excellent GPA is not everything. Having evolved over the years though there were pened.” Ephraim recalls. said that, I am not denying that GPA is im- fewer candidates putting themselves up portant but having an extensive network for office,” he reflects. The activist streak in him set a chain of outside of school is also important,” he events in place including requesting a says matter-of-factly. “The team started The Blue and Gold from statement from the Dean of Students on scratch in 2007. We had no resources – the incident and meeting with SMU’s Ephraim elaborates that the skills SMU just a group of enthusiastic students.” senior management on the issue a few has imparted have been practical. For days later. instance, he mentions that the numerous The new publication started off as a presentations over the years have given newspaper which later became a student Ephraim hopes that clearer communica- him the confidence to put across his magazine. The Blue and Gold was a tion can be established by having more ideas and to actively seek opportunities vehicle to engage students in discussion dialogue sessions or even having SMUSA independently. But more importantly, be- of issues that are dear to them, aimed to parliament sessions. ing part of The Blue and Gold has geared provide students with facts and figures to him to be involved in student activism make informed decisions. “This SMUSA parliament session can be — something that is evident even now, convened twice in a year. Perhaps months within The Blue and Gold. Ephraim shared that he feels that writing before parliament sits, members from the is a form of non-violent protest. It not SAC can go around soliciting feedback only uses peaceful means to solve con- from students. When SMUSA parliament flicting issues but is powerful enough to is in session, members in the SAC debate represent the voice of the students. openly amongst themselves about issues they feel strongly for in front of students,” “Do not keep issues within yourself. Voice he suggests. it out, talk about it and find solutions for improvement but make sure you have the While there are the challenging situa- facts to back it up,” he says. tions an Editor-in-Chief has to face, noth- ing beats being in the part of the team at Sometimes, however, the publication has the Blue and Gold. “You know, an editor to face the pressure from the school ad- is not an individual that only edits but an January 2010 THE BLUE AND GOLD 22
  21. 21. Digital “ School Events As a publication, we strive to report on issues that students are concerned about.” Section Ephraim Loy Editor-in Chief, The Blue and Gold Digital Collaboration Made Easy Lee Jun Kit checks out applications that make life simpler Not just black and white: Student activism should be encouraged in an institution that thrives itself on being confident and articulate. Photo by Wayne Lim Ting Ke 23 THE BLUE AND GOLD January 2010
  22. 22. School Events Getting a life — Managing CCAs and GPAs Naren Gunawardana speaks to students to find out how they have the time to actively pursue their CCAs A s the night sky began to swallow the sun this Tuesday evening, a group of approximately 50 boys and girls huddled together, warming up their muscles while engaging in friendly banter. It seemed as though a bunch of friends had come for an evening walk. This bunch of seemingly care-free friends split up into smaller groups and embarked on their lung-busting, muscle ripping circuit- trainings. Students are known to complain about the ‘rat-race’ culture in SMU which gives them very little time to engage them- selves in non- academic pursuits. “We have no life!” is a top contender for the most overheard statement in the library. Deadlines, which are perceived in the very literal sense of the word, are the root cause of many red-eyed students drowning in coffee. Therefore, we can safely assume that every waking second of an SMU student’s life is spent buried under heaps of academic literature. But what about those students who ac- tively participate in CCAs? How is it that they find the time to participate in these? Liu Jianrong, Captain of the SMU Drag- onboat team and second-year economics student, insists that the key to a perfect equilibrium between academics and CCAs is “time management”. Despite training for up to 12 hours a week, he is able to find time to do his work. He does so by working according to a strict sched- ule and with the support of his friends. “Even though the training is tough and time consuming, everyone should try this sport. It has taught me the valuable lesson of time management as well,” said January 2010 THE BLUE AND GOLD 24
  23. 23. School Events the modest Captain. Many of the other the time to pursue them. “If you love unsuitable nature of this club, rather than members share this sentiment. what you’re doing, it’s pretty easy to find lack of time on the part of the students, ways to accommodate everything you was the main reason for the small mem- Kimberly Wee Wei-ling, a second-year ac- have to do! The heart-pumping, inspira- ber-base. “There are fewer people because countancy student added that the family tional beats and the people behind them it’s not suitable for a business school. My atmosphere within the team ensures a ensure that there’s never a dull moment,” special interest in astronomy motivated great deal of team bonding. said Jessica, on her way to Samba Masala me to stay in the club for two years, but practice. She also claimed that “one learns now it’s unlikely that we can continue,” “We spend a lot of time with each other, to fight the urge to procrastinate” simply he stated quite dishearteningly. even studying and having meals to- because there is no time to do so. The gether,” said Kimberly, exhausted after popularity and excitement generally as- This is a good time to reflect on how far training. The passion for achievement sociated with larger CCAs such as Samba we’ve come and also to prepare for the and unfailing support from their peers Masala is one of the reasons why they at- arduous conclusion to yet another term. motivates them to find that 25th hour in tract and retain such a large member base. As we struggle to meet our deadlines and the day. contemplate on how the others seem However, not all CCAs succeed in doing to have an eighth day in their week to ‘Love’ is a highly subjective topic, to say so. In fact, the smaller the group, the pursue their CCAs, we tend to overlook the least. Some think it is what makes the greater is the sense of ownership and be- the basic principle of making every hour world go round, while others compare it longing inculcated among the members. count, rather than counting every hour. to the flu and other similar pandemics. An SMU Astronomy Club (who wishes So stop being a mere onlooker standing Jessica Joyce Lee Juan, a first-year Eco- to remain anonymous) revealed that the behind the glass windows of the library. nomics student who is in no less than six dedicated group of six members were con- Step out and join in. Quickly though. CCAs, cited love as her secret for making sidering closing shop. He stated that the After all, time is of the essence. 25 THE BLUE AND GOLD January 2010
  24. 24. ADVERTORIAL “POP”ping into right career A overview of Prudential’s professional profiling tool Recently, our sole sponsor, Prudential, kindly provided the editorial team a overview of their profiling tool using Personal Orientation Profile (POP7). Michael Ng and Angela Anthony share their experiences. “Not only did I discover Michael Ng Having taken other tests such as MAPP and The report shows the scores into ‘inher- ent traits’ as well as trainable skills. Steven some strengths that I never DISC as well, I knew that it was important showed a matrix of high and low scores. Of to respond quickly without too much think- course people with good traits and do not had the confidence to put ing. It also helped that I was not applying need much training are excellent for the on my resume, I also had for a job, not under any pressure to reply the Financial Consultant role. Candidates with questions “correctly”, and messing up the the right skills but not the right inherent a pretty good idea where data. traits are fine but they require more training and what I need to do to and coaching. Prudential believes in selecting A few weeks later, we dropped by Pruden- people with the right attitude, but lacking in plan my career path.” tial’s office to get our reports explained. skills. This will help the individual to achieve better results in the long run. The first thing that I saw on the report is a graphic of a ‘green’ traffic light a sign that I The things I picked up after Steven had was suitable for a sales career! This was rather explained the scores was that I had the traits surprising, given that I had never really liked for not just a sales career but also that of a sales. journalist as well. Scores showed that I am able to self manage my results, prefer an We were given a background presentation unstructured management style, and that I about POP7 by Steven Lau, it is here that I am highly investigative. Too investigative for began to find out a lot more about Pruden- a sales career might mean the would likely tial’s hiring policies, and how serious they are bore the customer with technical details of in providing opportunities for their Financial the product, but not sell the product. Consultants to build their careers. My resistance towards sales showed up Steven showed us the equation: Talent x in the extremely low score in ‘openness to Habit x Opportunity. ‘Talent’ encompasses prospecting for sales through social contacts’. the inherent and trainable parts of a person, I had always strived to keep professional ‘Habit’ refers to the attitude and effort one and personal matters separate, with neither puts, and most importantly ‘Opportunity’ is crossing paths. Although reports showed I providing the right career and work experi- have great potential for a sales career, it also ence to the employee. The whole equation underpinned my resistance towards prospect- then drives ‘Performance’. It is refreshing to ing for sales might not work out well. More know that Prudential does not see its people importantly, the report provided areas that I as resources, but as customers. A true service could work on, the training I require in order attitude pervades from the management level to succeed in sales, and how management all the way to the most junior staff in the could communicate with me. hierarchy. Candidates are also given reports on their Going into the report, Steven explained that strong points, and how they could improve for POP7, it is not just about the highs and themselves in other areas as well. This proved lows of each individual score, but the correla- to be of great use to me. Not only did I tion of multiple indices and what they mean discover some strengths that I never had the for the individual. For example, a person confidence to put on my resume, I also had a may warm up to strangers quickly but if he pretty good idea where and what I need to do is extremely driven by results and does not to plan my career path listen well, he ends up being pushy. January 2010 THE BLUE AND GOLD 26
  25. 25. ADVERTORIAL “I felt I understood more about myself and my ability to work in a competitive sales environment. It was definitely a good thing and it made me rethink what I could consider doing in future.” Anthony Angela He assured us that the ‘Attitudes’ scores The experience was much like doing a survey (like my Listening Style) can improve with with the ultimate objective of discovering experience and coaching. He also provided whether I am suitable for a competitive sales many examples and was thorough in his Register for Prudential’s Career Semi- career. explanation of the different measurements nar and try out the profiling tool for used in POP7. yourself! Before I did the POP7 test, I had a lot of skepticism since most of the personality tests After listening to his explanation, I felt I Here are the dates for Year 2010: I’ve taken are usually subjective since some of understood more about myself and my ability 9 March (Tuesday) the attributes are based on situational forces. to work in a competitive sales environment. 31 March (Wednesday) As I did the test, I realised that the questions It was definitely a good thing and it made 20 April (Tuesday) were a lot more specific than I had initially me rethink what I could consider doing in 19 May (Wednesday) thought. I was actually looking forward to future. 23 June (Wednesday) the results. 20 July (Tuesday) It also provided me with insights on my ‘peo- 24 August (Tuesday) My initial reaction upon getting the report ple’ and ‘investigative skills’ which confirmed 15 September(Wednesday) was “How did it find out so much about my beliefs in what professions I should 19 October (Tuesday) me?” The summary of scores and cautions work towards and how I would perform in a 11 November (Thursday) provided a good overview of my potential. I working environment. Lastly, after Steven’s 15 December(Wednesday) was surprised that I am considered ‘highly explanation of my ’Attitudes’ scores, I realised enterprising’ (according to my results) since I what I should focus on changing and what I Venue: have always wanted to work for others rather should enhance. PruHall, Prudential@Scotts than for myself. 51 Scotts Road #01-02 Looking at my future, I feel like I have (next to Newton MRT Station) Apart from that, other things like a high ‘in- more confidence in myself to take a job in a dependence score’ served to confirm what I competitive industry. The explanations from Time: know about myself. However, I was shocked Prudential’s friendly and proficient staff 6pm - 7pm: Registration & Refreshments that I scored really low for ‘Listening Style’: I only added to my confidence and made me 7pm - 9pm: Seminar knew I was not a good listener but I did not believe that I could reach my potential. Now know I was that bad! It was certainly a wake- a sales career does not look as scary as I once Send an email to ad.recruitment@pru- up call for me. thought. with the following details and we’ll contact you shortly! The staff at Prudential were really helpful. For starters, Steven Lau, from the Acad- <Name> <Contact No.> <Email> <Citi- emy of Competence & Excellence zenship> <Course of study><Preferred department,explained that POP7 is a date of seminar> psychometric assessment for identifying top performers for competitive sales jobs. 27 THE BLUE AND GOLD January 2010