8 ways to jump-start your start-up at NTU

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Do entrepreneurs need a university education? After all, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg all dropped out of university. However, they spent much of their formative years in university, and, for some, made connections during this time that would be vital to their success. There is an even longer list of successful entrepreneurs, like Jack Ma, Elon Musk and Larry Page, who graduated from university with excellent grades, too.

I believe that university is useful for building skills and networks that will be helpful for building your future business. The good news is, there are plenty of opportunities in NTU that set you towards your goal.

Here are eight steps aspiring entrepreneurs in NTU can take to kickstart their dreams. Continue reading

My thoughts this National Day

2E3A8348I spoke at this year’s National Day Observance Ceremony on 15 August at NTU. It was a timely occasion for me to share my thoughts on what it means to be Singaporean and how NTU can contribute to Singapore’s future.

Punching above our weight
Last Saturday was a historic day for Singapore and the world as Singaporeans erupted in joy and pride when 21-year-old Joseph Schooling took home the nation’s first Olympic gold medal. It certainly felt like we had all won the gold ourselves! Continue reading

What’s buzzing at The Hive?

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I am very proud of our new learning hub, The Hive, and at its official opening last week, I shared in a speech my thoughts on why it is not just an eye-catching building but will soon become an icon of the future of learning.

Not your regular modular building stacked up like Lego bricks, it redefines university buildings with its unusual shape and use of space for learning in the 21st century.

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Something happened in year three

We cupped our ears and squinted our eyes; the horrendous din was reminiscent of a ghoulish scene from Dante’s Inferno

That’s what it felt like as my friends and I returned to NTU to do some admin work after our graduation in August. We looked at the freshmen in their camps and had this moment of sage-like wisdom: “Ah freshmen, how little they know…” Then it dawned on us: four years ago we were in those same freshmen camps.

Something happens as you transition from being a freshman to a sophomore (year two) then a junior (year three) and finally a senior student (year four).

Suddenly, what used to fascinate you as freshman or sophomore doesn’t intrigue you anymore. Other things become more interesting and you find that freshmen start to look at you like some wise, old person. Secretly, behind your wizened demeanour, you marvel at how they can stay up till 4am and not be absolutely burned out the next day. You are amazed at how they can shout and scream and run and still have so much energy. You are amazed at the muscle-ripping figures they have, and wonder whether you ever looked that ripped in your prime. Don’t look as if you don’t know what I mean (especially the guys)! By year three or four you probably started building a tummy pillow around your waist, which I’ve always had. Well, at least I maintained the rest of my figure.

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Getting black and blue from watercolours

Hello, everyone. It’s been a while! After a whole month of exams and assignments, I’ve spent the past couple of weeks cleaning up my room, after it became a dungeon of paint and paper during the busy end-of-term period.

In my earlier post, I shared with you what I learnt about landscape painting from my watercolour course at ADM, taught by Asst Prof Ng Woon Lam. During the course, I learnt that apart from technical skills, it’s important to know the basics of colour theory. This allows artists to select the best matching colours, hues and tones when painting.

I’m definitely not a “pro” at this, and despite all my ADM profs going through colour theory with me over and over again, I still sometimes give them a blank face. So it’s been a real challenge for me to improve the “colour” aspect of my watercolour paintings, since I’ve worked mostly in black and white with pens and pencils, like this sketch of Jiufen that I did during my recent visit to northern Taiwan.

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For someone more used to sketching, my first few watercolour paintings were an absolute disaster. You won’t see them here as I don’t wish to strain your eyes. Continue reading

Oh, how I’ll miss hall life!

It took me a while to make the decision to move out of hall and back home as I’d only be taking two modules next semester. As I’ve lived on the NTU campus for the past three years, I’m still not quite ready to leave.

For one, this place is beautiful, especially when the sun sets. Being far from the madding crowd, we have some of the best views. NTU is hilly and the buildings are low, unlike many places in Singapore, where the sky is often blocked out by tall buildings. The sky here is vast, and to look out of the window (after an entire afternoon of hitting the books) to a bruised evening sky is one of the best stress relievers, and always leaves me in awe.

Proof? This is the view from my hall:

sun1 6.30pm, taken from my block on the way back to my room at Hall 16.

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A (freshman) year to remember

I’ve always wanted to become a war journalist, so the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication & Information (WKWSCI) was my dream school.

Now that I’m here, I aim to make my journey a fulfilling one. In my first semester last year, I took seven modules, even though most of my peers took 5 to 6 modules per semester. I particularly enjoyed the News Reporting and Writing module – it taught me how to write headline-worthy and breaking news, a skill that will be essential if I ever become a war correspondent!

I also signed up to be on the main committee of WKWSCI’s Freshman Orientation Camp (FOC). My seniors and peers made me feel very welcome during my camp, and I wanted to pass on this good experience to my juniors. School truly feels like home when the cohort size is 180 and everyone knows almost everyone else.

Another good thing about WKWSCI: They know how to have fun!

The school shakes things up for us by organising fun, morale-boosting events nearly every week. For example, there was a Theme Week where we had to dress up according to a specific theme each day.

dan1Once, we attended class in our old school uniforms. (See if you can spot me: I’m the only guy in the first row.)

Photos Credited to 20th CI Club

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5 best memories…

As the curtain falls on my time at NTU, I can’t help thinking about the past three years of my short yet eventful undergrad life at the Nanyang Business School that was filled with joy, laughter and challenges…

1) Case competitions

Designing a cool online marketing communication campaign for CP Foods? Trying to sell their frozen food products on a rainy afternoon? Yes, my team of three did them all and bagged the second prize to boot.

Winning the prize money, however, was not the best part, as such success and happiness is short-lived. It’s the memory of celebrating with fellow NTU participants, and the strong friendships we’ve forged, that will stick with me for life.

n1Three of the five finalist teams at the CP Marketing Challenge 2012 came from NTU. Hip, hip, hooray!

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Welcome, “villains”!

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In the REP (Renaissance Engineering Programme) family, we don’t consider bonding to be an important thing. We consider it to be everything.

As you might know from my previous posts, love, respect and a little bit of insanity run in the REP family, and the first step towards building all of these is the Freshmen Orientation Camp (FOC) – an event fondly organised by the awesome REP seniors to welcome juniors with a bang!

So here is an exclusive sneak peek into Ignire 2013. “Ignire” is the latin word for “ignite”, and surely, we saw some magnificent fireworks (metaphorically, of course) this year. The camp theme was “Super Villain” and as Shao Ying, President of the Organising Committee, put it, this was “a camp different from other camps as the freshmen trained to be true villains!”. So clearly this year, it was all about being “bad” and living dangerously.

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