Furthering dreams: We built six classrooms for children in Laos

Over the past two years, 11 teams of NTU students had been hard at work during semester breaks constructing a school annex at the Hin Heup District in Laos, a three-hour drive from Vientiane, its capital.

Students from the NTU Welfare Services Club, hall of residence clubs and other school and student groups were part of the Nong Luang Village School Annex Project to transform the lives of the villagers.

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


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

I went to TED and this is what happened

Not the fluffy, cotton-wool, snoozy kind of dreams. Big dreams. Bold dreams. Beautiful dreams. Dreams that will change the world.”

This was how Chris Anderson, TED Curator, sparked our imagination as a prelude to the TED2016 Conference. For five days and evenings in February, TEDsters from all over the world converged on Vancouver for the now legendary annual conference often described as the ultimate “brain spa”. With over 80 speakers and performers and more than 1,200 participants, the week was bursting with inspiration, imagination and ignition, and it did not disappoint! Continue reading

What’s buzzing at The Hive?


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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Prof CN Yang: Life’s going to get more interesting (and difficult)

All I knew about Prof CN Yang, I learnt from a 20-second glance at his Wikipedia entry before my CN Yang Scholars Programme admission interview.

Fast forward a year and an email arrives in my inbox, saying that Prof Yang is going to be in Singapore for a conference and that an informal discussion will be arranged for students from the CN Yang Scholars Programme.

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Taiwan withdrawal syndrome

The second semester has started, but I’m still trying to kick back into gear. Well, this is because I’m experiencing what I call the “Taiwan withdrawal syndrome”.

Taiwan withdrawal syndrome, noun

1. The removal of a being from an overseas environment resulting in a combination of symptoms of uneasiness and pining that are characteristic of the disease.

Note: The disease is usually contracted shortly after removal from the environment, and symptoms will wear off in about a week, depending on the individual’s memories and circumstances.

Credit: The Germaine Tan Dictionary

Jokes aside, I must say the trip to Taiwan with the other University Scholar Programme (USP) students was extremely enlightening. I also managed to use my Polaroid camera to take a few scenic shots, which was really fun. My shots look quite amateur, though!

To be honest, I’ve never been to any museums prior to this trip. In fact, the number of museums I visited in Taiwan exceeds the number I’ve visited my whole life! But I have more appreciation for them now, and I think I’ll be making a trip down to one of Singapore’s museums during my next school break. 😉

We managed to stay in a Minsu (homestay) in Taiwan. It was the most luxurious and comfortable accommodation I’ve ever had on an overseas trip. The two-storey room came with two queen-sized beds and a jacuzzi! I’m not a “wood expert” but I could tell that the furniture and flooring were of good quality. Needless to say, my roomie from NTU and I had a blast, and we had many late nights talking, watching television and munching on the snacks and drinks provided.

G1The Want Want snacks were a pleasant surprise! Made for a great midnight snack, especially with hot green tea.

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The ride of a lifetime

It seems like only yesterday when I attended the Renaissance Engineering Programme’s freshmen orientation camp.

I remember how, several months ago, after a long day of fun and games, we first-years spread ourselves on the sand at Siloso Beach to form the letters “REP”, the abbreviated name of our programme. As you can see in the picture, standing over our colourful formation were some very imposing seniors… Actually, they were really nice and helpful. 🙂

It’s always good to hear encouraging words of advice from students who have gone through their first years in university.

My REP mates and I during our orientation camp in Sentosa. I was part of the “P”!

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