“New Perspectives for a Better Tomorrow” by Mizael Poh

On August 14, I completed my internship with SATS Food as a service crew intern at the Expo 2012 in Yeosu, Korea.

Professor Tommy Koh visited the Singapore Pavilion to meet with all the staff working hard to showcase the best of Singapore’s culture and society.

Getting Onboard

I would say that my internship experience with SATS Food is a blessing in disguise. I was an unsuccessful candidate to be a Singapore Pavilion Guide when I initially signed up with PICO Art International Pte Ltd. Having (ambitiously) gone to the interview right after learning my ABCs in Korean, I was obviously not as fluent as my peers who had been learning the language for the past two years or so. Fortunately, I was recruited by Singapore Food Industries Pte Ltd (SFI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of SATS Ltd, to be part of the service team at the food kiosk in the Singapore Pavilion. Honestly, I could not have asked for a better opportunity, as I have learnt tremendously from the staff of SFI.

The SFI Yeosu Expo Team, led by Mr Seddrick Look (centre, in white), Mr Eric Heng (rightmost), and Ms Glora Soon (3rd from the left).

As they say, when one door closes, another opens.


The Journey

As a 4th year student, life after NUS is an important issue to me. Acquiring experience outside of the classroom is just as important as classroom learning. With SFI, I was given the chance to practice people management skills: I was a mentor to my fellow freshman intern, a supervisor to the Korean staff, and I had to exercise my discretion to serve different types of customers on a daily basis.

To deliver quality service standards and a pleasant customer experience, everyone had to work harmoniously as a team. Everyone, from the chefs to the service crew and even the administrative team in Singapore, had to be in-sync. Consistency was key.

Korean friends I have made during the 3 months at the Expo.

During the three months, we faced many challenges. The poor turnout at the Expo forced us to change our sales approach. We had to pro-actively revise the game plan while continuously surveying the visitor demographic and their spending power, competing F&B outlets in the vicinity, and other events that were occurring which may have an effect on our sales performance. On a personal level, I had to work around language barriers when supervising the Korean staff while managing expectations set by my own Singaporean supervisors. You could say that I had to work within two cultural settings simultaneously to get the job done. In short, I have received many opportunities to learn and to grow further as an individual; gaining useful social skills that will be beneficial for my future endeavours, whether it is in Singapore or overseas.

Posing with fellow NUS students who were Pavilion Guides: (from left to right) Goh Li Jie, Nazurah Atiqah and Tay Ailin

Additionally, the Expo gave me a chance to reflect on environmental issues. I had the chance to think about recycling methods used both in South Korea and in Singapore, where each country has different approaches. To decide which approach is better is an impossible question to answer, but the importance is in the sharing of ideas and working towards the common goal of being an eco-friendly society.


Looking Forward

My three-month stint with SFI has been extremely enriching: being exposed to a new environment, having learnt many valuable life lessons, and having improved my soft-skills, such as effective communication and people management skills. This will definitely give me a head start in my future career. I cannot fully express my gratitude to SFI for giving me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I am deeply indebted to my mentors Mr Seddrick Look and Ms Glora Soon for their constant guidance, feedback, and for sharing their experiences that have been a great interest to me.

All in all, my on-going journey as an NUS student is a fruitful and an exciting one. I hope to gain broader perspectives of the world, be it in or out of the classroom. I am elated to announce that from this October, I will be doing a language and cultural study with Kyushu University, under the scholarship of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in Japan. I sincerely encourage my peers, and other fellow Singaporeans, to constantly cultivate a hunger to learn more about our ever-changing world, and to share ideas and knowledge that will help our society progress further.


Tips for Overseas Internships

Here are some tips for those who intend to go on overseas internships:

1) Do some research about the country and the city you are going to. Be familiar with cultural norms and practices by asking around or through reliable Internet sources.

2) Go with an open mind: You do not know what to expect; it is good if you listen and think before you act. Learn as much as you can. Take this chance to be independent.

3) Share much about your home country to the locals and take time to learn more about your host country’s customs and practices.

4) Explain your actions as you may be misunderstood in a different cultural context.

5) Do not be reluctant to help and to share with your co-workers, and others who have traveled out of Singapore that are working near you: cultivate a healthy practice of helping one another.

6) Be familiar with social etiquette, as you may attend dinners, parties and get-together sessions after working hours.

7) Always keep your finances in check.

8) Keep in touch with your family at home regularly.

9) Enjoy the experience! Bring back stories to share with others.

Recruiting Career Guides!

Recruiting Career Guides!

The Career Guides are student ambassadors of the NUS Career Centre, a bridging point between the Career Centre staff and the NUS student community. Simply put, the Guides are a family of passionate volunteers who actively promote early career guidance and planning, helping to equip students with relevant employment skills.

We belief in the spirit of volunteerism, and aim to create long term impact on people’s lives through career preparation.

Join us on this meaningful journey!

To apply:

Submit your application here

The deadline for is August 29, 2012.

For enquires, email nuscgs@gmail.com

RECRUITMENT TALK: Singapore Tourism Board

RECRUITMENT TALK: Singapore Tourism Board

Tuesday, 28 August 2012








Management Associate Programme

 Be part of our vibrant and evolving tourism landscape by joining us as a Management Associate Programme. Every new graduate will be groomed under an exciting 12-month Management Associate Programme to gain exposure and hone skills through hands-on assignments.

 As our choice candidate, you will have the opportunity to build knowledge in various areas of the tourism sector via two attachments in any of the Divisions in STB and a stint in our Singapore Visitors Centre to interact first-hand with visitors to our country,

Upon the successful completion of the programme, you will be deployed in one of the divisions in STB to develop in-depth knowledge and expertise in a specific area. At STB, we believe in job rotations to develop our officers’ capabilities by exposing them to various aspects of our business which includes a posting to any of our 21 regional offices around the globe.

If you are a dynamic and passionate individual who dares to dream and seize each day; and if you believe in our purpose and love what we do – come join us as a Management Trainee!

Prospective candidates should have

–          A 2nd upper honours degree or equivalent in any discipline from a reputable local or foreign university with an excellent CCA  track record

–          Completed internship programmes that demonstrate their leadership qualities

–          A passion for the tourism industry

–          A thirst for knowledge, be proactive and enterprising

Candidates who possess a keen understanding of the tourism and services industry, a good command of a third language and an international outlook, will have an added advantage.

 Have your questions answered at STB-NUS Recruitment & Internship Talk

 Date: 28 August 2012

Time: 2pm-4pm

Venue: NUS University Hall

For more information on the Management Associate Programme, please click here. Application will be opened in late December 2012.

 Audience: All year of studies, on track to 2nd upper honours. Register here.

University of Washington Professors in Singapore to Discuss Global Studies

What is Global Studies?

That was the question the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) invited the professors from the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies (JSIS) at the University of Washington (UW) to discuss in a two-day workshop at the NUSS Kent Ridge Guild House on 13 and 14 August.

Assoc Prof Paulin Straughan (left) and Prof Reşat Kasaba

Director of JSIS Prof Reşat Kasaba kick-started the workshop with a presentation to share his experience running the Global Studies programmes. According to him, there are two significant processes of integration and fragmentation that shape the contemporary world, and these two seemingly contradictory forces provide the framework for most of JSIS’s introductory courses.

“With the forces of integration, it is a lot easier today to communicate and travel; and for goods, ideas, and investments to move around the world. However, this integration comes together with a series of violent forces and processes that tear this world apart—ethnic and religious conflicts, anti-immigration sentiments, labour and Occupy movements; and of course, wars that seem to be multiplying and getting out of control,” he said.

“So it is an important aspect of today’s world to understand these forces that bring cultures, peoples, nations, and civilisations closer to each other and tear them apart at the same time,” he added.

In his presentation entitled “Beyond Isomorphism: Global Education in the 21st Century”, Prof Hamilton, Associate Director of JSIS, argued that the narrative universities use to explain the trend towards standardisation in higher education determines the practices they will adopt in the future.

Prof Gary Hamilton at the Global Studies workshop

He argued that universities should see the standardisation as a platform for greater differentiation in global higher education—the same way the proliferation of personal computers have led to greater innovation in information technology—instead of seeing the standardisation as a sterile path towards greater conformity and little innovation.

The workshop not only gave the faculty members of JSIS and FASS a platform for exchanging ideas about global studies, it also paved the way for future collaboration between the two universities; on 13 August, FASS Dean Prof Brenda Yeoh signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on behalf of NUS, agreeing to collaborate with UW’s College of Arts and Sciences in various ways, including research and exchange of students.

The JSIS is a school within the UW College of Arts and Sciences, in Seattle, Washington. The College provides a liberal arts education of tremendous breadth and depth to more than 27,000 students, and counts among its distinguished alumni Nobel laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners.

Prof Reşat Kasaba (left) and Prof Brenda Yeoh, signing the MOU between NUS and UW for future collaboration

Vice Dean (Undergraduate Studies) A/P Paulin Straughan said, “We’re very excited about the signing of the MOU with the UW College of Arts and Sciences. UW is a highly reputable university and the JSIS is a centre of excellence for Global Studies.”

“The MOU will open up opportunities for FASS students to go on exchange to UW, and this close collaboration will also lead to new opportunities for joint teaching between our colleagues from both schools,” she added.

Prof Reşat Kasaba giving a talk on Global Studies to FASS undergraduates

While at NUS, Prof Kasaba also took some time to give an introductory talk to FASS students on global studies. Those interested in the subject can read the module GL1101: Global Issues taught by Dr Kim Hyejin. Click here for more information about the module.

Deanery Connect Session 4 – Only for Graduate Students

The FASS Deanery would like to have a chat with YOU – our FASS Graduate students.

This chat session is an excellent opportunity for us, at the FASS Dean’s Office, to get to know you better.  Over drinks and snacks, we would like to find out more about your expectations of the education and learning experience at FASS, your campus life, your likes and dislikes, and any other concerns you and your friends might have. It is OUR way to stay connected with you!

This session is with our Vice-Dean (Graduate Studies) – A/P Shirlena Huang.

The session will be at Level 5 – Executive Meeting Room, Block AS7. (Do note that the lift is under renovation)

Please click here to register your attendance for this event

China Quotient Forum

Organised specially for tertiary students from selected Polytechnics and Universities, Business China and Singapore Polytechnic cordially invite you to participate in the China-Quotient Forum to be held on 27 October 2012 (Saturday), 1.30 pm to 3.30 pm at the Singapore Polytechnic Convention & Exhibition Centre, 500 Dover Road, Singapore 139651.

The forum is themed “双语双文化,新加坡青年引领未来的优势”.

Our Guest-of-Honour, Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Senior Minister of State for Trade & Industry and National Development will be sharing his China experiences in a keynote presentation. SMS Lee is a member of the China-Singapore Joint Committee for Bilateral Co-operation, the Joint Ministerial Committee of the Tianjin Eco-City and the Guangzhou Knowledge City Steering Committee. An alumnus of Maris Stella High School, Hwa Chong Junior College and NUS School of Engineering, he also completed a high level management programme at Tsinghua University in 2001.

Besides the keynote speech, he will join two other distinguished speakers in a panel discussion to share how Singaporean youths can leverage on their unique edge as bilingual bicultural individuals in an increasingly competitive global market place. The forum will be conducted mainly in mandarin.

To register, please provide your name, IC number, institution, mobile number and email address to invitation@businesschina.org.sg!