September 15th 2018. On this day, more than 100 different university and college representatives came to visit UWCSEA Tampines to promote their institutions. This event not only lets students know what individual universities are like, but also serves to represent the UWCSEA community to each university. I volunteered to become an ambassador.
My role as a student ambassador was crucial to the presentation of UWCSEA students. The responsibilities included helping university representatives set up their individual booths and workshops, leading them to their workshop locations, and other ad-hoc duties such as resolving any technical issues efficiently and effectively, while constantly portraying professionalism and the UWCSEA values. During the day, I was required to solve a technical issue where the projection equipment did not have the correct type of adapter for the University of Kent representative’s computer. I needed to use critical thinking and communication skills to work with the other ambassadors to quickly come up with the solution to bring in a different laptop and transfer the presentation.
I was also one of the student ambassadors who registered the university representatives when they came into the school. This was a large responsibility as I would make the first impression of UWCSEA.
Overall, I used communication and critical thinking skills throughout this event to represent UWCSEA and ensure that it ran smoothly and that any issues were resolved with efficiency. I took on a position of responsibility and rose to the task with positivity, resulting in a well-run event.
In this photo I am with one of the other student ambassadors welcoming the university representatives to UWCSEA.
From July 16th to August 3rd, I did an internship at a company called Red Shoe Communications. They specialised in training senior executives in communications skills ranging from how to answer media interview questions to presenting to a boss or customer. My main supervisor for most of my internship was Kathy O’Brien (firstname.lastname@example.org). Although my internship was only three weeks, it was a great learning experience and I completed many tasks that helped both the company and my own personal growth.
My goals were to gain insight into work life, how skills learnt in school can be applied, and develop skills that I can use in the future. I think that most of the tasks that I was given matched these goals. I made sure to think about what I would gain from each task while I was doing it.
Quite a few of the projects I had were research tasks on individual clients, their companies, and major events in Singapore so that the trainers would have a summary of the information they needed. For individual clients, I familiarised myself with LinkedIn in order to gain useful information for Red Shoe. This research also enabled me to learn about how LinkedIn works as well as read samples of profile and job descriptions; I have been able to apply this knowledge to my own LinkedIn page as a result.
While researching companies, I compiled information from many different sources including the company’s own website as well as articles on recent company news. This allowed me to explore different types of companies and learn more about how each business and action affects others. I also researched major events such as the SingHealth cyber attack, the new PropellAsia proptech accelerator program and Broadcom’s decision to buy CA Technologies to find general information as well as opinions on these events. Through this research, I learned more about the events, broadening my knowledge on recent news. Additionally, I gained an understanding of opposing perspectives and how individuals and companies respond to these events. Overall, this research enabled me to learn more about companies as well as apply my research skills from school to see how they can be used in work life.
During my internship, I was able to attend one of Red Shoe’s workshops to make sure it ran smoothly. Therefore, I was able to take on the responsibility of making sure the workshop was a straightforward and trouble-free experience for the clients. However, I was also able to listen and learn some of the presentation and elevator pitch skills that were being taught which I will be able to put into practice in the future. Attending this workshop also enabled me to see the type of work that Red Shoe does and what training sessions look like.
One of my last few projects at Red Shoe was to create visually appealing social media content for a company event in collaboration wth Children of Peace International, an NGO that helps underprivileged children in Vietnam. My task was to think of media content and design posts. This allowed me to practice design skills. I had another similar project to this where my task was to find quotes that represented the company well and create content that they could post on LinkedIn using these quotes as well as photos I found online.
I also helped with various administrative tasks around the office during my internship, some examples being revising the agenda during a team meeting, organising Red Shoe’s library, updating their catalogue, packing for training workshops, filing workshop materials and feedback forms, and updating equipment such as iPads and powerpoint slide decks. These tasks all helped me gain insight into the operations of a company.
In addition, I have developed a deeper understanding of work ethics such as punctuality, and professionalism, as well as learnt the boundaries at which certain behaviours are acceptable for all levels within an organisation – including executives. I learned about the aforementioned boundaries more from discussions with family members about the ethics of some of my colleagues.
Overall, I think that my internship was a large learning experience and I have developed many of my skills that I will be able to use in the future as well as see how some of the work that we do in school can be applied to work life.