DEAR CLASS OF 2013, Congratulations on your commencement! All of us at NUS celebrate with you the culmination of your years of hard work and perseverance to arrive at your commencement day. The fast changing world with its abundant opportunities and possibilities is now open to you. I trust that the time in NUS has prepared you well for a meaningful lifetime of careers in a dynamic global economy. Together with the exhilaration of choosing your path ahead, there will often be initial anxieties. As you pursue exciting new opportunities, each of you will no doubt also face challenges. I urge you to go confidently forward, and regardless of your choice of work or opportunity, to give it your very best. I am also delighted to welcome you as the newest members of our NUS alumni family. You will always have a special place here, and I very much hope that you would stay deeply connected to your alma mater. Wherever your journey takes you, I wish you the very best, to make meaningful contributions, to find fulfillment, and above all, to live life fully. Professor Tan Chorh Chuan â€˜83 President National University of Singapore
Editorâ€™s Note Commencement Magazine is a joint-project between The RIDGE and NUS Co-Op to bring you a collection of memories in NUS that you can have as a keepsake for years to come. We believe that you have fond memories of your time in NUS and how else better to reminisce than through prose, poetry and photographs. Often, such magazines will contain valedictorian speeches and articles from top students but in compiling these articles, I have sought to ensure that as far as possible, these
articles are not from the creamof-the-crop but they are from your peers, your friends, that fellow struggling tutorial mate. This was done with the hope that these memories are your memories and these experiences are your experiences. The best efforts have been taken to ensure that this is a magazine that will be worth keeping so as to remember NUS by and we hope you stay in touch with the school and the student body even as you step into the next phase of your life.
Over at The RIDGE, Iâ€™m happy to let you know that we will continue to update studentry.sg to bring to you the latest happenings in and around campus. We also have numerous collaborations with alumni to feature interesting things that NUS graduates do when they embark on their career. So do keep in touch with us at theridge. email@example.com. It leaves me to give you my sincerest congratulations for having persevered throughout
your time here and NUS and to exhort you to pursue your dreams, whatever they may be. Once again, congratulations, Class of 2013!
Augustin Chiam, The RIDGE Chief Editor
The RIDGE Team Editorial Board Augustin Chiam Chief Editor Nicole Kang Deputy Chief Editor Gerrard Lai Elliot Tan Rachel Ong Prateek Sinha Lester Hio Editors
Creative Ngui Jian Gang Samantha Wong Copy Editors
Nguyen Son Tra Creative Director Patricia Natalia Jonatan Head Designer
Lim Min Er Ningxin Yang Veena Salim Zheng Yuan Cheryl Low Xue Er Ye Zichen Designers
Contents 18 Commencement Schedule............................................................. 04 Deanâ€™s Messages............................................................................ 10 Reflections of A Fourth Year Student............................................. 16 The Tough Gets Going..................................................................... 18
Life in SOC....................................................................................... 20 Life of a Dental Student.................................................................. 22 Taking the Leap into the Workforce................................................ 24 26
Finding Happiness In SDE.............................................................. 26 Four Years on a Hill: My Reflections of 4 Years in Engineering..................................................................................... 30 Unwind Refined............................................................................... 34 Journey........................................................................................... 36
How My Thinking Changed in Med School..................................... 38 The Big Glass Building.................................................................... 40 My University Life............................................................................ 42 Post-Graduation Activities.............................................................. 44 Learning.......................................................................................... 46 30
My NUS Timeline - At a Glance...................................................... 48
The 34th National University of Singapore Studentsâ€™ Union
wishes the class of 2013 all the best for your future endeavours
Commencement Schedule Ceremony Date
Faculties/Degrees to be presented
C1 8 July 2013 (Monday)
Presiding Officer NUS Chancellor, His Excellency Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, President of the Republic of Singapore UNIVERSITY SCHOLARS PROGRAMME Students from the Faculties/Schools of Arts and Social Sciences, Business, Computing, Design and Environment, Engineering and Science who have fulfilled all of the USP requirements and have attained a Second Class Honours Lower Division or above, will be presented in this ceremony
C2 8 July 2013 (Monday)
NUS GRADUATE SCHOOL FOR INTEGRATIVE SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING NUS-Karolinska Institute Joint Degree Programme Doctor of Philosophy Doctor of Philosophy Doctor of Philosophy (offered by Centre for Quantum Technologies) SCHOOL OF COMPUTING Doctor of Philosophy - Computer Science Doctor of Philosophy - Information Systems NUS-French Double Degree Programme Master of Science Master of Computing Master of Science - Computer Science Master of Science - Information Systems Master of Computing Bachelor of Computing (Communications and Media) Bachelor of Computing (Computational Biology) Bachelor of Computing (Computer Engineering) Bachelor of Computing (Computer Science)
FACULTY OF ENGINEERING Doctor of Philosophy - Materials Science and Engineering Master of Engineering - Materials Science and Engineering Master of Science (Materials Science and Engineering) Bachelor of Engineering (Materials Science and Engineering) Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) C5 9 July 2013 (Tuesday)
FACULTY OF ENGINEERING NUS-University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Joint Degree Programme Doctor of Philosophy - Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Doctor of Philosophy - Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering NUS-French Double Degree Programme Master of Engineering - Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Master of Engineering - Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Master of Science (Chemical Engineering) Master of Science (Safety, Health and Environmental Technology) Concurrent Degree Programme Master of Science (Management) / Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical Engineering) Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical Engineering) Bachelor of Engineering (Engineering Science)
C6 10 July 2013 (Wednesday)
TEMASEK DEFENCE SYSTEMS INSTITUTE NUS-United States Naval Postgraduate School Collaboration Master of Science (Defense Technology and Systems)
INSTITUTE OF SYSTEMS SCIENCE Master of Technology (Knowledge Engineering) Master of Technology (Software Engineering) C3 9 July 2013 (Tuesday)
FACULTY OF ENGINEERING NUS-Eindhoven University of Technology Joint Degree Programme Doctor of Philosophy - Civil and Environmental Engineering Doctor of Philosophy - Civil and Environmental Engineering NUS-French Double Degree Programme Master of Engineering - Civil and Environmental Engineering Master of Engineering - Civil and Environmental Engineering NUS-Delft University of Technology Double Degree Programme Master of Science (Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management) Master of Science (Civil Engineering) Master of Science (Environmental Engineering) Master of Science (Geotechnical Engineering) Master of Science (Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management) Master of Science (Offshore Technology) Master of Science (Transportation Systems and Management) NUS-CEMS Concurrent Degree Programme Master of Science (Management) / Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental Engineering) Concurrent Degree Programme Master of Science (Management) / Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental Engineering) NUS-The University of Melbourne Joint Degree Programme Bachelor of Engineering (Civil Engineering) Bachelor of Engineering (Civil Engineering) Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental Engineering) Master of Science (Electrical Engineering)
FACULTY OF ENGINEERING NUS-Imperial College Joint Degree Programme Doctor of Philosophy - Mechanical Engineering NUS-Indian Institute of Technology Bombay Joint Degree Programme Doctor of Philosophy - Mechanical Engineering Doctor of Philosophy - Mechanical Engineering NUS-French Double Degree Programme Master of Engineering - Mechanical Engineering Master of Engineering - Mechanical Engineering Master of Science (Mechanical Engineering) Master of Science (Mechatronics) SCHOOL OF COMPUTING NUS-Cambridge University Concurrent Degree Programme Master of Philosophy (Management) / Bachelor of Computing (Information Systems) Concurrent Degree Programmes Master of Science (Management) / Bachelor of Computing (Information Systems) Bachelor of Computing (Electronic Commerce) Bachelor of Computing (Information Systems) Multi-disciplinary Programme Bachelor of Engineering (Computer Engineering) (jointly offered by Faculty of Engineering and School of Computing)
C4 9 July 2013 (Tuesday)
SINGAPORE-MIT ALLIANCE Doctor of Philosophy
Faculties/Degrees to be presented
C7 10 July 2013 (Wednesday)
FACULTY OF ENGINEERING
CEREMONY SCHEDULE Ceremony Date
Faculties/Degrees to be presented NUS-École Supérieure D’Électricité Joint Degree Programme Doctor of Philosophy Doctor of Philosophy - Electrical and Computer Engineering NUS-French Double Degree Programme Master of Engineering - Electrical and Computer Engineering Master of Engineering - Electrical and Computer Engineering Bachelor of Engineering (Computer Engineering) Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical Engineering) NUS-Eindhoven University of Technology Joint Degree Programme Doctor of Philosophy - Industrial and Systems Engineering Doctor of Philosophy - Industrial and Systems Engineering NUS-French Double Degree Programme Master of Engineering - Industrial and Systems Engineering Master of Science (Industrial and Systems Engineering) Master of Engineering - Industrial and Systems Engineering Master of Science (Industrial and Systems Engineering) Master of Science (Supply Chain Management)
Master of Laws / Bachelor of Laws NUS-Boston University Concurrent Degree Programme Master of Laws / Bachelor of Laws Concurrent Degree Programme Master in Public Policy / Bachelor of Laws Bachelor of Laws YONG SIEW TOH CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC Bachelor of Music C10 11 July 2013 (Thursday)
FACULTY OF ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Doctor of Philosophy - Communications and New Media Doctor of Philosophy - Political Science Doctor of Philosophy - Social Work Master of Arts - Communications and New Media Master of Social Sciences - Political Science Master of Social Sciences - Social Work Master of Social Sciences (Social Work) Master of Social Work Concurrent Degree Programme Master of Science (Management) / Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours - Political Science NUS-University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Joint Degree Programme Bachelor of Arts with Honours - Political Science NUS-Waseda University Double Degree Programme Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours Political Science Bachelor of Arts - Communications and New Media Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours Communications and New Media Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours Political Science Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours Social Work Bachelor of Arts - Communications and New Media Bachelor of Arts - Political Science Bachelor of Arts - Social Work
C11 11 July 2013 (Thursday)
FACULTY OF ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Doctor of Philosophy - Chinese Studies Doctor of Philosophy - English Language and English Literature Doctor of Philosophy - History Doctor of Philosophy - Japanese Studies Doctor of Philosophy - Malay Studies Doctor of Philosophy - Philosophy Doctor of Philosophy - South Asian Studies Doctor of Philosophy - Southeast Asian Studies (and Comparative Asian Studies) NUS-The Australian National University Joint Degree Programme Master of Arts (Southeast Asian Studies) NUS-Peking University Double Degree Programme Master of Arts - Chinese Studies Master of Arts - Chinese Studies Master of Arts - English Language and English Literature Master of Arts - History Master of Arts - Japanese Studies Master of Arts - Malay Studies Master of Arts - Philosophy Master of Arts - South Asian Studies Master of Arts - Southeast Asian Studies Master of Arts (Applied Linguistics) Master of Arts (Chinese Studies) Master of Arts (Language Studies) Master of Arts (Literary Studies) Master of Arts (Southeast Asian Studies) Master of Social Sciences (International Studies) NUS-The Australian National University Joint Degree Programme Bachelor of Arts with Honours – Philosophy NUS-University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Joint Degree Programme Bachelor of Arts with Honours - English Literature Bachelor of Arts with Honours - History NUS-Waseda University Double Degree Programme Bachelor of Arts with Honours - History Bachelor of Arts with Honours - Chinese Studies (CL Track) Bachelor of Arts with Honours - Chinese
THE LOGISTICS INSTITUTE - ASIA PACIFIC NUS-Georgia Institute of Technology Double Degree Programme Master of Science (Logistics and Supply Chain Management) C8 10 July 2013 (Wednesday)
C9 11 July 2013 (Thursday)
FACULTY OF ENGINEERING Doctor of Philosophy - Engineering and Technology Management Master of Engineering - Engineering and Technology Management NUS-French Double Degree Programme Master of Science (Management of Technology) Master of Science (Intellectual Property Management) Master of Science (Management of Technology) Master of Science (Systems Design and Management) Doctor of Philosophy - Bioengineering NUS-French Double Degree Programme Master of Engineering - Bioengineering Master of Engineering - Bioengineering Bachelor of Engineering (Bioengineering) Bachelor of Engineering (Industrial and Systems Engineering) Bachelor of Technology (Chemical Engineering) Bachelor of Technology (Electronics Engineering) Bachelor of Technology (Industrial and Management Engineering) Bachelor of Technology (Manufacturing Engineering) Bachelor of Technology (Mechanical Engineering) FACULTY OF LAW Doctor of Philosophy Master of Laws Master of Laws (Asian Legal Studies) Master of Laws (Corporate and Financial Services Law) Master of Laws (Intellectual Property and Technology Law) Master of Laws (International and Comparative Law) Master of Laws (International Business Law) Master of Laws (Maritime Law) NUS-New York University Double Degree Programme Master of Laws Master of Laws (Asian Legal Studies) Master of Laws (Corporate and Financial Services Law) Master of Laws (Intellectual Property and Technology Law) Master of Laws (International and Comparative Law) Master of Laws (Maritime Law) NUS-New York University Concurrent Degree Programme
Faculties/Degrees to be presented
CEREMONY SCHEDULE Ceremony Date
Faculties/Degrees to be presented Studies Bachelor of Arts with Honours - English Language Bachelor of Arts with Honours - English Literature Bachelor of Arts with Honours - European Studies Bachelor of Arts with Honours - History Bachelor of Arts with Honours - Japanese Studies Bachelor of Arts with Honours - Malay Studies Bachelor of Arts with Honours – Philosophy Bachelor of Arts with Honours - South Asian Studies Bachelor of Arts with Honours - Southeast Asian Studies Bachelor of Arts with Honours - Theatre Studies Bachelor of Arts - Chinese Language Bachelor of Arts - Chinese Studies Bachelor of Arts - English Language Bachelor of Arts - English Literature Bachelor of Arts - European Studies Bachelor of Arts - History Bachelor of Arts - Japanese Studies Bachelor of Arts - Malay Studies Bachelor of Arts – Philosophy Bachelor of Arts - South Asian Studies Bachelor of Arts - Southeast Asian Studies Bachelor of Arts - Theatre Studies
C12 12 July 2013 (Friday)
C13 12 July 2013 (Friday)
C14 12 July 2013 (Friday)
FACULTY OF ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Doctor of Philosophy - Economics Doctor of Philosophy - Geography Master of Social Sciences - Economics Master of Social Sciences - Geography Master of Social Sciences (Applied Economics) NUS-The Australian National University Joint Degree Programme Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours Economics NUS-University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Joint Degree Programme Bachelor of Arts with Honours - Economics Bachelor of Arts with Honours - Geography NUS-Waseda University Double Degree Programme Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours Economics Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours Geography Bachelor of Arts - Economics Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours – Economics Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours Geography Bachelor of Arts - Economics Bachelor of Arts – Geography FACULTY OF ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Doctor of Philosophy - Cultural Studies in Asia Doctor of Philosophy - Psychology Doctor of Philosophy - Sociology (and Anthropology) NUS-University of Melbourne Joint Degree Programme Master of Psychology (Clinical) Master of Psychology (Clinical) Master of Social Sciences - Psychology Master of Social Sciences - Sociology NUS-Waseda University Double Degree Programme Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours Psychology Bachelor of Arts - Psychology Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours Psychology Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours – Sociology Bachelor of Arts - Psychology Bachelor of Arts – Sociology SCHOOL OF DESIGN AND ENVIRONMENT Doctor of Philosophy - Architecture Doctor of Philosophy - Real Estate Master of Architecture Master of Arts (Architecture) Master of Arts (Urban Design) Master of Landscape Architecture Master of Science (Integrated Sustainable Design) Master of Science (Real Estate) Master of Science (Real Estate and Urban Economics)
Faculties/Degrees to be presented Architecture Concurrent Degree Programme Master of Architecture / Bachelor of Arts (Architecture) Master of Landscape Architecture / Bachelor of Arts (Architecture) Bachelor of Arts (Architecture) Bachelor of Science (Real Estate)
C15 13 July 2013 (Saturday)
FACULTY OF DENTISTRY Doctor of Philosophy Master of Science Master of Dental Surgery (Endodontics) Master of Dental Surgery (Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery) Master of Dental Surgery (Orthodontics) Master of Dental Surgery (Periodontology) Master of Dental Surgery (Prosthodontics) Bachelor of Dental Surgery with Honours Bachelor of Dental Surgery SCHOOL OF DESIGN AND ENVIRONMENT NUS-Technical University of Denmark Joint Degree Program Doctor of Philosophy - Building Doctor of Philosophy - Building Doctor of Philosophy - Industrial Design Master of Arts (Industrial Design) Master of Science (Building) Master of Science (Building Performance and Sustainability) Master of Science (Building Science) Master of Science (Environmental Management) Master of Science (Project Management) Bachelor of Arts (Industrial Design) Bachelor of Science (Project and Facilities Management)
C16 13 July 2013 (Saturday)
YONG LOO LIN SCHOOL OF MEDICINE Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery with Honours Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery Master of Nursing Bachelor of Science (Nursing) with Honours Bachelor of Science (Nursing)
C17 14 July 2013 (Sunday)
DUKE-NUS GRADUATE MEDICAL SCHOOL Doctor of Medicine SAW SWEE HOCK SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH Doctor of Philosophy Master of Science Master of Public Health YONG LOO LIN SCHOOL OF MEDICINE Doctor of Philosophy NUS-University of Basel Joint Degree Programme Master of Science in Infectious Diseases, Vaccinology and Drug Discovery Master of Science Master of Clinical Investigation Master of Science (Speech and Language Pathology) Master of Medicine (Anaesthesiology) Master of Medicine (Diagnostic Radiology) Master of Medicine (Emergency Medicine) Master of Medicine (Family Medicine) Master of Medicine (Internal Medicine) Master of Medicine (Obstetrics and Gynaecology) Master of Medicine (Ophthalmology) Master of Medicine (Orthopaedic Surgery) Master of Medicine (Otorhinolaryngology) Master of Medicine (Paediatric Medicine) Master of Medicine (Psychiatry) Master of Medicine (Surgery)
C18 14 July 2013 (Sunday)
LEE KUAN YEW SCHOOL OF PUBLIC POLICY Doctor of Philosophy NUS-Columbia University Double Degree Programme Master in Public Policy NUS-Paris Institute of Political Science Double Degree Programme Master in Public Policy NUS-London School of Economics and Political Science Double Degree Programme Master in Public Policy NUS-University of Tokyo Double Degree Programme Master in Public Policy Master in Public Policy Master in Public Administration
CEREMONY SCHEDULE Ceremony Date
Faculties/Degrees to be presented
Master in Public Management Master in Public Administration and Management Concurrent Degree Programme Master in Public Policy / Bachelor of Business Administration with Honours Master in Public Policy / Bachelor of Business Administration (Accountancy) with Honours Master in Public Policy / Bachelor of Laws FACULTY OF SCIENCE NUS-The Australian National University Joint Degree Programme Doctor of Philosophy – Physics Doctor of Philosophy – Physics Doctor of Philosophy – Statistics and Applied Probability NUS-The Australian National University Joint Degree Programme Master of Science (Science Communication) NUS-French Double Degree Programme Master of Science – Physics Master of Science – Statistics and Applied Probability Master of Science – Physics Master of Science – Statistics and Applied Probability Master of Science (Applied Physics) Master of Science (Financial Engineering) Master of Science (Physics) Master of Science (Statistics) Concurrent Degree Programme Master of Science (Management) / Bachelor of Science with Honours – Statistics NUS-The Australian National University Joint Degree Programme Bachelor of Science with Honours – Physics Bachelor of Science with Honours – Physics Bachelor of Science with Honours – Statistics Bachelor of Science – Physics Bachelor of Science – Statistics C19 15 July 2013 (Monday)
FACULTY OF SCIENCE Doctor of Pharmacy Doctor of Philosophy – Pharmacy Doctor of Philosophy – Mathematics NUS-French Double Degree Programme Master of Science – Mathematics Master of Science (Mathematics) Master of Science – Mathematics Master of Science (Mathematics) Master of Science (Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technology) Master of Science (Pharmacy) Master of Science (Quantitative Finance) Concurrent Degree Programme Master of Science (Management) / Bachelor of Science with Honours – Quantitative Finance NUS-The Australian National University Joint Degree Programme Bachelor of Science with Honours – Mathematics NUS-Waseda University Double Degree Programme Bachelor of Science – Applied Mathematics Bachelor of Science with Honours – Applied Mathematics Bachelor of Science with Honours – Mathematics Bachelor of Science with Honours – Quantitative Finance Bachelor of Science – Applied Mathematics Bachelor of Science – Mathematics Bachelor of Science – Quantitative Finance Bachelor of Science (Pharmacy)
C20 15 July 2013 (Monday)
FACULTY OF SCIENCE Doctor of Philosophy – Biological Sciences Master of Science – Biological Sciences NUS-CEMS Concurrent Degree Programme Master of Science (Management) / Bachelor of Science with Honours – Life Sciences Concurrent Degree Programme Master of Science (Management) / Bachelor of Science with Honours – Life Sciences NUS-Waseda University Double Degree Programme Bachelor of Science – Life Sciences Bachelor of Science with Honours – Life Sciences Bachelor of Science – Life Sciences Bachelor of Science (Computational Biology)
C21 15 July 2013 (Monday)
FACULTY OF SCIENCE
Faculties/Degrees to be presented Doctor of Philosophy – Chemistry NUS-Technical University of Munich Joint Degree Programme Master of Science (Industrial Chemistry) Master of Science - Chemistry Master of Science (Chemistry) Concurrent Degree Programme Master of Science (Management) / Bachelor of Applied Science with Honours – Food Science and Technology NUS-The Australian National University Joint Degree Programme Bachelor of Science with Honours – Chemistry NUS-Waseda University Double Degree Programme Bachelor of Science with Honours – Chemistry Bachelor of Applied Science with Honours – Applied Chemistry Bachelor of Applied Science with Honours – Food Science and Technology Bachelor of Applied Science – Applied Chemistry Bachelor of Applied Science – Food Science and Technology Bachelor of Science with Honours – Chemistry Bachelor of Science – Chemistry
C22 16 July 2013 (Tuesday)
SCHOOL OF BUSINESS Doctor of Philosophy NUS-University of California, Los Angeles Double Degree Programme Master of Business Administration Master of Business Administration (AsiaPacific Executive MBA Programme) Master of Business Administration (AsiaPacific Executive MBA Programme-Chinese) NUS-Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC Paris) Double Degree Programme Master of Business Administration NUS-Peking University Double Degree Programme Master of Business Administration NUS-Fudan University S3 Asia Double Degree Programme Master of Business Administration NUS-Korea University S3 Asia Double Degree Programme Master of Business Administration Master of Business Administration Master of Science (Business) Master of Science (Management) NUS-CEMS Concurrent Degree Programme Master of Science (Management) / Bachelor of Business Administration with Honours Master of Science (Management) / Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental Engineering) Master of Science (Management) / Bachelor of Science with Honours – Life Sciences Concurrent Degree Programme Master in Public Policy / Bachelor of Business Administration (Accountancy) with Honours Master of Science (Management) / Bachelor of Applied Science with Honours – Food Science and Technology Master of Science (Management) / Bachelor of Business Administration (Accountancy) with Honours Master of Science (Management) / Bachelor of Computing (Information Systems) Master of Science (Management) / Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical Engineering) Master of Science (Management) / Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental Engineering) Master of Science (Management) / Bachelor of Science with Honours – Life Sciences Master of Science (Management) / Bachelor of Science with Honours – Quantitative Finance Master of Science (Management) / Bachelor of Science with Honours – Statistics Bachelor of Business Administration (Accountancy) with Honours Bachelor of Business Administration (Accountancy)
C23 16 July 2013 (Tuesday)
SCHOOL OF BUSINESS Concurrent Degree Programme Master in Public Policy / Bachelor of Business Administration with Honours Master of Science (Management) / Bachelor of Business Administration with Honours Bachelor of Business Administration with Honours Bachelor of Business Administration
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Dean’s Messages Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences BrendaYeoh
Dear Class of 2013, Congratulations on the successful completion of this part of your life’s journey! We are immensely proud of your many splendoured achievements and celebrate with you on this momentous occasion - You have certainly earned this achievement through your hard work and perseverance. Commencement is a special time as it is a culmination of your hard work in NUS; it also signifies the beginning of the next stage of your journey towards achieving your goals, both large and small. I am sure that the valuable skills, knowledge and perspective that the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences has equipped you with will bring out the potential in you and take you forward in your future career. Your years in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences have not only conferred upon you a degree that will propel you into your new role in society, but hopefully have also forged close ties that will remain an integral part of your bright future. I wish you all the best and I also encourage you to stay in touch as I look forward to hearing more about your successes.
School of Computing Ooi Beng Chin
Congratulations, Class of 2013! I am proud to witness your graduation into the workforce to fill the many professional positions in the economy that are awaiting sharp, young minds like yours. Your education with NUS School of Computing has not only laid the foundation for your career, but has also empowered you with the ability to make an impact in the world. As you commence the next phase of your life, we hope that you will continue learning from all those around you as you seek out new challenges in your chosen field. Remember the ties you have forged with your peers as we look forward to welcoming you back as alumni. Our best wishes for your future undertakings.
School of Design and Environment Heng Chye Kiang
Dear Graduates, Today is a special day as it marks an important milestone in your life - the completion of your university education and the commencement of a new chapter. It is the culmination of years of hard work and perseverance. Completing your university education is a wonderful achievement and an important step on what we hope will be a lifetime of growth and learning. Each of you is an agent of change and the world requires strong leaders who will step up to pave the way to a brighter future. Each of you has received an education equipping you with the skills to tackle and solve the challenges facing the world… so go forth and be a positive force for change. Let today mark the beginning of a new relationship between you and the School. When your name is called, you will walk up that stage a graduand… and descend a graduate and alumnus. We hope that every trip to your alma mater will feel like a visit home. On behalf of my colleagues in the School of Design and Environment, I offer my sincere congratulations and best wishes for success in your future endeavours. Thank you and all the best!
Business School BernardYeung
Congratulations, Class of 2013. This a time for celebration and, as you embark on your life journeys and careers, a time for reflection. Leading from Asia, our business school aims to develop leaders who are analytical, caring and enterprising. As a future leader you should strive to serve not just the business world but also society. The knowledge, skills and networks that you have gained here will have given you the right foundation on which to build your careers and we believe you will play your part in inspiring others. The School’s values are excellence, integrity, innovation, teamwork and care. These are values which will have resonance throughout your life. As you commence the next chapter in your lives, I encourage all of you to live your life to the full and follow your hearts. Don’t be afraid to try out new ideas. Instead, chart your own path to success. Integrity will be also key. At times you will face tough decisions. When facing temptation, I would urge you to do the right thing. And the learning does not end here. You will experience many new and exciting things and, as career paths are very rarely linear these days, you may have to reinvent yourself or steer a new direction from time to time. I would encourage you to come back to the School in the future, either to undertake further study in one of our graduate or executive education programmes, or attend some of the leadership and industry talks we regularly stage. Don’t forget also that you will be an important ambassador for NUS Business School. I look forward to welcoming you back as our alumni and wish you and your families a prosperous future.
Faculty of Law Simon Chesterman
Commencement is by far my favourite event in the academic year. In one sense, it is an end: it marks the culmination of our students’ achievements, years of hard work rewarded in a degree and celebrated with friends and family. But as the name suggests, it is also a beginning: a beginning as you enter the workforce or pursue further study, and as you transition from being our student to being our alumnus or alumna. I hope that you have enjoyed your studies at NUS, and that you will look back on this time fondly — even as you go on to seek new challenges, celebrate further achievements, and make your own unique mark on the world. Good luck!
Faculty of Dentistry Grace Ong
Congratulations BDS Class of 2013! We warmly welcome you into the dental profession. Professional life beckons and will open up a new world of experiences and opportunities to you. As you bask in your success, do remember that society has given you the opportunity to a good university education. Now, it will be your duty to deliver oral health care to the best of your abilities to the community around you. I wish all Graduates of 2013 success and encourage all of you to reach for the skies!
Faculty of Engineering Chan Eng Soon
Dear Graduands, My heartiest congratulations to you! With an Engineering Education, you are now ready to take on new challenges and help improve the quality of life. More than ever before, engineers are well-poised to serve society and make a difference. I am confident you will do this, and I wish you all the best in your endeavours.
Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music Bernard Lanskey
On behalf of the Conservatory’s faculty and staff, it is my great pleasure to congratulate the 2013 class on their graduation today. It has been a pleasure to see you grow to know and trust each other and to offer such support over the past few years. I am confident you will each have established friendships which will last a lifetime. We wish you all the best in your future development, whatever direction your career takes you. Already, it is pleasing to know that so many of you have such clear ideas of your immediate steps forward, whether towards the myriad of opportunities now opening up in Singapore, to work opportunities bother here and in the region, or to graduate study opportunities around the globe. As we celebrate our tenth anniversary, we shall remember you here with pride and we look forward very much to keep in touch, to charting your growth and to developing together our network of friendships. Please keep in touch with the Conservatory (Harris! firstname.lastname@example.org) and your teachers. It will always be good to hear from you.
Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine Yeoh Khay Guan
On behalf of NUS and our community of healthcare professionals, let me extend my warmest congratulations to you, the graduating Class of 2013, and your loved ones. The Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and the Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies rejoice with you on this momentous occasion. We are extremely proud of your achievements, not only academically, but in the arts & culture, sports and community service. This Commencement marks the beginning of the next chapter in your professional life journey. Your degree is not only an academic degree – it is your entry into a noble profession. Our very best wishes to each and every one of our graduates in your careers. We warmly welcome you as colleagues and look forward to your future success!
University Scholars Programme John Richardson
Dear Class of 2013, Congratulations. You have just completed a great education. I hope that your new status as graduates both helps you get a start in your new working life, and equips you for it. But more than that, I hope that NUS has left a deep and lasting mark. If our education has been successful, you should have acquired attitudes of mind from it, even perhaps attitudes of spirit. At best, these will remain with you, and you will stay ‘academic’ in the best sense of the word - scrupulous, sceptical, careful, rational, tolerant, committed to getting as close to the truth as possible. These qualities are of tremendous value, and you should cherish them. Good luck with the future. Come back and let us know how you are faring. You may no longer be our students, but you remain our alums.
Faculty of Science AndrewWee
Congratulations, Class of 2013 for successfully completing your university studies in NUS. I have every confidence that you will do the University and Faculty proud as you embark on your professional careers. The analytical skills you have learnt, knowledge you have gained, and life skills honed on campus will prepare you for the next stage in your life. I wish you and your family happiness and joy on the occasion of your commencement.
Graduate School Dean’s Messages DUKE-NUS GRADUATE MEDICAL SCHOOL Ranga Krishnan My heartfelt congratulations to all Duke-NUS graduands! We are very proud of your hard work and achievements, and trust that our rigorous medical education program and its innovative learning methodology will take you far in the next phase of your medical journey. The training and experience you have gained doing research will also give you the confidence to make a real impact on communities that you will serve. I charge you to stay unrelenting in your commitment to excellence and putting patients’ interests at the heart of your work. Wherever your paths may take you, it is our sincere wish that you stay connected to Duke-NUS, in our Common Cause and Passion to transforming medicine and improving patients’ lives. We wish you an exciting and meaningful journey ahead.
LEE KUAN YEW SCHOOL OF PUBLIC POLICY Kishore Mahbubani My warmest congratulations to the class of 2013. With each passing year, the demand for good governance is growing around the world. Consequently, the demand for good graduates from Public Policy Schools is also growing. You are entering a sunrise industry. I wish you great success. Do stay in touch with our School and keep us posted as you progress through life.
NUS GRADUATE SCHOOL FOR INTEGRATIVE SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING Philip Keith Moore Dear Graduands, Heartiest of congratulations from myself and all involved in the NGS family on this important day! I am confident that you have learnt a great deal about Science and Engineering and also about yourselves along your individual journeys to PhD and I trust that you now come to the next phase of your career full of enthusiasm and vitality. I wish you all the very best for your future and look forward to hearing about your contributions to society in the years ahead.
NEXUS Nexus refers to a link that connects groups together. We believe that at NUS, people from all walks of life come together and forge eternal friendships and ties that bind through the first stage of FOP, through camps and activities to welcome the freshmen.
RAG – which stands for ‘Receiving and Giving’ – is part of a longstanding NUS tradition since 1958
International Freshmen Orientation - helping international students feel welcome in NUS 14
Matriculation Fair - showcasing the vibrant student life in NUS
Freshmen Inaugaration Ceremony - officially welcoming freshmen into the NUS family
Flag Day - Selling flags to raise funds for charity
Union Camp - kickstarting life in NUS 15
Reflections of A Fourth Year Student AUTHOR Anne LEE
eflecting on my undergraduate years in FASS, I am hard-pressed to narrow it down to a single moment. Each year has been a different experience, surrounded by different people and classes. First year – I was a blur freshman who switched majors at the last minute. Second year – I was a bit less blur, but sometimes still standing at the bus-stop opposite LT11 trying to flag down shuttle buses which do not stop there. Third year – This was a harsh one, valiantly trying to pull up my
CAP and looking for reasons to stay in school. Fourth year – My loneliest year since most of my friends graduated after their third year. Now that I have reached my fourth year, I sometimes still look back and mull over the different highlights of my undergraduate life. I am tempted to say that it was when I got my first A or when that group report done single-handedly by me got an A+. Instead, many nameless faces flash in my mind – people
who have stood by me in the toughest times, slugged with me in the wee hours of the morning, or even ‘trashed’ a free-loader’s work. Not to mention crashing at a friend’s dorm for many nights, and struggling to maintain dominion bed space for most of the night. But all these negative experiences were also coloured by the discovery of that lovely sunset over the Central Library and meeting the smokers who regularly inhabit that space. I also
had constant meetings with a group of girls every week at the Cru corner, sharing our school life with its difficulties and fears, praying and supporting each other through 4 years of school. Although my life in NUS has indeed been dominated by academics and its numbers, it is the experiences and the people who made them who composed the biggest part of my adventure in NUS.
Block ADM, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences PHOTOGRAPHER: Vince © EO Digital Photographics 16
T H E D E C K , FA C U LT Y O F A RT S A N D S O C I A L S C I E N C E S PHOTOGRAPHER Goh Hak Liang
The Tough Gets Going AUTHOR CHI Zilun PHOTOGRAPHER Vince © EO Digital Photographics
he tough gets going when the going gets tough.”
I think this adage is especially applicable to life in university. It is true that it is only through hard times do memories become especially unforgettable. As a graduating student of the NUS Business School, I am now a bundle of emotions. Although I feel really excited about entering the working world, I am also very reluctant to say bid goodbye to familiar environments – namely, NUS. It was not just about studying. Over the years, I have learnt that it is essential to juggle between multiple projects and daily assignments at the same time. It does not take just one person’s effort to be successful, very often we learn how to work as a team. To fully reap the benefits of business school, sometimes it really means daring to put ourselves and stretching ourselves to the limit, taking up additional activities out of our curriculum and participating in events that allowed us to grow not only as a student but also as an individual
in society. This brings me back to memories of my friends and I getting dirty and sweaty from all the freshman orientation camp games we played – during our freshmen and senior years. I still remember enthusiastically cheering alongside my school mates during Rag Day for the business faculty. I will never forget the many nights spent in school building the float as we rushed to meet the deadline. It seems just like yesterday when I first stepped into NUS Business School for my first lecture. A lot of the lecture was spent trying to spot a familiar face from Orientation Week. Gone are the days when my project group mates and I would stay in school burning the midnight oil in the “Fish Tank” and the “Aquarium”, where we would rush our projects. I will miss the times when we went crazy after hours of studying for a paper, greeting each other in school the following morning before the paper with heavy eye bags and halfopened eyes from nights of non-
stop studying. I will miss my time as a senior in the business school, hanging out around the canteen and having lunch with friends whom I am glad to have known throughout my time in university. A few years down the road, maybe we will reminisce about our hectic school lives – with rose-tinted glasses. To my juniors who are still in school, cherish the time spent in school! No doubt, school may be tiring and unforgiving at times – juggling as ten deadlines to meet in two weeks. But enjoy them. Enjoy complaining about them to your friends that you see in school every day, and going out for a round of drinks after school. For it is only when you are about to graduate that you realize these times you have with your fellow peers are rare. When everyone seems to have their own work and personal schedules to adhere to, it is no longer easy to meet up anymore. To my friends and peers who are graduating with me this summer or next, all the best in your future endeavors
and I hope that you will not only take a certificate with you, but the memories spent with one another during these three or four years of our lives.
M O C H TA R R I A DY BUILDING, SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
THE TERRACE, SCHOOL OF BUSINESS 19
Life in SOC AUTHOR Raymond YEO PHOTOGRAPHER Vince ÂŠ EO Digital Photographics
chool was not just about books, it was also about learning how to live. My journey started with learning about people. Attending orientation was a learning process, albeit a fun one. As I met the people I was going to spend with for the next four years, and the seniors who passed on helpful advice of which modules and professors I should steer clear, I also learnt their stories and how they ended up in SoC. Each one had a different story, and this was when I realized that SoC had such a vibrant community of people.These people were to become my closest gang (PUMA) and friends who would go on to make my entire university journey a lot more fun and bearable.
School was also about pride. I witnessed the camaraderie among the faculty members and students during Rag Day when we rallied together to make a
name for our faculty. I learnt commitment and its ability to bring people together to work sleepless hours, all in a bid to display our fierce dedication to the faculty. I witnessed the excitement of donning our jerseys to play for the faculty in the Inter-Faculty Games â€“ which was a celebration of seniors and juniors mingling together more than an excuse for any interfaculty feuding (albeit friendly).
Although school was about books, it was an experience beyond the dreadful bell curve and the haunting CAP figures. It was also about working with and sometimes against a talented pool of peers on an actual project. It was about impressing the professor who scared you with tough but exciting ideas in his lectures. It was about creating something that you can proudly put your name on and not just merely reading about what others have done
from the textbooks. It was about enduring long hours of coding, programming and fighting bugs (who are not your conventional six-legged friends).
And when we tired of writing programs on the computer, we created programs for the student body. With friends of common interests in the Computing Club, we also organised events for our peers. Gaming festivals, sports festivals, camps, and events were our initiatives to inject even more vibrancy and excitement in our school life. With such events, I learnt to create work-life balance for myself. Sometimes, we overworked ourselves in the midst of striving for success.
As I close this crucial chapter in my life, I hope my peers will be reminisce all these times spent in the past four years. We will bring with us the experience,
and carry the spirit of SoC with us in whatever paths we choose to embark on. We are all geared up and ready for more! Thank you SoC, and my friends.
COM1, SCHOOL OF COMPUTING
S T U DY A R E A O U T S I D E S R 1 , SCHOOL OF COMPUTING
Life of a Dental Student AUTHOR Joshua LEE
even forty-five in the morning. An articulator in one hand, tooth models in the other, a stack of files and paper balanced across the wrists, a pencil case and notebook sandwiched underneath the arms, the student negotiates the short walk between the laboratory and the clinic. The dental student is ready to begin a new day. The life of a dental student is truly a balancing act; the plethora of responsibilities placed in the realm of a student’s purview – ranging from the academic rigour of studying for tests, reading up for tutorials, and rushing to finish assignments; to the practical disciplines of treating real-life patients, staying back to do lab-work, and preparing for cases; and to the administrative tasks of managing graduation requirements, organising paperwork and records, and calling patients to arrange appointments – has rendered it a necessity to develop good time management, a skill which can never be merely gained through textbooks or lectures. The journey of a dental student is filled with situations that constantly challenge us, removing us from positions of familiarity and taking us to unknown places. Right from the first day of school, we were
roped in – all forty-eight of us in the class – to construct a float, learn new dance moves, and participate in awkward dental traditions, which were all a part of the orientation process. We had to work round the clock for two straight weeks as a team of unskilled strangers. We were a group of people transiting from a period of lull to sudden industry. At that point in time, we were uncertain of the significance of what we were building. For those of us who expected an easier introduction into dental school, we certainly did not see this coming; yet in some sense, this was a fitting prelude to the four years that followed.
common to have redo, re-plan, and re-calibrate our expectations after each disappointing encounter. Yet while these setbacks were discouraging, I learnt the value and importance of perseverance through hardships, dependence and trust in others, and carrying the hope that things will get better. In every defeat, the subsequent victories were more rewarding whenever I did something right. It is hard to put into words the feelings one gets when he or she receives a compliment from a patient, or a word of approval from a professor for a job well done, but there are few things in life more pleasant.
In my four years as a dental student, I have had to learn to deal with more failures and setbacks than I have experienced in my entire life. Coming from a sheltered background, I was used to cruising through life with relative ease and success, so you can imagine that all this came as a huge shock to my system. Picking up the hand skills and clinical techniques required much practice and patience; this meant that many of my endeavours met numerous failed attempts on the simulator as well. Even when I was treating real-life patients, things did not always turn out perfectly the first, second or even the third time, and it was extremely
Looking back, my four years in dental school were not easy days. Yet, they were enriching, fulfilling, and rewarding times, and if I were to record all the moments worth remembering, I could fill up volumes of pages. The struggles I faced shaped my character and sharpened my life’s perspective, while the triumphs along the journey – many of them impeccably timed – told me that I was finally getting somewhere. The encouragement I received along the way from family members, friends, classmates, and faculty staff was invaluable as well, and certainly gave me the impetus to continue persevering.
In four years, I have gained the most from non-tangible areas. Just like the float which took us two weeks to complete, it is not so much the physical achievement – imperfect, brittle, and out-of-proportion as it was – that gives us a reason to be proud. Rather, it was the process of striving towards seemingly unachievable goals, and completing the race that has provided the most valuable life-changing lessons, and the assurance that this was a worthwhile journey. ________________________ Articulator: An apparatus used in Dentistry for replicating the position and movement of the upper and lower teeth
FACULTY OF DENTISTRY PHOTOGRAPHER: Vinci © picture ME
PHOTOGRAPHER: Chiam Zhi An Augustin © The RIDGE 25
Finding Happiness in SDE AUTHOR TAN Peng Chong PHOTOGRAPHER Vinci ÂŠ picture ME
appiness comes when you believe in, know and love what you are doing. I was fortunate to participate in a myriad of student activities thanks to the bunch of seniors who inspired me to step out of my comfort zone to participate in foreign activities. From the countless nights we spent in school preparing for Orientation Camp to the adrenaline rush of performing for Rag Day; all these were invaluable memories that I am proud to possess. I am also truly honored to be able to learn from a group of capable and distinguished professors throughout the course of my studies, be it within or beyond the confines of the lecture theatre. Not only were they approachable and helpful, but my professors also went the extra mile in taking good
care of their students. A recent blackout in school handicapped almost all the architecture students rushing their submission in the studio. After struggling with the darkness, cheers could be heard from every corner of the studio when the power was restored an hour past midnight. This is when I saw Professor Lim and Dr. Yen, with concerned expressions on their faces, coming into the studio to check on the students. It was heartening to see professors sacrificing whatever little personal time they have just to ensure that studentsâ€™ welfare were not compromised. My experiences in SDE would not be complete without the friendships that I have forged over the course of my studies. It is not difficult for everyone to know each other on a personal basis, especially since
our cohort consisted of only a few hundred students. Interestingly, the small student population has allowed friendships to bloom even between students who were not in the same year or course. I am thankful for that since my closest friends in SDE happened to be from the other courses in SDE. Seeing familiar faces everywhere in school is something that is only possible in a closely knitted family like SDE. I believe that such friendships will continue even after graduation as many of us will eventually become colleagues working in the same industry. I remembered asking myself if SDE was the right place for me when I first step foot into the school. In retrospect, I am now certain that I made the right choice. Not just because of the knowledge or the degree I received, but the memorable ex-
periences that I believe I would have never enjoyed elsewhere. SDE has truly been a colourful chapter of my life and I hope it was the same for everyone else too.
Industrial Design Studio, School of Design and Environment
SDE 1, School of Design and Environment
University Town PHOTOGRAPHER Goh Hak Liang
Four Years on a Hill: My Reflections of 4 Years in Engineering AUTHOR David NG PHOTOGRAPHERS: Vinci © picture ME Goh Hak Liang
s my NUS undergraduate life draws to a close, I look back on what has been a challenging yet rewarding journey spent navigating the travails and pitfalls of undergrad life. However, as my CAP would testify, I am not the person who clinched a First Class Honours or got my dream job. Neither am I qualified to talk about being a Casanova and winning that hot girl in my class (although, NUS confessions is certainly not the way to do it). Nevertheless, I hope my own quirky stories of life in NUS can provide some insight and entertainment.
was like to study hard and study smart; most of my exam skills had left me. I found myself questioning what I was doing since uninspiring lab work (some experiments have not changed since 1994) and lots of mind-boggling core modules were not what I had signed up in engineering for. However, once year 3 and year 4 came around, things got interesting and it all started to make more sense. If there are any Engineering freshmen out there reading this, listen to me - tough it out, things do get better. NO FEAR IN LOVE
TOUGH IT OUT The first two years of my undergraduate experience were the most challenging for me academically. Having spent two years wearing green in the army did not help to stimulate the brain cells much, and the first semester was quite a shocker for me as I had forgotten what it 30
No, not that kind of love. One of the most important things I will take away from NUS is to have no fear in doing or studying what you love. Often, I chose modules and participated in activities that I loved to do, not because they looked good on my CV or because they were ‘CAP pullers’. Despite the engineer
stereotype of not being able to write well, I did not hesitate to do history and political science modules. Do what you love and the results will follow. I think that the same guiding principle should also dictate how one forms relationships in university. Many people in university (especially those studying for professional degrees) get stuck in only meeting people from their own faculties. I enjoyed meeting people from many faculties, making many life-long friends from science, arts, business, and medicine. My best friend in university was a dentistry student! So don’t be afraid of meeting new people outside your comfort zone. You never know who you’ll meet. A GREAT ADVENTURE Something I enjoyed about my time as an undergraduate was the chance to explore many things and have many adven-
tures. Geographically, NUS has so many hidden nooks and crannies, and instead of taking the shuttle bus one can really discover lots of hidden locations by walking around the school. Night-time wanderings around the school with friends, or watching the sun rise in school can also be great fun. NUS also allowed me to explore photography and photojournalism (chronicling a day in the lives of your classmate can yield surprising results) and my newfound sport of triathlon and cycling. AN OVERSEAS EXPERIENCE I went on a 3 month entrepreneurial internship to India with the NUS Overseas College programme. While it is not for everyone, I found the experience very enriching. Living and working in challenging conditions, with an unfamiliar culture, does build character. The experience in India really
LT7a, Faculty of Engineering
Technoedge Canteen, Faculty of Engineering
gave me a different perspective and helped me to be grateful for what we have in Singapore. India truly is a unique place, and as someone reasonably well travelled, I daresay that it is like nowhere else in the world. For all of its flaws, India has a certain charm and beauty that can make you smile and also leave you star-struck in wonder. I got to see both extremes. Working for a private ambulance company, I got to see squalid and dangerous conditions that
many Indians put up with. At the same time, I was amazed at the beauty of nature on weekend trips to the Himalayas and many of India’s grand temples. The hospitality and friendliness of the Indian people can also be pleasantly surprising. Don’t be afraid to go off the beaten path to less popular destinations and the possible struggles you may face, you’ll be rewarded for them.
DARE TO DREAM I think my most important takeaway from NUS is that it was the place where my identity as a young adult was forged through the people I met, the experiences I had, and the things I learned. It is the place where I have started to glimpse the possibility of my ambitions and dreams coming to fruition, where I had summoned the courage to chase after what I want to accomplish with my life.
No school is perfect. Many people may compare NUS to foreign universities, and the grass is always greener on the other side. True, there are many aspects that NUS can improve on. But for me, I will always be grateful to the school. Not because of any vague and vain notions of ‘school pride’ or the ‘NUS Spirit”, but rather for the people and experiences that have shaped who I am today. After all, the opportunity is all that I can ask for. 31
CLASS OF As a working professional, you will meet with other challenges. What you have learnt now has to be put in practice. You need to apply the knowledge you have received at NUS and in the process make adaptations, customise concepts, and ground your theoretical ideas. Living is a different experience than mere learning from textbooks because the variables you contend with are simultaneous, complex and multiple.
Commencement. It is your Kodak moment of certification that will go beyond the picture. It is a word that will bring over the years many thoughts to mind. For many of you, this is one of several big moments in your lifetime that you will remember with pride, happiness, dignity and a sense of achievement. Commencement is also a major watershed in your life. The word is loaded with symbolic meaning. Commencement means commencing a new journey in the pathway of your life. This marks the beginning of your new working life, an initiation of a career as professional for some and a degree holder for others. I hope it is an academic achievement you will always relish with deep personal satisfaction.
They say a picture says a thousand words. Likewise your commencement photos will unfold a thousand memories of perseverance, challenges, love, dreams and hopes over the years. Over time, the photos will also unlock poignant memories and recall mixed memoirs of campus days. I hope you remember the personal experiences on campus, the friendships you made, the academic advice you received, and for some, the friends you courted and kept as spouses for a lifetime. In your development of your career and family, try not to lose your campus friendships – they can remain the constant in an ever-changing, and at times, bewildering world. This bonding with friends is the software within the hardware of NUS as pivot, place and academic hearth – the cornerstone of your new status as alumnus of NUS.
I hope as a new alumnus, you will engage the Office of Alumni Relations (OAR). We not only serve our alumni in Singapore with our 57 Local Alumni Groups (LAG) representing faculties, halls and interest groups, we also have 17 Overseas Alumni Chapters (OAC) to keep your alumni interests alive and ensure you stay connected to NUS. Begin your NUS engagement by joining a LAG or OAC, visit our website www.nus.edu.sg/alumnet for upcoming events, email us your interests and concerns, and let us know if there are interesting stories we could feature in our alumni magazine, The AlumNUS. As Director of OAR, I welcome all of you from the Class of 2013 as our new NUS alumni. May your cherished and rewarding years as undergraduates continue through your lives as wellrounded and engaging alumni in the service of your alma mater, community, society and country.
Assoc Prof Victor R Savage Arts and Social Sciences ‘72
Director Office of Alumni Relations
ALUMNUS ALUMNI MAGAZINE OF THE NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE
APR–JUN 2013 // ISSUE 93
“GO FORTH AND
NUS PRESIDENT PROF TAN CHORH CHUAN ON NURTURING CRITICAL MINDS
HUMANITY ASSOC PROF FATIMAH LATEEF’S DUAL PASSIONS OF MEDICINE AND POLITICS
N U S
GREEN CONSCIENCE DEVELOPING AN ENVIRONMENTAL ETHOS ACROSS DISCIPLINES
HOW HISTORY GRAD NAVTEJ SINGH BECAME A BIZ WHIZ
AUTHOR Tan Zy Bridget
Now that you’re stepping out into the working world, choose to be seen in the right places with the right people. Bridget Tan sources out the best places to go after work.
NIGHTLIFE Once upon a time, we spent practically every Wednesday night in Zouk, mimicking actions to songs from yesterday from dusk to the break of dawn. The sad fact, however, is that with work the next day, you will probably have to bid once upon a time farewell. Say hello instead to an era of after-work drinks and catching up with colleagues and friends.
KPO Café Bar 1 Killiney Rd Tel: 6733 3648
Ku De Ta Singapore 1 Bayfront Avenue, Marina Bay Sands SkyPark Tel: 6688 7688
A mere shadow of its past, KPO (which, unbeknownst to some stands for “Killiney Post Office”) is the go-to place to meet the elites in society. Its glass walls and open concept allow a free space for conversation without having to shout over the music, and the crowd definitely knows how to hold a proper conversation. Ladies should, however, be aware of glib tongues and charming personas.
Starting at the bottom need not hamper your way to the top. Have a drink or two at Ku De Ta in the landmark Marina Bay Sands. Let the night breeze blow those deadlines away (temporarily) and soothe your eyes as those skyscrapers you spend most of your time typing frantically away in are transformed into an enchanting mass of glistening city lights. With the tinkling sounds of the water from the hotel’s pool punctuating every sentence, the stresses of work may just seem to fade into the horizon.
Balaclava @ ION Orchard #05-02 ION Orchard Tel: 6634-8377 Put aside the days of lying in your own bodily fluids in front of clubs and embrace elegance and refinement at Balaclava’s new residence in Ion Orchard. Luscious purple carpet would soften the impact on feet pressured to stand on heels all day, and Orchard Road bustling beneath your feet instantly becomes a mesmerizing mixture of lights and motion. Sports fans would be happy to hear that a segment of the bar has been specially allocated as a sports bar complete with an LCD screen to bond the testosterone-filled.
WEEKENDS Unlike in university where a four-day (or for the more CORS-skilled, three day) work week can be arranged, most regular jobs entail a five day schedule. What this means is that weekends have suddenly become eagerly awaited, somewhat reminiscent of those primary and secondary school days. During these precious two days, most would probably sleep in until past midday, in other words, teatime.
Halia Restaurant 1 Cluny Road Tel: 6476 6711
Tea Cosy #05-10 Plaza Singapura Tel: 6835 7848
Surrounded by the dreariness of brick and mortar all day, what better way to spend a lazy weekend than by lounging amidst the melodic chirping of birds and taking in deep breaths of natureinduced oxygen. Located in the undoubtedly most beautiful park in Singapore, Halia (ginger in Malay) will engulf your senses with sights, scents and sounds of the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Offering an array of exquisite delights for both weekend brunch and tea, the experience will be sure to rejuvenate you in time for the week ahead.
Rise to seventh heaven in this little angelic haven, littered with angels from every angle. Shrouded with angels, this shop is easily missed, possibly mistaken as a shop selling figurines. Surrounded by cherubs with their winsome grins, it will be hard not to find peace in Tea Cosy, located within Ten Thousand Angels. Who knows, you may end up falling in love with one of the endearing while savouring a mouthful of their delightful scones.
TWG Tea Salon & Boutiques For more locations, visit www.twgtea.com Tea has been known for centuries to calm the sense. From the Chinese dynasties to the English, the art of appreciating a cup of tea has been a mark of refinement and taste. In fact, one of the main characters of teatime would be, well, tea. Let the finely chosen blends of the TWG Tea Company comfort you in your down moments, and ignite your senses when you need a fresh spark of inspiration for that proposal due the next day. Of course, meals are also served at the locations.
Journey AUTHOR ZU Hao PHOTOGRAPHER Vince ÂŠ EO Digital Photographics
Master, Distinguish, Circumvent
Feign, Follow, Finish
Rejoice, Contemplate, Adjust
Means to an end
No pain no gain
Getting into character Practice
Federal Building, Faculty of Law
Faculty of Law, Bukit Timah Campus
How My Thinking Changed in Med School AUTHOR Joshua HOE PHOTOGRAPHER: Vinci © picture ME
o writing about something is always scary. It’s like using one of those LED pentorches you always see medical students carry around; like shining a spotlight on unexamined memories and thoughts. And there are so many of those memories that are yet unexamined, it’s like a warehouse in here. Medical school moves fast and hard in the last 3 years. The posting schedule doesn’t just move on, it moves on with a vengeance. One doesn’t have energy to finish things. You drop, pick up, and move on to new postings, new colleagues, new hospitals, new challenges as a matter of routine and frequently. In fact, life was so fast-paced that hindsight seems almost a luxury. That is the reason why I’m savoring this process of sitting here typing this reflective piece. As luck would have it (but truthfully due to procrastination), today was the day I found out 38
I passed. How fortunate, dear reader, that you have caught me in a particularly reflective mood. I realize that I am in the unenviable position of simultaneously representing medicine to the wider university community whilst still putting a personal spin on things. Not only that, I hardly know who I am addressing. And let’s be honest- probably bored parents at commencement. So first off, my heartiest congratulations to your son/ daughter, sir/madam! So here’s how I think you can get a good idea of what medicine is like without all the boring details. I won’t give an inventory of how our academic year is spent, nor the exams we take, nor the long list of projects that people do here in medland, but I’ll tell you how my thinking has changed. Introspective as I am, I’ll start with myself. One of my favorite parts of C.S Lewis’ Mere Christianity is his thoughts about the
nature of pride. It’s peculiar because pride is not something you can see clearly in yourself, although we hate it in other people. Humility on the other hand – is something that must be experienced. Disappointment and frustration must be real in order to teach the heart a lesson. And so in medicine I have been humbled again, and again, and again. Not merely by a demonstration of the limits of my own ability but by the amazing classmates I have, and by the uncommon generosity and friendliness one sees in the sick and dying. On the night before my final clinical exam, I reached a moment of helplessness. Hardly anything would be in my hands to determine in the next 24 hours – and uncharacteristically, I was okay with that. Having known the limits of my own strength, I was prepared to leave it to God and be thankful. An experience like that is something I both wish and don’t wish for everyone to have– but
it’s something I remember the most clearly from final year. Another way in which my mind has shifted gears, so to speak, is in understanding the art and science of clinical reasoning. So much of medicine is frustrating because it’s uncertain. Do I know for certain this drug will cure you? Do I know what exactly is going to happen if you don’t eat your vegetables? Probably not. Chemistry, physics, and molecular biology seem so much more definitive. Probability, I reasoned to myself somewhere in medical school, arises from a complex system where there are simply too many factors to know – imperfect knowledge. The human body is the most complex biological system you can think of. Furthermore, many of those processes give us the ability to be human, to live and think and play. (Physics students are going to tell me that the universe is inherently uncertain because of quantum).
MD 6, 10 and 11, Faculty of Medicine
To cut a long story short, what was initially a source of frustration gradually gave way to a deeper appreciation. I realized that most complex systems with real life applications (like medicine) must deal with probability. Clinical decision making trees, epidemiological studies with risk ratios and so on cannot circumvent uncertainty, but they help us to get a good handle on it so that we may eventually pronounce the best option to the patient. A large part of good
clinical decision-making is a doctor who has extensive theoretical knowledge coupled with a deep and intuitive understanding of how to manage chance. The last paradigm shift (forgive me, I have tried not to use that phrase for the whole article) in thinking lies with an appreciation of things outside myselfan awareness of God and the society around me. My faith in Christ has grown tremendously because of my need to rely on
a higher power. My appreciation of people in our very own society with different needs has similarly grown – of the elderly without Medisave, maids with unwanted pregnancies, cognitively impaired children with caregiver stress, middle-aged uncles with heart failure, psychiatric patients with anorexia or schizophrenia, the list goes on. Some of the people living with us aren’t well covered in a society that largely focuses on economic success and a
co-payment philosophy. There is no ideal solution for healthcare, certainly, but we can all try to help out. So, that’s as short as I can make what I’ve learnt in the past few years. Hope that gives you a better idea of what runs through a graduating medical student’s mind! Thanks for listening.
The Big Glass Building AUTHOR Reymond CHAN PHOTOGRAPHER Raymond LAU
usic ah? Can make money meh?” said another taxi driver taking me back to Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (YSTCM), obviously bewildered by what he just heard. “Well yeah uncle…I reckon you could make a buck if you love what you do enough”, I replied with all my 22 years of wisdom and courage. “Wah”, he chuckled, “You sure got some b***s man”. At this point, I wasn’t sure whether to feel flattered by the commentary about my masculine prowess or troubled by the fact that, certainly, I had at some point taken a risk to do what I truly love. But as soon as I got back into the conservatory – that cool, dry and quiet glass enclosure I called home for four years – it suddenly dawned on me; my proverbial b***s not only provided courage, but they felt right.
I would say, in retrospect, that a YST music students’ journey is quite flabbergasting (I’ve always wanted to use that word). So here goes an attempt to spill the beans on what happens inside that big glass building: In first year, you learn that your life is indebted to your seniors by having to say ‘yes’ every time they ask you to do a favour. Meanwhile, just as you begin to think that you had made it, you realise that you have to work your buttocks off by spending ridiculous number of hours practising and skipping meals for the sake of Brahms and Liszt. For all things are possible for the ‘last-bus-back-to-PGP’ freshman who shall conquereth the kingdom of music.
I clearly remember the first day of orientation back in 2009 as a timid me turned up to YST, backpack on back with Julie Andrews’ ‘I have confidence’ roaring silently as I strolled into the building. The night before semester officially began, I vividly remember telling myself that for whatever reasons unbeknown to me, I knew it was going to be a pretty crazy journey right ahead.
As the neglected and forgotten conservatory sophomores, the second year is when you wise up and also drink up (some argue there is a direct correlation between the two). Your 6am wake-up regiment retards into a 8-ish, maybe 9/10, habit, and you realize that beyond the four walls of YST there is a quay named after Sir Andrew Clarke. You have one of the worse academic semesters known to mankind and somehow slug it out the other end performing your ‘Tchaik 1’ or ‘Rach 2’ fine. Nothing, it seems, can stop you now.
I had no idea.
In junior year, you have either
successfully been chosen for an exchange in snowy Switzerland (like I did) or merry Maryland, or, you stay in Singapore and miss out on this unique experience altogether. The exchangers experience something toxic known as ‘the time-of-your-life’ as they realize how far conservatory has brought them and, more importantly, how much further they need to go. The unwritten, but obviously (in) famous, rule that one should not practice whilst overseas is strictly observed. An assertive justification is then made that good food, wine and travel makes you a better musician so you try it out – no harm, right? This fact holds well until you’re back in Singapore the following semester and your major professor wishes corporal punishments were still legal. As you wrap up your Junior Recital, a long (long) break awaits you and the transformation into a true blue YST Senior. By now, you have endured countless hours of practice room combat, counterpoint confusion, history memorization, chamber arguments, orchestral endurance, studio class embarrassments, epic performances, memorable tours, unforgettable exchanges, heart-breaking competitions – been there, done that. You are a qualified senior. You have no schedule except for putting on a great Senior Recital and clearing your academic
debts to the university. Instead, however, you find yourself where you began after high school – “what’s next”? Sure, the path ahead is dimly lit and unknown but these four years have moulded, positively influenced and transformed us sometimes beyond recognition. This unexaggerated transformation has given me, and many of my peers, a sense of security and fulfilment to face whatever lies ahead confidently. Kudos must be given to the stellar staff and faculty who have taught us, by example, to live a life dedicated to what we do. My mentors have taught me that as long as hard work and sincere love for what you do exists, all is possible for that feeble and timid freshman in 2009 who walked into that big glass building. It’s been a stunning 4 years here with my close-knit cohort and I wish to finish with a quote from a very wise bear: “how lucky we are to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard,” said the very eminent Winnie the Pooh. And so it remains for me to wish you all, lifelong joy through doing what we truly love and if you are ever in doubt, to remember why we held on for so long in the first place. Congrats!
My University Life AUTHOR Don POH PHOTOGRAPHER Vince & Phyo Myat Thu
ransiting into another phase of my life is not easy for me to handle. I have always been insecure about and resistant to change. Stepping into NUS has proven to be one of the best choices I have made in my life so far. I still remember the first day of school, students crowding at Buona Vista MRT Station’s bus stop, all waiting for the elusive Bus 95 for a 10-minute journey to NUS. This routine would be part of my life in the next four years. My university life can be summarised in three words: courage, passion and friends. NUS presented me with a variety of activities to immerse myself in and develop my character. My time in TeamNUS Bowling has been a rollercoaster ride to say the least. I first entered the sport, hoping to excel at it and eventually join TeamNUS. The first couple of semesters were great because we won key matches against rival schools, such as NTU and SMU, and it propelled the team to great heights. I rode on this enthusiasm and fighting spirit and continued to hone my skills in my beloved sport of choice. However, I had my first major setback in the summer of 2011. I suffered a wrist injury during the ASEAN university competition in Malaysia which set me 42
back a year. It was tough to go for days without training; I realised that I wasn’t able to keep up with the pace of the training, let alone make the team for key competitions, such as SuNIG. It was only until recently that I garnered enough courage to step back into the team and try to regain my form. This rehabilitation journey is not easy. I learnt to be mentally strong and toughen my physique again to make good shots. This journey has tested the strength of my character and my mental strength to deal with all the different kinds of conditions that the lanes threw at me. Orientation camps have never failed to bring people from different schools together, cheering for a common cause. Going for the Faculty of Science
orientation camps has given me a group of over thirty friends that I can always count on. It is this group of friends that has carried me through the four years of my university education when the going gets tough. The “bell curve god” dealt a heavy blow on me in my first semester at NUS. At that time, my dream of doing honours was all but crushed. Nevertheless, I continued to fight hard, semester on semester, to pull my CAP up to meet the requirement for the honours programme. Four years on, taking photos with the freshly-printed thesis booklet in my hands has never felt so satisfying. The feeling is simply ecstatic and amazing. I’ve learnt that it doesn’t matter how we start or where we begin, what matters is the journey till we reach our goals.
One of my passions in NUS is to serve the student body. For example, RAG has given me the chance to portray my creativity and interact with seniors who share the same, common passion for artistic excellence. I have been in Science RAG for the past four years and I have never regretted it. Although, I have missed out on going for summer programmes or long summer vacations, the heart-warming friendships and camaraderie forged at the Science RAG site is irreplaceable. Having my friends working alongside me, striving to put in our best efforts in constructing a float that shows our Faculty spirit has been challenging yet rewarding at the same time. My university life may not be one marked with academic excellence, but it is filled with a myriad of activities that I have chosen to enrich myself with. I have had to make difficult decisions while trying to strike a balance between academics and student life. I have lost some friends along the way, and made some that I can truly call friends for life. At the end of this journey, what matters is the fact that I have stayed true to myself and true to my friends.
PHOTOGRAPHER Vince ÂŠ EO Digital Photographics
Post-Graduation Activities AUTHOR Nicole Kang
s undergraduates, we often count the days to the end of exams before the summer begins. This cycle begins again when the next semester starts. Once we get into the groove of things, we are no longer a part of that cycle anymore. When the novelty of working is washed away, we begin to realise the real truth of the corporate world: For adults, holidays are now few and far between. Sick and tired of the same clubbing/drinking spots? Is waiting for the next episode of Castle, How I Met Your Mother or The Big Bang Theory the only stress-relieving activities you engage in? Here is a list of recreational activities or societies one can do/join to take a break from work.
Jane Austen Circle of Singapore (JACS) Many undergraduates often bemoan the fact that they never did enough reading or regret not taking any English Literature modules. Fret not, you can still experience Literature… Regency-style! Established in early 2012, JACS has organized a few Regency teas for Christmas (in 2011), Valentines’ Day and Mothers’ Day. On top of that, they have 44
ments again after you have graduated. Although preparing for performances can be time-consuming, they can add to one’s sense of purpose, especially if work is pulling you down into the doldrums.
also just launched their book club in April this year. There are many opportunities to take part in them! Not to mention that tea and scones are a great combination for one to unwind from work. Although a book club sounds strenuous (and highly reminiscent of tutorial discussions), they are often relaxing and quite fun for those who are starving for some sophisticated literary input in their lives. Not to mention that it may give you an edge over your “illiterate” colleagues. For more information, you can visit JACS’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ pages/Jane-Austen-Circle-Singapore or e-mail Amanda Aston (amanda.aston@janeaustencir-
cle.com) to be on their mailing list!
Perform Your Frustrations
If you were a member of any performing arts groups in NUS, you will probably have been included in the growing list of alumni performers. You will probably pick up those instru-
However, if you were never in any of the NUS performing arts groups, you can always go for open mic events where solo musicians have found their future band members. Open mic events also allow you to assess other musicians so you too can have your pick of whom you would like to join you! For more information, you can visit Time Out Singapore at http://www.timeoutsingapore. com/music/weekly-sessions/ open-mic-wednesdays to check out its weekly open mic events for musicians! Have a gift of the gab? Perhaps Comedy Masala Singapore may suit you better than learning a new instrument. Established in January 2010, the Comedy Masala has a weekly Standup Comedy Open Mic platform to help you learn and perform standup comedy. So release your inner-Kumar at the Comedy Masala! (http://comedymasala.com)
Although we think we are already familiar with the ‘cool’ spots in town, it won’t hurt to go around the island. After all, you may not always want to hang out with the same young crowd in Zouk. Working means more time spent resting your tired soles (or souls!), so clubbing may no longer be your thing. Duxton Road or Shenton Way
Go on mini-holidays Taking leave from work is fast becoming a well-honed art amongst office workers. If you see your colleagues marking their calendars, perhaps you too should follow their lead. Most companies prefer their employees to plan their leave early so as to coordinate everyone’s working schedule. As a result, most employees’ leave dates often clash, so it pays to be an early bird! Moreover, one of the perks of working means that one has higher spending power, which equates to being able to splurge
more on traveling. Olivia Siong, a fresh graduate from NUS, says that “[o]ne of the benefits of working is that I can take leave during the off-peak season, so travel packages tend to be cheaper.” So perhaps working is not entirely bad. As deal-grabbing mongers, we should also be familiar with trawling sites like Groupon or Deal.Sg for travelling deals as they have sales during certain periods during the year. So look out for all these snazzy deals when they appear and you may be able to take occasional miniholidays while working.
Suffering from school blues? (Yes, I suppose it is quite hard to believe!). The University Cultural Centre still holds free or paid performances, especially during the NUS Arts Festival. If you’re a performing arts alumni member, you will probably receive updates from your CCA groups.
are fast becoming places for working young adults to chill at. Cafes like Group Therapy or Fosters Café (at Holland Village) are great places to hang after work. Their homey atmosphere is a breather from the stuffy office. Also, they are classy places to hold your meetings with clients if you are working in the sales line.
If not, one can always visit the CFA (Centre For the Arts) website (http://nus.edu.sg/cfa/) to learn more about their events. Or take a stroll in UTown in the evening. No longer a place just for “mugging”, you may want to show off your school to your potential beau while taking in the wonderful scenery at sunset. Although it sounds cliché, re-visiting a familiar place can often be an uncanny experience.
Learning AUTHOR Baey Xiang Ling
t is no exaggeration to say that my university life has been defined by both the University Scholars Programme (USP) and the University Scholars Club (USC). I’ll begin with the classes as one of the hallmarks of USP is its offering of interdisciplinary modules. One of the most fascinating classes I took as an undergraduate was the Writing and Critical Thinking class: “Language, Culture and ‘Native’ Peoples”. This class left a deep impression on me in two ways. First, even the most innocent material could be subjected to critical analysis. Take for example, the song “Colours of the Wind” from the Disney movie Pocahontas. There’s a line that goes, “Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon?” It was “green corn” rather than “blue corn” that the lyricist found in a Native American love poem, but he thought that the former invoked images of green cheese. Subsequently, he chose to go with the inaccurate depiction that implied the Southwestern tribes rather than the Northeastern Algonkians featured in Pocahontas. Second, students learnt from each other due to our different disciplinary backgrounds, rather than merely learning from our instructor, Dr Peter Vail. For example, when it came to analysing the film Avatar by David Cameron, the architec46
PHOTOGRAPHER Augustin Chiam
ture students zoomed in on the giant tree structure in which the Na’vi (the “native” people in the film) stayed. Life science majors talked about how the anatomy of the Na’vi differed from humans. My field of study, political science, provided yet another lens to discuss the power struggles between and within the two species (humans and Na’vi) in the film. Class discussions were engaging and imaginative, often ending with more questions than answers, further fuelling our interest in the topic. Learning did not stop at the classroom as I assumed the role of Sports Director in USC in my first year and Honorary General Secretary in my second year. When I assumed my position as Sports Director, sports was not a particularly vibrant part of the club’s activities. My strategy was to create entry level events so as that as many people as possible could participate. For example, I started with bimonthly “pick-up” sessions (or introductory classes) for different sports, allowing both beginners (as students) and the more experienced sportsmen (as coaches) to take part in the same event simultaneously. I also adapted night-cycling to a food trail, leaving plenty of time to rest and interact at the various supper stops. Whilst being Sports Director tested
my creativity, being Honorary General Secretary challenged me to be detailed oriented and keep the big picture in mind concurrently. On the one hand, I managed the CCA records for about 150 individuals (think: nitty gritty details). On the other hand, I also handled the scheduling of events throughout the academic year; at the minimum I had to ensure that events did not clash but a bigger concern was to avoid event fatigue and to ensure that community service, academic, social, sports and cultural activities each had their turn (a broader perspective). These student leadership positions helped me grow not only as a leader, but more importantly, as a person, learning lessons of humility and empathy along the way. To take the theme of ‘learning’ one step further, my learning journey was not just limited to the local classroom. I have been on three International Programmes offered by USP so far, visiting Princeton in USA for an international relations conference, went to the Philippines to learn the practices of a NGO (Gawad Kalinga) and finally, Malaysia, to document the oral history and community assets of the New Villages. The trip to America taught me to speak up confidently against eloquent and intelligent competitors (mostly
from Ivy League schools) and helped an introvert like me to hold my own. My trip to the Philippines gave me a deep sense of gratitude and purpose: first, I realised that international development was the field that I hoped to work in upon graduation; second, I felt tremendously lucky for my life in Singapore, for the many opportunities and basic amenities I took for granted. The visit to Malaysia gave me a chance to do more in depth fieldwork that was simultaneously retrospective and prospective. Oral history provided a sense of where New Villages came from whereas community assets suggested where the New Villages could go. The friends that I have met on these trips have also become the constants in my university life, with the bunch of us reminiscing over our drawing of “USP” on a huge snow covered field in Princeton (ruining our shoes in the process) to debating over the (dis)advantages of volunteer tourism. All in all, I am grateful to the USP/USC for making my undergraduate life such an adventure and I hope its spirit of stimulating intellectual curiosity amongst students grows ever stronger.
PHOTOGRAPHER Baey Xiang Ling
My NUS Timeline - At a Glance AUTHOR Naveen Prakash PHOTOGRAPHER Augustin Chiam
hen I first landed in Singapore on July 28th 2011, I felt like a fish stranded on land because I did not know anyone from Singapore, nor have I had an extended period away from my family till that time. That would have had serious repercussions on my wellbeing had it not been for the familiar atmosphere in the place I value the most during my brief study in NUS – University Town. UTown provided me the unique opportunity to live among the Indian Community who had joined NUS that year (almost all of us on the 21st floor of the North Tower) through which all of us were able to adapt to our surroundings at our own pace. I, for one used this opportunity to wade through unexplored waters and decided not just to focus on my studies. Yes, grades and CAP meant a lot, but for me those were not to be the deciding factors of my life in NUS. The fact that I embraced the few volunteering opportunities for events organized by Graduate Students Society (GSS), gave me valuable support from the then Core committee during the GSS-AGM and I was elected as the Senior Director of Events committee in GSS 2011-2012 committee. Throughout the year, we were able to not only organize many events for the graduate community in NUS but also 48
be part of valuable personality development activities which fairly toned our leadership and team-bonding skills. We were also able to muster bonds over time which will be etched in our memories throughout our lives! My decision to take care of my daily living on my own, so as not to trouble my parents who were paying both my school and hostel fees, opened the window for me to take up part-time job opportunities in NUS Alumni House and also as University Town Ambassador. I loved my job as the student ambassador at the Alumni House, where I enjoyed the working atmosphere and also got to meet high-profile personalities through various events held there. My passion for University Town helped me in my job as a tour guide for ambassadors and professors from various countries and universities to show them the unique features within University Town! I loved the place so much that I was reluctant to go back to India during the semester break in December. The classes, projects and assignments took a significant toll on my time but I was never deterred from what I wanted to achieve in NUS. Now that I was familiar with my surround-
a Resident Assistant involved handling crisis, shuffling work schedules along with vital planning skills. I couldn’t help but realize that even though I barely scrapped through my Masters Course in NUS with a CAP of 3.0, the skills that I was able to absorb through my CCAs (if you may call it that) went a long way in helping me impress my employer and I am currently the Production Engineer at Micron Semiconductors Asia Ltd.
ings, it was time I passed it on. I joined the i.CARE network from OSA through which we were able to assist the international students who had just arrived to blend into Singaporean culture and to get to know NUS and their surroundings better. A series of events were organised ranging from tours to games, finally culminating with a Cultural Fest attended by throngs of exchange students. I was also selected as a Resident Assistant (RA) at the University Town Residence. I had was so much fun with my Fellow RAs and Resident Advisors organizing events from microwave cooking competitions to excursions and Frisbee nights. Being
Well, when you have read through my article, you would kind of say that I would be been better off utilizing my writing skills at NUS. Actually I did! Throughout my 1.5 years of studies in NUS, I was one of the sports writers in ‘The Ridge’ Magazine of NUS which I would like to thank for giving me one last shout-out as a NUS Student! I always will thank God for letting me be a part of NUS which will always be my Alma Matter and I will surely return the favour as an Alumni in due course! Naveen Prakash M.Sc - Electrical Engineering (FoE) 2011 – 2012 Batch
UniLuncher ver since its inception in Feb 2013, the lunch meet-up platform, UniLuncher (formerly JustLunch) started by Nur Hakeem, a third year Statistics Major in, has made waves in the local media. Through their lunch arrangements and study meet-ups, they have made reasonably huge steps towards forming closer bonds within the varsity community.
“Uniluncher is a great way to meet new people with common interests. And it’s like pressing the “I’m Feeling Lucky” on the Google homepage. Search term: Engrossing conversation and perhaps a life-long friend.”
More importantly though, they take pride in the fact that they have made advancements towards enhancing the social community via increasing the opportunities for socializing. More than a hundred connections have been made over the past semester; connections that otherwise would not have happened.
Yen Lin NUS Year 4 English Lit Major, UniLuncher
This is what some NUS students think of UniLuncher.
“UniLuncher finally sees the light of day in it’s new revamped uniform. I met the person who has spearheaded this entire operation, Hakeem, simply by breaking the ice about a topic that existed in our surroundings at the time. We passed the time until we parted ways and have gradually gotten to know each other after that incident. I’d like to think I’ve made a friend. Strong relationships are built on a healthy foundation of spontaneity and most importantly, a common interest or advocation. UniLuncher urges individuals to break out of their comfort zone, explore new territory and interact with Singapore’s finest. Set a date, meet a new mate. It’s a piece of cake. I support the initiative 100%.” Roshan Gidwani NUS Undergraduate and Class 95 DJ. UniLuncher
“UniLuncher provides a great platform for alumni and others alike to meet someone new over a good meal. Some catching up, reminiscing good and bad times or even who knows...meeting a lifelong buddy or bestie.” Sheikh Muhammad Ally Smoking Marshalls, NUS Life Science, UniLuncher Hakeem adds “If you happen to be one who believes that the magic only ever happens once you’ve pushed past your comfort zones, and if you’re always in search of new experiences, new ideas and new perspectives on things, then joining the UniLuncher community is going to be a decision you’re glad you’d have made.” The idea, according to Hakeem, is based on the fact that the NUS community is filled with a vast diversity of people from all walks of life.
To take the plunge, check us out at www.facebook.com/uniluncher.sg
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