2017 Quarterly Report I

Wah. Really in a blink of an eye 3 months can pass just like that.

So what have I been doing?

In January I went on a trip to Cebu with my JC class. For only 1018 dollars I managed to get a diving license (although the license has yet to arrive after two months). It was a very good 9-day (or was it 8 days?) trip where I had nice food and got to try foods like Balut.

Diving was a really good experience and I want to go again, I will probably want to invest in a mask with prescription though because I couldn’t see shit until the sardine run dive.

I realised that traveling with a big group is not easy because different people have different wants. Nonetheless, the trip went relatively smoothly and I felt that I got closer with a few people.

On January 23 I started the internship at iGlobe. I think there is room for me to do more work. This week will be the 2-month mark at iGlobe. I have been fortunate enough to be able to sit in for many meetings with investees and am learning a lot about different startups.

I am currently working on a form letterer for iGlobe. Unfortunately, I predict that the uptake will be quite minimal. I’m not sure. Have to make it as easy to use as possible because the biggest obstacle to adoption is simply user laziness. Update 31st March Finished building the app and I may write a post about it. We’ll see. I’m the only one using it now

In February, I started on Andrew Ng’s Machine Learning MOOC. Have finished about 3/4th of it right now, and aim to revisit it soon…

March was scholarship season and I have put the MOOCs on hold. I plan to resume in April.

Scholarship overview

Current progress:

MAS Scholarship

I went for the first round of the MAS scholarship where we were tasked to write an essay about the two things I would change about Singapore and why. Then I had to take a psychometric test which was easy-peasy.

I have just came back from the second round of interview from MAS. I’m not sure if I will hear back from them. (Update 30 Mar: I did, third round is on Monday, 3 Apr)

Before the interview, I got to talk with a HR rep, Henry. Henry said that there were about 600+ applicants this year. They chose 150 for the first round. Out of those 100, 30-40 are in this secondround. When the fourth round begins, there are about eight candidatesand they will finally award the scholarship to 4-6 candidates.

He confirmed that some years MAS does award 0 or 1 scholarships and in the distant past, more than 10 years ago, they awarded 10+ scholarships. The range nowadays is 4-6 though.

It is evidently a very selective process. Even now, I have only a 10%of getting the scholarship if we look at the numbers.

When the interviewers asked if I had any questions for them I asked for their feedback on my preformance and what I could do to improve. They were quite taken aback by this question and one person commented that I was the first to ask them that.

One interviewer said that she liked my candour because when they first asked me why MAS I just said that if I don’t get a scholarship I can’t go to Oxford.

Two interviewers commented that in the future I should come prepared with an example of an MAS policy and be ready to defend it.

The HR person said that my mind spin too fast and my mouth cannot catch up. Sometimes I will leave the thread of one argument hanging and jump to the next one. And spoke too fast.

These were the suggestions they had for improvement. I will definitely prepare more for future interviews.

One of them did say it’s obvious that I have a bright future and to keep in touch even if I don’t get the scholarship. (He quickly clarified that this does not impute anything about whether I had gotten the scholarship). But I’m pretty sure that this is something they say to every single candidate.

All in all, I think I made a pretty unique impression (whether it was a good impression is something else entirely). It could have gone better. It was a long interview though, one hour long, and my legs were shaking at the end of it.

JTC scholarship: short and perfunctory

JTC scholarship interview was a group interview with 3 members of HR. They asked us rather silly questions like “what do you think of cyberbullying” and I was like diao… come and ask this kind of question…

I thought it was quite funny when they asked us what scholarship we are applying for/ what scholarships we want to apply for and all of us basically just listed out macam shopping list like that.

They rejected me very swiftly—the evening of the interview, in fact—and at the risk of sounding sour grapes, I don’t think JTC would have been right for me, either. So no great loss there.

It didn’t take much courage but I was able to get numbers of my fellow scholarship applicants, Jerry, Engracia and Jazreel.

I don’t want to talk about this right now but I think there is a fine line between pushing and jioing. It’s important to walk this line right and sometimes it may be easy to overstep.

CAAS scholarship

Met Bryce at the CAAS scholarship. CAAS scholarship was pretty fun, I liked it a lot. We weretasked to roleplay as civil servants of CAAS and there were two parts. First part was a debate on proposed legislature regulating drones and the other part was

GIC

On the 28th of March I went for the GIC interview. It was great that Mrs Hauw introduced me to Phionna who was able to allay somewhat my anxiety regarding the interview. I was interviewed by two people who were Yen Chen and… someone else I unfortunately forgot the name of.

They asked me why I chose PPE given my interest in tech, about my work in iGlobe and similar questions.

They also asked me three rather pointed questions. First, they asked to tell them about the greatest risk I have ever taken, to which I answered my choice to take ELL instead of Econs inJ1. Then they asked me about a time where I failed and I told them about my NS experience. Lastly, they asked what my greatest weakness was (I joked with them that my greatest weakness is that I’m too long winded, interviewers always tell me to hurry up) and I answered that I can be too blunt and I can be too honest. I volunteered my Malay Special Program experience

The common comment was that they really appreciated my candiness/candour but they were still uncertain whether i was 100% into the job itself. At MAS they were worried about whether I would be able to do the drudgery and at GIC they said that the work at iGlobe doesn’t necessarily reflect the work I will be doing at GIC, which will be more spreadsheets and stuff and less startups.

Other stuff

Marc has really changed a lot after going for his internship. Among other things he has taught me about the importance of being assertive and charismatic. We made a promise to each other to seize oppportunities for daygame, really talk to other people, I have been trying to do so but not entirely successfully. I did miss out yesterday at the gym, there was a pretty girl and I didn’t get to talk to her although I wanted to.

I have been making some gains in the gym but it’s predominately bench gains because God knows it’s the only lift I program properly… it’s harder to progress with

I’m glad that plans for going on a trip with the 6 offenders are finally in the works. We have bought the tickets and Nauxiy and I have planned a more-or-less fixed itinerary.

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