Thursday, July 31, 2014

The MetroDBITan student series: Issue #034 - Elliot Chu

Yo folks!

I do apologise for the lack of activity on our blog this month as I have been very sickly for the last few weeks.  Health is getting better now, so I hope I can be more active again and share with you more updates about the happenings in the DBIT course and have more features on our lovely DBIT students :)

To start off the wave of updates to come, I have interviewed our Year 1 student, Elliot Chu!

When I first approached Elliot for the interview, he was surprised and asked me, "Why did you decide to feature me, Ms Dora?".  If you have the same question on your mind, here's the answer.  I chose to feature him because I want to share with you some good news about him. Elliot has made our DBIT course and his parents very proud by being awarded with the IDA Integrated Infocomm Scholarship (IIS)! Congrats Elliot on your achievement! :)

Besides doing himself, his parents and us proud, Ellio has definitely brought much pride to his alma mater as well. Elliot is an alumni from Holy Innocents.  In fact, he spent a total of 10 years with Holy Innocents as his primary school is Holy Innocents Primary School while his secondary school is Holy Innocents High!

How was his Primary School days like?

Elliot recalls that his days in  Holy Innocents’ Primary School was very smooth sailing as he did well in his studies then.  Well, almost all.  His only concern then was Chinese Language, as his results for the subject were below average.

Badminton was one of his favorite sports back then. He often stayed back to play badminton with a small clique of 4 other friends who also enjoyed the game like him.

For CCA, he joined surprise, the IT Club! His duties include setting up the National Anthem and School Song for morning assemblies and handling IT related matters during school events. The club also taught him simple robotics and he was about Primary 5 when he started participating in various competitions.

How was his Secondary School days like?

Elliot shared that his secondary school life was one of the toughest times of his life. For the first two years, he was a “Follow the Flow” type of person. Having passing grades were of no concern to him and he only tried when he had no choice but to do so.

However, towards the start of his third year, things started to look gloomy for him.  Separated from his Secondary 1 and 2 classmates and put into a new class, he had to make new friends.  He was one of the worst performing students in his class.  He could hardly absorb what was taught in class, and did not bother to study or prepare for lessons.  He often relied on his classmates sitting beside him to help him with his schoolwork.

Fortunately, Elliot had teachers who were very passionate and never gave up on him.  His teachers got him to stay back in school for remedial lessons. Slowly, he started to show signs of improvements which made him feel good.  His friends and teachers gave him constant encouragement, and by the time he was due to take the GCE O Level exams, his grades had improved to a level that was above average!

In fact, he did very well for his 'O' level exams. Not only did he qualify to get into SP with his good results, he also managed to secure a scholarship -- the prestigious IIS (Integrated Infocomm Scholarship) awarded by IDA.

Why did he choose the Diploma in Business Information Technology course?

Here's Elliot's answer:

"Most people would say it's because it has both Business and IT in it.  This answer is very similar to mine. However, I want to add that I joined because I want to learn more about how IT can help a business as it is now a growing trend for most businesses. I want to be well-versed in this field so that I can step into the working world well-prepared."

How did he feel when he knew he was awarded the IDA scholarship?

"Elated. I never expected that I would be able to secure the scholarship as I did not get perfect grades. The whole process of applying, being shortlisted and going for the interviews for this scholarship was definitely an eye opener for me, even if I was not awarded, or so I thought. Being awarded the IIS Scholarship made me feel like I have chalked up some sort of achievement."

What are his likes?

One of Elliot's hobbies is to collect soft toys. He has all kinds of soft toys, below is a photo of some of them!

He also enjoys watching detective movies as he finds it very thrilling to see how a criminal first manages to escape and then finally get caught with the brilliant investigative work done by the detective.

What are his plans after he graduates from SP?

Elliot had this to say

"National Service. Guys can’t escape this conscription, so after SP would definitely be NS."

"However, I plan to take on some part-time work before I am enlisted into NS. I would want to also grab the opportunity to hang out as much as my friends then, as I anticipate I would have lesser chances to do so after that."

What is his ambition in life?

Elliot admitted this is a tough question for him at this moment as he does not have a definite answer in his mind now. However, he does know that he would like to put the knowledge he will be gaining throughout the three years in SP to work.  So he would like to be working in careers that will allow him to apply this knowledge.

Which person(s) in IT Industry does he respect the most?

"Definitely the founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin!"

"Google has become an important part of our lives. To search, find or explore something, we all Google it. So how can I not highly respect these two individuals who made our lives much simpler and convenient?"

What are the IT professions he would like to work in?
To my pleasant surprise, Elliot gave an affirmative answer to this question which often stump students of his age.  He shared that he would like to work in the area of Business Analytics.

Elliot feels that Business Analytics professionals are important assets to any company.  Business Analytics Professionals play an important role in a business's decision-making process and they are trained to help to analyse digital data related to the company and make recommendations to the company on how they can improve in areas such as their sales, operations or reputation. He feels that this job of studying data, and creating useful outputs out of the data analysis that can help a business thrive in the competitive environment, is a very thrilling one.

How would he describe himself in four simple words?
Elliot thinks that these four words are a good representation of what he is:
  • Understanding
  • Cheerful
  • Procrastinator
  • Shy
Elliot admits that he tends to avoid starting and holding conversations with people he does not know, as he finds it quite awkward. When he is with his friend who is with another friend, he tends to stand back and let them talk. However, he does hope that he can slowly overcome his shyness and become more open to making new friends and taking more initiatives in talking to others who are new to him.

What are some things that inspire or fascinate him?

Elliot shares that he is fascinated and inspired by three things:

  • Money
  • Computers
  • Google
Source of image

Money is a mysterious thing which constantly baffles him.  He muses over why two things that are both made of the same material have totally different valuations by people:  A polymer dollar note versus a plastic bag from the supermarket for instance.  The first plastic is highly treasured by people around the world and can be used to exchange for valuable goods.  The second one has little 'status' and often gets discarded away.

He also ponders how a small piece of plastic is now able to control the lives of so many.

"Money inspires me in the most funny ways and reminds me that any small thing may amount to something big!"

The power of computers is constant source of fascination for Elliot.

Elliot shares how he is awed by the ability of computers to make tasks so much easier for people.

"In the past, records were kept in physical file folders.  Now, people store their files in cloud storage or portable devices like SD-cards or thumb-drives without having to lug around the information they need in bulky and weighty file folders."

"I am also glad that we don't have to write our reports with pen and paper nowadays! Preparing documents on the computer is so easy because we can make unlimited edits no matter how many mistakes we make. In the past, we would have to make many messy cancellations on the paper whenever we write something wrongly."

Finally, he is really thankful for the invention of search engines like Google. With Google, he can search for anything to get immediate answers

"I am really impressed by the work culture in Google.  How many companies provide slides in the office for their employees to relax!  To me, Google is not a workplace but a gathering of creative people putting things together and produce amazing products."

What is one memorable experience of an overseas trip he has been before?

"One memorable experience for me would be my trip to North America.  I went to both Canada and USA but I prefer Canada over the States.  The weather in Canada was very pleasant compared to Singapore where the heat can kill.  Also, the people in Canada are very friendly and one can expect excellent service in any of their restaurants. The waiters are very attentive to the customers' every need. I find that they really care for the customers and would go the extra mile just to give the customers a good time."

Some photos of him on his overseas trip are here below!

What are his favorite modules in SP so far?

Elliot shares that in this semester, he enjoys Web Client Development the most.  Other modules which he likes are Accounting and Social Media Marketing.

Web Client Development is a very enjoyable module for him as it involves the designing of websites which he finds very fun. Elliot shares that after taking this module, he can better appreciate the hard work that web designers go through in order to create their websites. The module also taught him coding which he had never learnt before.  As a result, he can relate to some of the programming jokes online! ;)

He treasures the opportunity to be able to take Accounting in this hybrid course. If he would to take a pure IT course, he would not have the chance to be able to study Accounting which is one of the fundamental modules in any Business course. That will allow him to have the option to choose either an IT course or a Business course when he pursues university studies in future.

Social Media Marketing was an eye-opener for him because he had the opportunity to run a social media marketing campaign with a real company as well as the opportunity to do research into case-studies of the Facebook Pages of real-life companies to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses.  Not many 16 or 17 years olds get to go through this kind of challenging but fun experience!

What are one important tip that he would like to share with students who are thinking of joining a polytechnic course?

Here's his advice:

"Learn how to manage your time!"

"In poly, time management is very important as there is many projects and assignments to hand up."

"Thus, finding the time for everything, including rest and personal time is of great importance, otherwise the stress might affect your health".

"The other tip I have, would be to have trust in your capabilities and keep trying things that you are afraid of!"

What does he enjoy about SP most?

"Definitely, the friends I made there! They are really great friends, helping one another in need without hesitation. Also they do take the trouble to ask or hear you out if having any problems. They do not judge one another and there is no special treatment given. Except if they are playing around!"

Elliot feels that his happiest moments are those times when he is with his classmates as he feels that they are truly great and helpful people, not to mention fun-loving too!

Is he currently attached? What sort of partner would he like to be with?
No. Someone fun to be with who would joke with me all day!

More photos of Elliot here!

Friday, June 27, 2014

The MetroDBITan student series: Issue #033 - Yvonne Chia

We have such a gorgeous and sweetie-pie for our cover girl in this issue of MetroDBITan! Meet Yvonne Chia, who is a DBIT Year 1 student who just started her first semester of polytechnic studies with SP in April this year!

Though it's just a short two months of work, Yvonne has made many good friends at polytechnic and has accomplished and learnt a lot in her studies as you can see in the blog entry below.

Check out her interesting stories about her primary school, secondary school days as well!

Share stories and photos about your school days in primary school

I was a student from De La Salle Primary School.

A very cute-looking Yvonne in her primary school uniform

During my primary school days, all I can remember was I like to collect as many letters as possible from my friends. Until now, I have this habit of keeping letters as I like to reminisce of my past events regardless of upset or happy moments I had.

Yvonne's collection of letters
I did not join any CCAs at that point of time as I show no interest in anything. So I would rather spend my time watching TV and playing computer games at home.

When I was young, my favorite subjects were Chinese and Mathematics. Throughout the entire 6 years spent in my primary school, all I did well at was Mother Tongue. I can recall when I was in Primary 5, my Mother Tongue teacher selected me together with one of my friends to take part in a story-telling competition. We were to compete with the students from the same level as us. Unfortunately, we did not win the competition as our competitors had performed so much better than us. Nevertheless, the teacher-in-charge decided to give us a certificate in appreciation for our participation as well as to the rest of the participants who were not qualified for the top few winners.

Certificate of Appreciation for
her participation in the
Chinese Story-telling Competition

Tell us more about your life in secondary school

I enrolled into Chu Chua Kang Secondary School at the year of 2008 and graduated at the year of 2013. I am proud to become a part of CCKS family members for those good five years.

Secondary school Collage 1

Secondary school Collage 2

It was the place where I started to learn how to adapt to changes and got to meet different people from different kinds of environments.

The teachers there are very helpful, thoughtful and supportive. They were the ones who influenced me to become more mature in  thinking and taught me a lot of life values which would benefit me and prepare me for the future.  My favorite subjects then were Humanities, Mathematics, Physics and Chinese.

I spent my five years there with Choir as my main CCA.

As I constantly showed commitment and was very active in this CCA, my conductor, Mr Marcus Lee together with my seniors selected me to become the sectional leader when I was in Secondary 2. This enabled me to gain confidence, become more mature and started to lead others.  It also trained me to become a responsible individual.

In the 2011 Singapore Youth Festival (SYF), we sang our hearts out and clinched the Silver Award with 3 songs. In addition, my school’s choir has been invited to perform in various school events every year, such as the Annual Speech Day, National Day, Teacher’s Day and our school’s 20 Anniversary Celebrations.

I realized I finally found my interest after joining this cca. I enjoyed every CCA session as I feel that CCA is a way for me to relieve stress and being able to put aside schoolwork. I have met such a sweet bunch of juniors and friends in choir. They were the ones who brought so much joy and laughter into my secondary school life. I always looked forward to every CCA session so that I could spend time fooling around with them. Needless to say, I really miss Choir, my conductor and my juniors a lot.

I also participated in all the annual cross-country events which were organized by the school and managed to clinched the Top 50 Finisher award.

The numerous medals Yvonne won
for her wins in the cross-country
competitions in her school

Share some memorable moments of your teenage years with photos if available

Those are the people whom I spent my teenage years with. I consider them as my very good friends.

When I was in secondary school, I always like to take a lot of trash photos in class during recess time. I miss those moments having to take so many fun shots with my friends.

Last year, I celebrated Christmas with my friends at Irish Obama Pub. It was my virgin experience to go there as my parents seldom allow me to hang out until midnight. It was a great night spent as everybody was in high spirits.

Before our poly started, my friends managed to organize a trip to Singapore Quarry whereby we had to march our way down from Chu Chua Kang all the way to Bukit Timah. Even though we were a little weary after our long journey, all of us managed to encourage and motivate one another to reach to our destination. It was yet another enriching and an eye opening experience.


Another outing with the same group of people to Palawan Beach and spend the entire day over there having fun catching up with one another. We also make use of this opportunity to bring along one of our wheel-chair bound classmate to the beach. All of us took very good care of her and we were enjoying ourselves a lot.


Why did you choose DBIT course?
DBIT is a course that has a mixture of Business and IT.

I chose DBIT because it interests me and also, I feel that a business related course provides me with more chance of employability. Another reason why I chose this course is also because I was influenced by my sister.  She is a graduate from  DBIT!

Share your likes and dislikes

My hobbies are to read and to adapt meaningful quotes which motivate me to think positively. My favourite website that I visit frequently will be

Meaningful quotations

I am obsessed with the colour of PINK!

My likes

  • I like miniature toy sets as I find them very amusing.
  • I enjoy playing sports such as badminton, floorball and Frisbee. I also have a passion for running.
  • I like doodling and drawing random stuff. I like watching documentary on youtube channels.

My dislikes

  • I dislike reading books as I did not keep a good habit of reading since I was young.
  • I dislike being forced to do things which is not in my favour.

Favourite movies, music, food

I don’t really have a specific movies that I like as I seldom watch them. However, if I were to choose, I will prefer horror and romance movies. I find horror movies very thrilling and the reason is simply because it will keep me awake inside the cinema with the eerie sound effect.

I prefer music which sounds soothing and relaxing instead of rock music.

I love seafood and spicy food. I cannot imagine living my life without having to eat chili.

What do you plan to do after graduation from SP?

After graduation from SP, I plan to continue my studies to get a master degree in the hope of getting a scholarship.

While studying, I will seek a job that is suitable for my qualification and get a good salary that can fulfill my needs.

I want to earn enough money to help my parents so that I could lessen their burden.

What is your ambition in life?

My ambition in life is to live a long and happy life.

Share an event which is memorable to you.

Here's a happy moment that is very memorable to me.

My Sis’s 21st birthday celebration held at National Service Resort and Country Club. She invited all of our relatives and her friends. Almost everyone on the guest list managed to turn up on that day making the birthday celebration a successful one.

That day, we gathered all of our classmates and respective teachers together and had a class BBQ party. It was a memorable day spend catching up with all of them.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I would say I am a hard-working and goal-oriented person . My weaknesses is that I am easily paranoid and I can get quite sensitive.

I  am someone who thinks about the future, makes plans ahead, and work towards them to achieve certain things that I want in life. I will set a time table for myself to make sure I go according to my plans so that I will not lag behind time. I am aware of what I am doing. Thus, making sure that I will end up achieving the results that I want.

Three things or people that inspire you

Mr Melvin Kong, our school’s discipline master who was once my English teacher. He helped us to see the importance of tackling problems at the source and other valuable life skills which can be used later in life. From time to time, he offered students with moral support and provided us with advice. He had never once given up on students and would always try his best to reach out to students who are in need of help. His sharing of his personal experiences has inspired and touched our hearts. I have since developed a better understanding of the meaning of life.

Nick Vujicic
Another person that has always inspired me is Nick Vujicic. I am especially touched by him who is missing an arms, limbs and legs, yet use everything else he has to become the best as what he can do. His perseverance, determination and his attitude towards his condition has touched my heart. He has proven to us that he is able to live his life doing anything that we think are impossible. Hence, encouraging us not to give up and overcome our own challenges and obstacles.

Lizzie Velasquez, a 24-year old Texan, once made headlines as the world’s “ugliest” women, but she’s not going to let anything or anyone gets in her way. Lizzie managed to overcome some of the nasty comments that people say about her. She has a way to cope with all the obstacles that she was facing since she was young. She is very resilient and always see things on the bright side. I am inspired by her attitude and the way of how she overcome her difficulties despite getting nasty comments from so many of them.

What are your favourite modules in SP? Why?

My favourite module in SP will be Social Media Marketing and Digital Media for Business.

Social Media Marketing is a module that provides me with a lot of opportunities to reach out to various business aspects. Through this module, I met the Director and boss of a company in real life and had the opportunity to discuss how we can help improve their business. This opportunity does not come to me very often as it is very rare that a particular company chose to trust us that we can do something to help promote their company without having any past experiences. Through this module, I learnt some valuable lesson such as being serious and not taking things lightly when it comes to business.

Another module which I like will be Digital Media for Business. It gives on hands-on experience and I feel that this module is not too dry compared to those that require theory work. This module taught me how to create our own posters and also grades us based on our creativity. I feel this module is very attractive and interesting as we are able to come out with our own ideas on how to create a short video clip.

What are you hoping to learn in Year 2 and Year 3?

In year 2 and year 3, I hope to learn some intermediate skills such as Business Planning. I hope I will learn more about Interaction and Visual design so that it can train us to become good designer. In year 3, I hope to learn more about the Fundamental of Economics and also prepare us to go for Internship.

Share your experience and tips about transiting from secondary school to poly

Signing up for freshman orientation camp can be a good way to kick-start your poly life.  It is where you start to make new friends, and get to know seniors that are in the same course as you.

It is good to know some seniors when you have trouble coping with your studies. The seniors have gone through things that we have not. I believe they are willing to be there to guide you since they have more experience than us.

Do you have best / good friends in SP?

I do have good friends in SP as seen in the picture below. We were from the same secondary school and coincidently, all of us except for one of them managed to enroll into Singapore Polytechnic. Even though we seldom see each other when we were in school (SP), but we will definitely forge out some precious time to hang out with one another as a group. There was a period of time before O level, we used to play badminton together as a form of exercising.

My current class 1A/02 is one of th the most united ones that I have ever had. I feel rather fortunate and blessed to meet all of them.

They are willing to share, give and teach, they are not selfish.  They took each other’s unglam and then they laugh, they don’t have the intention of bullying. They would stand by each other, they would motivate one another and work hard together to achieve success. I am so proud of this class that look after one another and be there when we are in need of help. A lot of times, I forget to tell them how much I really do appreciate them for being an important part of my life. So thank you all of you, just being here for me.

1A/02 Group Photos 1

1A/02 Group Photos 2

Please share some of your school projects you have completed

Digital Media for Business / Social Media Marketing posters

Web Client Development (WCD) project

Please share more random photos of yourself! :)