Monday, May 25, 2015

The MetroDBITan student series : Issue #044 - Xavier Goh Zheng Yang

Hello DBIT peeps!

Thanks for supporting our 44th issue of MetroDBITan! ^.^

In this edition, we are interviewing Xavier Goh Zheng Yang, our DBIT Year 2 student from class 2A03. If you are/ were a fan of Maplestory, you should get to know Xavier because he is a really an authority on this game! Read on to find out more about his obsession with the game back in his secondary days and how he made a tidy sum from it back then! :)
Xavier Goh from DBIT 2A/03

Please tell us more about yourself!

My real name is Zheng Yang, but I always prefer others to call me Xavier because English names are usually easier to remember. I chose the name Xavier because it is unique as compared to most other names out there. There are the least number of words in the dictionary that begin with the letter ‘X’, which makes ‘Xavier’ in a sense unique.

I was born in 1996, on the 15th of May. In the Chinese Zodiac, I belong to the sign of the Rat and in the Horoscope, I am a Taurus. However, I am not a superstitious person so I don’t really believe in such. Alright, enough about my birth, I think I should talk more about my contemporary self.

I am 174cm tall but weighing only roughly 51kg with a BMI of about 16+ thanks to my insane metabolism. I am underweight, and have been underweight for most of my life but as of this year (2015) I am trying to change that by hitting the gym regularly and taking mass gainers. Progress is slow but hey, progress is still progress.

How would you celebrate your birthday this year / how did you celebrate it? What is your most memorable birthday throughout your life?

I don’t know, it will most probably go by like any other day. My 19th birthday isn’t any special occasion, although I might plan something special on my 21st. Perhaps I will go out with my classmates/friends, or simply celebrate it with my family at home with cake. If anyone wishes to surprise me, please do. HAHAHA.

My most memorable birthday was probably last year when my whole class sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to me along with my Accounting lecturer, Ms. Annie Cheung halfway through her tutorial. Later that day, my other friends tried to get me drunk as a sort of ‘adulthood trial’ as 18 is the legal age to drink. I tried to be a good sport and downed a dozen shots of Black Label, and can’t really remember anything after that…

Do a personality test at http://www.16personalities.comWhat is your real personality
versus the analysis that the website gave you?

The personality test states that I am a logician, and one with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge.

I do attest that I am quite the logician, being someone who analyses problems/situations in extremely in-depth manners while at the same time keeping potential solutions rooted in my mind. These ‘potential solutions’ will later be pieced together, and carried out when I feel that it is enough to successfully work. I am by no means a perfectionist, and I tend to stop whenever my objectives have been carried out. Processes are meaningless, only results matter.

However, I am rather apprehensive about the results of this test because I don’t actually have an ‘unquenchable’ thirst for knowledge.

Knowledge is power,
Power is pain;
If you don’t understand,
I can explain.

I do desire knowledge at times, but only knowledge that is ‘fun’, relevant, important or necessary. Gaining knowledge can be a tiring process, because it stimulates the brain to think and condition itself to store more information, which is why many students tend to tire out at the end of a lecture.

What are 2 traits you like about yourself? Why?

Amongst the sea of traits that I have, the two that I like most about myself are that I am both ambitious and tenacious. Ambition to make me set my sights on goals that the average man would never believe himself to be capable of, and tenacity to allow me to remain undaunted in the face of obstacle and adversary.

I like these two traits the most because they are what turns my dreams into realities. One sets me on a long and arduous path, and the other provides me the strength to journey the asphalt ahead. These two traits are complements of each other, like a sword and shield.

My ambitious personality often make me set goals that stretch me to my fullest potential during projects. I tend to do things out of the ordinary which I feel can really impress my tutors instead of looking at assignment rubrics or going with the flow to assure myself a decent grade. At times, I may face uncertainties but my tenacity would always make me grit my teeth and work my way through. People learn best by exploring beyond their horizons or what is given to them.

Tell us more about your Primary School days!

I was from Tampines North Primary School. My Primary School days were not really exciting, because I was more of an introvert back in my younger days, often wishing that time would pass by faster to return to the comfort of my home.

Back then, I often did relatively well for my English and Mathematics but failed my Mother Tongue and Mathematics constantly.

I liked Science because Primary School Science was very simple and easy-to-learn. My love for Science can also be attributed to my teacher, who was a very fun person, although she had an extremely fiery temper whenever I forgot to do her homework.

On the other hand, I totally hated Mother Tongue. Not only was it boring, Mother Tongue was difficult as compared to English because I simply couldn’t memorise the different characters in the language. English had only 26 alphabets, and the only difficulty I faced was vocabulary. While I could speak fluent Chinese in class, I struggled to even write or read a single sentence when asked to by my teacher.

Tell us more about your Secondary school days!

I went to Tampines Secondary School after graduating from PSLE, and entered the Normal Academic stream with an aggregate of 169.

While my poor grasp of the Chinese continued to follow me throughout Secondary School [I am a CLB (Chinese Language Basic) student], I started picking up on my Mathematics, and did relatively better in my studies during this phase. In fact, Mathematics eventually became one of my strongest subjects during my O Levels, both Elementary and Additional Mathematics. My favourite Maths topic was Calculus/Kinematics.

During Secondary School, I had a new subject which I hated, and that was Art. My other classmates all seemed to have a natural talent for drawing and painting, while I struggled constantly with getting things right. Despite spending several months on my O Level Art prepatory work, I still failed it with a grade of D7.

This was one of my ‘best’ drawings.

This is the only picture of myself in my uniform that I could find. Apparently I didn’t really take many photos back in Secondary School. 

Share your likes and dislikes

One funny thing I should mention is that I like flavoured Kit-Kat. There is a wide assortment of Kit-Kat flavours out there, and my dream is to one day finish trying every single one of them. My favourite flavour so far is Melon. I only had it once when my sister went to Hokkaido, and have been hoping to try one again since.

I like to do a variety of things in my free time, ranging from writing Literature, watching movies, stalking my friends on Facebook/Instagram, playing games (used to, not so much now) to simply dozing off.

Some of my favourite movies are X-Men: Days of Future Past and Frozen.

Share an event which is memorable to you

The most memorable period of my life would be my adventures playing MapleStory from 2011 to 2014. To any normal person, I may sound like a nerd or someone high on drugs, but in truth it really was the most memorable period of my life.

My whole experience with MapleStory involved meeting up with many friends/acquaintances online (who are some of my closest friends today) and the exchanging of hands over hundreds of thousands of real life currency.

Although I started playing MapleStory when I was Primary 4, I played it in a more ‘leisure’ kind of way and quit/rejoined the game quite frequently.

I played in the Delphinus/Eridanus/Izar server. It was only in 2011 when I started ‘taking the game more seriously’ (Pardon my lack of a better phrasing). I was Secondary 3 at that time, and even at that age I spent quite a sum on the game, pumping almost the entirety of my daily allowance/Chinese New Year money on it. I would scrimp and save just to buy @-Cash (MapleStory real life currency) for the game. If my MapleStory gameplay was a business, this can be considered the ‘start-up phase’.

Things started getting slightly better a year later. I was 16 in 2012, and was able to apply for an iBanking token. Rather than just pumping money into the game, I could now earn some back by selling my existing in-game assets and purchase @-Cash at cheaper rates from online suppliers. 2012 was not a really good year for me, though. I was still losing money in the game until the later part of the year. Additionally, 2012 was my N Level year, and I failed to get into the PFP because I was focusing too much of my time into MapleStory.

June of 2012 was a time when the game’s economy was at its ‘peak’. I was earning hundreds or even thousands a week by simply reselling some newly released equipment because of the high demand for them, low supply, highly fluctuating prices and my very strong network of friends who would notify me of good deals (And I would give them a commission for every client they introduce to me). By October 2012, I had more or less broke even on every sum I pumped into the game. I was very happy and proud of myself at that time, but I was thrown out of this paradise on 17th December when I collected my N Level results. Another year in my secondary school…

2013 was probably my ‘golden age’. By 2013, I had several thousands at my disposal to further my ‘trading’ business in the game. Additionally, I became a reseller for @-Cash as well, transacting tens of thousands worth of codes every month to the market.

In fact, I became so busy during this phase that I had to bring my iBanking token to school every day so as to make transactions with the mBanking app. Juggling between my in-game business and studies was a total hell - Eating 1 to 2 meals a day and sleeping from 3 to 7 became my daily routine – Just to ensure that I did not forsake one thing for the other, and it was a very fruitful experience.

Although I was earning money from the game at this time, I did not see the game as a mere business. I still played it like a normal player did rather than just being a trader. In fact, I think I went insane with the game after my ‘O’ Levels ended. I became the top player for my character’s job sometime around November 2013.

However, my ‘success’ was quite short-lived, because a few months later, hackers started to ruin the economy. Items that were once worth thousands of SGD became worthless overnight, because they were able to duplicate and mass produce them. Even before that incident, hackers were already running rampant in the game, cheating in several other ways although not as impacting as duplication.

Although the hack was eventually patched by the game distributor, Asiasoft, they did not take the necessary action that was required for the stability of the game’s economy. In fact, they wiped out some of the in game data, including those of the innocent players. I lost thousands worth of items overnight, but that was nothing compared to my faith in the game’s stability.

Over months, the game’s economy started to go downhill. Even in markets with thousands of people, no one wanted to buy anything even at heavily discounted rates. I quit the game that day, along with most of my friends. I guess this was a form of release for me, because after Polytechnic started I became more focused on my studies.

Even though the game’s economy has recovered since, I don’t think I will ever return because I simply do not have the time. What has happened before will happen again, and my faith in Asiasoft has already been lost, never to return.

Today, I am still an @-Cash reseller, although I hardly ever get transactions now due to the competitive rates other suppliers are offering the market.

I do not ever regret embarking on this ‘dark path’, because other than having earned a rather decent sum of money from it, I also met many new friends and have greatly changed as a person.

P.S. Ms Dora was the one who requested for me to talk about my MapleStory journey.

Share three favourite outfits!

Burberry Brit Black Polo

Going Black

Going Black 1

Going Black 2

Full Uniqlo Outfit

Three people that you want to thank or shout out to

Since my classmates are probably the only ones that will be viewing this, I guess I will simply elect three closest classmates of mine.

Liaw Zi Jie

Although we only started getting along better during the second semester of Year One, we hit it off really well, sharing extremely similar perspectives and views on life and other non-philosophical matters. Probably the closest person to me that I have met in Polytechnic, and someone I think I can fully trust.

Lee Jia Quan

Me, Zi Jie and Jia Quan can be said to be a trio, for we are often seen hanging out together, eating together, working on projects together and fooling around together. One day we shall start a boy band together.

Lim Rui Hui

The third person would probably have been a guy, but I think I should let a female have a chance on this spot. I still remember when I first saw her, I thought that she was a very demure girl. Although violent at times, she is still a very nice person to make fun of and work with. HAHAHA.

Why did you choose DBIT course?

It was a result of circumstances. DBIT was my seventh choice. A disappointing outcome, but nonetheless expected.

My first few choices comprised mainly of Science and Business courses, and following up were the IT courses. I picked DBIT because it wasn't just about IT. It consisted of a few other business modules which somewhat aroused my interest.

What do you like about DBIT course?
What would you want to improve about the DBIT course?

I like how the course integrates both Business and Technology into one by offering a mix of modules that are related to both of the aforementioned subjects, but I feel that this is a double-edged sword.

Having knowledge in different subjects may make you more versatile, but at the same time it means that you will not be as well-versed in each of them as compared to other pure Business or Technology diploma students. Basically, DBIT makes you a jack of all trades, and master of none.

I think that the course can be improved by having more focus towards one side of the coin, by reducing the amount of IT modules and adding more business modules or vice versa.  

What do you plan to do after graduation from SP?

Firstly, I will buy a few pens and three calenders, for the years of 2017 to 2019.

Then, I will await my National Service letter and slowly count my days to ORD.

HAHAHA just kidding.

Actually, I don't really have a definite answer to that, because it all completely depends on how I fare for the next two years. Most probably I will make a few investments to earn some capital before starting out on a business venture unless I manage to secure a space in a Business course in a local university.

What are your favourite modules in SP?

My favourite modules so far are BMB/BOPP (Business Marketing and Branding/Business Opportunity), GE1 (General Education 1) and Mathematics.

BMB and BOPP because of the fun and bonding I shared with my groupmates during the various report writing and prototype building assignments. We had a fun lecturer too.

GE1 because it allowed me to bring out the fiery debater within myself and at the same time greatly improve my confidence in presentations by learning to anticipate the counterarguments of my classmates.

Mathematics allowed me to somewhat relive my Secondary School days, although it is rather saddening that DBIT Maths did not involve any Calculus (which was my favourite topic).

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years time?

I would hope to become a millionaire before I hit the age of 25. Then, maybe I will settle down, get married and live happily ever after.

Please share 3 pictures of your past projects

My website for the
Web Mobile Analytics module

My website for the
Business Marketing and Branding module

My mobile app User Interface Design
for the Mobile Applications Development 1 module


Are you currently attached with a partner?If you are not attached, share with usthe qualities of the boy/ girl you would like to partner with?

I am currently unattached, and looking for someone who is…

  • Caring
  • Honest
  • Independent
  • Outgoing
  • Brave
  • Unique


Please share more photos of yourself!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The MetroDBITan student series : Issue #043 - Chua Yi Fang

Welcome to the 4th issue of our monthly MetroDBITan for this year, featuring DBIT Year 3 student Yvonne Chua Yi Fang! :)

Without further ado, let's start our interview with this tall and lanky gal who has some unusual hobbies as you will discover later! ;)

Hi Yvonne, tell us a little more about yourself, such as your birthday and your height

My birthday falls on 5 April. I’m an Aries. I am 1.70m tall.

Happy Belated Birthday Yvonne! How did you celebrate your birthday this year?

This year, I celebrated my birthday with my friends and family. I met up with my primary and secondary school friends and had a meal together at Ramen Play.

Although it’s a simple meal, I am contented.

I’m grateful to my friends who celebrated my birthday with me and friends who wished me a Happy Birthday. This year's birthday is one of my most memorable birthdays.

Edwina (primary school friend) and I at Crepes Store (J Cube)

Li Qing, Qian Ling, Hui Yen and I at Ramen Play

You are an April baby, also an Aries. Read the description here and here and share whether which parts of the profile describe you accurately, and which do not.

Sun in Aries describes me best. I have the habit of doing things early and I hate doing last minute work. I am a direct, straightforward person and sometimes caused others' feelings to be hurt.

It is true that Aries are natural athletes. From young, I have tried many sports: running, marathon, playing badminton, soccer, netball, captain ball, swimming, hockey, Frisbee and rock climbing. Though I like doing sports, I dislike training. I get bored easily if I were to do the same thing every day. Once I get bored with a certain hobby, I move on to something more interesting. I am curious about a lot of things. I like exploring and learning new things. I like challenges.

Sometimes in school or at work, I have trouble sitting still.

If there is a faster way to learn, or to gain mastery in certain skill, I would gladly take the shortcut. Still, I believe that building a strong foundation is equally important.

Do a personality test at and share if you agree with the analysis given to you

I agree with the analysis.

I wanted to live the life, a different life. I didn't want to go to the same place every day and see the same people and do the same job. I wanted interesting challenges.

Harrison Ford

I am a ISTP. I am a virtuoso. I like exploring things. Exploring Singapore Polytechnic. Exploring history of Egypt. Exploring UFOs and the existence of aliens. Exploring my passions and new passions.

I also agree with the analysis that ISTPs handle crises well.  My strengths are being able to handle crises well, knowing how to prioritize, being optimistic, creative and relaxed.

As for my weaknesses, I am private and reserved. I usually maintain a low profile, even on Social Media. I dislike over commitments and would sometimes not take up activities that require  me to make commitments. If I feel that the commitment is going to take away my freedom, I would not commit. E.g. attending 3 days of netball training every week or attending church on every Saturday. It’s a NO from me. However, there are exceptions. For example, if it’s something that I really want to do or I’m passionate about, then it’s a different case.

Career Path

Curiosity and hands-on vigor make people with the ISTP personality type excellent mechanics, engineers, graphic designers and forensic scientists.

The above statement is quite true for me.

In the past, I wanted to become a designer. A fashion designer. Graphic designer. Restriction obstructs me to think out of the box and generate new ideas. I like to do whatever I want, at my own time own target, but ultimately deliver the result on time.

What are 2 traits you like about yourself?

I like the fact that I am independent, having the ability to make decisions myself and work hard for anything that I want to achieve. Life is about decision making. I made decision myself. I set a direction for myself. I usually lead people in projects.

Another trait I like about myself is that I am optimistic. I always look on the bright side. When it comes to managing projects or juggling my academic and other commitments, I feel the pressure, but rarely get stressed out.

Share stories and photos about your baby / childhood days

I was very playful back then. I remembered fighting with my brothers over trivial matters, riding a bicycle in my living room, and breaking the glass frame of a Chinese painting.

Share stories and photos about your school days in primary school

During my primary school years, I studied in Greenridge Primary School.

My favourite subject was English.

I like reading and writing. I would always go to the library after school and spend my time reading.

I remember I was not good at Chinese Pinyin in Primary 1 and Primary 2. When I was in Primary 3, I was so glad that we switched to learning Chinese characters instead. Chinese characters are way easier than Hanyu Pinyin for me.

I never liked Science, but I tried my best at this subject. I like Mathematics in Primary 4. The Maths lesson was fun. My Maths teacher always finished teaching Maths early and taught us about Art. E.g. warm and cool colours.

The one and only CCA I joined was Art Club. I was worried that I could not handle the Art subject in secondary school. Many of my teachers had told me that they found it hard to score for Art during their secondary school days. My initial intention for joining the Art Club was to learn Art and survive in my Secondary School. Instead, I fell in love with Art. I learnt acrylic painting, batik painting, clay sculpture, lantern making. Acrylic painting was my favourite.

In those days,  I was looking forward to new things every single day.  I made many friends. I enjoyed primary school life. The most glorious moments were when I took up leadership roles. I was once a class chairman, vice chairman and first aider. During Sports day, my Falcon team and I won in a marathon race.

Tell us more about your days in secondary school

Moving on to secondary school, I was enrolled to Zhenghua Secondary School.

My favourite subjects were Art, Geography and A Maths.

In Secondary 1 and 2, I studied English, Literature, Chinese, Mathematics, Science, Art, Home Economics, Geography, History and Design & Technology.

In Secondary 3 & 4, I took a double science combination though I dislike Science. Pure Chemistry, Pure Physics, English, Chinese, E Maths, A Maths, Combined Humanities (Social Studies and Geography) were the subjects which I took.

Secondary School days were a period of time in my life when I felt lonely. I ate by myself during recess for a few months. I was cautious about making friends because I was scared of losing them.

Thankfully, I made some friends, and a few close ones.

I am grateful to my secondary school teachers for guiding me. Special thanks to Mr Leslie Tan, Ms Ang Li Jun and Ms Chen Fong Yi.

I continued to join Art Club in secondary school. I painted the walls in my school, created tape sculpture, clay sculpture, and did water colour painting. What I like most was Photoshop and Fashion Illustration. While studying fashion illustration, I had the dream of becoming a fashion designer and creating my own brand. How I wish that people can wear clothes designed by me.

Share your likes and dislikes

I have to say that my hobbies are rather interesting.

I like watching documentaries about Egypt, aliens and UFO, whereby researchers would have different views on how the Egypt pyramid is built. Some said that it was built from outside in, while other doubt it was built from inside out.

I also like painting, drawing, baking and training my left hand.

As for dislikes, I don't like being under the hot sun for long hours and I don't fancy eating porridge.

Share an event which is memorable to you

I would never forget the day when I lost a friend.

In primary school, I had lost one, because I don’t know how to treasure her. I paid a painful price since then.

Every day, I am trying not to make the same mistake again. Last year, after one of my exam papers, a friend of mine jumped off the building. (*Note: The person is not from SP)

Life is very precious. You don’t know what will happen the next day. Cherish your closed ones while you can.

What's your fashion style?

I like monochrome fashion style. Black and white suits me. Also, I find it easy to match black and white clothes with any other colours. The clothes in my wardrobe are white, black, grey and blue. I prefer clothes that are comfortable to wear rather than branded goods.

A black top with a blue denim pants.
Coincidentally “couple look” with my classmate, Tianqi

A three quarter sleeve grey shirt with a grey pants.

Name three people that you want to thank or shout out to

I would like to thank my parents for bringing me to this world and everything that you had done for me all these years. Thank you for raising me up and educating me with the correct values. Thank you for giving me 2 brothers who I can play and fight with.

I would like to thank Edwina. When I was alone, you were there to accompany me. Thank you for always being there for me. I appreciate it.

Have you travelled anywhere before?

I have been to Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan and Korea.

I went to Taiwan with my friends Pui Yee, Jonathan and Chen Ren. It was part of a market research trip that we did for our attachment to SP's Livewell Collaborative Centre.  It was a tiring but fun trip. We went to the night markets and tried all kinds of delicious food in Taiwan.

Pui Yee, Me, Jonathan and Chen Ren

I also went to Korea to understand more about the Korea entrepreneurial culture and listened to the stories of how the founders founded the start-ups.

Photo of SP group with
our Korean friends Seungyeon and Julia

Photo taken at Tango Dance Studio

Why did you choose DBIT course?

DBIT was not my first choice. My dream course was to go to LASALLE to study fashion design.

When I look at DBIT, business and technology are two key areas that every business would need.

The world is consistently changing. IT can power a lot of things, more than we can imagine. From e-commerce websites to mobile applications, IT spurs the growth of a business.

Most importantly, I can continue to have opportunities to explore my interest design. Be it web design, or fashion design, as long as it is something related to art, I am keen in it. That’s why I choose Diploma in Business Information Technology.

What do you like about DBIT course? What would you want to improve about the DBIT course?

DBIT course is not only a course, but also gives me exposure to work with the industry people.

In my first year of studies at SP, I took a module called Social Media Marketing and my assignment gave me the opportunity to work with a real-life F&B business in Singapore called Fresh and Fancy. It was truly an eye-opening experience for me back then,

I also enjoy the programming modules that are taught in my course.  We learn how to create websites with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP and mobile applications with Titanium.

What else do I like about the course? I like the friends and network which I have built in school and outside school. My friends in DBIT have really enriched my life. They make my poly life fun and exciting. Every day, I face new challenges. There are a lot of things to learn about IT, business, design, and many more waiting for me to discover.

As for improvements, I think the programming modules in my course can be increased in their depth. I feel that we do not learn enough.  Assignments can also be more challenging.

What do you plan to do after graduation from SP?

I plan to further my studies in either NUS or SMU (SIS School) after graduation from SP.

For the period just after graduation but before starting university, I would probably work or continue working in start-up industry to gain some experience.

What are your favourite modules in SP?

My favourite modules in SP are Web Application Development, Social Media Marketing, Moving Visual Design and Mobile Commerce.

These modules allow me to implement my designs and see the results of my programming efforts.

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years time?

I hope to see myself as a successful person in whatever industry I will be in, and someone who will contribute back to the society.

Do you have a CCA in SP?

Yes, my CCA is the Student Entrepreneur Club (SPSEC).

Student Entrepreneur Club is an event based club where the members organize events related to entrepreneurship and collaborate with students from other polytechnic and universities as well as people who are in industry.

For example, I co-organised I.C.E Challenge for 2013 and 2014. This is a competition for primary and secondary school to come up with a business idea and compete at a national level.

Photo of 2013 ICE Challenge

Recently we had a BBQ at this Korean BBQ restaurant.

Bonding activities for SPSEC members.

Do you work part-time while studying?

Sometimes, I work part time during my school vacations.

I can’t really work during school days because I have a lot of things to attend to, and I will try not to over-commit.

Please share 3 pictures of your past projects / assignments

A website design for Web Client Development

An E-commerce site (admin) developed for Web Application Development

A Photoshop image created for Digital Visual Design

Are you currently attached with a partner? What are the qualities of your ideal partner?

Presently, I am not attached to a partner.

The qualities I look out for my future boyfriend are good character, exciting and strong personality. Most importantly, he must be taller than me.