Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The MetroDBITan student series: Issue #037 - Tricia Lim

After featuring two Year 1 students for the August and September 2014 issues of MetroDBITan, we are back to featuring a Year 2 student again for our October cover!

Our cover girl this month is Tricia Lim, a lovely and cheerful girl with a really charming and vivacious smile!

I really love the way she smiles! How does she always keep that happy-looking smile on her face?

Let's find out! :)



Share one memory of your childhood days

When I was in primary school, my mum enrolled me in ballet classes.  But as a kid, I was really chubby. so whenever the instructor told me to suck in my stomach, I had to suck it in all the way until I could not breathe!

After a couple of lessons, I decided to quit because my instructor kept asking me to suck my stomach in when it was already all the way in. It is quite a funny story and I still laugh about it till this date! ;)

How about some memories from your primary school days too?

I was from St. Anthony’s Canossian Primary School and I guess my studies were pretty smooth sailing most of the time then because I honestly don’t recall anything studies-related!

What I do remember is that I was always going to the nearby bubble tea shop to eat cup noodles and drink bubble tea for lunch before heading to the playground to play! It was an almost-daily affair.

I also recall being quite a rebellious kid back then. Once, I had to help out at the library every day for a few months because I was caught vandalizing! My friends and I also constantly cheated during Chinese spellings by hiding the answers in our pencil cases. Thank God I don’t do such things anymore! ;)

One more thing I remember is that I was always going out to the grassy areas at the more secluded parts of my school to catch grasshoppers after school when I was in Primary 6! I really enjoyed it and my class even kept them as class pets.

My best friend back in primary school!




Share stories about your school days in secondary school

My secondary school days were probably the best days of my life so far!

I was from Coral Secondary School and my favourite subject was Mathematics. While preparing for my 'O' levels, I always did my Math papers when I did not feel like studying at all but knew I had to do something productive. I can safely say I did at least 100 different papers altogether!



The photo above was taken on Graduation day and I swear my love for this bunch is endless!

Because of them, I have danced randomly in the middle of the canteen, shuffled around school when we could have just walked and do so many embarrassingly crazy yet fun things!




My favorite memory of life in secondary school would be when this bunch of girls surprised me for my 16th birthday. They blindfolded me, took me to a playground nearby and had me go thought 4 different stages of putting weird things all over me! It was especially horrifying considering how I couldn't see anything.




Share your likes and dislikes

I love reading, writing, taking photos, cooking and exercising!

I enjoy reading books labelled as ‘Survival Literature’ at Kinokuniya. They are basically books about people who have suffered from eating disorders, mental illnesses or even abuses. I find it very interesting because when someone is going through such mental traumas, the way the see the world is very different from the way we see it.

I love to eat and I go gaga over desserts all the time. As the saying goes, “There’s always space for dessert”.

I dislike fast food, or any unhealthy for that matter, which is why I picked up cooking!

I listen to metal music and enjoy going for local gigs where hardcore local bands like Fall of Mirra and Straightforward play at. I personally strongly believe in and support local talents!!


Describe yourself with four different words

Perfectionist, optimistic, straightforward, stubborn.

I am an individual that will not move on to part B of a situation unless I perfect part A. And even if I do, I hate to submit imperfect work. I feel that this is both a strength and a weakness for me because this results in me taking forever to get something done. I can take 5 minutes to draw a square.

Show us three of your favourite clothes, why you like them and where you bought them!


Maroon Romper from The Editor’s Market!

Denim top from Taiwan.

Dress (actually a guy’s tank top) and outerwear from H&M.


Tell us three people that you want to thank or shout out to

The 3 people that I would like to thank the most are definitely my parents and my brother.


I am super thankful to be blessed with this family of mine because, not flaunting in any way, but I feel no family better than mine can ever exist. We have our fair share of fights but it’s all so we can grow closer and get to know each other better. They are the people that I know will always have my back no matter what happens and will never judge me.


Have you travelled overseas before?

Definitely! I love travelling! I’ve been to many countries but the most memorable ones would be Beijing, Boracay and Taiwan.

My favourite so far would be Boracay because I love beach countries and the view at Boracay is insanely gorgeous!

It was the first time I saw the sun cutting through the horizon and I was super excited about it!


With my brother.

We slept in a non-air-conditioned resort and absolutely loved waking up to the smell of the sea, the sound of the waves and the sea breeze.

With the active night life, gorgeous sunrises and sunsets and cheap yet tasty food, Boracay was nothing short of a perfect getaway!

Why did you choose DBIT course?

In all honestly, DBIT is not a course that is anywhere near what I want to do in the future. I chose DBIT because I thought that it was in Business school and thought that if I were to get a Business related diploma, it’d be easier to get into my dream course, Mass Communications, when I graduate from polytechnic.


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

I came in wanting business modules but, ironically, l ended up liking the HTML and Photoshop modules instead!

I think a good way to improve on DBIT would be to make business related modules less dry and boring by having more hands-on and industry-linked.  My Year 1 module Social Media Marketing was the only business module that I actually enjoyed because it was mainly hands-on marketing.

What do you plan to do after graduation from SP? 

After I graduate from SP I’d like to study journalism. Hopefully, if I can make it into a local university, it’d be NTU because that’s the only university that offers journalism.


What are your favourite modules in SP? Why?

My favourite module so far has got to be Web Client Development (WCD), the subject in which we learn how to code websites using HTML, CSS and JQuery.

I have been into HTML coding ever since I was in primary school when I enjoyed blogging. It was the only module that I didn’t dread doing and, although many may curse me for saying this, I hope another HTML module will surface in the last 3 semesters of my poly life, haha!


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

In 10 years time I hope to see myself doing what I love – travel journalism!

Do you have a CCA in SP?

I joined SP Photography but stopped going after 1 class because I didn’t have a DSLR.


Please share 3 pictures of your past projects / assignments

DVDE (Digital Visual Design)

WCD (Web Client Development)

WAD (Web Applicant Development)


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

I’m currently single.

I would like to be with a guy who has a lot of common interests with me and someone that would be able to attend gigs with me! Being a person that enjoys doing things alone a lot, a guy that will give me a lot of freedom is also what I look for in a partner.


Can we have two more pretty pictures of you please?





Issue #037 MetroDBITan - launching on 29 Oct 2014 12:00 pm


Check out DBIT student Tricia Lim's entry on 29 Oct 2014, 12:00 pm sharp! :)



Sunday, October 26, 2014

DBIT Year 3 student Sally Chin wins 1st prize in #starthathon 2.0!

Congratulations to our Year 3 student, Sally Chin Si Ying! :)
Together with three other team members, she won the top prize in the #startathon 2.0 organised by the Nanyang Technopreneurship Centre!
What's the most amazing is that, although Sally is the youngest in her team, she became the core developer in the team during the coding process as most of her members were working adults who were not familiar with the coding since they were from the chemical engineering and business industries.

Sally attributes her expertise to her efforts to continually surround herself with amazing people in the IT and start-up community.

To Sally, the people in these communities are constantly learning from everyone, and being frequently mixing with these people serves as a source of motivation for her to learn more.

Furthermore, the people in these communities provide an insight of the skillsets that are sought-after in the industry, which led her to work on improving her skills.

The team won $2,000 in cash for the award!  What does Sally plan to do with her prize? She plans to save up to spend the money on something nice. :)

After this win, Sally is definitely not going to rest on her laurels.  She plans to continue exposing herself to more industry related events and communities in order to learn and serve, and at the same time improving her skills.

#startathon is a biannual 26 hours overnight hardware hackathon organised by Nanyang Technopreneurship Centre.  Participants of this event gain hands-on exposure to areas such as App Development, HTML5, 3D Printing, Arduino, Fabric Hacking, Business Model Canvas, Social Media Marketing, Hardware Scaling-Up and other topics through hourly Masterclasses taught by industry practitioners. Each team is given a dedicated electronics prototyping kit to work on for the duration of #startathon with which they would create a prototype to pitch and compete for the top prizes.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

DBIT students win top prizes in the Apparent Genius Competition

Congratulations to the following DBIT students who won the top prizes in the Apparent Genius Competition!
Students and judges posing for photo
at SMU where the pitching was held

Students presented their mobile app to a panel of judges consisting of industry professionals with a wealth of experience in entrepreneurship and enterprise solutions. The judges were impressed by the presentation skills of the students and the quality of the apps and ideas presented by the students. 


For winning, these students get cash prizes as shown below!


First prize: $500
Second prize: $300
Third prize: $200


The first prize winner is our DBIT Year 2 Htet Htet Aung, together with her group-mate Song Tianqi. The team's idea arose from wanting to solve a common problem that many student project teams encounter - inactive members who do not contribute.  The team presented their idea on a mobile project management app that aims to discourage team members from procrastinating through a gamification concept which the judges felt was an innovative and marketable idea that would be really useful if the app existed for real.


Htet presenting her idea

The team consisting of Year 3 students Chong Nian Qian,Lin Lina and Liu Xiao Chen won the second prize.  The three of them are from the DBIT Entrepreneurship option which required them to run a semester-long retail shopfront in SP campus as part of their Final Year Project.  Identifying the painpoints of young people like them who want to set up shop, but have limited access to mobile inventory management apps, the team created a mobile app that fills in this gap.


Team 2 presenting their idea 
The team consisting of Year 2 students Yvonne Chua Yi Fang and Wu Liling won the third place with their idea of a "travel-tips" app.  In her pitch, Yi Fang explained how the market lacks an app that focuses on travel tips specifically.  Though there are apps like TripAdvisor which sometimes include travel tips submitted by user, they are randomly placed and do not allow the user to read all the tips for a specific place at one shot.  Yi Fang's app will solve this problem with a all-in-1 interface that consolidates tips in an easy-to-read interface for the convenience of the travellers.


Yi Fang getting ready to present her idea
Well-done Team DBIT! ^.^  

Thanks to all the judges for your insight comments and useful feedback!


Judges from left:
Justin, Kelwin Chan (Kemp), Mr Ryan Lim,
Ms Lim Sia Hoe (Centre for Seniors), Ms Suzette Cody (Green Mango)
Dr. Tan Bee Wan
Executive Chairman
Integrative CSR Consulting Pte Ltd

And many thanks to Dr Tan and Michael from Integrative CSR Consulting Pte Ltd for organising this competition and sponsoring the prizes!


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Scholarship / Career / Further studies Talks for Year 3 Graduating students

Dear DBIT students, especially Year 3s, do take note!

SP's Department of Student Services (DSS) is organising a series of events to help you plan what to do after graduation. Do check them out if you are free!

Event Date Remarks
Overseas Education Fair 4 Oct (Sat) Open to public; organised by OverseasEducation.sg Pte Ltd
Venue:Suntec Hall 310-311
Time: 1pm – 6pm
Details: http://www.overseaseducation.sg/fair.php
My Next Move – Further Education (local universities) 9 Oct (Thur) Open to all year 3 students who wish to find out more about:
*  Local University Admissions & Timelines
*  Indicative Grade Profiles
*  Early Admissions & Scholarship Exercise (EASE)
*  Preparing for Admissions and Scholarship Interviews
Venue:iCaFE (inside the SSC)
Time: 2:30pm – 5pm
Speaker:Regina Lim, Snr Manager (Student Services)
Register at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1OiKCOVsDWUUHG3NfGpC7pIl9QRI7Acw9Tf-rRvsUKi8/viewform?c=0&w=1&usp=mail_form_link
Study in Australia, New Zealand & UK Open Day 11 Oct (Sat) - 12 Oct (Sun) * Open to public; organised by IDP Education Pty Ltd
* Venue:Orchard Hotel, Grand Ballroom
* Time: 11am – 4:30pm
* Details: http://www.idp.com/singapore/studyabroad/events/2014/10/oct-od
MOHH will be giving a seminar about their scholarships at 12noon on both days.
UK institutions will only be present on Saturday, 11 Oct, 11am - 4pm.
SPRING Singapore Executive Development Scholarship 13 Oct (Mon) Open only to Singaporean students with expected cumulative GPA of 3.8 and better. 
This Scholarship is suitable for students from Business, Engineering and Chemical & Life Sciences  (except Optometry, Perfumery & Cosmetic Science)
Venue: iCaFE
Time:11am - 12:30pm
Registration Link:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1OiKCOVsDWUUHG3NfGpC7pIl9QRI7Acw9Tf-rRvsUKi8/viewform?c=0&w=1&usp=mail_form_link
Understanding the Application Process for PSC and Ministry Scholarships  13 Oct (Mon) Open to all year 2 and 3 students who wish to find out more about the Application Process for PSC and Ministry Scholarships. 
This is a precursor to the “PSC Scholarships Talk” scheduled on 25 Oct (see below for details).
Venue:iCaFE (inside the SSC)
Time: 2:30pm – 5pm
Speaker:Regina Lim, Snr Manager (Student Services)
Register at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1OiKCOVsDWUUHG3NfGpC7pIl9QRI7Acw9Tf-rRvsUKi8/viewform?c=0&w=1&usp=mail_form_link
Interviews LIVE! (Part 1) 15 Oct (Wed) Open to all year 3 students who wish to find out how to prepare for job/ scholarship/ university admissions interviews. 
This workshop is a precursor to Interviews LIVE! (Part 2),  scheduled on 5 Nov, where you will get a chance to put your knowledge to practice at a live, mock interview session.
Venue:iCaFE (inside the SSC)
Time: 10am – 12noon
Speaker:Glenn Ee, Education & Career Counsellor
Register at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1OiKCOVsDWUUHG3NfGpC7pIl9QRI7Acw9Tf-rRvsUKi8/viewform?c=0&w=1&usp=mail_form_link
Interviews LIVE! (Part 1) 16 Oct (Thur) Open to all year 3 students who wish to find out how to prepare for job/ scholarship/ university admissions interviews. 
This workshop is a precursor to Interviews LIVE! (Part 2),  scheduled on 5 Nov, where you will get a chance to put your knowledge to practice at a live, mock interview session.
Venue:iCaFE (inside the SSC)
Time: 2pm - 4pm
Speaker:Glenn Ee, Education & Career Counsellor
Register at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1OiKCOVsDWUUHG3NfGpC7pIl9QRI7Acw9Tf-rRvsUKi8/viewform?c=0&w=1&usp=mail_form_link
University of Melbourne -
Virtual Fair for International Students
16 Oct (Thur) -
17 Oct (Fri)
Open to all students who are interested to study at the University of Melbourne.
Step 1: Interested students to go on-line to register at http://go.unimelb.edu.au/925n
Step 2: Registered participants can access the Virtual Fair from 7:00 pm on 16 October until 11:00 am on 17 October (AEDST) at http://go.unimelb.edu.au/k25n
Bachelor of Arts / Science (Education) @ NIE
NTU-NIE Teaching Scholars Programme
18 Oct (Sat) Open to all students who are keen to pursue a Bachelor of Arts / Science (Education) programme.
The BA/BSc in short, is a 4-year degree programme offered by National Institute of Education (NIE) for A-Level, IB or Diploma holders who are interested to pursue a teaching degree. This is the ideal route that gives students a well-rounded education in content and pedagogy so that they can be well-prepared for a career in teaching. Tuition fees will be fully funded by the Ministry of Education if the students are found suitable for the programme. Students can also be considered for the NTU-NIE Teaching Scholars Programme which offers scholars additional opportunities in electives, leadership programmes and overseas exchange/ practicum.  Participants can look forward to a series of presentations by teachers and NIE professors, and a campus tour conducted by NIE student ambassadors. There will also be a networking session where NIE and MOE officers will be available to answer the students’ queries. The details of the tea session as follows:
Venue: National Institute of Education
Time: 10am – 12noon
Register at: www.moe.gov.sg/babsc
Enquiries: Email MOE_HSCD_RMU@moe.gov.sg
NTU Day cum Early Admissions and Scholarship Exercise (EASE) Briefing for Singapore Polytechnic students 23 Oct
(Thur)
Open only to selected students who have received e-invitation via i-chat email on 26 Sep. 
(Criteria stipulated by NTU).
Venue: Singapore Polytechnic Auditorium
Time:5pm - 7pm  (Registration starts at 4.30pm)
Objective: To introduce NTU’s wide range of degree programmes,  NTU’s Premier Scholars’ Programmes and scholarships for high calibre students who look forward to a challenging multi-disciplinary curriculum on top of their major.
Register at:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1OiKCOVsDWUUHG3NfGpC7pIl9QRI7Acw9Tf-rRvsUKi8/viewform?c=0&w=1&usp=mail_form_link
PSC Scholarships Talk 25 Oct
(Sat)
Open only to top Year 2 and Year 3 students from the 5 polytechnics (Singaporeans and PRs only)
Students must be interested in considering a career in the Public Service and/ or who have been nominated by their School (Criteria stipulated by the PSC Secretariat). 
Also open to SP staff
Venue:  Singapore Polytechnic Auditorium
Time:1.30pm - 3.30pm (Registration starts at 12.45pm)
Attire: Smart Casual

*Light refreshments will be provided
Objective: To provide more information on career opportunities in the Public Service through PSC Scholarships. At the session, a PSC officer will first share with poly students about PSC scholarships. Then 2 PSC scholarship holders who graduated from the Polytechnics will share their experiences  – one of them is currently pursuing her undergraduate studies while the other is a Public Service Leadership Programme (PSLP) officer who can share about her work in the different postings in the Service.  They will be sharing with students  the considerations they had when they took up the PSC Scholarship. This will be followed by a Q&A session as well as an informal mingling session where students can ask PSC Secretariat staff and guest speakers more questions.
Registration Link:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1OiKCOVsDWUUHG3NfGpC7pIl9QRI7Acw9Tf-rRvsUKi8/viewform?c=0&w=1&usp=mail_form_link  (Deadline for registration: 1 Oct)
IDA Talk on the National Infocomm Scholarship 29 Oct
(Wed)
Open to Singaporean and Singapore PR students interested in studying infocomm-related courses, economics and law. (Criteria stipulated by IDA).
Venue: LT12B
Time:3:15pm - 4:15pm
Registration Link:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1OiKCOVsDWUUHG3NfGpC7pIl9QRI7Acw9Tf-rRvsUKi8/viewform?c=0&w=1&usp=mail_form_link
JTC Scholarships Talk
(JTC: JTC Corporation)
Two SP graduates clinched JTC Scholarship this year!
Drop by the iCaFE to pick up a JTC Scholarship booklet and sweets – while stocks last!
29 Oct
(Wed)
Open only to selected students.  (Criteria stipulated by JTC).
For Year 3 students with cumulative GPA of at least 3.7 from:
- Architecture & Built Env
- Business
- Media and Communication
- IT, Info Security
- Engineering
Venue: LT12B
Time:4:30pm - 5:30pm
Registration Link:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1OiKCOVsDWUUHG3NfGpC7pIl9QRI7Acw9Tf-rRvsUKi8/viewform?c=0&w=1&usp=mail_form_link
Interviews LIVE!  (Part 2) 5 Nov (Wed) Open to all year 3 students who wish to have some hands-on practice (in a safe environment) on what it feels like to go for a live interview. 
This workshop is a follow-up to Interviews LIVE! (Part 1). 

Venue:To be Confirmed 
Time: Session 1:3.15pm - 4:00pm;  Session 2:4:00pm – 5:00pm
Register at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1OiKCOVsDWUUHG3NfGpC7pIl9QRI7Acw9Tf-rRvsUKi8/viewform?c=0&w=1&usp=mail_form_link
This mock interview session requires participants to be properly attired, with resume and portfolio prepared.
Career as a PE Teacher 26 Nov
(Wed)
Open to students who are interested to find out more about a career as a PE teacher.
Venue: iCaFE (inside the SSC)
Time:4:00pm - 5:00pm
Registration Link:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1OiKCOVsDWUUHG3NfGpC7pIl9QRI7Acw9Tf-rRvsUKi8/viewform?c=0&w=1&usp=mail_form_link

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Our Korea Technopreneur Study Trip - Day 02


Background

This is PART 2 of a  7-part series of blog entries written by our DBIT / DIT studentsabout their experiences on a recent Study Trip to Korea.

Nine Diploma in Business Information Technology (DBIT) and one Diploma in Information Technology (DIT) student participated in a Technopreneurship Study Trip to the cities of Seoul and Daejeon in Korea from 14 September to 22 September 2014.

Stayed tuned to each part of this series of articles to find out where we went / did!

Greetings everyone! I am Law Yong Wei, a first year student from the Diploma in Business Information Technology (DBIT)!

I was very fortunate to be selected to be part as part of the group of 10 students to go on a Korea Technopreneurship Trip from 14 September to 22 September and I am here to share with you the highlights of Day 2 of the trip.

Day 2 started extremely early, we had our breakfast at 6am (Korea Time), before taking a 2.5 hour bus ride from May Guest House in Seoul to another city in Korea, Daejeon.

Before moving on, I would like to give a special shout out to our tour organiser aka our Korean friend, Mr Budher Song for waking up 2 hours before us to get us breakfast from a Korean fast food chain, Lotteria.  Many thanks to him for driving us safely to the various places for the entire day!

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The first stop of the day was at Gyejoksan Mountain Red Clay Trail, where we went on a guided trekking tour conducted by the founder and CEO of Mackiss, Mr Cho Wung Rae.
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The Gyejoksan Mountain Red Clay Trail is a 14-kilometer long eco-healing walking trail situated at an altitude between 200 meters and 300 meters above sea level on Mount Gyejok, with a barefoot walking theme. In 2008, it was considered as one of the ‘33 travel destinations to go back to’ by travel journalists. The trail also claims to help to restore one’s health of the body and soul, giving visitors a therapeutic and unique experience.

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The whole trekking trip lasted for about 2.5 hours, as we only trekked almost 5km, which is much less than the actual length of the trail. But we were already much more tired than the other Koreans.  In fact, the Koreans were the more energetic ones, they climbed the mountain faster than us and some of them even did their running training up and down the mountain! In contrast, most Singaporeans like us have not built ourselves to be ready for mountain trekking.

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The effort we put in was paid off, as we got to enjoy the beautiful and peaceful environment in the deep fresh aroma of pine trees, with the view of downtown Daejeon from Gyejoksanseong Fortress!

It was definitely a great getaway from the hustle and bustle city life. Time to let go of our stress!

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At the same time, we were given a special lecture about entrepreneurship by Mr Cho Wung Rae. He first gave an introduction about his company, The Mackiss Company.

The Mackiss Company brings joys to many people through various CSV (Creating Shared Value) activities such as Red clay road of Mt.Gyejok, Fun Fun Classic concert of Mackiss Opera. As the brand actually wants to be a connecting and communicating mediator between companies and customers. That is why they want to be known as: Between Human And Human – Mackiss.  They also believe in helping others and they will benefit at the same time.

eng_img_bgnav

Even the logo of The Mackiss Company has significant meaning behind it. As stated by the company: The first spelling ‘M’ of the company is artistically expressed to symbolize the corporate philosophy, connection between human and human, human and nature, and human and society. The curve that connects the two axes means the infinite connection between human and human, and also presents the company creating full of contents and stories at the same time.

h1_logo

Mr Cho Wung Rae then told us the story why he came out with an idea about barefoot trekking on red clay road. It was in the year 2006, when he was climbing with his close friends, he saw one woman climbing on high heels. He took off his shoes to give her and walked on barefoot. That night he slept well and deeply. After that, he could never forget the first experience of barefoot walk. He felt that the happiness in him must be shared with the community. So he started to spread the good quality of Red clay over gravel path on Mt. Gyejok.

eng_img_csv_intro03

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I would say Mr Cho Wung Rae is a happy-going guy with a lot of creativity. He wears his unique smile everywhere he goes, and cracks some jokes every now and then, spreading happiness to the people around him.

Why is he creative? He was able to transform an ordinary mountain into a special mountain that is able to connect people together and bring awareness of his company at the same time using a simple concept.

Here is a picture of us with the friendly founder, who was always ready to pose for photos.

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After our strenous trek, we were really hungry! Mr Budher brought us to eat traditional Korean Bibimbap ("mixed rice") at one of the local restaurants.  Some of my friends were fans of this dish, and they started adding alot of chilli to it as they like it very spicy.

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After lunch, we moved on to our next stop – Daejeon Center for Creative Economy & Innovation.

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Daejeon Center for Creative Economy & Innovation (KAIST Creative Economic Centre) was the place where we met student entrepreneur  Mr Yeo Soona, the CEO & Founder of Chalk Academy.

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Chalk Academy (playchalk.com) is Korea’s first smart online education donation platform, specialising to Korean education, and benchmarked Khan Academy. It utilizes collective intelligence by collecting contents and manages lecture qualities using crowdsourcing. The number of video content on the website is currently approximately 450, reaching around 10% of those in Khan Academy, where the lecture donors are students from prestigious schools.

I feel that Mr Yeo Soona was very inspiring to me, as he is still an undergraduate in Korea Advanced Institute Of Science and Technology (KAIST) University and yet, he is able to successfully run a business at the same time.

His company had won the Donation for Education Award 2013 and he appeared on national newspaper (The Korea Times) next to the current Korea President together with the headline “KAIST student seeks education revolution”.

newspaperchalkacademy

Another reason why I look up to Mr Yeo Soona as a role model, because I can see the perseverance, capabilities and passion in the work he has done. Like many other businesses, funding is a perpetual problem, but despite the obstacles he encounters, he is still persistent to continue running Chalk Academy as a social enterprise.

He even went the extra mile to participate in various start-up competitions to win prize money and invested the cash into Chalk Academy. This also shows that his works/ideas were of quality and well-liked by others.

His passion had also driven him to keep on improving his company website, it has already undergone a change of 6 times and he plans to redesign his website again in 2014, to introduce a system that recommends tutorials to each visitor, using Big Data.

I would say a great takeaway point for me is the exposure of how the Korean entrepreneurs do their presentation (both the way they do their slides and pitching), as I would like to be an entrepreneur one day. This also got everyone interested and gave their fullest attention to the speaker as seen in the picture below.
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The next speaker of the day is Professor Jang Hyo-Yang, a senior researcher from KAIST.

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He gave a brief introduction of The Miracle Of Han River and shared with us the different programmes that Daejeon Center for Creative Economy and Innovation in KAIST offers for the start-ups.

The Miracle on the Han River is a term referring to South Korea's post-war export-fuelled economic growth, including rapid industrialization, technological achievement, education boom, large rise in living standards, rapid urbanization, skyscraper boom, and modernisation.

A fun fact to all the readers out there: There are 28000 start-ups in Korea with and average revenue of US$7 million dollars, adding 20% increase in revenue and contribution of 1.5% Korea’s GDP growth! Apart from that, there are more than 400 start-up companies in Korea with US$100 million plus in revenue!
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Let’s move on to the start-up programme that is being offered by KAIST. It is called the StartupKaist. StartupKaist is an entrepreneurial movement in KAIST to change the world by activating entrepreneurship culture, growth ecosystem, and global sustainable start-up.

It is done through connections with Venture Capitalists, angels, entrepreneurs, and professors that create and operate a business for funding and incubation services. Some of the other programmes being operated include entrepreneurship lectures, lunch talks, KAIST Venture Forum and etc.

What’s more, StartupKaist is also open to foreigners! All you have to do is to set up and base your company in Korea!
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I would say the facilities at KAIST Creative Economic Centre makes it one of the coziest places to work in. Their entire 3rd floor of the Education Support Building (W8) was just recently renovated in 2014 to carry out start-up activities. The area is spacious, relaxing and bright, with many meeting areas and comfortable furniture to host forums and conferences. There is even a room known as Econovation, used as a Smart App Test Bed, for wanna-be technopreneurs to perform testing for their product ideas.

With such good facilities and support, who know I might just base my start-up in Korea in the future? Haha.
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We ended the visit to KAIST Creative Economic Centre for the day at 4pm, with a group photography session with Professor Jang Hyo-Yang.

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The second last stop of the day was a factory visit to a Korean Alcohol Drink (Soju) Factory. The factory is owned by none other than Mr Cho Wung Rae, whom founded the “Barefoot Trekking Concept” that we experienced earlier in the morning!

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We went on a factory tour of MacKiss conducted by the general manager of the company. She explained to us the manufacturing/packaging process of Soju and the range of products that MacKiss offers.

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I feel that this is a very educational and relevant tour to the DBIT course because through this tour, we learnt about business operational processes of the alcohol industry as well as the marketing strategies deployed by them, which can also be applied to other industries.

So let’s share a little about what I learnt!  From the tour, I learnt that Mackiss Soju is produced by the patented technology of dissolved oxygen through a three-stage process. This makes their Soju contain three times more oxygen and hence, 30 minutes faster to hangover-free!

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We were really fascinated by the vast variety of alcoholic drinks that the company sells! For example, besides the normal Soju, Mackiss also manufactures an alcoholic beverage made from mature barley with the extract of sesame leaves to give a really refreshing and hangover-free feeling.

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Besides coming up with unique alcoholic beverages, MacKiss also pays alot of attention to branding and market segmentation.’

For example, here is a bottle that has a very unique and artistic design. The bottle was designed by JonOne (John Perello), a famous Graffiti-influencer based in Paris. His Graffiti works are one of the highest-bidded and most sought-after in the world.

From this design, I can tell that this particular drink is targeted towards the youthbecause of it is colourful and vibrant packaging design, giving them a more excited feeling with the drink.

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A group photo with the general manger who brought us around the factory, before moving on to the next stop.

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Last stop of the day was recreational time at a dance studio. Guess what? It is Tango Dance time!

At first, I thought Tango Dance would be a rather boring thing to do.

But I was wrong! Tango dance is actually a very relaxing activity to release all your stress!

The lesson first started off with a demonstration by the two professional tango dance instructors, before they taught us the 5 basic moves step by step.

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Next it was our turn to have hands on practice with the music being played in the background.
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I was a little confused with the steps at the beginning, but soon I picked up the moves.

Some of my other friends were fast learners and were happily dancing away. I guess some of my friends would be excited to continue their new affair with tango!

Needless to say, I enjoyed the lessons and picked up new skills. I had so much fun learning to dance the tango from a very talented teacher and along with a great group of friends!
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After the tango dancing session, it was dinner time. We went over to Mr Budher’s house to have a sumptuous dinner prepared by his mother! There were side dishes (banchan), smoked duck, soups, Korean Vermicelli, and lots of vegetables!
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I could sense his mother was a talented cook and prepared the meal with sincerity to welcome us. It was a great experience of the Korean meal culture at a local home, where our Korean friends taught us the Korean way of eating the smoked duck and vegetables together.
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It was already almost 10pm, after we finished our dinner, and it was time to check in into Innopolis Guest House to conclude the day.



This blog entry is written by Diploma in Business Information Technology (DBIT) Year 1 student, Law Yong Wei.
yongwei130
Yong Wei has strong interest in Sports and he is currently an active member in SP Taekwondo Club who is constantly trying to achieve the different colors of belt levels and joining competitions such as POL-ITE!

During his free time, Yong Wei goes for long runs and plays street soccer to maintain a healthy lifestyle. He also likes travelling to different parts of the world to be exposed to different cultures.

His ambition is to become a police officer and an entrepreneur at the same time. He believes in this saying “Difficulties in your life don't come to destroy you, but to help you realize your hidden potential”!

Connect with Yong Wei at his  Facebook profile to talk to him! :)