Sunday, November 16, 2008

Goodbye everyone!

Wow, time really passes. It has already been eleven weeks since I started this blog. I originally took this module to learn about resumes and interviews, and I believe for all intents and purposes, the module has fulfilled that. In addition, I picked up many useful skills, such as presenting and report writing. I also made many new friends in this module.

I feel that my communication skills have improved on the whole. I believe that it will help me immensely in my future endeavors. The module was helpful in promoting interaction between people and really helped to improve my EQ.

Although I had not really spent as much time on this module as I would had like to (my Honours project is killing me), if I had taken this in my earlier years of study, I would definitely had put in my best effort. This module was engaging and interesting, and definitely one of the best modules I have ever taken in NUS. Thanks Brad!

I thoroughly enjoyed taking the module with you guys, and I wish all of you good luck for the upcoming exams!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Biodata

Chong Wei Kin is currently a 4th Year undergraduate student majoring in Life Sciences at the National University of Singapore (NUS). In the past 4 years, he has taken many Life Sciences modules and scored excellent grades on them. He is expected to graduate with Second-Upper Honours.
Presently, he is researching on the methods for cancer treatment. Due to his experience from his Honours project, Wei Kin is well versed with various lab procedures and methods. He is very enthusiastic about research and is looking forward to working in the clinical research field.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Freedom!!! NOT!


YES! THE PROJECT IS FINALLY FINISHED! NOW I CAN HAVE A LIFE! Just kidding. This project was quite a positive learning experience for me. Apart from the normal “learn how to type a report” stuff, I found that one of the more important skills I picked up was actually effective communication between team mates. My group consisted of 3 Year 4 students, and being Year 4 students, we were all extremely busy. We did not have the luxury of long team meetings or frequent discussions. We had to make do with the limited time we had together and come out with the project. I am extremely happy with the work produced by our group given the limited timeframe and resources. One problem I found was that due to our busy schedules, we often miss out on certain key points of the project, and only managed to correct it at the last moment. Perhaps better time management on our part was needed. This should definitely be one of the key areas the group should work on as we head into the next part of our project. Keep up the good work team!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Evaluating Intercultural Behavior

Disclaimer: This post is not meant to be racist or discriminatory. These are merely events that I have observed and my views on them.

Imagine this, you are running towards the elevator which is closing. You yell out, “HOLD THE DOOR PLEASE!” However, the person in the lift ignores you and continues to press the “Close Door” button. Many of us will feel that this behavior is rude and disgusting.

What if I told you that this is perfectly normal in some countries (which I shall not name)? In Chigala (fictional country name), it is perfectly normal to shut the elevator door in someone’s face. This is a true story which my girlfriend told me.

Her brother, ZZZ, went to Chigala. He was in a lift and was holding the door for someone that was running for the lift. The natives of Chigala thought that ZZZ did not know which button was the “Close” button and courteously pointed it out to him.

WHY?

In their culture, time is very precious and everyone is always rushing for point A to point B. This is why it is perfectly normal to not hold the door, since everyone is similarly in a rush.

This brings us to the important point. Understanding cultural norms. Behavior that we find rude or distasteful might be perfectly normal or even courteous to members of another culture. Similarly, members of another culture might find our behaviors downright crude.

So the next time you visit Chigala, if you see somebody running for the lift, be sure to close the door on them.

Friday, September 5, 2008

NUS FIGHTS CLIMATE CHANGE



You see the above slogan everywhere on campus (or at least in the science faculty). But are we REALLY fighting climate change? I applaud NUS for the efforts made, e.g. charging extra for plastic bags, providing recycle bins etc, but are they really effective?

All these efforts will be for naught if the general population does not contribute to the movement. "10 cents more for a plastic bag? So what? I can afford it." "Throw the cans and waste paper into the recycle bin? Aiyah, too far!" In order to fight climate change, the general public must be educated on the detrimental effects of it. Many know about “climate change”, but do they really understand it?

Even with the widespread publicity campaigns by the NEA and various other organizations, many people are still either ignorant or refusing to see the signs. Why is this so? Obviously, there must be something wrong with the current education system.

In order to devise a proper education system, we must first understand the reasons as to why the general population refuses to embrace the movement. Is it because of cost? Or are there other reasons?

Only then, will we be able to truly fight Climate Change.

Hence, I will like to propose the following topic for the research project.

Research question
How aware are NUS students about the climate changes and its' effects?

Hypothesis
NUS students are well aware of the climate changes and the effects. (>70% of survey questions correct)

Problem statement
The objective of this research study is to determine the awareness level of NUS students about the climate changes and its' effects.

Purpose statement
The objective of this report provides the NUS committee with data on the level of awareness of the NUS student body. If this is low, it might provide useful information for the committee to devise a better campaign/education system. If the level of awareness is high, it shows that the campaign is effective and might be worthwhile to implement in other institutions.

Reasons for Attitudinal Survey
The main objective of this campaign is to educate/change the attitudes of NUS students towards climate change. Hence, in order to determine the success rate of this campaign, we will need to poll the student body to determine the current awareness level.
Edited 8/9/2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

Pandemonium


Welcome to Weikin’s Blog Post on ES2007S. Today, I will be reporting “live” from an actual conflict situation at NUS. Taskforce Alpha, a team of 5 students (Eunice, John, Andy, Steve and Janice) has been assigned to work together on a project. This project is important as it will comprise 50% of their final grade in their module. However, one of their important teammate, John, is currently MIA and is holding on to a critical component of the project. To make matters worse, the deadline is in 3 days! The other teammates are extremely unhappy about this and are about to go on strike! I questioned the team leader, Andy, about what went wrong and why are the teammates so unhappy.

Me: “Andy, what happened to John?”

Andy: “We were waiting for him to compile the project, but he just called me to inform me that he is now in Malaysia attending a Liondance competition. He claims that he did not know that he had to compile project."

Me: “Why are you guys so angry then?”

Andy: “In the first place, John told us he was extremely busy this semester, so we gave him the least work. He was supposed to write an introduction for the project and compile the project once everyone completed their part. In the end, he did not even write the introduction, this responsibility was pushed to another teammate, Eunice, to perform. Whenever we have group meetings, he was always the last to arrive and the first to leave. He barely contributed to this project."

Me: “Have you all tried talking to him?”

Andy: “Yes we did, but he kept telling us that he was very busy. We tried to understand his problems, but this is the last straw!”

Andy storms out of the room.

Everyone seems really angry and confused. I'm trying to reach John for comment but he is unavailable. What caused this situation to arise? I believe that one of the main issues is that John has not been responsible for his actions and did not bother to be accountable. The team failed to identify this problem early, leading to the current situation. What should the team have done? What can be done now? We will now ask our in-house EQ experts, Brad Blackstone and his team of bloggers, for advice.

Stay Tuned!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Effective Communication Skills? Whats the point?

Prior to taking this module, I asked myself several questions. Why should I take this module? Is it going to be useful/interesting? Is it easy to score? Does it have heavy workload? Is effective communication really that important?

Being a Year 4 student, this would be my second last semester in school and incidentally the last unrestricted elective module I would have to take. Why did I choose this module instead of a “fun” and “easy” module like Basic Japanese or some of the other highly bided modules? To put it frankly, what drew me to this module was the opportunity to learn how to write resumes as well as interview skills. At about this time next year, I would be out there hunting for a high-paying job (hopefully), competing against thousands of fresh graduates. What is going to separate me from the others? A properly written resume is only going to qualify me for an interview. Which is why effective communication so important! From that point on, everything is going to rely on my communication skills. From getting hired to climbing the corporate ladder, all these will depend on effective communication skills.

However, this module has it immediate uses as well. Year 4 focuses heavily on the Honours project, which in turn focuses heavily on research report writing as well as presentations. The only way to score well will be to rely heavily on effective communication skills, as I will need to present my points as clearly as possible, ensuring the examiners understands what I am showing them.

I’m pretty sure there are other uses for effective communication skills, but that would be another blog post for another time. Time for this monologue to end.

Places to I want to see