Why people even buy Yeezy boost?

So the other module I took in Korea was another marketing + psychological module called consumer behaviour. This is basically trying to understand the rationale behind the consumers’ mind when they are trying to purchase a product. It is kind of similar to work motivation but instead, motivation to spend money.

The professor is a Korean based in Florida, USA and he will go back during the summer to spend time with his extended family in Busan (popularised by Train to Busan the movie and Busan Film Festival, and must I add, a beautiful place with a slower pace of life). He indirectly provided the intrinsic motivation when he gave me perfect score for all my assignments, and there will be this inner urge for me to try to keep up and maintain having the 100% for all the assignments. (Detractors please note that there were plenty of students who did not get full marks, I think he was particular about language.)

Anyway, this module allows students to understand why people even buy items which they do not really need.

An item which costs $1000, goes on sale for $750, you did not save $250. Instead, you have just spent $750.

I find consumer behaviour to be very applicable in the world. Yeezy boost by Kanye West, especially the one with the words on the side, if it was some no-brand production line cast-offs, nobody would even give them a second glance. However, because of all the hype and marketing promotions that went into this yeezy boost, sales went up the roof. And in order to even get the opportunity to pay money and buy the shoe, the interested consumer has to participate in a raffle. Imagine this scenario, trying to win a raffle so that you can pay money (not a small sum by the way) to buy a shoe. Wow, much wow.

All the motivation to be seen as the hippiest, the most trendy and fashionable.

Consumer behaviour in KU had a lot of assignments compared to the other modules. There were 3 case studies which we had to do, 3 major assignments (artefacts listed below), 1 main case study + presentation, 3 MCQ questionaires and class participation.

Compared to Intro to Marketing which only had two exams and one Big project, Consumer Behaviour felt very tedious as there seems to be a new assignment every 2/3 days.

Here are some of my artefacts:

  1. I reviewed an article on Amazon

Consumer Behaviour 1

2. Finding out about the rationale behind my own purchases

Consumer Behaviour 2

3. Tracking my own purchases

Consumer Behaviour 3

In summary, despite the tediousness of the module, I have enjoyed this class and would actually recommend it to people who are intending to go KU! And i believe it will always be the same Professor Woody Kim who will be teaching.

 

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Intro to Marketing in Korea University

As an HRM student, I feel that what I am studying tend to be too specialised, although the school has probably thought about this and introduced us to finance modules, economics modules and business modules. However, I feel that marketing is a very important skill which an individual needs to muster in order to strive in the working world. Even as a HR practitioner, you have to understand the business aspects of your company such as the marketing side in order to interact more and communicate better with your colleagues.

Hence, armed with zero marketing knowledge, I decided to take on the first marketing module in my life.

And the verdict was that I found it to be really interesting, and it gave me second thoughts such as maybe marketing is the right calling for me actually. HAHA. I’ll probably pursue marketing during my masters though.

Marketing Proposal

For the purpose of this assignment, my group decided to create a new product for Adidas and market it to active users. The assignment itself is fun,  and allows your creative juices to flow, granting you full autonomy of how you want to do the project and encourages innovation. However, the challenge of this project would be collaborating with the group members. This was my first time working with international group mates and the tensions were aplenty. There was not just cultural differences, but even language-wise, some were not on par with the other and a lack of ability was sometimes misunderstood for a lack of effort. On the contrary, a higher ability actually led to the disregard for the need of effort where the member actually just distanced herself from everybody. This emphasises the importance of what Professor Sherwin taught – Team Dynamics.

As the company we simulated working for was Adidas, one of my favourite company in the world, I took immense joy in researching about the company itself. And as for the make-up part, I would say I am able give my three-cents worth should a girl ask for my opinion while in Sephora 🙂

한국에 오신 것을 환영합니다

So I went to Korea University, one of the most prestigious university in South Korea, for summer school from June-Aug 2016.  Because the experience itself is too good for just one post, I need to relive it by separating them into three different post 1) The Entire summer school experience itself 2) Intro to marketing module which I took and 3) Consumer Behaviour.

The Entire Summer School Experience

So I took the not so well trodden path of going alone to Korea University or KU because I felt that KU had more to offer instead of accompany my friends to Hanyang University, and also cause I believe that if you are going with a group of friends overseas, might as well  go for a holiday. Hence, to prevent yourself from being guilt tripped into going for something you do not really want to and to embrace the true feeling of independence, go for summer school ALONE!!! I cannot stress the importance of this enough.

Anyway, throughout the summer school, you will be able to meet new friends from all round the world, from Texas to Hong kong to Toronto and back to Singapore. But the harsh reality is that after the 6 weeks, your international friends are gonna go home and there might not be a chance where you will ever meet again. And that is very, very sad.

School in Korea was fun, and the professors had a lot of experience and they will make the lessons as interesting as possible. So, a day at school will start at 9.15am which I regret a lot and a lot of students ended up skipping these 9.15 classes simply because they overslept/ lazy get out of bed due to Hongdae Everyday, late night at Myeongdong , well you get the idea – Seoul is the city which never sleeps.

It was my first time living away from my family for an extended period of time, the few weeks in National Service does not really count. I stayed at this hostel, Koreans call it goshiwon (or one room apartments) which is a communal style living and everybody easily makes friends with one another. Most of the occupants are Singaporeans (foreigners tend to stay within the school, which is actually less convenient because they need to climb up this slope everyday) and during the key exams period, you can literally be basked in the aura of the Singaporean mugging spirit. From the laundry area to the nice cosy cafes opposite my place, you can see and tell that the people studying hard till the wee hours of morning are the Singaporeans. Most people think that summer schools are just for fun, easy, since it is just a pass/fail thing. But, it is not the case for Singaporeans. This competitive spirit was highlighted by the summer school dean himself during the Singaporean night, where he acknowledged that professors liked the SG students a lot due to their ability and punctuality. However, because of this competitive spirit, I could feel that there is a gap when the international students are asked to collaborate for a project work. Like you could genuinely tell that this cultural differences will create friction to the team dynamics and as a Singaporean, knowing that your grades are at stake, will take it upon yourself to salvage the entire group work.

Anyway, the summer school trip itself was more of a cultural experience for me. So the weekly cultural outings were a must-go for me. I tried Taekwondo, went for mud festival, water gun festival, assimilating into the Korean culture by going for baseball games and ordering chicken and beer. Not a day passed by in Korea where students will feel bored and out of things to do. Every week was packed to the brim and I could slowly pick up some Hangul to converse with the local ahjumma at the restaurant.

Alright that is all and since this post is about the KU experience, I end this post with pictures of the trip as my artefacts.

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Motivating people to vote for Donald Trump?

Donald Trump winning the POTUS presidential election has affirmed my belief that motivation is the key to anything. Understanding what motivates people and saying things that pushes all their right buttons can actually cause the person to align themselves with you. As seen from the Donald Trump case study where he pushes all the buttons of discriminations to generate hate as well as saying what the industry workers want to hear.

So HRM313 is all about pushing all the right buttons of people, AT WORK.

The intrinsic motivation as well as the extrinsic motivation of people. This will be a module which I will be revisiting overtime even after I graduate because this is something I am interested in the long run. Not to run as a presidential candidate, but to start up a company that will motivate the future generation in education. I believe that time has changed, what has motivated the baby boomers has shifted (avoidance of punishments mostly) and the millennials do not get motivated by the same thing. Hence, I would like to conduct more research on this to find out what spur future generations to do even better.

The TMA for this module is unique. It is crafted in a way where it simulates a real working environment where the student has to generate a HR email as well as proposal which differs from the normal essay style of HRM modules.

HRM 261 TMA

The company I chose was actually 18 Chefs, one of the restaurant which I frequented during my Junior College days. The boss of the restaurant, Benny is an ex-convict turned successful millionaire now. The restaurant runs on a social enterprise structure, and I believe that the key to its huge success would be understanding what would motivate its staffs, some of whom are youth-at-risk or delinquents  and like Benny himself. The restaurant success is a motivation itself to everyone of us.

 

 

You want high pay or play?

HRM313 Total Reward Design And Management

So my sister was complaining to my mother about the benefits (or lack of) at her company and how the company has a high turnover rate. Immediately, I offered my somewhat unsolicited opinions about what the company should do better in its compensation package.

I was met with approval from both my mother and sister, as they were both nodding in unison about my suggestions in how to improve the compensation package.

This shows how useful this module is, it is very very very practical and useful. It will be essential in helping me negotiate a good compensation package for myself.

HRM313 tutor-marked assignment

Anyway, the topic which I chose for the TMA for this module is :

Culture: Should companies focus on compensation strategies or corporate culture to motivate employees?

Personally, I will regard corporate culture as an important element when I am searching for jobs next time. And am I glad to conduct so much research which further validates my choice. Corporate cultures are something that cannot be built overnight and it will be less of a chore to go to the workplace if we actually like the workplace. Even if the pay is high, will it be sufficient to convince one to drag yourself up at 5am facing the Monday blues to fight against the morning MRT traffic and reach the workplace not looking like a zombie?

My answer is no, which is why I advocate companies to have a strong corporate culture just like the one at Trivago. Speaking of which, maybe I should try to apply for a Trivago internship during my work attachment. Hmmmmmm.

Study history? But I am a business student.

So we had to take history as part of our common core module. For what? We are business students- majoring in Accountancy, Finance, HRM, Marketing and not arts students.

However, to use a narrow minded approach to education, is similar to the blinders on a horse, restricting it to only a straight movement forward, neglecting the beautiful sights that are on its sides. The study of CCO107 World History attempts to create a holistic approach to a UNISIM student’s education.

Through the various history chapters, we have come to appreciate that we are living in an era where we do not have to be afraid that we might stumble across an opium den or be forced upon a ship across the Atlantic trade route to be sold. History engages us, and it is fascinating to learn about how the various countries of the world interact with one another. Historical events shape how countries interact with one another now. For example, the frosty relations between China and Japan, as well as Russia and USA.

For our individual assignment, we were asked to write up on modern slavery. Here would be my artefact. Tay Yu Siang_CCO107_TMA

Does family income determine the academic performance of a polytechnic student?

The recent spate of news articles over elitist advantage in Singapore education system has created a big hoo-ha within our little red dot. Many Singaporeans have come out debating against the ‘Elite schools’ over the presumed majority of its student population hailing from the affluent class.  Critics have sharpen their knives saying that the unfair education policies in place have enabled the children from wealthier families to get a head start such as primary schools accepting students based on their household proximity, and the presumably better primary schools such as Raffles Primary School (located within Bukit Timah area) gives an unfair advantage to the rich households living in Bukit Timah.

However, through my own experience, in my entire school life, even through National Service, I believe that family income does not necessarily affect your performance in schools. Yes, definitely, there would be advantages where students from lower income group might not be able to afford such as Overseas Immersion Programme where the fees can easily hit up to tens of thousands dollars. However, knowing that not all students are able to afford such programmes, schools do not take into account such programmes when grading the students. At the end of the day, it is not the amount of overseas trip the student went, but his projects and exams that count in his final GPA.

There are many articles that are based on how students are able to perform well academically against all odds. These stories are usually inspiring and they are able to serve as potential role models for the next batch of students.

For CCO105 Social Research, under the tutelage of Professor Lim Chee Han, I was a social scientist attempting to understand how the society works by conducting my own research and consolidating my findings. Honestly, this journey was not easy. It was like a throwback to my PW days in JC where sleepless nights were the norm in rushing to adhere to the various deadlines. However  at an advanced level in University, we were instead tasked to recreate the whole PW style of assignment on an individual basis. It allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and challenged my boundaries.

I stepped into Ngee Ann Polytechnic (my sample population), found a spot at the cafe and immediately set upon completing my task by asking random students to fill up my surveys. After the consolidation of my findings, there was more to come. We had to contextualise our findings and present it in the form of a report. The entire project was completed during the revision week, a few days before my finals. It was indeed the first challenge after National Service, where I had to meet deadlines, and yet revised for the finals. And it certainly felt very sweet when I saw the end product of my research findings!!!

And indeed, family income does not determine a student’s academic performance in polytechnic. My hypothesis is correct.

Research: ECA T07 Tay Yu Siang

Work Hard Play Harder.

Artefact: TAYYUSIANG_CCO101TMA

During CCO101 Thinking and Reasoning ( I will prefer to label it as Philosophy since we are learning about the works of the great thinkers), we are asked to evaluate an article and we are to follow it up with our own opinions. Inside of me, I was thinking, will this be too much to ask of us to evaluate the opinions of these great philosophers? However, it has to be done, and with careful planning, and the careful scrutinising of the article, I was able to identify the main points of the article which I want to comment.

At the end of this course, I felt that I was able to think deeper and provide insights as to why a society might choose to allow themselves be dominated by another social class instead of fighting for their own rights  (probably due to the influence of the works of the great thinkers, and of course my lecturer, Adrian Kwek, a Harvard Alumni).

 

BUS100 Excel Spreadsheets

Artefact: BUS100 TMA Submission

The learning of the usage of spreadsheet models, BUS 100. To be honest, I have been using excel for quite a bit during National Service. Yet, after attending the first lesson, I realised that what I know is close to zero. All I have been doing is simply called – Hardcoding.  Throughout the entire module, I have benefitted greatly from the lectures under my stern but candid Professor Leong who shares many of his life experiences  which is not something we can get through any textbooks.  At the end of BUS100, my skills as an excel user have definitely improved tremendously. It would certainly be an essential tool while working.

CCO103 CRITICAL READINGS E-PORTFOLIO ASSIGNMENT

Learning Experience

Click below for video artefact https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7DqS98rmjhLTGRtRWl0QUxGMDA/preview


Individual Summary

The United States Supreme court decision to allow same-sex marriage was a move that was met with jubilant cheers from human rights activists who believed that having a different sexual orientation should not create discriminations. However, there remained widespread disapproval to this landmark decision. The dissentients feel that there is a need to impose their own beliefs on others, and in the process, deny a homosexual’s matrimonial rights.

Through the parody of Kim Davies, the real-life clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite its legalization, it served to illustrate the discriminations faced by same-sex couples and the disputes arising. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes “that every one of us is born free and equal in dignity and rights.” (United Nations, 2015) However, by denying marriage license to the couple due to one’s opposing views is an infringement on the couple’s rights. Banning all forms of marriage would supposedly bring equal rights to humans of all sexual orientations since everybody cannot marry.

Interviews conducted on people from all walks of life unanimously agreed that all marriages should be banned. Comparing this to the earlier scene where all forms of marriage were legalized and disputes were occurring, the marriage ban had restored the community to its tranquillity. Furthermore, the scene captioned “where fantasies come to life” symbolised a promiscuous single male enjoying the company of several sexual partners. While marriages promotes the restriction of sexual activities to within husband and wife, a marriage ban could lead to a rise of sexual deviants since there would be no law binding union. The introduction of a marriage expert parodied after the infamous playboy Hugh Hefner was an ironic twist intended for the audience to question his opinions on the marriage ban.

The all marriage ban would merely form the furthest rightist end of a human rights spectrum against the leftist end which is the legalization of all forms of marriages and hence would have its own detractors. The society cannot conform to every individual’s own desires and social cohesion can only be possible if everybody remain tolerant regardless of sexual orientation.


Reflections

Beliefs of an individual should never be imposed on another. Marriages should be allowed for all consenting adults, regardless of gender and sexual orientation. Yet, there are individuals in our world who are being denied of the right to marry the person they love. The usual retaliation would be a  “Mind your own business” snipe, especially in the case of the Kentucky clerk who refused to issue marriage license to a gay couple. It was a unique task where the controversial suggestion of banning of all marriages to avoid fights from occurring is to be presented in satirical form.

“Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.” The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Whether we believe or oppose it, the most important thing to maintain peace is to practise tolerance.