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.



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, ย 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 weย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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So I went to Korea University, one of the most prestigious university in South Korea, for summer school from June-Aug 2016. ย 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 ย 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.ย 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.


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 ย 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.