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.


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.

End of Year 1 Term 1 Semester 1

28 August 2014 was officially the last day of Year 1 Semester 1 Term 1 in SIM University. It was definitely tough getting back into the studying mood especially after such a long holiday all the way since the end of my A levels and like all Singaporean Sons, serve our nation for the 1 Year 10 Months.

SIM University’s unique pedagogy ensures that students act as pro active, self-motivated learner and that one should take charge of his or her own education. To kickstart our journey, we were given books to read to prepare ourselves for what is in store for us. One of them ( a Singapore Literature Prize Winner in 2014) – The leader, The teacher & You by Lim Siong Guan with Joanne H.Lim has certainly opened many windows within my mind. I am deeply humbled by the author and his experiences and hope that my leadership capabilities can be modelled after what I have read.

As part of the school’s curriculum, all students have to undergo a 3D2N Outward Bound School Course at Pulau Ubin. Before the course, I had many doubts about the need for this OBS course. After all, Secondary School students are also able to complete the course and overcome the obstacles presented. And furthermore as guys, we had already undergone national service, how would this 3D2N even benefit us?  However, I approached OBS with an open mind and managed to learn many new things. As a former rock climber at Meridian Junior College, the high elements were easy to overcome. However, in a team sport, you are only as strong as the weakest member on your team. Everybody cheered and  encouraged one another. And, we exceeded  our own expectations for the money we could collect for our dinner. My main takeaway was that sometimes, we might belittle our own capabilities and settle for a place in our cosy comfort zone, when in reality, we can actually achieve much more.


The happy faces before a gruelling trek

“OBS nurtures our youths to be physically and mentally robust. They develop self-confidence, resilience, leadership and teamwork. They are instilled with the resolve to strive and succeed, and the sense of responsibility to give back to society.”

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Chairman People’s Association

I have always been interested in service learning and OBS have reinforced my desire to   work with youths.

Awarding of Certificate

Awarding of Certificate

Have a good time, dear readers!

Looking ahead to term 2.

Looking ahead to term 2.

Deep insights towards PW experience

The Written Report 2010

Way back in my days as a uniformed student in Meridian JC, where all A Level’s candidates are put to the arduous task -Project Work.

The PW journey was tough and even during 2010, there is a disparity between technology then and 2015. (Fact: WhatsApp was not even popular then, snapchat was not even developed and smartphones were still quite new on the market and pricey). Our group mates were from different class and meeting up itself was already an obstacle due to the variation in class schedule (Science stream with extra laboratory work vs Arts stream)

The topic given was Amalgamation which is basically combining or merging two different subjects. We settled on the technology + travel. After a few rounds of tedious brainstorming and endless cups of coffee, we would model our end product based on the case study of Wii Sports who managed to successfully amalgamate sports with technology. Within  a short duration we had to come up with the first draft. Our proposal has to be unique, creative and something new yet it has to be realistic.

In the artefact given, it is the final written report produced. It was restricting as I was new to 3D imaging but I had the end in mind, to have a end product that would attract the attention of anyone and persevered in order to complete my task.  In retrospect, I felt a great sense of accomplishment when I managed to complete interactive iPhone app mockups and 3D illustrations of the technology exhibition which we proposed.  

“Nothing worth having was ever achieved without effort”  Theodore Roosevelt  

The end product tasted extremely sweet as I managed to stray away from my comfort zone and instead took a risk and try something new. With the right positive attitude, open mind and persistence, I can learn new skills that would undoubtedly be of help for my other projects.

In conclusion, project work was a source of frustration amongst the junior college students. However, by facing it with the right attitude and a willingness to learn new skills, we can definitely benefit from it. The things we learn through the process are not theoretical and instead applicable to how we  treat our future projects.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done” Nelson Mandela