Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Shanghai Story

One important lesson learnt in SoC is really as per what Forrest Gump said, "My mama said, 'Life is like a box of Chocolates, you never know what you going to get...'"

One thing that i never really planned to do before matriculation was my overseas experience. I was thinking about doing my regular course over the span of 4 years and graduate and join the workforce. Plain vanilla style. No plans for minor studies, exchange, internship or what-so-ever.

During the beginning of my year 2, i was involved in the Freshmen Orientation Week as Logistic Guy for the 5 day thing in SoC for O-week. During then, got to know one of the Senior (matriculated 1 year before me) whom we call "KC" Anyway, KC and i get along just fine. During my Year 2 Sem 2, he left for NOC(shanghai) for his one year experience, and came back during my year 3, sem 2. He told me stories of the sights and sounds and wonderful adventures and misadventures in Shanghai. KC being himself, will always tell his stories with the 'you-got-to-try-this' kind of enthusiasm. Actually, for me, it sounded more like, 'i-bet-you-can't-handle-this-challenge'. Hehz... Just kidding...

The thing is he got me aware of some amazing opportunities that lies within NUS. I was kinda of bored with computers and writing lines and lines of code. NOC was the like the kind of different experience i was itching for. Especially Shanghai... With that, year 3 sem 2, i applied for NOC Shanghai, and found placement.

On my fourth year, i found myself living a land 3000+ km away from Singapore. That 4th year is what i call the Shanghai Chronicles. In it there are multiple volumes and stories to tell. For SoCians and other folks in NUS, you just need to know that i was engaged as market researcher(intern). I spent 4 whole months on works and projects relating to the financial market in China, and the other time with general consumer trends in the market there.

Well another idea to ponder: Being away from IT for a year helped me to realise that i love IT more. The saying about Absence making the Heart grown fonder is probably right. I haven't done any none-technical job since than...

Well, after coming back from NOC, life had been more than kind to me and it seems many doors had been opened. More importantly, i came back with a clearer understanding that there is so much more that i can and my other areas of improvement as well... It's been 18 months since i got back. It's the second time i'm working in a MNC now, (1st mnc job lasted a year), sort of founded and then put aside a start-up for my current work engagement, had a brief 'fling' with A*STAR with my FYP, tutored 2 semesters of Java in SoC.... and the list is still growing on...

Morale of the story: Anything is possible, we just got to try. Sometimes, we ourselves sabotages our own possibilities and would-be successes. SoC is a community with people who constantly motivates and challenges you to become the better person that you are. Have you take on any new challenges lately.

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