Wednesday, November 11, 2009

LAST!!! Course reflection

Just before I draft this last post entry, I took a quick look at my first entry that sort of summarizing why I am taking this course. In short, I want to improve my language with a communication course. The coordinator of this module, BB sensei was my tutor in another module I took which is EG1471. Having a good impression with him I decided to enroll into his course while there are actually other communication courses offered by other departments such as Business, without looking at the detail of the course.

Again I am impressed with the course materials. It was fantastic and just browse through the list will be an eye opener that triggered me to learn the quality of a professional speaker. However there is something wrong as time goes by. The structure of the course is very similar with the other two courses that I taken from CELC: EG1471 and EG1413. The former is known as English of Education if not wrong. Taught by BB sensei, we need to post up blog entries on a regular basis, comment with each other post and conduct peer teaching. Sound familiar? Yes I am doing exactly the same thing two years before; the latter is known as Critical Thinking and Writing and one of the main objectives is to trained engineer with proposal writing skill based on secondary research. Yes I am doing a proposal again. In addition, I conducted twice primary survey in NUS for the CCA project I joined. The similarities are quite discouraging as I felt this is nothing new but a repetition.

Fortunately there are differences that delighted me. It was like adding flavoring for me to enjoy this course. I was exposed to the proper, correct, or as the name of the course suggest, a professional way for the topic covered. For instance, resume writing, interviewing, preparing unbiased survey and others which had never been my concern before. I started to look at the same thing in a different and thoughtfully manner. This is the most I gained from the course.

Let’s back to my origin of taking this course, did my language improved? I doubt there is hardly or any improvement and I believed you will sure spot quite a number of grammatical error. In fact, I think I am in disadvantage to taking this course in terms of final grading due to my weakness in language. So, I actually pre-allocated a SU option for this module at the moment I decided to take this. However, I did not compromise the quality of my work especially for group work project. CF and YZ, forgive me if there is any conflict….it is really a great experience to work with you two. Go go Choyobo!

Presentation reflection

As far as the presentation is concern, I think our team done a good job. We successfully delivered the message we want to convey based on our proposal.

Looking back to my performance, I would give myself a ‘satisfactory’ grade. Unlike many who are natural presenter, I am still at the infant stage or just slightly more than that. My body was tremble at the start every time when I present. I cannot stand on the stage unprepared and talk based on the slide…even though the slide is prepared by me without a pre-written script. Being well prepared or simply, keep practicing is the only key for me if I want to do a presentation. The rule is simple and I think it apply to all of us: the more you prepare and the better you can do.

Still, I am kind of overlooking my role as the first presenter. I focus solely on the content as my concern was to bring out the topic and prepare a stage for the next presenter. This was not wrong in principle, but I fail to cater for the most important part: attention catcher. I did not put in effort to find interesting factor such as video or comic. Some might argue that what is wrong in getting to the point right at the start but the key here is the type of audience. I cannot agree that the same presentation slide can be recycled every time without considering the audience group. From what I see none of our audience have the self-initiated interest as our proposal is mainly for hostel residents and that’s why attention catcher is important.

For the same token, we give out the chance for present our proposal to Dean of Student as quite a lot of refinement is needed and unfortunately we do not have the sufficient time for that. Moreover, I think our background study is just up to the level for this mock proposal but definitely not sufficient in the authorities’ points of view.

Lastly, I know that my biggest problem is still weak in the language itself. Mispronunciation, wrong choice of term and grammatical mistakes greatly affected my performance and my own confident. lol

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Evaluating Intercultural Behavior

It is true that we always overlook the difference in culture when we interact with people from different backgrounds. It is not surprising that conflict can easily arise as we often judge others based on our perception where in this case, culture.

During my internship period I happened to chat with a construction worker from China. He was interested with the size of my home county, Malaysia. Apologize for my ignorance: I could not answer his question. The respond he gave was really unpleasant: nearly shout out with “how can you don’t know”. I was very embarrassed and frankly speaking, agitated with his tone of reproach.

Being unsatisfied, I ask around my friends from Malaysia and felt relief as nearly no one knew the exact answer, even thought we all been taught in secondary geography. It took me some time to figure out what cause this phenomenon. To us, the land area is not an issue of concern. On one hand, Malaysia is not big enough for her people to show off. On the other hand, it is not small enough that we are constrained in land use. People just do not care about it.

From the incidents around Taiwan and Tibet, we can see that the nations are very concern about the territory issue and no doubt that they are proud with their land area. To them, ignorance with this matter is unbelievable and equally not patriotic. I think this explained why the worker gave me such respond at that time.

I am a Chinese, same race with most China nation. We share the same tradition, festival, taboo or in short, culture. Still, we are different in some other part of the culture due to different nationality. The moral of the story is: before you get offended by something, think about the culture and background of the one irritates you.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Personal Statement

Throughout my life in university I never regret that my choice of become a civil engineer. Since young I have been inspired by how this particular field of engineering brings civilization to mankind. In the same time, I realized that how difficult it is to run a construction project. Unlike manufacturing a car, there is never repetition of a construction project. I called it a dynamic process and only passionate, trained professional able to take up the responsibility. This explained why I chose planning engineer as I am confident in this is where my strength lies in.

My first module in University that awarded an ‘A’ is construction project management. This serves as the starting point where I decided to specialize in this field. Since then I took several project management related modules and the results I gained had further strengthen my belief. Putting academic aside, I have the experience on planning and managing construction project through my three month internship with Land Transport Authority. Beyond that, I also gained site experience through close observation on the construction site and eventually built up a feel on how a plan on table being executed as well as how the site constrains may fail the plan, no matter how good it is.

Through actively participated in Co-Curricular Activities, I developed several qualities which I think is essential to a planning engineer. Experience in leadership position of student body taught me the importance of teamwork. My view in this is understand and do your part of work, while believe in your teammate. Communication between planner and executor ensure the reliability of every plan made. The success of Operation Orion had proven my ability as a planner and it is still the achievement I am proud of.

To summarize, as a planning engineer he shall fully utilize the available resource, obverse and understand the site constrain, while work with the team in order to coming out a practical solution. I believed I have the quality mentioned and of course, your choice of consideration.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Application Letter Critique"

Loo Boon Woei

31 Jalan Padi 7,



6 September 2009

Department of Human Resource

Gammon Pte. Limited
Co Reg No: 198001094M
29 International Business Park #06-05
Acer Building, Tower B
Singapore 609923

Dear Sir/Madam,

Application for Post of Planning Engineer

I refer to your recruitment notice posted on your home page on the above position. With my academic qualification as well as my relevant skills and experiences, I believe that I am the ideal candidate for this position.

I am a fresh graduate with a Degree in Civil Engineering from National University of Singapore. Throughout the years of training I am well equipped with skill and knowledge in construction management. Besides, I completed an internship program with Land Transport Authority’s rail group. I gained precious experience in project management from client point of view.

Besides the knowledge in construction field, I have developed essential soft skills in project management during my University life. The most significant event that I went through is an overseas community involvement program. As the vice project director, I liaised with a non government agency and successfully planned a small construction project within three months.

Gammon has maintained an excellent record of safety in the tenders awarded around the world. The works and efforts paid in realize the slogan of Zero Harm is definitely undoubted. I am truly impressed by this and hope to contribute in making it even successful.

I have attached my resume for your reference and would appreciate it if I could attend an interview with you. I can be contacted at 91356413 throughout the day.

I look forward to your favorable reply. Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Loo Boon Woei

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Resolving Interpersonal Conflict

I always think that it is the perception we have in mind decides how we understand and feel. It is so powerful and conflict arises when people have different point of view. We felt disappointed and eventually get agitated if our expectation was not met. The following describe the scenario where conflict arises between two friends.

Ivan is good in graphic design and famous among his friends. One day, he took part in a T shirt design competition upon request of his friend, Jack who is one of the organizing committee. The winner will be awarded and the design will be used for their club T shirt. At the end of the game, Ivan’s design was not capable to win the vote so he gained nothing. Half of a year later, Jack contacts Ivan and request for his design as the club decided print out the second badge of T shirt with Ivan’s design. Feeling unfair, Ivan refused to release his design unless the club paid him the equivalent rewards as the competition. Conflict arose when Jack argued that as a friend of him Ivan should not ask for anything and moreover, once submitted the design is considered property of the club.

In this scenario, both party have different stand and it seem both of them were not doing any wrong. What wrong with this? Taking yourself as either Ivan or Jack and share how would you solve the problem.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Effective communication

Communication is something you can do without only when you decided to live alone or leave the world, as I suppose there is no second life after death. You need to communicate so as) to survive and then master it to success. As far as I know, all great man is great speaker. Unfortunately this is exactly what I am lacking and I decided to face and take steps to overcome my weakness.

I just completed an internship program and it was indeed a great experience. One of the key lessons I learnt is the importance of communication skill. In workplace, we have to work as a team and troubles arise when there is problem in communication. Things like misunderstanding is not uncommon and we have to take extra hour to achieve consensus and get things done. Even if you are sitting high as boss, you still need to ensure your order is delivered.

However, communication is not as simple as deliver and receive but much complicated. Information, views, opinion are exchanged through various communication channels and affected by non-verbal massage such as body language, facial expression and even tone of voice. On “my journey to success”, I would like to equip with these skills as soon as possible and the best scenario is I can learn through a proper course (yes it’s ES2007S again).

We hold an objective whenever we communicate and mastering effective communication skill will assure our objective is met, or at least bring us closer.