Sunday, November 9, 2008

Looking Back...

ES2007S is coming to an end. Looking back then, I took this module mainly because it was non-examinable! (Hahaha! Let's face it. :p) However, it has been such an enriching experience for me, picking up many useful communication skills along the way, as well as making 16 new friends! It has been really stressful in the laboratory this semester, but whenever I go for the ES2007S class, it sort of take my mind off labwork, which is pretty relaxing.

For the first half of the semester, I got the chance to interact with different members of the class, discussing answers to the questions in the skill builder worksheets. I feel that this is a good way of building and practising effective interpersonal communication skills. It also provided the chance to build relationships as compared to not knowing anyone else from the class, the latter being a typical scenario for many of the modules. Next came the project, which allowed me to clearly understand the importance of coordination and team effort. Though the timeframe given to complete the report was short, I am really glad we pulled through it. Then came the resume and cover letter writing. I must say the skills that I have learnt in the process are truly valuable and definitely applicable in the near future when I will be job-hunting. Lastly, blog writing for this module has been an interesting experience because of the chance to read other blogs by my classmates. It also plays a role in helping me gather their opinions on certain issues and some of them really give very insightful thoughts on their blogs.

My understanding of the value of effective communications skills has not changed from the very first post and I still believe mutual respect is essential. To me, mutual respect encompasses the different aspects of effective communication skills such as active listening, mannerisms, etc. Taking this module has reaffirmed my belief. I am very satisfied with what I have taken away from the course and I know that the skills I have learnt will stick with me for life.

I would like to thank Brad for being a great teacher, for sharing his interesting life experience with the class during lessons and for the guidance and help given. Thanks to all the classmates who contributed in making the lessons enjoyable!! We should go for a class lunch on the last day of school after the quiz! (^.^)

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Ke Yizhen Joyce is a fourth-year Chemistry major studying at the National University of Singapore. Currently, she is engaged in her final year project, which involves active researching in the laboratory. She has been trained to solve problems methodically and logically through the intensive coursework in the Chemistry field over the years.

Joyce has gained an enriching working experience from holding various temporary jobs in her vacation time. She has learnt to be sharp and precise, and has honed her interpersonal skills through her short stints as an assistant in the finance department of two different companies. It has also given her an insight to the working environment in the finance sector. Joyce was also able to carry out her responsibilities as an administrative assistant efficiently as she is a well-organized and meticulous individual.

Being an active person, Joyce enjoys playing various sports and she is always open to trying out new ones. She has participated in various activities such as recreational netball and aerobic exercises in the university. She was also a table-tennis school team player during her secondary and junior college days. Through six years of diligent and intensive training, Joyce has learnt to be disciplined and has since been motivated to jog regularly around her neighbourhood.

EDITED 19th October 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Reflections on project

In the past three years of my varsity life, I had done several projects for different modules. Of them all, the report that I’ve done for ES2007S is probably the most structured one. There were clear instructions and guidance from Brad throughout the report writing process. It was definitely a positive learning experience as I have picked up proper skills in preparing and writing a professional report.

Most importantly, I learnt that effective communication between group members truly plays a crucial role in churning out a full-length report. One could not have done it alone given the limited timeframe for the report. Amidst the busy schedules that my project members and I have, we had to rely largely on emails and text messages to communicate with each other regarding our individuals’ roles and responsibilities. The tone used in these messages had to be appropriate in order to avoid potential conflicts or miscommunication. Ideas or any instructions conveyed using these forms of communication had to be clear and precise so as to facilitate clear understanding. Separate tasks had to be completed on time to facilitate the progress of the report. Similarly, I have learnt that teamwork is particularly important in this aspect. For instance, updates on individual’s progress in the assigned task are necessary so that each member knows the parts that have been completed and the parts that need further chiselling. In this way, efficiency and productivity can be ensured and that everything can go about smoothly.

Teamwork is also essential in trying to overcome difficulties. For example, in this project, the initial number of survey respondents did not meet the expected quota and hence, we had a problem of a small sample group. However, we managed to put our brains together and came up with suitable ideas like mass emailing all of our friends to complete the survey.

For the upcoming oral presentation, I would like to convey our project ideas to the audience as clearly as possible. This will require constant practising and rehearsing with the team in order to give a fluent and well-prepared presentation. Once again, team coordination is essential in this aspect.

Edited 12 October 2008