Monday, June 29, 2009

a member of AlumNUS

went to collect my graduation robe from campus. As usual, any event would attract advertisers. In this case, they were the banks (alumni credit and debit cards by SCB and DBS), NUSS (the graduate club), plaque makers and photography companies, etc.

received the invitation package and AlumNUS card too. Basically, it wraps up my undergraduate study with NUS. I would be good if i can return and continue my Masters programme there too - if there's such a chance.

AlumNUS card

Robe in the bag

Sunday, June 28, 2009

making the move...

i'm changing my job environment on 1st July 2009 - my new employer is IBM at Changi, with an intermediary company as the agent managing my payroll and administration. Am i sad? I think i am, but the move must be made since i've completed my bachelor's degree and cannot remain in the temporary position for too long.

i've been with NYP for many years, 2000-2003 as a student then 2006 till now as a staff. Factoring out army, it's already 7.5 yrs. I seen level 6 uncovered (it was covered up in late 2007), LTL3 red seats (it still is), blk M up to level 4 only, the unrenovated Mac and previous Food Junction. Many things changed subtly over the years, but the general look remains.

some key memories during the course of work was the 2006 period i was depressed and spent many nights at the level 5 office. Only the ghosts saw me. It's somewhat entrenched since it was part of the life experience.

then came the larger events, such as the Oracle workshop in 2007 where i had the chance to handle the event, the stay at the campus accomodation at Blk 170 and in early 2009, the Xin Min Symposium.

i had much satisfaction building up (and tearing down) labs myself - CL 1, 2, 3, 11 and M310. CL 11 is my favourite, because i built it up and tore it down few times in 3.5 years. I put in effort to make sure the smaller details were included and the labs would be neat and tidy even after few semesters of usage. No messy or dangling cables in these labs!










there are many emergency incidents from small to big in the course of work too. Projectors and instructor PCs go south at the wrong time, requests come when there is only me, people getting hurt or vandalism of property, card readers going crazy, thumbdrive virus busting. Interesting incidents.

i certainly hope students at large are satisfied with the dept's customer service level. I would say we have progressed in small steps towards a student-centric learning environment, where we try to understand their needs and problems. Like SIT Club, instead of being defensive against their requests, we have largely changed towards listening and supporting them wherever possible. There is still much to be done though.

more photos to be updated in this post later.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


after making so many attempts. Let's talk about last weekend 1st - i went in to try and the breakdown was:

#1: put in the tag at the reader, mounted the bar and did only 1 when PTI said Sir, you haven't inpro yet? I looked at the LED screen, **** it told me to inpro first without registering the 1x.

i almost wanted to scream at him because i wouldn't have gotten the tag without inpro first.

#2: mounted the bar again, 4x. ARGH

#3: mounted the bar again,..... 4.5x. I JUST COULDN'T DO 0.5 MORE!

just now was better. Did 5 without much ado. Only had to swing a little to do the 5th.


No monetary reward? It's ok. Just get this year's done and over with

Sunday, June 21, 2009

fishing (changi point)

went for a different experience in fishing with CL, my colleague. Met a graduate EI student and his brother, and i invited WQ and girl too. Took Ah Long's boat out, and armed with his powerful Garmin GPS and fish finder we went to many spots between Tekong and Changi coast in the search for big fishes.

there were many new things for me. 1st was the fishing rod, quite heavy and hard to handle (i have wrist pain due to computer work). When the line got sang-kok by some rock, its so hard to extend the line. Flip the switch and the handle will wind itself by crazily, which blue blacked my fingers.

2nd was fishing with live prawns, learn to handle it was quite easy. But sensing for bites with the live bait in the water was really difficult. Couldn't feel a bite at all for the whole day. So you can guess, i was the unlucky one who caught nothing, only 1 decent bite but didn't have enough tension cos' my wrist was feeling weak.

Ah Long's boat

Preparing to set off

Chewing gum of the oriental (it didn't make it back to shore, cut up as bait)

Not bad, from 0830 to 1730 hrs.

summary of interviews

actually, interviews need practice and some homework. Read about salary negotiation skills (don't give a range, give a fixed number but suggest the competitive market rate before giving that number, ...) and working history problems. For example, how to explain job hopping in a nice way - unfortunately, any decent explanation would look bad on the applicant.

so far i applied 55 job positions, received 6 requests for interviews. You can guess the catch rate is around 10%! Went to ST Electronics, IBM, Philips, HSBC, Standard Chartered (PS) and NP, some turned out fine and some were superficial. Had 2 more calls from Hitachi and through a banking friend's referral, but i had to turn down since i received an offer.

come to this offer itself, decided to accept it since the terms seemed alright. The salary was not the best, but acceptable in such tough times. For the next 4 days, no response from the agency. I should give the staff a buzz tomorrow.

50,000km servicing

did my 50k servicing at the start of the month. Just a simple engine oil change and tyre rotation and balancing. I think I got 'carrot headed' for the oil though.

OEMed by Idemitsu

Battery is fine

did it at Soh Tyres at AMK. More known for rims and tyres, but so i was impressed with the tyre rotation part.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

job searching, interviews, (repeat)

to date i've knocked on the doors of about 50 employers. Not real doors though, only their email inboxes. Through the online agents such as JobStreet, JobsDB and JobsCentral. Along the way, recruitment agents got my information through the portals and job applications and contacted me too.

still, the chances of being shortlisted for an interview is really, really rare. Yes, rare neither occasional nor frequent. I just went for my 1st, with ST Electronics (ISS). I knew that company and some of their staff through the former SES back in army days. Surprising what i did in army became of use in the interview!

maybe i'm having tough luck due to my salary expectation and what i'm trying to apply for. I'm willing to go a little lower for IT operations and support (+ management executive roles or similarly non IT ones), but not willing to budge for software development jobs. The latter can be extremely intensive, i'd make sure my time is well compensated.

there are 3 more interviews, but i'm thinking of canceling one. I need more interviews, please.