Thursday, June 14, 2012

The MetroDBITan student Series : Issue #001 – Shi Hui

As promised, we are bringing you a new feature on DBIT students, aptly titled “The MetroDBITan student”!
The first student we are going to feature is Year 3 student, Tan Shi Hui, whose name might ring a bell for the regular readers of this blog.  That is because Shi Hui happens to be a very active contributor to this blog!
If you have been silently reading her previous entries, and wondering how this person behind the posts is like, the mystery is finally going to be unveiled today.
Let’s jump right in and get to know more about Shi Hui! Smile

Hi Shi Hui, thanks for accepting this interview from us.  Please tell us a little about where you came from, before coming to SP?
Sure, I will be glad to share!
Before coming to SP, I studied at Fairfield Methodist Secondary School while my primary school years were spent at Fairfield Methodist Primary School.
Fairfield Methodist – that’s the school with the yellow blouse and blue skirt uniform that is really near to SP, isn’t it? Can you tell us more about your primary and secondary years please?

Sure, let’s recall what I did in those years!
In Fairfield Methodist Primary School, I was actively involved in a few CCAs, namely Chinese Dance, Chinese Club and English Club.
I joined Chinese Dance in Primary 2 and was the pioneer batch of students then.
It was there where I learnt to be more disciplined with the relatively tough training and strict instructor. It was also because of Chinese Dance, that I had the opportunity to participate in Singapore Youth Festival Central Judging (Chinese Dance) in 2003 and 2004 which my school attained our first Silver and Gold respectively. Looking back, I’m really grateful for what I had gone through in Chinese Dance.
Chinese Club was the cultural club that I learnt about many new things regarding Chinese. Like the different idioms and poems and stories. It really provided me with many interesting things out of what we learnt during Chinese language classes!
English Club was actually the drama club in my primary school, and it was where I found lots of joy and fun playing around. I recalled the days in primary school that I have English Club sessions and they were always something to look forward to. We would spend half of the time playing games like blow-wind-blow, fruit salad, musical chairs, etc. and after the games, there would be acting sessions where we would act from the scripts provided. There were also times that we had to perform for school events (such as Thanksgiving and Founder’s Day etc.).
However, even though I performed quite a number of times in school whether it was with my friends from dance or drama, I would say them I’m actually very lousy at acting and still get very nervous and frightened when on stage! Haha!
After primary school, I moved on to Fairfield Methodist Secondary School.
I joined the Media @ Fairfield (IT Club) and a Chinese Club that focuses on Chinese Calligraphy.
I really admire people who practice Chinese Calligraphy as it really requires lots of patience, practice, concentration and discipline. However, because there were too few members in the club, it was merged with Chinese Drama, and I’m back to drama again! However, in Chinese Drama, I usually don’t participate in acting but instead with the stage management and controlled the lightings.
Joining Media Club was definitely one of the turning points in my life.  I can honestly tell you that I was never interested in computers or anything IT-related before I joined the club (probably except doodling with Paint! Haha!).
It never occurred to me that I would even like IT. Then why did I join Media Club in the first place, you must be thinking. Well, there wasn’t any CCA that really caught my interest then. I wasn’t really keen to join performing arts, neither am I interested in joining the uniformed groups. I am not musically inclined either, so music-related CCAs were out for me too. And if you look at my physique, you’ll know that I’m not a sporty person. Haha!  My parents and brother also kept encouraging me to join Media Club then, and finally, I decided to join it with an open heart to learn new things.
In Media Club, there were a few sections – Videography, Photography, Programming, Robotics and Web Design. I was in the Web Design section, and it was where I got into contact with Dreamweaver (I was using Macromedia Dreamweaver MX!) and Fireworks in Secondary 1. To add on, there were mandatory IT classes for Secondary 1 and 2 cohorts, and being in this CCA gave me the additional advantage and time to explore the software!
In Media Club, we were actually taught the basics by an IT teacher (who teaches the mandatory IT lessons for the cohorts too) as well as our seniors. Most of the advance stuffs were really up to us to explore on our own. It was these self-learning times that really generated the interest towards IT in me.
Then in Secondary 2 I slowly, I came to learn how to use Adobe Photoshop and Flash. Again, we were taught the basics and the rest was up to our own learning. I started off knowing only how to use the paintbrush to digitally paint pictures as I followed an online tutorial.
My first Photoshop painting using brushes and shapes
I didn’t have any stylus then (and even now!) so I actually paint with my mouse.
Hahaha! I kind of trained myself to control my mouse and cursor to paint since Primary school while messing with Paint. And here comes more practice after knowing Adobe Photoshop! Control + Z act as a really good friend! Oh, before I came to know about the wonderful Photoshop, most of my web designing and painting was done in Fireworks with the very basic tools.
Painting with a brush in Photoshop was definitely just a start. I learnt the different tools and techniques on the way, from friends, teachers, seniors and online tutorials.
Wow, from your description and the sample painting, I can see you certainly have some talent in Photoshop!  Please show us more of your “Photoshop” work and any other media related work!
Not long after I came to know about Photoshop, I was signed up for a competition. It was the first digital art competition that I joined and one that gave me a boost in confidence.
It was the British Council Digital Art Competition and the topic was on Global Warming.
I just joined without much idea and wasn’t expecting anything much from it. The submission actually won me a Bronze award and this gave me more confidence in myself.
British Council Digital Art Competition on Environment 2007
I then also joined a few other competitions under Media Club, and had a few achievements along the way.  I gained a lot of experiences from the wins and the loss, and from the process as well.
Another memorable competition I joined was the N.E.Mation 2 – The Resilient Edition.  My friends and I formed a team and called ourselves the ‘History Makers’.
I would say it was a really competitive as we had to go through a few rounds of pitching.
We first submitted our idea online and was chosen as one of the Top 40 teams. The Top 40 teams participated in a one-day brainstorming at NYP to storyboard our ideas and were taught how to pitch. The whole afternoon we spent storyboarding and in the evening, we presented our ideas and the results of the Top 20 teams were made known at the end of the day.
We got into the Top 20 and had to go through a week of training and preparations.
We learnt how to digital animation with Tab 2.0 and stop-motion animation with AniMaker. We also had a few days to prepare for our final pitch (at the end of the week) with the guidance of an instructor.
I still recall the Saturday morning of our final pitch. Our team was the first team to pitch and I can tell you it was really scary. We pitched in an empty small lecture hall with 4-5 judges in the panel sitting at the front rows. We gave it our all and that evening was the “verdict”.
Around 4 teams were called down to the stage and then it would be announced if they were in or out. Tension and stress in the air as we even saw people who broke down in front of the crowd because their team failed to make it to the Top 10. We were very lucky indeed and made it to Top 10.
In the Top 10, we burnt 3 weeks of holidays from mid-November to mid-December at NTU. We spent the time to finalise our idea and prepare for our one-minute clip.
Things were not as smooth sailing, and I would say it was an experience I would never forget. The deadlines to meet and the concentration we need. The whole process was fun, enriching and tiring. But nevertheless, it was a production that I was proud of, although it did not make it to the Top 3 in the end.
With the confidence and interest that built up during the days in Media Club, it really lighted the passion towards IT in me. I was rather interested and keen to know about Business as well, and that’s why I chose Business IT as my first choice. Smile
You certainly sound that you have been an achiever since young! What is your secret of success?
I would not say that I performed very well academically all the time since young, there were ups and downs in my grades but it was relatively alright I guess.
The weakest point that actually contributed to some of my not-so-good-grades would be how slow I actually did my papers.
I remembered that since Primary 4, I never managed to finish my Mathematics paper and Science Paper as well.
The problem continued even after I entered Secondary school, and it was so serious to the point that I even lost 40 marks on questions that I have yet to attempt!
History, Geography, Social Studies, Literature, A.Maths , E.Maths, Chinese, English, D&T, Art, Chemistry, Biology, Science… practically any subjects that I take throughout my secondary school years, the number of papers that I did not complete could be just as much as those I completed. It was really worrying because I lost my marks unnecessarily from the un-attempted questions and I told myself that this cannot go on.
In Secondary 4, I tried to work hard and I practise a lot for Mathematics. Finally for prelims, I was able to finish my Mathematics papers (both A.Maths and E.Maths) for the first time in years and did well for both of them!
I was really encouraged and continue practising, and of course, was able to finish my papers during ‘O’ Levels. I came to realise that actually Mathematics requires a lot of practice, and the more you practise, the more you are exposed to different questions and the more you are familiar with applying them to different questions.
GCE O Level Cert 001a
I guess I wasn’t a really hardworking student then with all my last minute studying and doing holiday homework just few days before the end of the holidays. It was only in Secondary 4 that I became more hardworking. I had to juggle ‘O’ level art coursework together with the rest of my homework, and June holidays that year was a killer.
For 2-3 weeks we had to go back every day to do our coursework and at the same time, there were piles of ten-year series, past papers and practices to do in preparation for prelims and ‘O’ levels. It was then that I truly felt that I started to work very hard. It was the first time that I actually finished my mountain of holiday homework before the start of the new term. Taking up Art for ‘O’ Levels, definitely trained me to be a more disciplined person in managing my time.
I would not say that I have a ‘secret to success’, but I always liked to do notes. I find that while doing/copying notes, I am able to recall some stuffs from the things I copied. I also find that the notes can come in very handy when you want to study before entering the exam halls (since it’s a compilation of the things that would be tested).
Wow, you do have a pretty colourful life!  I am fascinated!  How about your childhood memories, you did not share those yet.  Let us know what you did as a child?
tomandjerryI really miss watching the cartoons I used to watch when I was a kid. Tom & Jerry, Casper, Looney Tunes, and also the various Disney movies, I really liked them even now when I watched the CDs. It really brings back the memories. J After knowing how most animations were drawn frames by frames then, I was really amazed and appreciate the animations. I enjoy Studio Ghibli films a lot as well!
Name three things you enjoy doing
Here’s three things I enjoy doing!
1. Drawing
2. Digital Art
3. Photography (I’m still very noob at this!)
I’ve been drawing since young and always liked it. I did not attend any outside classes except those mandatory ones in the school curriculum. I started off by drawing (or copying) cartoon characters from various cartoons – Lion King, Tarzan, Winnie the Pooh, Rugrats Go Wild, Looney Tunes, etc. I still kept some of the works that I drew in primary school.
Primary 5 drawings on cartoons.
In secondary school, I was drawn to still-life drawing. In Secondary 4, because of ‘O’ Level art, I spent most of my time drawing jellyfishes, seahorse, and various types of fishes.
‘O’ Level Art Coursework
While waiting to enter into SP, I started drawing a few animals (tiger, lion and horse) and it also sparked the interest in portrait drawing.
I personally feel that portrait drawing is another level that requires lots of practices. Drawing animals could be easier in the sense that if the eyes are slightly off or any features on the faces are off; it will still look like the animal to you. But drawing human is different. If the proportion or angles of the features are slightly off, it may not look like the person you intend to draw. I decided to take up the challenge of self-learning portrait drawing in May 2010, and inconsistently practices only during the breaks.
First portrait (self-portrait) to mark the start of my consistent portrait drawing development
In May 2011, I decided to make it part of my NYAA (Gold) skills section and subsequently, I make it a point to draw at least 1 portrait a month. There is still a lot to learn and I will continue to practice it. I hope to venture into other forms of drawing in the future – caricature, landscape and manga. J
Name three things you enjoy eating / drinking
I don’t really have any favourite food or drinks I can think of now; I’m generally fine with anything and willing to try food I’m served as long as they are not raw or cooked from any exotic ingredients. I enjoy eating and drinking anything that taste good! J
Name three  people that inspire you
Three people who inspire me are Gandhi, Helen Keller and Nick Vujicic.
i. Mahatma Gandhi
gandhiMahatma Gandhi had many quotes of life and one which I really liked was ‘Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever’. I very much agree with this quote. I personally feel that being able to learn is a privilege and every learning process is an encounter with something new and it happens probably on once each time. Why not treasure every moment and every new encounter? I am now trying learn to love what I’m learning, and appreciate the things I learn. If you love what you learn, aren’t you learning what you love? J
ii. Helen Keller
helenkellerHelen Keller does have a very inspiring story. I first heard about her in secondary school (I think) and was very drawn to her life story. Even though she was born deaf and blind, she was able to overcome the obstacles of the loss of two senses and became what she was. An inspiring quote from her that etched deeply in my brain was “The only thing worse that being blind is having sight but no vision”. Impactful words as it is, I hope to be able to find a clear vision in the future, and to be successful in my own way. Smile
iii. Nick Vujicic
Nick was born without limbs and yet he was living life to the fullest. When I first came upon a YouTube vide on Nick, it just came to my mind that “Wow, he’s really capable”. He was able to do many things even without having the luxury of arms and legs. After watching the video, I told myself that I should really live life to the fullest. What’s worse that not having limbs? I should really be thankful that I was born healthy and should treasure and cherish life. Life’s short and unexpected, I’ll try to approach things with an open heart and I also pick myself up whenever I fall.
Have you travelled anywhere before? If so, which countries have you been? Which country do you like most? And why?
I first travelled overseas to Indonesia and Thailand with my family when I was five years old. It was years later that I came to SP, and it is when I had to opportunity to travel again.
Under SP SPOT programme, I went for a compulsory camp in April 2011 to Telunas in Indonesia. I then went on to sign up for an Overseas Community Involvement Programme (OCIP) trip and had the opportunity to travel to Inner Mongolia and Beijing in September 2011. For 6 weeks from March to April, I had the privilege to go to London for my Overseas Industrial Training Programme (OITP) and we did get to go to Slough and Canterbury within England.
Out of the places that I went to, I would say that I really liked all of them. But if I have to choose one, that would be England. It was a really beautiful place I would say, especially when we went Canterbury and Slough. I like how the different parts of England give you a different and new experience. I also like the beautiful and rustic buildings as well as the huge museums! J
Why did you choose DBIT? And what do you hope to gain from this course?
I chose DBIT because of the balance of learning in the area of Business and IT. I first came to know about the course and was set to come here in August 2009 when I was in Secondary 4. I remembered that the DPA application had already ended but I was quite confident I would still be able to get into the course.
As I mentioned above, the interest towards IT from my secondary school CCA and interest to know about Business got me to decide on this course. I did not want something too IT and neither something too Business (since I still don’t know if I like Business or not, just interested in it), DBIT struck just the right balance.
I hope that that this course would be able to arouse more interest towards IT and Business in me, and would be a stepping stone towards my future successes. I hope that this course would also allow me to discover what I truly liked and what I want as a career.
There were many times that people actually asked me why I did not choose other courses, like Business courses (with my ‘O’ Level grades) or Design course (since I like to draw), but I stand firmly to what I chose, and never once did I regret my choice. I try to make the best out of what I learn, and try to bring out the best I can, as I want to confirm (even with myself) that DBIT was the right choice for me.
What are your favourite modules in SP? Name something that you really enjoy learning and something you wished was taught, but was not taught.
Favourite modules in SP? I guess there’s too many to be listed. Haha! I really enjoyed my learning here in SP and I find almost all was relevant in developing my hard and soft skills. Aren’t modules there for a reason? If not why do we learn them?
Recently I have thought true and came up with my own quote which I would like to share.
“Sometimes in life, we do not get to do what we love. Therefore, we should love what we do and if we don’t, then learn to love it. When you love what you’re doing, that’s when you’re doing what you love”.
Since we can’t choose every single module that we learn, whether we’re going to like it or not, we still have to bear with it for the whole semester or worse case, the whole academic year. It’s really the way you approach it, whether with an open mind to accept it and try to like it, or close your heart and hate it. I try to enjoy all my modules and learning is definitely more fun and meaningful. Smile
There are so many modules that I wished were taught! Like how after choosing the E-Business Solution (EBS) option, I’m “deprived” of what was learnt in the New Media Marketing (NMM) option. I really hope to learn more business modules as well such as Statistics, Economics, etc. I am also very envious of how juniors get to learn more new things as the syllabus of the modules revised.
Please share 3 pictures of your past projects / assignments
Java Programming Assignment (Year 1 Sem 2)
Web Application Development Assignment 2 (Year 2 Sem 1)
  • JSP/JSTL Website
Interactive Media Development Assignment 1 (Year 2 Sem 2)
Interactive Media Development Assignment 2 (Year 2 Sem 2)
Please share three photos of yourself.
What is your ambition in life? What do you see are the steps you need to take in order to realise your dreams?
I hope to be able to graduate with honours from a prestigious university and to get a job in an area that bridges between IT and Business, where I can utilise what I learnt and contribute to the company or organisation that I worked for.
Because Business and IT both individually encompasses a very wide scope of job and career prospects, I still do not really have a direct position that I would like to aim for.
I guess the steps to realise my dream is to continue to work hard and see value in things I learn and gain. The experience, failures, ups and downs, I guess I have to learn to accept them and improve as life goes on, in hope that they will pave my way towards my own successes in the future.

1 comment:

Edwin Tan said...

So what your primary school name and do you still have your uniform after your secondary school?