Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The MetroDBITan student Series : Issue #006 – Shazly Kwon



A natural leader

Taking on leadership roles is something that Shazly Kwon, current Year 2 DBIT student constantly challenges himself to do. 

When he was in the NPCC unit of his secondary school, Chong Boon Secondary , Shazly reached the highest rank of of Station Inspector and was a key personnnel in charge of the drills.


CIBTC 5Cadet Inspectors' Basic Training Course


Shazly went on to study at Innova Junior College and once again, he was appointed Cadet Inspector and also got himself elected as a Student Councillor.


clip_image013Student councillors @ JC


A good life in secondary school

Shazly describes his life in Chong Boon Secondary School as “a breeze”.  For him,  besides studies, he remembers his days fondly there as playing lots of soccer and just plain chilling.   He made many friends there, some really unexpected.

“I was a shy, quiet boy back then so to mix with the gangster-ish people for me was quite shocking. But they were nice. Even taught me how to play defence & goalkeeper for soccer.”

A not-so-good life in JC

On the other hand, life in JC was a humbling experience for him. He confessed that he  was always at the bottom of the class and failed nearly every exam, test or practical. He was bullied as well!  When he was younger, his body odour was an issue & he had many people who teased him about it. In fact, he is still pretty sensitive about it.

“Some of my teachers even gave up on me. The only thing I was good at was General Paper. I was well-read, knew my facts and I wasn’t afraid to present my argument, even if the points weren’t mainstream.”

Family problems did not deter him

Behind his cool facade though, Shazly has his own sober story to share.

“I come from a terrifyingly broken family. So I hang on to the few moments that I still can remember when I had a complete family.”

He still remembers how his dad lectured him about how he should never support Manchester United or Liverpool. His father was an Arsenal fan.  Yet Shazly is no follower.  So which club does he support now? Well, ironically, he does not support any of the three clubs mentioned above, but has ended up being a proud fan of the FC Bayern Munich, a pretty famous club in Germany.

“I guess the thing I really miss was having a family. It was nice having people care, knowing that you weren’t alone in life & that you had someone to count on.”

Coming from a broken family however did not deter Shazly from doing well in his studies.  In secondary school, he was pretty good at most subjects except Malay. JC was where he really “crashed & burned”.  Though he did not do as well as he would ahve wanted, he did manage to pass his A levels and secured a place in Singapore Institute of Management (SIM).  But deep down inside, he knew it wasn’t something he wanted. Hence he decided to continue his studies at the polytechnic instead.

Life-changing experiences

"There were a few things that really changed me from a whiny, self-obsessed kid into a responsible (most of the time), relaxed guy that I am today.”

One of the experiences that affected him was during his “terrible JC days”.  The pressure during those days really hit him hard.  While he was in JC, he felt himself to be disliked by others and did not manage to forge any close friendships. At one point, he even contemplated suicide.

“I guess I was lucky that I am a coward and I couldn’t bring myself to do it.”

He also attributes the credit to the “Monday Soccer Boys”. The “Monday Soccer Boys”  were a bunch of his secondary schoolmates and friends who had one passion, playing soccer every Monday from 7 to 9 pm. He found a new lease of life with them. He could get away from the pressures of JC by just hanging out with them for a mere 2 hours. Shazly admitted that being with these group of friends helped him get over his anxiety & self-confidence problems.

Another phase of life that significantly changed his attitude and character was time when he served his National Service. He served in Singapore Civil Defence Force as an Instructor at the Unit Training Centre, Civil Defence Academy. Essentially, he trained NSmen or reservist personnel in rescue techniques, road-traffic accidents, basic fire-fighting skills and shelter management.

“I witnessed some cool things like Tunnel blast doors in underground MRT stations, fire simulations and many more. I am not allowed to say =).”

That stint made him muster up his courage to speak to a crowd varying from 40 to 200 reservists, giving them instructions and guiding them, making him into the confident speaker that he is today. He totally agrees with a comment his NS-mate made, that after NS, presentations are a breeze!


clip_image015Shazly on a MRT track!


His likes and dislikes

So what are the things that brings smiles to Shazly?

Shazly shared that he loves curry, watermelon & Qoo Fuji Apple.

His hobbies?

“Gaming, reading & SOCCER”.

Noticed how he CAPITALIZED the word “Soccer”? That shows the fascination Shazly has with this sport.

“I really love it. I grew up enjoying soccer with my dad. One of the few things I remembered was watching the old Arsenal games. I loved how they passed & how my dad would celebrate when they scored. The Monday Soccer Boys also made me enjoy soccer. It made me forget all my problems. I really do regret not playing the game now.”


In school, there were three subjects he really loved: Chemistry, Geography and Economics. He enjoyed all his chemistry lessons, especially the practical. For him, mixing chemicals was fun, especially when dealing with the concentrated acids. He also fondly recalls how he burned a hole in the basin pipe once because he poured too much unused acid into the basin!

In upper secondary, he got interested in Geography and Economics. He has always liked nature and how humanity interacts with the environment. But it was Economics that really steered him to his current course.

“I like the idea of being a futurist. To see things others don’t usually see and predict, ‘What’s next?’”

But there was one subject he did not quite like – Malay as he was not strong at it due to his lack of use of the language.  In the past, he used to speak in English most of the time. It was only after NS that he started speaking in Malay on a more regular basis and is now quite comfortable with it.

Where else does he gets his inspiration?

Shazly quotes one of his iconic inspirations as a now-retired German goalkeeper, Oliver Kahn who used to play for Bayern Munich.   Shazly came to first notice Kahn in the 1999 Champions League final where his team lost dramatically to Man United.

“I saw him in tears along with his teammates. Over the years I saw determination in him. He wanted to move on and improve. In 2001, he did just that. He became a hero in the Champions League Final and single-handedly won the coveted trophy for his club. I saw how a man in complete disarray becomes a near legend in just a span of 2 years. and I said to myself, why not me?”



A surreal experience

Shazly recalls his overseas experience to Banda Aceh Indonesia.

He went to Indonesia right after the tsunami and he was shell-shocked by the state of the country.  While there was nothing but devastation, he saw resilience in the Indonesians.  It was a surreal experience for him as he stood in one of the mosques, the only thing that stood after the waves hit.


The Baiturrahim mosque which survived the terrifying tsunami in 2005
Pic from

Life in SP

Shazly was spurred to take up the DBIT course because he realised the future is about two things – business and IT.  He wanted to gain a deeper understanding into the world of business and to learn how decisions are made. At the same time, he wanted to learn IT skills so that he can experience for himself, the process of how IT can shape some of the most important business decisions of today.

So far, his favourite modules in SP are DVDE & ENBP.  He loved the teachers who taught the modules.

“Jan Ang & Mr Chanon were freaking good while teaching their modules. They were very fun.”

He looks forward to learning more business modules such as Accounting, Economics, Financial Management and Customer Relationship Management in the second half of his Year 2 and Year 3 though as he feels he has honed his IT skills pretty well already and wants to have more exposure to the business disciplines. 

His projects in SP

Year 1 Photoshop assignment – “Freedom”


Year 1 Website Design project

Year 1 JAVA programming assignment “Bookstore”


Life after SP?

“Billionaire, playboy, philanthropist, genius. I am a philanthropist…and a slightly insane genius. Still got playboy & billionaire part to achieve!

But seriously, I want to be the futurist. Part of it means predicting the future trends in finance & technology. Better start getting the As then! & of course university. After which I may join Ministry of Finance or a financial company, become an analyst. & maybe even start a future Shazly’s Industries???”

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