Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The MetroDBITan student series : Issue #011 - Sally Chin

Hello all again, and this week, let's meet up Sally Chin, current DBIT Year 1 student who is also one of the two IIS Scholars (Integrated Infocomm Scholarship) from the DBIT Year 1 cohort this year.

Do not form your first impression by Sally's bespectacled and studious look.   Sally has received comments on her Facebook profile that she looks like a 老师 (teacher) when she puts on her formal wear.  In real life,  she is definitely not your typical quiet and girl-next-door type!

In fact, Sally describes herself using these four words:
  • Bubbly
  • Extrovert
  • Sleepyhead
  • Procrastinator

I can't testify if she is always dozing off in class (sleepyhead) or likes to do last minute work (procrastinator) but from my encounters with her, I can vouch that she is indeed a very cheerful and outgoing girl for sure! :)

Let's find out more about Sally and her dreams and aspirations!

Sally, can you share with us about your school days in primary school and secondary school


A very adorable-looking Sally while she was in primary school

I used to be from Gongshang Primary School.

One of the memorable things I did was to write for the school’s magazine – ‘Scoop!’. I had the honour of writing an article with my two other friends for the first issue. 

When I was in Primary 3, I took up badminton as my CCA as I found it a very enjoyable sport.

However my music teacher invited me to join the choir after doing an audition, saying that my voice was suitable for the choir, and hence I joined the choir in the Alto section. I also managed to qualify for the top 10% in my cohort for that year ^^.

In Primary 6, I entered a Microsoft Word Specialist competition and emerged as 2nd Runner up in the East Zone, which was a big achievement for me.

Awards won by Sally while she was in primary school :)
Left: Top 10% in Pri 3
Right: 2nd runner up in Microsoft Word Specialist

In Primary 6 I remember myself as being very lazy and unwilling to study. I initially had far flung goals of getting into prestigious schools such as Dunman High, but ended up only with a PSLE aggregate of 224.

When I think back I feel that my days in primary school were definitely carefree ones!


I was then admitted to Pasir Ris Crest Secondary School, which was my second choice.

I initially wanted to join the I.T club because I had a passion for it. However I felt that my Secondary School’s I.T club was substandard, and ended up joining the choir again but in the Soprano 1 section.

Sally and her friends from Choir!

I walked away with many memorable memories of my CCA, such as being one of the selected people to sing for my school’s 10th year anniversary, as well as to represent the school in the Singapore Youth Festival (SYF).

Can you spot Sally in the pic?
She was one of the students picked to represent her school in the SYF!

My favourite subjects during my secondary school days were English, English Literature and Social Studies. I am grateful to my school for making Literature compulsory, as I ended up clinching an A1 during the O’level examinations.

However, in the second half of Secondary 3 and the whole of Secondary 4, I did not like to study at all.  I also fell asleep in class often, even when I was made to sit in the front row!

My grades were below average in class, and during the Prelims in school my L1R4 was above 20. This was probably due to my habit of procrastinating, and I did not study or revise often.

I only began studying hard 2 weeks before the GCE O Level examinations, drilling myself on my weaker subjects such as physics and chemistry.  Thankfully, I managed to obtain an L1R4 of 10, and an L1R5 of 13, which was a pleasant surprise for me.

Share some memorable moments of childhood with your family or friends!

Because my parents had the love of exploring the world, I got the privilege of going to many different countries such as Japan, Korea, USA and Paris. However, my memories of some of the countries I went to were very faint, as I went there with my family at a very young age.

This was a photo I took with my younger brother and cousins when I was in Sanrio Puroland, Japan.

Share some memorable moments of your teenage years!

Opening her own blogshop!

I would always remember my first ‘job’.

Because I wanted to earn extra pocket money but couldn’t find a job, I opened my own blogshop in Secondary 3!  I sold stuff that I liked myself, such as backpacks, K-pop merchandise, mini speakers, earpiece and various stuff.

Being a teenager myself, I knew the market well as well, such as how much I would be willing to pay for an item.

In the beginning I got my supplies from other blogshops, which supplied at a cheaper rate than their selling price.

However, I gradually moved on to importing stuff from overseas, and expanded my range of products.

My blogshop became successful, with other budding blogshop owners ordering in bulk from me.

Good things will come to an end though, when I decided I would close down my blogshop to focus on my studies.

That reason aside, it was tough liaising with customers and suppliers, as I did not keep ready stock at home.

Being a cashier at a restaurant!

After my O' Level examinations, I decided to find a job instead, to gain some experience.

My friend introduced me to a job in a restaurant, which I started out as a full time cashier. I gained new experiences and skills, as well as made new friends. I ended up working part time instead, and tried both jobs of a cashier and a waitress, which let me peek into the depths of the service industry.

Sally with her fellow colleague, who was also awaiting her O’level results

What made you apply for the IIS Scholarship?

I received an SMS from SP before the school term started, inviting me to apply for the IIS Scholarship, and to SP’s scholarship sharing session, where the seniors who were IDA scholars as well shared their experiences.

After much discussion with my parents, I decided to apply for the scholarship, as it was highly beneficial for my future.

Share your experience of how you got the IIS Scholarship (e.g. application process, interview process)

We had to submit our scholarship application online, which was similar to a resume. We then had to wait for IDA to call us up for an interview, which has 2 stages – a group interview and an individual interview.

We would only get to the individual interview if we passed the group interview.

For the group interview, we were split into 3 teams, each team with 5 people in it; I got placed into a group which consisted of 2 of the members from SP DISM, and 2 others from NP. We were then given a problem statement and had time to brainstorm and present.

The group interview was easy to get through though, and it was the individual interview that was nerve wracking. The interviewers asked us about our ambitions and our interests, and it was not as scary as I thought it would be.

Thankfully, I got a call from IDA and got offered the scholarship! :) 

How is your experience of being an IIS scholar so far? 

Being a scholar is quite pressurizing in a way, because it is compulsory for us to be admitted into a local university in an IT related course. However, this also drives us to study harder during our course of study, which is a good thing. I also managed to make many friends through IIS, as we also had a bonding session for scholars.

Networking session with minister

Other SP IIS Scholars

A photo of Sally holding her award.
Beside Sally is her proud and happy mum!

Why did you choose DBIT course?

I already had SP DBIT as a goal in mind since Secondary 3 .

I chose DBIT because it has a blend of both of my interests – Business and I.T.

In the beginning, I did consider applying for other business courses.   However, I felt that just studying business alone was too bland, and that I.T skills are essential in society today, as it is crucial to have the basic fundamentals of I.T to have an edge over others.

Furthermore, my father was also highly supportive of my choice of DBIT as my course of study which made me stay with my decision of DBIT as my first choice!

Share your likes and dislike 

I love Italian food!

There’s a long list of them! Such as Risotto and various Pastas such as tortellini! I also LOVE mushrooms and potatoes! They make my day!

One of my odd hobbies is to think of ways to do business.

Because of this hobby, I joined SP’s Student Entrepreneur Club, and they gave me the opportunity to set up a booth to sell stock that I imported from overseas during the Water Festival.

When I go on a holiday to overseas with my family, I would have ‘itchy fingers’ when I see cheap items that have market potential, and would be tempted to buy them back to sell in Singapore.

Some of Sally's "stock" from overseas
she would bring back to Singapore to sell.
So cute -- you would want to buy them, won't you!

For music-wise I love to listen to the Korean group BigBang! I never expected myself to have an idol, because I found that most artistes’ albums only consisted of only 1 or 2 nice songs.

However, I found that most of Bigbang’s music were really ear catching, and pleasant to the ear! I then became a fan of them ,and went for all 3 of their concerts in Singapore! ☺

As a BigBang fan, Sally naturally would not miss
attending the Korean music wave concert in 2011!

Another thing I enjoy is hanging out with my friends! ☺

Although it has only been one semester in SP, I have made many awesome friends!

I enjoy participating in DMIT Club events, which feels like a second family to me, ever since the FOC which was held before the school term started. Because of DMIT Club, I have met more friends not only from my class, but also of other levels and courses. Not only that, if I have any trouble with my studies, I can always turn to the seniors for help, and they would gladly lend a helping hand :).

Friends from DMIT Freshmen Orientation Camp (FOC)

DMIT Club Nightwalk event prop making session

Cycling with friends from SP

What is your ambition in life?
For a short term ambition, it would be to study in NTU’s Business with Computing, which is a Double Degree. I’ll have to study hard!

In the near future, I’d like to work in a established company first to gain some experience of my own, and then proceed to start up my own business – maybe an online business?

Just a couple more pictures of Sally and her life @ SP!

SP Flag Day

Ice-skating with poly classmates!

And just a little more.. a little comment from her fellow IIS scholar friend Tan Wei Xuan who will be featured in an issue later this month!

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