Friday, October 25, 2013

The MetroDBITan student series : Issue #025 - Syafiq

Hello DBIT peeps!

Yes, MetroDBITan is back after a really looong break!  Sorry for the long hiatus of 2 months without showcasing our wonderful and awesome Diploma in Business IT students, but I promise I would resume the schedule and continue to highlight at least one of you every month from now on! :)

To mark the 'return' of our magazine, let's meet up Syafiq, otherwise known as "Steve Blake"!

Syafiq is a Year 1 student from DBIT1A03, but omg, he's already got his own company!

Find out more from his interview below! :)

Memories of your Primary School days?

I spent my Primary 1 to 3 in Keming Primary School and soon transferred over to Yio Chu Kang Primary School as my family shifted over from Bukit Batok to Hougang.

I have to say, I really enjoyed my time in Keming Primary School much more than that of Yio Chu Kang’s.

Back in the days, Keming Primary School actually implemented the ‘Cash Card’ buying system where students can actually buy their food and drinks with just a tap of their cash card! Being kids, this was the best thing I loved about the school as the feeling of not having to literally hold money in our hands but to have it inside a card was really ‘cool’ back then!

However when we shifted to Hougang and when I was transferred over to Yio Chu Kang Primary, I was really disappointed that the school actually did not have such technology like my previous school did. But I really had an enjoyable time in Yio Chu Kang Primary. Although it was a whole new environment for me, I tried making friends with as many people as possible so that I would not be so called a ‘loner’ in school.

In Yio Chu Kang Primary, I joined the InfoComm Club. I am a person who loves I.T. and will never stop exploring what it has to offer! Back in Primary 2, my form teacher, noticed that I have an interest in I.T, so she actually appointed me to be the class’s I.T. rep and since then, I have been the I.T. rep up till Secondary 4, a total of 8 years of continuous service! I would always volunteer myself to help all my teachers out if they would have any certain I.T. related problems in class.

More about your secondary school days please!

In my secondary school, Hougang Secondary, I joined NCC Land. To be honest, I hated NCC. I hated almost everything about it! The repetitive things you have to do over and over again i.e. marching, P.T. sessions e.t.c. I also hate the really strict rules you have to follow as well as the high discipline you have to instill in yourself. I am a type of person who loves freedom, not being controlled over what I do, and just being myself. The reason I joined NCC is all because I was going after the CCA points as lots of people told me that joining a ‘Uniformed Group’ CCA would be the easiest way to achieve CCA points. Even though I hated it, I still persevered and went through all the way till I graduated. 

I have to say, it was not so bad after all, as I just kept on reminding myself that it’ll be worth it at the end of the day and that I should also learn something new. It was there where I learnt to be more disciplined with the relatively tough trainings as well as the strict sergeants and officers. It was also because of NCC, that I had the opportunity to participate in events like the annual National Day Parade. I also had the privilege to fire the new SAR-21 rifle, where not many people have the opportunity to. Looking back, I’m really grateful for what I had gone through in NCC. 

I also joined the InfoComm Club in Secondary 2 and became the club’s President in Secondary 3. Joining the InfoComm Club was definitely the best decision I’ve made in my Secondary School life. Not only has it given me opportunities to participate and expose myself in prestigious competitions like the National Poster Design Competition and National Infocomm Club Award, they have also made me become a more confident person, from the way I present my work, to the way I bring myself around. 

To be honest, I was a pretty shy person, one who did not really interact that much with others. InfoComm Club knows that I really liked photography and that I needed to build up on my self-confidence, so they actually made me the school’s official photographer. By this, I had to shoot every event the school. In other words, I was forced to be more confident as I had to up on stages, conference rooms, halls e.t.c. just to get the shots. I have shot events for my school’s annual Life Run event, National Judo Competition, Chinese New Year Celebration, Teacher’s Day Celebration, School’s 10th Anniversary and lots more. In secondary 3, my club’s teacher-in-charge found that I was doing great and he actually made me the club’s president! I was really happy and shocked as I did not think like ever would I be a President for the club! Although the position required me to put in lots of dedication and hard work of organizing events, brainstorming for club’s camps and more, I was really willing to do so and would never hesitate. Btw the way, the point is I’m really happy that my school has given me lots of opportunities and exposure in different areas!
 My CCA Achievements

Why did you choose DBIT course? 

I chose DBIT as my first choice and I’m really happy I got in! The simplest reason why I wanted it is because I love business and I.T! What more is there to say? My interest towards IT and interest to know about Business got me to decide on this course. I did not want something too IT and neither do I want something too Business. So in this case, DBIT struck the right balance!

Share your likes and dislikes

I have loved photography since I was 10. Photography has taken me places I never thought I’d go, introduced me to people I never thought I’d meet, and has completely opened my eyes, heart and mind to a bigger world around me.

What started as a hobby thanks to my dad whom got me my first Digital SLR when I was 13. With a camera in hand I have the power to REALLY CONNECT with the people around me, whereas otherwise I may keep to myself and be silent. It provides me with a way to reach out and really get to know the truly wonderful beings that surround me. With one click, I can magically preserve emotion, action, feeling, and moments in time for all eternity.

I am consistently amazed at how photography can turn sadness over the loss of a loved one into the instant remembrance of a happy memory, and can remind us that life is so incredibly precious.  These incredible mechanical boxes on straps helped me find my true heart, and in turn let me touch the hearts of others, and there really isn’t anything better than that.

I currently own a small photography business where I provide professional photography services for customers i.e. Corporate Events, Indoor/ Outdoor Photo Shoots/ Photo Booth/ Engagement/ Solemnization/ Celebration Events e.t.c.  I also have my very own website and Facebook as well as a Twitter page where I market out my services: 

Some of the photos I’ve taken:

What do you plan to do after graduation from SP?

I plan to hopefully get a good GPA and be able to continue my education to the University and faculty of my choice. 

What is your ambition in life? 

I really wish to graduate from a prestigious University and get a job that I love as well being able to utilize whatever I’ve learnt and contribute the company or organization. As both Business and I.T. has a wide range of job prospects, I currently do not have a particular position that I would like to aim for. I guess the sun would be waiting for me on the other side as long as I work hard to get there. Facing failures, ups and downs along the way are just experiences that I have to accept in order to taste the real success. 

What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses?


  • - Sociable
  • - Optimistic

  • - Procrastinator
  • - Perfectionist

I can say I’m pretty sociable and am able to communicate well with others.  One of my major strengths is my communication skills. I work very well with all kinds of people, and understand that everyone has different perspectives about projects and work tasks - so when I work with others, I realize that everyone comes to the table with different priorities and objectives. I keep this in mind when I communicate tasks that need to be accomplished with positive reinforcement and awareness of what others are working on.

I am also an optimistic person where I will always try to look on the brighter side, even though I know that I’m doomed at times. Although this may be a little detrimental at times, it is usually the best way I could be a happier person, by just taking the positive side of the situation and try to work on harder.

I admit that I really procrastinate a lot and often push tasks and assignments to the very last minute. I am even a type of person whom studies at the very last minute. As the same for my O-Levels, i actually started my serious preparation only during September, after getting my Prelim 2 results (33 points for L1R4), which really hit me in the head hard! I am really lucky that I was able to make it despite the really short amount of time left. This weakness something I know and many of my teachers and parents have told me about. Now, I have learned to write down a list of things that I need to do, and keep a calendar to keep track of deadlines. I have found that this not only helps me to finish things on time, but it has also helped me to be more organized.

I’m also kinda a perfectionist where I want things to be done right the first time or else I would destroy or restart all over. Although this might possibly be a strength, I still take it as my weakness as by experience, being a perfectionist is no fun! My eyes are like really sensitive to mistakes and errors I make. This hence wastes lots of time and sometimes causes my tasks from near completion to a quarter done or even none.

Two things or people that inspire you?

Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa is a perfect example of a life dedicated to the service to others. Where we might see an ugly beggar or a homeless person, she saw a fellow human being. Her sympathetic and oneness heart touched the lives of many and inspired others to look more kindly on the unfortunate.

Nick Vujicic
Nick Vujicic is a man whom has no hands or feet. Despite his medical anomalies, he refused to allow it to limit his lifestyle. He wanted to live as normal as possible. His early days were tough. Throughout his childhood, Nick not only dealt with the typical challenges of school and adolescence, but he also struggled with depression and loneliness. No one wanted to be friends with him as they see him as a person and often calls him names like ‘Monster’. Despite all this, he did not ever once gave up and even said “If God can use a man without arms and legs to be his hands and feet, then he will certainly use any willing heart.” He now gives talks to institutions as well as organizations to inspire kids as well as adults that no matter what you condition is, and no matter what other people say about you, never stop all those from limiting what want or love to do!

Share your travel experiences!

My family just loves travelling. Every year, my dad would try his best to bring us somewhere. By this, he tries to achieve a stronger family bond that would make us closer to each other. Here are some of the countries I’ve visited!
Bandung, Indonesia (2009) 

Cairo, Egypt (2012)

Jakarta, Indonesia (2012)

 Perth, Australia (2011)

 Denpasar, Lombok - Bali, Indonesia (2010)


What are your favourite modules in SP? 

Favorite modules in SP? Well since I’m still in year one, it’s still hard to say. But so far, my favorite would be Social Media Marketing as well as iDiscover.

Social Media Marketing is a really unique module as it teaches us all the means and ways we can actually use to promote a company/ business. Not only that, it exposes us to the real world too! Recently, all of us were supposed to find a company as a group and had to collaborate with them. With it, we had to brainstorm and execute the ideas that would help boost the company’s reputation in the market using means of social media platforms. I find this really interesting and a module that is applicable in real life.

iDiscover is also another favorite module of mine. It incorporates lots of group work and discussions. This is a really good way to improve participation in class! Unlike normal classes, allowing students to talk and move around would definitely be better, hence increasing productivity.

What are you hoping to learn in Year 2 and Year 3?

I would wish to learn more of modules like Social Media Marketing. A module where is really applicable and related to the real working world.

Do you have a CCA in SP?

Yes. I have 3 in fact!

I joined the Photography Club, Bowling as well as SPDJ.

I know it’s a lot, however, I find all these interesting and I want to take the opportunity to learn new things that I haven’t explored! By this, I will also have to learn to manage my time well between CCA and my studies.

Since I’m a freshman, I have only attended SPDJ once, which was for its camp and I have to say I really had one of the best time of my life! I met lots of new people, played bonding games as well as an awesome ‘Dance Party’ at dusk. Here’s a pic of my group mates that I met!

Do you have best / good friends in SP?

Yeah of course!! Since the first day of school, I met these few people, where I know that I’d definitely be friends with! Its only 8 weeks of school yet we have already so many memories together! We’ve played pool, watched movies, and would just go out together really often after school and even weekends. I really hope that our relationship would maintain and even be stronger over time. Friends like these are those who make life in school much more colorful!

Do you work part-time while studying?

Yes, I do, at Starbucks!

Wowz! Starbucks! How did you get that job?

About a month ago, when we had our long End of Semester 1 break, I was looking for a part time job that would suit me best, one that was not stressful, flexible, and definitely to my interest. Hence I thought about it and decided to join Starbucks!

Previously, I was working with Starhub and now it’s Starbucks! And the fact that I’m also in the SP STARS Committee proves that I like something with ‘Stars’ in it!! HAHA!

Well that’s not the point though and it’s merely a pure coincidence. The main reason why I decided to join Starbucks is that they have been the company that I have been consistently spending my money on as I just love coffee so much and I kinda literally live on it every single day! I know it’s not good to consume too much of it but that’s not the point here! I just love Starbucks’s coffee so as their beans are roasted two times darker than the normal Arabica beans you find at other cafes and that this quality brings the flavor out even more, making them taste fuller and richer.

Joining Starbucks wasn’t that easy. There were 2 separate interviews that I had to go for; one done by the Store Manager and the other by Starbucks’s Head quarter’s personnel. But after I found out that I got in, I was really excited as it was kinda like me being able to work in the company I have been going to almost every single day and instead of being the customer, now I got the chance to be behind the counter and make the drinks myself! Now that I’m in, I had to go for 76 hours of training in total, which covers modules like Basic Food Hygiene by NEA, On-Boarding which educates me about the company and its history, Coffee tasting, Beverage Essentials, followed by the ‘on-site’ training which includes the Frappuccino Station, Bar, Food Warming and POS (Point-of-Sale). Once a trainee completes this whole training course, we would then be awarded with the ‘Starbucks Barista Certification Kit’ which I have yet to receive as I still have one final module to be completed.

During the vacations, I was just looking for a holiday job and I thought that once the next semester starts, I would eventually quit. However right now, I am still working with Starbucks during the weekends even though school has started. Why? Well the reason is simple. Starbucks is just a company that I love so much to the point that it makes me not want to quit that easily. And here are the reasons why:

  • We get health care benefits
  • We get to bring home any whole bean coffee each month
  • We get 14 days of paid leave
  • We get Starbucks Stock Shares even as part timers!!

and most importantly,

  • They treat everyone equally and they do not believe in the hierarchy system. No matter if you are a manager, a full-timer or even a part-timer, all of us are treated equally as partners.

Apart from that, they are also a company that puts a lot of effort in community involvement which I think is a rare trait for a company to have.

Hence this is what pulls me back from quitting and that I would really love to work for Starbucks for as long possible.

(P.S. I would only be working on the weekends and would pause if during the critical periods such as exam week or if I find it a little hard to manage)

Are you currently attached with a boyfriend / girlfriend? 

Nope. I am currently not attached to anyone. Here are the qualities I’d look for in a girl though. I am really not particular neither do I have a type of girl that I would wish to have. A girl may be evil or good, but as long as she's honest about who and what she is, I'd love her.

I would also love a girl who has the ability to commit to the relationship and make it on the center of the plate and everything else to the edge. I’d wish for willingness from her to do what is best for us as a couple and not take other people’s opinions into consideration when making a decision both will have to live with.

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