Tag Archives: University of Hard Knocks

Remembrance of a junior from Uni

I can still remember when I first met her, it was during our University days at The University of Queensland (UQ). I was in my final semester and she arrived to start her first semester. Being a smaller campus (Ipswich Campus) than her other main (a.k.a big sister) St. Lucia campus, the international students community were a lot smaller in size and it was easier to recognise and know who were fellow international students, as well as those who were from our home country, Singapore.

As I was one of the seniors there on the campus during that time, I tried to help in whatever possible for the juniors who just arrived from overseas preparing to enter university life. My first impression of her, as a junior from UQ, was very friendly and bubbly, full of life and enthusiasm. Her personality and character made her well liked among the international students community in the campus.

Upon my graduation and return back to Singapore, our paths did not cross again until a few years back, I met her again at one of our local alumni gathering events in Singapore, organised by University of Queensland Alumni Association of Singapore (UQAAS). Thereafter, she got more involved and active with UQ alumni as well as UQAAS events. Her energy, enthusiasm, friendly and bubbly character and personality, are like a shining light for the rest of the UQAAS community. She made many more new alumni friends that would also give her the same and even higher level of testimonial and recognition that I wrote here.

She was an amazing young lady entrepreneur, helping out in her family business, driving new ideas and innovation forward. Her leverage and usage of marketing in all different aspects and channels, combining old and new, made me respect and admire her a lot. She’s a very good role model for young entrepreneurs, as well as giving back to society too. She’s not just the brains, she also had the skills and hands on experience in running a business. When I saw her documentary feature on Channel 8, Tuesday Report, a Tuesday night documentary on local stories in Singapore and they were covering on local home grown businesses, she showed it all, with great confidence and pride. She was a trained and skilled butcher, oh yes, I sometimes introduced her as the “lady butcher boss”, to my friends, it might sound crude, yet this described her perfectly.

Her warm hospitality and friendship never fails to amaze me, as well as our local UQAAS community. Whenever I met her at UQ or UQAAS events, or event going down to her warehouse and purchase goods from her company. I would always have a chat with her whenever I can. Life goes on as usual, chatting and gossiping, exchanging stories and future plans.

Suddenly, on a Saturday afternoon in November 2016, I received a shocking message from a fellow UQAAS friend that Linda had passed on suddenly while overseas. Upon receiving that message, I was totally shell shocked, wondering what had happened to her. A few days later, the local newspapers picked the news and more information started to come out from the press. I decided not to talk too much about her sudden passing and just kept it inside. At her funeral wake, I saw her for the last time, a beautiful and capable young lady, gone too soon.

It took me some time for me to recover from her passing (and dealing with another passing right after) and pen out this short story sharing, to remember her and a testimonial to her character, personality, achievements and friendship.

Life is so unpredictable, she was still young. I (and we all) lost a good friend of our alumni community, a great role model.

Goodbye Linda, so long and farewell, you will always be remembered.

Reflection: Overseas media trip, Networking, Building Win-Win

A week ago, on the 18th May 2016, I embarked on a morning flight to Shanghai. This was start of a very amazing week, adding on to another achievement, a new milestone for me, I climbed one more step up, slowly lifting myself more and away from the rock bottom pit that I reached during the first quarter of 2016.

I was in Shanghai for Canon Expo 2016 Shanghai, my maiden overseas media trip! The Canon Expo 2016 Shanghai was a huge eye opener for me, during this trip, I learned a lot more about Canon, its various business groups and their future plans ahead. I would share more about Canon Expo 2016 Shanghai and a few Canon products that caught my attention in the upcoming posts on my photoblog. Besides learning and understanding more about Canon’s products, I met and networked with different people from Canon and media industry professionals from the Southeast Asia/South Asia region.

It was a great honour for me to be invited for this overseas media trip to Canon Expo 2016 Shanghai, thank you very much from the bottom of my heart to my friends who made this trip possible, for this golden and wonderful opportunity to attend Canon Expo!

Upon returning from Shanghai, I attended a networking event, on coffee and nuts, organised by Australian Alumni Singapore (AAS), met and made new friends from other Australian universities, caught up with old friends that I knew from my involvement in helping out at AAS in their events and activities. There was a period when I kind of slowed down/stopped in helping out AAS events and activities. During the coffee and nuts networking event, there was a good feeling again with this group of new and old friends from the AAS community.

My alma mater, The University of Queensland Association of Singapore (UQAAS) has a “Friends of UQ”, welcoming friends from other alumni associations to our events. When I recently joined a small group Macquarie University alumni gathering, I also became a Friend of Macquarie University! A nice and friendly bunch of friends, I knew some of my Macquarie University friends from AAS events and activities a few years back.

Slowly and surely, things are gradually falling into place. Although my jigsaw puzzle map still has quite a long way to go, the map is reaching there bit by bit, part by part. It may not mean an exponential revenue increase at all, however, the intangible benefits are appearing as signs, omens, friendships, encouragements, projects, partnerships.

This is the Win-Win that I always advocate and strive for, I would like to grow this further, help each other, to grow and expand our business, networks and friendships together. These are the people that I want/you want to work together with, not those people who do not believe in you and/or look down on you.

Things are not rosy, things are not easy. The economic situations in Singapore and around the world are still a question mark. In lieu of the economic climate and situation, this would be a great opportunity to grow from something small to decent size businesses.

For this kind of my normal routine post, it also happens to be my 800th personal blog post, a mini milestone post that coincides nicely and perfectly with this article.

A New Start, A New Journey, A New Beginning

This post is 1 month in the making and preparation, from the moment I decided to leave my former industry and embark on my new adventure, a new start, a new beginning and a journey ahead. To some people out there, they would probably see me as a failure and judge me as a failure. For judging people/things seems like a normal standard today and they have a right to judge. It’s true to a certain extent that I have failed to live up to standards in terms of monetary value returns that the society sees as the norm. From this failure, I learned the virtues of savings, living prudently and appreciating riskier opportunities when it became available to me. I failed a lot and I learned an enormous amount from the University of Hard Knocks. While I don’t earn the expected monetary value returns, the lifelong lessons over the years were priceless and made me more grounded, appreciative and smarter. It’s not the end of the lifelong lessons from the University of Hard Knocks, all these lessons are ongoing and continuous.

I learned from my failures and disappointments, climbed up again and again every time I fell flat face down on the ground. It slowly made me stronger slowly over time, painful at times, adding points to the exponential learning curve. In some other parts of life, there had also been ups and downs too, the achievements and disappointments, all contributed to real life marketing and social media management skills, that prepared me for my new journey ahead starting today. For my photography adventure, learning advanced skills in strobist lighting photography, account management and personal projects. There were times there were question marks too in my photography because I questioned that myself, only through more exploring, sharing and mentoring, does my photography came back to me in “Why I photograph”, sometimes I have it, sometimes I have to search for it again.

A month’s rest wasn’t and didn’t became a month’s rest, I was preparing for a new start, a new journey, a new beginning. Instead, I took on new personal projects to Pay-It-Forward and Pass-It-On, helping fellow entrepreneur/biz owner friends, along the line of honing my new photography learning in lighting photography. I am grateful for the support from fellow supportive friends who helped me and never looked down on me.

What does my new start, a new journey, a new beginning consists of ? It’s now a backend role, in terms of business development, social media management, marketing and improvisations. This would allow me to expand on my alternative investments and photography too. The 1st of August 2014 marks the new start, a new corporate profile photograph and a new cover photograph for both my Facebook personal and page.

Yes, I quit, I do not need to deny about that fact. Yes, I am making a New Start, New Journey, A New Beginning. Life is like a never ending marathon, one after another, the anxiety, the fatigue, the pain, mind over body, finishing the run and the whole life marathon starts again. As this phrase always remains part of my life forever “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, I sincerely thank you to the group of people who never looked down on me and stand by me and walked with me in my life journey till now, they are still walking the journey with me.