The end of my industrial attachment

Today marks the end of my 24 weeks in DSTA. A good 6 months of industrial attachment; a truly wonderful experience. Although the technical knowledge gained isn’t a lot, I actually got exposed more to what DSTA does and the field of project management. It would be a nice place to work at, and I am interested in project management as well. I guess in a way it would be good for future management roles.

24 weeks isn’t exactly a long period of time, but neither is it short. In a way I was waiting for the weeks to go by and for my attachment to end, but to be frank, most of the time I didn’t need to count the weeks. They just went by easily and oh its week 22 already. After the NTU interns finished their IA at week 22, the countdown to my last day was a little unbearable. There was no intern to talk to, and I was finishing up on my work. Each day was slow because I kept quiet in the office.

And by finishing my IA, I can now stick to my iPhone and not change phones at Sunday night. I can bring my camera phone around!

Anyway at night the EE3001 project team went out for dinner at Crystal Jade @ Holland Village. It’s the xiao long bao buffet so we kept ordering the xiao long bao. Actually we didn’t really keep ordering, cause we ordered like 20 at one shot. Each containing 5 xiao long baos. For the other steamboat stuff, my table only ordered a single round. The other table also gave us all the prawns. I ate like 7 prawns in total.

We spent the time chatting and planning for the next outing. It was enjoyable, really, to sit down and just enjoy the talk. One topic that emerged was the $9500 starting salary for banking jobs. And that’s the pay for fresh graduates. Totally insane. Yanling said that if one has passion, then follow the passion, else can go into banking. I joked that my passion was money. Keira knew it wasn’t. So she asked me. But I didn’t say anything.

Money is still undoubtedly important isn’t it. Enough to sway decisions. Considering that there are so much in life to pay for. The future MBA course in a local university, which costs about S$50,000. The future house. The future car. Taking the money for investments to plan for retirement. Having money to actually make sure the family is comfortable and that I would be able to give a proper headstart to my future children. Money undoubtedly plays a major role in each phase in life. We can’t run away from it. But money might not be the sole deciding factor.

The sense of purpose is another deciding factor. What do we want to do? Would we want to feel that yes the job is meaningful. There’s just so much things to think about. Luckily there is still one more year left before I have to face everything.

Keira gave me a keychain thingie for my birthday. The zanpakto of Kuchiki Byakuya. How apt. Just the thing I need to remind me to work hard for the remaining two semesters.

Ganbarimasu. Let’s get a good job and start planning for retirement.

Internship Farewell

On the 11th June 2010, DSTA held an internship farewell to mark the end of our industrial attachment. Whilst I do still have 2 weeks more in my attachment, the other 9 interns, coincidentally from NTU, have all completed the attachment this week. Hence the farewell was held on the last day of their attachment.

The farewell was organized by the interns together with the HR department, and we had it held at Concorde Hotel. The interns came in the early morning to do the final rehearsals and preparation. The entire thing was slightly off as we had dinner at 12.30 and by 2.30pm we started our tea session, during which most of us were not hungry.

I was fortunate to win a box of Merci’s chocolates at the Bingo game. But the best take away from the farewell was the presentation of the certificates of achievements to the various interns. Thanks to my mentor, I had obtained the Excellent grade of certificate. The other types of certificates were either merit or just normal certificate of participation. Whether I had indeed deserved it, I do not know, because there wasn’t much engineering related stuff that I had done. A project engineer does not do much practical hands on engineering, but actually the management of a project through its many phases. The only time when I thought I did a very good job was being in charge of the entire inventory tests and quantity check. I had all the numbers at the tips of my fingers and I could give a progress on how much boxes for each different sets of equipment had been completed. I also sent an email with an excel sheet detailing the progress, defects and date of which we had checked the box. At the final stage I checked the total quantity delivered with the contractual requirement.

I guess I was very pleased with getting the certificate because I could include it in my resume for an internship well done, and I guess this would help in my future jobs if I indeed choose to return to DSTA to work, or to work in the public sector.

We ended the farewell with a song and dance section, which was quite lousy since we didn’t have much time for rehearsals, and we were quite tired. It was the first time I actually danced in front of an audience since I was in kindergarten. And a speech given by one of us, written by yours truly. The script that the previous batch of interns used was a load of balls and seem to be carrying the balls of DSTA rather than being a true speech on our internship. I changed all the nonsense and made it seem more personal.

And after the whole event ended, everyone else left, leaving the interns and our HR executive, Gayle, who has been with us throughout the entire internship, being our point of contact for all HR matters. 9 of the interns eventually went to find a bar to have some drinks. The first place we went had an age requirement of 25. I originally thought 23 was the oldest age restriction, but I was wrong. The second place did not have space for 9, and luckily at the 3rd, we were comfortably settled down.

It was my first time at some bar setting, and it was quite enjoyable to have the company of the other DSTA interns. These 22 weeks had been fun with their company, and I must now walk on the next 2 weeks myself to complete my NUS 24 weeks industrial attachment. 2 weeks more to my 2 week holiday!

Today at work

Today was a good day at work. In the morning when I left for work, I met Jing Han at the bus stop. She was heading out for work at MFA, and today she is out half an hour earlier because she had to reach half an hour earlier due to some event. On such a rare occasion, I actually got to meet her. The bus stop right outside my house! We spoke about my work, about her work, about graduation, internships. And she says she is old. We’re like the same age!!!

But it was a very nice conversation and it lasted all the way till I alighted at queenstown cause she’s going to redhill. I guess we’re working quite near too.

The day started off pleasant, and work proceeded well too. I had things to do for the entire duration. I was never bored waiting for things to come to me. I didn’t have time to brainstorm about what to write for my marketing proposal. It was a great day because I hated having nothing to do.

Lunch was also great because I didn’t eat alone. I ate with my colleagues, so I wasn’t bored the entire day.

Anyway at home I had to resume my work on marketing. I am slightly burnt out and tired, so I ended up watching some drama. I haven’t watched drama since Saturday! It is always typing and typing and trying to come up with more things and asking for price quotes and stuff. I can’t wait for the sem to be over. Like seriously.

I’ll resume typing and typing on Thursday. I wonder when this will all end. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Nothing to blog. My life’s pretty boring.



This period of time is overwhelming. It’s a really sick period of time that made me wonder, who the hell thought of combining Industrial Attachment with two other modules? I wonder if EE3001 has been handled well by the department of electrical and computer engineering. In a way I seem to meet the prof once every two weeks, and everytime he sees us he says good. And it lasts about 20 minutes max? There was once we were out in about 5. I wonder what kind of guidance the prof gave us. Or are we that good? I highly doubt so.

With Mazin’s group only getting approval recently, as compared to us getting it quite some weeks ago, I wonder how she is going to survive. Even I feel tired. Just yesterday we presented the technical details to the professor. We got quotes and prices and we were about to tell him the price of each item, but he just simply asked us the final price of each mat. Swee la professor. Really like that cause the details doesn’t matter. But it just cut shorts the meeting timing. Was wondering if he could have given us something to think about.

Since our final report is due in a few weeks time, we have split into the three departments, technical department, finance department as well as the marketing department, of which its Marketing Manager is yours truly. Would have really loved to call myself Marketing Director but hey my boss is a Project Manager, so I can’t up myself. He should have called himself CEO or something. As Marketing Manager (self professed, just for fun), I have Ko Ko as my marketing executive. I’m sorry for making her my subordinate, though it is a just for fun thing. At least I gave it a cool sounding name. Executive! Wow. I asked for my pay, its about 4,500? Think I can get a phantom car soon. Asked for fake car allowances and perks, the finance manager says she’ll think about it. Well, it’s good we’re having fun to regain our sanity.

As Marketing Manager, or rather, just in the marketing department, my role is to set up the report on all things marketing. That’s the report role actually. The real purpose of the marketing department is to brainstorm and think of how we’re going to market and position our product to the world. That’s right, to the world. We supposedly belonged to “Activision Blizzard”, yes, we “make” those Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft games. Supposedly.

Marketing’s an awfully exciting new journey for me. I would have loved to have time for myself to read more marketing books and how major firms do their marketing. But time is not on my side. I’m going to leverage on the books I have read in the past, ideas I have gotten from reading those blogs, and my experience in Internet Marketing to push this thing through. Oh ya. As well as MKT1001’s experience.

But it’s making my life busy. Just yesterday I finished my work at midnight because I needed to rest, not because I finished the entire thing. Already got quite a lot of stuff out, but I need to start asking for quotes and finding venues and event managing companies. Money money money. Need to present a report to the other departments on Saturday and submit the costs preferably by Saturday as well so that the finance department need not do last minute work trying to incorporate all the costs in. Busy! The life of a marketing manager. LOL.

But it is really fun. Sometimes its a little weird how you feel happy when you are busy and you have deadlines to hit. Sounds crazy I know. Some people probably roll their eyes. I think I got this problem ever since I entered the army. During that day in GCC where we were happy to get tekaned by the 5 min PT kit and then 5 min FBO and loop until CSM is tired. We all laughed and had fun. Maybe this is how we deal with it.

Anyway I just submitted my SIA Open Scholarship Application. I am going to pray that I get an interview. Meanwhile the quest is not over. Time to prepare for interview before they call me up.

And there’s HR2002. Need to do research on CSI. Haiz. How much work can one person take? I’m sorry if I cannot appreciate other people whining to me about how their semester is because you have seen nothing until you take IA and two modules which require projects. But I’m not saying whining is not good. I’m doing it anyway what. ๐Ÿ˜€

So there. Back to more research!

End of Week 7, Beginning of Week 8

Last Friday was the end of the Week 7 of my Industrial attachment which is going to last me 24 weeks. I guess I am reaching the 1/3 mark of my attachment soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

Life on attachment makes you feel lazy I think. It’s like you feel you are working, and some days you just go home feeling drained out because you had a long day. When you do, you just feel like unwinding by watching videos or doing things you like to do. That does not help when you have to do project research for school.

But attachment isn’t really working because you don’t get to do the actual work you do when you’re an employee. You don’t experience the full spectrum of events. At least that is what it is for me, which is why I am a little bored when I realize that I’m back in office tomorrow, and usually there’s huge gaps of time in between the work given to me, so much so that I have to spend the time away.

Thankfully I leave early tomorrow due to my lesson back at NUS at 6pm. So I probably leave at 4.30pm. But the rest of the days would be till 6pm. I hope there’s plenty of paper work to do. Else I’ll probably try to do my project research in school.

The last time I had a full week in office was in my second week. I really hope that I can go and attend the course the other intern is attending. It starts on 4th, so if I am allowed to go, then I would be able to spend some time learning new stuff. It’ll be more exciting.

Anyway recently the weather has been unbearable. It is too warm and humid in my opinion. I sweat all the time. When I get back to office tomorrow, its going to be cold all the time because the air con is free there. Haha. I guess I would prefer cold since I got my jacket.

And I’m still surviving for my projects, just feeling quite unmotivated. Good luck to those taking mid terms! ๐Ÿ™‚

Of dreams about the future

Today I didn’t exactly accomplish much in my attachment. I spend some time talking with my other intern and finding out that he is interested in applying for the DSTA scholarship, but there is only 1 year left to his studies and he was wondering how the bond would be like. There is this minimum cap of 4.2 for people to apply the exchange scholarship allowing you to study overseas for a year, and he didn’t meet it.

So he was asking me about it and he found out that I had more than 4.2. Cause he asked. Then he asked if I’m in first class. And I said yes. Then he asked for my cap. I said 4.6. He said “NUS got so easy to score meh”. Haha. It’s a little funny, slightly insulting cause what is easy to score. Like I’m not really that clever and I cannot be a first class student. Haha. But I didn’t take it to heart.

But the thing is, he triggered my feelings once again. What should I do? The dreams of the future, are they the path I want to take? Am I really sure? I wouldn’t know would I? I’m still learning more about myself every single day. Whether I should be bonded. Whether I should leave myself a free path.

Should I be bonded. Will the utility I get from having a scholarship in my last year of study exceed the cost I have to pay for being bonded? If it exceeds, by all means I should attempt. What if it doesn’t? Where is the balance of all these?

Having a scholarship does expose you lots of opportunities when you start work. More than the non-scholars. And it is probably good for building your character isn’t it? At this moment in time, it is not about the money anymore, but the experience. The intangible things you get. Is it worth it? Or is it more worth to be a free man and live my life? Shape it the way I want? Am I responsible enough to shape it? Determined enough? Hungry for success?

Am I? Or what should I do? Sooner or later I will have to make my decision, for I am the CEO of my own life.

The start of the new week of attachment

Tomorrow is the beginning of the second week of my attachment. Frankly, I do not know why it feels a little sian to return to work. It feels a little like during National Service when you just didn’t wish to go back to camp, and you prefer to stay at home. I guess home is still the best place to be.

I hope there’ll be exciting things to work on, or at least something to do. Something that really allows me to learn more and attract me to the place. Something that allows me to decide whether “Yes this is what I want to do when I graduate”, or “No this is not the thing I want to be doing after graduation”. At the moment, I can’t really decide because I’m not exactly doing anything. I don’t even actually know what I can write for the report that is due after week 6.

I hope the laptop comes tomorrow, at least I can go online and do research on the latest goings on in the defence industry, and find the information that my mentor wants me to find. If not, I’ll just be reading the old files and shredding them after they are done. It is a really boring job.

Tomorrow would also be the start of my HR2002 module. I would have to reach school by 6pm as the lesson is from 6pm – 9pm. Hopefully I won’t be late for the lesson.

This semester should be a tiring one with a project and a HR module on top of industrial attachment. I am looking forward to the day everything becomes fun, then it would be an enjoyable process. Till then, I guess I have to sms my friends to kill time.