Year 3 Summer Holidays… Or Is It?

The semester has come to a close for about a month. Going to work everyday has become a routine. When you start off, it is extremely tiring as you are trying to learn both explicit and implicit signs of how you should conduct yourself at your company. STMicroelectronics Asia Pacific Pte Ltd has their Business HQ (BHQ) at 5A Serangoon North Avenue 5. Lunch routine is the surrounding food courts at Sheng Siong Supermarket or Yummi at the Mapletree Industrial building opposite. It is also rather taxing to have to go to school for two evening modules. Unless you can take it… I think taking EE3001 project is enough. As a CEG student, you do not really have much of a choice to take anything other than EE3001, because you HAVE to take EE3001. I took HR2002 as well but it is really tiring to manage a major project from EE3001 as well as the group and pair projects in HR2002. In fact, you will spend so much time on EE3001 that you will have little time to push on the HR2002 project. Also, you have to either take leave or negotiate with your boss if you do not have leave as an intern in order to study and take the HR2002 exam.

EE3001: Project (Prof Tay Teng Tiow) [Note: This module is no longer offered and has been superseded by another module since TTT retired from NUS]

What ever they say about it not being a technical project, don’t believe it. It would certainly be more impressive if you can produce some technical stuff for show. It is a technical project… what the industry likes to call technical marketing. You need to apply your technical expertise and training and market your product. The synergy between a marketer and engineer. A tall order especially since part of the project component is to have your friends poke holes in your group’s presentation for marks in the Tiger Force review. It is basically a presentation in which you are not graded for the presentation but instead you are graded on how well you poke holes in your peers’ project. If you think students in local universities are quiet during lectures it is because they are not motivated enough. Man is motivated by one simple instinct, survival. This need for survival can come in various forms: water, food, money and grades. Here, your grades are at stake and hence your future level of survivability. Once a great amount of marks are put on thrashing your peers, its a QnA to the death. So much so even the lecturer has to stop the QnA for time and even calm everyone down. Think of wall street stock exchange before they implemented the computer trading system.

And the report. You must become a ‘seer’ and ‘predict’ your product’s future feasibility. I call it cooking numbers. Your report consists of a small part, a technical feasibility and operational explanation. The rest of it MUST contain stuff about how your ‘company’ is going to sell the product, how much money you will ‘make’ and whether it can stand up to ‘competitors’ products. I use quotes simply because a lot of the stuff have to be fabricated on sketchy news data. I don’t think most of us have paid access to IHS tech market analysis news. Funnily enough, its really what you’ll be doing in a large company if you are in technical marketing. Ahem.

HR2002: Human Capital in Organisations (Mr Mathew Linus)

I am not happy with this one. The lecturer is really nice (Mr Mathew Linus). The module is interesting for a business module especially if you look at it from a philosophical perspective. Basically, its about how humans should behave in organisations and it takes readings from texts on self-learning, team-work and leadership in the organisation context. Hard to understand some readings which can be a little philosophical. There was a pair presentation which a pair will have to present on some topic on HR or organisations and management related. There is a group presentation in which you do research and present on a topic on management related to the course topics. Mr Linus is honest and fair but I’ve realised it isn’t all as rosy as he might make it out to be. Being in a night class, you might have the impression that there are less people taking this module. However, you must not forget, its an engineering faculty requirement so you will be competing with the rest of engineering faculty like the ethics module. In semester 2, night classes are overwhelmingly popular with chemical engineering students. However, the module is bell-curved over all the day classes as well of which there are many. I am not happy simply because I got a result less than expected and it probably stemmed from the project which I honestly think could have been more heavily reworked but given my constraints with EE3001, I had to make a cost-benefit choice. The exam is a 3 choose 4 essay type and there are some past year questions to help you figure out what to learn. You have to write like lightning to complete it. My experience was the last of seminar style when it was announced that it would be converted to lecture-tutorial.

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