Li Shan
Every start has an end, and each end represents a new beginning.

I can still clearly remember how it started. It all began with the girl who is late for class and got mixed up with her class venue, trying to find the correct classroom and decided to follow another girl who seemed to be heading for the same class. Not only was she filled with the panic, but also the anxiety of meeting new people as well as what to expect for class. And the story begins thereafter when she finally stepped into the class with a friendly teacher ushering her to a seat for ice-breaker games.

And after 3 months of learning the various professional communication skills as well as working with her fellow classmates, things have come to an end. Simply put, what are the gains?

To me, it is not just learning about what is taught in lessons but also in practice about bridging interactions with people. Definitely, it is through the lessons that I know the proper way to write a proper business letter, cover letter, resume, etc. Although I will not say I know exactly how to present myself in a splendid way, at least I would know the criteria to look out for when I am writing any one of the above. It is also through class that I had gained a lot of insights and motivations from the real-life experiences shared on interviews and prospects of life (Thanks to Brad and classmates). Nonetheless, it is also through the course that I had learnt about my classmates’ creative ideas and that I would constantly try to improve myself and learn how to jump out of the box and comfort zone that I tend to reside in. To sum it up all, it has been overall an inspiring yet motivating lesson learnt.

However, what is learnt and forged in the lessons should not be placed with a full stop as the class ends. I believe this is just the beginning of a constant learning and upgrading process and putting what is learnt into practical applications. And before I close this post, I would like to say the following to the classmates.
 “Hey, let’s keep in contact with each other and organize an outing!”

And finally, adios! 
Li Shan
Another presentation down for this project semester, and it is really a relief for me to take one more burden from my mind. Presentations are almost like my nemesis but nonetheless I shall aim to give a small critique on the performance of my most recent one.

As some of you would have remembered, I had presented on the solution (old notes collection drive) to reduce printing paper usage where I had made use of visual aids other than my own voice. Thus, I will aim to break down my performance in two aspects, on the slides and my performance.

Overall, I was rather satisfied with my slides for they were direct and straightforward with few bullet points. In my opinion, I thought they were put up the way that formal presentations do. However, I felt that I was too over-reliant on my verbal skills when I could have depicted my collection method in the form of a flow diagram. In that way, the whole idea would be clearer. Likewise, I am also worried that the timeline will be too small for others to view.

Moving on to the next part, I will cover on my weakest link --- presentation skills.

Before I proceed, I would like to make the confession that I was not exactly too prepared for the presentation and hence I will rate my performance as mediocre. Firstly I felt that I had a shaky start in the introduction and I had appeared a little intimated. I believed I had appeared far from confident as a result. In the later part, I had this tendency to move inwards while making my representation and even my group mates noticed. I had made several references to my script and the consequence is the little pauses in between my speech. This had overall resulted in a lack of fluency. But thankfully, I was pretty familiar with the content to be able to carry through the main bulk of the content without having to pause too much to think.

I felt that if I had a few more practices, I could have appeared more confident and take into consideration little actions that could help eased my nervousness. I hope that overall my presentation was carried out in a formal way and that my idea was driven across to the crowd. And I would really like to thank you, all my classmates, to bear with me through my speech during the presentation itself.

Last but not least, a big 'Thank you' for my wonderful group mates, Hong, Riyan and Leo for being understanding and forgiving. I certainly had a good time working with all of you. =)

Li Shan
It was some time around July last year that I had planned a free and easy tour to Taiwan with my friends, and that was my first visit to the country. The tour lasted for 6 days and it was agreed within the group to check out their MacDonald’s while we were there. The rationale behind doing so was because of rumours about some of the more interesting and exotic flavours like pork burgers, and other localized modifications being available in these places. It is definitely something worth trying, since the Singapore franchise does not sell pork burgers given that they were Halal registered.

Due to the wide variety of local delicacy present, however, we had failed to check out any of the fast food outlets and it was on the last day of our tour that we finally decided to make our way down to the nearest outlet a few streets down in Xi Men Ding for breakfast. The exterior seemed just like any other two-storeys MacDonald’s in Singapore and we made our way to the counters for our orders after finding seats.

Basically, the ordering counter was segregated to two queues where is one is for orders whereas the other for collection. To begin with, the entire experience started with a friendly and chirpy welcome greeting from the staff behind the counter who greeted us in the sweet-sounding tone that Taiwanese girls tend to speak in. This definitely appeared as a stark contrast to the kind of service we had in Singapore, but something very common in the Taiwanese service culture. After placing my order and paid for it, I was politely ushered to another ‘queue’ next to it to wait for my food. The girl responsible for the job placed my food in the tray before giving a 90 degrees bow to thank me for patronizing and hoped that I enjoyed my meal. It was really the last gesture that surprised me, for I was never treated this way and nevertheless to have expected such an encounter in a fast food chain.

The short encounter was one that was certainly pleasant and yet refreshing. This presented to me, a culture difference between Singapore and Taiwan, but more importantly accentuated the difference in terms of service attitude. This in my opinion could be largely related to the Japanese service culture that the Taiwanese had modeled after since Taiwan was once under the rule of Japan during the Second World War.

For those who are interested, I did not find anything spectacular other than bagel in their breakfast menu. And so in the end, I had not tried the ‘legendary’ pork burger which could possibly be due to the meal type offered.
Li Shan
Heng Li Shan
Blk XXX Bedok Reservoir Road
#10-XXX Singapore 470XXX
5th September 2010

HR Personnel
APEX Safety & Risk Management Consultants Pte Ltd
Blk 3023, Ubi Road 3
#05-05 UbiPlex 1
Singapore 408663

To whom it may concern,

I am interested to apply for the position of workplace safety and health officer as referred to the advertisement in JobsDB website. With the emphasis of Apex on providing quality service and good rapport with her clients in projects in fields ranging from petrochemicals to hotels, I believe that this is the area where I can excel in and at the same time line up with my area of interest.

My previous internship experience with Total Petrochemicals Pte Ltd allowed me to establish effective communication skills between vendors as well as to ensure an overall success of two projects that were undertaken by me. The overall experience has helped in the decision for me to venture into the safety, health and environment field where my keen interest lies in. My meticulous nature will be an added advantage to ensure that even the most minor details of safety can be reinforced.

Several academic related and school related projects have shaped me into a team player where I have worked together with the rest to ensure the smooth completion of the various projects. Working under the Breakers’ event as one of the programmers has enhanced my capability in organization and planning, which I believe is useful for the scope of a safety officer.

My previous role in the Engineering Welfare sub-committee as a secretary has also allowed me to display my administrative abilities and put them into use when I had to keep track of the meeting minutes and arrange meetings with the committee members. The participation in other curriculum activities has required me to work on different entities simultaneously under different levels of stress.

Attached is a copy of my resume which covers more details on my qualifications.

I look forward to the further discussion on the job opening with you and will most welcome the opportunity for an interview with you. I will contact you within the next week to confirm that the email and resume has been received as well as to answer any further questions you may have.

Thank you for your kind consideration.

Yours Sincerely,
Heng Li Shan

Li Shan
I met up with a close friend of mine Cindy recently and she poured out her sorrows to me regarding her recent encounter. Feeling rather lost about how to go about consoling her, I thought I can seek the help of the blogging community here to help me come up with a solution. I thought this might fit into the blogging theme and hence this post. The scenario is depicted below under my narration.

Cindy and Juliet have been good friends since primary school and it was sheer coincidence that they entered the same course in the same local university. It was definitely a piece of good news for the two as it meant buddies unite again. Sure enough, they travel together to school every day and attend the same lectures. Not long after, they found three other friends with common interests and formed their mini camaraderie in school.

And like many other girls, Juliet met her Prince Charming Romeo in school and eventually the two became an item. Naturally Cindy felt happy for her close friend to find someone whom she can rely on. Things were going on smoothly until suddenly one day, Juliet broke up with Romeo over some misunderstandings. With things going on awkwardly, Cindy tried her best to console her good friend so that she can move on normally with her life. Everything seemed to steer towards the road of discovery after some time and Cindy was glad about this.

However, things started to get amiss recently with Juliet acting mysterious and finding excuses to not go home with Cindy. And accidentally, Cindy discovered Juliet has patched things up with Romeo but she does not seem to have any plans to disclose her rekindled relationship. Cindy felt very hurt with this and she was also in a dilemma because she does not know if she should confront Juliet or continue to feign ignorance.

After hearing this story, I would like to pose this question to my fellow blogging mates. What will you do if you were in the shoes of Cindy, and what actions will you take?

Disclaimer: Names of the characters were fictitious to safeguard the interests of concerned parties =)
Li Shan
Based on the definition from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, communication is the technique by which information for expressing ideas effectively in terms of speech. Effective communication, in reality is a two-way process in which right message is sent and is correctly received and understood by the target audience.

Personally, effective communication means to be able to express my thoughts freely, without having any misinterpretations by my target audience. It allows the accurate transmission of the information which in turn helps to establish interpersonal relationships. Like many other soft skills, it is an art that needs to be practiced and appreciated. While some may be talented in this area naturally, others may require more time to learn and master.

For me, I belong to the second category whereby I don’t have the natural flare to converse and communicate effectively. This could probably relate to my character which is slightly introverted, and this has caused many problems for me. I tend to get stage fright and show low self-confidence when I have to make a public speech or presentation to any audience. This poses a worry for me, especially since I will be graduating soon and I will have to go through interviews and present myself in front of different groups of people.

Hence, I hope that by taking this module, I can conquer this problem and be able to express my thoughts more effectively.