The most exciting week in my job

The past two weeks were like one big event. It was a huge adrenaline rush over the two weeks as I got together everyone in workshops for an external agency from overseas. It felt like the most exciting week of my career as everyday was purposeful. It was meeting after workshop, workshop after meeting non-stop. I brought the agency around the various eating places around my workplace, and gave them a tour of pretty much everything. Everyone participated in the workshops, although my greatest fear was no one would attend them. But it all turned out to be good, and one of the directors even said ‘good job’ in putting everything together and wanted to nominate me for an award. Lol. I also fed the agency folks with regular snacks and tidbits, bought them some local malay kuehs and also organised some user interviews.

The Londoners asked me if there was some packed snacks which they could bring back, but I couldn’t think of any. In the end, I bought some tao sar biah and hong biah from Q Bread which are imported from Malaysia, so somewhat local. Haha. I offered kaya and bak kwa too but they were not interested.

On one of the nights, we went for a drink at the roof top of hotel jen, where there’s a poolside bar with a nice view, kinda like a mini-MBS rooftop. It was quite chill and nice view. My first time having drinks with ‘corporate clients’. After that, I even brought them to gluttons bay and introduced them to satay and carrot cake. I felt like a tour guide. Maybe I should be one lol. 

While Singaporeans complain about our MRT, they tell me that the tube is worse, has more break downs, and is not all air-conditioned. While we complain how hot the weather is recently and we love aircon, they say our weather is perfect and the office is too cold. Haha. Makes me appreciate my country a little more.

One year in my job

Today officially marks one year of my job in ST. Time flies always when in retrospect. I still remember the struggle last year when searching for a job, and I came onboard this team as an eager new kid on the block, trying my best in every task I was assigned in. It has been a journey with ups and downs as always. The first few months in the BE team was a little trying, doing things which I’m not used to, such as account management, business competitive analysis, stakeholder management etc. I still remember sitting into a board meeting with a lot of senior people whom I don’t really know and feeling overwhelmed, and then transiting to representing my team in the meeting myself a few months later. I learnt a couple of useful tools, such as Lean Canvas, User Stories, the two-by-two matrix, and apparently did one of the better opportunity briefs that is still looked upon as a benchmark.

The few months of the p-project was trying, as managing different vendors and contractors was not an easy task, besides it wasn’t exactly my area of speciality. It was a few grumpy months, attending many check-in meetings with not much outcome, and mostly just being an assistant typing meetings of meeting and task lists. Not very productive and those were the few months which I dread coming to work. But when finally the project is over, it was a sigh of relief. And we also moved into a new office, which introduced hot desking, free coffee, me as the facial recognition expert, among other things.

6 months in, I transitioned to another team, this time doing more of the interaction design work. I was tasked on one of the bigger projects to design the forms flow and wireframes for it, as well as structuring the user journey and information architecture of the app. It was a pretty enjoyable time as I probably learnt the most on-the-job during those few weeks from the senior designers. They are brilliant in problem-solving. Although sometimes when there are too many chefs baking a cake, nothing gets decided or takes forever to be baked. Too many decision makers spoil the fun. We completed the project and presented to our clients and it was one of the more successful projects.

4 months later, I moved in to the current innovation team, which is probably the most fun time so far. I got to come up with a new idea, presented it to the “angels” for funding, and it was pretty successful. After that, I got to be involved in F1, building a dashboard and editing a video. Finally I’m really touching my grace zones and it was good to be back in doing front-end coding again. It was also a good chance to do some video editing in collaboration with an external party for a short showcase at F1. And it was an honour and privilege to be on-site at the F1 suite, entertaining guests and enjoying the endless flow of food. I think I really like this team, because it is small and we can execute fast like a lean startup, and we get to see the fruits of our labour faster than designing apps.

It was also an apt timing today to be invited to a nice dinner with my boss’ boss. It’s not too bad, not too bad. Thank you Jesus for your unmerited favour for this new kid on the block. It’s not just a job, it’s a position of influence.

In other news, I think I really need to learn app programming.

Thanksgiving for 2013

So today is the final day of 2013. It has been indeed a year of open doors and Daddy God has fulfilled all of my 3 wishes! The first half of the year spent in the states seems so distant and far away now, it seems like I’ve been in Singapore forever. I really miss the winter snow and the feeling of living in a foreign country though, and also my friends made there.

Thank you Jesus for…

  • A great last semester in Carnegie Mellon where I learnt the process of a 3D pipeline together with my team Stardust. Even though we had a tight timeline, we still managed to finish a 6-min 3D animated short for Give Kids The World. I learnt many things in those few months, from project scheduling, storytelling, compositing, rendering to 3D lighting. The best part was to travel to Florida and showcase the finished short to the kids. It was heartwarming.
  • Also, touring all the cool animation and entertainment companies during the West Coast Trip, experiencing South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, TX during Spring Break and learning the basics of  lighting for theatre
  • The privilege of experiencing the grace revolution on the ground in a small scale at Freedom Fellowship of Pittsburgh. It was an honour to be an ambassador, the physical hands and feet of my church and my pastor, someone all the way from Singapore to a small church in America that preaches the gospel of grace. I had a great time getting to know Pastor Debbie, as well as volunteering to lead worship there.
  • His safety and protection in the 3-day train ride from West Coast (SF) to Midwest America (Chicago), and also the 20-day graduation road trip from East (Pittsburgh) to West Coast (SF) of USA. They were both significant journeys, both physically and spiritually. It was a precious time in which I could just spend days by myself and Jesus, and seeing his Favour that surrounds me like a shield every step of the way, looking at the scenery go by, and even through a minor tire puncture and some mechanical work in the car, I survived 5700 miles / 9173 km. Run in such a way to win the prize!
  • Allowing me to be planted in serving in Zone Lighting and Spark Film the moment I came back to Singapore, opening doors for a greater quality of lights and LED board graphics design, Christmas Service, as well as testimony and short film editing.
  • Opening doors for not just a job, but a career position. It was a time of waiting, yet it was a time worth waiting. It allowed me to trust Him for His provision that he would provide me a career that I will find fulfilment and enjoyment in!
  • Opening doors to meet my life partner. God is cute in every way in letting us to know each other only at this time and not earlier or later!

Last 3 months of 2013

The last three months of the year has been a blast.

First, I slowly got adjusted to the work life. Dragging myself unto the MRT, having heavy breakfast at times and skipping lunch, attending various long (and boring) meetings and handling 2-3 projects on my plate. The good thing is my department is moving to a new office with nice standing desks which I am looking forward to using. Haha. Also, my supervisors have commented that I am energetic, responsible and a fast-learner, the only thing I need to do is to speak up more during meetings.  Hoping for more career fulfilment in the new year!

Second, God has been cute in finally giving me a girlfriend, an open door and prayer answered after so many years. It has been an awesome journey so far, albeit with ups and downs. Some people think that we got together fairly quickly, considering that I just go back from the states. Well it’s been 3 months + 1.5 months officially now, looking forward to more happy times in 2014! =)

Third, despite so many changes in my life, I’m still pretty much involved in serving in church. Some colleagues asked what is my hobby. I couldn’t give a standard boring answer like cycling or surfing the internet. After some thought, I think my hobby now is studying about different lighting styles and doing lights in church, which is mostly what I do during the weekends. I had open doors to serve for Christmas Service, which was very enlightening and my biggest scale project so far. I also had open doors to do editing for a short film for main church, which is a very privileged thing to be participating in. Looking forward to greater opportunities to serve in 2014!