Sunday, July 29, 2012

All Aboard the “Friendship Express”!

By Joel Goh, Year 2, Diploma in Biomedical Engineering

Imagine boarding a train on a two-week expedition of Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand to learn more about other cultures and to help the underprivileged with social projects.  That’s what eight NYP students did recently in the “Friendship Express” - a pilot project by the Singapore International Foundation that aims to promote greater understanding between Singaporean and international students through the sharing of insights and culture, as well as knowledge and experiences.
They were part of a team of 50 Asian youths consisting of eight nationalities - Burmese, Chinese, Indian, Indonesia, Filipino, Malaysian, Singaporean and Thai.

The expedition started in Singapore where participants had the opportunity to speak with ambassadors from the three countries. This one-hour session gave them unique insights into Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. This was followed with a visit to “Food from the Heart” - a volunteer welfare organizations that provides meals to the underprivileged. During this visit, participants learnt more about social enterprise in Singapore. They also helped to pack food hampers for low-income families.

In Malaysia, they were involved in the refurbishment of a community house in a fisherman’s village in Klang and helped installed water filters in the homes of villagers in Pahang to provide clean drinking water.

With the Malaysia Youth Council at Kampong Kuala Medang.
Students also had the opportunity to learn more about the local Orang Asli tribe. They learnt how the tribe survived by hunting for game such as squirrels and deer. At a shooting range, they also  got a private demonstration of how a blow gun is used.

Participants also took part in a one-night home-stay with local families; and a half-day visit programme to Petronas for a greater cultural experience. The Malaysian leg concluded with a reception hosted by Singapore’s High Commissioner to Malaysia Mr Ong Keng Yong at his official residence, Rumah Temasek.

For the final destination, the Friendship Express headed for the Thai province of Buriram where the students spent five days here working on social innovation projects (SIP) to meet the various needs as identified by the community. Here, participants were divided into five teams to help the nearby villages.

Students visit a 'bamboo' school in Thailand.
 After they completed their projects, they went to King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi for a campus tour, Thai-style lunch and a cultural performance to foster better understanding between communities.

Don Ong, a Year 2 Diploma in Banking and Finance student from the School of Business Management said that this experience helped him to learn more about solving problems in an in-depth manner.

Don Ong (in green) giving a presentation in Thailand.

He said, “It is not just about solving problems based on the facts which are easily accessible but to understand the roots of the problem so that you can tackle it efficiently.”

He also said that he learnt much from the 11-day experience. In addition to helping the underprivileged in Malaysia and Thailand, he also had the opportunity to learn more about the culture of his host countries.

“I felt that I received more than I gave. It was a humbling experience.”
Joel is a Year 2 Biomedical Engineering student who enjoys reading books of all genres except horror/ghost stories. Apart from books, his other interests include visiting places of nature, playing tennis and enjoying good food. Often, the first reaction he gets from most people is, “Wow! You’re so tall! What did your mum feed you?” Also, he is currently saving money in hopes of one day being able to further his education abroad.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Photographing Baybeats 2012

By Nur Shereen Binte Ibrahim, Year 2, Diploma in Mass Media Management
In Each Hand A Cutlass by Donald Soh
It has officially been three weeks since Baybeats wowed music lovers for three consecutive days. Has the post-festival blues left you yet? It certainly hasn’t for me. It is, after all, not often that you get to indulge in three days of quality music carefully put together by professionals.

While hundreds come down to Baybeats to soak in the wide spectrum of music and euphoric atmosphere, not many can say that they are there capturing the moments, and keeping emotions and memories intact. Moments pass but pictures last forever, which is why Donald Soh, one of Esplanade’s budding photographers, holds an important job indeed.

A graduate from NYP’s very own Diploma in Digital Media Design (School of Interactive & Digital Media), Donald is one of the six aspiring photographers picked by Esplanade to be mentored by Aloysius Lim, one of Singapore’s highly sought-after photographers (he has photographed bands like Kasabian, Franz Ferdinand and Coldplay).
Darren Ashley by Donald Soh
The thrill and gratitude Donald felt is only understandable. An avid Baybeats fan himself, Donald has been going to the festival every year without fail since 2008. We asked of his experience on being there in a different capacity.

“What made me pick up photography was my love for band gigs, seeing musicians live and trying to capture their emotions and actions through photos,” he said. “I have never had the chance to shoot for such a big festival as an official photographer before so I’m really just happy and thankful to be able to do so for Baybeats.”

The festival gave us an insight on the hidden yet obviously blooming music scene. The performers generally gave everyone a good time. We thoroughly enjoyed Cashew Chemists, The Great Spy Experiment and The Trees and the Wild just to quote a few. Some of Donald’s favourites include King Ly Chee from Hong Kong, Love Me Butch from Malaysia, Carlos Castano from Philippines, and Rudra, Plainsunset, The Great Spy Experiment, A Town in Fear, The Bois, Cashew Chemists, ANECHOIS, Monster Cat, Inch Chua & the Metric System and In Each Hand a Cutlass from Singapore.

Cashew Chemist by Donald Soh
Now that Baybeats has come and gone (well, until next year at least), Donald is only glad to have taken back one lesson from his experience - Experimentation.

“There's never right or wrong in photography,” he said determinedly. “You need to constantly experiment and play around different methods and styles to achieve the shots you want and make them stunning.”

The art of photography is a wonderful thing.  Thinking and dreaming big can always be the start of something new and exciting so it’s only natural we ask Donald of his dreams on photography. “I would love to shoot big festivals like Wacken Open Air, Download Festival, Sonisphere in Europe, Soundwave Festival in Australia or maybe Spring Scream in Taiwan.”

However, as concert photography opportunities don’t come by often, Donald intends to build up his portfolio with commercial works first.

Keep those dreams in mind, Donald, for the sky is the limit. In the words of Harriet Tubman, “Every great dream begins with a dreamer.”  We wish you much success!

Check out more of Donald's Baybeat photos here.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Summerlicious @ the Atrium

By Nicole Edwards, Year 3, Diploma in Marketing

NYP’s atrium is constantly buzzing with fairs and performances throughout the year. This week, the spotlight is on “Summerlicious” event. Largely occupied by food vendors, the atrium is buzzing with hungry students and filled with the smells of delicious food. Other vendors include cosmetic blogshop owners (like Smoochiezz) and a range of fashion stalls as well.
I am sure everyone will agree that one of the highlights of this event is the food! With all sorts of delicacies ranging from burgers and kebabs to cupcakes and yogurt, there is something for everyone at any time of the day. Most of the stalls open at about 9 and by 11, everything is up and running. Some of the popular stalls include the Ramly burger and the Taiwanese Chicken stall. With snaking lines, it is easy to see that food coming out if those stalls is nothing short of mouth-watering. Those in line seem to have no problem with having to wait 10 minutes for that bag of chicken or piping hot burger. What’s good about these stalls is that everything is made fresh and served hot so you know that whatever you have ordered will be worth the wait.
Another highlight that has definitely left the ladies contented is the ever popular Smoochiezz stall. The blog shop is popular for selling popular cosmetic brands, such as Mac and NYC, at warehouse prices, making it more affordable and definitely more attractive for students. Smoochiezz is a familiar face at NYP, having had a stall in the atrium about 2 months ago, and it is certainly always a welcome sight. Its shelves of lipsticks and numerous carts of nail polish are impossible to ignore. Carrying trendy brands like OPI and China glaze with their gorgeous colours and cute names, it is no wonder crowds of girls can always be found there spending quite a bit of time picking out that perfect shade or renewing their make-up brush collections.
The Summerlicious event is definitely a hit with students who enjoy a good mix of food and shopping. School fairs are something that everyone can appreciate and look forward to and students will surely be looking forward to the next food/fashion fair to take place in NYP.

Summerlicious” was organized by 21 Year 2 School of Business Management students as part of their Teaching Enterprise Project. These events provide a platform for students to hone their events planning and business management skills.

Nicole Edwards is a Year 3 Diploma in Marketing student from the School of Business Management. She loves reading and socializing with her friends. She has "a bit of an obsession with shoes and Starbucks". 

She is a loyal fan of Arsenal football club and she hopes to do a lot of traveling in the future. Her dream job is to be a travel and living journalist. Her other interests include photography and Public Relations.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

WorldSkills Singapore 2012: The Heat is On!

By Ho Khin Wai, Year 2, Diploma in Banking & Financial Services

It is DAY TWO of the WorldSkills Singapore 2012 and I am here at ITE College West reporting to you about all that is happening today for the competition!

But first of all, let us find out how NYP fared in Day One…
Top 3 Competitors for Day 1 - IT Network Systems Administration
Top 4 Competitors for Day 1 – IT Software Solutions for Businesses
Day 2 was filled with much excitement and anticipation as competitors from each trade were given new tasks to work on. Today, I went around the competition venues to bring you the juiciest updates on the competitors.

Speaking about JUICY, let us take a sneak peek into the “Cooking” trade to see what the competitors have whipped up for the judges. 

Future chefs cooking up a storm!
After salivating (too much) over those delicious plates of steak, I left the competition arena in search of more exciting skills to cover.

At the main competition arena, competitors had already started on their individual tasks and had no time to lose. It was also heartening to see that our NYP competitors were all extremely focused on completing their tasks.
Mohammad Ariff and Ma Wai Cheung from NYP testing out the robot controls in the Mobile Robotics competition area
Jashen Low and Leroy Tang with their robot on the battlefield! The team had to engineer the robot so that it is able to pick up the respective coloured cans and deposit them at the other side with the corresponding colour.
According to one of the coaches for Mobile Robotics, the competitors had different strengths and were from various diplomas.  They needed to tap on these strengths so they can overcome new challenges in the competition.  Indeed, teamwork was very important to succeed.

Here’s Joey Ng representing NYP in Graphic Design Technology. Looking good!
At the Graphics Design Technology trade, I got the chance to speak with one of the Experts, Ms Amy Soon, who told me that the NYP competitors are from the School of Interactive and Digital Media (SIDM).  Much time and dedication were needed to train the students to be of competition standards. “Their fighting spirit is very high; they already know what they want in this competition and want to prove themselves to be the best”, said Ms Soon.

Two of NYP’s students – Yik Loong (left) and Kah Yooi busy with building a cabling network in “Information Network Cabling” competition area.
NYP students Zoe and Nadiah working on their display sets!

For second year Visual Communications student Zoe Lim, joining the WorldSkills Singapore 2012 was a great learning journey for her. Said Zoe, “I’ve learnt better time management from this whole experience as I really had to work within a tight schedule to finish my designs.”

Jason Soh and Elgin Lee (not pictured) from NYP

As I ventured around the competition grounds, I wondered what IT Network Systems Administration trade’s competitors do during the competition and so I asked one of the coaches.  To my surprise, I was told their task was equivalent to creating and managing a whole enterprise website and its internal systems in approximately six hours! During that period, they had to work on things like Information Security, VoIP, wireless networks and tons of codes! Kudos to them that they could manage all the stress and keep focused for hours.

I also found out that the coach for NYP for this competition area is Ms Viridis Liew, one of the ex-competitors (and ex-student of NYP!) of the WorldSkills Competition.  She even went on to the international stage to clinch the most prestigious Albert Vidal award in Helsinki, Finland in 2005!

Said Ms Liew, “Winning the award was never on my mind; I was just focused on doing my best to complete my task and let the results take care of themselves.” When asked about how she thought the students fared this year, she said, “They are good. Each of the competitors has his own different strengths and weaknesses. Right now, what they have to do is to cope well with the pressure and they will need to persevere through the finals. Nothing is impossible.”

Competitors at the “Beauty Therapy” competition area working on these pretty models

That concludes Day Two of WorldSkills Singapore 2012! I would like to wish all NYP competitors all the best in the finals on Day 3. The closing ceremony will be on the 11 July, with the results of the winners revealed. These winners will get to represent Singapore to compete in the international WorldSkills 2013 competition held in Leipzig, Germany! Go, Team NYP!

Khin Wai is an NYP Year 2 Banking and Financial Services student from School of Business Management (SBM). He started writing for NYP Portal in 2011 out of interest and was soon "addicted" to it. He has also written book reviews for Straits Times YA Classified. Besides writing, he loves singing and has performed for various events in NYP under NYP Soundcard.

WorldSkills Singapore 2012: Always with the Patient in Mind

By Ho Khin Wai, Year 2, Diploma in Banking & Financial Services

Meet Gladys Aw and Audrey Foo, two of our NYP competitors in this year’s WorldSkills Singapore 2012, where they represented NYP in the competition area of ‘Caring’. They worked as a team against other teams from the various educational institutions. 

These second year Diploma in Nursing students from the School of Health Sciences (SHS) have come a long way to be part of WorldSkills Singapore 2012. For both Gladys and Audrey, enjoying the whole experience is just as important as winning awards.

I caught up with the girls during Day 2 of the competition at ITE College West.  When asked how they thought they had fared in the item they had just completed, they humbly replied, “We did our best.” It was an intense round, as Gladys and Audrey were tasked to deliver a thirty-minute training programme on Diabetes to a patient and her caregiver while constantly being assessed by a panel of judges.
Their meticulousness, positive attitude and passion for caring pulled them through the round successfully. Tears of joy were seen rolling down their faces as they emerged from the competition arena, and then proceeded to hug their coaches, families and friends who came to support them.

Said Audrey, “What was challenging was the communication between us and the patients. We have to be prepared for their responses and try to administer the best care that we could give them. There were those little surprises as well, that had us on our feet…but we managed to complete this round!”

For both the girls, they have learned that “what is done is done”. Regardless of how they fared in past performances, they would not to dwell on these issues and move on. Most importantly, they have learnt to be more patient-centered, and to always have the patient in mind as top priority.

This year, NYP is proud to have four of our students from the Diploma in Nursing to be taking part in WorldSkills Singapore 2012! Besides Gladys and Audrey, the other two competitors are Yeo Min and Eri Fara Tsuboi. All the best, NYP gals!

Khin Wai is an NYP Year 2 Banking and Financial Services student from School of Business Management (SBM). He started writing for NYP Portal in 2011 out of interest and was soon "addicted" to it. He has also written book reviews for Straits Times YA Classified. Besides writing, he loves singing and has performed for various events in NYP under NYP Soundcard.

Monday, July 9, 2012

WorldSkills Singapore 2012: Making IT a rewarding experience

By Ho Khin Wai, Year 2, Diploma in Banking & Financial Services
Here’s the second installation of NYP competitor profiles from the WorldSkills Singapore 2012 competition! Today I feature David Jonathan Ten for the “IT Software Solutions for Business” trade. 

David decided to join WorldSkills Singapore 2012 for the opportunity to showcase his talents in a prestigious competition. WorldSkills Singapore 2012 had been a very rewarding journey for David as he has gained valuable experience and friendships through the competition.
Said David, “Some of the challenges I have faced in this competition was to keep within the time limit! We may have many IT problems to solve, and proper time management was important. It required a lot of meticulousness to address the different problems and work out solutions for my tasks… I felt that I did much better on Day 2 than on Day 1.”

In this trade, competitors have to use Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel and Access to solve critical problems and come up with solutions for use in everyday life. You might think you know all about Microsoft Office, but wait till you see what they had to come up with! Some of the tasks include building and managing a database, customizing and automating processes, and using a microcomputer operating system to manage files and data, all using the Microsoft Office suite. 

David (one in red) and three other competitors from NYP – Bernard Yip, Jing Loon and Wei Kang
Besides David, five other competitors from NYP join him in the WorldSkills Singapore 2012 journey. All of them have been training hard to prepare for this competition. Joining WorldSkills Singapore 2012 was a big commitment, where they had to attend trainings a few times per week, on top of their normal school curriculum. However, all their hard work was well worth their while, as they finally stepped onto the national stage in a bid to compete for a place in the international arena.

“Having gone through the competition, I have learnt to be more patient when I face challenges in completing the tasks. Also, I am more aware that there can be different ways to approach a problem. By building on my fundamentals, I am much more confident looking for solutions to tackle these problems”, said David.

***16 July Update***
Congrats to David for winning the Silver Medal!

Khin Wai is an NYP Year 2 Banking and Financial Services student from School of Business Management (SBM). He started writing for NYP Portal in 2011 out of interest and was soon "addicted" to it. He has also written book reviews for Straits Times YA Classified. Besides writing, he loves singing and has performed for various events in NYP under NYP Soundcard.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

WorldSkills Singapore 2012: The Battle of the Best

By Ho Khin Wai, Year 2, Diploma in Banking & Financial Services

Yesterday marked the start of WorldSkills 2012, where the strongest players from all polytechnics and ITE come together on one playing field to compete! In this grueling skill play, competitors find out that to succeed, they need to have not just technical competence, but also self-discipline, confidence and perseverance.  As one of NYP’s official bloggers for the event, I am honoured to bring you the key highlights of the event during competition days, as well as updates on NYP’s performance in the competition.

The competition was tough and intense. Upon reaching the competition grounds at 10am, I could feel how intense it was already. The competition arena reminded me of an examination hall with students furiously writing on their examination scripts. Every competitor seemed extremely focused and alert in the tasks they had to perform. In such an electrifying atmosphere, it is no wonder the competitors dare not lose their concentration. This is truly the battle of the best! 
In deep concentration…competitors from Electronics.

Facial, anyone? The Beauty Therapy competition area.

NYP competitor Jason Soh participating in IT Network Systems Administration.
Visual Merchandising competitors at work.
 NYP has 44 competitors taking part in WorldSkills Singapore. They will be competing in these skill areas:

Aircraft Maintenance
Chow Wei Li
Chua Zhi Hao

Caring (team event)
Gladys Aw Sin Yun & Audrey Foo Bao Yun
Yeo Min & Eri Farah TsuBoi

CNC Milling
Kannan S/O Ponnambalam

CNC Turning
Eunice Chia Siew Peng
Norman Soh Chi Keong

Alton Low Jun Xiang
Tan Yong Chin

Graphic Design Technology
Muhammad Zaqeer Bin Mohd Radzi
Joey Ng Kai Woon

Information Network Cabling
Kong Kah Yooi
Lee Yik Loong
Muhammad Shaffie Bin Ariffin

IT Network Systems Administration
Cyrus Guo Xuhui
Elgin Lee Wei Sheng
Jason Soh
Kwek Ming Hong

IT Software Solutions for Business
Chia Wei Kang
Goh Jing Loon
Joshua Tan Jun Ming
Gwendoline Tan Wan Xin
David Jonathan Ten Chee Onn
Bernard Yip Mun Kit

Mechanical Engineering Design – CAD
Francis Goh Kim Swee
Muhammad Izzul Raimi B F
Siti Nabilah Binte Mohamed

Mechatronics (team event)
Chan Jun Wen & Leow Ying Jie
Dominic Tan Yuan Zhi & Chen Jia Yi
Jasper Tay Yi Xiang & Norman Chwee

Mobile Robotics (team event)
Jashen Low Kai Wen Jashen & Leroy Tang Yow Leong
Mohammad Ariff Mustaqim Bin Mohammad Yusofe & Ma Wai Cheung

Visual Merchandising
Zoe Lim Kai Ee
Nadiah Binte Mohamad

Web Design
Glenn Chee Jun Yuan
Chen Junsheng
Adrienna Quek Yan Ling

Keep a lookout for our blog, as we bring you more highlights.  I know things are going to get even more heated and exciting!

If you, too, would like to catch all the excitement and buzz, why not make a trip down to ITE College West this afternoon, and catch a glimpse of these young and talented competitors in action!

Khin Wai is an NYP Year 2 Banking and Financial Services student from School of Business Management (SBM). He started writing for NYP Portal in 2011 out of interest and was soon "addicted" to it. He has also written book reviews for Straits Times YA Classified. Besides writing, he loves singing and has performed for various events in NYP under NYP Soundcard.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Why choose DPA at NYP?

Many students have benefitted from entering NYP through the Direct Polytechnic Admissions (DPA) exercise. So why choose DPA? Our DPA students tell us their stories.

Ruzana Abdul Rahim (Dunman Sec School alumnus), Year 3, Diploma in Visual Communication
"Before my 'O' Levels, I already knew I wanted to do the Visual Communication course in NYP.
I really really wanted this course, and I felt that I needed to secure a course before the 'O' Level results were out.

 I had an interest in graphic and print design, and also enjoyed studying Design and Technology during my time in secondary school.
The Visual Communication course is basically what I expected. I find the Studio Projects in Visual Communication particularly useful because through these projects, I get to learn about my own strengths. I am also given the liberty to consult lecturers on my own and bounce ideas off them.
During the eight-week Polytechnic Preparatory Programme for DPA students, I got to learn Communication Skills, Introduction to Business, Retail and Marketing and Photoshop.
The programme gave me a headstart to be more familiar with NYP.  I got to make friends earlier, including friends from other courses.
I’m definitely glad that I entered NYP through DPA."

Chai Jia Xu, Diploma in Digital Entertainment Technology (Games)

Winner of two well-known creative awards, recent NYP graduate Jia Xun already knew that he wanted to programme games since he was in secondary school. The former Beatty Secondary School student decided to apply through DPA before his ‘O’ Level exams to study Diploma in Digital Entertainment Technology (Games) in NYP, even though he could have easily entered his dream course subsequently with his ‘O’ level aggregate of 10 points (L1R4).

“I chose NYP because it was close to my house, and I had an interest in game programming. I went to the Open House and learnt about DPA from a student guide. I wanted to be able to secure a place there. It turned out to be an interesting experience; the 8-week Poly Preparatory Programme (PPP) covered a broad range of topics. I took Communication Skills and a Leadership module, which prepared me to be a leader and gave me confidence in leading a group. I also learnt art and drawing, which was very exciting, and met people from other schools, whom I am still good friends with. Some of my friends went through the JAE route because they were not sure of what they wanted to do. I already knew what I wanted, and am glad I got in early.” 

Jia Xun is now working as a games programmer. Way to go Jia Xun!

Melissa Choo (First Toa Payoh Secondary alumnus), NYP alumnus, currently a first year Psychology student at NTU 

Captain of NYP Swimming Team and most outstanding student from School of Business Management 2011 Melissa Choo may have graduated, but she still thinks entering NYP through DPA is one of the best decisions she made. Here’s why:

"The year I joined NYP was the first year that the DPA scheme started. I knew about DPA through my secondary school, First Toa Payoh, so I decided to give it a try. I think it was because of its Sport and Wellness course. I was very much into sports. That was my field of interest. This proved to be a wise decision as in the end, I discovered I really loved the course a lot.

The Polytechnic Preparatory Programme (PPP) was quite memorable for me. We had our orientation in an “amazing race” style, and had to run to different locations for clues. We got to know the campus better, and also built many friendships with people from other courses.

The PPP modules were also useful to me. I got extra credits, and learnt about entrepreneurship, first aid and nursing.  We did many projects and had group discussions, which helped us to adjust to poly life better. 

At NYP, I have benefited from useful modules and also got to enjoy CCAs of my interests.

DPA helped me to secure a course of my choice at NYP ahead of my peers.  I’m glad I made this choice.” 

Muhammad Arif Khalid (Corporal Secondary School alumnus), Year 2, Diploma in Nursing

"I became interested in nursing because I was an active member of St John Ambulance in sec school. I chose NYP because I had quite a number of friends there, and I heard NYP offered the best nursing course. Besides, I was unsure what my ‘O’ Level score would be (it turned out to be 11) and DPA would give me a better standing compared to the rest of the cohort.
The Polytechnic Preparatory Programme (PPP) for DPA students also helped me to gain more knowledge before school started. I learnt useful topics such as Communication Skills, First Aid in Action, and Entrepreneurship and IT. I could use the module credits I had earned during PPP to replace some course modules during semester time. This gave me more time to devote to my other modules."
S Prabu Dev (Hai Sing Catholic School alumnus), Year 2, Medicinal Chemistry
Prabu (left), a DPA student who won the Inte-Poly Debate 2012 with his NYP teammates.
"I chose to enter Medicinal Chemistry through DPA because I was very sure this was the course I wanted.  Besides, this course was only offered in NYP.  
As a DPA student, I got to participate in the Polytechnic Preparatory Programme before school started. This was quite vital as it introduced me to some of my current modules. I learnt useful modules such as Basic Life Science, Business (which helped me in my current 'Marketing for Life Science' module), and fundamental Communication Skills.  I also got to meet people and network around NYP.
If you have made up your mind, it's better to apply early through DPA to secure your spot. PPP is very advantageous as it gives you exemption from certain General Studies Modules in Year 1, and will help make adjusting to Year 1 much easier. It definitely helped me to leap ahead."

To find out more about DPA, check out