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Making the right decisions
Professional Preparation Presentation
28 July 1999 @ 9am
Ngee Ann Polytechnic

- Discrimination is everywhere - some of you may never come across it in your career
- Believe in yourself because no one else will
- Have an objective in mind - constantly evaluate your plans (are you on the right track?)

Student Days
- Get involved in student projects
- Pursue your passions
- Don't get trapped in the 'classroom' mindset
- Freelance writing, magazine design, web development, film or corporate production
- Make full use of vacation training, overseas if possible - jobs may appear
- Every experience CAN be a good learning experience
- Student time is when you can afford to make mistakes and learn from them
- Excellent grades are important too - if you want to go for scholarships

National Service
- Consider part-time study (depend on posting)
- Maintaining contacts
- Rise to the challenge: Attitude is important, don't get trapped in the ROD mentality
- Don't be afraid to take on responsibility; try out new ideas
- Treat it as a new experience.

Projects involved in
- Communique Online
- Public Journalism Project
- Centre for Media Policy and Practice
- fineArt forum

- Journalism = Writing portfolio > IT = Online work > Advertising > PR > Marketing (Business plans, marketing proposals etc etc) > Film/TV related (Showreel)

Future of Journalism
- IT savvy
- Multi-tasking
- Newsgathering process will change dramatically
- Internet is the next new medium with plenty of jobs
- Don't be technophobic
- Not much future in web development market. E and B Commerce is where the $$$ is

Future Education OR Career Possible Pathways
- Diploma > NS OR Further Study > Work for 2 years OR Undergrad >
- Going overseas is not the only option. Consider correspondence or Part-time study

Points to consider before taking the plunge:
- How much money do I have?
- What area are you interested in?
- Are you going because of peer pressure?
- Do you have friends or family there?
- What sort of support does the University provide to International students?
- Are you prepared to be totally independent?
- Are you willing to immerse yourself in a new culture?
- You don't need to change to please everyone? It's about internal growth.
- Don't stick to the safe crowd
- Singapore Ku Klux Klan Sources of Information for further education
- UK, US, Australian Education Fairs, New Zealand is an option.
- Film Media Studies Seniors
- Education Agencies
- Email universities and look at their websites

Sites to look at:
- University of Technology Sydney
- Murdoch University
- Curtin
- University of Queensland
- Monash
- Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
- Queensland University of Technology

- University of Leeds
- University of Liverpool
- Loughborough University

Strategies for Life
- Be humble; a piece of paper doesn't make you brilliant
- Don't be afraid to take calculated risks
- You gotta feed your soul - GROW
- Balance your life: Work Hard and Play Hard
- Pick up the good and leave the bad
- Enthusiasm - you can't go wrong. People will teach you things
- Think things through carefully before making a decision - which is obvious

Questions raised during Propep Session: 28 July 1999
(These were questions raised personally after the one hour session)

* Why mention discrimination?
It is not discrimination per say. Speaking positively it means a missed opportunity, because of a missing variable. You have to remember it IS out there and you can make a difference. Do not pass on a bad work practice just because your boss did it to you. You can stop the cycle. Remember be professional about it.

* How is journalism in Singapore different from Australia?
Less areas to cover because of sheer size. But you can be creative and learn to be objective. It's a different culture here after all. You must understand it is a different culture and media system in every country and adapt accordingly.

* How do Singaporean students compare to Australians?
We tend to think safe and within a framework but there is nothing wrong with this style. If you can think creatively within a framework and budget; you become very marketable.

* How do you develop a strong journalistic portfolio?
There is only one answer - Bylines, bylines and more bylines.

* How do you begin freelancing?
Speak to editors, cold calls and pitch ideas. Editors like writers who give them story ideas - that's the way to go.

* How do you get story ideas and contacts?
It comes with experience, you get to know people and develop a natural nose for news.

* Is there life beyond Nisar's crazy style of working?
Yes there DEFINITELY is. Plenty to do. Join student associations, go travelling around your town. Many interesting sights to see. Take up skydiving, watch movies, go to plays, concerts - students always get a discount.

* Why show these fancy animation works?
My point - you need a good idea or concept.

* Is there anything wrong in studying part-time or via correspondence?
Nothing wrong at all. The destination is the same - only the journey is different. You have to remember you are doing it because you want to improve yourself and it doesn't end there. It should continue for life.

* How do you get into the design field - magazine layout etc etc?
Write to design houses they are always on the lookout for freelancers. The market is saturated but you can survive. Do a good job and there will be more.

* Do you learn much in a degree programme?
To borrow a photoshop/design term - GIGO : Garbage in, garbage out. You learn as much effort you put in the process. There are plenty of electives from various fields you can choose from. Once again, do proper market research, before deciding on which course you want to take or what you want to do.

* Should I work overseas?
If you have the opportunity, why not? Think it through carefully and consult family and friends.

A last note, take your Career Development Paper seriously. (No Mrs Choo is not paying me to say this.) You'll be surprised, what it can do for you in terms of knowing yourself and it's a good idea to evaluate your career/life direction every coupla months. Remember, there is no right or wrong answer. I share with you what I know and things may work out differently for you. It was good chatting with you, though I still think you guys were too quiet.


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