Tuesday, 25 June 2013

No past experience has gone to waste


Lots of ♥, Cheryl

Friday, 7 June 2013

Can't help but feel so blessed that I have to share about God's goodness.

As most of you should know, I'm currently a year 3 student in NP majoring in IBZ and in our final year we get an opportunity to apply for overseas internship. Because as promised on our course page, we would have a chance to go overseas for our internship. And at first all of us thought that it was a given for us IBZ students but apparently not and we had to go through the motions like the rest of the SoBA kids. 

So I attended the school briefing on my internship a while back and I was so disappointed. I still remember clearly how I felt when the internship choices were offered to us. There were like 60 positions in total for all the SoBA students (which is a lot of people) that are eligible to take up the internship and out of these 60 some had gender preferences so limiting the girls to about 40 positions and out of the 40 left, most of them were hotel positions (like housekeeping, F&B, front office) with only a few decent internships remaining. You could hear the people in the room buzzing away, discussing their plans and it was obvious that there were only a few key internships that everyone wanted like Pivot Marketing, Mary Kay, ODM HK, Transinex. Looking at what was left on the table, I started doing the math in my head wondering what my chances were of getting into those internships and to be completely honest, I felt hopeless. I whatsapped Geoffrey immediately asking him if he could help me source for internships in Beijing and I basically started coming up with backup plans for my internship (self sourcing both locally and internationally). 

It was pretty much madness from then forth, every day I would be on internship websites or company websites, shortlisting potential choices and then contacting them and sending in my resumes and cover letters. But soon I got so caught up with school and the crazy amount of work I had that I had to put all these plans on hold. In the meantime, we were still encouraged to apply for the school internships even if we were self-sourcing and so I did take some time to fill in all the necessary paperwork for the school internships. I started really late on them (like the night before the actual submission) and I worked throughout the night on them, modifying my CV and answering the essay questions. What I remember the most clearly out of this was that at about 3am in the morning when I was about 3/4 done with my CV I actually had thoughts of just giving up on it cause it was just so much work (After applying and settling the necessary paperwork, there would still be rounds of interviews) and the possibility of me getting a decent internship was like close to zero. But I think the fighter in me told me to just press on because I was so close to finishing up my applications and I knew with a certainty that I would regret it if I didn't even try. 

After submitting my applications and booking my interview slot, I started preparing myself from the interview. I had many conversations with Cris (my senior) about how interview went and heard many stories especially about them making you speak chinese. I know I'm a higher chinese kid and should be able to speak chinese pretty well but firstly it's been years since I actually had to converse in chinese and secondly my chinese in my sec school days wasn't all that fantastic as well (my chinese class friends can testify for how horrible I am at reading chinese passages) and thirdly the interview would encompass everything under the sun and I clearly do not possess such extensive knowledge on chinese words (business terms, places of attraction in Singapore etc). Days before the interview, I literally sat down and thought of all the potential questions that would be asked and started prepping for them by google translating whatever I wanted to say from English to Chinese and I practiced like crazyyyyy. Thank God I had friends who were willing to share with me the questions that they received during their interviews and it helped me to prepare myself even more so that I would be able to answer them. 

I also got started on my portfolio for my interview and as my top two choices were ODMasia HK and Pivot Marketing, I thought it would benefit me to include some of my design work that I've done in my years in NP to boost my portfolio. The night before my interview, I complied all my work and was about to print them out when my printer failed me. Ended up deciding to print my work right before the interview and when I went to the printing shop, the queue was so ridiculously long that I was stuck there for such a long time. My interview was scheduled at 1.50pm at the BA block and at 1.45pm I was still at the library in line waiting to print out my stuff. At one point, I was contemplating just not printing out my design work and heading over to the interview area. But for God knows what reason I was incredibly bold that day and went straight to the front of the line to ask the girl if I could go next since I was rushing for time and she allowed me to. Faced some printing errors here and there but the other students at the shop were all so nice and helpful! And so after hurriedly printing everything and arranging it in my portfolio I ran to my interview location. Note to self: NEVER EVER BE LATE TO AN INTERVIEW (AND END UP RUNNING THERE) Because you will end up looking so flushed and disheveled and will be busy catching your breath which does not make you look professional and will give off a bad impression. At the same time, it makes you really anxious as well cause you're rushing and you don't have time to gather your thoughts or calm yourself down. I ended up reaching the interview venue at like 1.55pm and thankfully the previous interview was still going on. Ended up using all methods to calm myself down (just so happens that kor lamjiale taught me something the previous night) and to catch my breath so that I would be able to actually speak during the interview and thankfully the interviewers only called me into the room at 2.10pm giving me 15 mins to pull myself together. 

During the interview, I had to read a chinese passage and I heard the horror stories about them as my friends who had interviews earlier in the day told me that out of the entire passage (3-4 sentences worth) they could only read like 10 words cause it was so hard. It was one of my greatest worries entering the interview but I was given passage 4 to read and I didn't do amazing but I managed to get through it and wasn't able to read like 6 words in total? (I later found out that the killer passage was passage 1 and apparently almost everyone else had to read that) And then they asked me why I wanted to go overseas for my internship which I had to answer in chinese and thankfully someone that day had asked me this question thus I had already mentally prepared myself and was able to give a pretty good answer without sounding like a total idiot. The rest of the interview went pretty smoothly and in the end they ended with this statement telling me that my top 2 choices were practically the choices that everyone else wants and that I've got some really fierce competition. At this point I kinda told myself that it was okay if I didn't get it cause there's so many people fighting for the same spot and they'll probably give it to the cream of the crop which I probably am not part of.

But low and behold 2 weeks later, I got news on my posting...

So far the position has not been confirmed yet but according to past records, once one has been shortlisted the internship is pretty much confirmed.

I honestly am over the moon and absolutely awed at how God works.

After I received this news, I started thinking about how all of this fell into place and how I ended up with this internship. Having pondered about this issue for days, I have come to the conclusion that only God could have orchestrated something like that. I honestly do believe that my interview skills and my design portfolio really closed the deal for me and all these skills that helped are definitely skills that God has blessed me with over years. I never had excellent interview skills, my interviews in Anderson were pretty okay but never excellent, however when I started out in NP everything changed. I've been through at least 20 over interviews in NP for scholarships, CCA, EXCO positions, representative positions etc. And each time, by His Grace I always manage to persuade the interviewers to believe in me and always achieve what I set out for. All in all, I'm a much better speaker/presenter now that I ever was and this has certainly helped me to succeed in all my interviews. 

My design talents are really another blessing from God. I basically have no knowledge in design at all, apart from playing around with photoshop from time to time and having some retarded computer class in Anderson, I know absolutely nothing about it. But ever since my upper sec days where I started working on videography for Council projects, I've slowly been getting better at it. In NP my CCAs Ideawerkz and NPSU have had me working on projects that required design work to be done. (I find the need to emphasize how important getting into these CCAs are because honestly these are a few of the CCAs where I will actually need to get design work done and it is most certainly not a coincidence that I got accepted into them) Somehow, every time someone was asked to design something I would find myself taking up the challenge and when given a project I always seem to get godly inspiration and will end up producing relatively decent to good works. People always look at my designs and ask me if I have studied design somewhere before because the designs are really good and I always reply that I'm an amateur as half the time I stumble through using photoshop and illustrator only to end up miraculously completing my task. In one section of my application, I wrote that I have a creative mind which I believe has been developed from all these experiences and I think that it is one of the key reasons why I managed to solidify my position in ODMasia. 

It truly is by God's grace that everything worked out the way that it did and I'm just ever so thankful that I am so loved by the father and am so blessed. He closed all other doors for me so that He could lead me to the open door that He had planned for me. 

God has blessed me so wonderfully in so many areas of my life and everything that I have achieved thus far is most definitely not by my own strength or capabilities but are blessings from above.  

Indeed, the desires of my heart are made complete because His favor follows me 



Had my first meeting with my fellow interns and boss yesterday. And thankfully everything went well :)

Went to school expecting an interview with the boss, however there wasn't one, just a short chit chat session where he introduced the company and our job scope to us and a small 'get-to-know-us' session where we just shared a bit about ourselves. There was one point of the interview that he started joking with Ms. Ong about wanting the best interns and it was so surreal when she assured him that we were the best picks out of the lot as both her and Mr. Yeow felt that all 3 of us were the most suited for this placement out of all the applicants. At the end of it all, he just ended it with "I'm glad to be having the 3 of you come to Hong Kong to work with me". 

It certainly feels amazing to be selected for such an amazing internship experience and I really thank God for blessing me above and beyond what I deserve.

Hong Kong here we come!

Lots of ♥, Cheryl



♥ cheryllimsuwen, 29/11.
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