This spring term, I have been challenged to stretch my capacity further than I ever have been before, and still it has been one of the most enjoyable terms yet.
My first challenge was coming to terms with my new position in AIESEC as Local Committee President, on 1 February 2018. Having to face an entirely new set of challenges and working with a new team, I called for a team trip to Brighton. Doubling as a bonding-planning trip, it was the first trip for all of us and Brighton did not disappoint - we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! I could not be prouder to have chosen and to lead a team of such capable individuals – we are definitely looking forward to what we can achieve together for the rest of our term.
Furthermore, the presidents of the other AIESEC entities in the UK have been extremely encouraging and supportive of one another, and I am grateful for such a group of people. With time, it has been rather easy to see that going through a similar set of challenges with very different perspectives and action steps can yield a totally different set of results, and I am thankful that I am able to capitalize on their knowledge and experience as well. While we get along extremely well (all 20 if us), the only downside is that our only touchpoints are at National Conferences and National President’s Summits, where we share our thoughts, concerns, successes and failures!
The next major challenge was to ensure that the Singsoc Annual Production ran on smoothly, and that none of the behind the scenes administrative work was compromised. As much as everyone had their own busy schedules, it was extremely heartwarming to see all members of the cast and crew pull out all stops to ensure that we put up a show that we can be proud of. From organizing meetings just to memorize lines to prop suggestions, I’m happy to say that the cast truly supported each other and enjoyed themselves - one of my main aims for them this year. On the day of production, a cast member, Joshua, came up to me and said something that meant a lot to me: “Chandra, I honestly think I am going to miss being a part of production. What else am I supposed to do on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7pm?”. Same sentiments here, Josh.
“Those Who Can’t, Teach” is a uniquely Singaporean play about the challenges faced in being a teacher as well as a student, and questions the audience as to what it truly means to teach. Centred around quality education, an issue that I sincerely believe in, it was certainly intriguing, emotional, and entertaining all at once, and I am proud to have produced it in my capacity as Cultural Officer for Warwick Singapore Society.
Along the same vein, I also attended the annual Malaysian Night (abbreviated as MNight), and it was truly a feast for the eyes. With cultural dances, talented singers, and even a modern element of rap, the play inculcated a highly futuristic theme and posed questions about national identity and friendship, which brought the audience through a thought-provoking journey.
However, wanting to make the most of the halfway mark of my university experience, I also attended other events as a delegate – first of which was the Warwick ASEAN Conference 2018. With numerous high-profile speakers, such as Dr. Sophal Ear (Associate Professor of Diplomacy and World Affairs at Occidental College, Los Angeles) and HE Ms Foo Chi Hsia (Singapore High Commissioner to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), it was interesting to see their perspective on the ASEAN region in terms of economics and politics. I was also fortunate enough to land a spot in the case study lunch workshop with Maybank, informally pitching a business idea over lunch. Being the largest student run conference on ASEAN in Europe, it attracted students from all over UK, and it was nice to catch up with some friends who attended the conference too!
TEDxWarwick 2018 was another event that I attended, listening to speakers on a wide range of topics, including self-confidence and image issues (Harnaam Kaur, the first lady in the world to have a full beard), gender inequality (Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, a CEO of a leading global gender consultancy firm), and many more! As always, the content brought up was great food for thought and I am excited for next year’s event!
After having been through this gruelling term, I am looking forward to the spring break – as I write this, I am at a café in Lisbon with a group of friends. I cannot wait for the rest of the break. Till then.