Term 1: Final Year!
Term 1 of my final year has been one of the toughest ones I've had to go through, simply in terms of balancing academic workload and non-academic commitments, including job applications. Yet I cannot help but be grateful for the challenges that have come my way - as cliche as it may sound, I truly believe that that diamonds are only created under pressure. Through every experience I have only learnt and sharpened my problem-solving/time-management/critical thinking skills.
The first obstacle that I had to face (and currently am still facing) is the job application process. After answering countless motivational questions and taking various data interpretation/logic and reasoning tests, it can be very draining to have to go through the same process for each firm that I apply to. It definitely does not get better when the rejections come pouring in, sometimes even within minutes of having completed tests and video interviews. However, one thing that this has taught me is to persist, and to focus on working within my circle of influence, rather than worrying about the things outside of my circle of influence. It has also taught me that the outcome of situations is 20% based on what actually happens, and 80% based on how I respond to the situation. These push me to focus and do better every time. As I continue to apply for jobs, both in London and in Singapore, this will be at the back of my mind.
The next set of obstacles that I have had to face came from my sole non-academic commitment, AIESEC. At the start of the academic term, I had to organize a recruitment drive, complete with an assessment centre, in order to cherry-pick the students who we thought would best fit into and contribute to the organization. This in itself was pretty stressful, but this had to happen while 3 of my 4 Vice-Presidents had stepped down, for various reasons. It took a lot of willpower and determination to scramble together a new team (releasing applications, encouraging current members to step up and take on leadership positions within my team, interviewing, and then finally selecting them!), guide them throughout their transition process to learn about their roles, AND to carry out a successful recruitment and onboarding process.
However, bit by bit, we managed to introduce some structure into our teams, and set some basic rules for us all to follow such that our teams function effectively. It got to the point where I also managed to find a successor for my own position as Local Committee President. We even had such a huge member base that we did a Christmas dinner with a Secret Santa gift exchange - nothing could have made me feel warmer that night than knowing that this community was built by my own effort and by my very own team.
Throughout this whole process, the one thought that has kept me going is the fact that if I was not able to deal with this scale of problems at this stage, how would I be able to deal with larger, more complex problems in the workplace? This experience has taught me so much more about personal management and team management than I would have thought possible, and I could not be more thankful.
Of course, my term has not only been full of obstacles - I've managed to build closer relationships with many more groups of friends! Over the reading week break, I travelled with a bunch of friends to Amsterdam, to attend my first-ever music festival. Amsterdam is a beautiful country, and I was glad to have had the opportunity to explore it with my friends in a chill setting.
Halloween and Christmas were also both great opportunities to bond with my housemates - all of us dressed up as inmates escaped from prison, complete with cuffs and masks! We also managed to cook a massive Christmas roast - we enjoyed a wide selection of dishes, including roast vegetables, cauliflower and cheese, and a variety of roast meats.
I was also in the UK while my family celebrated Deepavali back home. So I grabbed a bunch of friends who missed home as much as I did and cooked a massive Deepavali feast.
Although it has been one of my toughest terms at Warwick, I believe strongly in playing as hard as I work - as I type this paragraph, I am sitting in the balcony of my Airbnb in Marsaskala, Malta, enjoying the cool 17-degree breeze while sipping on a mojito, and of course, munching on some authentic Italian pizza. I love travelling, and everytime I get the opportunity to do so and wind down, I am greatly thankful for the opportunities that have been offered to me and the challenges that I have had to overcome to be where I am and to be who I am today. It has truly been a great start to my final year at Warwick, and I cannot wait to be home with my family for Christmas!