August 27, 2019



On 24 July 2019, I graduated from the University of Warwick with first-class honours in Politics and Sociology! To think 3 years has flown by is surreal. – I felt so honoured and grateful to be celebrating my graduation with fellow friends and family. Without their support, I would not have come this far and the day was as much about celebrating their support as it was celebrating my success. I wore a traditional dress called ‘baju kurung’ as a homage to my roots and wider community back home, who have been pivotal to my success.



My family, including my immediate family, 2 aunts and 2 cousins, came down to the UK to witness my graduation. For most of them, it was their first time coming to the UK and I enjoyed showing them around my home for the past few years. While they enjoyed the sights of London, there was an unfortunate heatwave occurring during that week with temperatures soaring up to 38 degrees Celsius on some days! I brought them to local iconic sites like Portobello Market, Hyde Park and Bicester village.


At bicester village!

It was a proud moment to celebrate with my friends as well. While it was a joyous occasion, it was also bittersweet knowing that we would be in different places in a few months. I definitely will miss having the luxury of showing up at friends’ houses in a moment’s notice. I also got to exchange some graduation gifts with friends. My aunt had kindly ordered some custom-made cookies to celebrate my graduation. I received some goodies like chocolate from Ecuador and Indonesian treats, which I enjoyed thoroughly! I even went to my favourite Asian restaurant afterwards to bid a proper farewell. I'm friends with the owner and it was bittersweet saying goodbye to the restaurant, which has been a major source of comfort over these few years.

Graduating with friends

Socio buddies


Social sciences


In all honesty, graduating with a first-class degree was no easy feat. I experienced a myriad of challenges this year, which tested my patience and endurance. Over the Spring break (March & April), I was juggling 6 essays while experiencing some health issues. Mid-way through the break, I decided to seek medical help as I was at my wit's end. While I was thankful there was an explanation behind my condition, all the medical appointments were quite disruptive to my routine. I also had to be mindful of making sure I was taking care of myself. I’m thankful that I had a great support network to tap on to get me through a tough time and remind me to take care of myself.

Welcome back!

Upon my arrival in Singapore, my mum greeted me with flowers! I also got to see the new Changi Jewel after seeing countless people post pictures of it on social media. Since I’ve been back, I’ve taken time to catch up with beloved friends and family. Moreover, I’ve had the opportunity to reconnect with my supervisor from my internship last year and meet some alumni for career advice. I’ve taken time to reflect on my university experience this past few weeks. – I’m immensely grateful for the opportunities the scholarship has given me and the trust the trustees have given us. As one of the pioneer recipients of the scholarship, I’m honoured to have been picked as it means the trustees saw potential in me. I hope to be able to be in a position to give back in the future too, not merely financially but knowledge-wise or giving other people access to opportunities.

August 26, 2019

Post–exam Trips: Venice & Scotland


After my exams, I took a 5-day trip to Venice and explored the surrounding islands as well. I’ve always heard of how picturesque the city is and experiencing it in person is truly breath-taking. – I still find it hard to wrap my head around the fact that Venice is a city built around canals instead of roads and the city is built on a lagoon. I enjoyed exploring the city by foot and taking the vaporetto (water bus) around.



I went sightseeing at some of the city’s famous buildings such as Saint Mark’s Basilica, which is famous for its architecture. As the church lies at the Piazza San Marco, I took the chance to explore the surrounding sights like the Doge Palace. I also went to the Rialto bridge, which is the oldest of the 4 bridges spanning the Grand Canal in Venice. The bridge consists of 3 walkways and the wider central walkway has rows of small shops selling goods like jewelry.

Lido Beach

I also took the chance to explore the surrounding islands of Venice. One of the highlights of the trip was definitely going to the Lido beach to enjoy the sunshine and heat. I’ve always found the sea calming so after a hectic year, I relished just being in the sun and not worrying about deadlines or work. I also took the chance to try out my new film camera that I got as a birthday present.

Seafood Pasta

One of the perks of taking public transport everywhere on this trip meant I could splurge more on delicious food! One of my favourite dishes I had here was seafood pasta. Over the course of the trip, I had so much mussels, squid and prawns. Of course, I couldn’t leave Italy without trying their pizza and tiramisu, which were the best I’ve tried.

While I wished I had more time to explore other cities in Italy, I had to head back to the UK as I had an interview in London the following week. A recruiter had reached out to me during the exam period regarding an operations role with an asset management firm. After 2 rounds of interviews, I had a longer interview and tests at the firm’s head office in London. While I did not get the role, it was a good learning experience as it taught me how to sell my skills and practice my interview skills.

Taking the ferry

A day after my interview, I headed to Scotland to celebrate the birthday of a dear friend from Singapore, who’s now studying there. A group of us rented an AirBnB near Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. Being in nature was such a refreshing break. – We enjoyed doing typical summer activities like having BBQs. It was lovely to experience a more communal living situation as 10 of us shared a house over a few days and we took turns doing errands like cleaning and buying groceries.

Birthday Celebrations!

Over June, I made so many exciting memories with both new and old friends. One of the things I truly cherish about my time in university is having the ability to plan small trips with friends and having the freedom to explore new places together. While the prospect of my friends being in disparate places globally is exciting and sad at the same time, I will miss how international the Warwick community is.- This appreciation for diversity is something I hope to experience wherever I am in the future.

July 02, 2019

Last Term 3!

Looking back at the last few weeks of term 3, I feel relieved that I’ve conquered the essay deadlines and exams. Having to juggle back-to-back deadlines for 6 essays after Easter break and going straight into exam preparation was no easy feat. I definitely could not have done it without the support of my fellow peers and family.

The saying “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” encapsulated my journey this past term. I had to ensure I planned out my time wisely to ensure I had adequate time to finish all my assignments and preparation to the best of my ability while ensuring there was enough time for rest. The last thing I wanted to run into was rushing an assignment only to feel burned out afterwards and potentially affecting other deadlines. I relied largely on group study sessions and partnering up with course-mates to hold each other accountable and keep disciplined. I found collaborating together to share notes and exchange feedback on each other’s essays have been the most effective ways to study. All our hard work has definitely paid off and I’m happy to say I will be graduating from Warwick with first-class honours!

Now that exams are over, I’ve been pre-occupied with planning for my graduation- 7 members of my family will be coming down and for many of them, it will be their first time exploring the country so I am excited to show them around. Furthermore, I’ve also been busy continuing my job search and am currently in the midst of preparing for an assessment centre coming up.

While everyone has always told me time flies by in university, it is now that I truly understand what they mean. It is surreal to think I’ve now completed my undergraduate journey. While finishing up my final undergraduate essays, I’ve grown to realise just how much my ideas have evolved and matured over these past 3 years. Beyond the academic realm, being able to discuss and debate ideas with individuals from varied backgrounds have enriched my personal perspectives.


Over the past few weeks, I have been busy catching up with friends before they leave for their respective homes. Meeting friends and enjoying what’s left of university has truly made me cherish the experiences the scholarship has granted me with- Both the hardships and fun moments have shaped me to be the person I am today. Over the next few weeks, I will be travelling to Venice, Italy and Scotland- Can’t wait to get some much-needed relaxation after a hectic year!

March 23, 2019

Christmas Break: Spain

Over the Christmas break, I managed to take a short get-away to Spain. It was my first time there and after hearing so many anecdotes about the beautiful country from my friends, I was excited to finally be able to travel there. Over the course of a week, I went to Barcelona, Valencia and Madrid with a dear friend from back home, who is also studying in the UK. While I was only in Barcelona for 2 days, I managed to soak in the country’s amazing architectural sites and visit their famous markets. Being able to tour the La Sagrada Familia, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, was definitely a treat. The building is a large unfinished Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, which was designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Admiring the stained glass while the evening light was shining through was a moment I’ll cherish forever. While walking to the church, we got to view another of his famous buildings- The Casa Milà, is a modernist building and there was an art installation occurring on the day we were there. As someone who has been practicing an art form, theatre for the past few years of my life, seeing the legacy of his works was inspiring. His dedication to his art and consistent focus is something all visitors can appreciate and take away, regardless of their backgrounds.

La Sagrada Familia

Stained glass

In Valencia, I got to visit the markets, which were especially busy leading up to the festive season. Walking around and soaking in the busy environment was so much fun on its own. Of course, no visit to Spain would be complete without eating their food. While visiting the markets, I got to try their fresh produce. We also had tapas and their seafood dishes were mouth-watering. One of the highlights of the trip for me was trying octopus for the first time! While we were in Valencia only for a few days, I was glad to be able to soak in the sunshine and blue skies before heading off to Madrid.



Madrid was our last stop- While I got
to enjoy the Christmas markets and usual treats like churros, visiting the Sabatini Gardens was awe-inspiring. Following a Neoclassical style, the gardens had well-trimmed hedges and trees in symmetric geometrical patterns that look like a maze! The garden, which was adorned with a pool, statues and fountains, are part of the Royal Palace in Madrid. I enjoy being in green spaces during my trips so spending an afternoon just walking around was so relaxing.

Sabatini Gardens

Last day together!

My week in sunny Spain away from the chilly winter in UK was filled with beautiful memories of learning more about the country and trying their local cuisine. It also allowed me to catch up with a dear friend I rarely get to see and made me appreciate how much we’ve grown as individuals. The trip was a perfect way to end the year and reflect on the past year, 2018, before ushering in the new year!

March 18, 2019

Last Term 2!

It’s almost surreal to think I’ve just finished my last Term 2 at Warwick. As cliché as it sounds, time really does fly by! While I’ve been busy working on assignments and job applications, this term has truly been a memorable one. As I was involved in running Warwick ASEAN Conference (WAC) last year, I thought it would be a good idea to attend another student-led conference at Warwick. Since I had heard numerous good comments about last year’s Warwick Africa Summit, I decided to attend this year’s as a delegate. I was interested in the conference as like WAC, this was a region-based conference however, their scope extended beyond socio-political issues to include the cultural scene.

Panel Discussion

Conference buddies

Over the 2 days, we were treated to a variety of panel talks from issues of governance to topics on innovation and the creative arts. I enjoyed how the panel discussions managed to bring together experts from various fields, who managed to provide fresh and insightful perspectives. One of my favourite talks was by Karim Anjarwalla, a managing partner at a leading corporate firm in Kenya, who gave a keynote speech. He spoke about how civil advocacy drove Kenya’s legal ban on single-use plastics- A fact I didn’t know till this conference! The country’s strong presence of environmental advocacy and commitment to renewable energy was truly inspiring. Through the conference, I also managed to make new friends and meet friends I just haven’t seen in a while. This weekend was truly a fulfilling one- The intellectually rigorous and passionate environment affirmed my decision to be at Warwick.

Chinese New Year Dinner

Another highlight of this term was celebrating Chinese New Year with my friends. While it is not an event I celebrate with my family, it is nevertheless a festive holiday back in Singapore that holds fond memories of school celebrations with friends. We went to a restaurant in Leamington Spa and enjoyed a spread of food! Many of my friends at the dinner were people I’ve worked with during last year’s Warwick ASEAN Conference so it was a good opportunity to reminisce past memories and share our future plans.

Beach Day


During reading week, I went to Lisbon for a short break to visit a friend who was doing an overseas exchange there. She was one of my first friends I made during university so it was great to see her again!

On the stairs

I was grateful to enjoy the sunny and warm weather in Portugal. Lisbon was full of beautiful sights from beaches to viewpoints where you could enjoy the sunset. One of the highlights of the trip was watching the sun set over the town from a viewpoint in the warm evening. Being able to catch with a good friend made me realise how pivotal my friends at university have been to my personal growth. I’m so thankful to have met people who have challenged and broadened my perspectives throughout my studies.


In the hustle and bustle of university life, it’s so easy to forget what a privilege it is to be studying at Warwick. I am immensely grateful to be studying here and I’m so thankful for my tutors and the donors who have given me an invigorating and life-changing experience. During the spring break, I will be busy finishing assignments and preparing for an upcoming assessment centre. Nevertheless, I’m excited to be spending a few days in Spain and I will make sure I set aside time to enjoy the company of my friends. It’s the last stretch and I hope to give it my best!

December 10, 2018

Farewell Autumn


My last Autumn term at Warwick has been a flurry of activity from keeping on top of assignments and attending events. In my final year, the modules are increasingly more specialized hence, the people that take them tend to have a deeper interest as well, which makes the learning experience even more fruitful. One of the modules that I’m really enjoying is East Asian Transformations: A Political Economy Perspective, which includes Southeast Asian countries like Singapore in its study. The knowledge I’ve gained through this module has built on what I learnt through my involvement in the Warwick ASEAN Conference last year and deepened my interest in the region. Asia is home to two of the world’s three largest economies, a third of the world’s population, and contributes a share of more than 40 percent to global economic growth. Furthermore, I find it interesting that the region is diverse in terms of geographies, cultures, and political systems, which also defies many of the patterns and principles of international politics and economic development witnessed in the West. Learning about the dynamics driving this region’s development has been immensely gratifying and the module has also been a way for me to be connected to home and reflect on the ongoing developments in Singapore.

Apart from academic work, I’ve been busy with job applications, which required preparation even before the term started. While at university, I’ve taken advantage of the careers services by meeting up with the careers advisors and attending various career-related events such as the Consulting Sector Insights at the Warwick Business school. Apart from learning more about various industries and roles, I’ve found these events to be immensely useful in terms of networking and meeting alumni who are in the beginning stages of their career. Being able to seek advice from people who were once in my shoes not too long ago has been beneficial not simply in terms of easing some of my worries but also giving insights into the transition from university to workforce. Juggling all the applications along with the various tests involved while keeping on top of academic work has definitely been a challenge but it has taught me to be resilient and persist despite rejections. I’m grateful that I can rely on my friends as well to check in with each other and work on applications together. While I realise there are various factors beyond my control in regards to the employment landscape, this experience has taught me to do to focus on what I can control in working towards my goals and hope for the best.

Yazmin Lacey


In the beginning of this academic year, I made a resolution to foster deeper relationships while enjoying my last year at university. One of best memories this term was going to see a live performance of Yazmin Lacey, a British R&B/soul singer at Birmingham. Together with a friend I made through my involvement with theatre societies, we enjoyed an atmospheric night filled with music and good company. We even managed to talk to the singer afterwards and snap a picture (Yazmin is the middle)!



While I’ve stepped down from my exec position in a theatre society I was involved with last year, I managed to catch a theatre production this term. While I was in London to meet a Singaporean friend who is currently doing an overseas exchange programme, I managed to catch Anthony & Cleopatra at the National Theatre (Photo Credits: Johan Persson). I enjoyed how the Director Simon Goodwin managed to combine this classic Shakespearen Roman romance with an elegant contemporary aesthetic and impressive staging that included a revolving set. I was also in awe of how amazing the actors were considering they had enough stamina to perform for 3 hours straight! After the impressive production, I enjoyed the night views along South Bank, which was a great way to end off the night!


After a hectic term 1, I’ve learnt so much within both my academics and personal life. Juggling with my current commitments and working towards employment after graduation has been challenging but I’ve learnt to take rejections within my stride and learn from them. I’m looking forward to a restful break to unwind and reflect on all that’s happened this term- I have a trip to Spain lined up and I’m also going to be spending some time in London. I’m immensely grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had thus far and I look forward to starting a new year that will hopefully bring with it more amazing memories and insights!

September 28, 2018

Farewell Summer

As the summer break comes to an end, I’m excited for my (sadly) final year at University of Warwick and grateful for all the amazing experiences I’ve had over the summer. I spent the past 3 months back in Singapore, where I completed a 10-week internship at the Ministry of Social and Family Development. After being overseas for months, I enjoyed catching up with family and friends over long conversations and meals. I also took the opportunity to take a few short weekend trips to Penang, Malaysia and Bangkok, Thailand to travel and enjoy the sun as much as possible before heading back to the UK.

During my internship, I was thankful to have had one of the managers as my mentor as her perspectives and guidance was invaluable in informing my future career choices and improving my work performance. Due to the nature of my internship, I can’t disclose details of the work I did over the course of my internship. However, I did learn a few lessons that are relevant to other areas of my life and career in general. Being in a supportive environment made me realise that workplace culture plays a huge role in influencing motivation levels and general attitudes towards work. Working with people who were invested in my personal growth made me excited to come into the office every day and learn more about roles and projects beyond my immediate team. Such an environment also made it easy for me to seek feedback and make connections across the department. I left the internship with not only knowledge but fond memories and frieds that I look forward to seeing next time.


Friday Office activities

Over the course of my summer, I also had the opportunity to take a few short weekend trips around Southeast-Asia. I took a trip to Penang, Malaysia with a few friends from Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore that I worked with while organizing the 2018 Warwick ASEAN Conference. It was my first time there and I really enjoyed the eclectic mix of cuisines and cultures. We enjoyed local treats like chendol and fresh coconuts!



Apart from the delicious food, a highlight of my time was the Penang Peranakan Mansion- A museum that showcases Peranakan culture within one of the heritage mansions built at the end of the 19th century. The museum offers an insight into a typical home belonging to a wealthy Peranakan family a century ago. We were given a tour, where the guide shared about the customs, traditions and history of certain antiques. In terms of architecture and design, I found it interesting that within a single house, one could find various European and Chinese elements. Although it was a brief weekend trip, I enjoyed spending time with my friends and learning more about our Southeast Asian counterparts.



During August, I also had the opportunity to spend some time in Bangkok, Thailand with some relatives. It was my first time in the city and seeing my relatives after months made the trip even more thrilling! I managed to explore Kanchanaburi, which is a town in West Thailand known for its World War II history. The town is known for the Allied War Cemetery and the Death Railway, which was built during the war and crosses over the River Kwae Yai via a bridge. After visiting the nearby war museum and walking along the railway, we took the train down and visited some other sights. Enjoying rural nature while feeling the breeze as the train passed by various villages was definitely a treat! Our final stop was the Sai Yok National Park, where we got to see a beautiful waterfall- Definitely one my fondest memories of this trip.

Sai Yok National Park

Death Railway

Back in Singapore, I attended the dinner with the trustees, fellow scholars and representatives from the university at Sinfonia Ristorante. While I was happy to share about my university experience and future plans with the group, hearing from Hayati and Jade about their past experiences and their expectations going forward into higher education was exciting. I remember when I was in their shoes not too long ago and the anticipation is definitely exhilarating. Talking to the trustees and university representatives always reaffirms my gratitude being one of the first recipients of the scholarship and its importance to students of my background.


Before the university term started, Chandra, Hayati, Jade and I managed to get together to have dinner as well and catch up. Time has gone by so fast and I find it hard to believe I’m already in my final year! I’m excited to see how the younger scholars will grow and explore their interests further in university. While I’m nervous about post-graduation plans, I am excited to see how this year will unfold. I plan to take full advantage of my last year at Warwick by clarifying and working towards my personal, academic and career goals while enjoying my final year with friends.


July 18, 2018

End of Year 2: Sun & Smiles

While the last term was hectic with finishing deadlines and preparing for exams, I was glad that I got to travel to Amsterdam afterwards. Being in Amsterdam during summer was amazing- The city was still lively at night and walking around to soak up the atmosphere was a fun (and free) activity!




I visited a few museums such as the Stedilijk museum and the Rijksmuseum but my favourite was the Van Gogh museum. The museum was curated in a manner that allowed visitors to learn more about his life in an autobiographical and intimate manner while appreciating his artworks. To learn that he only started painting at 26 (which by today’s standards may seem late) without knowing if he was any good at it was awe-inspiring. Learning about his life and dedication to his artistry challenged notions of talent as being ingrained and more important than effort. He was relentless in improving his artistry for the sake of his own self-mastery despite the lack of external validation nor monetary reward.


In the final week before I returned to Singapore, I had a BBQ with a few other friends to celebrate the end of Year 2. In typical British fashion, summer is not complete without having a BBQ. We were lucky the sun was shining and the skies were blue that day. By the end of the day, everyone was all smiles. It was a great end to the academic year and I’m grateful to have such a great network of support while overseas in university.

Sunny day at Sherbourne

This year was eventful and enriching in various ways. I was grateful I managed to continue honing my theatre practice through my involvement in 2 productions. One of which was the 2018 Singsoc Production ‘Those who Can’t Teach’ written by Haresh Sharma. Although I was not acting this time, I mentored the cast by carrying out actor training sessions. Theatre is always a team effort hence, working with the production team and cast was an enjoyable way to get to know them better. Seeing the end product during the last week of term 2 made me proud as I knew how hard they worked to put everything together!

Production Team

During this summer break, I will be doing an internship at the Ministry of Social and Family Development in Singapore. While I have only just began, being immersed in a different working culture and learning about the rigors that come with this job has been insightful. As I was working in a start-up last year, the shift to a more corporate environment has allowed me to learn about the differences of working styles and approaches. While part of me wishes I had more experience working in a variety of settings before I graduate, I am still grateful to have this opportunity to get an insight into public service.

In my first week of internship, an exhibition on ‘Transformations within the Public Service’ was held and I got to help run a booth representing the department’s work. It was an interesting experience as I got to interact with people from various other agencies and ministries. I enjoyed learning more about other developments across the board, whether it was changes in approaches to age-old problems or technological advances.

Exhibition at Resorts World Sentosa

I anticipate this summer to be a whirlwind- Juggling my internship, spending time with family and re-connecting with old friends but I hope being back in Singapore will allow to rest in time for my final year. It’s only at the end of my second year that I understand why everyone says these 3 years will past by in a hurry!

March 15, 2018

Warwick ASEAN Conference 2018

On 17th February 2018, the team’s efforts throughout the past months finally came together in the 4th Warwick ASEAN Conference, the largest student-run conference on Southeast-Asia within Europe. As the honorary secretary and outreach officer, it was a proud yet humbling moment to see everything come to fruition. I was the honorary secretary for Dr Alice Nah, one of the speakers in the socio-cultural panel. As a lecturer at the Centre for Applied Human Rights at the University of York, her research focuses on asylum and migration in Southeast Asia as well as the security of human rights defenders.

Dr Alice Nah

I was excited to finally get the chance to meet her after liaising with her through email for weeks prior to the conference. Our team was responsible for formulating and curating questions for both the panel discussions and the media interviews according to the research areas of the speakers. Apart from being a heartening experience to see the products of our labour, chatting with her on the topics discussed raised within the conference gave me interesting insights on the region.


A proud moment for the organizing team was definitely securing Dato’ Seri Nazir Razak, chairman of the CIMB Group, as our keynote speaker. One of the key take-aways from his talk was the pressing need to embrace and harness the ‘4th Industrial Revolution’- A revolution that is driven by rapid advancements in technology. While he acknowledged technology can be disruptive and uncomfortable to adapt to, his speech emphasized the importance of responding accordingly in order to survive in the changing landscape and leverage on the increased connectivity technology has created.

Another highlight of my time in WAC 2018 was being part of the outreach team. Our team was responsible for organizing and coordinating outreach efforts with student societies in Warwick and throughout UK to promote the conference. Our efforts spanned from pre-events to boost the commercial awareness of the conference to liaising with student leaders from various student bodies.


One of the events I had the privilege of attending was the UKSSC (United Kingdom Singapore Students’ Council) ASEAN Leaders’ Conference 2018 held at the Singapore embassy. The event aims to bring together ASEAN students within the UK to discuss issues facing the region and potential solutions. The conference started with a panel discussion followed by a group discussion and presentations by the fellow participants. The panel speakers included Ms. Ketsuda Supradit, Minister (Economic and Financial) for the UK and Europe from the Royal Thai Embassy in London, Mr. Mohd. Suhaimi Jaafar, Deputy High Commissioner of the High Commission of Malaysia in London, as well as Dr. Alan Collins, Senior Lecturer on International Relations from Swansea University.

Team Discussion

Our group discussed resilience within Southeast Asia and we covered a range of topics from cybersecurity to climate change. It was great hearing from participants all over the region on how issues ranging from the technological revolution to climate change affected their respective countries and challenges they foresee in adapting to these global trends. This experience made me realise the real value in holding such events lies in bringing together seemingly disparate groups to share different narratives and humanize the impacts these changes are making globally.

Group picture with the Singapore High Commissioner

Another exciting opportunity WAC 2018 offered was various opportunities to learn from our sponsors like Maybank. I had the chance to participate in their interview skills workshop, which was held as a pre-event to the conference, and a case study lunch workshop, which was held during the conference day itself. The interview skills workshop offered advice on how to succeed in applications and interviews as well as boost one’s commercial awareness. On the other hand, the case study workshop was modelled after a simulation of a lunchtime meeting, where we had to pitch ideas based on a given case study. Apart from experiencing a new and interesting workshop format, it was a great way to meet the other conference delegates and bond over food.

Maybank Interview Skills Workshop

Maybank Case Study Workshop

Being part of Warwick ASEAN Conference 2018 allowed me to stay rooted in a region I grew up in while learning more about the economic, political and socio-cultural realities of the various countries. Southeast Asia ‘s diversity, in terms of political systems, languages, races and religions, will always be a key reason why I find the region fascinating. Collaborating and working with students from all over this region has made it even more worthwhile. Events such as this provide a platform for one to reflect on the current reality of the respective countries we live in and re-imagine its future and potential. A quote from Dr Alice Nah’s talk sums up my personal sentiments reflecting on all the work we’ve done for the conference and what we could do going forward:

“We are often told to keep our heads down, to be satisfied with what we have, to stay in our subordinate positions. Challenge that.”

January 22, 2018

Term 1 comes to a close

As term 1 of my second year comes to a close, I’m grateful to have been able to try out new activities while deepening my involvement in societies. As the outreach officer in Codpiece theatre, a theatre society specializing in adaptation and devising, I was in charge of organizing an annual one-day event titled ‘Bacchus’. Bacchus is an annual event where we invite anyone and everyone to share their works in a more casual setting. This year, the event’s theme was ‘Misreading’.

Audience at Bacchus

Instead of focusing on polished works, the event hopes to encourage people to simply create and share it with other people within an informal and nurturing environment. Being new to event management, I was initially scared of being responsible to ensure the event went smoothly. However, working with my fellow society members and seniors eased my worries. A key take-away from running the event itself was how important it was to remain calm and flexible throughout. Due to the casual nature of the event, the schedule we had was always tantamount to change. Despite the anxiety caused by this uncertainty, it was heartening to experience works that have never been performed before or were in working progress. Furthermore, it allowed people to try different mediums that they usually did not work in like music or film. I arranged a side activity to teach people blind contouring- A drawing practice where you draw without looking at your paper and in a continuous line without lifting your pen off the paper. I felt it would encourage people to simply try drawing portraits of each other without the pressure of ‘failing’. Receiving positive feedback from the participants and creating heartening memories of Bacchus made all the planning and worrying worth it!

A performer at Bacchus

Another highlight of the term was learning coding with CodeFirst: Girls, an initiative based in United Kingdom to encourage more females to get involved in the technology sector and entrepreneurship. Within the course of the term, we covered JavaScript, CSS and HTML. Due to the intensive nature of the course, it was a struggle at certain times of the term to ensure I could do all the preparation and activities before class. Despite the challenge of juggling several commitments at once, the fulfilment of being able to code website design and understand the technical aspects involved is invaluable.

Apart from being involved in CodeFirst: Girls and Codpiece society, I’ve been part of the team organizing Warwick ASEAN Conference (WAC), the biggest student-led conference on South-East Asia in Europe. As part of the outreach team, I’ve been liaising with student societies to collaborate and deepen relationships in order to increase attendance for this year’s conference in February.

I’ve also been helping out in actor training for this year’s annual Singapore society production. This year’s production will be performing Haresh Sharma’s “Those who can’t’ teach”- A poignant script on the education system within Singapore. Having been through the local education system, I feel the theme is something everyone in the cast can relate to. As I acted in last year’s production as well, I feel this past experience allows me to better relate to the anxieties some of the actors are currently going through and help them accordingly in order to increase their confidence. I’m excited to be able to see their growth as performers first-hand. I look forward to seeing the final performance this coming March!

During the past winter break, I got to experience the Christmas market in Birmingham. The hustle and bustle of people coupled with the dazzling lights and delicious aromas of food made the night very festive! I had a wonderful time experiencing the city at night with friends.

Birmingham Christmas Market

Birmingham at night

A highlight of my winter break was also getting to travel to Morocco! Apart from the warmer weather which was definitely a reprieve from the cold winter, I was excited to be able to immerse myself in the beautiful country. Together with friends, I managed to explore Rabat, Fez, the desert in Merzouga and Marrakech. Being able to explore local historical sites in their architectural galore was a visual feast! We also managed to spend a night in the desert and trek using camels, which was a first for me. The experience of trekking through the desert on camels in the night filled with starts with our guides was truly breath-taking.

Merzouga Desert- Sunrise


Hassan Tower at Rabat

An old madrasah or religious school in Fez

Now that the new year has started, I hope that I will embrace new opportunities with greater confidence and seek out avenues that will allow me to deepen my relationships with other people. I’m grateful to be able to work collaboratively with other people who challenge and broaden my worldview. Moving on to the new term, I hope to be able to continue my involvement in Warwick beyond the academic realm and gather new experiences!

June 2021

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  • Nice to read about your experiences! Looking forward to reading more :) by Sajni on this entry

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