Being an accounting student in SMU, Technology and World Change or as it is popularly known; ‘TWC’ is a module, which I least expect to take during my study in SMU. At the beginning of this course, I had set some objectives such as to learn the various ways through which technology is developed and how it influenced the world. Moreover, I had set out to actively participate in class and in the forum.
Indeed, TWC has allowed me to appreciate the various forms that innovations can take; from a product innovation like the sophisticated motion sensing game console, Xbox Kinect to a service innovation like Facebook to a process innovation like the Ford assembly line. As such, TWC has shown me how pervasive innovations are and how impactful it has been in changing the world. Actively participating in class and in the forum has also allowed me to share my views on the topics, recap on the concepts taught as well as learn from my peers.
I have learnt so much more than just how technology has influenced the world. I have gained valuable insights about how innovation is not just researching and coming up with a unique product; it includes a long and tough commercialisation process before an invention can become an innovation. During the innovation process, entrepreneurs would have to face the problems of Intellectual Property Rights as well as funding their innovation. Every step of the innovation process is vital such that any obstacle in the innovation process, which if not solved such as funding, would lead to the failure of the product. All these made me realize the sheer difficulty of coming up with a new product and commercialising it.
TWC lessons are not just about Prof Pamela Lim teaching from the slides and textbook. In fact, it is only a small portion of every week's lesson. The group presentations have allowed me to better absorb concepts from the book with the illustration of specific examples. In addition, the break out sessions have taught me to work with my group members under time constraints to come up with a presentation based on prof’s questions. Not only that, being a first year student, the presentation aspect of the breakout session has given me a chance to present more often, allowing me to feel more comfortable talking to a large audience in an impromptu manner. Prof’s sharing of her experiences as an entrepreneur and a venture capitalist has also broadened my perspectives on the reality of being an entrepreneur in today’s world.
At the end of 13 weeks, I feel that TWC is more than just a module. Prof has always emphasised the importance of networking and TWC has certainly provided me the opportunity to forge close friendships with my group members as well as classmates through the weekly breakout sessions and positive learning atmosphere.
I believe that I have met the objectives I set at the beginning of this course and learnt so much than what I anticipated. I believe TWC lessons have imparted invaluable knowledge and skills which would be crucial during my remaining time in SMU as well as when I step into the corporate world. I may not be an entrepreneur when I graduate from SMU but I will certainly bring with me the adaptability and perserverance of an entrepreneur in whatever career I choose.
My awesome team. (From left: Zhao Tian, Veronica, Zhi Wei, Cleopatra, Myself, Loon Yuan)
My awesome team, with Prof this time round..
Our Iron Man presentation!
Time has certainly waltzed past me unknowingly this semester. It felt as if I had written my first TWC journal just yesterday. As the term draws to an end, I am now penning my final thoughts for the course.
I love writing journals. It never fails to offer me new, albeit hilarious, insights about my personal development that would have otherwise gone unspotted. I vividly remember the day I entered the seminar room after a month of hiatus, without any idea what to expect from the TWC course. Would this module be as exciting and fulfilling as what my seniors portrayed to me? Would my assigned teammates be cooperative and friendly?
Clearly, the answer to these questions is a definite YES. The TWC experience I had was a fulfilling one. I forged many new friendships through the extensive number of group projects and in-class researches with tight deadlines to meet. The thoughts and opinions shared by my peers (both in class and via the online class discussion portal) are thought provoking and insightful.
Looking back at the first journal that I had written during the early weeks of the semester, it is of little surprise to me that I had met my expectations and objectives for this course. In fact, some even exceeded. There were also instances whereby the course had enriched my learning and exposure apart from the awareness about technology and how it constantly affects the world. I have unexpectedly developed other important skills, both hard and soft skills, through this module – hard skills such as preparing exemplary presentation materials like PowerPoint slides under time constraints, video-editing skills, presentation skills, and even hosting a small-scale event like the guest seminar on March 16, 2012; soft skills such as collaborating with and within teams under extreme pressures. I am glad to be offered these opportunities to develop myself earlier through this TWC journey. These skills will certainly be beneficial for me in the future when I enter the dynamic workforce.
Through my TWC journey, there are three discoveries that I have made about myself in relation to (1) teamwork, (2) entrepreneurship, and (3) chasing one’s passion.
(1) Teamwork Our teaching assistant, Div, had assigned us to various groups at the start of the semester. We did not have the choice of selecting our own groups. As such, no team is perfect. Exacerbating this issue further, collaboration within the team was even harder due to the fact that each team has an average size of seven team members.
Groupthink was a constant problem that I noticed during my group meetings. As such, I sought to engage my other teammates by encouraging them to take the initiative in discussions and executing their delegated roles. I was particularly delighted to see how some of my teammates have developed along this journey as well. One notable experience was during the sixth week of the semester. As with other teams, we were responsible for presenting to the class our research. However, we received our research topic just four days before the presentation date. Naturally, most of my teammates were apprehensive about the performance of our project due to the disadvantage we were being placed at. Despite so, it was particularly interesting to see how people work under pressure and how creative ideas (presentation style, in particular) can get. I was extremely pleased that our presentation about the futuristic technology presented in the Iron Man movie turned out much better than what we had expected.
Through such an experience and the numerous in-class researches, I was not only able to manage time better; I also realized that I have developed into a more articulate person in terms of thinking on my feet under stress.
(2) Entrepreneurship Little did I expect the TWC module to have a little ‘entrepreneurial’ flavor in it, the guest seminar held on March 16, 2012 was undoubtedly enriching. The invited entrepreneurs generously shared their wealth of knowledge and experience with us students. It offered me new perspectives about entrepreneurship. It also made me ponder about myself being an entrepreneur.
Prior to the TWC journey, I knew that I was not made to be an entrepreneur (although the reasons back then were fuzzy). Through this course, I uncovered more understanding and also, the hard truths about entrepreneurship. This affirmed my opinion that entrepreneurship is not my cup of tea, as I am risk-averse. However, I will not completely rule out this possible career option. After all, one of the invited guests, Mr. Yee Jenn Jong mentioned, “Opportunities are everywhere and once we see them, we should grab them.”
(3) Chasing one’s passion All talk, and no action, will not get us to where we want to go. We have to take action. While I am still discovering about my passion and interest, I learnt from Mr. Vincent Lai that if we try, we have 50 percent chance of success, and if we do not take action about what we actually want, the probability of success is zero. I hope to be able to discover my true north within my next few years in SMU.
All in all, it has been an extraordinary journey and I am thankful for everyone who has been a part of it. I would also like to express my gratitude to Prof. Lim for being an excellent lecturer for facilitating and creating educational platforms for us to develop ourselves both academically and psychologically. I look forward to reading another module under Prof. Lim in the future!
First and foremost, I would like admit that I can’t remember what the objective I set for myself is. There is so much to learn in TWC that I believe it probably exceeds what I have set for myself. I would like to discuss this in 3 main frame namely, 1) What I learnt about theories of technological advancement, and how it changed so society; 2) How did entrepreneurs leverage on technology to create a brand for themselves and 3) Life skills that I picked along the way.
In TWC, I learnt to appreciate the technological changes around me. Before this lesson, I am just one who just keep up with the technology trend such as purchasing a product and changing to a newer product when everyone around me is using. Now, I understand that there are theories around (such as the technological S-curve etc) that hold these changes altogether. Although these theories can be challenged, it provided me a basic understanding on why such events happened in a structured, theoretical manner. I have also understood the process of innovation better and how an invention can become an innovation which changed the lives of many.
Secondly, through the guest seminars and interaction with entrepreneurs themselves, I have a greater understanding of the difficulties entrepreneurs faced when starting up a business. As Prof Pam. Lim tend to use an entrepreneurs approach in teaching twc, she provided me with greater insights on how the different roles of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and investors ‘work’ together which allows products and services that is seen around us today. It is never easy to understand what entrepreneurs went through to make their company a success, either locally or globally. Apart from the process of becoming an entrepreneur, it is important to note how these entrepreneurs leverage on technologies in setting their businesses up.
Last but not least, through the TWC projects, it enables me to understand the importance of networking. It is important for businessmen to be well-connected and take advantage of business opportunities. As a Social Science (majoring in Political Science) student, I am more incline to work for the civil service but this can be applied to my career interest as well. Building an extensive network does not have to be work-related but rather making friends widely. As the saying goes, make more friends than enemies.
Through the TWC class project, there are many wonderful experiences through the time we spent together such as rehearsing and 'NG' many times for our final TWC class presentation video (uploaded photo of Melvyn and I taking several 'NG' clips before the final perfect one). Like most graduates would say, enjoy every moments in your uni life before stepping out to the corporate world...
Key takeaway: 1. The importance of networking. 2. The process of patenting and dilemmas involved 3. The rise and fall of technologies (i.e. Technological S-curve, etc.) 4. Being a technical entrepreneur is not easy, he/she has to bootstrap, ‘beg for money’ and take cautious actions in entering the market with a workable prototype and to scale the market. Most of the time, companies fold due to cash flow problem and not bankruptcy. Strategy planning is needed due to the amount of risks involved.
Reflecting from the happening over the past semester, I have learned a lot. Overall, I have achieved my objectives.
1 Learn how technology can benefit the businesses & Learn to apply these theories Through the theories taught and the entrepreneurs’ stories shared, I have realized that technology can benefit businesses beyond imagination. Here are a few examples. Firstly, technology can bring economies from one cycle to another such as the computer and internet has brought us the Computer and Telecommunication cycle from the Electronic Cycle. The business giants nowadays mostly come from IT sector such as Dell, IBM, Microsoft, Google, Apple and countless others. Secondly, technology innovations revive businesses, the invention of Ipod, Iphone and Ipad have brought Apple Inc. from a company near bankrupt to a company that is most valued. Thirdly, technology can destroy businesses. An unfortunate example would be, the giant the past, Kodak which was eliminated by its own business model of staying in the outdated film camera instead of digital camera.
2 Learn to help others to learn & apply Besides learning on my own, I have learned from others and have helped others to learn within the project team, in the classes and sharing through posting on this website.
3 Bonus takeaways In fact, I have learned more than the above objectives. One is the inspirations of being a technoprenuer after appreciating how and why to start businesses as well as the joys and sorrows of being an entrepreneur. Two is the friendship forged among group mates and classmates. Three, the nature of business is not only about business , it is about relationships – building and nurturing a trustworthy relationships.
Well at the start of the course, the objectives I set were simple and now looking back at the past 12 weeks of lessons. I could have said I have learnt more than just technology and how it changes the world. It is interesting to learn the process of technology from invention to commercialisation and the theories behind the technological process; the different cycles of technology change, the types and process of innovation, the difficulties with protecting your innovation with intellectual property rights. If one is sharp, he will be able to ride on the next technological wave to be an aspiring technopreneur that will come and change the world.
However the exposures from the past 12 weeks have taught me more than the textbook knowledge. More importantly was through the case studies and the guest seminar, I have learnt about the realities of the corporate world. This lessons and insights are what the textbooks wasn’t able to provide me with, such as the harsh difficulties that entrepreneurs faces and the entrepreneur spirit that one must have. This has broaden my perspective on technology beyond the textbook knowledge gained in class and opened my mind to the realities of starting a business. The troubles that one will faced such as getting like-minded co-founders to the financial aspects. All these are lessons that I have never expected to glean from the course in the beginning.
Lastly, on an unrelated note I have learnt, Prof Lim has structured her lessons to one that constantly develops and enhances the soft skills of her students. The break-out topics presentation has given me a chance to learn from my peers and more importantly made me more confident of myself as I have to think on my feet and give a presentation with only 45 min of preparation.
Kudos to Prof Lim that doesnt believe in plain memorising of textbook but rather bringing in relevant corporate experienes and lessons vital for aspiring entrepreneurs and development of soft skills for her students.
Basically, I have set 2 main objectives for TWC module at the beginning.
A) To the deliver the best performance as an individual to the team and to the class so that by effective contributing I can learn as well.
On a personal reflection, I had met my personnel goals in terms of contribution and always to find ways to value add the content or to push the team further to achieve the best possible output we could deliver.
My contributions in class and online participation is fair. In my opinion, when I exchange thoughts and by contributing new information, in return I gained new perspective in looking at things and gather new information from my peers as well.
B) A set of learning points pertaining to the process of
innovation, becoming a tech-entrepreneur, setting up business.
As substantiate below.
In any case scenario in life, be it team work, setting up business, or directing my personnel life there need to be:
3As - Adapt, Apply and Adjust 3Bs - Be Understanding, Be Humble & Be Reflective of one's doing 3Cs - Collaborate, Communicate & Compromise 4Ms - Man (People Management), Machine (How I facilitate myself as a product), Methods (What are the ways to solve the challenges) & Money (Finance Management) CER - Cause & Effect & Reflect
At the end of the day, in a gist it is a balance and essential to apply what we have learnt in theory and apply them into the our daily lives.
A balance of (IQ)knowledge and EQ is essential.
In all situations in life, we cant possibly neglect the human factor element. Be it networking, communication, team work, etc. Working in the team to deliver the best output takes one to manage it in an holistic way, it is an art.
Sometimes it is the simple things which matter, such as
Do the Talk & Walk the Talk - When we tasked each other to do components of the work, one must be proactive enough to drive the team by not only contributing his individual portion, but look into means to raise the bar higher.
Simple thoughts or considerations will matter. For one to be able to take into consideration of team members welfare as well, by sharing and helping each other to achieve greater heights is an achievement. The joy of it is when one sees that others appreciate the actions.
IE It is rather disappointing for one to fight for to be in the lime light to achieve self personnel gains in terms of grades and to neglect the rest at one's expense. Everyone should be given the opportunity to pursue the common goal. (Thou this might be a naive perspective, on the positive side, at least everyone is happy and potentially contribute more in the team in the long run and one can learn from them when they contribute)
In progress of taking up modules and learn the facts and theories, we need to measure ourselves, not only in areas of academic related. We need to look into non academic areas as well.
But we need to ask ourselves whether:
How can we improve ourselves in terms of working in teams, IE improving skills such as facilitating the team to ensure all ideas and inputs are well evaluated.
How can we apply the skills or knowledge that we learnt to other aspects in facilitating our lives?
In pursuing a certain set of goals, there will bound to be sacrifices, but at the end of the day we also need to look at other areas as well and not by being blind side while we want to attain the goal.
In an interactive learning platform, one can definitely learn more from others. It is an important for one to look into ways of establishing this platform in terms of personnel level, in terms of team work. As such, one can reap the benefits from learning as a group.
At the end of the day, one must delve deeper into things instead of scanning it on the surface.
IE, we learnt from the internet resources, founders of companies and books of the different funding available and challenges from setting or running the business. There are many other learning points which one could only learn when one is in that situation, knowing where to seek funding and knowing what are the terms of condition of getting the fund is one. There are many other hidden challenges one will face when one attempts to gain funding.
In the pursue of learning from the module, it has made me as an individual to be aware of the business environment and the technology in which drives the start ups and the business and in turn the business drives the technology, it has open my eyes to the various exposure outside the textbook context.
In life, all things and process comes as a form of cycle. It is important for one to consistently improve and learn and do better in the next round of cycle.
Thank you for everything you have done for us. As you’ve said, TWC is not an easy course to teach, but through employing creative methods of education via the breakout sessions, in-class presentations, forum participation and the group projects, you have taught us extremely well. I am grateful for all the time and effort you’ve invested in making this course a fun and educational one for us. I am also proud of being your student, for it is through your guidance that I have learned a good deal about Technology and world change and Entrepreneurship. In my first journal I remember expressing my desire to come out of these 15 weeks as a more knowledgeable and less myopic person, and I have, thanks to you. Benjamin Franklin once said, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." For the past 15 weeks of TWC, you have involved me and I have learned, so thank you.
Thank you for the guest seminar that you put in place for us. Thank you for recognizing that there it is infinitely more beneficial for us to hear and learn from the entrepreneurs directly, rather than making us do research/read up on them. It was an eye-opener and a heart-warmer to listen to their stories; and I was extremely inspired by their courage and their resilient attitude. I needed to see that there are people out there, like yourself, with an appetite for adventure and success, and who would endeavour to achieve what they set out to do. The guest seminar did that for me; so thank you.
Thank you for putting me in a group with 7 other people I didn’t know before coming to this class. You gave me the chance to work with people I didn’t know; something I was terrified of doing. But it ended up really well because through working together consistently for the past 15 weeks, we have grown to love and care for one another so much. I am already reaching the end of Year 2, and I dare say this is the best group I’ve ever had in my entire SMU life. Making new friends through learning together was an overwhelming and rewarding experience, and I know this would not have been possible if you had allowed us to stick with people we knew and were comfortable with, so thank you for bringing us all out of our comfort zone and making us realize that there are countless friendships out there waiting to be embraced by us.
Thank you for your kind words, that you love your TWC students the best because as Year 1s and 2s we have the "freshest and brightest" minds. I hope I haven’t let you down in that aspect, because I have truly tried to attend your lessons with a fresh and bright mind every week! Thank you, also, for appreciating that TWC is the only way for you to meet law students. As a law student myself, I am all the more honoured to have experienced your teaching, which is a breath of fresh air from the mundaneity and competitiveness I get in School of Law. You have been encouraging in more ways than one, within the classroom context and beyond, and I think I have learned more from you than I have where I come from, so thank you.
Thank you for your life experiences which you have shared with us. I love hearing about how you rose up against all odds to become Entrepreneur of the year; about your experience as a loving mother of five; about your encounters with students of all shapes and sizes- both the difficult and the inspiring ones. I love hearing your opinions about what makes a person good, beyond her grades, beyond her performance in school, beyond what other people think of her. Thank you for not limiting your education to just textbook content, but actually bringing the world to us. Listening to you makes me feel small sometimes, like there is so much out there I have yet to explore, and you make me want to do all that, so thank you. When I graduate, and start fighting the world out there, I will remember that somewhere in my years at SMU, a professor once taught me that learning can be fun and creative, life can be fulfilling, and that I’m worth more than what my grades define me to be. That's you, so thank you.
I vaguely remember what I have written for journal 1, about what I want to learn from TWC.
To be honest, those are pretty much just fluff. While it’s true that when I was young, I really wanted to be some famous researcher coming up with all sorts of cool, high-tech, innovative products for everyone, as I grew up, I realize just how tough and insecure that path is. As a person who really value security, I have learned to avoid anything related to entrepreneurship. And so when I took TWC, I thought it would just be another dry and boring course teaching me skills that will be irrelevant to me when I finally enter the workforce.
On hindsight, I’m happy to say that I was wrong. Prof did not only made TWC fun and interesting, she taught me a lot of important and relevant takeaways for not only work but for life as well.
The breakout session has taught me a lot about time management. In the first few weeks, our group was scrambling to finish our slides even as others were presenting! However, towards the end, we could comfortably finish up our slides and even run through what we will be presenting. The constant presentations have also helped me in my public speaking skills. Personally, when I signed up for SMU, it was because I know I have a problem with presenting to the crowd and hoped that SMU could develop my skills in that area before I enter the workforce. So far, only Prof Lim’s and the MC course have helped me significantly in this area. I remember how Prof Lim is usually smiling and encouraging me when I was presenting, even though I was probably the weakest presenter in my group. The information learned during these breakout sessions was also very relevant to the current market situation. Thus it not only taught me the relevant concept for TWC, but also increased my awareness of the business world out there.
The technopreneur/entrepreneur project is also a unique teaching method Prof Lim employed to teach us about entrepreneurship. Through the seminar and the case study project, she covered something that is perhaps impossible to teach had she used a conventional teaching method instead – that every technopreneurs'/ entrepreneurs’ situations and journeys are different, and thus the multitude of learning points out there. Through the presentations and the seminar though, I was able to appreciate that there is no success formula out there. Also, the presentations and seminar have introduced to us the various supports one can get in the Singapore context if anyone plans to be an entrepreneur in the future. Another plus point is that during these sessions, and throughout her lessons, she will go beyond the textbook and talk about her own experiences. Like how ineffective patents could be, and how VCs are really like. All these anecdotes not only raise my interest in the course but also give it a very real dimension.
While I can’t say that I will miss the course and the topic, I will definitely miss Prof Pam’s unique way of teaching. As such, I will definitely sign up for her next EBC class.
As quoted from my first learning journal:” From this course, I believe there is much I can gain from it to let me grow as a person and as a leader, particularly more so now as technology is becoming an increasingly integral part of the world we all live in.” Basically, that is the overview of my objectives for this course. To break it down, I want to learn about the ways technology can change the world and to become a better person.
Firstly, I saw the many ways technology had an effect on the world we live in. This was exemplified by the many breakout sessions we had. Most importantly, this course made me realize that technology may not really be as good as it seems, just as Prof taught us not to take everything at its face value. We gotta question! The last lesson made a striking impression on me, unfortunately it’s not tested. I believe it is really important to know about the ill effects of technology. This got me wondering if these ill effects can ever be eliminated since technology is constantly evolving. What’s your take?
Becoming a better person seems to have no relation to Technology and World Change. However, before changing the world, you have to change yourself. TWC classes are carried out in a manner that really made everyone better than they first came in. The weekly presentations force people to step out of their comfort zone and, I must say, I really enjoyed it. More importantly, the values Prof advocated in class are worth much more than the theoretical knowledge gained. “Chase your dream”, “GPA is not everything” and many others really inspires me to dare and venture.
After taking this course, I really feel like starting up a business. I want to create something that will revolutionize the world and benefit every living thing. It is not going to be easy, but I will be ready when the idea strikes me. The sense of wanting to start a business probably stemmed from Prof’s enthusiasm and also, the way she inspires her students.
Although this is the last learning journal, my learning journey does not end here. I will continue to learn as long as I live. I'm learning to live Living to learn. (Something I find meaningful):
TWC was entirely not what I have expected it to be. I have always thought that it will be just like any other SMU modules, but I was wrong. I have really enjoyed myself during TWC classes and it has helped to discover my passion for learning again. I guess Singapore’s rigid education structure has stifled my creativity and the passion for learning I once had. We no longer have that same spark of curiosity when we were young, and I am glad TWC has made realized that the same spark is still within me.
Through the course, I have learnt that we should condone, accept and learn from failures and mistakes. Success is relative and it really boils down on how you define it. It is important to note that we should never lose our true self in the midst of the rat race to success. I believe passion should always be one’s primary source of motivation and most importantly being happy at what you are doing.
The thought of being an entrepreneur did come across to me once or twice. However, I have always found my ideas rather unrealistic and impractical. Then again, there is nothing about dreaming big and being imaginative. I do realize the limitations I have with my envisioned startup business; nonetheless I will keep exploring the different options around and I believe being exposed to the different cultures can help to expand one’s perspectives and identify the new opportunities around.
On the whole, TWC has equipped me with a fresh look on life. It really questions my motivation in life and the aspirations I had. Are they truly what I am looking for in life? I guess it is a question I have to find it out on my own. At the very heart of this, is to never, never, never give up! Thank you for igniting that spark and giving us that extra dose of courage to question what we are really pursuing in our lives. Explore, dream and discover :)
Looking back at the objectives I’ve set for myself, I believed that not only I’ve achieved it but I was given more opportunities to learn, impacted the way I see things and to rediscover myself.
Generally, it’s been very interesting and interactive experience to understand how technology has changed and impact the lives of people and society. I’ve learnt on the different types of innovation, what are technological waves and how it has evolved overtime, what are some of the sources of innovation an innovator gets his/her inspiration from. These have form the basic foundation of every entrepreneur needs to understand in order to strategize their business plans, acquiring intellectual property for their product and fund management etc. Moving into to the second half of the term and beyond the context of ten chapters from the textbook, I’ve been physically challenged during the guest speaker seminars and in the final group presentation.
The evening seminar with Mr. Jeffrey Paine, Mr. Vincent Lai and Mr. Yee Jenn Joong was inspiring and encouraging as they imparted us with their wisdom and valuable experiences in their path of entrepreneurship. I know that I’m neither a high achiever nor a risk taker to take on the path of entrepreneurship, but I’ve gathered two keywords: ‘passion’ and ‘perseverance’ that essentially sum up the formula towards doing anything in life. Looking back now, it’s been almost seventy in-class and group presentations we’ve done!! Moving to the group presentation, never would I expect that I will be dealing technology with the bereavement industry, this may sound a little scary initially (i.e. seeing images of caskets and funeral services during primary research as well as the interview session with Mr. Ang Zi Qian) but I’ve learnt to be receptive and to overcome the psychological barrier that I’ve placed for myself. On the flipside, I guess I’ve gathered valuable knowledge and that this may come in handy in the future.
Apart from meeting the academic objectives, I learnt to break away conforming to traditional and rigid learning methods. Learning can be fun with objectives met at the same time. I enjoyed thinking out-of-the-box, learnt not to be deceive things superficially and to consider other perspectives. I believed the knowledge on milk and microwave ovens are not good for health but for industry sustainability is going to stay in my mind for life. I must also admit that it’s hard for us to accept that “life isn’t about grade chasing” but this typically reflects in most of the students’ mind. These are valuable opinions that cannot be found in the textbook, but one’s willingness to absorb and digest as to how much you think it’s worth.
Last but not least, I would like to thank you, Professor Pamela Lim for your motherly teaching, valuable and unreserved sharing.
One of the objectives that I set out for myself at the start of this course was to constantly keep myself updated about changes and the interdependency of technology around me. Having started an internship as an editorial intern in Yahoo, I realised the shift from print publications to online publications and the different impacts it has on people. I had to update myself frequently on things happening around us through the use of different social media platforms. Everything on online media moves faster and is most of the time more updated than print publications. However, there are times when people still trust and prefer print publications. I believe this is the same with technology. People are used to the technology they are exposed to earlier and that is why although embracing change is important, it is still important to keep some areas of "old" technology with us. I believed I have achieved this goal in keeping myself updated about changes happening around me and tapping on how technology is so interconnected these days.
Another goal I had for myself was step up and constantly ask questions. I tried this out and I realised how much difference asking and not asking was. If you don't ask, you will never know. I really believe that is true. As a young Singaporean myself, I am used to the stability that we are born in and most of the time, I'm simply plain lazy to move out of my comfort zone. But remembering that it is important to constantly improve myself, I decided to explore more avenues this semester and ask relevant questions when I needed to. This has helped me to accomplish things more efficiently these few semester. I hope to always remember this and continue to practice this simple habit of being curious and always asking.
A third objective I had set for myself was to be more critical about technology and understanding the negative impacts of technology. With the last TWC lesson we had, I have learnt a lot from the breakout presentations on the negative impacts on different kinds of technology. However, I learnt more than just that. I was able to apply being critical to other areas in my life. I was more skeptical towards things that many people viewed as beneficial when there were subtle negative impacts beneath the benefits.
The takeaways I had from TWC is surprisingly something not entirely related to TWC. These were the life lessons that prof had tried to teach us through our lessons, through our presentations and mini discussions that we had as a class. I thoroughly benefited from them. The thing that I will always remember is that life isn't just about grades. 'A+'s may get get us through certain paths in life but it certainly will not bring us far. I have learnt that grades, are simply stepping stones but the journey that we are travelling on needs more than just 'A's, it needs a powerful passion for doing something we love. I also learnt that sometimes doing and achieving small things in life may be better than trying to achieve something big and falling short. I am also really inspired by the amount of passion that the entrepreneurs at the guest seminars had and even though I am still unsure what path in life I would want to take in future, I believe that it is possible for me to find such a passion for something I love and I will not give up searching for it.
TWC (MGMT002) - 2011/12, SEM 2 - Chew Wen Lin Veronica
by Chew Wen Lin Veronica
I entered this module on Technology and World Change expecting it to be completely tech-y and geek-friendly, and for class discussions to be dominated by students using unfamiliar lingo and sharing on the latest technological gadgets and innovations. While I acknowledged, and recognised the importance of technology in our daily lives, I had always been a technology idiot, and hence was not filled with much anticipation towards the module. Nevertheless, week-by-week, with the lively and insightful class presentations, guest seminar event, and group discussion sessions, my impression of the module changed. I came to look forward the weekly Monday lessons, and the interaction sessions with my teammates during breakout. Through the module, I have learnt much from both the lessons, as well as my peers.
I appreciate that the module took a flexible, and less didactic, approach towards the study of technology. This was evident through the multiple class participation avenues offered and wide-ranging weekly presentations. The classroom environment was always warm and encouraging for my peers and I to contribute our personal perspectives, and to pose any nagging queries. The online class participation system also allowed me to read up on areas of interest, and to share my opinion on intriguing innovations and technology-related issues. While the weekly in-class presentations were slightly nerve-wrecking initially, I believe it trained my group to learn to be more efficient in our research skills, and to be more confident presenters. Having to apply the weekly concepts to our presentations also helped us to digest the course materials in a more thorough manner.
The way Prof Lim brought her personal perspective and life lessons to class on a weekly basis was also highly inspiring. We learnt about her approach towards education, as well as how it is important to always prioritise between your life goals. Prof Lim believed that her role as a mother was more important than any career achievement. Similarly, as we prepare to enter the workforce, and begin striving to leave our mark on the world, we will have to start making tough decisions between our work and our family. Perhaps it is never too early to think about such matters.
The guest seminar event also provided a real world perspective towards technology and entrepreneurship. While classroom discussions focused on technological theories, the speakers, Mr Yee Jenn Jong, Mr Jeffrey Paine, and Mr Vincent Lai, introduced us to how theory and reality come together. Their life stories on their business success and failures were humbling, and taught us of the challenges to be expected in a business set-up. More importantly, the speakers were living examples of the importance of passion, drive, and how the courage to start out on a new endeavour may lead to the most fulfilling life journeys.
My time spent with my teammates both within class, and outside class, has also taught me much. I had entered the class not knowing what to expect in a class consisting of predominantly Year Ones. Nevertheless, their enthusiasm (in contrast to the slightly jaded Year Three Me) and friendliness really rubbed off me. Through preparing for our Iron Man presentation, as well as emceeing for the guest speaker event, we got to understand everyone’s individual quirks, and to learn from each others’ strengths. Being from different schools, our diverse skill-sets also complemented each another; while some had better aesthetic sense and were more creative, and thus were in charge of PowerPoints and event flyers, others were more familiar with the course content, and took up the more challenging bits of the presentation content. Our meetings were always filled with laughter and great joy, and I can confidently say that my teammates are a pleasure to work with.
Technology and World Change was a module which I expected to be highly theoretical. Nevertheless, while technological theories did form part of the module, the other half was made up of enjoyable and educational activities, as well as a life-perspective of technology which made the content relatable to. Apart from learning about the forces affecting technological advances, and about the innovation processes, I have also developed a greater interest in technology as I see how indispensable it is in our daily lives. As we come to the end of Week 13, I believe I am less of a technology-idiot as compared to Week 1, and have indeed benefited from the module, and from learning from my peers.
Time flies really fast. It’s now almost the end of the term. At the beginning of TWC course, I set my objectives for TWC module. First, to have observation skills on how technologies are developed over time to be able to guess these technologies in turn impact on people life-styles and working life. Second, analytical skills on existing technologies to be able to guess more or less what innovations will be developed based on existing technologies and what new technology can likely to be developed from these existing technologies. Third, how new innovations and technologies can create business opportunities for entrepreneurs. I mentioned in my first journal that I would try to learn my above-mentioned objectives by trying to listen actively what my peers said in class, class participation, and also from group discussion for group projects. I’ve basically met all of my objectives but I’m not satisfied with my first objective, which is to have observation skill though I learned a lot of lessons related with my first objective. For example, from the guest-speaker session, I learned a lot from our guest-speakers. I learned the techniques and skills to observe on the technology, products, services and processes from professor, text book, and peers. However, the world is changing at the rapid pace. Products, services and processes are being upgraded over time. New innovations are available on market within a short period of time. I couldn’t keep up with this rapid pace. I couldn’t manage to know how products and services are upgraded in the deeper depth even though I tried to understand only about the products and services related with Information Technology. I realized this problem is because of my poor time management and insufficient background IT knowledge. I will try my best in order to know more about it during this summer. I’m glad with my analytical skills on technologies. My analytical skills have been improved because of presentations, lectures and reading the textbook. My group did the “Kondratiev’s Long Wave Cycle presentation”. I learned a lot from it. For example, I learned the history of how we gradually come into the fifth cycle. In addition, I learned more in depth about how products, services and processes are upgraded related with technologies. Plus, I learned that entrepreneurs have pros (able to gain large pie of market share if pioneer) and cons (sunk costs) related with new technologies. From lectures, I learned that one particular technology is the base of another new technology. Furthermore, technologies can be integrated in order to develop new technology. All of the lessons improved my analytical skills. The guest-speakers’ speech helped me to meet my third objective. The way they do, how they use the opportunities created from technologies are examples for me. For example, the entrepreneur who set-up AskNLearn; he is able to visualize the new opportunities from internet and able to use these. His speech greatly helped me to meet my third objective. From my other course “Work and Family”, I’ve also learned that technology can help people to balance work and life with proper management. I noticed that for my entrepreneur journey, work-life balance is also one of the important factors in the long run. I also learned that this balancing mechanism is different depends on individual’s mindset. Anyway, for me, I realized that I should follow my heart not the herd and one person gains benefits from particular job or business doesn’t mean I will gain benefits from the same job/business he/she does. Overall, I’m satisfied with what I learned from this course. The guest-speaker session also helped me a lot to meet my objectives. TWC course is one of the important courses offered in SMU.
Awesome Group, Awesome Prof, Awesome TA, Awesome TWC
To be honest, I have never really prepared for any TWC lessons but I always find myself wanting to go for every lesson. Maybe it’s the company or the laidback lessons or even maybe the class participation (marks), but theres always this appeal of TWC that makes me eager to attend each class. Forget “Monday Blues”, in fact, I always looked forward to Mondays because of TWC.
With the lack of preparation and the laidback lessons, others might think that I have not learned anything from TWC. Even I thought so too. However, even though I may appear ignorant on the surface, upon doing some reflection for this journal, I realized that I have actually learnt a lot, and all these inputs are etched at the back of my mind.
Upon starting TWC, I had the objective of igniting the spark of interest, in my non-tech savvy self, to technology and get attuned to technological progesses happening around the world. I am relieved to know that I have met my goal. I have learnt many new and interesting technological innovations in class throught the various presentations. They range from the facinating air fryer to the futuristic smart windows and even to the “out of this world” Ironman-esqe bodysuit. And I now know that the Ipod is really just a creation of many other component parts from other companies. On top of learning about these technologies, I also learnt about the workings behind the realization of such products. Like how technologies transform and innovate itself throughout the years, the different kinds of innovation and the willigness of companies to accept ideas that do not actually bode well with their core competencies as well as whether patents are practical (never get involve in a legal suit unless you are rich). There is really many more to what I learnt throughout the TWC course. I can go on and on but I am glad that there is actually an archive (online forum) of all the discussions and views on the topics brought up in class for my reference in the future.
While all these academic knowledge inputs are good, I personally feel that it is the other aspects of TWC that really makes it memorable for me. Firstly, it is my peers that I have the honour to be in company with. My coursemates are really enthusiastic and energetic. I can really see the passion for this subject in some of them and these has led to really interesting and thought-provoking discussions on the online forum. I also have to give a shout-out to my TWC group. Like I mentioned earlier, part of the reason why I enjoyed coming for TWC is the company. This group is really the best group I had this semester. I really enjoyed working with them. We are a group of people with really diverse perspective and opinions. This often led to many heated but friendly debates in our meetings. While others in this predicament might complain of the difficulty working together, I on the other hand, see this as as opportunity for us to learn to work with different types of people. Furthermore, I love how we will fight for our ideas and approach to the questions. It really made the meetings come to life. But despite all these fierce discussions, we always manage to come to a consensus and do the tasks to our best. The way in which we know how to compromise each other is another thing I love about this group.
The next memorable takeaway from TWC is the very special guest seminar. It is the first of its kind that I attended. Apart from it being a refreshing approach to lessons, I managed to learn a lot from the experiences and advices shared by the three guest speakers. It is truly a pleasure for me to be part of the group that invited one of the guest speakers. Mr Jeffery Paine is a really quirky but brilliant person. After an interview with him, I realize that he really runs his own life and do things with a challenge. He also offered us several tips to do well in life after university. He encouraged us to get out of school and expose ourselves to what the outside world is like and well as the importance of networking, to build on our contacts even though we might be an introvert. And of course, to be ambitous in life. To go big or go home.
Finally, I really have to thank Prof Pamela Lim. All these would not have been possible if not for her extraordinary pedagogy. Prof does not teach. She facilitates the discussions and thought processes that make us think deeper and hence, learn more than just the surface materials. I attribute her teaching method as one of the reasons resulting in me remembering all of this knowledge on technologies. I will always sit up and listen whenever she shares about her life and work experiences. I will always remember her as someone who turned down a seven-figure paycheck for teaching. Besides being very principled, her unique way to teaching and constant encouragement has made a lasting impression on me. Prof, I do not know if you will read this, but I really like to thank you for making TWC class so enjoyable and interesting. I will also remember your advice that we should not be to caught up in the GPA race and to just enjoy our university life.
All in all, I have achieved my objectives and gain a lot more than what I expected from TWC. It is sad that this have to end. I truly enjoyed my time spent during the weekly 3 hours sessions. I will miss TWC very much.
To be honest, I was not expecting to learn anything when I bid for TWC. It seemed like any other university core module, just to make us seem like we are getting an all-rounded education. However, this 13-week module has turned out to be an enjoyable and inspiring journey that I will not forget.
After a lesson, one of my objectives was to find out if I wanted to be an entrepreneur. While this is not the main focus of the module, Prof made many comments and gave personal anecdotes that gave me a rough idea of how entrepreneurship is like. The guest seminar in week 10 really gave me an insight on the life of entrepreneurs, which was great exposure for many students including me. While entrepreneurship is not for me, I did learn a lot about it and now appreciate the fact that it is not an easy route to money at all.
Another objective of mine, a more academic one, was to learn more about technology. I have never had the interest or patience to read up on the various technological advancements that have occurred over the years, thus this module was a good chance for me to learn. Hyflux is one company that I never understood, but through doing our case study on Olivia Lum, I have finally understood the importance of their innovations. Hearing from other people's case study presentations has taught me a lot too.
Finally, I wanted to have fun while learning during this module and I think I definitely met that objective! Even though in-class presentations every week seemed like a chore, it really helped my group to be closer and breakouts became fun bantering sessions. We have learnt to work cohesively and efficiently within the short time span. Class itself has always been a pleasure, as we manage to learn theories even without dreary lectures. Under the right circumstances, classes can actually be fun!
Meeting the abovementioned objectives helped me learn immensely from TWC, not just in terms of academics but also in real life too. Entrepreneurship-wise, I have learnt that it takes great perseverance and foresight to have a successful startup. Even with a fantastic idea, you will need the drive to press through the problems and the motivation to take the business far. Hearing the technopreneurs talk about their challenges and tips really told me about entrepreneurship. Technology-wise, I have learnt that there are many areas that can be improved on, thus many avenues to explore. Olivia Lum looked into water treatment as she realised that there was a gap in the industry, thus innovating membranes that could filter resources to get the end products needed.
Furthermore, it gave me certain takeaways. If you have the business idea and the passion to see it through, go for it. The guest seminar was very enlightening, as we saw three technopreneurs who grabbed the opportunity and managed to see their idea through. While I may not start my own business, I can apply the same concept and be passionate about my job. When I see something that should be changed, I will latch on it and ensure that I push through.
Another major takeaway for me would be the life lessons that Prof actually provided us with. I vividly remember her telling us about how grades did not matter that much: what you actually do during university matters a lot more. It really made me think about my current university life and how I could maximize my potential, thus deciding to audition for being a facilitator at the upcoming orientation camps. I have also reshuffled my priorities and now worry less about needing to get excellent grades.
It was a great journey learning TWC from Prof Lim. I really enjoyed the process and appreciated learning lessons both inside and outside the classroom. A truly unique experience.
In the first week, I have set out to achieve several objectives which I hope to achieve after 13 weeks of lessons. Now at the 13th week, it is time for me to review the goals that I have set for myself. Theory wise, I hoped to learn about what innovation is and how technology has evolved over the years. Through the long wave cycle that we have learnt in class, I understood the origins and trends of the different forms of innovation that is highly popular during the different time periods. Moreover, it has provided me with the ability to predict the time period of emergence of new dominating emergence and the possible technological bubble burst that might appear. My group’s cooking project has also given me the opportunity to understand what are the types of technology which was an interesting area for exploration.
Furthermore, I have also learnt the basics such as how to differentiate between innovation and invention which people commonly and conveniently assume are the same. I have also learnt how innovation evolves through the various theories which include the evolution process. Topics such as sources of funding has also contributed to my knowledge of how innovation can be discovered. Although the topic might appear to be a “no-brainer” to some people, I believe that it is commendable and interesting to see how people manage to articulate a topic that seems like common sense. Frankly, through this topic, I realized that articulating “common sense topics” might not be as easy as we think.
Most importantly, I felt the lesson about the setbacks of technological advancement is especially apt and useful as it provided me with a different perspective regarding technology. Contrary to popular belief, technology might not always be as beneficial for us as we think. Technology is a double-edged sword. If we continue to manipulate this area of expertise, one day, it might backfire and harm the whole human race. As such, we should always innovate and do things in moderation rather than exploit any opportunity available which can in turn harm us and our loved ones. Lastly, this module has taught me to look at technology from a different perspective. I have come to realize that innovation comprises of more knowledge and understanding than what I used to think.
From a business perspective, I have learnt much about the innovation process to know that entrepreneurship or technopreneurship is not as easy as we think. The second project which required us to interview a technopreneur was both insightful and beneficial. Through this project, I managed to learn many business terms and problems which technopreneurs face during the funding process. This finding concurred with the brilliant speeches that our guest speakers gave. We tend to focus on the glamorous and successful side of technopreneurship in the process but neglect the difficulties which technical entrepreneurs face in order to achieve that position. Furthermore, I felt that the lesson which taught us about the funding process is especially fascinating as it provided me with vastly different opinions and perspectives about the funding process. For example, the two that left the deepest impressions were the lessons on how to send your company for IPO and the idea of owning people favor. Unlike our common understanding, IPO is not only limited to huge and rich companies. Instead, through the insights provided by the lawyers, I have learnt that we can always work around it as long as we understand the requirements. In addition, the idea of feeling indebted to the person who helped you is really something that we can never find in the textbook. I have learnt that we should be careful when we are receiving help from people to prevent ourselves from being bound from such intangible promises.
I understood the importance of technology to companies, especially companies that focus on technical products or service and how they always strive to create a suitable environment for their business to grow. For example, in the case of Gushcloud, they refused to take up the option of receiving funding from government agencies such as SPRING in the fear of losing their “drive” and being controlled. As such, they understand their businesses the best and also know how to build their company in such a way that allows them to display their full potential. Furthermore, it has also provided me with enough knowledge to know how harsh the technical business world is, where the larger powers always reign over the small ones. In this case, intellectual property might not necessary be able to protect the smaller party that applied for it due to limited resources. As such, it is always important for businesses to take the practical way out by evaluating the pros and cons of each decision even if it means that they might have to sacrifice in the process.
However, interestingly, my greatest takeaways from these 13 weeks of lessons are not knowledge that I have gained. Instead, what I have got in return are intangible skills and knowledge that I might not be able to get in other classes. For example, I was given the opportunity by my group to present thrice for our in-class presentation. These three presentations has built my confidence when it comes to presentation significantly. This is because these in class presentations are prepared under time pressure, there was insufficient time for us to prepare ourselves for the presentations. As such, it can be quite a scary experience for people like me who are not confident presenters. As such, the in class presentations had given me the opportunity to experience how it is like to present under time pressure which allowed me to improve over the weeks. Furthermore, it has equipped me with the skills to think on the spot which is a crucial skill that all of us should have. Of course, another takeaway that I have gained includes understanding the importance of group work. Attributed to the large amount of projects and in-class presentations for this module, my group has managed to emerge as a stronger team that helps each other out sincerely and genuinely. Through all these projects, I have learnt the importance of great team members as it makes projects a much easier and interesting affair. Other intangible skills that I have acquired include understanding the need and importance of being more skeptical to information that are given to us. This is because information given to us might not necessary be to the best of our benefit but instead, for the sake of the economy and the world around us. As such, we should always attempt to discern the truth and not blindly accept information that is fed to us.
In conclusion, these 13 weeks of lessons has not only been really informative and interesting but also meaningful. I have acquired knowledge and skills that we will not be able to find from the textbook. I went into this class under the assumption that I will be learning about the technical side of technology. However, it was completely different from my initial impression. I was given a glimpse into the area of technopreneurship and the business issues involved in the changing technology. As such, it has not only completely changed my impression about the module but also influenced me to believe that technology is a new area to study, understand and explore.
Having gone through a semester of TWC, I can definitely say that I have learnt alot from this class. Not much about TWC knowledge but much more about skills; presentation skills and life skills from my team mates and my prof herself. I wanted to learn as much as I could when I came to class initially. I am interested in technology and thus, looked forward to class as I could learn something I had interest in. After the first class, I had the first taste of my first break out session. In a large group of 7, as the only girl in the group and was separated from my friends who were fortunately in the same group. I was disappointed and stressed after the first break out as it was the first time I had to come up with a presentation under 50mins with people whom I have never even met. Many of them were year 3s and I felt inferior as they were very knowledgeable about the subjects. It was then I decided that instead of complaining about being separated from my friends, I should take this opportunity to learn how to work with different people, of different schools and different ages. I decided to learn from my group mates as they were all diverse in each of their own ways. Some were resourceful, some were knowledgeable and some were good in presentation. I was at an advantage as I could absorb many things from them. Thus, after 13 weeks of working with this team, I can say that I have indeed fulfilled my objectives of learning as much as I could from this course. I have learnt things beyond the TWC textbooks. They have many insights and technology knowledge which I had never even heard of. I have learnt presentation skills and have learnt to be open in order for us to enjoy and also bring joy to the audience during our presentations. We were a bonded group and everyone was helpful in each of their ways. No one was selfish and we all had our skills that we could contribute in. That made our group highly diversified and enabled me to learn so much in such a short period of time. In class, I have learnt more about presentation skills, definitely, from the breakout sessions. Initially, I was scared and sceptical of them. However, after a few weeks, I found myself learning more than I did in other classes. It was not confined to books and theories. It was about speaking, question & answering, efficiency skills and working as a team to optimise the short amount of time that we have. It was useful as I could retain the research that I had done better and I enjoyed this style of learning as compared to the conventional way of listening to the prof go on and on about concepts. I also gained alot of insights about the business world and the technology industry. Prof's experiences have always given me alot of insights during lessons because there's so much to learn from all these experiences. I enjoyed them and definitely gained alot from them. Throughout the 13 weeks, I must say that I had alot to takeaway, had alot of new and first times in this class. I did not regret bidding for Prof for this TWC class as I believed it has enriched me in many ways, from the insights she always shares in class, from her breakout sessions and from all the fun I have had with my group. This has been one of my favourite class and prof to date. Having gone through a semester of TWC, I can definitely say that I have learnt alot from this class. Not much about TWC knowledge but much more about skills; presentation skills and life skills from my team mates and my prof herself.
TWC - 2011/12 Term 2 - Faizal Salleh Bin Mohamed Kassim
by Faizal Salleh
Last Lesson of TWC
I believe that I have definitely achieved most of my goals as stated in my first journal. As I look back on the 13 weeks course on Technology and World Change (TWC), it has indeed delivered an incredible learning outcome in my opinion. In addition, it has given me a better overview of technology and how it impacts our lives, its potential for future developments and the possible opportunities for people to tap on it and develop business enterprises. Through lessons and group presentations in class, I have learnt how technology has such an extensive impact on our lives without us realizing it. The group discussions and projects have provided a wealth of information many of which were unknown to me earlier.
I have also come to know how advanced some of my group members are in their understanding of technology and that has inspired me to acquire more knowledge on the subject. I have now a better perspective of the vast potential of technology unleashed globally to bring about a salutary effect on human lives. However mankind must also be mindful of the pitfalls that lie if technology is not used wisely. The face to face meeting with prominent entrepreneurs and their delivery of talks were thought provoking and inspiring. It gives me a hope that one day I could also be an entrepreneur with of course some divine blessings.
From TWC, I learnt that there is large potential for new ideas. Whoever that has a new idea can succeed provided that he or she is able to commercialize and protect it effectively. TWC provided me with valuable insights beyond the classroom. Instead of boring lectures that my fellow students are exposed to, I was required to do extensive research every lesson in a bid to learn more. There is no greater education than the experience to interact with the ‘real’ corporate world. The guest seminar that we had, where we invited real-life entrepreneur, was in fact an eye opening experience. As students, we get to interact with these successful people on a personnel level. We also get to test our concepts with real-life expectations through questioning. By, questioning we learnt the most as our fears and doubts are being solved.
My greatest take away from the module has to be the lesson I received about this thing called innovation. It does not come easy and it is a lot of hard work. But what I have gathered is that if I have an idea brewing in me, I should act and not keep it inside for me alone. Even though I may not be a total success, there is much to be gained from taking that very alien first step to being an entrepreneur. No pain no gain as they say. TWC on the whole has encouraged me to be bold. It has taught me that with determination all our dreams and ambition could be achieved. TWC has given me the edge that I need in starting a business and most of all it has taught me the value of new ideas that are so crucial in innovation.
At the end of 13 weeks, I am more than delighted that I have not met the objectives that I had set for myself at the beginning of this course. This might sound crazy and perhaps could have led you to take a second read of the first sentence, but yes it is as you read it. As I looked back at the draft of my first journal for this course, I realised how shallow my objectives had been as a student and an individual. I would like to briefly take you through how I started off this course, just so you understand what I meant by shallow.
I started off TWC being my usual book oriented self by referring to the course schedule and being paranoid about preparing before each class and mugging down all the content. My objective for this module just like for any other was to score an A+ if possible and that was it. I was too embedded in the way of learning that I was most familiar with and at times found myself complaining that there was nothing much to study for TWC.
I had not met my main objective of getting an A+ for every component of the course. However, I believe that I have learnt much more and beyond what an A+ grade could have offered me. And for that I certainly feel indebted to Professor Lim. And to prove what this course has truly offered me, I would like to begin with the highlights of what I have learnt.
I have realised that I have matured as an individual in my perspective of success. Instead of dedicating my time in the university to simply studying, I have stopped to think what success means to me. This question on what success means to me and to think through it was something that constantly popped up in Professor Lim’s class. While most other professors would define success as a perfect GPA or a job in the best companies, Professor Lim had a different perspective. She mentioned that if success meant being a good mother to ones’ children and if one knows that they have achieved it, then that is all that matters. This proved to me that even though I am surrounded by people who define success based on GPA and who would not hesitate to back stab just so that they do well, I shouldn’t be one of them. Instead I should focus on succeeding what that I love and helping my friends achieve what is success to them.
More importantly, I felt the relevance of the subject to reality. Most of the time, I never do have any takeaways from subjects in which I can’t draw a parallel to reality. As such they go forgotten. However, in the case of TWC, though Professor Lim did focus on teaching us the theories, through her breakout sessions and providing us with questions of reality to ponder about, not only has she made learning so seamless, she has also broadened my horizons in terms of acquisition of knowledge. I have learnt about many people, innovations and current affairs. In addition, while I do understand there are a few individuals who despise her weekly breakout sessions, I personally feel that it has honed my presentation skills. I am no longer a nervous wreck when I attend presentations and in fact I speak with much confidence to even people whom I don’t know. These are things I value and take with me. Whether I achieved my objectives or not, I know that as a professor, she has achieved her objectives for conducting her classes the way she does and so I quote what she said once in class; “What you learnt in TWC you will forget, but what I teach you beyond that- presentation skills, change in world view, that you will remember. “(These might not be her exact words, but this is something to the effect of what she meant). She also helped me realise that learning is not meant to be painful like what the education system prior to her class has made me think.
Furthermore, my mindset towards life has taken a 360 degree change. While I was always keen on entrepreneurship especially with respect to my own fashion label, I never believed enough that I could realise this dream and that it is possible. Her sessions such as the guest seminar lecture, her project assignments that made us interview other successful entrepreneurs and she being a good role model in entrepreneurship by making parallels to her experience, has made me think that someday I can realise my dream. In fact, I have decided to dedicate my summer break to draw out my business plans and other relevant details. Her class is not just about studying and theories. It teaches you that making big money is difficult, but it is not impossible as others may make it seem.
More importantly, her lessons have changed my way of thinking about an issue. In the past, I would always view issues from a fixed angle and take what people say to me or the information provided as they are. However, her classes and coaching has improved my ability to critique and analyse information. As such, while working on our second project on entrepreneurs and the respective funding issues they had been faced with, I found myself constantly questioning certain information provided that I found potential gaps within. I know some of my group mates got frustrated with me, but personally I felt I had learnt to view information in different angles and this I believe would certainly serve me well in pursuing my interest in life. Finally, I see her as a role model in being an empowered woman. At most instances, people always speak of the success stories of men and even during our guest seminars, all 3 entrepreneurs were men. It is Professor Lim, who made me realise that as a woman, I can go forward too as an entrepreneur and my gender shouldn’t be a hindrance towards my achieving my goals.
I would like to end off by thanking Professor Lim, for her continued guidance and support in reshaping my 20-year thinking. These days, I no longer feel pressurized when working on assignments. Instead, I simply enjoy the process of knowledge acquisition and I look at my modules as an avenue and opportunity to learn instead of one to simply achieve good grades. I realised that I shouldn’t chase grades, but knowledge. Above all, I am happy that I made the decision to bid for Professor Lim’s class because the high bid placed for her class has provided me with something so valuable and incomparable that it cannot be measured by E dollars.
I have attached some photos of the activity I especially had some fun with my group mates. This activity was a mini survey we had carried out in the class after our session with the aim of finding out whether coca cola or Pepsi was better received by consumers. Though the results of the survey was inconclusive, it provided me with an opportunity to learn more about Professor Lim. While we were rushing to get the results of the survey and clear up after providing everyone with drinks, she smiled and told us to take our time and not rush. Yes, this is a simple gesture, but an important one that would often go unnoticed. It is noteworthy in my contention because not many educators are as patient or kind towards their students. She is one very different teacher.
And I don't say this with the intention of scoring an A+ in the module. I don't want to risk being misunderstood. I spoke highly of Professor Lim throughout my journal because I take with me a very positive and great impression of her and that is exactly what was expected out of this journal; our learning points and what we would be taking away with us.
1. I LOVE MY GROUP! My group’s team dynamics is one of the best I’ve encountered having spent two years in SMU. Definitely, this is not a given, I believe the weekly break outs, group project and the guest seminar created ample opportunity for the entire group to meet in class and outside class. It is these ‘forced’ meetings that bring the entire group closer.
Having spent two years in SMU, I’ve been through a decent number of group projects. Many people come and go, we meet, we discuss and once we are done with our projects, we become ‘hi-bye’ friends, and sometimes even pretend not to see each other just to avoid an awkward ‘hi-bye’.
It is difficult to find long lasting friendship due to the setting of SMU classes, so I am really thankful for this group I have encountered in TWC. We set up a Facebook group and Whatsapp group called 'TWC A+' for communication purposes. It is surely challenging to maintain our friendship because we will each be busy with our own plans once summer hits. I will be clearing my internship, Zhi Wei will be going on an exchange (really excited for him), Veron will be going on a holiday to UK (!), and Eugene, Loon Yuan and Zhao Tian will be having the time of their lives, enjoying their first summer as a year 1! So, only time can tell if we will continue to stay close or we will become one of those ‘hi-bye’ friends.
Thus, I have definitely achieved the first goal I’ve set out for myself at the start of this module, to get to know my group mates better.
My second objective is to gain knowledge from this module. I came into this class clueless and skeptical about what is to be taught and I definitely did not understand why TWC is a university core for us. Furthermore, I heard many negative comments from my friends who have taken TWC. They told me that they need to write up a very long essay and every week there are tons of readings to read, the group project is very difficult and class environment is not suitable for class participation at all. This is exactly why I was hesitant in bidding for this module, which is also why I only took this module now that I am in year 2 sem 2!
But the structure and workload of this class caught me by a pleasant surprise. I am really thankful that it is not as horrid as what my friends have described to me. Learning environment was definitely optimal because of the light-hearted environment. In fact, research has shown that light-hearted learning environment allows students to absorb at an optimal rate.
Although I still do not know why TWC is a university core module, I definitely gained knowledge from this module!
2. I do not have any entrepreneur journey at the moment. But I have always wanted to start my own blogshop! I am interested in fashion and I love shopping! Sometimes, I cannot find clothes that I like from the blogshops, this is why I wish to have my own blogshop, selling the kind of clothes I love, and the kind of clothes I believe many people will love.
There are two reasons why I have not started, time and money. School is really taking up most of my time and I find it hard to juggle between school work and efforts needed to run my own blogshop. Money is the next issue. A certain amount of initial cost is needed to start my own blogshop.
I will definitely update you when I start this entrepreneur journey (:
For me, TWC is an interesting journey. I began this course with great expectations, and it turned out well. I was very lucky to have formed a great team that worked and played hard together. We had tons of fun learning how to prepare popcorn chicken for our cooking technology presentation (AirFryer). It is one of my most memorable presentation in SMU.
This course highlighted numerous key areas of concerns and potholes that an entrepreneur would have to look out for, deal with and finally overcome to achieve success. Under prof's guidance and innovative lesson structure, we have learnt so much more beyond the standard TWC learning objectives. The exposure to real life entrepreneurs also added a layer of authenticity on top of the textbook theories. Even though my group has to spend extra effort interviewing 5 different entrepreneurs for our Case, in the end we realized it is the process that matters most.
I am thankful for prof’s teaching methodology, where personal learning is promoted, group work is encouraged and presentation skills are developed. I feel that I have grown as a speaker and am more able to generate ideas spontaneously.
TWC met all the objectives I have set at the beginning of the course. On the whole, it is a fulfilling module and I would definitely recommend it to my friends.
Before I go on to the list of appreciation and thank you to _____ section, I would like to take an opportunity to share with you all a story, a story that seeks to encompass the gist of what I have taken away from 13 weeks of TWC. This is not meant to be an academic representation of the themes I have learnt, but an application to a fictional set of conditions and situations, to what I have ultimately taken away from this topic.
So the story basically encompasses what I have learned from TWC class and Professor Pamela Lim: always stay grounded no matter the amount of success you achieve, and don’t forsake your love ones in the process or pursuit of your GPA. And if you do not remember any of your TWC lessons, just remember that if you want to start a business, never take advice from a person who has never opened a prata shop before. Sincerely and honestly, this is the best module I have taken this semester, as it has given me the impetus to embark on my entrepreneur dreams, while reminding me of the right way to do it. Thank you professor, T.A and class for creating the environment to allow that to happen, if the day comes where I succeed, I will always look back at this story that I have constructed, to remind me of what is truly important, and not lose sight of it ☺
Objectives — Earlier in the semester, I highlighted my interest in anthropology. Till this day, the Kondratiev Waves Theory remains fascinating to me. While I had known of the existence of “dominant technologies” in certain eras, it was only in TWC that I learnt of the formal theory. This can be paralleled to the different eras of music (Baroque, Romantic and Classical), wherein each dominant form of music and technology was representative of their time.
While not explored in class, it dawned on me that apart from the rich getting richer, the increased standard of living over the ages as a result of technological advancement was actually the advancement of civilization itself. Even so, with this perspective, it adds another dimension to anthropology which i will definitely keep in mind when I read up anthropological analyses in future!
Key Learnings — In this era of information (overload), whether we like it or not, marketing has a lot to do with the success of an innovation. Showmanship and how well one sells one product is key to translating an innovation to that of the consumer’s needs. Yet, there is that fine line between belief in an innovation’s worth versus that of a conman’s act. In this age of Attention, why is that so many people are still easily swayed by an overenthusiastic salesman? Given such, i feel that marketing needs to be backed by a genuine motivation to better the lives of humanity.
In the latter half of the semester wherein we explored entrepreneurship, the word “networking” is mentioned just about every lesson. Seeing how the successful technopreneurs owe their success to networking, I feel that networking should be a doctrine in just about every firm’s policy. In an SMU context, there should be a 0.5 CU module which exposes us to simple networking skills.
The TWC semester is essentially split into two main themes; first is that of innovation and the latter being that of entrepreneurship. I learnt that the two concepts, especially so for the latter, is not mutually exclusive. However, entrepreneurship ≠ innovation, and so is innovation ≠ entrepreneurship. Learning when to quit, knowing when is the right time to join the industry, are all but important theories explored in the earlier half of the curriculum, which are highly applicable to entrepreneurs.
Another key takeaway from the course is that just about everything in the world is cyclical. Reminiscent of www.everythingisaremix.info, many aspects of the world are rehashes, or they follow patterns. Tao Zhugong’s book on Golden Stratagems for Business also emphasizes the cyclical nature of the economy. 3 independent sources deriving at the same conclusion, that definitely has to amount to something valid about the theory!
My entrepreneurship journey —
A superficial understanding about a topic is not enough. Even if one does not completely know the issue inside out, the person must still have a certain depth of understanding. Furthermore, in this day and age, there can be no way for one to not make the effort to look up the subject matter on the Internet.
In this world, be it on the journey of entrepreneurship or anything else, I believe that one makes one’s own luck. Perseverance is but a basic requirement to walk any path, and success is but a fruit that tastes differently to every individual.
One of my main objectives going into TWC was to be more attuned to technological trends and developments around the world. I think what TWC has taught me has gone above and beyond that. I now have a broader understanding of why technology evolves the way it does – in particular the developmental process behind innovations, and its greater impact on our socio-economic activities –from the perspective of an entrepreneur, corporation and industrial system.
Another objective was to work on the dynamics within my team, and raise the quality of work that we were putting out over the course of the term. Once again, I believe my group members and I have fulfilled that goal, and even surpassed my expectations. Despite being the smallest group in class with only 5 members, we worked very hard to overcome that deficit and outdo ourselves. All of us actively contributed in ways which we could, playing to our strengths while complementing each other’s weaknesses. The case study project really tested the limits of our group; but it was through this challenging phase that we became more efficient, more focused and more cohesive as a team. The end result was certainly one that we could all be proud of.
TWC has given me valuable first-hand insight into entrepreneurship and reignited my entrepreneurial ambitions. The 3 successful entrepreneurs at the Guest Seminar left me with gems like these – to constantly invest in oneself, to be well-connected to people wherever we may be, and to always believe in why & what you’ve started out in first place. Through my interview with PigeonLab founder Joon for the Case Study, I learnt from his personal experience how a business grows from just an idea into a startup. He also enlightened us on the role that institutional support plays in starting businesses, as well as how some areas of governmental policy can be further improved to help entrepreneurs going forward. I’m also glad that I had the opportunity to discover about an amazing innovation in PigeonHole Live, and officially introduce it into the SMU classroom for the first time through our presentation! The positive feedback and hilarious comments gathered from our peers is something that I will remember fondly from TWC class.
The lessons from Prof and the various entrepreneurs encountered during this course have made me more perceptive to identifying opportunities for innovations and technological change. I can say that I now have more knowledge to assess the technological feasibility and economic viability of certain technological innovations. This would come in really handy for me when exploring my business options in future, regardless of the industry that I may decide to break into.
In all, TWC has been a course of many firsts for me. For the first time, I had breakouts which didn’t leave me with angry zits all over my face, but still had me feeling stressed and edgy. For the first time I moderated a live Q&A session while running a presentation simultaneously. And it was the first time that I could learn about the workings of a start-up in class, which was why I wanted to study business in SMU in the first place. TWC has left me inspired by how technology has changed, and will never stop changing the lives of people and society. Technological change is crucial to our advancement as a human race, and now, more than ever in history, do we have the power to decide where it lead us all into, as the digital natives move on to become the next generation of leaders and technopreneurs.
At the beginning of the semester, I embarked upon what I thought would be an indubitably arduous and painful struggle in mastering the intricacies of technology and comprehending its impact on world change. Amidst the labyrinthine maze of technological phraseology and expressions that were heartily swapped in the first few classes with abandon that I simply could not comprehend nor, regrettably, appreciate, I managed to sieve out a few goals that I would set myself to meet. The first was to take a more abstract view on what technology aimed to do, and to examine this aim in relation to a deeper, more humane need compared to mere monetary motivation. The second was, more personally, to make more friends outside of my faculty, not so that I could fly on borrowed wings, but rather to expand my painfully tiny social circle comprising of the same people. The third was that I would keep an open-mind as to this module as possible, and not let my previous bias against, and persistently ill-fortune with, technology hinder what others could teach me.
What I’ve learnt is that technological progress is a lot more emotive than I ever imagined despite its exploitative element, and more often than not is connected to something fundamentally human. It doesn’t necessarily have to be fantastically futuristic, or evoke jaw-droppingly paradigm shifts. Rather, it has to identify on a fundamental level with people for it to be successful. There seems to be an element of poignancy that people clutch nostalgically to even as the world speeds ahead, absorbed in its quest for technological supremacy. Photographic options capitalized on this – there are options for vignetting or black and white for a more emotional feel than coloured photographs. Whether people are unwittingly being caught in a rat-race or not, technology has rather paradoxically shown that its progress can be non-linear, and that it can as much embrace and celebrate the past as much as it can spearhead the future.
The semester’s worth of both small and major projects was also invaluable in pointing out how technology has permeated almost every bit of our lives, and how society has oftentimes struggled to come to grips with newfangled ways of say, cremating the dearly departed, because of its inability to fuse or reconcile the unsympathetic secularism of technology with residual machinations of societal taboos. Interviewing a technopreneur, as well, was tricky ground to navigate upon which years of formal education simply cannot prepare one for, and went beyond the usual seminar-styled pedagogy to teach us invaluable lessons in managing relationships, thinking of various solutions to cul-de-sacs, and navigating the tricky maze of getting what we wanted without our technopreneur taking umbrage at our impudence, and even pandering to him without coming across as being too obsequious. While my groupmates came about quite serendipitously, I am nevertheless exceedingly glad to have had the opportunity to get to know them on a more personal basis, and to have collaborated with such a unique mix of people with vastly different personalities amiably.
Of course I daren’t assert confidently that I’ve been entirely schooled on what technology has to offer, or its latest developments. Yet I’m quite sure that whatever I’ve taken away, or elucidated as best as I could in this journal, transcends the boundary of our seminar room, and that the biggest takeaway I have gotten from TWC is that this is one of the few times that incubating an idea will not allow it to hatch, and that success is not dependent wholly on one’s brilliance, but the way in which one brings it into the world.
This TWC journey is the most enriching for my first year student experience at SMU, and possibly the most important in my entire stay here. I can only vaguely remember what I wrote in my first journal. However, I do recall that as I am an Accountancy student, I had negative thoughts about the course and likely belittled the contents being taught, and would like to apologise for ever thinking so, and there are a lot of things I would like to apologise for as I wasn’t able to see the bug picture until now.
I believe that what I initially set out for in my objectives was not much different from most others, such as sieving through which content within TWC I felt would be the most relevant in future to me and would like to learn the most, to use peer evaluation as a platform for me to learn how to work well with others, as well as seeking to do my best for class participation, and at the end of the day becoming more comfortable with working under stress and also improve my presentation skills. These objectives are at best competitive and narrow-minded as I look back and reflect as I am writing my last journal.
I am proud to say what I have taken away from this course is something which I am able to keep for the future. Undeniably, the content within textbooks constantly change and something learnt today in class might be totally different in future, making it irrelevant as such. I am glad that my journey with Prof Pamela as our mentor enabled me to not take home only textbook content, but it made me know that I have grown as a person.
The invaluable content which shaped our character commonly came administered to us in the form of words of wisdom and invaluable experiences from our Prof Pamela, as well as guest entrepreneurs who have walked through extremely difficult situations and shared with us their immense wealth of experience in the field. Another area in which I would like to acknowledge its invaluable purpose in class was online class participation. Initially, I thought I apologise for being unable to see the big picture and even sought to proof that even without using it, I strived to be able to attain decent class participation by working harder than the rest. It was only towards the end of the semester, I realised the reason why photos are allowed to be used as class participation. I was enlightened after observing the amount of fun which my group mates had whenever we took out our phones during meetings, as well in class, and go "class part!". What struck me at that moment was that photos bonded my group so well, it acted not as online class participation solely, but it clearly was a catalyst which enabled networking within my group, as well as with other groups within the class. We ended up feeling much more comfortable with working with each other, and at the end of the day, forging invaluable friendships and networks. The photos are ours to keep at the end of the day to commemorate the ties and bonds formed in our TWC journey and this is something totally unlike other classes.
Reflecting back, I came in to class from the first semester thinking that just by having a good GPA would guarantee me success in life. Through the sharing sessions by Prof as well as other entrepreneurs, I have opened my eyes to realise that this was only partially true. In order to truly climb up the corporate ladder, I believe that what I needed was a set of skills which distinguished me from others. The skills which I have in mind is sharp networking and communication, charismatic presentation and a character and reputation which people can trust and willing to work with.
I realised that at many times within university teachings, students are forced to show that they know everything about the content. This was unrealistic, and by acting as they do, many of them fail to absorb the more important aspects of learning from others. I am glad that after going through TWC under Prof Pamela, I feel humbled by her experiences as well as those of her past students. She is a motherly figure within our class, acting as more of a mentor than a lecturer. I acknowledge that I have much to learn, and am willing. I do hope that the networks forged within the class could be kept and maintained. Same goes for Prof Pamela, and I sincerely hope that she would be willing to continue to guide all of us who look up to her as a mentor.
What do I like about Technology and World Change class?
#1: Break-out sessions
“Who’s com are we using for the presentation?” “We are working on the pyramids. Who’s doing the part about clothes and education?” “Hurry! Only 5 minutes left!” “1 min left! We have to get back to class!”
These are the common, flustered questions our group hears every session, as we rush to prepare for our presentation. But as what Kobe Bryant said,” Everything negative - pressure, challenges - is all an opportunity for me to rise.” The breakout sessions consist of both pressure (to come up with the best product within the time limit) and challenges (to be as thorough and comprehensive as we can when exploring the issues). All these not only help our group to bond within a short period of time, they also improved our ability to present spontaneously, something that I had trouble with. I wouldn’t say that I can now present fluently and effectively without prior preparation, but at least these sessions created opportunities for me to overcome my mentality of “I can’t do it” and changed it to ”I have tried and even though there are still areas to improve on, it’s no longer impossible”.
#2: Guest Seminar
I really enjoyed the guest seminar, from inviting a guest speaker to listening to all the speakers speak of their experiences. From one event, we were able to learn how to liaise with people whom we did not know, how to network, hear about the journeys and challenges faced by the speakers themselves, and try to figure out why entrepreneurs think and act the way they do. Mr Paine gave sound advice for aspiring entrepreneurs while Vincent and Mr Yee were exceptionally inspiring with their stories. Vincent showed us how it was possible to juggle both studies and a start-up at the same time, if it is something that we enjoy and love doing. Mr Yee spoke about the low moments in his business, and I am still awed by the decisions he made in the course of fulfilling his dreams. Even if I do not become an entrepreneur in the future, I will definitely remember their stories and try to emulate their attitudes (living with passion, determination and believing).
In addition, the write-up for the guest seminar showed me what Prof meant by functioning without guidelines. The only instruction given was that the write-up should be a page long. We had no clue what the tone should be like (creative, funny, formal, etc.) and what to include in the content. In the end, we started by deciding what impression we wanted to give the readers, and from there, crafted our write-up to be reader-friendly, interesting (hopefully) and not information-overloaded. Although we were uncertain and afraid that we were not meeting expectations, I think they were inevitable reactions as we deviate from the spoon-feeding system that we have been used to.
#3: Class-part through Facebook comments
Initially, the forum revolved around topics that were discussed in class, but towards the middle of the semester, people started to share interesting products and articles too. I remember being extremely impressed by the “One day in glass” and “Grocery shopping in Korea” videos. Class participation through the website allowed me to learn from my peers, from their different perspectives to the introduction of new products in the market. One of my objectives at the beginning of the term was to be more well-informed about new technology and innovations, and I am thankful that I have classmates who were willing to share and helped me to achieve this.
I do not know whether I should be surprised that content was not mentioned throughout the main part of my reflections— after all, it is what we will be tested on in the finals. What I have learnt and remembered from TWC class was definitely not so much on the content, but rather, skills and the first taste of what entrepreneurship is about. But, honestly, I think these skills will go a longer way than the theories, which I can always refer from books if needed.
Thank you Prof, for your different teaching style and the awesome TWC experience! I hope that I will have the opportunity to learn from you again, over the next 3 years in SMU and beyond. =)
On a bright and sunny morning on Good Friday, ZY rose from his warm and comfortable bed, trying to remember what he set out to do for the day. With eyes half open and removing the comforter that was covering him partially, he had an epiphany that he had to submit his journal at 12pm on the same day! Desperate, ZY needed inspiration. He has a few choices, he wanted to approach the government for help but he realized that there is a whole string of terms and conditions, obligations and red tape and so he decided to approach the venture capitalist but he found that they wouldn’t entertain investing on a journal that will only be published on the Elearn portal but not on Times or Forbes magazine. He then turned to his last resort, friends, families and relatives. They were more than willing to help but ZY recalled how his professor discouraged him to seek the help of friends, families and relatives, as he will always feel obligated to them. As the deadline was nearing, ZY started his journal and what followed was a recollection of his TWC journey all the way from week 1 to week 14.
Before the start of the module, I vividly recalled myself lamenting at how we weren’t able to form our own groups when I received the email with our assigned group members attached to it (I bidded this course with Hans, Zac, Joel and Dj and we were hoping to form a group together). It was indeed a blessing in disguise as being in a group with members from different faculties and in different phases of their student life in SMU (Yang Lin was in his final semester), I benefitted tremendously and learnt a lot from every single one of my group member. From Hans, I have never seen a person with such enthusiasm and energy in everything he does. Yang Lin never fails to put a smile on our faces with his expressive and extraordinary variation of his tone of voice. Joey always amazes us with her ability to organize our slides in such crisp and concise manner. Future lawyer-to-be Junda always sets the tone right for every meeting. Tsun Ngai always surprises us with the contacts he has, he was the one who contacted Akash, co-founder of iTwin. Rendy always inspires me with his diligence and last but not least, Sandro brings out the essence of humility.
Lesson after lesson, I feel enriched by the life lessons which I felt were the main takeaway for this module. It was a unique delivery of the concepts of the textbooks accompanied with the sharing of practical knowledge from the life experiences of my professor, something that no module I have taken thus far been able to provide. On top of that, I learnt valuable soft skills and gradually overcame my fear of public speaking. I became significantly bolder in front of an audience after being involved in a few rounds of skit-like presentation from my team. I am really thankful that the honing of my presentation skills during TWC sessions has also helped me a lot in the Management Communication module where I had to do an elevated pitch. At the end of the day, I felt that my main objectives that I mentioned in the first journal are achieved. I managed to develop a sustainable interest for technology and start to better understand how it could have such a large impact on our lives especially through all the break out presentations.
Above all, I would like to thank my professor, TA and classmates for making this learning journey a fruitful and valuable one. If I were to embark in my entrepreneur journey in future, I will never forget this advice: Never take advice from a man who has never opened a prata shop.
Another semester is over and I felt that I had gained a lot from the module - Technology and World Change. When the semester started, I remember that all I wanted to gain from this module is to learn more about technology, and how does it affect the world in different ways. I believe that I have gained more than I aimed. One of the major things that I have learnt in lessons that there are various forms of innovation – Incremental, Modular, Architectural and Radical. I know this may seem insignificant as compared to the other theories that we were taught during the whole semester. However, this was one of the moments where I had the feeling of “Oh, why didn’t I think of it before?” Initially I didn’t really think of ways to classifying innovations. When core concepts are reinforced and linkage between core concepts and components are unchanged, it is actually incremental innovation. When there is an overturn in core concepts and changed linkage between core concepts and components, it is called radical innovation. Now when I see the product such as the Samsung Galaxy Smart window, I would not feel that as though it is a whole new invention but instead that it is just an architectural innovation where the core concepts are just reinforced, but there is a change in linkages in the components. Hence it is through TWC that I have learnt to see the world in a different way.
And in addition, helping the guest seminar was a whole new experience for me. As I have stated in the Journal 2, I initially had the fear of speaking to people who are actually “up-there”. But it is through the opportunity that Prof gave my group that we had the chance to confront my fear of speaking to people who seems to be stern professionals, such as Mr Jeffrey Paine. It was only through this I gained the experience and realised that they are just like us and that there are no reasons for us to be afraid of them. I believe that now I am slightly more confident of myself and that I am able to hold a conversation with other Professors in the school instead of being scared of them. This is one of the most significant takeaways that I have gained through this experience.
Lastly, I realised that Prof’s learning style is quite effective for me. She emphasises on hands-on activities such as to conduct our own research and present it to the class within 40 minutes. This hand on learning actually allows me to learn more efficiently instead of listening to a Prof lecturing the class. I believe that this has actually helped me in other modules and it has changed the way that I have studied. Now I would read more broadly regarding the topic of instead just from the text book and this has helped me to understand the topics more thoroughly.
Hence I feel that I have gained a lot from this TWC and I wish to take this opportunity to thank Prof, Div and also my team mate for constantly helping each other during this whole semester.
At the beginning of the year, I entered this module not knowing what was in store for me. Initially, I was really uncertain about this course, since personally I’m not a person who is very technologically savvy or someone who is passionate about knowing more about innovations. Technology World Change sounds like a module that was closely bounded with discussions on technology and innovation. Hence, I was skeptical of whether I was going to enjoy myself for the next 13 weeks in this course.
During the first few weeks of lesson, I was indeed unaware of what was going on in class. With my limited knowledge and interest in technology, I find it difficult to absorb what was being taught by Prof. No doubt; I did struggle in class and find it hard to contribute to weekly discussions in class. However, I really appreciated the idea of online class participation set up for students to class participate during their own free time. This has indeed helped me a lot, because it allowed me to have more time to process what was taught in class before contributing to class discussions.
In addition, the lesson style conducted was different. With weekly breakout sessions and in-class presentations, it has enabled me to learn and absorb faster, as compared to purely absorbing information from the professor during lectures. With the weekly breakout sessions, it really benefited me a lot, since it was a time for me to learn from my peers and also to clarify my doubts. Throughout the course, I am challenged constantly in my thinking and perception. By having different in-class presentations each week, it has enabled me to gain external knowledge and instead of being spoon fed, I was able to source for my own knowledge.
The guest seminar has also brought some insights. It was interesting since each of the innovators was able to share their personal experiences with us - their successes or failures. Apart from learning about technology and innovations, I have learned many life lessons that can be applied. For example, learning the importance of enjoying my university life, instead of being too overly “obsessed” with getting a good GPA (the higher the better). By walking the talk, it has indeed lessened the burden of learning for me. Furthermore, the talk on “grabbing hold of opportunities” by Mr. Yee Jenn Jong, has taught me to value my chances.
Today, after going through approximately 13 weeks of TWC lessons, I can truly say that I did genuinely enjoy myself. Although I’m quite convinced that I will never be an entrepreneur in the future (since I am someone who prefers a more stable job). I believe that learning about intellectual property rights, etc. will be beneficial to me in the near future. Thank you Prof for making lessons so fun and enjoyable! Thank you Prof for your guidance throughout the 13 weeks of TWC!
In my first year at SMU as a student, I was a grade-chaser. I struggled hard to juggle school, a part-time job and debating, my greatest passion. Moving on to my second year of studies, I stopped seeing the point of spending half my time simply trying to get that A+, neglecting my friends, family and other endeavors in the process. It wasn’t that I didn’t care about my education any more; I just didn’t think it was worth the opportunity cost. This was why I was particularly appreciative of the fact that in SMU I had great control over the exact modules and instructors I could take, to free up more of my time and to take only courses which I would enjoy or learn from. TWC as a core module seemed obsolete and pointless to me, and thus I simply asked my friends to recommend a professor who would be “slack”. The curious thing was that I had such extreme mixed opinions on Prof. Pamela Lim. Some of my peers were telling me I would breeze through it, while a few complained about the weekly workload. When I found out that this “workload” amounted to break-out groups and short presentations, I knew it would be easy; after all I had been debating for seven years, what could go wrong?
I did not attend class for the first three weeks, mainly because I had to attend a compulsory training course to qualify as a financial planner for HSBC. I kept up with my teammates on school mail, who never failed to keep my in the loop on meetings and discussions, for which I was very grateful. In week 4, when I attended my first class, I immediately regretted having missed classes, because I loved the way the class was so dynamic, and I loved my teammates, who were smart, funny and friendly. They were efficient workers and creative thinkers, but a number of them were afraid to think out of the box, in my opinion, only because they were first year students, something I tried to encourage and push for. I thoroughly enjoyed each break-out session, especially the intensity of the discussion where we would quickly split up the work in order to do research and then consolidate. It was challenging, nerve-wrecking at times, but above all I realized I was having a great deal of fun, certainly something I never expected of a unicore module like TWC. If not for my wonderful teammates, I am sure I would not have enjoyed the course half as much.
The most important lessons I learnt from this course isn’t the content of the textbook, which I felt while mildly interesting, just wasn’t my cup of tea. I learnt however, to be much more open to new ideas, to cooperate with a large group of diverse people, and to learn by doing. I have had really bad experiences in Creative Thinking, where I felt that the professor was trying to impose upon me her idea of what being “creative” means. I hated that, and I hated her, and I suspect she could tell that I did, because I made it a point to challenge her opinions at every turn. Part of what was so great about this TWC class was the fact that the professor would never be dismissive of other’s opinions, and created an environment where the students would be unafraid of sharing even their most whacky ideas, which inspired our group to do crazy things (shaving in class, making lame jokes about Cai Lun, and The Noose Parody).
This made the class interactive and engaging, and as a debate coach I learnt from the professor how to encourage active participation from my students and to let them take charge of their own learning. I also loved the personal stories which the professor shared with the rest of the class, which kept it real for me.
The guest seminar was also an extremely refreshing experience. Even though I was quite skeptical about it at first, within the first 5 minutes I was thoroughly impressed by the invited speakers, who were not only experienced entrepreneurs but were also sharing with us years of their accumulated knowledge. They were all inspiring characters who also dished out valuable life advice: invest in yourself, be daring in asking people for help, explore the world and think global. I think it is fair to say that they made such a huge impact that many of us would never forget these golden nuggets of knowledge which would serve us well in life regardless of what we choose to do.
Employment is a scary prospect, the thought of working for someone who would have close to complete control over my life and fate, 9 to 6 everyday, is a nightmare. This is why I have been constantly exploring alternative options, including “interning” at my father’s wholesale fish business, trying to start a debate and public speaking coaching company and being a Financial Planner for HSBC. I still don’t know what I will end up doing eventually, and I am still clueless as to whether I will end up applying the technical knowledge from TWC, but the experiences and invaluable advice given by both professor and the guest speakers will stay with me. Who knows, maybe one day I will be able to come back to speak to a new batch of students? I still don’t know where I am heading towards, but this class has given me a new perspective on things: at least I know I have to move forward, someway, somehow.
This marked my last journal for TWC and I must say it is a pity that everything ended too quickly. Here, I would like to address three elements, K.F.C, that I have embraced throughout these three months. Without these elements, I am pretty certain that my journey would never be smooth sailing.
I entered this module with little knowledge of innovations and was feeling apprehensive right from the beginning. I must admit that I did not recognize the importance of technology and how it became part and parcel of my life. I have never wanted to know how innovations impacted our lives. TWC then became one of the modules which I felt like giving up and the thoughts of “dropping” the module raced through my mind. I was oblivious of what was going on in class. I have little knowledge of innovations and the first in-class presentation frightened me off. However, this insanity did not keep me long and my group members played an important role in this area.
Additionally, how each lesson were conducted every week was certainly commendable. I came to realize that the little in-class presentation allowed my group to interact and at the same time acquire external knowledge. Of which, innovations of Barbie Dolls and papers impacted me the most. I could even remember the facts that I presented and the topic related to it. I also recognized the intentions of holding an entrepreneur seminar and the project of interviewing a technical entrepreneur. Not only did it broaden my perspectives of the entrepreneurs, I was able to relate textbook knowledge to real working environment. What set this module apart from the other modules was how the lessons were conducted and the avenues of class participation. Apart from innovations I have amassed a pool of life lessons more than anything else from this course. "GPA IS NOT EVERYTHING." I have always been a believer of GPA and it constitutes 95% of my university life. Slowly, I came to realized that by being too GPA-oriented make me pressurized and what I have studied may be futile. This life lesson is something which struck a chord in me.
Right now, I maintained that TWC is one of the modules that I greatly appreciate throughout this year. I began to recognize the roles of innovations and technologies in the society. I was able to relate events such as dot.com bubbles to another module called, Business Government Society(BGS) in the university. I began to piece up the information I gathered from this course and transferred these knowledge to BGS which, I felt, was a sense of accomplishment. Back then, I could not understand the rationale of these university cores and tend to whine and procrastinate about such modules. Today I began to realize the importance of these modules like TWC because it enhances my knowledge and widen the perspectives of innovations. Hence, I believe that this is something which sets us apart from the other local universities by providing holistic education.
In this module, I met a group of interesting and encouraging friends which I am certainly thankful for. We are a group of closely-knitted bunch of friends. Unlike other module, the every week in-class presentation allowed us to interact more often and it was the kind of wanting-to-do –well spirit brought us even closer. As some of you have realized I barely spoke up during the first half of the term, I must certainly thank my group mates especially Terence, Jia Min and Jin Dao who constantly encourage me to speak up more often. They even gave me the script to speak in class. The thoughts of these actions made me laughed and even more determined to keep this relationship. The strong spirit of the group made me more confident of class participation and it made me realized that I have a strong bunch of people willing to support me.
After looking through my first journal, I realized I set multiple goals for myself right from the beginning. Apart from the knowledge goal, the fear of presentation and lack of skills were definitely goals that I managed to attained. I must acknowledge the fact I am reticent and hated the fact that I ought to present myself in front of everybody right at the start. It was through the constant presentation that we have in class made me more confident. Unwittingly, I managed to present five times in class which I strongly believed that it molded me to be more confident and eloquent. It was also the great encouragement from my friends that played a part in shaping me to who I am today. I become more positive than usual and because of the friendship forged, lessons learnt and presentation made, I must say I am more confident than before.
In a nutshell, I certainly benefitted from this module and these K.F.C elements have shaped me to who I am today. As mentioned previously in Journal 2, my passion for wanting-to-do-good for the society still remains. Certainly, being a social entrepreneur remains foreign and distant, however, I promised I will constantly seek out to opportunities to realize such dream.
I hardly knew anything about technology. So i only set one objective when I enrolled into this module. I hoped to learn more about technology and how it has affected people on their quotidian lives. Having attended this course for 13 weeks, i realize i have achieved my sole objective to a large extent. Prof invariably gave us interesting real life case studies for weekly break out sessions and these sessions have enabled me to better understand of technology and know how the theories are applicable to real life situation. For instance, case study on Cai lun’s invention of paper allowed me to use knowledge which I had read from textbook and applied it to real examples.
As technology changes at the speed of light, one has to continue learning in order to stay abreast with current technology. This course also made me realize how outdated I was from the world of technology. Given my present situation, I have to start embracing technology if I want to survive and compete in this day where technology rules the world.
This is the only course so far in my study at SMU that has invited entrepreneurs to come down and talk to us. I really learnt a lot from the speakers on how technology has played an imperative part in propelling businesses forward and how innovations can be valuable asset to company. The insights that the speakers have shared with us are something that textbook does not provide. Furthermore, this course goes beyond technology and equips us with the knowledge from business perspective. Therefore, I am able to see a holistic view of the course.
I really enjoyed TWC’s classes as prof conducted her lessons in an interactive way. Instead of lecturing us, she let us do our own research and present our findings. After that, we discussed the issues together. This way of teaching really allowed me to learn more things. Moreover, prof also shared with us her real world knowledge. This has allowed me to learn beyond what the textbook covers, and also open my eyes to the harsh reality what the corporate world is all about. Personally, I perceive that the main takeaway from this course is the experiences shared by prof and guest speakers, as there is nothing better than hearing advices given by people who have successfully walked down the journey.
MM Lee mentioned in his memoirs that: “there are books to teach you how to build a house, how to repair engines, how to write a book. But I have not seen a book on how to build a nation out of a disparate collection of immigrants from China, British India and the Dutch Indies, or how to make a living for its people when its former economic role as the entrepot of the region is becoming defunct”.
By the same token, I have not seen a book which encapsulates all the important lessons I have learnt from the many class discussions and guest seminar. Thirteen weeks flew by in a blink and rather than being at the end of the journey, I see myself being at the start of a lifelong earning process.
In the beginning of this semester, I set out clear learning objectives. I wanted to be able to better understand technology and its effects on the lives of many. Through this course, I have learnt how various individuals have harnessed the power of technology to influence the lives of millions. Of course, such influences are not always necessarily good. We had extensive discussions on how people have become overly-reliant on mobile devices and the perils of the cyberspace.
More notably, I feel that I have learnt more than what I have initially expected. Apart from the academic content of the course, I have learnt about education, entrepreneurship, business networking from the experiences Professor and the guest speakers have shared with us. I feel that it is these life-lessons which are greatly valuable and relevant because there is no way to pick up these skills by reading a textbook.
The group break-up was one of the arrangements which has benefitted me. In a short span of time, we had to come up with the answers and be ready to present our findings to the class. This has trained me to develop a focus quickly and make directed researches. This skill will come in very handy in the future. I have also learnt a lot from the guest seminar. One of the speakers was just like one of us a couple of years ago- a student in SMU caught up in the paper-chase. But he took the leap of faith and devoted his attention into something he was passionate about and his efforts paid off. It was inspiring, thought-provoking and especially relevant to the first year students who have just begun their education in SMU- they should consider a different path and eschew the herd mentality and meaningless paper-chase. Professor also shared with the class how many of her ex-students who did not do well academically nevertheless achieved considerable success later.
Another thing which I have learnt from the guest seminar is that entrepreneurship involves a many personal sacrifices. All of the guest speakers could have comfortably remained where they were- working for existing corporations and drawing a comfortable pay-package. However, they chose to expose themselves to the numerous risks for what they felt passionate about. As one speaker puts it, entrepreneurship is not always glamorous. This is something we should all keep in mind lest we get carried away by our misconceptions.
Lastly, I must say that this is one of the few classes which gave students alot of freedom when it comes to the mode of presentation. This made most presentation highly interesting!
At the beginning of the course, I remember that I did not really have any specific objectives and expectations for myself. To me, so long as I put in effort to complete assignments and projects, I would be satisfied. Nonetheless, throughout the entire course, with all the breakouts and presentations, I found myself being exposed to so much interesting things that I never expected to be. Watching presentations were not as boring as I expected them to and I was able to pay more attention to them. The information presented on was both facts and the application of what we’ve learnt in the textbook. It made learning and understanding the textbook concepts so much easier with detailed explanation illustrated with real examples. Honestly, I reckon that I would not be able to remember a large chunk of the textbook content after some time. However, the little bits and pieces of interesting information would probably stay.
From this course, I have learnt to manage the fear of presentations. The informal and comfortable class environment made presenting so much easier. Also, so much more valuable advice that the textbook could not offer were given. Good lessons do not mean that there is strict adherence to textbook knowledge. I enjoyed the lessons mostly because Prof gave such insightful tips and life lessons that made a lot of sense and spiced up the lessons with her candidness. I remember one advice of hers mentioned something along the lines of how some money is difficult to take (for your business).It was an alternate perspective that I've never considered before. I am glad that Prof is willing to share so much of her experience with us to enable us to learn from them. :)
Technology has never been my thing. It has never been an interest, an area of curiosity much less passion. TWC was not a module I was looking forward to, instead, it was just a core module which I had to clear as a freshie. Through the course of 13 weeks, I have learnt much about the technology cycles and how businesses are affected by technological changes. However, I must be honest to say that after the past 13 weeks I have yet to find technology any more interesting that I have once found it.
I have learnt that technology plays a huge role in our economy and also the birth of a business. The insights to innovation and taught me to look at specific areas to derive the insights for innovation. However as I doubt I will be venturing into anything related to technology in the near future I feel that the greatest take away is to understand how technology affects our economy and understand the business strategy needed to be undertaken to take advantage of the knowledge I have.
The main lessons which I have taken back are those which have little relevance to the module. Advices such as not to chase after our GPA and the importance of networking will stay with me longer than any content found on the TWC textbook. The GPA chase was something which I have vowed never to be sucked into. However as time passes in SMU, inevitably, we would all be fighting for the best GPA because we are brought up to believe that it is the only ticket to a life of luxury and comfort. Similarly the need to be sincere and to network also helps reinforce the direction I would take through these four years and also the rest of my working career.
I set out to learn more about technology and its importance it might have in my life. I must say that I have met these objectives as stated above. I did not have many expectations from this course as it isn’t the course I was most excited to be taking up. In fact, it was the least. However, the second half of the course was one which surprised me the most. The lessons on entrepreneurship and the guest seminar was definitely an eye opener to starting out a business and this was definitely an area I was interested in. I feel the greatest take away on entrepreneurship was the lessons learnt from the guest speakers. I have always felt that lessons learnt through experiences are always more valuable than those found in the textbook. Thus, I was grateful to have absorbed much from the guest speaker and would hope to learn my very own lessons one day.
All in all, TWC was an eye opener to the world of technology and entrepreneurship and I would be looking forward to the days these lessons would make a change in my life.
I enjoyed my TWC classes. Earlier this year, I've stated that I want to start my own business before I leave SMU, and I wished that I can stay motivated throughout. Well, I believe I've achieved that. All I need is just to look around me, and realize that there are people around that have done it, so there's no reason why I cannot do it. Not that I've started my own business, but I'm moving towards that direction. In the coming summer break, I'll be trying out my idea in the form of project with a couple of friends. It will be through the project that we'll decide the feasibility of the idea or concept. None of us have business background, but we just want to try something out.
Another thing that I really like about my TWC class is my team. I always tell my friends that I like TWC, not only because of the professor, but also because of my teammates. Maybe I'm just fortunate to have been grouped with them, but this group is just simply awesome. I believe we've grown a lot with each other. I still remember our first project regarding the 4 theories of innovation. We only had 4 days to prepare for it after Chinese New Year, and we managed to pull it off quite well. This team is dynamic, and I'm glad that everyone in the group is always willing to share what's in their mind. Here we have Rendy who's always scheduling the time for meeting, Sandro taking down minutes and distribute to the whole team, Joey making beautiful slides, ZY is a pretty good actor, Jun Da and Yang Lin a little more analytic and always exploring the different possibilities, and Hans pretty much the idea guy. For some reason, I feel that I've contributed the least to the team.
If anyone asks me what is the biggest takeaway from the classes, I would tell them the importance of curiosity.Being curious is really crucial, because the trait allows you to discover more about yourself, things you like or dislike, your strength and weaknesses. TWC lessons are conducted in such a way that students are encouraged to be curious. Those breakout sessions and mini presentations are not just honing our search skills and presentation skills, but also curiosity. They come in a package. Curiosity is questioning something with the intention of improving it. Take for instance when we present a case in class, and as we present, we notice that the audience is not paying attention. There could be a few reasons for that: your slides are not interesting, your speech is just plain dull etc, and there's just so much possibilities that we can look into to improve ourselves! This is not a skill but a trait. Trait unlike skill is much harder to cultivate. I'm just grateful that TWC class has made me realize this trait.
As I start on this last journal, I find it hard to elucidate my thoughts on whether “I have met the objectives I set for myself”, because in retrospect, I had thoroughly underestimated the potential of the takeaways from this course, that simply talking about whether it has fulfilled my initial expectations would do it no justice at all. When I wrote my first journal, the objectives I set for myself were largely academic (textbook/lecture-based) – I wrote about how I would like the course to broaden my perspective on technology and how it changes the world (sounds pretty tautological, now that I think about it), and how knowing more about technology and its boons and banes will benefit me. I also wrote about how it would be a challenging and refreshing experience for me since “technology” was not something that was particularly relevant to what I was studying (Law). My objectives were also largely individualistic and self-centric – it centred on what I wanted to learn and how I was going to go about learning it myself. While the textbook did do an excellent job in imparting the requisite knowledge for me to pass the mid-term test and possibly the final examinations, and while it certainly taught me that the concepts of “innovation”, “invention” and “technology” are actually not as simple as they sound, I failed to realise, then, that most of the takeaways I have from this course were not going to be from the textbook, but from my group, my other classmates, the guest speakers, and Prof.
This course has been an enjoyable yet humbling experience because I have learnt a lot from my group members. I am thankful to this day that I was randomly assigned into a group with a mix of Accountancy, Business, Law and Information Science students, and was not empowered to form my own group with my fellow Law students, whom I had bid for the class with. The fact that my group was made up of students from four different schools made it very interesting, as there were a diverse mix of opinions and I really learnt a lot from the discussions and meetings we had (that is why I feel particularly emotional about the end of this course, as it is also the last university core module I have to take in SMU). I am very sure that had I not been randomly assigned into this group, my last journal would look very different from what it looks like now. I am also thankful that my group volunteered for the in-class cooking session in Week 2, because through our extensive 10-hour meetings over the weekend in Week 1, we bonded quickly (we still communicate through our whatsapp group even though the course has ended – talk about the benefits of technology!) and we had a lot of fun experimenting with the induction cooker, hoping that our lacklustre cooking abilities would not set off the smoke alarm or sprinklers in the seminar rooms during our rehearsals.
I have also learnt a lot from my other classmates through the online forum and the group presentations. I found the online forum particularly stimulating as it spurred me on to read articles on the latest developments in technology and allowed me to learn much more than what the textbook had to offer. I have also learnt to challenge existing paradigms and relate the theories I learnt from the textbook to real-life situations (for example, I now find myself looking at new technologies and asking myself whether they are “radical” or “incremental”). The guest seminar was also extremely enlightening, as we got to hear the views of real-life entrepreneurs, their trials and tribulations, joys and sorrows, and while most of us might not eventually become entrepreneurs ourselves (as mentioned by Mr Jeffrey Paine), the guest speakers imparted invaluable life lessons through their sharings as well. For example, Mr Yee Jenn Jong taught us that resilience is a very important trait for an entrepreneur, and Mr Vincent Lai taught us that being sincere and genuine is the best asset that one can offer to one’s customers. I believe such a personal touch is something only very few courses have to offer. Lastly, Prof has also been nothing but an inspiration for me. This is not just because she was a successful female entrepreneur herself (and hence a role model), but because of her spirit of giving and generosity in doling out advice. Her teaching style is also one that encourages self-development and independent learning. While some may question the usefulness of the mini in-class presentations and “break-out sessions”, I thought that these sessions were the most enriching. As William Glasser once said, “we learn 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see, 50% of what we see and hear, 70% of what we discuss, 80% of what we experience, and 95% of what we teach others”. I believe this is what Prof intended when she initiated such sessions – so that by learning and teaching our classmates, we would better internalize the information ourselves. While I find myself struggling to remember the seven steps of innovation, I can still vividly remember the Henderson & Clark framework and its limitations (because of the presentation my group did in Week 2), the arguments for why modern-day people are smarter than people of the past (because of the debate my group did in Week 5), as well as the different types of technical entrepreneurs (because of the case study we did in Week 11) – and I believe I will remember these things for a long time to come.
Therefore, through this course, I have not only broadened my perspective on technology (as I had initially envisioned), but I have also made really good friends – friends whom I have weathered unbearably long meetings with, gone through nerve-wrecking presentations with, and shared “lavish lunches” (as we like to call it) with, and friends whom I intend to keep for life. I am glad I attended this course, and I am glad that I crossed paths with everyone who took part in this course together with me. Most importantly, I am glad that Prof made all of this happen. This has truly been the most enriching module I have taken in my three years in SMU. :)
Entrepreneurship? Not for me. It was 10.50pm after another 14-hour day at the Li Ka Shing library. I dragged my feet into the “Comfort” cab that rolled in at the taxi stand. My sister, an SMU graduate and another “slave-to-her-work”, works at One Raffles Quay, as a tax associate in Ernst & Young, and was here to give me a ride home from the “taxi claims” she was entitled to for OT days. I opened the cab door, and was greeted with a tearful face, wrecked in fatigue and hopelessness.
I remember this is what she said, “It’s so hard. We slog like dogs. RGS, RJC, Big Four firm. All our lives we work hard for grades and certs. Yet at work, there’re just the nasty self-seeking bosses. There’re just people who misunderstand, people out to get you. At school, you work your butt off but it does not translate to grades all the time. Look at our close friends Velda Tan (Successful Entrepreneur & Owner of Singapore’s leading Retail Blogshop: Love, Bonito). They’re already millionaires. And what. My pay is, 3k? They see more digits than I’ll be able to see in the next 10 years. Oh well, but we’re just not entrepreneurs. We don’t have what it takes. We have no choice…”
TWC: Larger than life That sums up my objectives at the beginning of the course. There were no objectives. Entrepreneurship was not for me. All that I was here for was: Satisfy the uni-core module.
The word “entrepreneurship” was never heard of in my family. My parents are employees who have the traditional mindset of “Hard work pays off”, “No risk is good risk”. Consequently, my sister and I worked hard to excel in this system of streaming and meritocracy. I even remember thinking to myself at the start of the semester; my parents would probably scoff at this module I’m taking with little regard for TWC. I was to have a professional degree and a steady-paying job. Risky business ventures were never in the Kee’s dictionary, I did not even have that “Childhood Business” of selling erasers or picture cards to my friends as some early entrepreneur kids had done. I was straight-cut and by-the-book.
The larger than life TWC lessons I had with Prof Pamela changed that. While this journal is probably expected to be about technological or tangible lessons, I will honestly say that those were not my biggest takeaways from this course. I learnt 2 life lessons from Prof and these are what will stick with me as I move on from this TWC course.
1. The first lesson was in Week 7 when Prof gave the first “Larger than Life” lesson. It was a rude reminder that GPA is not it. The numerous examples of her old students that had established successful business ventures, albeit at the expense of their grades, got me thinking. My first Eureka moment: I am myopic! I never dared to dream big, never dared think that entrepreneurship was for me. I remember spending the next 2 hours of this TWC class, diligently scouring through the “Junk” mails in my SMU Inbox, seriously looking at the vast opportunities out there beyond academia. Could I also be one of them and start a business?
2. The second lesson came when I asked Prof at the end one class. “Was there anytime in your entrepreneurship journey that you thought you wouldn’t make it?” and confidently, Prof said never. This was new to me, how could someone be so confident. Yet as she began to explain, I understood what she was saying. It was not that there were no failures. Like that successful entrepreneur today that sold his house to try again at the wake of his business failure, or the multiple could-haves and what-ifs and near misses and hits, all entrepreneurs fail in one way or another. Do not expect a smooth ride. Yet there are many things that an individual can do, can try to do and can do well. It is an old and overused mantra but the truth is one should not stop trying. Most of all, amidst these pursuits, Prof Lim reminds, one must make decisions around what he is grounded in – Family? Money? Fame? Career success?
The word “Entrepreneurship” itself carries a lot of meaning. The word comes from the 13th century French verb entreprendre, meaning, “to do something”. The first academic use of the term was by economist Richard Cantillon in 1730. For Cantillion, the bearing of risk in business without an assurance of the profits is the distinguishing feature of an entrepreneur. This spirit of adventure and uncertainty requires a lot of courage and tenacity. I will not hasten to say that I have successfully jumped onto the entrepreneurship bandwagon and am going to start a business venture tomorrow, as some of my classmates with that business acumen and risk-taking spirit will say. Yet TWC has been a meaningful journey for me, exposing me to a world that my family never saw me being part of.
Before attending this TWC course, the main objective that I set for myself was to understand the technology cycle at the end of the course. The reason why I had such an objective was due to the career fields that I have in mind. One of the career options that I am considering is investment banking. As an investment banker, it would be imperative for me to understand the technology cycle, so as to be able to identify which technologies will make it big in the market, and which will not. With the aid of a model, it would be easier for me to predict the success of a particular new technology.
Throughout the course, I was exposed to numerous concepts, ranging from the technology long-wave cycle to various theories on innovation. The long-wave cycle was a pleasantly surprising concept, as it revealed that the advancement of technology is not on a constant basis. Rather, technology advances in stages, some fast, some slow. Understanding the concept behind the long-wave cycle gave me a better idea of the types of technology that would be invented at different stages. This concept is of utmost importance, as it helps me to pinpoint the types of technology that can be invested in. For instance, when a cycle is coming to an end, it would be wise to refrain from investing in technologies that are not vastly different from the other technologies that were invented in the same cycle. On the other hand, the theories of innovation shed light on why technology advances at different rates. These theories helped me to understand that, because of the limitations of technology, investments pumped into research and development activities will always result in diminishing returns eventually. Taking these limitations into account, as an investment banker, it would be unprofitable for me to only invest in radical innovations. Not only is it hard to predict the next successful radical innovation, these innovations are also hard to come by.
Another objective that I wanted to achieve was to be able to think on my feet. Prof Pamela Lim has a unique teaching methodology, and that was one of the reasons why I bid for this class. During each lesson, we are given questions to research on. Regardless of whether we are fast or slow thinkers, we still have to churn out the slides within that short span of time. Since there are not many professors out there who incorporate group work into lessons, I felt that this would be a good opportunity for me to learn how to think logically and clearly even in the face of pressure and stress.
Being able to think on your feet is a crucial skill. In the working world, life will not be all smooth sailing. Every now and then, an unforeseen problem may turn up when you least expect it. In such situations, I would need to know how to think quickly when time is not on my side. As such, this course played a pivotal role in shaping my confidence when it comes to thinking under pressure. Although I did face considerable difficulty in deriving the answers to the questions posed at first, I gradually got used to these in-class group work. I still remembered how my group almost could not finish the slides in time during the first few lessons. In contrast, for the last few lessons, we were so efficient to the point that we even had enough time to go buy food. As a result of all these in-class group work, I now feel much more confident of myself when tackling problems within a short span of time.
Throughout the course, I have also picked up numerous intriguing facts about entrepreneurism. For instance, while doing the group project on interviewing a technopreneur, I found out that there is a funding cycle that most startups will follow. The discovery of the funding cycle was, to me, an eye-opener. Before embarking on the project, I thought that all businesses start by borrowing loans from the banks. On the contrary, most, if not all, businesses are unable to do so because of their weak financial standing. As such, they have to follow the funding cycle, and seek financial support from various sources depending on the growth stages they are in.
Another interesting fact that I picked up was from the guest seminar. During the seminar, one of the guest speakers talked about how he started his company with people he had worked with before. This led me to reconsider the importance of all those who have worked with me before on various projects. I used to think that group projects are merely for us to get used to working with others. However, after attending the guest lecture, I now realize that group projects are also for us to get to know more people whom we can work well with. If ever I decide to start my own company, these will be the people that I turn to first as I will already know what their working styles are like.
This TWC course has left me with more than what I had set out to achieve initially. Although the main purpose of this course was to understand the concepts behind technology and innovation, what I found impactful were the things that were not directly related to this course. For instance, the real life examples that Prof Pamela Lim mentioned in class about students who placed their interest in entrepreneurism before their grades were quite inspirational. These examples led me to question the extent to which I should go in order to achieve the grades that I want. To me, grades will always be important, but these examples made me realize that they are not the only important things in life. Another inspiring takeaway for me was the passion of the technopreneurs who came for the guest lecture. They pointed out that, in spite of the losses they have make, they continue to push on because they were so keen on making a difference. For the first time in my life, I felt extremely motivated to embark on the route of entrepreneurism. Because of the high risks involved, I used to doubt the survivability of startups. However, I realized that entrepreneurism is not so much about becoming a millionaire. Rather, it is about how many lives you can impact.
Initially as I bid for this module, I was skeptical about how this would actually benefit me. I am someone who does not relish doing something for the sake of doing it; I only want to do things that actually mean something to me. However over the first few weeks of class, my curiosity was piqued.
Over the weeks, as we delved deeper into the module, I began to recognize and realize the importance of innovation and technology. I am an avid reader of several business magazines and previously, these related terms do not jump out to me. After going through these concepts with Professor in class, I started to take note. It is glaring, how many times technology has been mentioned and the emphasis placed on it. Most of the life changing and not to mention money-making propositions have their roots in the tech arena. It certainly helped me to better analyze businesses and the issues they face.
As I started to listen more to Professor's sharing of her intimate experiences and knowledge with us, it helped me gain further insights into the subject.
In fact, technology and innovation is so important that I believe several high profile editors have staked America's future to continue prevailing as an economic powerhouse based on their ability to innovate, especially in the technological sector.
I especially liked the guest seminar and the way it was conducted. Listening to the success stories of these talented and resilient individuals makes me want to do and achieve more. As I have mentioned before, what some of the speakers said resonated very deeply within me and hopefully, by next year, I will have amassed enough funds and most importantly, guts within me to start my own business.
Besides taking away lessons from the academic aspects of the module, I found myself learning these little things in life that could help us become better persons or help us be successful. Things such as maintaining better relationships with people around you or surrounding yourselves with like-minded individuals which would all serve to help us flourish.
All I can say is that this module has benefited me greatly and has helped me perceive the world and issues in a broader manner. I thank Professor Pamela Lim for her inspirations and her first-class method of teaching.
I cannot believe that this semester passed by so quickly. Here marks the end of my TWC journey, besides the upcoming exam. I found these 13 weeks of course was more like a journey or a trail path that I have gone through, coming out a different person than when I first started.
This is the start of the journey. Throughout last semester, I have heard many comments from my friends that this TWC module is boring and useless. So I decided to lower my expectation and just take this to clear my credit. Then prior to the bidding period, I went to ask my seniors on which professor was to bid for this module, and a couple of them recommended Prof. Pamela. At first I was not sure because especially Prof Pamela didn’t teach last semester, so I have not heard that much of other opinions. And when I check the bidding history to gauge my bidding, I found that bidding for Prof Pamela was so expensive! Particularly in comparison with the other instructors available for this course, Prof Pamela seemed to be the best seller over the years. In the back of my mind, I was just hoping that those e-dollars spent had better be worth it, than just spending my money sparsely for the other profs.
After attending thirteen weeks of TWC classes, I can look back and say that those e-dollars are worth it. Prof Pamela crafted the module and packaged it in such a way that it is totally opposite to the common perspective on TWC. To a surface matter, it might seem to be quite a lot of work, to have like 2 major presentations (the case study presentation and the technical entrepreneur), then also the in-class breakout sessions, and the journals. Seems like it was a handful to do for every week. However, I realize that all these weren’t for nothing. It is said that we learn most when we teach others. Prof. Pamela gave us more than enough opportunities to do this. We learn much more than listening to Prof talked for 3 hours, although 3 hours lecture would be of some substance as well. In addition to learning and remembering more through our teaching, our presentation skill is also enhanced. I am grateful to take this class in my first year, so that I could learn all these presentation skills and get the chance to develop them for the rest 3 years of my university life here.
The first two weeks of TWC came as a large blow for me. The course started in week 1, then week 2, my group is supposed to present already, which accounted for 20% of the whole grade, if I wasn’t mistaken. My team did not get a chance to bond and know each other that much yet, but we are supposed to come up with a case study and presentation within one week time. That came quite a shock, but surprisingly my team managed to do quite well. We realized that we learn a lot from our personal research in preparing for our presentation, which about the innovation of iPod, iPhone and iPad. This presentation really got me to think deeper on the technology of the phones/tablet I used everyday. As a class, we are challenged to think deeper, not only accepting technology just as it seemed to be.
The further weeks are more enjoyable since we are just to learn from the other teams who present also in different interesting styles. I am also thankful for my Technical Entrepreneur interview project to be able to explore the niche technological innovation market of the after-life industry. I may not have this opportunity for this in my further modules, but my team has taken an interesting and unique approach to this project, and we really enjoy the process of learning. I further appreciate Prof. Pamela’s grading and class part system, which also allows us to take pictures in class, engaging in future memories of a module, we take in the beginning of our SMU journey. That collection of photos is definitely a keepsake.
One of my objectives that I set for this course this semester is for me to learn and gain more knowledge about the technology and how it affects the world in various aspects. This objective is clearly fulfilled throughout this course, even beyond my expectation. I gain deeper insights on how the impact actually affects the world and our lifestyle around. Even more than that, I learn not only about the industrial aspects of technology, yet also the business and commercialization of it, which actually is what innovation, is about. I appreciate technology and I am quite into gadgets. But now when I see technology, this module taught me not just to appreciate it because it is the current trend, yet to look at it in a way as we categorized those innovations. Who knows when opportunity comes, I may be able to provide with the idea to expand the technology and industry market as well?
All in all, TWC has been a fruitful journey, and one of the modules that I enjoy in this second semester of my first year in SMU. Prof. Pamela has really shown her passion in teaching, not only for the sake of earning a living, but with a desire to equip and nurture a next generation of leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs. I did not regret bidding and taking the course under Prof. Pamela for this TWC module. Thanks, Prof, for opening my eyes and expanding my horizon to see the world beyond its surface, particularly in the technological aspect. I hope to take further modules under you again in the future time to come.
It is a well-accepted fact among many students that SMU compels its students to take a number of modules which are overwhelmingly unrelated to their coursework, add no value to the quality of their education, and are an absolute waste of time. In the five previous terms that I have studied at SMU, I’ve had bad experiences with “Analytical Skills”, “Creative Thinking”, “Leadership and Team Building” among others. Collectively I call them “rubbish mods”. While initially showing much promise, these courses were eventually rendered contrived and meaningless by the restrictive nature of the Singaporean education system.
Before the course began, I was ready to write it off as another one of these “rubbish mods”. I thought at that time, “What is there about technology or world change that Wikipedia couldn’t tell me?” But, as I’ve learned over the past 13 weeks, I was very wrong. As it turns out, this course has a larger impact on me than any other module I have taken in SMU so far.
Firstly, the course gave me an insight into the world of an entrepreneur in a way no theoretical lesson can offer. It was especially valuable to be able to listen to three of Singapore’s promising entrepreneurs. Their stories of how they overcame obstacles and setbacks to achieve success are still fresh in my mind, and will serve as inspiration to spur me towards finding my own success in the future. “Always pursue your dreams, and stop at nothing,” they said. I will remember this very vividly.
Secondly, I had the privilege to have worked with a fantastic group. It might just be the best group I have ever worked with. When everyone is trying to help each other rather than worry about individual ratings, the collective performance of the entire group can exceed the sum of its parts. What I’ve learned is that the key to achieving this level of chemistry is initiative. Enthusiasm is contagious – just as long as one person (which we can all agree was Hans) takes the initiative to be excited about a project, everyone else will pick up the excitement along the way, and suddenly everyone is itching to contribute to the plan in the craziest fashion. Joey ended up walking to PS to buy some cheap geeky spectacles to spice up the first presentation. Tsun Ngai ended up handling all arrangements for the whole entrepreneur case study single-handedly. I ended up spending an entire night editing ridiculous photographs for the case study when I should have been finishing up my research assignment for the other class (which was due in a few days). The entire group-work process was utterly enjoyable even if we put in more effort than we should have been. Credit must be given to my awesome group – without them I would never had the opportunity to experience and learn.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I have learned of the importance of the need to be positive and forward-looking. But the source of this lesson comes not from the lesson, but from the stories that Professor Pamela Lim tells us here and there. I remember when she told the class how she could not be promoted as the CEO (or something along the lines) of her company because the other older men would be infuriated that a young woman should take the reins. She took the setback in her stride and nonetheless gave her best to do her job. She let her work speak for herself and eventually even the pride of the old men could not deny the results came back. During our group work sessions, I kept this lesson in mind, and it turned out to have served us well. Earlier on when we had difficulties finding a suitable entrepreneur or when we felt that we were short on material to present on, we kept on motivating each other and keeping our spirits up, and eventually, things turned out better than expected. We not only found another entrepreneur, but managed to crank out a ridiculous but entertaining presentation to cover our shortfall in material.
These lessons are some of the most important that I have or will ever take away from my SMU. I would like to thank Professor Pamela Lim for making my TWC experience such an enjoyable and fruitful one – for turning a “rubbish mod” into the (probably) most outstanding course in SMU.
P.S. I have uploaded one of the pictures that I have edited for my group's case study presentation. It generated quite a few laughs during class but it was on the screen for too brief a time for people to notice the ridiculous captions that I inserted onto the magazine cover. Just for laughs :)
My expectation for this module was blown away after going through 13 weeks of lesson under Prof Pamela Lim. I was expecting a typical lecture with normal assignments, long tedious readings and more readings plus maybe mugging a huge boring textbook. After the first week of lesson, I actually love what I was learning in class.
The way how Prof Lim conducts the class is different from my usual class. Instead of having her teaching us from the start, peer learning and teaching is adopted and this is rather much efficient having our own peers to do research, and to ensure the knowledge imparted to the class is interesting, value added and accurate. No doubt, this is one of the classes that I have ever taken that emphasizes a lot on class participation. Though I felt like I was kind of 'forced' into class parting, it became nature as the weeks went by as the topics discussed were interesting and intriguing at times. Especially coming from School of Information Systems, I felt that there was a need to contribute my knowledge on technology with the class as I do want my peers to learn and expand their knowledge in this area as well.
With more exposure working with people during each week in activities such as weekly class breakout, mini presentation and group presentation, I have learnt much from my fellow group members and get to know more people from other areas of the school. It is also challenging task during such activities as we are often put in a situation to research, learn, analyse and digest new knowledge every week. I do appreciate such moments as it really drill your mentality and mindset to be ever prepared and ready to be thrown in situation, and to be critical in thinking and planning to complete the tasks at hand. Furthermore, Prof did not emphasized the use of textbook and gave us the liberty to source for our own materials, going beyond our usual search tactics and source for our own knowledge. Being able to search and solve problem are important set of skills that one should pick up, equipping one self with an open mindset and not waiting for someone to spoon feed us instead.
The class lessons have brought many insights to the world of technology and it's rather interesting to understand technology and innovation from a different perspective. Prof Lim, being in the field of innovation for many years, brought in her knowledge and experience to enhance our understanding towards each week's lesson and it was something that the textbook or the internet cannot provide us with - first hand experience.
Prof Lim has a different take on bringing this module to students especially to those who are chasing for high grades would be facing a culture shock knowing her life principles and objectives. Being an advocate of believing good grades are not everything, I am inspired and glad that we do have Professors in SMU who does not emphasize on achieving fantastic grades but rather, spending every single opportunity to discover our passion and to see ourselves chasing after our own dreams as compared to the rigid "SMU grade chasing" dream. Prof will never fail to inspire or share with students about the success and failure of different students who came under her guidance and true enough, the things she shared were truly reflective of the real world where getting good grades is not everything.
Bringing real life entrepreneurs into the guest seminar to share their experience and hardships is like topping a wonderful cake with a cherry on top. It gave students greater insights to the world of innovation and understanding that the grass is not always greener on the other end of the field. Having the guests to share their real life perspective do show the real problems that they faced when starting out. But, what I did pick out from the seminar that all the guests who are doing what they are doing today can be summed up in a simple word - Passion. Passion is important when it comes to making this decision to step into the unknown world of entrepreneurship. I have mentioned before that I did considered starting my own business or venturing into a start up if an opportunity come by. However, do I see myself having the same passion burning to see something grow and be successful at the end of the day, as well as going through "hell" along the way? It stuck me and I was reconsidering my idea of taking this path. As the weeks went by and I was sitting in listening to a group presenting their topic on start ups and it was really encouraging to see people enduring through their problems with funding and personal issues that arose from their businesses, yet they are still gleaming with enthusiasm of the things they are doing. Entrepreneurship clearly isn't something for anyone to take on and truly, those with the passion and desire will persist on towards the end of the day, be it successful or failure.
I still find it difficult to accept the fact that 13 weeks have gone by so quickly. With Prof Lim's passion and desire to see students breaking away from the society notion of "result first", she is truly a role model to learn and follow. With her wealth of experience, it will be a loss to future students whom may not get that opportunity to listen to her. There is just so much to write about my takeaways and I can go on and on. This has been a wonderful and enriching course and I do hope that I will have another opportunity to attend another module taught by Prof Pamela Lim. I was sad that I couldn't make it for the last class to thank Prof Pamela personally due to my commitments to a business case competition. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Prof for her time and patience in bringing this module across in your unique ways and for her guidance throughout this 13 weeks. I will never forget all the precious life lesson Prof has imparted to us and definitely, I will share Prof's belief and passion to others. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Div for his support and his enthusiasm for this module.
Even though this module has ended, I believe that the 'seeds' implanted by Prof Pamela Lim has only started to sow in us, slowly growing and eventually, the flower of passion will bloom at the end of the day. This is not the end but rather, the beginning of many wonderful things to come by in our lives...
I can honestly say that I have left this class taking away more lessons than I thought I would have at the beginning of this term. TWC was one of my rare courses where there was always something valuable and interesting to learn every single lesson, and what makes it unique is that I have walked away with not just more knowledge about TWC, but also about lessons on life, thanks to Professor's constant sharing of experiences and such.
Many of my objectives set at the beginning of the course were typically TWC-related, such as becoming more aware of how technology affects us, becoming more pro-active in researching such topics to increase my knowledge and so on, and I believe that I have achieved them. Professor's special way of conducting lessons has fuelled my curiosity about many new things I never knew of before and the independent research (breaking out) that we do every week has allowed me to not forget anything that we have learned.
As I mentioned above, my learning did not stop with TWC-related things. Week after week, Professor would share with us things that we could not find in the textbook, and things that really made us think about our journey beyond SMU and life beyond grades. The guest seminar was especially thought-provoking because we got a chance to hear first-hand from people in the industry about things that we might have to go through next time, and it also made me ask myself where I wish to be heading in the future. If anything, it made me a little worried as well because I am still uncertain at this point of my life. However, after hearing from these successful people, I realized that opportunities are everywhere and that we just need to find them and grab them. We cannot be passive as well. Sitting back and waiting will not do us any good. We have to actively take up new and various things before the opportune moment will come.
To sum up, I would say that this journey has been an extremely reflective one for me. It has pushed me out of my comfort zone and forced me to think ahead, yet at the same time it was reassuring being able to hear from people who have been through more in life than me and knowing that I can better prepare myself by learning from them. This course has really been a surprising and fruitful one.
I have enjoyed all of my TWC sessions . It has been one of the most rewarding experience I have from my classes this sem. And this is not just because of the technological knowledge and expertise that I have learned but this is more of the life lessons that I have learned from different individuals. These include the various guest speakers and definitely from prof and some of our classmates who have shared their personal insights and experience. I believe this is definitely one of the best ways to learn. I think what I have gained from this class is something is which is unobtainable from textbook, and it provides a glimpse of what the real world beyond the classroom is really like. Sounds cliché but this is definitely important as a reminder, motivation and inspiration that there is so much more out there after and beyond SMU, the reality of how technopreneurs handle their difficulties and when real life concepts that are slightly different from textbook theories as well. I appreciate all the personal stories that prof share with us, stories of her personal technopreneur journeys and how she went through it. Not only is it more memorable, I think this also has a very personal touch to it which one would never derive even after reading chapters of the textbook. Her personal insights to school and academic life, how enlightening it was especially when you are in such an competitive environment and when there are things out there that matter more than just grades.
Technology When I first heard about TWC, I thought it was about learning about the various technologies in particular and going in depth about them. How wrong I was about it. But I learned more about the theories and process behind each individual tech firm for instance Google, apple. The different cycles and how a particular product can be commercialize successfully or how it may fall due to the different factors that may decide it. This has given me the knowledge of how to successfully startup a tech firm should I ever want to do it. It has completely changed the way I viewed my IT products now as I will look more at and understand the process that goes into creating the gadgets that we use everyday!
Breakout sessions When prof mentioned that she may consider scrapping off the break outs session due to that one negative feedback received, I was like no way. I had to admit that initially when it was mentioned that the class would be conducted in the way where groups had to present during every session, I was quite ‘sian’. Because personally, I loathed presentations and I found public speaking to be a pain. But after first few presentations, be it the breakout sessions or the graded presentation, I found myself to be enjoying more of it. Firstly because it challenges and enables me to learn more about a particular tech or firm within that short period of time and it was interesting to hear of and learn more about different technologies from various other groups as well. With the breakout sessions, I find myself being more able to present. I used to fumble and totally hated presentations. But TWC has shaped me to become a better presenter. Learning how to do up slides within a short timeframe was another takeaway. It has been indeed served useful as I find myself being able to do up a slide within a short time, be it for TWC or for my other mods. I have learned to be more of a confident and a less nervous speaker now. I think it was the supportive and demanding learning environment that we had in class, where students are given the chance to actively say out their thoughts, participate and present their findings to the class. It is indeed useful and I think it was through these various small breakout sessions that I had gained the most out of the TWC class. Prof, please do continue with the breakout sessions if possible.
Class Participation I found myself to be more of a critical thinker. Even though this was not one of my objectives when I first embarked on this course, I must highlight this as I feel that there is a stark difference in the way I think. I found myself to be better able to challenge and find out more than what was presented to me at face value. I think this was with all the new and continuous engagement and discussion that we had in class and on the forums. It has changed the way I viewed things. Previously, I was more of a passive learner, I found it painful to go beyond my comfort zone and ask questions. But TWC has made me asked relevant questions that I was really curious about, to learn more and now I really enjoy the interactive environment that we have. Thanks to TWC for showing me the good side of SMU interactive learning pedagogy!
Inspirational I believe that everyone has their own individual dreams and through TWC and especially through the guest seminar, many of us are more inspired and believe that we can achieve our own individual dreams one day. The perseverance and passion that the guest seminar had has indeed rubbed off on some of us including myself. No longer do I think that achieving these big dreams is impossible but it is achievable as long as you have the passion and the support you can receive. I do have some ideas, but I'm not sure if they would work. TWC has shaped it such that I actually DO think of actually starting up a tech startup but perhaps there's still a long way from actually realizing it.The way I view about entrepreneurship has been changed and prof’s various personal stories has changed the way I viewed about education, that there is more to it than just getting that A+, but it I about the people, the takeaways that we have after these 13 weeks of TWC classes and after the years we have in SMU, there is more outside in the world.
BFFs Last but not least, I would like to thank my awesome group mates. TWC class was so much enjoyable and I look forward to every Monday classes. I learned that there is as much as there is to results and learning, it is important that we do not forget the people whom we have the privilege to work alongside with. Despite the various hard works that we were required to do, it was these great individuals whom I had the honor to work along with, the help that they gave and it was these people that had made it much more fun. Thank you guys – namely Guangjie, Heri, Jai , Jiaen, Joel, Yiyuan and Yuling.
I truly appreciate all the takeaways I had gained from Prof, the guest speakers , my groupmates and the class. It has been a great and gainful journey I had for these past 13 weeks.
So far as TWC is concerned, I have to acknowledge that I have come a long way since the beginning of the course. When I found out this course was a requirement, I was apprehensive because my previous knowledge on the subject was quite minimal.
My main objective for this course was to gain more insight into the world of technology. The best learning component for this course was the presentation style of learning. Not only does this facilitate group work and team effort, this also works better than a lecturer simply speaking in class. Normally in classes where only the professor talks, we usually get bored and end up not paying attention in class.
The presentation style however, ensures that the same ideas and theories are put across to us in an interesting and fun way. At the same time, we make long lasting friends because of everyday interaction with them. I was lucky to have got a group that was extremely fun and understanding, and did not get angry if I was unable to make it for a meeting or any such thing which was really nice of them all.
Another positive of this journey was prof Pamela Lim, who was always supportive and cheerful, who helped stimulate the class and encourage us to learn more and who also taught us that grades are not the most important thing in life, which is something we often forget. She radiated positive energy, always made our classes fun and encouraged us to follow our dreams and pursue it till we reached our ultimate goal, even it may seem difficult along the way.
TWC was a course I enjoyed because learning was fun. I looked forward to our classes and I feel sad that we've come to the end of yet another journey. But life goes on and I would like to end with a quote that inspires me, "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly".
In the last lesson of TWC, the class discussed about the ill effects of technology. The light hearted atmosphere of it being the last TWC lesson coupled with it being Saturday meant that every group presentations were filled with lots of humor. Despite it being fun, the groups still made certain of the ill effects of technology.
Undergoing Lasik surgery has always been the plan, now; I am apprehensive of undergoing Lasik surgery after watching the video of how Lasik is conducted. The doctors had to remove a layer of your eye, which was extremely excruciating to watch and most of the class could not bear to watch too. Professor also did mentioned how Lasik surgeons all wear glasses, making me more afraid. Furthermore, if the doctors do make a mistake, no amount of compensation would suffice for the loss of my vision. Speaking of human errors, the staff of Thomson Medical Centre made a terrible mistake of injecting the wrong man’s sperm into a couple’s eggs during the IVF process. Thankfully, the couple decided to raise the child. I cannot imagine otherwise, for a child is not a commodity to be rejected and return to the store (Thomson Medical Centre) if the customers are unsatisfied. Other ill effects mentioned in class include the addiction of gaming and the problem of texting too much.
Many of the problems or ill effects brought up in the last class could be defined as micro level problems that affect the individual. Yet because of the pervasiveness of the technology, such as how my generation of people cannot seem to live without their smartphones, the problem of texting too much could become a marco level problem.
I remembered how Professor Pamela talked about the problem of leapfrogging which is a marco level problem. She used the example of Mongolia, a seemingly technology backwards country to contrast with America, the pioneer of many great modern technological innovations. Mongolians used something like our EZ-link to pay for all their retail transactions; they are basically a cashless society, whereas, Americans are still using checks as a means of payment. Ironically, it is because of their backwardness that allowed Mongolia to leapfrog America, as developers found it easier to implement a wholesale radical change in their society. America do possess the technology to go cashless but because people are so used to the previous technology, it is hard to wiped out old habits, thus America is stuck in the past technology.
Recently in Singapore, there was a huge uproar over the ATM machines theft. This is another example of being stuck in the past technology. The outdated security of ATM machines means that it is very easy to steal people identification and codes. It was a quite a while before the bank found out about the theft and had to compensate its customers. The reason why banks have not improved their ATM machines could be due to the high sunk cost of the machines, making it financially not viable. In addition, people are so used to the ATM machines that it would be very difficult to implement a whole new system and expect people to relearn the whole process.
The examples of the previous technologies clearly show that because society is so used to them, it becomes extremely hard to implement radical changes. This means the dominant technology adopted by the masses can only undergo incremental innovation till the point it cannot be improve any further. For instance, in addition to the banking functions, now one could use the ATM machine to top up his cash card or EZ link card. This marks the end of a S-curve where the technology has mature, while it is still effective; it needs to find a successor technology. Putting it into the context of the use of cheques in retail transaction, it is still useful as it serves the purpose of paying for your item without the need for cash. However, it has reached its ‘physical limits’ whereby you can only write a cheque that fast whereas the nature of cashless transaction in Mongolia makes it extremely convenient and without any hassle at all.
Simply because humans are creatures of habit, it is so difficult to implement new radical innovations. Probably, the time to shift to a new S-curve is when something drastic happens and people realized that the previous technology needs to be change. For instance, if there are more cases of ATM machines thefts, people will be forced to adopt a new technology that has better security measures.
However, people are not always adverse to radical innovations. As long as it is simple to use, people will take to it. Sixth sense and iPhone have done phenomenally well to re-create human interaction with their technological advance products. Unlike many technological products that require training before you are able to use it. They have make it so apparent and easy to use such that if you were given a iPhone, you will innately know how to operate it without having to read the instruction manual at all. This is evident where people switched over to Apple’s iPhone from the Nokia’s handphone with ease.
In conclusion, while current technology may be useful now, it probably will hold you back in the future. But this would not be the case if innovators follow in the footsteps of Apple and Sixth Sense and learn to simplify their products. This is will make it easier for people to learn about their product features and adopt them. This also means that it will allow for a smoother transition from one S-curve to another without the need for something drastic to prompt people to do so.
TWC has been a wonderful experience for me. Professor Pamela has been very generous in sharing with us her real-life world experiences. Based upon her success in the working world, such advices are definitely handy and are the biggest takeaway from this course. Div has been a very understanding TA, and I must thank him for putting me in such a wonderful group. I bided for TWC with my friends, but I ended up with more good friends because of the random grouping. The cooking project my group undertook at the start of the term is unforgettable. My group mates are great to work with and we are always urging each other to class part. We are looking forward to attend Professor Pamela other classes together in the future.
On Hindsight, the simple decision i made to clear an University Core module has been one of my most rewarding decision i have made in my SMU journey. For the last 13 weeks, Not only have I made great friends in the likes of Max, JiaMin, Terence, JinDao, Andrew, YuanSheng and ChuYing (who collectively have made this course one of the most enjoyable in SMU), I have learned great models applicable in the future. In a nutshell, I am proud and satisfied to say that TWC has been a lesson journey that i will never forget and i would like to use this journal to capture takeaways that are usually not directly linked with courses that we learn and they can be summarized into three terms - Innovation Models, Experience, Self Development.
Personally, I've always look upon education as the study and the application of models that were created and innovated by researchers and educators. Throughout the TWC course, we were exposed to models such as the form/type of innovation, long wave cycle, s curve, dominant design, firm knowledge, corporate innovation, insights to innovation, resources etc that help us understand more on how "subjects" around the world flow. It does seem that everything follow a cycle as humans always have the same reaction to actions (that can be a reaction from others as well). By understanding more models, we will be able to paint a clearer picture of the world's innovation/business process and subsequently gain the ability to evaluate if our actions could be successful or a failure in time to come.
Another takeaway is that experience is all that matters. I used to be a grade chaser in year 1, perhaps due to the fact that i am entering a new environment, and the target set is usually short term. Nevertheless, TWC has taught me more than what the book covers and my biggest resolution is to enjoy the rest of my education journey with great friends and professors. It is only when we enjoy what we are learning will we be able to see the value of what we learned.
Getting a good grade does not matter if you do not take away the knowledge imparted. We will not remember what the A+ grade taught us if we only seek to exploit the marking scheme or subject to pure memorizing to answer questions during examinations. The greatest ability someone can have is to have a keen learner's mentality and we will always be able to fend for ourselves in whatever endeavor we undertake, or challenges that we have to overcome. For this, I am sincerely thankful for the experience that Prof Pamela has given us and her lessons on being sincere, unassuming and humble will continue resonating within me for a long time to come.
It has been 13 weeks since I first started my journey in Technology and World Change and now, I am two weeks left to the end of this journey. I am relieved, but at the same time I also feel sad. I am relieved because I can finally enjoy my first summer in SMU after the finals. However, I feel sad that this module is going to end as I have enjoyed and learnt a lot from this module.
Initially, I had chosen this TWC module for two purposes. First, this is an Uni-core module, which I have to clear it. Second, I have always had an interest for technology related stuffs. I remembered in my first journal, my objectives had changed from what I initially thought, after attending the first few lessons of this module. My new objectives were to learn how technology or technology changes can affect us, and also to improve my presentation skills. Technology itself is a “cool” thing. In globalization, nobody is spared. Everyone will be affected. Thus, it is very important to learn how technology changes can affect our lives. Before I enrolled into SMU, I was a engineering student in Singapore Polytechnic. Technology had always been something with ic-chips, resistors to me. This module changed the perception I had for technology. I would never think that a simple chair is also classified as a technology.
I still remember vividly that I was required to present on the first day of my semester for the break-out class. At that time, I was very unconfident and worried because I had no clue about the format of the presentation. I realized that these break-out lessons/presentations, although short, had given us ample chance to practice our presentation skills. Even though I am still lacking in my presentation skills, I am sure that I am very much better than what I was at the beginning of the semester. Not only that, our TA Div, had also always given us important tips on how to present ourselves better during a presentation.
The guest seminar was an eye-opener for me. It showed me new a light in the realm of tech-entrepreneur. My group and I enjoyed the whole process of inviting our guest speaker, Mr Jeffrey Paine as our guest for the guest seminar. This was an exceptionally wonderful experience for us as we had the chance to interview Mr Jeffrey Paine and also listened to the experiences and techniques of other guest speakers.
I have also get to known a group of wonderful people from this TWC module and they are my group members! The dynamics of our group was amazing. Every single member of the group put in 100% effort when we were doing our project and guest speaker invitation. During our break-out lesson/presentation, we were always very efficient in researching and getting our presentation slides done. I deeply appreciated their helpfulness because whenever I have any doubts, they are always there to help.
The biggest takeaway I had from TWC was the “life” lessons that professor gave. Due to our hectic lifestyle in SMU, we have always forgotten what our true purposes for learning are. We are always fixated to good academic grades – high GPA – and fail to enjoy our lives as a student. Prof’s words struck a chord with me when she told us that GPA is not everything. GPA only opens the door to opportunities. Beyond that, depends on how we perform. Now, I have always been telling myself that enjoying my student life, is as important as my GPA in University.
Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank professor, and I hope that in the future, I will still be able to attend professor’s modules as TWC had been truly enlightening for me.
The Final Journal – The end? Or just the beginning?
14 weeks of the lessons has flown by in the wink of an eye. I daresay this has been the most fruitful semester for me thus far.
In the beginning, like many others, I ventured into this course without knowing what Technology and World Change was all about and what to expect from it. I naively thought that this course would be mostly about technological changes. Who would have guessed that my major take away from this course was actually the change in me.
Content wise, I have learnt a great deal about innovation, its theories, sources and processes, technological cycles, strategies, funding and the success stories of many technopreneurs. The weekly group presentations by my classmates were very entertaining and made the learning a very fun process.
Through these presentations, the application of the theories we learnt in class to real life situations was evident, hence illustrating the importance of these theories. The breakout session was something I looked forward to every lesson, mostly because my group mates made these sessions really fun and entertaining. I will never forget these moments we had together as a group. The weekly mini-presentations in class have also allowed me to hone my presentation skills.
Then there was the guest seminar, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was truly inspirational and got me thinking on what I wanted out of life. What I learnt from the guest seminar has changed my perspective of many things about my life.
Lastly, but most importantly, the lifelong lessons learnt from this course. During the semester, Prof has mentioned a lot of practical tips and advice from her own experiences. I remember her saying that you define your own success, and how successful you are is based on your own definition. I decided that I shall never pursue others people’s definition of success, but instead, set my own definition. In the last lesson of the course, we also learnt that we should take everything with a pinch of salt. These, albeit small, lessons are very useful and have changed the way I view things in life.
It’s not the end. Just like the year 2012 is not the end of the world, but a new beginning. The lessons I learnt from this course will forever be embedded in my mind. My journey as a changed person has only just begun. I know that one day these skills learnt will come in handy to me, and when that time comes, I surely make use of what I have learnt from this course.
Looking back at the time which I first started attending TWC classes, as according to the name of the module, I set some expectations for myself to learn about how technology progresses over the years and the change innovations has made and will make in our lives, and especially the impact both technology and innovation would have made in the business world. Indeed, this course fulfilled all of my learning expectations. Besides the chance to learn about the different sources and forms of innovation, such as product or service innovations, I also learnt about the importance of protecting such innovation through intellectual property rights and patents. Contrary to what I used to think, such protection only really benefits the innovator if he/she has the monetary ability to engage in continuous expensive lawsuits. Furthermore, during my team’s final case study project, an interview of our technical entrepreneur aided in showing me the various facades of how technology can be applied in the business world, i.e. the usage of technology for business operations, the usage of technology to provide a service or even the sale of the technology.
Adding on to all that I had intended to learn, this module surpassed my expectations and provided me with a chance to have a glimpse of the ‘behind the scenes’ of the success of many entrepreneurs while they were producing that successful innovation or technology. Before attending this course, I was used to evaluating and forming judgments and opinions for things from the surface, like for example envying some successful innovators or entrepreneurs who were earning so much. However, never did it occur to me that the numerous failures and setbacks that they went through cannot be easily compared to the success they are basking in today. The setbacks that entrepreneurs may face, such as difficulties in securing funding due to their lack of credibility during the start-up phase, didn’t work as any deterrence for them in, as they still carried on and worked hard. Such textbook concepts and descriptions were explained and brought to life during the Guest Seminar at the end of the semester. It was definitely a valuable and eye-opening opportunity to be able to sit in through the speeches of 3 very successful entrepreneurs, an opportunity which I probably would never had had I not chosen to take TWC under Prof Pamela Lim.
Moreover, attending TWC classes under Prof Pamela Lim for the past 13 weeks also helped me learn so much more, instead of just focusing on issues with relation to technology. I realized the importance of her emphasis on the development of our analytical, critical thinking and presentation skills. What I had realized and really like is that Prof always aims to integrate learning points from the TWC course content and textbook together with developing and polishing our soft skills. The weekly classes, which focused a lot on presentations was really useful in developing me, outside of the usual school content. I feel that my ability to think on my feet and also the ability to critically analyze and produce a good piece of work improved throughout the numerous weeks of trainings during in-class presentations. The focus on development of such skills is something which really surpassed my expectations of the course and is definitely something which I have never experienced in my other more content-based modules.
All in all, after a semester of TWC under Prof Pamela Lim, the key takeaway points I feel are of essential importance to me are: 1)Keeping your goal in focus and working towards it becomes a lot easier if it is something which you are really passionate in. The passion will make persevering through a less arduous task, and also, setbacks less discouraging.
2)We shouldn’t be too focused in just taking in all the content of a course to regurgitate it during our finals and then throwing it away once the semester is over. We should instead pull our focus away from our GPA alone and focus on learning more things, such as soft skills or life lessons, which will actually stay with us for life.
3)We should always look at things with an open mind and not accept it at surface level. Otherwise, we will definitely be missing out on a lot of learning points, be it in terms of studies or in life.
I am really grateful for the chance to not only learn about technology and innovations and entrepreneurship but also the chance to really grow and develop mentally throughout the period of the course. It had definitely surpassed my initial expectations of what I had expected to learn from the course! :)
When I first step into this class, half of me was apprehensive, hearing from seniors that the workload might be heavy; meanwhile, the other part of me was quietly excited of what is to come, knowing that this course has much to offer since Prof Pamela Lim was an entrepreneur. I came with an expectant heart, wanting to learn more about entrepreneurship (since I have always been keen in setting up something of my own) through the real life experiences of Prof Pamela. After 13 weeks of lessons, I am glad to safely proclaim that I have gotten more than what I have set out to learn in this course.
In my humble opinion, TWC lesson with Prof Pamela is more than just a place to learn about technology and world change (as the course title suggests). Prof Pamela, while striving to achieve the mandatory course objectives, has made it a place where lasting life lessons are being imparted. One of the most impactful moments that I remembered dearly was during the mid-terms we had in Week 7. Many of us did not perform up to our own expectations and were rather disappointed. Sensing how concerned we were, Prof offered to waive the results and bring the 10% over to the final exams. What followed was an impactful lesson on how grades are just part of life, and not the most important of it. While the sharing was only a mere 15 minutes, it prompted me to rethink my priorities in life. Are grades really that important? Ever since I entered university, I have always been confronted with this question, having to juggle between life and grades (since the latter takes up a lot of our time as we know). I remembered one of my seniors advising me that in the pursuit of grades and achievements, many people make unknowing sacrifices. The key question is, “Am I willing to pay the price?” From Prof’s sharing, I realize that sometimes, when we are too focused on grades, we pay the price of missing out on the entire learning process and more importantly, the people in the process. What are important and lasting are the people we meet in such processes and the friendships that transpire, not the grade. This important lesson has allowed me to reprioritize and be more at ease in the competitive environment in SMU.
Besides that, through Prof’s sharing, I have learnt much about the technicalities behind entrepreneurship, and more importantly, the human factor behind such ventures. To succeed, one must not simply have the required skills but also the network and willingness to put things into action. Integrity and sincerity are key characteristics that allow people to go far in their ventures, both in the business sense and in life.
Prof’s insistence on experiential learning has also allowed me to grow under a friendly yet empowering environment, as the presentations and discussions helped me with my presentation and communication skills. Through this process, I have also learnt much from my peers while internalizing key concepts that I presented to the class.
Most importantly, my biggest takeaway from TWC would be the close bonds formed with my teammates. Having volunteered to present in Week 2, our team had to work through an entire weekend to churn a presentation out. This has granted our team the opportunity to interact closely right from the beginning. Since then, this team is one of the biggest pull factors that draws me to drag myself out of bed to attend TWC classes on MONDAY MORNINGS (you know with Monday blues, this is the one of the hardest tasks in life)! The friendship we fostered is not one that is restricted by TWC but overflows to other areas in lives (we had an outing during Chinese New Year and many lunches together). As mentioned earlier, the most important lesson I have learnt in TWC is to prioritize people in my life, and I would like to say that these are the friendships which will form lasting memories for my university life, and to which I want to cherish.
While I thought I have stepped into a classroom, I was presented with a roomful of life lessons; a place which I believe will continue to shape how I approach life in the future. Thank you Prof and my BFFs for this wonderful experience.
I vividly recall that at the start of this semester, the objectives I first set for myself were very much skill and knowledge related. I wanted to develop the ability to discern successful innovations and the technologies that have potential to become economically profitable, to gain a deeper understanding of technology and the ways it influences our lives and to develop soft skills that can help me in the future, especially in workplace situations. Although these goals still remain important to me, I realised that my perception of TWC and many other things has changed over the past thirteen weeks. Over the course of these thirteen weeks, new objectives were unwittingly set and new realisations were made – and things that I never thought would matter have actually become the most important lessons I have learnt from this course. I largely contribute this to having been exposed to all the different yet equally inspiring personal experiences and stories shared by Professor Pamela as well as the guest speakers.
Looking at my initial objectives, I do believe that I have met most, if not all, of them. Regarding the ability to discern successful innovations and potentially successful technologies, I feel that, through the course, I have learnt the different factors that determine and play a part in successful innovation and commercialization of an idea, as well as the external, more situational factors that can influence the outcome as well. Understanding that success is not always determined by how radical your innovation is, but more of how well you can address a consumer need and adapt to competition has changed the way I view innovation now. Learning about the flaws of the first mover strategy and the difficulties of acquiring funding for startup entrepreneurs has made me understand that not every new idea – no matter how promising it may appear at first – will be a success. I believe that the course has give me a more holistic and realistic view of innovation, and this has also improved by ability to discern the viability or potential success of a certain technology.
Naturally, I have also gained a deeper understanding of the ways technology has influenced our world. In fact, the most recent lesson where we actually observed all the consequences and negative effects of technology was an eye-opener for me, because I never knew that there were so many side effects that were so obscure and relatively unknown. Of course, this course has taught me about how technologies behave cyclically in relation to our society and introduced some of the trends that they typically follow. I also find that I have actually seen so many different examples and applications of technology during all the presentations that I finally understand just how closely society is linked to technology.
Lastly, my soft skills have definitely improved to a certain degree. Having to work with the same team for thirteen weeks, with mini-presentations that happen almost every lesson in addition to the bigger tasks and projects that were given, really drove home the importance of communication. For me, I have learnt that effective communication plays a huge role in both presentations and teamwork. Communication is not just about making sure your audience understands you perfectly; it is also about providing open channels of feedback for your team members and friends, and being able to appropriately resolve and manage conflicts, to calmly sort out differences in opinion. I believe good communication skills will contribute greatly when working with others in the future, and I am thankful that this course gave us so many opportunities to practice and improve.
But above all, I feel that this course has taught me something more valuable and special than just knowledge and skills. The lessons may have been interactive, fun and useful, but I think that it is the people that I have met through this course that have impacted me on a deeper level.
From Professor Pamela, my biggest takeaway was to always pursue my passions. From her stories of how she was willing to sacrifice her career and lucrative pay cheque and put her family above all, I realised that happiness should be the ultimate aim in life, and not wealth or career success. Perhaps it has something to do with that glimpse of a proud mother whenever she speaks about her children, or perhaps it has something to do with the many anecdotes she shared about her ex-coworkers and the way she constantly jokes about them, but somehow I can feel her contentment and satisfaction in the things she does, and this has inspired to chase my dreams and passions, to search for what I really want in life.
From Mr Jeffrey Paine, I have learnt the importance of drive and hunger. During our interview with him, he constantly emphasized the need for us youngsters to show more “hunger”. And as he described his experiences and life in China and United States, I began to have a clearer picture of what he meant by “hunger”. His words have made me realize that nothing is ever easy in life, and to really succeed, one must have that necessary determination, commitment and the willingness to go all out just to make thing happen. His words are particularly meaningful and relevant to us especially, because Singaporeans are typically too sheltered and comfortable to understand what it means to have true grit. I hope to ingrain this vital lesson in my head and get out of my comfort zone.
From Mr Yee Jenn Jong, I understood that action is the key to success. If I never make that first step to realize my plans, I can never attain any measure of success. Sometimes, it may be difficult to make the first move, and that it requires a great deal of courage, but only by trying will I unlock any chance of success. All too often, we make plans and say that we want to do this during the holidays or that we want to learn something new, but when the time comes, how many of us actually act on it? Of course, action does not guarantee success, but it is a necessary step on our way there. I hope that I can adopt a more active mindset in the future and be more willing and open to trying.
Lastly, I am glad to have met everyone in my TWC class and I could not have wished for better classmates! I have learnt a great deal from all the active discussion both in class and online, and have had great fun talking to most of them. I am also glad that this course gave me an opportunity to make forge new friendships and close bonds (especially in the case of my team), and I hope to cherish them as long as I can. This TWC journey has been a most fulfilling one, one that has been very rewarding emotionally, intellectually and personally.
When I bid this course last term, all I knew about it is was technology and entrepreneurship. However, after 13 weeks, I took away more than I set at the beginning of the class.
First, I’ve learnt the theories of technology and how technology has been changing over time, different types of innovation and the influence brought to the market respectively, the insight and the commercialized process of innovation, and how to protect the innovation from stolen. Then I’ve focused on entrepreneurship which is more exciting and prof shared many personal experiences during this part. This has well exceeded what I set in my first journal in which I only intended to get to know how technology is initiated and developed. But in fact I’m given a whole view of innovation, and not only about the concept and theories, also about the real world where innovations are stolen, failed because of funding and other marketing failures, or left forgotten because the follower takes over the market and owns the dominant design. The guest speaking seminar was very thought-provoking and gave us a closer look to the market and entrepreneur outlook, which is completely out of my expectation.
Another valuable thing I took away is ability and I totally didn’t foresee this when I wrote my first journal. I’m the kind of really shy person who does not usually dare to speak loudly in class. Just everyone looking at me makes to already very nervous. If there’s a presentation in other modules, I usually spend 1 or 2 days on it to prepare. However, in this class there’s presentation every week, which is such a disaster to me when I first heard it because we have only 1 hour short to prepare what we present. I still remember the first time I presented, I was so nervous and my voice was very soft and I don’t think more than half of the class heard me. So I’m very happy to see that after 2 or 3 presentations, I’m actually improving, and my voice is louder and more confident. (Though I spoke too fast sometimes, still nervous..) Break-out presentation has been valuable opportunities for me in this term.
Finally I shared a wonderful journey with my group. My group mates are strict to themselves and always moving forward. Being with the same group with them has been an encouragement to me, too. The week that we’re doing the presentation was my worst schedule that before our actual presentation, I only have two afternoons to meet them. But they managed to make full use of these two slots to settle things with me and asked me to send them my script so they could improve it. I practiced a lot myself because I really sense how much they put into this and hope this to become the best. Also I cherished the time we prepare the emcee of the guest seminar. I thought it really a challenge at the beginning because we’ve never done this before. But we managed to make it and my group mates have put a lot of thoughts into it and even considered the details like drink and tokens of appreciation. At the last moment we managed to find the bags with SMU labels to put the appreciations. That was the time that I really felt that we completed a journey together.
In all, the knowledge, the experience, the opportunities and the friendship I took away from this course have been my most valuable and memorable journey in this term.
I’ve been brought up in a family that initially found their wealth through investments and businesses. Things became bad when I was just 11 years old. I saw investments and businesses fail one after another. Moving house became a common thing to me. The experience, I believe, made an extremely big impact on my mind-set as well as my perspective of the true value of starting up a business. I grew up telling myself not to dabble in these dreams; to always be well grounded and be realistic. Does it really matter if I have an excellent idea? Will I be doomed to fail like what happened in the past? I was quite adamant that I should just get a normal office job and lead a mundane life. Things changed when I entered a polytechnic. A close friend of mine, a band mate from the same concert band at the polytechnic, encouraged me to set up a website with him to promote band concerts and events. To me, it sounded like a new business idea or something that I would have to risk in order to achieve something. I wasn’t too keen about the idea initially until he agreed that it would be non-profit and there would be as little money involved as possible. I guess that was when I started to break out a little to experience something that was probably the closest to entrepreneurship at that time. That was in 2005 when we first started and we are still maintaining our vision and goal 7 years later (www.sgbandfusion.com). The only small regret I have about the project was not making it a profit-based business instead of a non-profit initiative. But being non-profit has it benefits as we are would probably be more daring to experiment if money is not concerned. Compared to any other semester in SMU, or in fact in my entire life, I’ve never been bombarded with so much information regarding entrepreneurship or starting businesses in general. In fact, it is only in this semester that yet again, like déjà vu, another friend has approached me to start up a new online collaborative platform targeted at students and professionals in the field of design and media. I am currently very early in the project and we are trying to get a prototype up so we can have something to show potential investors. TWC has really appeared at the right place at the right time. Through the project and guest seminars I’ve been able to learn from people such as Mr. Chak, Vincent, Mr Yee and also Mr Paine. In a way, it has forced me to learn about funding, the part I really don’t like a businesses; I mean I like money but don’t like losing money. I will be working more on the collaborative platform as soon as summer starts. All money/funding issues will be out of my hands and I will focus on the development of the prototype. Maybe next time, just maybe, I’ll be confident enough to take control of all aspects of the project. But at least this semester made me think about it. Lastly I would like to thank Prof Pamela Lim for her insights during class (Do continue teaching!). This module has been an eye-opener and a pleasant surprise.
Like any other grade-chasing student, the primary reason I signed up for Professor Pamela Lim’s class was because I heard she was lenient. Funnily enough, even before I decided to take TWC this semester I had already been propagating Prof’s class to my friends. It is thus surprising, as I reflect, how much my goals and objectives for bidding for Prof’s class have changed.
Even after the many weeks, I still strangely remember what I wrote for my first journal. How the non-academic focus of the course came as quite a bit of a culture shock. How I thought Prof’s preference for the practical side of things would not suit my view of what constitutes a good teaching pedagogy. Prior to TWC, while I believed that practice was without doubt indispensible, theory was really what sharpened our minds and prepared us for advancement. After all, law students are usually hard pressed to find one reading list without a mandatory article to read, meant to stimulate our minds by not merely requiring us to know what the current law is, but to delve deeper and question the principles and logic behind the law. Needless to say, I expected the same for TWC.
Boy, was I naïve and myopic.
It would be pretentious to try and explain how and why I think Prof’s approach to this course was, on hindsight, one of the best-designed teaching pedagogies I have experienced in my university education. Instead, I will point out several highlights of my TWC journey, and hopefully they will explain by themselves why I have so dramatically changed, and how I have benefited from this course. As a preliminary, I would like to talk about the lesson that stuck most with me as I look back now. That, ironically, is not the first or the last lesson, but the second. In particular, I remember the pyramid that Prof showed us as she explained her teaching methods. Teaching others? Really? I remember thinking of how I was to learn anything, let alone teach others, if the course adopted such a structure. And this leads nicely to the first highlight of my TWC journey: the breakout sessions.
As begrudgingly as my attitude was towards weekly presentations at the beginning, at this final juncture I cannot stress how grateful I am for their inclusion into the course. As far as I am aware, no other professors structure their seminars this way; most barely have sufficient time to finish what they want to say in the typical three hours allocated. Curiously enough, not many people do actually go out for a break during the break out session. At least to me, this is clearly a sign of a successful teaching method. (Just have a look at how eager students are to fly out of the class when the professor says break) We are required to not only assimilate what we find, but to present it in a digestible form to a clueless audience. This trains us zoom in on the key aspects of any conducted research, a useful skill I am sure will come in handy. Putting things this way does however undermine the efforts Prof puts into coming up with the questions every week. Rather than give a generic topic or industry for us to research on, Prof makes the effort to focus our research for us, to point out the key relatedness of our research to the topic for the week. And I believe that is no mean feat. My own presentation question for week 1, on Earle Dickson, is a good example. We were required to look for an innovator, and identify the reasons why he was successful. I remember automatically linking his personality, and his marketing strategy to what I read in the textbook, and the fact that I remember all this today is testimony of how effective the in-class presentations were as teaching tools. So, for allowing me to learn by teaching others, thank you.
The second highlight of my TWC journey is the group projects, which have taught me the value of working cohesively as a group. It is actually surprising how much I can still learn in terms of working in a group. Preparing for a one-man presentation is completely different from having to explain your perspective of what you read to six others, all of who have different interpretations of how our knowledge applies to the industry or business for the week. Then there’s also the added pressure of looking for additional resources, to make sure our presentation stands out in terms of depth and latitude of research. This I thoroughly enjoyed. I appreciated the fact that Prof never constrained us to the textbook, and gave us the liberty of branching the week’s topic off into directions that add more context and depth. For instance, for my group’s first presentation, we found articles that explained why first movers do not always have the advantage. And expectedly, the questions that were fielded the most were related to that aspect of our presentation, even though that particular point was not covered in the textbook. The case study, which required me to interview Mr Ang Ziqian, who runs Ang Chin Moh Casket, was also eye opening. I have also never been required to interview a person for a project before, and given that most students like to stay within their comfort zone, I cannot express how appreciative I am that Prof has given us this opportunity to learn about an industry and their patterns and ways of working – all of which would come in very handy regardless of the field we work in next time.
The presentations also gave me many opportunities to practice my presentation and oratorical skills. I am certainly ashamed to say that despite me being a law student, I am simply not at ease presenting. Now that I have presented at least four times for just a single module, without doubt I have seen a marked improvement in this respect. For one, I have learnt to present without the security of a script! So, for the apt inclusion of presentations which did wonders for my personal development and knowledge, thank you.
The third, and last highlight of my TWC journey would have to be my takeaways. (More accurately, this would be the last highlight I am talking about. There are simply too many things to cover in a single journal!) Academically, what I have picked up from the course has really humbled my view of the subject matter. Prior to taking the course, I was expecting to learn things like the invention of the light bulb, the impact of machinery on mankind, what inventions would be good for us… In short, more creativity related topics, perhaps even extensions of the course Creative Thinking. But TWC was so much more than that. It encompassed a broad range of topics, ranging from IP rights, to innovation theories and process. It taught us how to overcome funding problems, the biggest barrier to any entrepreneur. The guest speaker talks were also useful, since learning from people who overcame the problems one would expect to face adds credibility to the course. The forums also value added to my education, and I was really grateful to see real contributions to the forums. I rarely see people discussing trivial matters, or copying obscure explanations of theories just for the sake of that extra grade. For this class, people seemed genuinely interested to engage in intense and even controversial arguments, all of which I found to be intellectually stimulating. Personally, TWC has also changed my perspective on my education in SMU. Prof conscientiously told us not to chase grades (Mr Victor also brought it up during his talk, possibly influenced in the same way by the same teacher), and instead to get practical experience, internships, and even enjoy other activities once in awhile. This epitomized my biggest flaw since coming to SMU – somewhere along the way I lost sight of what I was working for, in a bid to get the best grade possible for every subject. And after looking back, not just on TWC, but my three years in SMU, I realize that I could have better used much of my time spent reading articles on obscure points that did not really have any practical implications, other than allowing me to regurgitate something that can impress my examiner. Thus, I took it upon myself to experience the other aspects of university life before I graduate. Better late than never, right? I entered myself to an exchange programme, and I am glad to say that I got accepted into Bucerius. I entered a moot competition, and even took a week off to travel to Hong Kong to compete for my schoo. (Previously, the thought of skipping a precious week wouldn’t even cross my mind) I also have plans to take up another CCA, perhaps dance. This was perhaps my biggest takeaway. The class has truly been transformative, and in all honesty I can say that I have really enjoyed the learning process without being unduly bothered about grades. After all, a class is really about learning, and if you truly learnt, your grades will reflect it. So, thank you Prof, for enabling this change.
It is inaccurate, and perhaps even unfair to compare the objectives I set for myself at the start of the course, and ask myself whether I achieved them now. What I got from the course was so much more, and I hope that I have adequately (though never sufficiently) represented them in this long-winded final journal. I do not foresee myself being a technical entrepreneur in the coming years, or even at all. But the unique structure of this class cuts beneath all that. It was not meant to develop or breed technical entrepreneurs; it was meant to mature STUDENTS, not just academically but also in terms of personal development. I made friends, encountered a good and responsible TA, learnt under an excellent Professor. That is way more than I can ask for, or even deserve (given my cynical attitude at the start of the course), and I would not hesitate to recommend this course to any of my juniors, not just for TWC, but in general.
Prof/Div – at the risk of sounding repetitive, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
This term seems to pass so fast with many projects. Sadly to say, TWC course is coming to an end soon. It had been a fruitful 3 months i must say.
i've always thought that there could be nothing learnt out of a "technology" course and there is no point to it. Yet, after this course, it took a 360 degree turn.
i began to better appreciate technology. I came to realize the point of having class breakout session. Being someone who is shy to talk to the class, fearful of speaking wrongly, i understood that there is alot of information to learn from my class mate and slowly widen up my knowledge. in particular, my group presentation on AIr fryer impacted me the most. it made me realize that behind every simple thing that we took for granted actually has a longer history and difficulty before coming true. Also, i am grateful for the seminar and the project on finding a technical entrepreneur. The real life experience shared by the people in the working force showed insights that could not be learnt from textbook. I also begin to relate textbook knowledge to the ouside working world. Other than course related knowledge, the greatest takeaway i had was on "as long as you got a great idea, believe in it, and just go for it". this made the less confident me a guiding light to step up when in doubt.
The once seemingly "insignificant" course now become one of the most value adding course in my terms so far, in terms of knowledge of subject and understanding the real live experience that is happening in the world.
This is only made possible due to the awesome gang of friends in my group. Till today, i have yet to meet a group as bonded as them. They have always support me to aid in my presentations by going through with me what to say and make it a point to assist me be it class presentations or other projects.
Having looked throughout my 13 weeks, it is definitely a tough journey for me. Yet, i can see the improvement within myself in knowing more about TWC and through constant speaking up and class presentation.i become less self conscious of other view and more confident in the way i deliver my content across. While there is still room for improvement this is a great change, meeting my objectives.
The journey still goes on as an entrepreneur. For a start, i'm leading Project Gazaab this year end. It is an OCSP teaching business skills to improvish community and holding competition, in an attempt to empower them to break out of the poverty cycle. While it is a small step, it is the first change towards my dream i've taken!
I. Introduction Learning has often been alluded to being a journey; if that is true, then TWC has been a most satisfying pitstop, allowing me the opportunity to re-equip myself to learn more. I have truly gained a lot not in terms of technical know-how, but rather a whole new refreshed and energized outlook on the world. I have been exposed to a whole new world of learning and opportunity, and I cannot wait to learn more.
II. What I have learnt
At the outset, I did have a few minimal reservations about the course. How can the course teach something as complex as technology within the short time that we have? How can the learning that we do be of sufficient quality, yet still relevant to my undergraduate degree? These were questions which I honestly contemplated as I registered for the course. In any case, I resolved to keep an open mind as I approached the class.
In any case, there were certain goals that I had set for myself.
1. I wanted to better understand technopreneurship – Success!
This was something that I had always wanted to learn more about. I come from a science background, and a big part of my childhood was spent trying to learn more about science. I also witnessed the trends of the IT Boom and bust. I saw the rise and fall of many Tech companies which changed the way we lived our lives. I saw Napster and its incredible file sharing system. I saw IRC, in which persons living in the furthest corners of the globe could chat anonymously and instantaneously. I also saw the rise and fall of social networking sites such as Friendster, Myspace and others. The people behind these websites all had one thing in common: They were young, hungry, believed in technology and had a vision of how the world was going to be different. They certainly had a big effect on my upbringing, and to me, it seemed like something I would never have dared to do. To cast aside societal norms and dropout (for some of them) or quit their stable day jobs to chase an impossible pipe dream is something that I would never have dared to do.
As such, I was always fascinated with the idea of technopreneurship. During the course of TWC, I was really thankful and appreciative of the guest seminars as well as the various case studies that were presented to us. I saw many young people chasing their dreams and just daring to believe in their products. Although my ambitions have shifted, it is indeed heartwarming to see these people doing what they believe in. I saw SMU graduates, such as Mr Vincent Lai, trying to show us how they did what ever it is they did.
2) Time spent with students from other faculties – Success!
A great perk that students get to experience in university-core modules, is the opportunity to interact with students from different disciplines. This incentive is often one that is vastly underrated by other students, which is a shame.
I am a law student, and these modules are certainly few and far between. In being tasked to stretch my mind and think about problems and issues with students that have different trainings is certainly refreshing. Law students tend to think about problems in terms of the legal liabilities it ensues. An example would be when the topic of Intellectual Property Rights came up in discussion. We could share on what it means to have a patent, and how to apply for an injunction. What we could not do, was to aptly describe the real world effects of having such a system. Does it lead to innovation? Does it protect the small investors against the conglomerate corporation? This is where an economist could explain the rationale of choice. Why do companies such as Kidde steal the design of small inventors like XIT? This is because it is a rational strategy, as if they had managed to delay legal action, XIT would have become insolvent and there would be no more lawsuit against Kidde.
Furthermore, in working with these people, they better train me for work in the corporate world. A good lawyer is able to relate to his clients and to understand and empathize with him.
TWC has allowed me to broaden my horizons and learn more from and with people from other faculties.
3) Being a good team player
Being a sophomore of SMU, it is clear that if I am unable to plan my time properly and allocate time for my various modules, I would have been overwhelmed by the incessant workload from TWC as well as my other modules. The numerous assignments, journals and presentations has taught me an invaluable lesson; To priorities my time and do what can be done quickly.
This also leads me to another learning point, and that is to trust my team mates. As we all have busy, packed and often conflicting schedules, it becomes difficult for one person to try to do everything. Very often, it becomes an issue of trust. I have learnt to trust my team mates in that they will do the job that is required of them. I have also learnt to do my part within the allocated time frame. To do any less would be an injustice to them.
4) Polished Presentation Skills
Another takeaway from TWC is the honing of my presentation skills. The weekly breakout sessions and numerous presentations and case studies all require me to speak before the class on a weekly basis. The nerves that come with presentation have slowly but surely been whittled away, and I am sure it is due to the benefits of TWC.
I am now able to prepare quick presentations on unfamiliar topics with functional slides within a few minutes, and I am able to it confidently and articulately. These are skills that are undoubtedly very very important for me in my future student life and career.
IV. Concluding thoughts
Having almost finished the course, I have learnt a lot. Indeed, my technical knowledge of science and engineering has improved minimally at best. However, I have learnt so much more. I have gained a better understanding of the world, of technology and of business and more importantly the way these 3 forces interact. I have grown as a student and as a person, in that I have become a more well-rounded, dynamic and confident person. I have truly gained a lot from this, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me. Thank you, professor.
Thirteen weeks of continuous learning and joy with Professor Pamela Lim in Technology World Change. A great professor, mentor and friend.
INTRODUCTION The journey of TWC class with professor Pamela Lim has been a fruitful and joyful ride after I decided to take up her unique pedagogy. Although my friends has warned me of the heavy workload and demanding work quality, I am greatly satisfied to say that "no regret" in bidding for this class. The learning that I have obtained exceeded my expectations and objectives set at the beginning of the class. This include crafting a business plan, start-up, life lesson and work-related enlightenment, and of course the use of technology as a catalyst to the success of all.
OBJECTIVES Let me briefly walk you through how these objectives and more knowledge are achieved:
(1) More desirable presentation skill | I don't think I emphasize enough of how valuable and important presentation skill is to everyone, including me. The nature of my career (consulting and solution architect) requires me to present confidently and professionally to stakeholder, TWC course has shaped and tremendously improved me via major project and mini presentation. In particular, the mini presentation that only allow me to use that short period of time to churn out concise content of 5 power point. Under that circumstances, it pushes me to achieve the skill and attitude of what I couldn't have before. Through out the process, I have become more efficient in collecting data and put them into presentable slides for presentation.
(2) Readiness and confidence in presenting concise and accurate materials | The credibility of the content presented depends on 2 things; presentation skills and sources. Knowing this, I instantaneously find reliable information and cross check the references before putting up for presentation. These references will be clickable in order to allow audience to easily browse through. With the fact on hand, I become more confident in presenting my content as I know i am correct and to counter any question asked. Not only that, I am more quick witted and able to articulate and think on my feet when it comes to bombarded questions during presentation.
(3) Learning Technologies that change the World | Initially, I was skeptical in receiving learning and understanding of old technology but now, I realized the importance of it because of the fundamental concept that can be applied to today's context. At the same time, factors to be considered of the transition from old technology and the new one. Peer to peer learning is highly benefited in this class, as I sometimes get to know certain technology that I have not heard before. Being an Information Systems Management student, it definitely gain my exposure in the view point of others and how such technology is world changing.
(4) Team work and Leadership skills | Working in a team of eight is extremely challenging, especially when the project is demanding. This involves cohesiveness and cooperation of each team member so it pushes me collaborate effectively with them. Through out the project, I emerged as the role of a mediator and project leader. Encouragement always come from me in setting a higher expectation in each project delivery, steering the project discussion back to focus whenever we are too chatty. This doesn't come without a hitch, but we managed to get through and deliver the A+ project that we have set for ourselves.
(4) Conflict Management | Knowing myself as someone who don't stop learning, I always seek feedback and take criticism seriously with the purpose of improving one self and the group project. The art of persuasion and convincing depends on different person, I have learnt to accomodate and handle varied situation with different person. For example, group mate, working adult, higher authority figure through out the process of the project.
CONCLUSION On contrary to the first time attending the class, I feel more confident and convincing in various areas as I mentioned above. I have learnt abundant of theory and application of technology in TWC class but the most significant is the knowledge outside class, many great examples and true story shared by Professor Pamela. For example, importance and objective in life, the class had a heat up discussion on whether to GPA is what a person should pursue instead of many other things. Personally, I have learnt networking and social life is more important than GPA. People always say High EQ will get you far in life than having a high IQ and i truly believe that.
Individually, I am more motivated to take the route of entrepreneur after attending this class, and there are countless lesson learnt in this area where I am able to apply to my current mini start-up project, a continuant from a prize winning project sponsored by Microsoft. I have to say Pamela is right from the start, Entrepreneur is about passion, not money as it will take me far and succeed in life.
I believe the the success of this course greatly contributed by the professor, not only Prof Pam is approachable and always shared her life experiences and give me insights on certain things that I do. There are a couple of times I asked her personal stuff about life and she willingly spend the time to talk to me and I greatly appreciate that.
Thank you Prof Pamela for being wonderful professor in TWC, and I hope you continue to impart your knowledge and wisdom to the upcoming students bidding for your class.
Monday morning, 830 class. What a way to start the week. 13 weeks into the semester, do I regret bidding for this lesson? Definitely not! The course name itself is self explanatory, Technology and World Change. At the start of the course, I was expecting to learn about how Technology has impacted the world and revolutionized the way we lead our lives. Also, like all the other modules, I was looking forward to brushing up my soft skills, for example, presentation skills and public speaking. Yet what I really gained from this course far exceeded what I had initially set myself to accomplish, which I will reflect on further in the journal.
Academically, I’ve definitely gained a lot more knowledge on technology and its workings. Before this course, I was quite an IT idiot; technical terms and gadgets are all very unfamiliar to me. However, at the end of this module, I’ve learnt that advancements in technologies comes in waves(Kondratiev Cycle), that innovation comes in many different forms (product and service), so on and so forth. Also, what sets Prof Pam’s lessons apart from others are that learning is done not only through her lectures, but more of what we students are able to offer to the class. The best way to learn, is of course from our peers. Through class discussions, through the online forum, I’ve learnt a lot more about the technological industry that I was previously unaware of.
There’s only so much that we can take away from the thousands of words that stare at us each time we open up our textbook. Theories are afterall, just sets of principals and explanations. The weekly break out sessions have taught me to think quickly on my feet, and how to work with diverse people from different faculties and backgrounds, fostering teamwork. Researching on a topic, preparing slides and getting ready to present in slightly under 45mins is by no means an easy task. Of course the presenters are rotated weekly, but just by being an audience has its intangible and valuable benefits as well. Thank you Prof Pam for exposing us to weekly presentations, tiring as they might be, the importance of the breakout sessions has definitely benefitted me in tremendous ways, and I’m sure that my fellow peers will agree with me. Not only have I become a more confident speaker, the constant exposure to different presentation styles have certainly made me more well prepared for future presentations.
One of the main highlights of the module is none other than the Guest Speaker Seminar. The event was just one of the many unique teaching methods that Prof Pam engages; as part of the team that invited one of the guest speaker, I have picked up invaluable soft skills through the process, and hearing the experiences as well as the advices of the guest speakers have allowed me to gain greater insights into the life of an entrepreneur. The idea of being an entrepreneur has come across my mind a few times, however, I honestly feel that it is a path that I would not take anytime soon as I have an aversion to taking risks. Yet the guest seminar has prompted me to start looking at life from a different perspective: opportunities are everywhere, it’s all about grabbing them. Do what you really love, with passion and the right attitude, you’ll never know how far you can go in life. And from the guest seminar, I gained by biggest takeaway from the module, which is the importance of being sincere, staying grounded and having the right attitude. Thank you Prof Pam for organizing the seminar and having such a strong belief in the intangibles that it brings to all students. It was a truly enriching experience that showcased how learning goes way beyond the four walls of the classroom.
Thank you Prof Pamela for always being so encouraging throughout the course. Your belief in “out-of-the-classroom” learning certainly taught me invaluable skills and experiences that I will definitely find useful way beyond graduation. Thank you for always sharing with us your life experiences, it was a joy to always listen to your career experiences, how you turned down a 7-figure paycheck, and of course, stories of your five children. Last but not least, thank you for making learning fun again. Within these short 13 weeks, I’ve learnt much, way beyond my initial expectations. Continue to impact your future students, just like how you have impacted ours! ☺
I remember during my very first TWC lesson, Prof asked, "If we were given a chance to invent something, what would you invent?" I happily raised my hand and answered, "Teleport Machine."
Looking back, I must have sounded really ridiculous, because inventing a teleport machine would be, if not seem, almost impossible.
But this course has taught me lessons, many of which would stay with me for life. The weekly break out sessions forced us to research on different innovators, different issues and topics. Through this, I have come to realise that as much as something may be seemingly impossible initially, as long as you set your heart and mind to it, you will eventually reach your destination. Take for example:
1. Inspiration from the different innovators - After doing research and hearing other groups present about the different innovators, it is noted that many of these geniuses were also laughed at for their 'out-of-the-world' ideas. However, it is because of these crazy ideas that inspired them and led them to their successful innovations.
2. Weekly breakout sessions - While many of us are used to being adequately prepared before giving a presentation, it seemed almost impossible to carry out proper research and come up with a decent presentation in the short time span of 45 minutes. Then again, all of us worked efficiently in or groups(or rather, we were forced to work efficiently) and many groups came up with presentations which were interesting in content and very well-coordinated!
Also, the guest seminar held was truly an experience to behold as I had the opportunity to hear and listen to the experiences of real entrepreneurs - people who can really say, "Been there, done that." Being in the group that invited Mr Yee Jenn Jong, I had the honour of a prior interview with him during which, I had opportunity to ask as many questions I wanted. It is through such an experience that enriched me with lessons the textbook can never provide me with.
I am also very glad that Prof reminded us some time in the middle of the course that GPA is not everything. In this highly competitive society, many of us are often too caught up in the chase for that magical number called GPA that we tend to neglect the more important things in life - friends, family, love, etc. Learning in school is supposed to be a joy, where we get to explore new things, make new friends, and find out what we really like and want to do before embarking on a job that we truly enjoy. However, as students tend to focus so much on the end result rather than the process, learning has slowly become a chore rather than joy. This is why, I am glad that Prof told us that besides GPA, there are many other things in life that we should learn to appreciate.
As such, I feel that I have met the objectives I set for myself at the beginning of the course, because every week after I step out from Prof's lessons, I do not only takeaway more knowledge, but I also take away a little bit of life's lessons as well. And very importantly, I am glad I had my awesome group mates, as well as classmates that joined me in this wonderful journey i had in class.
Well, even though inventing a teleport machine may seem impossible right now, who knows, in future, I may succeed in creating one!
Looking back when I first stepped into TWC class on 9 January 2012, I realized how fast time flies. In a flash, I am now closer to completing this course. I remembered I wrote my first journal entry that I have wanted to learn more and be curious about how technology has changed the world along with the innovations that come from it. In retrospect, I have indeed learned a lot, not just from textbooks, but also from Prof’s mind stimulating/boggling lectures and from those intense and interactive discussions with fellow course mates. Yes, I am glad that I have accomplished my objectives.
All along I thought I know enough that technology plays an integral part in our lives. However, I never knew that technology actually encompasses much more than just the Internet, computers. I realize the breadth, depth and scope of technology are boundless and can go as far as one could imagine! Personally, I am learning to appreciate more of those weekly breakout sessions where new ideas/information are bounced back and forth. They are helpful platforms whereby I could improve my presentation skills and hone me to be a more confident speaker.
This course has opened opportunities for me not only to learn from renowned famous technical entrepreneurs, but also from our very own local technical entrepreneurs -through guest seminar and case study presentations. The guest seminar was especially an interesting learning experience for me. It was really a pleasure to see and hear in person, Gurus, such as Mr. Jeffery Paine, Mr. Vincent Lai (whom Prof has always mentioned in her classes) and Mr. Yee Jenn Jong. Such learning mode was so unlike the conventional way of plough through textbooks and notes. The guest seminar definitely allowed for more active interaction and professional exchanges of ideas between the students and the guest speakers, something even best selling textbooks could not provide.
The TWC journey has somewhat shifted my tunnel vision about life. Since young, I have been ingrained with the meritocracy message, and I find myself aspiring to be a high-achiever, always striving for the best in everything, especially in my studies. I have narrowly equated good grades with success in life. But I remembered Prof sharing with the class that GPA is not everything, that there is so much more to life. This got me thinking about those great drivers behind technology – these are people who want to make life better, for themselves and their world, and these are those who are excited about life and are willing to break boundaries and take risk. I am starting to have a gradual paradigm shift about what I really want out of my life, and how I can, like those technical entrepreneurs, add a dash of meaning and colors to my world and those around me.
So, the takeaways from this TWC class go beyond mere mechanical learning of technical knowledge via lectures and textbooks. The rich impartation of live experiences and revelations from Prof, my fellow course mates and guest speakers, have indeed enhanced my personal growth and maturity in terms of looking at the world through renewed lenses.
I hope that prof would continue to teach many more TWCs classes to come and that many students can benefit from this class just as much as i did. Last but not least, thank you prof for everything! :)
As the Chinese saying goes, "天下无不散之筵席"(tian xia wu bu san zhi yan xi). In short, there are no two parties that never part. In this case, TWC is a course that has never failed to brighten up my Monday mornings. In fact, I greatly enjoyed the discussions, be it online or in class. In my first journal, I set for myself a few learning points that I wished to achieve through this module. It is time that I verified this checklist that I created at the beginning of the semester.
1. To participate actively with quality content. I believe my regular participation and high volume of research sharing over the Internet is a strong testimony to having achieved this goal. These researches have also made me more aware of the technological changes around the world. While doing this reflection, I was reminded me of the question Prof Pamela had made in the first class, "What is the next big thing in 2012?". My answer back then was naively, "iPhone 5". However, through the research and lessons conducted, I realised there is a pattern, and that the world works in a cycle. It seems the iPhone era has reached its pinnacle, and now the Android market has overtaken the iOS. For Apple to create a new technology S-curve in the mobile industry, the iPhone 5 must be a radical product that surpasses technology used by other companies.
2. To maximise learning from the Guest Speaker Seminar Given the honor attending a talk by our alumni, Mr. Vincent Lai, an established entrepreneur, is one of the best memories that I have throughout the lessons of TWC. His friendliness and passion for his career has definitely motivated many students. He has definitely managed to bring up a point that many of us have neglected as we grow older: the spirit to dare to dream and make it happen. In this world of ever-changing technology, you not only have to think fast but also act fast. If you do not put your ideas into action, the next thing you know, you idea will already be in the market. This is similar to what we have learnt in class about the first mover advantage.
The next point that I would like to emphasis on regarding what Mr. Lai has taught me is to remember your roots. Despite his current success, he has never forgotten SMU nor his professors and mentors who have provided him advice and aided him in his career. He constantly looks for opportunities to give back to the school and his mentors. When we emailed him to be one of our guest speakers, he replied us promptly despite his tight schedule. His humble character has touched everybody in my group, and I believe this is something that is far more important than merely career or academic achievements.
3. To work cohesively and mutual learning among the team. I am very honored to be a part of my team together with Dj, Zhen Huang, Jasmine, Fang Yin, Darren and Terence throughout this entire TWC learning journey. We were able to compliment each other’s weakness and maximise our strengths as a team. I am very thankful to have such wonderful teammates. It has been a pleasant experience working with them even though we all come from different faculties. I feel this is what university core modules are about, to bring students from different faculties together in order to share and learn from each other.
Additionally, apart from the goals that I have set out at the start of the semester, I have forged stronger bonds with the group of friends that I bidded with for this module. Since we were under the instruction of the same professor, we were able to help each other in the assignments by exchanging different view points that might have resulted from group think in our individual teams. I am also glad to have met new friends through the different groups that we were allocated to.
Finally, I would like to express my utmost appreciation to Professor Pamela and Div (TA), for providing me their assistance beyond lessons. Prof Pamela has not only taught me about the subject of TWC, but also some principles of life through her past experiences. I admire her drive and passion for education. I do not regret bidding under Prof.Pamela and would definitely give my peers who are taking TWC in the coming semesters a strong recommendation of bidding for her.
When I decided to take TWC this term, I did not really have a good impression of the module. Comments from friends that took the module during the first term were that it was heavy with a lot of reading up to do. Although the readings were interesting, there are little skills that could be learnt from this module. Because of their review of the course, I took up the course with little expectations. I had no idea what I could have learnt in the 13 weeks that were to come.
Although things started slow for TWC, prof’s approach of the course was very different from what my friends described. Prof requirement of us to do a breakout session during class and present our findings later was something new to me. Not that I have seen many different styles of teaching in my SMU life but this approach was definitely novel to me. I enjoyed the free time given to us to do our own research as i believed that learning through your own findings and experience is the best way to learn something new. We were given ample time to research and discuss on the topics that we were given and through that, we are able to learn from not only what we think, but from our peers as well. I enjoyed the discussion we had among our own groups. We were able to voice our opinions and concerns on the topic and address them. Discussions like these really helped me to think deeper of the implications we faced in the topic. This really helped me not only in understanding the topic but also as a training of thinking deeper. After our discussions, we had to present our findings to the classs. It is also my favourite part of the breakout. These presentations require us to prepare for our presentation in a limited time. It really stretched my ability for presentation. Normally for presentations, we have rehearsals and scripts to ensure that we do not miss out or stumble during the actual presentation. However, this time limited limits us to do such things. For myself, I do not have good presentation skills but such breakouts really drilled me up. I had more confidence to step up and speak with little preparation. Presentation skills have always been my top priority for enrolling into SMU. Having entered a course that helped me achieved that, really boosted my interest and expectations in class.
The TWC lessons on technology seemed to be very irrelevant to me at the start. But after later lessons on the trends and patterns of technology, I felt some importance of such a topic. I felt that learning and understanding trends of technology helps us predict the advancement of technology. Though it is not 100% accurate, these predictions can help us as business managers when to speed up our race of technology and when not to. We also know the underlying reasons for failure of some technology and thus, know what to invest on and what not to. I felt these lessons are useful in the future when we have power to make decisions in such fields.
However, what I liked most about the TWC course was the lessons on entrepreneurship. Though the course is not on it, prof gave us lessons on entrepreneurship in conjunction to lessons on technology. Being interested in having my own business in the future, these lessons really taught me a lot. I am able to see the society in different perspective. Perhaps due to me being naïve, I have began to see vicious cycles and sad truths in our world today; something I believe that would help me when I graduate. Through lessons and interviews on local entrepreneurs, I was further inspired to pursue my goal of starting a business. I saw how they endure hardships and through their perseverance, managed to enjoy their fruits of labour. It really heighten my interest to start a journey just like them.
In my 14 weeks in TWC, I have gotten more than what I could have asked for. I managed to hone my presentation skills and confidence through the numerous presentations as well as learnt lessons that proved to be useful to me when I eventually graduate. Though I still have not reached the expectation of myself of being able to step out more confidently and speak out in class, TWC is definitely my first step in achieving this aim. My TWC journey also made me good friends that made me enjoy the lessons while learning many useful pointers and perspective from them. Overall, this is a course I really enjoyed and learnt a lot. Thanks everyone for making this course an enjoyable one!!!
If someone were to ask me what has been the most fulfilling module thus far in my academic life, “Technology and World Change” (TWC) would be the first to spring in my mind. TWC is not just another “university core course”. It is a module that has provided me with an opportunity to re-evaluate my future career plans and embrace the possibility of embarking on a different career path.
Objective set out at the beginning of the course
Prior to the start of the course, I gave myself an objective: to understand the nature of technology, explore its relationship with society and analyze the impact upon the world. As a law undergraduate, TWC is one of the few modules which are relatively unrelated to the rigors of law. I would seize this opportunity to explore and learn from an entirely disparate area of academic discipline instead.
As the end of week 13 of the academic calendar approaches, I am proud to say that I have benefited greatly from this course. Besides the academic aspects of TWC, I have developed other important “life skills”, such as communication skills, teaching skills (through the group presentation), and most importantly, garner important lessons and advice from professional entrepreneurs.
Based on this course, I have become familiar with many aspects of technology. It has succeeded in broadening my perceptive, where I have fostered the capacity to adequately analyze and interpret details in an interdisciplinary approach. No longer will I solely focus on the legal aspects of an issue. It was essential to comprehend an issue in its totality, where the consideration of social, economic and business aspects is just as critical and relevant.
Highlights of what I have learnt
A main contributing reason for me enjoying this course is the unorthodox teaching style of “Prof” Pamela Lim. Right from the start, “Prof” emphasised on teaching the course via the students teaching the class through presentations. During each week, the relevant chapter would be taught by a presenting team, where the class was free to ask any questions to clarify any doubts. Honestly, I was initially sceptical about this form of learning. However, it dawned upon me that it was surprisingly efficient, as I quickly understood the various chapters of TWC such as technological change, sources of innovation and theories of innovation. When one is forced to teach, he or she will be complied to comprehend and decide the best way to convey this information that is necessary for the class to absorb. This arguably results in the best form of learning, which differs greatly from the conventional style of teaching pedagogy.
The implementation of “break-out” sessions has also been one of the focal points of this course. Never will one find a module that comprises of a presentation during every seminar in each week. At the beginning, I found this was slightly burdensome. Later, I realise that in actuality, these impromptu presentations were useful as it presented me the opportunity to hone my presenting skills. This is particularly essential and relevant, where the ability to articulate and present my stand is appurtenant in the legal industry.
One main factor which differentiates students taking the course under “Prof” is the introduction of the guest seminar. Personally, I found the experience to be most valuable and relevant. As part of the team that was in charge of searching for an entrepreneur for the guest seminar, it helped to improve my management skills, where it was critical to evaluate the possible speakers to invite and co-ordinate with the emceeing team to ensure that the whole guest seminar would proceed smoothly and without any hiccups.
The first-hand experience with entrepreneur and SMU Alumni, Vincent Lai, was extremely rewarding as well. I gained much tips and life lessons from him, which I found to be exceptionally valuable and endearing. He shared with us the importance of sincerity and networking, where academics grades should not be the defining benchmark of our lives. The experiences and hardship shared by the other entrepreneurs such as Mr Jeffrey Paine and Mr Yee Jenn Jong were equally inspiring as well. Although their personal philosophy and advices were tailored to those interested in being an entrepreneur, it came to my realisation that these were relevant to all of us, regardless of our academic discipline or the career path one planned to takes in his or her life.
Before taking this course, the dynamics of law, while interesting and complex, can often force one to comprehend factors in a purely one-sided dimension. However, taking this course has widened my exposure to the other curriculum in schools, where I am able to comprehend the multifaceted aspects of life. The course under “Prof” does not solely focus on learning about the impacts of technology and innovation; it has taught me many other valuable life lessons and exposed me to the potentials in the various industries. I truly appreciate the unconventional teaching methodology, where I strongly believed that I have learnt more, as compared to my peers taking this course under different Professors.
Above all, TWC has given me another outlook with respect to my career path. Previously, the legal industry was the only area which I believed my career would be. However, this has radically changed after taking this course. There are many exciting career prospects besides one in the legal industry. Life in university provides me the opportunity to experiment with a diversity of other career options, where entrepreneurship or “techno-preneurship” could be a possible option. Of course, these career paths are not without its difficulties, where there will be innumerable vicissitudes which will definitely test my fortitude. Nevertheless, I shall take the upcoming summer to reflect on what I truly want in life, and strive to work towards it.
Before I took TWC, I had no idea what it is about. My peers who took the module would say its demanding, some say it's fun and most say it's interesting. And so I ventured into Technology and World Change class, not knowing what it is about. I guessed it was something about technology and something about changing the world. But little did I know TWC indeed changed my world. It gave me a wider perspective of the world of entrepreneurs and how technology helped them in their business. As an aspiring entrepreneur myself, I was hoping to gain some knowledge on how to start a business which would greatly help me in my future.
Needless to say, TWC class became one of the class I look forward to every week (even though that it was on a Monday morning) because I learn so much not just from the textbook but also from prof's sharing of her personal experience as an entrepreneur. In fact, I feel that the lessons I learnt from prof's stories are far more valuable than those that can be read from textbooks. I am sure most of us would not even remember the textbook theories like the Technology S curve or the sources of innovation but I'm sure all of us would not forget prof's stories as a businesswoman and as a mother. I have learnt how to be an ethical and hopefully successful businesswomen. I always feel so inspired after TWC lessons which makes me work hard for my goals. Not just business goals but also life goals as prof has taught me many valuable life lessons as well. For example, like how GPA is important but its not everything as it would be more valuable to learn the soft skills like how to work in a team and build up connections and expand your network of friends. This is extremely inspiring for me as i feel motivated to push on with my studies in SMU even though I may not have a high GPA.
Now that TWC course has ended, I feel that I have not only met my objectives of learning the technical expertise on how to start a business but I also went on a journey of self-discovery of my own abilities. It made me affirm my dream of venturing to the entrepreneur world and that I have the perseverance and determination to succeed. Although I know that it won't be an easy journey; there will be times of failures and disappointments but I believe that with my strong character, I would take all the failures as learning points to be a better person and continue to strive harder.
I would like to thank prof for being such a wonderful educator and role model for us. She made me realise that nothing is unachievable; as long as you plan well and work hard, you will be able to achieve your goals. I do hope that prof would continue to teach this course in SMU and inspire future semesters of students.
After all, this is not the end but a new beginning for all of us. :)
Coming into TWC class, I was disappointed initially that we were placed into random groupings since I had bided for the course with friends. This however, turned out to be the best decision that occurred for me. The friendship and bonds that we established in this course was a major highlight of my TWC course. Let me elaborate why, the first project we did together, is to highlight a cooking technology. Because the cooking project was such a relaxing and fun project, we bonded easily as we tried our cooking and yet learnt about the uses of the “air fryer”.
When Professor Pamela Lim explained the rationale of the in-class projects and how she attempted to create a relaxing and fun environment to study, it struck a deep chord with me. This is probably also because our group did the cooking project. I realized how I had learnt so much about the topics because of such an environment. This is in large contrast to the sometimes monotonous lessons in other modules. Other than the learning, it also resulted in our group becoming closely knitted with each other and the friendship forged in this course is something that has left a deep impression on me.
Another unique feature of this course is that you’re not “pressurized” to participate in class if you are not comfortable to. The entrepreneurship forum is another place that you can participate, through the forum, I learnt from the helpful feedback from my course mates and friends. The forum was kept professional and often, there was a lively exchange of ideas about the topics in class. In other words, the learning of TWC extended even beyond the classroom as we tapped onto each other’s wealth of experience and gain even more in the end. The entrepreneurship forum that we attended was also a burst of fresh air from the normal seminar room setting. I would never have attended an entrepreneurship forum if not for this course. But what a difference it has made. All the entrepreneurs who spoke that day shared about the journey they’ve gone through and the kind of setbacks they have faced in order to get to where they are now. The 2nd speaker, a former SMU student showed a video at the end that really left a huge impression on me, it said, “when we were young, we had huge dreams, when we grew older, we became more doubtful of this dreams.” That really set me thinking, why is there such a big change, what happened along the way that doused the flames that we originally had.
This was coupled with a case study on a technical entrepreneur of our choice to learn about his start up and the kind of funding he received. As none of us in the group knew about such a person, we started scouring for him. In the process, I visited the monthly entrepreneurship networking session that was conducted by SMU and gained a huge insight to the networking sessions that take place and how some of the entrepreneurs pitch their ideas there. The outcome of that session made me more aware of how certain entrepreneurs get their funding. We also interviewed the founder of T.ware Ltd, a special jacket that special needs children can feel at ease even without their parents pacifying them, and Rick Tan who gave us a valuable insight to how he got his funding. This widened my entire perspective on entrepreneurship.
As the entire TWC module comes to a close, I write this journal with a heavy heart as I reflected on all the memorable and sometimes crazy moments I had with my group mates. This course has far exceeded the learning objective I set for myself at the beginning of the course and I am thankful for everything that has happened to me in this course. As I look back at my SMU years, I know I’ll be thankful that I took this course under Professor Pamela Lim and in the process, forged possibly the best kind of friendship ever.
“If you can dream it, you can do it.” These words originated from one of the most ubiquitously known entrepreneur to date – Walt Disney. Having truly harnessed the power of technology and mass media to proliferate his animated dreams, Disney was a believer, a doer and a visionary. After going through this course on Technology and World Change, I am myself inspired to chase the illustrious ambitions within me.
It was indeed an enlightening and enriching experience. Not only did I learn about pivotal innovations and business luminaries in past and present society, I was able to absorb all this lessons in an equally innovative class conducted through student-led presentations, discussions, and online forums. Hence, I believe I was indeed able to fulfil the objectives I set out in the beginning of the course. In addition, I have also learnt to think more boldly and confidently, having been inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit that was hugely emphasised throughout the course. When I first embarked on this TWC course, I had hoped to become a more critical and independent thinker. I wanted not only to know the answers but to know how to ask the right questions as well. I feel that the course really facilitated my development in this area because of the almost Socratic style in which lessons were conducted.
Questions that were posed to us, and this occurred quite often, usually required thought, research and analysis. It was effective because this activated our individual thinking faculties, and was made even more so given the freedom that we had to source for answers on our own. Answers never came easily to us and proved to us that if we really wanted to know something we had to find it for ourselves. Even the preliminary answers that we managed to find often came under the examination of the professor, who would challenge us repeatedly on why we believed what we had to be the ultimate solution. Why, why, why? I remember clearly the numerous discussions we had in class over topics like MMR vaccinations and the how the Great Pyramid was constructed, and how Prof would relentlessly challenge us to think about the true root causes behind the issues we discussed.
Ultimately, I felt that my mind was engaged through every TWC lesson and the thought provoking mode of instruction really encourage my growth as a critical and independent intellectual.
At the same time, I wanted to better understand societal change as well as the role that we ourselves have to play in making use of technology to engineer such change. In particular, the interesting concepts and content that I encountered in this course was able to help me develop the understanding that I sought. I was intrigued by the Kondratieve’s Long Wave Cycle, which prescribed that technology and knowledge generally followed a predictable cyclical pattern. Each subsequent wave had a transformative effect on the economy and brought about substantial changes in productivity, consumption and the organisation of productive methods. What further interested me was learning that the Dotcom era fitted exactly in one of these ‘waves’. I feel that all these lessons created in me a strong foundational framework with I could approach and understand how technology and society progressed, equipping me with the skills and mindset I needed to classify, clarify and quantify the relation between ourselves as agents of change and technology as catalysts of change.
My next aim was to become a more outspoken and confident orator. I knew that being able to speak, present and express one’s views and ideas is crucial for the competitive corporate environment today. Before this course started, I had learnt that there would be many opportunities provided for me to speak and hone these skills, thus I set out to make full use of them. I was not disappointed. The ‘breakouts’ we had were effective in developing my confidence. I felt more comfortable standing in front of a class than before. Even when it was others’ turn to present, I could learn from them. Though it was at times stressful to have to come up with a good presentation under such time constraints, it forced me to be on my feet and to stay focused. Adding on to this was the online forum which provided a platform for us to reflect upon the topics we went through in class in our own time and express our own thoughts. This taught me how to express my views more coherently and critically, as I had to read other’s views carefully before adding my own. As such, the ad-hoc presentations and the online forums complemented well to encourage me to think quickly but at the same time sufficiently. All in all, I have had the chance to express my views, to engage an audience, have been encouraged to think responsively in offering my opinion. Hence, I feel that I have really been able to develop that charisma and confidence which I had hoped to gain from TWC at the start of the course.
In conclusion, it is clear that this course has been effective in helping me achieve what I set out to achieve. I had imagined TWC as just another course and differing little from the drone of conventional academia – but I was proven wrong. The enthusiasm and passion with which Prof Lim conducted our lessons was almost contagious, and the all but irreverent entrepreneurial spirit she emphasised to the class was something that deeply inspired me. I had never pictured myself as someone daring and willing to do great things, but now that it is drawing to a close, I feel more prepared to the take on the challenges that lay ahead of me – as a better thinker, speaker, and doer. Before I was only able to dream it. Now, I am confident of doing it.
So, in the blink of an eye, I’ve almost completed my first year in Smu and been through 13 weeks of TWC. I can still recall the interesting circumstances under how my first journal was written. I remember back then I had just completed my revision for the day and was about to prepare to sleep. Then I remembered the TWC journal I had planned to do the next day. Out of curiosity, I wanted to see what the questions were. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize there was a lockdown browser. So once I clicked on the link, there was no way back and I spent the next half an hour completing my journal. I was more eager to go to bed than finish my journal so I hurriedly wrote that I wanted to learn more about technological change, be able to think critically and be open to opportunities for innovation.
Weeks later, those objectives which were hurriedly written down have mostly been accomplished. I have broadened my perspective on the way I look at technological change, how it does have varying scales of change and also important lessons from history for us to learn. I have also been exposed to many opportunities for critical thinking in the form of presentations and class participation. Though I admit not to have completely fulfilled this objective, I believe I have made great strides in being able to think critically. After all, learning is a life long process and I’m glad to say that this is just the beginning for me in terms of learning to be a more critical thinker. Throughout the course, Prof Pamela Lim’s sharing and the guest seminar have changed my perspective on entrepreneurship and made me start to think that being an entrepreneur doesn’t seem like such a far fetched idea anymore, now that I’ve heard from people who have been there and done it as well as covered the process during the course.
The way that Prof conducts her lessons stands out from all the other lessons I can recall ever having attended. The entire course was really about people from different backgrounds with different interests sharing their ideas about technology and the world. I found her breakout lessons challenging initially because I had to do research with people I didn’t know well and then give a presentation later in class. I must say I was rather inefficient in doing research when faced with the huge amount of information available and teaching the class something which I just learnt a while ago was rather intimidating for me. But it was precisely under such circumstances where I was challenged to push my limits and moved to a new level in my research and presentation skills. I am glad to say that all this experience has helped my presentations in other modules.
Another major learning point from this course is a new perspective on the way I look at innovations. Prior to this course, I used to think that a successful innovation would begin as a result of a brilliant idea that nobody could match. But there’s so much more to that. I learnt to see the full spectrum of innovations, some being an incremental improvement on existing products while others being radically different from existing products. I also realized the importance of catering the product to consumers in the midst of all innovation because they make up market demand and can literally make or break one’s innovation by giving it the thumbs up or rejecting it altogether!
Finally, my biggest takeaway from this course is learning to be a confident, sincere person who takes charge of his life and gets along well with people. Previously, I had been quite focused on academic results until one lesson when Prof shared with the class how GPAs didn’t really count for much later on in life after graduating and that it was more important to spend the time in SMU making lots of friends, networking and learning how to think on your feet as these things would carry us far in life. It changed my perspective on what I had set out to do previously and allowed me to see the bigger picture of what I should be aiming to learn from my time in SMU. I am indeed fortunate to have met someone who has changed my life for the better. Thank you Prof for your invaluable lessons in life you have imparted to us and I hope that you continue to teach and touch more lives in SMU!
In our final lesson, my group researched on how the Internet has negatively affected us despite the many benefits it confers upon us. Sadly, it can also be abused as a platform to spread widespread panic and fear among the population. I shall delve deeper into the issues of a lack of privacy and identity thefts.
Everyone needs some form of privacy. In the movie Untracable, we explore the concept of abusing the Internet to satisfy one’s motive. Using the Internet as a platform, the protangonist was able to harness the pervasive power of the Internet to track and find out every single detail of his targets’ daily routines. He was able to gain access into their lives even without them knowing. Creepy huh? Sadly, firewalls and anti virus programmes cannot completely prevent such abuse.
Moving on to the issue of identity theft. In line with a cashless society that Singapore is gradually moving closer towards, a number of us carry out our transactions online, as it is more convenient. Losing your password or getting your account hacked can be disastrous and inconvenient.
To sum up my group’s stance on these issues, we feel that we should not always gladly embrace technology without first understanding its true potential, both for good and for bad.
“Technology has the shelf life of a banana”. This quote made by Scott McNealy shows us the importance of staying relevant to the constantly changing world we live in.
Well, we have come to the end of our Technology & World Change (TWC) module, 13 weeks have flown by so quickly. With regard to lessons, I really enjoyed having in-class presentations as it helped me hone my presentation skills. I learnt more than just technological theories, our lessons taught me more about life. I found it easier to learn these theories by finding and presenting on real-life examples instead of blindly memorizing from the textbook.
Relating this back to my first journal entry on TWC, I wanted to learn how to apply these theories we have learnt to help my parents become more productive at work. I also wanted to improve myself and become more technologically savvy. I can say for sure that I definitely know more about the technological world as a result of participating in the TWC class online forum. Reading articles and watching interesting videos in some of my peer’s posts certainly broadened my perspectives on the many different technologies we are exposed to daily. I even find myself discussing about technological gizmos with my friends sometimes.
I also found the guest seminar really useful to me. Although I have no current plans of starting a business, I plan to improve an existing one. Well, my grandma owns a vegeterian beehoon stall; Ruyi Yuan in Redhill which serves vegetarian bee hoon. It was featured on a food review programme a few years back. I help out in my free time and I made some several interesting observations as to how the business was run on a daily basis.
Cooking Methodology: We use a large wok for cooking and we have to flip the wok to ensure the beehoon is cooked properly. Unfortunately, the wok is really heavy and I know cooking the beehoon in many batches gets tough on my grandmother at times. To substantiate my point, research shows that wok-flipping brings some glaring risk: "The repeated action of swinging the wok up and down, to quickly stir the food in the wok, involves extensive arm and wrist movement, especially dorsi flexion, palmar flexion and wrist radial and ulnar deviation. This non-neutral posture, accompanied by high torque and a high rate of repetition is very apt to cause cumulative trauma disorder injuries in the user's upper extremity."
Perhaps we could look into the field of robotic levers and mechanical production lines to solve the problem. By having a robotic lever, this lowers the fulcrum and effort needed to flip the wok. Alternatively, we could employ using induction cooking methods as presented by Group 6 in the first lesson, to cut down on energy costs.
Taking Orders: I find myself constantly forgetting customer’s orders and often incurring their wrath. Furthermore, the kitchen and stall can get quite chaotic at times and the incessant noise sometimes result in me taking down orders wrongly. You cannot afford to get an order wrong because that would only delay the serving process and annoy other customers. Hence, there is a huge need to improve the current processes.
As seen from most fast food restaurant chains which have a touch screen order processor which records and shows orders. This allows employees to refer to the screen when preparing orders, preventing mistakes and unintentional mixing up of orders. Furthermore, this makes the calculation of prices to charge much easier. Alternatively, this is where my group’s guest speaker, Vincent Lai’s product could come in handy. By providing customers with an interactive touch screen based platform to place their orders, this would facilitate the ordering and payment process.
Who says we can’t implement such forms of technology in a hawker stall? Doing so, will maximize our efficiency and increase the novelty of our stall. Well, wouldn’t be cool to see touch screens and robotics in a simple hawker stall? Well, most importantly, it helps and reduces the stress on my grandma and aunties. I will definitely try to make these solutions a reality in the near future!
In conclusion, TWC has helped me realize the importance of harnessing the potential of technology to ease and improve our lives. I am not so concerned about cash-in on the technological bandwagon effect and I just want to seek out new technology to expand the possibilities of one's business. As such, I would like to take the opportunity to thank Professor Pamela and Div for their guidance throughout the course. I will definitely miss having classes on Monday mornings!
When I first bid for this module, I was fascinated because I like technological developments and in a way I hope that I can change the world to make it a better place for everyone. Thus, I first came into TWC class thinking that it is a module that teaches us about the latest technological developments and how they are used to improve our lives. A few of the objectives I have set for myself include having a better understanding and knowledge on the latest technological trends; achieving good team cohesiveness and understanding and last but not least having a better understanding of how setting up a business is like. I was expecting the class to be rather factual and boring, having lots of case studies about technology and interpreting them.
However, this was not the case in Prof Pamela’s technology and world change class. Prof has a totally different method of teaching and I remembered her saying that most of us learn best when we teach ourselves. Every lesson, there was a breakout session where we are given between 30-45 minutes to research on a given topic and we have to present them in class. Personally, I do not like to work under pressure. However, I feel that all these breakout sessions actually prepare us for our future careers because there might be times where our boss might just ask us to prepare a presentation at the last minute before a meeting. Thus, I faced the breakout sessions with an open heart, knowing that it will train me to cope better under pressure. My knowledge of the latest technological developments has also been improved. I never knew about augmented reality, Google’s driverless car and the various angle investors in Singapore until my group was tasked to research on these topics during the breakout sessions. With supportive teammates, I was able to cope with the time constraints and faced up to the challenge. I felt that I have learn the most when I researched on the topics during the breakout sessions and for that I would like to thank Prof Pamela for facilitating them.
Another aspect of TWC which I liked greatly is my awesome group. I did not know any of them prior to the allocation of the TWC groupings but I am extremely thankful that I have met them. From working together to research on the topics for breakout sessions to understanding the textbook content for our group presentation, we have supported each other throughout this journey. We complemented each other’s strengths and helped each other out on their weaknesses. It was also very interesting for us to come up with the concept of “Fantastic Four” to represent the four theories of innovation and have an award ceremony to represent our choice of technical entrepreneurship on the iTwin. We wanted to present in a fun and light-hearted manner and yet not sacrifice our content. After all, once we enter the workforce, we might not get the chance to apply our creativity to our presentations and have such entertaining presentations.
In addition, I have also learnt important theories concerning technology and gained valuable experiences from the TWC class. Previously, I used to think that as long as one has a new and interesting idea, he or she will most likely be successful. However, that is not the case. From the theories learnt in TWC class, having an invention is not good enough, the inventor must be able to market it and sell it to the masses (diffusion). The Technology S-curve has helped explain the rise and fall of certain technologies while theory of dominant design has shown that the best product may not necessary be the most successful product. Also, I have learnt that having intellectual property rights to protect an innovation and sufficient funding to develop the innovation are equally important factors as well.
Last but not least, I would like to give kudos to Prof Pamela for organizing the guest seminar for all of us. The three guest speakers have shared their success stories with us and have given us valuable advice. These real life experiences allow us to relate, the theories we have learnt, to how technical entrepreneurship actually is. I have also learnt that entrepreneurship is not an easy task and you have to put in 100% if not 101% of effort into it. However, if entrepreneurship is truly what we are passionate about, we should go for it and try it out while we are still young. After all, doing what you are passionate about is more important than having a job simply for sake of having one.
I have always wanted set up my own business and through this TWC class and guest seminar, my perspectives of setting up a business has changed. It is certainly not as easy as I thought but since it is something that I have always wanted to do, I should take a step forward towards my dream. I could start off with something small and feasible first such as creating a mobile application and sell it on the various mobile application markets.
I am glad that throughout this entire journey, I have achieved my objectives of knowing more technological trends; achieving excellent team cohesiveness; gaining more insight on setting up a business with the added bonus of working under pressurizing situations. Once again, I would like to thank Prof Pamela and Div for providing me with such an interesting and enriching TWC experience. In addition, I would also like to thank all my fellow group members for the memorable experience we had and the class for the active class participation and discussions.
In the blink of an eye it seems the semester is coming to an end. Looking back, I first bided for the module not out of choice as TWC is a uni core module. As such, I pretty much had no expectations for the course whatsoever. But I told myself, “hey, since I don’t really have a choice I should make the best of it, keep an open mind and really try to learn”. Lucky for me, I’m glad I did so. As a bit of a pleasant surprise, apart from a better understanding of the subject, I’ve also been inspired and motivated (though not necessarily to be an entrepreneur).
First and foremost, I have gained a deeper insight into the entrepreneurial process. Although I am not an entrepreneur, I have many friends who are. What really got me thinking was about the success rate of start-ups and how despite this how some people are still willing to try. This has helped me appreciate the painstaking effort and spirit some of my friends are going through (not to mention help keep up to speed with lots of the jargon they throw around).
Secondly, I find myself being much more appreciative of the technology around me. I remember in one class where there was a breakdown of the many components inside an Ipod. I started to imagine the amount of people and work that had to go in into the design and production of just this 1 product. I find myself wondering these days when I come into contact with new gadgets what is it actually made of. Not just what are the parts or hardware in it but rather who conceptualized, designed and had the courage to sell it. Of course it’s not all a bed of roses as ethical questions arise out of this too.
I would say though that my largest takeaway is a new found motivation. The many stories of successes and failures in class has spurred me to press forward. If someone else is trying so hard, why should I do so any less? As such in this semester alone, I’ve started to take on a few part-time jobs as learning opportunities related to what I would like to pursue in the future.
All in all, I would say I have been fortunate enough to take TWC this sem under Prof Lim. Now, after a whole semester I have been motivated and at the same time gained new insight and view technology in a whole new perspective (rather than just being the consumer).
It has been a crazy 13 weeks for me in Technology and World Change (TWC) and with all things in life, it has, fortunately or unfortunately, come to an end. And as I reflect on these past weeks, I was lost for words as ambivalent feelings start to overwhelm me.
I can still remember the time when I received the SMS from my trusted friend who recommended Professor Pamela Lim for TWC, with a caveat – that even though the workload is manageable, you are required to do lots of in-class presentations! This was in line with the main reason why I chose Singapore Management University over the other universities – I wanted to improve my presentation skills. And I have never looked back since!
Thus improving my presentation skills as well as learning the strengths and weaknesses of other presentations done by my fellow peers naturally became one of my objectives for TWC. I am now pleased to announce that I have achieved this objective.
I used to be unable to present without a proper script. But this was impossible to churn out in time for the in-class presentations we had every week as the time pressure was very tight. We not only had to come up with the presentation slides, we had to do research on the topic we were presenting as well, all in ONE hour!
This seemed like a nightmare to me and I was thrown out of my comfort zone. Like a fish out of water, I was uncomfortable and paranoid. Coupled with the fact that other groups presented really well, I started to dread Monday's TWC class.
“What does not kill you makes you stronger!”
This was what I had signed up for and I had to seized this opportunity to improve! With more practices, I became accustomed to what was demanded of me and my presentation last saturday was the end result. I could now present confidently without a script and draw the attention of the audience, a far cry from my former self at the start of this course.
This was also done with the help of my peers when I took notes on the strong points of captivating presentations that awed me and the pitfalls to avoid for presentations that were extremely boring. All these learning points will forever remain with me on my journey in life. Not just that, these in-class presentations also improved my ability to gather and sieve out information fast as well as to summarise them concisely for the presenters to review for their presentation.
And this is where I came to realise that Professor Lim's TWC class was not just about imparting knowledge on how technology changed the world but was also about teaching us skill sets that were relevant to the working world. And so I am especially grateful to Professor Lim for giving us an opportunity to invite guest speakers to her guest seminar.
Inviting guests speakers was an eye-opening experience for me. The first batch of emails that we sent out received no replies and we were all worried that we would end up with no guest speakers, not even one. After all, who would want to come down and give a talk to undergraduate students about their entrepreneurial experience without receiving any consideration.
Frantically, we sent out two more batches of emails and thankfully we got three positive responses. But it still pains me to reject two of them and this had to be done tactfully so as to maintain goodwill with the two potential speakers. And trust me, you do not want to be placed in such a position especially when you feel thankful to them for giving their positive responses and they were also very interested to share their knowledge and experience with us.
I learnt to say these words with sincerity and regret.
Thankfully everything went well.
And the experience of corresponding with a guest speaker was always threaded with fear. For the guest speaker was technically doing us a favor and he could pull out of the event anytime. And with the rejection of our two potential speakers, we would be left with no speakers if we screwed up. Words and phrases were typed and re-typed to ensure that in no circumstance would any of our sent emails cause our relationship with our guest speaker to deteriorate and this tension carried on with us till the end of the guest seminar. And sometimes when emails were replied to us unusually late, we would be uneasy during the mean time and fear that we might have typed something inappropriate in the earlier sent email.
So with euphoria of getting our first positive response came anxiety throughout the few weeks to the guest seminar. It has indeed been a roller coaster ride but I learnt a lot in terms of how to handle guests and their psyche. And this is only possible with Professor Lim's approach of giving us free reign to invite any guest speaker we want.
And the lessons learnt from the guests speakers were inspirational too and would definitely helped me on my entrepreneurial dream (cf. Journal 2).
I also learnt from Professor Lim as well. With her wealth of knowledge from the working world, it opened our eyes to what textbook could not teach us like how patents were very ineffective in protecting intellectual property if one had no money.
I was also inspired by Professor Lim's philosophy of life. That success is defined by you; that life is not always about GPA but what you make out of it. To experience life rather than to be cooped up, spending your whole life chasing a number that would mean nothing ten years down the road. And that we only live once and should experience all we can. This is a philosophy that I will closely follow and it has definitely changed my life when I look at life from a bigger perspective rather than the narrow view I once had.
And even though TWC has almost come to an end, this is one of the few modules that I am confident of saying that the knowledge I have learnt will forever be applicable to my life and will always be remembered. And with Professor Lim's enthusiasm to continue to mentor her former students, I believe that this TWC class will never end. Instead, this module of Towards World Change has only just began!
Thank you Professor Lim for imparting this valuable knowledge to all of us.
I look forward to seeing you impact more lives like me in future!
Being highly ambitious, I set for myself a number of goals which I thought could be challenging but attainable in the beginning of the course. Glad to say, I felt that I have successfully attained all of what I had set out to do. The goals which I have set out to do are as follows.
1. By being able to identify what differentiates an innovation and from an invention, this skill could allow me to eliminate opportunities that may not hold as much potential in the first place – I think that this could be one of the easiest goals that I have set from the beginning. The answer could actually be found in the text book. The answer would of course be that innovation has the added aspect of commercialization, which allows a product to be popular in the market. However, it may not be as easy as it seems. Everybody who went through this course would be able to answer that question should it come out in the finals. But if we are to look at it in a real life perspective. Who is to know if a person approaching you has a product that has the chance to be an innovation? I believe that it is all about the foresight and that comes with experience. In that aspect, I will continually work on that, to expose myself more to the real world application of technology and the business opportunities that lies in the industry.
2. I hope this course can help me break away from the concept that guidelines are provided by the teachers – This was what I felt was my greatest takeaways. I have previously mentioned how I feel really comfortable when given guidelines to work with. This course is definitely the course with the least guidelines, giving me the freedom to really express what I want. Although there were certain confusion as well as frustration when my group was not sure as to what was to be done, we always managed to churn out a piece of work which I thought was excellent. However, should I be faced with modules in the future without guidelines, I believe that I would be a lot more comfortable as compared to some others. It is also the reflection of our future jobs. The learning curve of some jobs are really steep, and there is a chance that no-one will be there to guide you.
3. I hope to take the opportunity to learn more from my group mates who comes from diverse backgrounds – I could not have asked for a better group. In my honest opinion, splitting up the class into groups consisting of members from the various faculties is a brilliant stroke. It is because for majority of other mods, the students are allowed to form their own group, and some groups go on to bid for classes together. This actually limits them to interaction between themselves. It could be one drawback of the A+ team that Vincent (Lai) talked about. My group had the fortune to be the first group presenting and it got us off a good start as we bonded quickly. I’ll be willing to make a bet that we are the only group that went out for recreational activities as well as have lunch every week. The environment that we were in gave us plenty of chance to interact. We did not only learn from each other in terms of the course content when we were discussing. Each of us brought something of our own to the table and it makes for a really interesting one semester I had with my group. We had an IS year 4 student Heri teaching us the more technical aspects of technology, PowerPoint Pro Yiyuan giving is awesome looking PPT slides, Grammar Police Jiaen ensuring our reports are grammatically flawless, Jai always pushing us to get the project done early, Joel giving us fresh perspective being so well read, Jelvin for being there to regulate Jai’s outburst (just kidding) and last but not least Yuling who provided a counter balance to the madness of our team.
4. I hope that this course will give me exposure to more firms that comes from different industry – Although I wished for more examples to be covered, I understand that learning should not only take place in class and it is up to us to learn more about the firms on our own. I was glad my group managed to secure an interview with Althea from Gushcloud, a start-up firm that was finding its footing in the IT industry. It was definitely a breath of fresh air for me. It also made me realize that entrepreneurship is something that is very real. Both Vincent, (Ha from Gushcloud and Lai from Tocco Studios) showed that it was possible to achieve success despite them being a few years older than me. Although the majority of the examples in the textbook are biased towards the UK or the USA, during our final case study we did manage to find local firms that brought these theories closer to home.
5. I also hope to know what goes into the successful commercialization of an invention that makes it an innovation – This is again a textbook question. If I were to elaborate I will just be lifting it from the textbook. Therefore I will leave that for the finals. However, I appreciate the additional information that Professor shared that can’t be found in the textbook. The real life application that is. If there was anything that I like the most in this course, it would be that I managed to learn from the experience of Professor. With her diverse background, every lesson felt as though it was a sharing session with an entrepreneur rather than a lesson. Despite it being a Monday lesson I have always enjoyed it being a good start to the week.
6. I still find it hard to live without these gadgets simply because I have grown too used to a life of convenience with them. I definitely hope this course would shed more light on what can be done about this situation – This would have been the last lesson where the class was discussing about the ill-effects of technology. Although only one group presented on mobile phones, the rest of the technology mentioned more than made up for it. But going forward, I find it really hard to leave my gadgets behind. The connectivity that it offers me is something that keeps me secure. I still hold on to the view that technology would be something that has more benefits than detriments.
This course has been worth all the e-credits that I have spent on it because I can tell that Professor was really passionate about teaching. She also subscribes to a teaching method that makes one able to plan what we learn. Although the business I’m look at starting is not in the field of technology, the lessons on funding gave me valuable insights that would not have been found in textbook. I learnt that a lot of these sources of funds come with certain untold baggage. If you were to borrow from your family, you will forever be indebted to them. In the case of Professor’s two students who took a sum of money from another professor, they were not able to do as they wish. It would certainly make me think twice about getting a loan from the people I know. There were also other examples like iGEM and Spring TECS that comes with the red tape, with them effectively taking away your freedom to run your company.
I have also enjoyed Professor sharing certain insights as to how she raised her children, which I thought was really nice of her. Even though I believe it will not be applicable for me in the near future, it is always good to learn something from Professor in this aspect given the wealth of her experience. I look forward to having a chance to attend another of Professor’s module, so dear Professor Pamela, PLEASE CONTINUE TEACHING! I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Div for supporting the class and joining us on a Monday morning. This has really been a fantastic course and I would definitely recommend it to other people. Although people say that all good things come to an end, I believe that Professor has just ignited a passion for Entrepreneurship/Technology in us and it is only the beginning.
As I come to the conclusion of my second semester, and my first year as a SMU undergraduate, a few things come to mind as I reflect upon my time spent in the TWC course.
Firstly, I admit that most of the "book knowledge" which I have studied and learnt in this course will sadly be forgotten by the time the next semester rolls around. That being said, I have benefited greatly from the many intangible, un-quantifiable aspects of the course. For example, the breakout sessions trained me to search, process, filter and present information in a short space of time. I have learnt to have more self-confidence in presenting my thoughts and ideas. Working in close proximity with my group week after week has also given me the opportunity to learn to be more sensitive to the feelings of others, as well as to partake in a mutual exchange of ideas.
Secondly, I recognise that all this would not have been possible without the creation of a suitable learning environment by Prof Pamela. I honestly believe that without the dedication and committment of the teachers I have met throughout the entirety of my learning journey, I would be a much poorer person today. I am grateful for educators such as Prof Pamela who have contributed their time and effort towards imparting not only "book knowledge", but their beliefs, ethics and skills to their students as well.
In conclusion, although it has been a short 13 weeks since I first stepped into Prof Pamela's TWC class, I have nonetheless grown and benefitted immeasurably from this journey. The information taught from the books may eventually be forgotten, but the wisdom and knowledge will persist for years to come. Prof, I wish you all the best, and may you continue to influence and touch the lives of more students in the future!
Looking back, TWC, this module to me is about technology and technology is something that is constantly changing and I felt it cannot be learn from lesson and modules. After the 13 weeks of lessons, I realized TWC is more than that.
This module focuses more on innovation and also entrepreneurship, which is different from I thought of. I still remember in journal 1, I wrote that active listening is important and I hope that through active listening in class, it will enable me to gain more useful knowledge. However, I realized I learn more through the break out session and also group presentation rather than active listening. Through the group presentation, as we need to read up the chapter ourselves and explain to the class, thus we will learn more through the process of preparing of the presentation, and I could understand the theories of innovation better than the other chapters. During the preparation of the group presentation, where I get interact with my group mates and we share our opinion and helping each during, this allow me to understand the topics better. The group presentations enable me to interact with group mates as I barely spoke up in class.
The break out session that it is usually before the theory lesson has enable us to know more about the topics , so when professor is going through the theory we could understand it better. From these activities I realized is when we take action, we tend to learn more. Thus taking action is more important active listening.
From the 13 sessions, first half of it focus more innovation theories, while the other half is more toward entrepreneurship. I find entrepreneurship rather interesting as compare to innovation theories. I like the guest seminar, where we get listen real entrepreneur sharing their real life example and also advice. From the guest seminar and also the case study, I have understood more about entrepreneurship and I find it rather useful even though I have no intention of becoming an entrepreneur. From the guest seminar, the advice is to seize the opportunity and take action. If one does not act, one will not able to achieve what he/she wanted. So I further understood the important of taking action, so one of the main take a way is that taking action is the best way to learn,.
I still remember that I do not like presentation as I would prefer to interact in a small group rather than presenting in a front of the whole class, but my group mates have encourage me a lot and they have given opportunity for me to be involve in the break out session, which enable me to learn and I appreciate their effort, so anther take way is the friendship that is form through this module. The discussion in class has also enable me to learn a lot, as class mate have point out issues from different perspective and it actually encourage me to think more deeper from a different perspective. Professor also shares her personal experience and also imparts values that are outside the modules, and it actually help me to realize that the important of priorities and get me to think of what I really want to achieve in this 4 years.
On the whole, from the 13 sessions, I know more about this course and it change my original mindset of TWC, and from the breakout session and also the group presentation, I am now more comfortable with the presentation, so the main take away will be the knowledge gain, friendship and the change.
It’s the end of week 13 and the module ‘technology and world change’ is almost completed. Looking back, I’ve learn many things knowingly and unknowingly. I was not really interested in this module when I first started this class. I’m not really a ‘technology’ person and the term ‘Technology and world change’ seems to be a very technical subject to me. Initially, I thought I would be learning about the Internet, computers and how these technologies affect the world. However, I did not expect that there were so many factors affecting these technologies and that there was a cycle for each technology. After this class, the way I viewed at things is somehow more different. Simple things such as a pen could even be viewed as a technology. The lesson was not as content-based as I had initially thought.
I’ve had learnt much more than I would have thought. Before I’ve stepped into class, I thought that I would be learning textbook knowledge throughout this whole course. But the breakout sessions taught me more than just textbook knowledge. I’ve learnt how to apply the textbook knowledge to real-life situation. By researching on the topics given during the breakout sessions, I’ve realized many things that I did not know about previously. I didn’t know Google had so many products such as Google Analytics. The breakout sessions were also very useful in aiding us to learn the concept easily. Through the presentations after the breakout sessions, opportunities were given to allow me to practice my presentation skills and boost my self-confidence. This really helped me in my future presentations in SMU.
During one of the break out sessions, one of the group presented on Google car, which I thought was quite interesting. The idea of a driver-less car seems to be more of an idea to me. I did not know that such technology exists before I came to this class. Through these breakout sessions, I have unknowingly expanded my horizon and have learnt many new things about the current technology.
Another most memorable part that I have is the guest seminar. The guest seminar showed me that the life of an entrepreneur isn’t all about fame and recognition, instead it is more of hard work and perseverance. It showed me what the life in the real working world is like and how harsh it could be. The speakers from the guest seminar shared their experience and advice, which are practical and relevant to many SMU students, especially aspiring entrepreneurs.
A valuable lesson that I have learnt through this course is that GPA does not mean everything especially to the working world. It’s a common belief that ‘if you get good grades, you will get into a good university and then eventually you will get a good paying job’. I grew up under this belief under the influence of my parents and the society. I’m sure most of my classmates had this belief too. Many define happiness as getting a good paying job, but if you’re not interested or passionate about this job, you will never be able to succeed in it. I think this is the most valuable lesson that I have learnt throughout this technology and world change module. I’m still looking for what I really love and pursue it eventually. Even though I may not remember the contents that are taught in class a few years from now, I will always remember that grades does not mean everything.
I thought this class would be boring. However, Prof Pamela and the enthusiastic classmates made Monday mornings more bearable. The personal experiences that Prof Pamela has shared with us were very insightful and help us gain a different perspective of things. And last, but not least: Thank you, Prof!
I always think university core module is a waste of time because it is not related to my course of study and it doesn’t relate to the real life cases at all. Others would say university core modules are fluff modules, just fluff it! I still remember during the first lesson, one question thrown to us was something like “what do we foresee in the future?” I was LOST to what kind of answers prof is looking for and what do we need to present to her. Then people started sharing all sorts of jargons about hardware or some weird jargons that I never heard about it in my entire life. Then I asked myself if I was too ignorant about the things evolving around me. Besides that, when there was a discussion on the inventions and the inventors, I was LOST again. I was really confused with the discussion in class. It is very discouraging to see others having the knowledge with the issues discussed but I do not have. Feeling so lag behind, I told myself that I need to read the textbook to be prepared before the class and to be aware of the world changes around me that is actually cause by the technology.
I really enjoy the class because it’s stress-free and learning takes place easily by learning from our classmates. I like the system of learning; self learning, prof and group learning. I pick up concepts easily from my fellow friends and further reinforce when prof discuss the topics and after reading the textbook again.
Basically, from this course, I learnt that technology is constant changing and upgrading which changes people way of living. The technology can be created through different insights. There are several ways in which we can classify the kind of change of the product/service. In addition, the starting up financing difficulties one could face. Most importantly, I would not forget about the topic that my group and I presented on - The long wave cycle. That group presentation enables me to understand what have happened in the past, the dot com bubble burst. I always love group discussion because different people have different ways of interpreting an issue, and we definitely had a long and fruitful discussion on that topic.
On top of that, group presentation and the breakout session presentations also helped me in building up my confidence in speaking in front of everyone by a bit. On a personal ground, I am actually an extrovert who can engage in a conversation with anyone about anything under the sun. However, when it comes to talking to a group of people, letting my voice heard to a class, my nervous disorder is switch on. My heartbeat would pump so fast, adrenaline rush and my mind goes completely blank. This disturbs me so much especially when I have put in the effort in rehearsing but just screw the actual thing. Through those sessions, I find it a little more comfortable. And from the photo sharing, I also realised my flaw. I found out that whenever I finish presenting, I will stone in front of the class which I think is really bad. Confidence level is up by a bit, but presenting style ought to be improved further. I thank the person who took the photo which made me realise my mistake.
The guest seminar is also another major event that provided me with the opportunity to meet people in the real working world and learn from them. I can see the interconnection between what I’ve learned in class apply in the real world scenario. I find it interesting for all groups to introduce entrepreneurs creating different products or services. I feel that most entrepreneurs are high risk takers, taking Mr Yee for example; he is willing to give up his house if his business is to fail. This really shocked me. I look up to people with such perseverance and never say die spirit.
I always have thoughts about starting my own business like the normal retail or food etc. In the past, I actually set up my own online websites selling apparels and only one transaction took place. I was thinking if that is considered an entrepreneur? There is no new ideas/products and no creativity about how the business is conducted. I created that site for a small benefit of my own to earn a profit. I recall from Jeff during the Guest Seminar, he mentioned that an entrepreneur must go global and help a larger number of people. By benefiting the class of society as a whole, that entrepreneur might work. Current stage – still exploring with the things I want to do. Looking forward for the day if I have a new idea that no one has and then I would look for a lawyer friend, to keep the design for me.
Now that I understood what TWC is all about, I became more concerned with news relating to technology and what would the future holds for us. TWC is not only about theory but real. :)
I totally agree to prof’s philosophy – grades are not important. Most importantly is to enjoy the process and learn something out of it. And to sum up, I really enjoyed every TWC session seeing different kind of information that I have not seen and learned from it. The encouragement and the interaction friends around me like Chu Ying, Sly, Junyin, Ryan, Robin, Nigel, and Yupa makes learning more interesting for me. :) Special thanks prof, div and the class!
TWC was a course that was refreshing for me. It was different from the rest of the courses in SMU. In fact, it was nothing like I had taken before. Throughout my 13 years of education, no teacher has ever dared to break convention like Prof has.
And I enjoyed this aspect of the class. Class was never dry nor was it linear but the best thing about it was that the fresh pedagogy maintained my concentration throughout the duration of class. Consequently, retention levels were high and thus, learning was effective.
What I have learnt
I was able to pick up the essentials of TWC. I learnt that TWC is a fluid concept. What may be relevant today could very easily be irrelevant tomorrow. Furthermore, I learnt that there are different types of innovations and with each type, there are different and unique properties that will determine what type of business model, a budding innovator should employ.
So in the case of an incremental innovation, it would be advisable to lease it to larger companies but for radical innovations, perhaps the better alternative would be to start a venture.
But I learnt more than just theories in TWC. One thing that resonates clearly in mind is a saying from Prof. “The success of a business is not just dependent on your idea, but how nice of a person you are.” While I am well aware of the power of having networks, this quote has expanded my understanding of the power of relations. Relations are not just about obtaining opportunity to procure business dealings, but also the leeway that will enable you to sustain the business.
More often than not, I think that keeping the business alive is much harder than starting it. Also, Prof would frequently impart life skills to us, which cannot be found in textbooks or the Internet. Her use of personal experiences adds realism to the concepts that she wants to convey.
On top of that, the “breakouts” during each class greatly enhance our presentation skills and these “breakouts” allow students to have hands on experience when learning about the subject of the day.
Personally, I think this is a better way to teach students than lecturing a class. When students are required to apply the concepts, they would have to really think through the mechanics of the issue and identify relevant points to answer the question. Therefore, it is not just a one sided information feed, but rather, taking that information and processing it to produce understanding of the topic at hand.
However, the coursework that was most effective, in my opinion, was organizing the guest speaker seminar. The learning points from this activity are very subtle but their impacts on personal development are huge.
Through inviting my group’s guest speaker, Mr. Vincent Lai, I have learnt how to deal with other entities outside the context of school. I have learnt how I should conduct myself in front of people who are senior to me and how I should converse with them.
Moreover, this event has strengthened my organizational skills greatly. The guest speaker seminar has taught me how to react to situations accordingly like sudden change in scheduled appointments. It has also allowed me to go through the procedure of actually organizing an event like this, which textbooks cannot teach.
Conversely, the biggest takeaway from this guest seminar is the life experience garnered from the speakers themselves. Through their speeches, one can see how the different concepts and theories would fit into business and that allows students to reconcile theories with real life.
The friends I made
The group projects in TWC have fostered strong bonds between my teammates and I. These experiences have allowed me to gain friends, not just acquaintances that will fade from my memory after each semester.
Our team actively encourages each other to speak up more in class, participate more on the online forums and share resources. This type of behavior is not common in SMU, especially since the competition among each other is so high.
Moreover, the weekly class presentations give us an avenue to interact and communicate with each other. Through these weekly gatherings, we have learnt each other’s preferences, strengths and weaknesses and in response, we would cover for one another in whatever aspect that is lacking.
The friends I have made in TWC are people who I genuinely will keep in contact with.
What has changed in me?
I still remember that Prof wisely said that we “shouldn’t waste our lives chasing a number”. At that point of time, I really could not agree. To me, a high GPA would allow me to get good internships and then a good job.
How Singaporean was I.
Throughout the course, my mindset slowly changed, I started to see more to life than studies. I also saw pass that GPA barrier that has blocked me from living my life.
Although, I still have not completely disengaged myself from the rat race, I am learning to take things in my stride. Personally, my life has been happier ever since this change in mentality.
Have I achieved my goals?
Previously, I was still very result oriented and very absorbed in getting good grades. So my goals were to obtain a better understanding of the topic of TWC. While I certainly achieved the goals I set out for myself, as I have a good grasp on the subject now, I did not expect to learn it the way I did. It was not the rigid textbook style I was so used to but instead a more engaging form that allows me to learn better.
However, I think learning is a continuous process and one should never stop learning. Therefore, I have set new goals for myself. I would like to start doing things for passion not just because I want a good grade. These 13 weeks have changed my view on academic grades and I realize that they are not everything.
I want to learn new things, I want to pursue my interests, I want to help others but most of all, I want to live my life.
I think I would maybe try to start a venture just for the experience.
All in all, I would like to thank Prof Lim for all her effort in imparting to us valuable lessons that she gained through her own experiences. It is because of her experience that we are able to avoid the unnecessary mistakes.
Of course, her insistence on her “hands on” pedagogy has also benefitted us greatly.
I would definitely recommend this course to my friends and juniors.
Technology and world change is, like SMU, something out of convention. It does not entail long hours of pouring over a text book or hours of project meetings. As a beginner in this course, I expected to learn whatever the title of the course suggested, mainly how technology influences and changes the world. To answer the question; yes, I have learnt how technology can change the world. But that is only a fraction of all that I have learnt in this course. For a wide course like TWC, I have not only been able to gain further understanding of technical terms such as ‘intellectual property rights’ which I initially just had a gist of ; but have increased my awareness on the millions of innovations that sprout up every day from all parts of the world. From an instant roti maker to a 3-D video game, TWC has taught me to accept the depths to which technology can change the world. Our in-class presentations have taught me to think on my feet and manage my time better. I must thank Professor Lim for giving us a chance to present more often, making me a more fluent presenter. I found that learning from my peers was an engaging way to make an 8:30 AM class seem livelier. Last but not the least, TWC has taught me to not expect any technology to last for more than a few years, reducing my sorrow over my recently broken laptop.
Throughout the course, I did learnt how the entrepreneurs set up and work their way to success. The theories taught are studies about the aspects and types of innovation. The case studies brought up in class has a significant impact on me as they are real-life examples and they are able to motivate me to think like an entrepreneur. However, I do feel that the syllabus of the course could have cover more technical skills in terms of managing business rather than focusing too much on technology and its impact on us. Our Prof really does a good job in having us to get our heads thinking and made me realise that all the entrepreneurs out there are always aiming to achieve what they want. It is because of their determination as well as good entrepreneur thinking and attitude that allows them to succeed in life. Businesses associated with technologies are never easy and we should always look into many other perspectives before being able to work our way to success. Overall, this course has allow me to understand the about entrepreneurship and I am now able to take a step further into the business world.
What did you learn in twc? Did you meet the objectives you set for urself in journal 1?
TWC has been an enlightening module in every sense of the word. I have learnt more about how technology has affected the world. Not just radical technology like 3D printing or a paradigm shift, but even incremental technology which has the same power to change the world. In the past, I used to think that a radical enough technology could change the world. Through the 13 weeks, I have realized that there are many other factors, like financial support, timing and market condition that paly a huge part in an innovation’s success.
These were the objectives I set for myself in the first journal:
1) Learn more about technology and keep myself updated with the latest technology 2) Get better in presentations and group work 3) Ask questions without thinking how ridiculous they might sound
I wanted to have feasible aims achievable within the span of 13 weeks.
I have become more proactive in finding out about different technology available in our world instead of just depending on whatever is covered in class. Moreover, I realize I have taken more initiative to start researching on a presentations or TWC classwork instead of just waiting to be assigned a question to research on.
TWC is unlike other modules which consist mainly of book knowledge and hours of project meetings. There are many things I am glad to take away from TWC. Firstly, is that I know at least one chapter of the textbook almost by heart, since my group and I taught it to the class. It was good to do more than the bare minimum for that teaching stint, as we had to know every detail about it since we were presenting on it.
Secondly, the weekly in-class presentations have bettered my presentation skills by far. This is not only when I myself present in class but also when I get the opportunity to watch others present and emulate things they did well.
It is believed that people remember what they asked rather than what was said to them. It is one the reasons why asking questions is encouraged. On my part, I feel I could have asked more questions to better my understanding as well.
I can only imagine what Prof. Lim means by “TWC is a difficult module to teach”. It would probably entail keeping abreast of latest technological changes and disbursing this information to students. I believe that through our weekly in-class presentations, we have actually learnt much, much more than if we had stuck to just the textbook. Moreover, the textbook also repeats a few examples to illustrate a few concepts which although sufficient can be improved on. The time given for the preparation of the presentations may seem too short to some. However, in my opinion, I view it as taste of the innovations of today. If the student should so desire, he is at liberty to find out more about them in his free time. I’m thankful for the exposure TWC has given me.
I am happy that I have achieved 2 of my objectives satisfactorily and thankful that I got a chance to experience a different teaching method compared to other professors.
Well I bid for this course under Prof Pamela Lim because I understood from my friends that she was a bit different from other professors. Unlike many of them who teach the theory to TWC, Prof Pam Lim comes from a background of entrepreneurship. I signed up because I hoped to pick up some practical knowledge from her. Through the course I think I've been quite successful at achieving this aim. From the constant break-out sessions, I find that a lot of how you learn best is to do it on your own, rather than sitting in a lecture and have someone talk at you. The presentations (the case studies on different entrepreneurs) were especially interesting because they exposed us to the experiences of people who've been there, done that. The course had the right mix of exposure and experience for us, and I feel like I've learnt much about technology and how innovation leads to successful people and businesses.
I believed I have achieved the objectives I set up for myself and learnt so much more as well. It has been very interesting to understand how the process of innovation includes invention and commercialization, and the different specific stages that go into the process: how you start with an invention and develop it till it is ready for sale to the mass market. The things we've learnt would form the basic foundation every entrepreneur needs in order to understand the market and strategize his business plan, like the cycle of technology change, the types and process of innovation, how to protect your innovation with intellectual property and how to manage your funding etc. Along the way we have benefited from the insights and sharing of Prof on case studies and the realities of the working world, which can't be gleaned from the textbook. I have broadened my perspectives on technology and innovation thanks to the sharing of my classmates and discussions in class and have made good friends along the way, through the projects we have worked on together. Through the lessons, case studies and the conference, TWC has excited me to think about how I can develop the entrepreneurial state of mind and innovate, whether in my own business in the future, or as an employee.s.
Yes. I definitely think that I have achieved what I have set in the first lesson. For the first lesson, I set goals such as knowing more bout technology and how it can aid me in my daily life and also how has it affected the world. Next I hope that I can meet new friends and work with them throughout the whole semester. Last but not least I hope I am able to learn something bout entrepreneurship and get a better insight. Firstly, I have definitely learnt something new bout technology such as the S wave technology and the K-wave. I also learnt some useful theories for innovation and stuffs such as the incremental, radical innovation and so forth. I am sure they will be useful to me in the future as technology is everywhere. In fact, the theories learnt can come into use in the future should I wish to start a new company. The course is also very useful because I learnt things such as patents, copyrights too. In addition, I learnt things such as service and process innovation. There are all new terms to me of which I may be aware but don’t know the theories to it yet. Service and process innovation is as important as product innovation because it is essential to be different from others for entrepreneur. Besides that, TWC has also let me learnt bout the importance of patents, copyrights and strategies for incorporating a product. These are all knowledge that would be very relevant and important to me because it is a way to protect myself from the infringement of law and also my personal interest if I am coming up with a product. Equally important would also be the strategies to market the product, because the first product in the market might not gain the biggest share in the end as cited by the example in excel case. In addition, many of the products in market now has got some similarities and so strategies for a product would be vital if the product wants to be successful. During the course, all the breakout sessions are also useful in allowing us to have some time to research on a certain topics and to present on it. The case study presentation is also very useful to me when I learnt that Sir Tim Berners Lee was the creator of the World Wide Web and the history of world wide web. All these are good knowledge that are exposed to me only in TWC at this level of education and it has definitely intrigued me into looking for more information associated with the contents taught in TWC. Secondly, I have indeed had a good semester with my group mates. They are very fun people who are easy to work with. It has in fact helped me in working with different peoples. Working with different people not only allows me to brush up my soft skills but also learnt from one and other which is great as it helps to broaden my perspectives. Working with different people also exposed me to different cultural differences like having Madhura in my group. Last but not least, Professor Lim has imparted lots of her own insights and experience for entrepreneurship to us. This is very valuable to me because Professor Lim is not only a very successful female entrepreneur but also the best professor around for the class of TWC. Hence, all the things she mentioned are words of wisdom and also backed up with experience of her own. Professor Lim has definitely trigger the interest in me to seek an alternative route towards entrepreneurship instead of being a salaried worker. In a nutshell, Prof Lim’s TWC class has not only been an fulfilling but also an enriching journey for me.
The objective i have set at the beginning of the course is to 1.)understand more about how technology affects the world. 2.) understand the different concepts of technology and how changes in the world affects technological advances. 3.)Learn how people from different walks of life (i.e. Students from different background and faculty) think about technological advancement. At this juncture, i believed that I have achieved these objectives to a large extent. Firstly, through theories and concepts like the Long wave cycle and technology S-curve i understand more about how technology affects the world and vice versa. Through this course, I should say that I had a deeper understanding about technology. Technology initially may seem to be a tool to make our lives easier, but underneath it is the driving force of the world. Thus, I truly understand the power of technology and how we should embrace it. Lastly, through the course I have heard the opinions of peers from different faculty and even a few years difference in age seems to make a difference in the way we see technology as. This makes me even more intrigue to listening to the opinions and comments by different people and ponder how much understanding do Singaporeans
I think I learned most from my group works. Working with different people is not always easy and I believe that is also the reason why we are having group works in SMU - to train us to be able to work with different people.
My group has quite a variety of people, I must say. Sometimes it is not easy to get people with distinct personalities to work together and that was the case. However, there is an effective solution that I have found out. We have to be patient sometimes to not get things worse and more troublesome. At the end of the day, we will not remember our grades anyway, but we will definitely remember our ex-groupmates. In future, when we meet our ex-groupmates, we want to be happy and smile and interact with them asking each other about life. We do not want to be reminded of unpleasant memories with our ex-groupmates. So, I have learned a valuable lesson from my group work in this module that group works should not be focused towards achieving grades, but rather towards getting to know each other and definitely staying in touch after this module ends.
From the module itself, I think I have acquired some knowledge of technology, which I wanted at the beginning of the course and I am quite happy for that now. I think the guest speaker lecture was very memorable as we really got to hear from real technopreneurs. I was quite pleased when I heard a few words from the technopreneurs which I have been saying to my friends but some of my friends have been disagreeing with me. One of them is that university life is not about grades. I think Vincent Lai mentioned that if I remember correctly. It was also the first time that I knew there was a person agreeing with me that introverts are more thinkers than extroverts. Jeffrey Paine mentioned that.
I must also say that I like the idea of having mini-presentations week in week out. This forces students to not switch off and really concentrate as they are pressurized by time to deliver. Although it's taxing and sometimes there are times when students are tired enough due to their numerous deadlines they would say 'Oh give me a break', it is still a good learning system overall.
To conclude, I am happy that I have learned things from this course. Although there were a bit of struggles here and there, overall it has been a good learning experience and I really enjoyed it.
The TWC seminars have exceeded what I set out to achieve at the start of this course. First up was correcting my mistaken idea that all inventions are innovations. Learning how an innovation goes from idea to success, and the factors that enable it to happen was also useful and can be applied in future when, hopefully, I too will become an entrepreneur. I like how the guest speakers concluded the course by putting a face to the theories that we've been learning. This course has brought the theories behind all the technology that surrounds us to life, and that is definitely more than what I expected in week 1.
Submitted by xiaodouya on Fri, 04/01/2011 - 22:45 To be honest, I have forgotten what I have written in the first journal, but I remembered that I was determined to gather knowledge that will help me in a start-up such as realizing how a patent works. Yes, I have achieved these objectives, however, certain precise details have not been taught to us. After all, this is more of an introductory class to entrepreneurship. With that, it is up to me to start on my journey. Also, experiences would matter a lot to me now and finding a mentor could help. In class, I have also asked other questions such as whether is it inevitable to spend a large amount of money in new technologies when developing prototypes. Such questions would help in my quest in gathering the right estimate amount of funds. These answers could serve as a textbook guide which I can refer to when I am lost. In-class presentations have also enhanced my capability of researching in a shorter time and present to a group of audience without rehearsing. Though we did not learn how to pitch our idea in a minute, this is a similar concept where one has to pitch certain ideas within a time constraint. This is relevant to the working world we see today. That said, special thanks to our beloved TA, Ephraim and Prof Pamela for the beneficial journey throughout the whole 13 weeks.
I feel that I have achieved objectives set up in my first journal. I have learned how the various technological changes have impacted society in ways that I never could have imagined. I was also exposed to numerous success stories of innovators and how they formulated strong strategies to implement and guide their vision. Along the way, I also learnt about the different approaches and strategies that innovators adopted to pursue their dreams. In addition, the guest seminar was useful since each of the successful innovators was able to share their personal experiences with us. I am certain that I am not alone in appreciating the true value of this module. There have been so many invaluable lessons that I learned from this module apart from technology and how it has shaped the world that we live in. For example, the weekly group presentations that we had to present helped develop my presentation skills and naturally built up my confidence in public speaking. Finally, I enjoyed the manner in which the professor delivered the weekly seminars as it was refreshing and facilitated class participation. The rather interesting technique to encourage class participation by prompting members of the class to read from the slides instead of the professor delivering the whole seminar by herself definitely helped to set it apart from other modules that I have attended in school. It surely made me look forward in anticipation to the following weeks’ seminar as it felt invigorating and made me develop a genuine interest in technology, a field that prior to this module, admittedly, was of no particular significance to me.