Ken Poh Keng Boon


There is no doubt that many people are throwing themselves at what seem to be business opportunities after failing repeatedly due to the sincere belief that they can be entrepreneurs. It is a privilege to be able to secure a seat in Ms Pamela Lim's only class this semester for Technology and World Change. All budding entrepreneurs should aim to emulate her for her success as a mother, entrepreneur and now an university lecturer is exemplary. The theories of this module could have been taught by any other professors but her invaluable experience is what one cannot acquire in her absence. Through the 12 lessons, I have discovered that there are many factors that contribute to a thriving enterprise from a simple idea that one might have stumbled across.

Professor Pamela's Technology and World Change (TWC) class provided students the opportunities to learn from findings of fellow classmates and therefore, able to learn more in the limited 36 hours of study. To date, we have enjoyed at least 70 presentations from peers and successful entrepreneurs. The Friday evening talk where Mr. Wong Toon King, Mr. Bob Teo, and Dr. Ting Choon Meng shared their wisdom proved to be an empowering event because they shed light on how possible successful entrepreneurship can be to anybody.

I have a few takeaways from this module as stated below:
1. Failing is like falling, look for what leads to your setback that one day may be your key to success.
Young entrepreneurs lack the exposure to the society's viciousness and the rhythm of the economy and hence, may lose their footing in the business world. Many a time, failure is inevitable. One should pick himself up from the dirt and strive to go further with this episode in mind.

2. Seize the day.
Opportunities do not come knocking on your door everyday. Business cycles are testament to the need for entrepreneurs to time their advances and pace themselves so that their efforts will pay off.

3. Know your weakness and hire the right people
We all know that no one is perfect in this world but we should constantly reflect and review on ourselves so that we can better improve on our services or products. Hiring people that can contrast and complement your strengths and weaknesses can better facilitate progress and success in the long run.

I have truly enjoyed my learning journey in Professor Pamela Lim's course. Luck is once but knowledge is forever. Pamela Lim for the win!

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Sanaya Sinha

by Sanaya Sinha
(Singapore)

When I joined SMU I was told that Technology and World Change is one of core courses all SMU students are required to do. I did not know much about the course content and I presumed it would consist of learning about technology per se-that is, how to use the available technology to help us in our day to day lives.
The course turned out to be very different from what I imagined, in that it looked at the bigger picture-at how technology is shaping our lives as a whole. Nonetheless I enjoyed the course and did learn a lot from it.
The best thing about this course was it hands-on teaching method that Pamela Lim adopted. In one of our first classes she explained a theory in the field of education research, which is that students retain about 80% of the topic if they have to teach it to someone else. Ms. Lim successfully applied this theory through her method of group presentations in each class combined with class breakouts. I appreciated the fact that the traditional method of lecturing students was completely done away with.
The class breakouts helped me learn the most, because we had to learn a lot about a particular topic within 20 minutes and present it to the class. I still remember what we spoke about in all our breakouts, which shows that this is indeed an effective way of learning.
What I liked about the course content is that it included a lot of contemporary examples that fascinated me and helped me learn more about objects in my day to day life. For instance, we explored the iPod in depth starting from its creation till the point where it was marketed so well that almost everyone owns an iPod. Because the topics taught were related to items I am familiar with, it was not a boring course. What I mean to say is that the course could have explored something like computer programming (which did revolutionize modern life), but learning about computer programming would not have piqued my interest in the course.
A good thing about the course is that it went beyond technology itself and gave us the business perspective as well-learning how to set up a technology firm. This was great because it gave us a holistic view of the course and was not restricted to the development of technology.
I really enjoyed learning about the life cycle of technology. I have always been interested in history, and am particularly fascinated by the economic cycles in history. What amazed me was how closely the technology cycle mirrored the economic cycle, and it led me to wonder whether it was just a coincidence or whether the two are intertwined.
When I enrolled for this class, I hoped to learn more about technology and the influence it has on our lives. I was vaguely aware of the overwhelming influence of technology in today’s world, but I didn’t know WHY technology is such an important part of our lives. In this class I learnt a great deal about various patterns in developing technology, the life cycle of a particular technology, how it affects society, and how one gets an innovative idea to reach the market. With all this in mind, I can safely say that I met my objectives for the course.
My biggest takeaway from this course is that I have a much clearer idea of how the business world in general works. I have always wondered how people start companies and make it grow to be a multi billion dollar one, like IBM. This course gave me a crystal clear picture of what it takes to get your idea to the masses through a successful company. I love the fact that I now know more about the business world-previously my knowledge of this world was limited to how multi-national companies work, and what their employees do.
All in all, TWC is a course that I have learnt much from. In addition to this, I had a lot of fun along the journey which made it so much better!

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Leo Kim Sonia

What I enjoyed most about the course were the group presentations, both the first set of presentations and the case-studies. The level of research and insight produced by the presenting groups covered a wide array of topics and interesting ideas, and I feel that I've learnt a lot from my peers.

I feel that this is a very good teaching model to adopt, as different groups coming up to present their part means that the ideas shared are much more diverse than if one person were to teach. Also, the constant changing of groups presenting maintains a good class dynamic, rather than a Prof standing up there for 3 hours talking non-stop.

I especially enjoyed the interesting facts about businesses, for example, how iPod has managed to circumvent not having first mover advantage and yet come out tops above companies such as Creative, which did have first mover advantage. Also, how interesting companies such as Zara and IKEA operate and adopt business models that are innovative and make them work.

Moreover, the in-class presentations were very useful in letting us experience how to do research online in a small amount of time and come up with a coherent presentation. The cases such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook were eye-openers, as going by their online presence, these dotcom companies seem to be doing well, but the presentations showed that the burnout rates for the companies were high, especially for Facebook. This taught me to not take businesses at their face value.

I feel that my initial objectives of learning more about businesses and technology has been met, especially through the guest speaker seminar and Prof Pamela's accounts, where the three speakers and Prof brought in plenty of real life experience, such as companies trying to steal your products, and stories that showed the nitty gritty details of conducting a business such as all the red tape one would face that you don't really get through researching on the internet.

In a nutshell, the takeaways from this class are not only the textbook knowledge about innovation, but also a lot of application in real businesses and lastly, the presentation experience I received, which has been a very enriching experience.

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Low Zhi Kai

I must say that this is one of the most interesting styles of learning I have ever experienced. We are given the chance to take control of what we learn. Through guidance from Prof Lim, we are posted with questions related to the topic and break up into teams to do our own research. These in class presentations are kept short due to the short amount of time given to prepare our slides. By keeping the presentations short we can concentrate better as compared to sitting through long, dry and informative presentations. Although these presentations are short, I find that I was able to retain information better. Given that we were required to come up with our own presentation slides within a short time period, it trains us to work fast and gather information fast. This effectively teaches us to be more efficiently in doing researches.

Lessons include the thinking points we need to consider when starting a business. It made me think of most if not all the aspects we need to look at when starting a business. Apart from the text, Prof Lim was more than willing to share with us her past and present experience as an entrepreneur. There is nothing more valuable and useful than real life experiences as compared to information from text and the internet in becoming a successful entrepreneur. Points that she brought up during lessons were not inside text or can be found on the internet. The pointers given by her often leave me with “wow! I didn’t even think of that!”

Prof Lim’s lessons were informative given her willingness to share her experience and also through all the researches done in class. I truly have benefitted from her lessons and it successfully exposed me to how amazing technology can in fact play an important role in businesses especially in terms of entrepreneurship. This was my main take away for the whole of this course.

Thank you Prof for your valuable and unreserved sharing.

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Aw Yi Hui

by Dr. Aw
(Singapore)

Despite appearing to be leaving in a bus after a fruitful journey(at TWC) together, this moment marks a new beginning for us to explore the mountains more in-depth together with our professor.

Despite appearing to be leaving in a bus after a fruitful journey(at TWC) together, this moment marks a new beginning for us to explore the mountains more in-depth together with our professor.

My TWC Journey

Fun. Enriching. Exciting. Every class is filled with new discoveries!

The previous statement describes exactly what I can comment about this TWC class conducted by Professor Pamela Lim. When I reflect upon my whole TWC journey, I realize that this course is extremely captivating as we are always learning from each other.

Initially, the main thing I wanted to learn from this course is to learn more about business and technology so that they will serve as a good foundation for me to be able to make a big positive change to the world I’m living in through innovation in future. Now that we have just completed our last lesson together, I would say that this aim is fully achieved.

From the business perspective, I got to learn about innovation, what it is, how it came about (theories involved), and how to develop it into something marketable. On top of that, we also got to find out the importance of Intellectual Property, and how to go about patenting our products to protect our innovations. Next, we even found out how to find institutional and financial support to fund our new ventures. These lessons were thought through theories which are briefly covered through lecture slides, and greatly covered through our peers with guidance from our professor. Last but not least, we got to meet well known technical entrepreneurs who shared with us their insightful experiences that are unforgettable.

The most interesting things happen when we explore technology together via in-class research, presentations, and question and answers. Our professor always makes things interesting by giving us interesting topics to explore on. For example, a group cooked with an induction cooker in class (we had a great breakfast!), so as to talk about different types of innovation. On top of that, she also drops in topic that requires some creative juices. For example, to use the toilet flush system in another industry. A group actually suggested using the flush for a double story noodle soup shop. These are memories we have in the class which we will remember alongside with the lessons meant to be conveyed to us.

Personally, being a third year undergraduate from school of information systems, I have been exposed to many cutting edge new technologies which I love to share with my classmates. This includes things like google wave (http://wave.google.com/about.html) and 6th sense (http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/685). In the process of sharing and answering questions from professor and my class, I ended up learning and remembering even more on what I originally knew.

As such, to sum things up, this is really one course that is fun, enriching, exciting and filled with discoveries. My friends recommended me Professor Pamela Lim in the past, and now, I am also recommending her as one professor to take this module with. It's worth it.

P.S. Please bid high enough, the reason why I take this course in my third year is due to the fact that I was saving e-dollars and missed her class four times in a row.

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Lim Qiuhui

Throughout the course, I enjoyed the weekly 5 mins of topics presentation and discussion the most. From 25mins preparation for the presentation, I learnt to simplify my learning and understanding obtained from the books and website for 5mins presentation. Being the presenter for the 5 mins presentation train my articulation skill and interim response to the question posted from the professor and classmate. Lastly, participation in topic discussion better enhance my learning and acquiring of knowledge from the professor and classmates.

Objectives I have met from this course:
- Understand the process it takes to become a success entrepreneur that I obtained from the guest speakers and the weekly topic presentation from different teams.

- Understand on how innovation and technology help in the business growth and sustainability from the techniques and theories learnt.

- Understand the next/future technological trend that it might be that might help me in decide in the future career.

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Ngo Bang Lin

It is a known fact that each and every one of us wants to be successful. In the last 13 weeks, I have learnt a vast wealth of knowledge about innovation and entrepreneurship through the many case studies, presentations as well as listening to successful entrepreneurs such as Mr. Wong Toon King, Dr. Ting Choon Meng and Mr. Bob Teo sharing their experiences with us. I feel that instead of learning by rote, different theories and different formulae that we are so used to, Technology and World Change (TWC) is a practical and holistic course which expose us students to the reality of doing a business and the road to being successful. I think doing our own research and learning through peers via the different presentations weekly is a good way to learn as, by presenting on a certain aspect of the theories taught, we are trained to apply it to real life taking successful firms and companies as our reference. Furthermore, the break out sessions has taught us to be able to think quick and act fast. Coming up with presentation slides in a mere 20 minutes to share with the class was good training for us as we have to come up with quality slides and presentation as well.

Although we were not challenged to build a viable business like what the students in Technological Entrepreneurship (TE) class did, I still feel that the things we have learnt prepares us for the road ahead for budding entrepreneurs. When the students from TE were showcasing their products, I did see the tremendous amount of effort put in by these students and how each and everyone of them is explaining their product very professionally in hopes of getting the interest of the guest speakers. It was at this moment where I realised that ideas are cheap, that even simple ideas can take flight, and like what Professor Pamela Lim had taught us, ideas come easily. It is the process of selling the idea to people that is difficult, that takes perseverance and patience.

I think it is important that we are exposed to the world as much as we can and be given room to make trials and errors when we are in school. In this course, I feel that I've been given the opportunity to do so, for example, being one of the teams to know Mr. Bob Teo on a personal level, his lifestyle and his inspiration to develop something as radical as the abKey. We were all told about finding your passion and developing it. I feel that it was a brilliant experience and that instead of the few groups sourcing for guest speakers, all groups should do so. It is a whole new ball game to be engaging entrepreneurs; you really do learn a lot more as compared to learning from case studies.

The video from TED.com below shows how success is a continuous journey and having gone through this module, I feel we should start as early as possible. Given the things that I?ve been taught in class, I feel well equipped in the theories, but I feel that we should be practicing what we have been taught. This summer, I will be going for summer exchange at University of British Columbia and one of the modules I?m taking is on E-commerce as well as International Business. I feel that the Internet is limitless and is something we can all capitalize on. Needless to say, I?m sure the things taught will enable me to tie back to the things I?ve learnt in TWC. I am grateful for the lessons taught by Professor Pamela Lim and the sharing of her experiences throughout the years. Having a experienced entrepreneur who have succeeded in her career teach us to ropes to innovations and entrepreneurship really inspired me to head to put the thing?s I?ve taught into application if given the opportunity.

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Amanda Charlene Chia

by Amanda Charlene Chia
(Singapore)

On the 4 January 2010, I wrote my first journal stating the objectives I want to meet in this module. In summary, they were

1. To learn how to use technology as a tool
2. To learn how to sustain businesses reliant on the internet
3. To learn the traits of successful tech-businesses

Looking back 12 weeks from now, I realised that I was too narrow in the scope of what i would want to achieve in this module. I had been too focused on technology; the objectives that I wanted to meet were easily satisfied in 2-3 lessons. I have gained more than the knowledge that I set out looking for. More importantly, I feel that this module has been an eye-opener for me and has provided me guidance and motivation to be an innovator and an entrepreneur, myself.

My three most important takeaways would be:

1. The innovation process of technology
Through this module, I have learnt about the different phases and paradigms of an innovation of a technology. Although these are mainly theories, it has changed my perspectives on an innovation. When I look at an innovation now, i would think of what is the next possible phase it would be in. Inevitably, my mind would start imagining and the creative juices would flow to link the synapses. In my opinion, this is a very important process as it is the first step to be an innovator. If my brain keeps imagining the possibilities, perhaps one day, I would be able to come up with something as well.

2. Doing a presentation in pressured time
One of the best things about this module is that most of the work is done in class. In every lesson, a presentation is to be done on the topic for discussion. To me, this is a good way of training us to be more efficient. The limited time forces you to be on the ball. I was very impressed with how each of the groups presented given the restraints. This serves as a motivation for me to be as efficient in other modules as well.

3. The talks and interview
The most enjoyable and enriching component from this module would be the talks done by Prof Lim's guests, as well as the interview that my group conducted for the case study. Nothing beats hearing the first-hand experience that these technopreneurs have, live. You get to see them right in front of you and it makes you feel that it is not impossible to be like them one day. Most of the interviews i watch are either online or on the television. When the person stands right in front of you and you know what he has achieved, it just brings inspiration up the notch. Through the case study, I also had to interview a technopreneur. I feel that conducting an interview is advantageous; not only can you seek to clarify doubts and to understand the person?s thought process better, you are able to create an impression and hence, it is a great opportunity to network at the same time. More importantly, you can seek their advices on your own life and they will offer you invaluable advices. The more advice you seek, the more perspectives you will get and it helps in showing which path to go. If I was given an opportunity to turn back time, I would hope my group had been the one to interview the guest speakers.

Right at the top of these three reasons, the thing loved the most was to hear her story of her experiences; how did her competitors try to put her down and how she manages it. I clearly remember her saying that she did not need to drink or play golf to clinch a deal. This means a lot to me, as I do not want to be someone that clinches a deal purely through socializing in the future. Knowing that Professor Lim could still be so successful without these reassures me that I am on the right path. As a female, taking TWC under Prof Pamela Lim is also something very special to me. It?s inspiring to know that she manages her family and work so well. This is something that I will bear in mind fervently when I pursue success in the corporate world in time to come.

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Jason Ho

by Jason Ho

I was a little sceptical about the module in the beginning. However, after attending the classes and being exposed to the curriculum, I feel that I have gained much experience which I would not be able to learn from other more technical modules. Most importantly, it is the way the whole module is structured such as active class participation which allows me to have a fun and joyful environment to learn in, and also allow me to learn from my fellow peers at the same time.

I have enjoyed your sessions where you shared your own personal entrepreneurial journey and experiences which are inspirational and insightful to many in creating their own dreams toward establishing a successful venture. You really inspired me to think about entrepreneurship, appealing me to venture in this direction.

I believe that learning is an active process and we learn much more by applying it. Therefore you have helped us tremendously by giving me the opportunity to apply what I learned during the in-class presentation. Besides that, the break out session each week also allows me to learn more through researching on current case studies instead of restricting my learning to the textbook.

I feel that my major take away from this course is that you have broadened my horizon, taught me to have an open-mind to look at the thinking process behind the innovations and the key factors that led to widespread usage of the product. Through this, you have enlightened me on the different ways that these innovations have made their way into our lives and the impacts that they have created.

I look forward to the 'sequel' of this Technology & World Change class and I hope to be part of your next Technical Entrepreneurship class, heading towards the direction of an entrepreneur!

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Lee Jian Wen, Brendan

by Brendan Lee
(Singapore)

In my two terms in SMU, there is no course as radical in the manner of teaching as Prof Lim's TWC class. I think that the most enjoyable aspect of her lessons is the free reign that we are given. Apart from the short snippets where prof clarifies the various concepts, most of the lesson is taught by fellow students. I think this makes the lesson interesting most of the time as case examples chosen by my classmates are usually something that I can identify with.

In the first journal, I mentioned that some key objectives that I want to achieve is to be able to present effectively as well as to improve my research techniques. Without a doubt, I think my presentation skills have improved greatly from the frequent practice from this class. In addition, I'm able to do my research more effectively due to the short time we are given to research for in-class presentations. I also mentioned that I want to improve my overall class experience by participating more. I believe that I have accomplished that as well.


My greatest takeaway from the lessons will be the thoughts shared by the guest speakers as well as prof's own personal insights. Our textbook gives us examples as well as concepts and theories. However, they fail to capture the essence of entrepreneurship, and this is where the real world stories by prof and the guest speakers come in. For example, the books show the sources of funding. However, it fails to capture the difficulties (venture capitalists stealing your ideas), means of getting funded as well as the life stories (both success as well as failure)associated with being an entrepreneur.

At the conclusion of this class, I am more curious about the career path of an entrepreneur. I also look forward to take a class under Professor Pamela Lim in future.

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Oei Yi En Samuel

What I appreciated most about the class was the opportunity to hear the opinions and experiences of people who had ventured into the 'real' business world. This came from both from the guest speakers as well the stories and anecdotes related by Lecturer Pamela Lim

While I do also appreciate SMU's academic rigour, with its endless theories and concepts and case studies. It still feels detached from the real world, sometimes giving off the mis-conception that given the right approach and sufficient hard work, success is guaranteed.

Something I feel that is important in our lives is the capability to deal with adversitiy. The knowledge that, sometimes, our best efforts are not good enough, and we simply have to dust ourselves off and try again.

This was a theme that was returned to time and again in this module, with the emphasis that a large percentage of attempts at entrepreneurship fail. Furthermore, even with a good business plan, the amoral and cutthroat nature of the business world, with blatant copyright infringements and others, means that unfair competition is also an ever present threat.

So to summarize, the most important takeway from the semester for me, was the reinforcement of the point that life is not always easy, and it is not always fair, and we should learn to take it in our stride.

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Mary-Anne Chua

What I have Most Enjoyed:

When I first started the course, I was a little sceptical about this module because the course outline seemed to suggest a module filled with abstract theories which might not necessarily be translated into real life. However, I found that the module was quite a fresh breath of air because of the hands-on approach taken (the in class research and presentation) as well as the lively discussions. Quite a refreshing change from some of the more content heavy modules. It was good to be able to articulate and discuss the ideas brought up in class and to learn from my peers. I also enjoyed the fact that less focus was placed on the theories themselves, but more on the application of the theories and their translation in real life.

The Guest Seminar and Prof's sharing the week after was also something I enjoyed a lot. It was inspirational to have such experienced and interesting speakers come down to share their stories with us and to give us tips on what to look out for when starting a technology based business, on business and life in general.

Objectives that I have Met/Takeaways:

The objective that I have met is the acquisition of a broader perspective on technology and innovation issues. Previously, my understanding of technology was rather shallow, but each week I have discovered something new and gained a better grasp of the world around me. For instance, I learnt that even though Facebook is such a popular social networking site, it is not necessarily making money, that EC House actually monitors how many people patronise their shop by using sensors in their chairs, and that husbands can claim alimony from their wives. Perhaps two principles that are common amongst the things that I have learnt are that: appearances are not what they seem, and that the world is always changing, faster than you can imagine.

One of my greatest takeaways from the course is to be able to produce results in a very short period of time and under intense pressure. This comes from the frequent in-class assignments that we had to do. Each time, we had a limited time frame to produce a presentation on a topic new to us and this challenge helped to build up my ability to think on the spot and generate ideas under pressure.

As part of the group doing the logistics for the Guest Seminar, limited time also presented itself as a challenge. We had to secure the necessary paperwork and liaise with different people (from the school?s CIT help desk, the caterers, the Office of Facilities Management, and the groups inviting the guest speakers) in a very short span of time and even on the day of the event itself, we were busy with preparations. We also had to be able to handle unexpected problems and this required quick thinking. What I took away from this was also greater insight into events management and the scrutiny and detailed planning that it requires. The importance of teamwork was another takeaway from this event because without teamwork both within my group and with the other groups, the event could not have been possible.

Another takeaway from this course is increased confidence. Having to present in class and having to emcee in front of a huge audience during the Guest Seminar certainly pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped to boost my public speaking confidence.

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Thorairajan s/o Manickam (David)

by THORAIRAJAN
(SINGAPORE)

SEE, SOAR, SEIZE!

SEE, SOAR, SEIZE!

“You want Success? Just look at the Eagle.”
Being an entrepreneur is one of the most challenging circumstances for any individual. It is the dream of any risk-taker, visionary to fulfil their all-consuming passion in the heart of entrepreneurship. In other words, there are few areas that we might fruitfully bring our risk-taking, “never-say-die” potential attitude to apart from entrepreneurship. I will like to use Eagle to illustrate 3 key Mastery tips in being a successful entrepreneur.
What do we picture when we think of an eagle? Or what do a successful entrepreneur and an eagle has in common? Here are three depictions to help any budding entrepreneur understand the key essentials of successful entrepreneurship: SEE, SOAR AND SEIZE.
SEE
For every entrepreneur, you are deemed a failure, if you do not have a vision. It is easy to make a product, but vision is what that makes the product remains alive. Every animal have eyes to see but not every animal is far-sighted as the eagle. It has eyes that penetrate million miles away. Likewise, every entrepreneur who wants to be Thomas Edison had to be very far-sighted. Vision is all about dreaming to the extent, the dream is not fulfilled in a short stint.
It is crucial to maximise our potential and use it to excellent use and vision is the tool for it. This is one of the golden key to any successful and valuable entrepreneur door. If we don’t visualise our end in the beginning, we will get to no good end.
Have you heard about the“7 habits of highly effective people”. In fact, it is a great book that I recommend to any effective-seeking entrepreneur. One of Stephen Covey’s wise habits is “Begin with an end in mind”. The one who will make it in life is the one who knows what he really wants in life. With that goal, it is imperative to look far ahead and see the end product of our vision. For example, Dr Ting who invented and innovated Bpro, exemplified that it is very important to be greedy on the vision, and his was to see the dying rate due to high blood pressure to reduce effectively . His vision has made him a successful technopreneur in Singapore today.
One has to divide goals from vision. Goals are temporary and their motivations are usually short-lived. Vision, alternatively, are for those who wants to be powerful and meaningful in their lives.
SOAR
Another aspect of an Eagle is that it soars in a way that other birds have to make way or stand in awe of its skilfulness. Yes, any entrepreneur who wants to enter the market should not even think twice about entering if he do not have the skills, attitudes in what he longs to achieve.
One of the greatest examples is Dr Ting himself who invented Bpro. He was a doctor himself and he knows what he wants because he understands the market and with his medical superiority, it was a double combo for him. It is no small issue if an engineer wants to risk his life goals in opening up a bakery if he has no knowledgeable skills about baking.

SEIZE
An eagle is not what it is; awed upon, if it stops at just being far-sighted and skilful. It needs wisdom and shrewdness to catch its prey. Eagles do not swoop down any point of time. It waits for the right timings and when it plunges its weight down on its prey in a way that the prey can just helplessly waits for its death in silence.
Entrepreneurs are not successful in the market if they only have a great vision and the right skills to make the product. They need absolute wisdom to capture the market in a way that no other competitors can ever dominate it again. Steve Jobs is the most classic example in understanding this. Creative could not stand against the Apple giant in any way to its product after Apple made its entry into the innovative market.
With the acumen of sharp-sightedness in the way we study the market, synergise the entry to the market and capturing it in a way that no other similar products can stand before you is what I am looking for. Sometimes, the product have to start small when it competes with giants but it should outwit the competitors with great strategies to innovate a new radical product.

Conclusion
How does an eagle teach its young to fly? Usually it carries its eaglet in its mouth and throws it down from the peak of the sky. The eaglet will try to fly its wings and will struggle its way through till the mother swoops down and catches it back again. This will happen again and again till the eaglet learns to finally fly.
What I want every success-seeking entrepreneur to understand is that if you are stepping into the market and have decided to put your feet in, then it is fundamental that you never give up till you stretch your wings and fly. For I believe that “It is not what we do but being the best in what we do”.



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Loo Jing Yi

I enjoyed the guest speakers session the most as it allows me to hear from the various entrepreneurs their experience and difficulties they have met while setting up their own business. It is not easy to find successful entrepreneurs who are willing to share their life stories and answer the questions we had. I always find it interesting to know how different people progressed from the past to the successful state they are in now. This was a very good experience for me as the lessons learned from the entrepreneurs will definitely benefit me in the future if I decide to become an entrepreneur.

I started the module promising myself that I will apply what I have learned in this module. I believed I have achieved it as the concepts learned about innovation will definitely come in useful when I decide to come up with new products and services. Before learning about entrepreneurs, I find that setting up your own business is something risky, thus it is not something I will venture into in the future. The speakers mentioned how we should take the necessary risks and that we should never take the advice of our close ones for granted once we become successful, if we take them for granted it may just lead us to our downfall. After hearing their experiences and advice, I am keen on becoming an entrepreneur myself in the near future.

I think this module is very useful as it is important to learn more about technology as we are very dependent on it nowadays and it has become a part of our lives. We cannot live without our mobile phones and computers. If technology was not in place, I really cannot imagine how we will all be surviving and getting on with life. So I feel that we should appreciate how technology has helped us in our daily lives and how it has changed the world. Technology has and will continue to benefit us as it keeps progressing for the better. I do believe that even if I do not become an entrepreneur in the future, the lessons taught in this module will still benefit me in my future endeavours.

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Tan Yan Cong

by Tan Yan Cong
(SMU-TWC)

I still remembered my first day of Technology and World Change taught by Professor Pamela Lim. It was held on a Monday, early in the morning at 8.30am and on the first day of my school. Still in my “holiday mood”, I was shocked to learn that I had to present on something that I didn’t know about and with only a mere 30minutes to prepare for it with 7 new faces. What came after that was probably the best and my “most-look-forward-to” classes, even though it was on a Monday morning.

WHAT DID I ENJOYED THE MOST

What I enjoyed the most was the way Professor Pamela conducted the classes. Her candid and fun-loving personality made the class environment conducive, relaxing and fun. All these factors not only made me participate more in discussions but also enjoy the process of doing so.

I felt that the discussion done in Professor Pamela’s had a sincere and personal touch; it was almost like a “friend-to-friend” conversation. Her replies were also straight-to-the-point, without the frills. Unlike discussions that that I had in my other classes that were full of politically correct statements, discussions in Professor Pamela’s lessons were nothing of that sort. Instead, the Professor Pamela’s teachings were straight to the point, not afraid to deliver the truth to dreamy and naïve students like me.

One more thing I love about Professor Pamela’s class was that she allowed the class to provide directions for class discussions. Unlike other modules where professors will cut me off if I veered off their intended teaching agenda for the class, Professor Pamela allows the class to explore ideas beyond the text and fills in gaps with her own personal knowledge.

WHAT OBJECTIVES HAVE I MET

One of the objectives that I have met was to learn from the mistakes of others. I have always felt that life is too short to simply learn from your own mistakes. During the 13 weeks of Technology and World Change, real-life entrepreneurs were invited to share with us their experience and failures. I found it extremely enriching and have managed to learn valuable lessons from not only the 3 entrepreneur guests but also from Professor herself!

Another objective that I have met was to learn about the real world; how things really work instead of theories that appear in text which are often so different from what actually happens. For example, I was shocked but yet intrigued when Professor Pamela shared with us how she hired a Private Investigator to check if her competitors were copying her product.

Another objective I have met was to learn about technical strategies which a company could use to achieve their goals (whether is it to seek funding, commercialize new product, patent, etc). I have also understood the commercialization process, which is really mind-blowing when I use it to understand products that are in the market. I have also learnt how to classify products (whether if it is radical, incremental, etc). All these knowledge can help me to understand how I can position myself and market my product should the day come when I decide to start up my own business.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Due to the short time allowance given for preparation of in-class presentation, I learnt how to work faster and more efficiently. I learnt how to sieve out relevant information quickly from the Internet – which has really a lot of information – and how to deliver a short and concise presentation like how an entrepreneur will do an “elevator-pitch”.

One of my key takeaways is my mind-set change. Listening to Professor Pamela and the 3 guest speakers has made me realized that a university undergraduate should not be afraid to take the leap of faith to pursue our passion and dreams.

Also I learnt that in order to succeed as an innovator, one must have patience, a listening ear and an unwavering determination

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Tan Shuo Xian

Personally, the stark difference in the way this course is conducted is the idea of in-class research time. I personally really enjoyed this as it forces me to sieve through all the available information from the internet and sharing them with the class without any prior rehearsal. This, I believe, is a very essential trait to entrepreneurs. Many situations will force them to think on their feet, and the past 12 weeks have allowed me to hone that skill. It doesn't feel like an academic course, but the acquiring of a very important skill.

On top of it, the course has taught me the idea of self-learning;learning what to look out for and consider when evaluating businesses. The entrepreneur seminar was definitely very encouraging, and it personally inspired me to consider being an entrepreneur after seeing the passion of all the speakers. I myself also want to encounter similar experiences and be able to triumph over them.

This course has definitely exceeded any expectations I've had, and I do hope i get to find other professors who conduct their courses similar to this manner. It has broaden my mindset about entrepreneurship and the way I view businesses. A common mindset is that business students all want to end up working in a bank, drawing a high salary, but this course has challenged me to consider otherwise.

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Jurane Solano

A teacher, an inspiration, a friend.

There is absolutely no better way to start a Monday morning other than attend Prof Lim's TWC class. I still remember before the start of term, when she uploaded articles about herself onto Vista for our pre-class reading, I got goosebumps reading them. She has achieved so much in the 'real' world, outside of the classroom. I knew that I was going to learn many valuable lessons from this particular Professor.

Since then, I haven't once been disappointed. Every lesson is as exciting as the last, with fresh ideas and knowledge shared for all. But what I most appreciate about her is HOW she goes about imparting all her valuable and practical life skills to us. Through very interactive sessions, she somehow manages to marry theory with her real-life experiences to give us a practical taste of what it's like out there in the working jungle. I find myself 100% engaged every lesson - every story she tells always has an important takeaway lesson behind the exciting escapades that she's made, and behind every multi-million dollar deal she's closed. Initially, I thought that this course would probably be one of the more boring courses that I'd have to clear; I mean, Technology & World Change? I never was interested in Technology, and World Change sounded like they just needed to make the course name longer. However, after taking her lessons, I really do realize the significance of technology and its relationships to invention, and innovation and most importantly, entrepreneurship.

Ever since working in Prudential as a Recruitment Officer last year, I've told myself that whatever I do, I'd be an entrepreneur, I'd run my own business, because I realized that that's the only way, THE ONLY WAY, to self-actualize. Prof Lim's course has provided some serious insight on this topic. Even if you are not planning to go down that route, her experiences as an entrepreneur still have valuable lessons to teach you. But what was really, really inspiring was Prof Lim's never-say-die attitude. I don't know how to communicate to you off the screen the kind of encouragement and warmth I feel (and I'm sure my peers do to) when she speaks of the adversities that she had to go through, and how she admits that yes, it's not easy, nobody said that it was going to be easy. But follows by saying that as long as you BELIEVE that you are going to be able to do, as long as you keep striving on, you WILL make it someday. I guess it just gives a scared lonely undergraduate like myself some hope, eh? That if she can do it, why can't I? I rave about her to my friends because I really respect her, and what she's achieved. Not that I look down on my gender, but the proportion of successful businesswomen out there still doesn’t hold a candle to the male species. And she managed to close deals while she was pregnant. PREGNANT!

I’m sure that most of you will agree with me that sometimes, the best and most valuable lessons you will ever learn from someone, especially a teacher, are most of the time not all the theoretical knowledge that they taught in class, but the other skills, like the soft skills for instance, and important life values. Because that’s what Prof Lim reminded us of, no matter how successful we are going to be or become, to never ever forget our moral values, and be lawful too.

Thank you, Prof Lim, it has been an amazing journey.

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Chen Weijian

Throughout this course, I have learnt more than I had imagined. Initially, I thought this would be one of the more technical courses where I would study how a technology of a product is developed and its impact on the world. Little did I know that I would learn so much about entrepreneurship. I have to admit that it has been a pleasant surprise. In particular, I have really enjoyed the guest seminar and listening to successful entrepreneurs from Singapore share their stories. Of course, Prof has her fair share of stories to tell and that was one thing in class I have always looked forward to.

One of my objectives is to learn how technology and innovations come about and how the world has evolved as a result. Through this course, I have learnt that there are different types and sources of innovation, with varying impact on the world. For example, not only are there product and service innovations, Henry Ford’s moving assembly line has shown that one can actually innovate a process as well.

While I have learnt plenty of such theories, it was the skills that I have picked up that I find most invaluable. I remember in the first of class, we were instructed to investigate if Facebook was making a profit. Most of us had assumed it was. However, upon further examination, we found that it was not. That has taught me to be more inquisitive about things we hear and question its validity.
Furthermore, the short 5 minutes in-class presentations where we were given only 25 minutes to prepare meant that we had to find relevant information, analyze them, leave out the unnecessary and present the rest. It forced me to think effectively on my feet, developing critical thinking and presentation skills in the process as well.

However, all these are probably skills that I would develop in other courses as well. Therefore, my biggest takeaway from this course has to be something that other courses do not offer. As such, it was really the stories that the guests at guest seminar and Prof’s real life experiences that made this course such an unique one. I have learnt about the harsh reality about the real world. For instance, having a great idea or product and patenting it does not necessarily mean that it would not be stolen. Yes, I could sue them for plagiarism if people steal my idea. But do I have the funds to do so? Do I have the time and resources to bring the “big boys” down? Also, the talk in class about venture capitalist has got me to see things from a more critical(or perhaps skeptical) perspective. These are the things we would not be able to learn from textbooks and these are what I feel are the most important lessons anyway could have learnt.

Unfortunately, I am rather disappointed that the lessons taught in class stopped there. I am very keen to learn more of such lectures and would like to know what to do to protect myself in the ruthless world. Perhaps a better way to learn this is by going through it and learning from my mistakes. However, I feel the best way to learn is through the mistakes others have committed as well as others who have succeeded. As such, I think this course could have been made even better had such experiences have been shared as well.

That said, I am more than delighted with how this course has gone and how much insights I have gained from it. Very importantly, I have learnt things that I could not have possibly learnt in other modules. This course has met and definitely surpassed my expectations.

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Clara Chan Gek Hoon

When I first stepped into the class of Technology and World Change, I was expecting to sit through a semester of boring lectures, having being ?forced? to bid for this module as it is a university requirement. Imagine my surprise when I found out that there were presentations, fast paced lectures and group discussions every single week. Throughout this entire semester I was kept on my toes, and the pace of class was that which did not allow for any snoozing or lazing around. Prof Pamela had her own way of making class interesting, and I don?t recall ever wanting to fall asleep in her class, a remarkable feat considering that it was a Monday morning class.

The course content was presented in an interesting way, with students teaching each other the information in the textbook through weekly presentations. This was something I liked about class, and was a refreshing change from the usual professor-teaching-students-listening format. Class content revolved around technology, innovation, invention and entrepreneurship. Although initially I wasn?t very interested in these areas, I eventually saw how many of the examples covered affected our daily lives, and the interesting origins of many of the things that we take for granted these days. Learning so much was also one of the things I enjoyed about the course. Finally, I also cherished the experiences in presentation that was given to us. Seldom are there modules in SMU where you can have so much experience in presenting in a semi-formal setting, and all the experiences that I was given helped me to become a better speaker.

During my first reflection journal, I wrote that I wanted to learn more about technology changes and how they affected the society. I also wanted to learn more examples and see how they applied in our daily lives. I believe that both these objectives have been met, more than sufficiently. Throughout the course, we have learnt how technology changes and evolves, and how this change has, both directly and indirectly, affected society, in terms of the available technology, occupations and even necessity items such as sewage disposal (think toilet bowl). All these have allowed me to see the value of innovation, and to see that innovation is not just about ?thinking out of the box?, as it is often misconstrued by others. The course has also allowed me to see that being an entrepreneur is not easy, and that a lot of effort has to be put in to achieve results, and these results may not even be comparable with the amount of effort placed.

Overall, I think that Technology and World Change is an interesting module, and I believe that all students who go through the course will benefit from it immensely.

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Ivan Eio Zhi Wen

Seeing how this was Prof Pamela Lim's only TWC class this term, I cannot believe that I was lucky enough to manage to get in. I had no idea which Prof to bid for so I just picked the one that had only one class, thinking it must be a slack Prof. Good thing I got in! But this is not to say that Prof is a slack Prof! Prof was a very approachable Prof, and although she herself can be considered to be accomplished as well, there were no airs about her. Instead, she went all out to share her rich bank of experience, and had a real drive to educate her students.

Prof Lim has definitely made my TWC a very enriching one. I would consider myself to be quite a frog in the well where entrepreneurship is concerned. Through Prof Lim's weekly break-out sessions, I was given the opportunity to learn much about virtually everything! I recall a certain lesson where we learnt about past civilizations and one of the teams had pictures of their member actually at the Egyptian pyramids! I mean, such an experience would definitely not be had if Prof had not conducted classes the way she did. Her classes were informal yet useful. Because Prof conducted her classes in a casual manner, I think that this has definitely encouraged learning and provides a good conducive environment for peer-learning, which is essentially what SMU life is about! Other than that, we also constantly had to work on a tight schedule on the break-out sessions, learning how to think and work fast to produce slides which were informative and good enough.

Self-learning was also encouraged through our presentations. There were no boring droning sessions about what the textbook content was about. Instead, we learnt about just the essentials in the 5 slides for each presentations. This ensured that we knew our theory, but at the same time, drop the nitty gritty stuff, because that's what final exams are for!

My group also volunteered to participate in the Events Management for the Guest speaker session. Truth be told, we decided to volunteer for this because we thought that it would be quite easy to do. Obviously we were wrong. I learnt tremendously about planning and organisation through this experience. Some may say, chey what's the big deal, it's just like another LTB thing. Well I would tell them that they are wrong, because for this guest speaker session, there's no way to cut corners and be unnoticed. Most if not all of the guest speakers were very accomplished people who made time to come down to share with us about their experiences, so it was essential that we made their contribution worth their while! Talking about Guest speakers, this session provided all of us the opportunity to hear from entrepreneurs in their field. While some were so-so and boring, majority of them really did have much insights and life lessons to share with us. After the session, I felt much more motivated to out-do myself, the same way they have avoided the trodden path and paved a new path for themselves instead.

Thank you Prof Lim for providing this opportunity for me to learn so much, I look forward to taking other modules which you lecture in, and will definitely recommend my peers to take TWC under you as well as volunteering for the guest speaker events management team!

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Ho Chung Yu

Honestly, the reason why I chose to study TWC on my last semester in SMU is because I thought it is just another module which I will not be able to apply what I have learned to the real world.

However, after taking Prof Pamela class, I have to say that I should have taken it way before now. Initially, I thought it was just going to be "yet another module in SMU". But it is totally different from what I have expected. The weekly breakout session, class presentation and research on our own really made us learn better and be more aware of the current market. It also provided us with the opportunities to learn from our fellow classmates and hence, able to learn more within the time limit of a class. The Friday evening talk where Mr. Wong Toon King, Mr. Bob Teo, and Dr. Ting Choon Meng shared their experience also allowed us to truly understand what traits an entrepreneur should have.

One of the key learnings was technology start up strategies which a company could use to achieve their goals, for instance fundings, what to look out for in IP Rights and innovation strategies. I have also understood the commercialization process. The classification of innovations also enabled me to view different innovations clearer and categorize them. I am sure that all I have learned during this course will be put to great use after I graduate.

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Rachel Ng

Before term started, I was apprehensive about the course because I knew almost close to nothing about the technology. However, after going through the entire course, I realize I had nothing to worry about.

Technology & World Change is one of the more interesting courses that I've taken, especially since Prof Pamela Lim shared with us her personal experiences that she has encountered. These are far more invaluable than what the textbook covers and is practical advice for us, regardless of whether we aspire to become entrepreneurs in the future. It also makes the theories in the textbook come alive and she relates the examples she gives to the real world, which enables us to comprehend and learn from them. She threw out our pre-conceived misconceptions and taught us to always check information before coming to a conclusion.

One of the components I liked about the course was the breakout sessions. These breakout sessions allowed us to research on specific case studies each week and learn more about other fields we would usually not read on. It also enabled us to learn from our peers as the other groups presented on different topics. It honed our research and presentation skills as we had to work within a tight time frame.

The Guest Speakers Seminar was one of the highlights of our TWC course. The three speakers not only shared insights about their entrepreneurship journey but also gave us precious advice on life. Listening to them first-hand was very inspiring and the seminar was definitely refreshing, there were lessons we could never have learnt from reading our textbooks. I would definitely like to attend such a session again.

Thank you Prof for the past 13 weeks. It has been wonderful learning from a Prof who is so rich in experience and has accomplished so much. It certainly has made these 13 weeks? of lessons inspiring and entertaining.

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Zizie Zuzantie

by Zizie Zuzantie
(Singapore, Singapore)

At the end of my Technology and World Change (TWC) journey, I was surprised to learn more about business and their practices instead of how technology changed the world per se. I guess there was a mismatch between my expectations of the course and the actual course outline. Quoting from my first journal of the course, I had hoped to learn more about green technology and how it is changing the world; to analyse them carefully at some point to see whether it is indeed healing the world or merely prolonging a time bomb that we cannot defuse. I was disappointed that I did not learn much about the current, up-to-date technology that is healing the world, but more about what has happened in the past - how the efforts of past innovators has changed much about how the world works today. I was hoping to learn more about current world changes and what might be possible to change the world today. I have always had the impression that we are operating in a technological bottleneck, because our world is so convenient already. Millions of inventions and innovations have been created ? could we really invent or innovate some more, especially when the world is now facing a global environmental problem that is aggravated by the greed of humans in the commercial world?

That aside, I found myself being able to hold a proper conversation about patents and IPOs now. The most memorable takeaway from Prof was definitely about patents. I have always seen patents as THE right thing to do for a company, but it turns out that filing for patents is like filing for the death of the company, if you do not have the money to sue, do not file for patents. (Lim, 2010). I have really enjoyed myself in this course and to that I owe much to Prof's unique style of teaching. I love breakouts as it helps us to apply textbook theories to real world companies and then share it with the class! We also get to work more with our team members, thus helping us to forge stronger friendship ties. There is never a dull moment in TWC class; something is always happening - be it a presentation, lecture or breakout. Although I did not learn much about what I expected to, I still have learnt much anyway. It is the one core module that I find myself reciting what I have learnt to others in normal real-life conversations often!

On hindsight, the quote that I repeated during my own presentation could really help answer my own pressing question about the bottleneck. ?Necessity is the mother of all invention.? The need for environmentally-friendly products would definitely push for more innovation in today?s world! Now that my class is equipped with the theoretical know-how, some of us might just very well be Singapore?s future innovators!

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Benjamin Wai

The Technology and World Change (TWC) course conducted by Professor Pamela Lim has definitely altered my perspectives on entrepreneurship. And perhaps the course has aptly shaped my views and direction in life, echoing Shakespeare’s words;

“There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose the ventures before us”

Shakespeare speaks for us to seize our opportunities, and make full use of them. In the same way, TWC has equipped with the knowledge necessary to be a technopreneur, and at the same time, made me more keenly aware of the process and specific steps that most people take to set up a business. More importantly, the course inspires me to grab hold of the oppportunities around me and make full use of it. Conceptually, I feel that I have acquired a good grasp of the theories, but more importantly, on a pragmatic note, I know how to approach entrepreneurship because of the extensive case studies that were done throughout the semester on various successful individuals.

For me, the best part of the course was the last few weeks, because having covered all the theory in early weeks, we moved to talk about real life application and how locals made themselves applicable by being entrepreneurs and how they overcame their obstacles. Most notable of the course has to be the lesson of Professor Pamela’s sharing about her personal experiences because they highlight specific instances and how to deal with certain situations – a skill that the books cannot teach. Also, the inspiring speeches by the guest speakers helped highlight key points to success, and several life lessons that should govern the way we approach and deal with things.

Of course, this module would not be as enjoyable if not for my group mates – who exhibited excellent team work throughout the course of the semester, efficiently fulfilling our roles and tasks. The TWC experience was indeed an eye-opener and has definitely shaped the way I have decided to direct my life.

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Cherie Tay

by Cherie Tay
(Singapore)

The TWC course conducted by Prof Pamela Lim was not like the typical TWC course I hear about from my friends. According to my friends, they spent a lot of time debating about idealistic issues during TWC lessons. Hence, I was initially very skeptical about the usefulness of this course. However, after 13 weeks of lessons, Prof managed to change my view of the course. Although I did not grow in love with TWC per se, I began to develop an interest in entrepreneurship.

The guest speaker session was my favourite TWC lesson. The inspirational speeches of Mr Wong Toon King, Mr Bob Teo and Mr Ting Choon Meng were not only empowering and encouraging, but they also instilled in me a drive to live for my passion and leave a legacy. The real-life stories from these speakers as well as Prof made entrepreneurship seem more real and possible. I also enjoyed the fact that the lesson content was not solely based on material from the textbook, but from the contributions of all classmates who put much effort into researching interesting material for our short weekly presentations. Instead of having to read up on innovation and technology by myself, the weekly presentations allowed me to gain a greater amount of knowledge in a shorter time. Thus, I have definitely learnt a lot about innovation, technology and entrepreneurship.

However, what matters to me about this course – it is not about what I have learnt from the course, but how the course has impacted my life. Building up my career in the financial industry is no longer the only option for me. Entrepreneurship is definitely an alternative option that I will dare to consider from now on.

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Yew Meng Hau

by Yew Meng Hau
(Singapore)

'I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.' Maya Angelou

What had happen between the first journal and the final journal? Many events had occurred from then to now. And looking back at the whole TWC journey, I looked at what I had written for my first journal.

'Technology has changed the way we live, work and think. What is less focused on though, are the effects of these changes. Thus, I want to learn and analyze about these effects at both the macro and micro level. Besides understanding the effects, I would also want to find out more about potential innovations that could alleviate the living conditions in developing countries. Therefore, I will read up on developments and trends in technology, society and business. Further, paying attention to the viewpoints generated and being active in class discussions would allow me to tap into the pool of knowledge in class. By doing these, I would be able to improve on my learning in this module.?

Undeniably, some of my learning objectives had been met. I learnt about the developments of technology, the process of innovation and the effects that it have on society. Through the sharing of my classmates, I was able to glean from their insights as well and it aided me in developing a wider approach in looking at technology and innovation. The additional readings that I did on developing trends and technology allowed me to formulate a clearer structure in understanding some of the concepts taught in class (i.e. the strategies needed for innovation, funding and organizational factors for innovation)

That being said, I felt that there should be more innovations that could alleviate the living conditions in developing countries. It would have been interesting to find out how innovations can be diffused commercially to the very people who need it and yet, are unable to afford it. Also, reading through the textbook written by David Smith, I cannot help but feel that there was certain selection bias by some of the academic theories presented in there. It seems that the researchers formulate a theory first, and with this theory, they would find examples that supported the theory and disregard those running contrary to the theory.

Yet, as the course progress, I realized that TWC also encompasses other areas of activities that are vital for a thriving entrepreneurial culture. (i.e. intellectual property, government policies etc.) For instance, being granted a patent only gives you the right to sue. It is not a guarantee that the party being infringed can definitely received monetary compensation. Hence, I feel that this is a very important point to note for any start-ups that are focused on developing a brand new product or technology. It may not be necessary for startups to apply for patents immediately as they may not have the liquidity to sustain a legal case against bigger competitors with larger cash hoards. Hence, I feel that if the government would want to promote an entrepreneurial culture, besides giving out financial grants, perhaps another assistance they could provide would be that of legal aid or, if necessary, a legal fund that will allow start ups to fight patent infringement lawsuits against larger companies.

The sharing session by the 3 respective entrepreneurs (Mr. Wong Toon King, Dr Ting Chun Meng and Mr. Bob Teo), allowed me to hear the first hand experiences of entrepreneurs and not just mere theories. Listening to them, I came off with the thought that for a successful entrepreneurial venture to take off, the entrepreneur must do it for the right reasons and not just purely for wealth generation. Passion, combined with the right timing, could elevate a small startup with fleeting business deals to a thriving enterprise with sustainable profits.

As a 2nd year student, I had the benefit of listening to the experiences of my friends who had taken TWC from the various professors (including you). Like a typical Singapore student, I too, also asked my friends on the tips to score an A. Is it necessary to be always early for class? Would I score higher on class participation by asking as many questions in class? However, as weeks passed, I realized that TWC is not the typical module whereby replicating past performance would result in identical results. Due to the constant developments around us, I had to keep abreast of current issues by doing additional readings, which allows me to have a deeper appreciation of the topics presented,

Besides the 'hard' aspect of TWC, there was also the 'soft' aspect of TWC; which is the various projects and weekly presentations for the teams in class. As a 2nd year student, it was a refreshing sight to look at the freshmen and be reminded of just how much I have developed after 1 year in SMU. From a presenter who had to constantly look at my hand notes, the numerous presentation opportunities have sharpened my presentation skills and I am able to use these skills to help my teammates as well. Also, given that TWC is a core module, it also provides for a cross faculty exchange. In my case, I was amused by the fact that given the large proportion of Business students in SMU and that my group had a total of 7 students; none of us was from Business, although that was definitely not a handicap.


The addition of Sandeep, an exchange student from Carnegie Mellon University, also proved very interesting for the team dynamics. As an exchange student from the States, there was times when Sandeep would comment that ?Singaporean students try way too hard, they push themselves and put in so much effort for the grades, but grades are not everything?. Listening to this comment, I think that most students in SMU understand and acknowledge this point as well; however, the competitive educational environment means that there is always a strong onus on the student to perform well academically. Hopefully, in the future batches, the SMUGGER (SMU mugger) culture would tone down.

Further, I was heartened to know that there are still SMU students who are willing to brave the risks and set up their own companies, even though they could have followed the conventional path of having a safe and secure job. Their daringness to blaze their own path has also earned my admiration. Many of these entrepreneurs have the passion and desire to be in control of their own lives and this is a message that I feel all of us can take home with.


Looking at myself, I feel that I am still a risk averse person and hence, I do not have the yearning to start my own business ventures. Nonetheless, that does not mean that I cannot be involved with startups. Currently, there are very few private funding schemes by banks for enterprising startups in Singapore. Hence, I hope that I would be able to work in the credit facilities of a bank, thus I can provide the necessary financing for these startups to expand their operations if the opportunities would to arise. Therefore, I hope that there can be a module or course in the future that can educate us on how to invest and value a startup.

In essence, TWC has provided me with the basic tools for understanding about the various innovations in my surroundings. Also, it has not been a ?pure theory? module as I was able to listen to the various experiences (be it pleasant or unpleasant) provided by Prof. Pamela. The learning and inspiration that I have taken from this module would definitely put me in good stead in the other areas of study and my life in the future.

'Stay the course, light a star, Change the world wherever you are.' Richard Le Gallienne





Hi Prof,

The text highlighted in red is meant to be confidential. Thank you for being an inspiration throughout the course and sharing your experiences with the class. It was definitely a welcome break from the other modules whereby theories were used with much ease and with few practical examples to back it up. Thank you and see you around !

With best regards,
Yew Meng Hau
(this paragraph is to be confidential as well, thank you)








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Chan Xiang Yi

What I enjoyed most is how Prof Lim conducts her class. I learnt a lot from my peers during the in-class presentations, especially in today’s class. I have heard about the negative effects of using mobile phones/gaming/Internet/genetic engineering and always thought they were just myths or just an exaggeration. But, today’s class revealed the facts from fiction and it was especially intriguing with the interesting videos and photos.

My objective for this course was to develop my ability to think on my feet and hone my presentation skills in terms of presenting my ideas more effectively. The numerous opportunities given to me to present in class boosted my confidence speaking in front of a crowd. In the past, I was especially afraid to talk to strangers and in front of large crowds. But after spending a few weeks in Prof Lim’s class, I felt that my confidence was building up gradually, such that when I was conducting the interview with Mr Bob Teo, my confidence exuberated as I spoke with him. I think this is one of my greatest achievements thus far, for someone who is very shy to speak up. Learning how to be bold and confident in speaking is one of the reasons why I joined SMU and this term has definitely been fruitful.

I always thought that only big ideas succeed and only the rich can set up their own businesses. When my friend and I thought of setting up a blog shop; manufacturing and selling our own label, we were very hesitant about our success rate, especially when there are so many blog shops around. But now we know if we can innovate, if we can do it better, even the smallest idea can spark great innovations without burning a hole in our pockets.

Thanks Prof Lim for this class. (:

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Tran Thi Bich Tram

by Tran Thi Bich Tram
(SMU - Singapore)

I have to say that this is one of the most controversial classes for me. I found the class very interesting in many aspects, such as the real life examples that Prof provided, that the guest speakers shared with us, that the thought-provoking in-class presentation when students needed to come up with new idea, new product in a very short time.
Though, I feel very uncomfortable trying to grasp the meaning of learning theories of innovation, or the forms of innovation, or so… Does knowing the form of all kinds of innovation help us to be more innovative? I doubt so. Furthermore, I still cannot appreciate the meaning of the Long Wave cycle. What Kondratiev did is just generalize something from past data, which is doubtful whether it can be applied in recent times or not. Is past data hardly a good prediction for the future? Even if it does so, what is the value-added of that theory? We all know that we are in the times of internet and communication. It does not matter where we are in the cycle because we ourselves drive the cycle, not we are controlled by it. After the course, I am still very skeptic about learning theories of innovation.
Thus, I think what best about this course is not the content of the course itself, but the way Prof. lead the discussion. By sharing, by discussing, by making us to think, Prof. has successfully nurtured the entrepreneurial spirit in us, to think and to do what we like, in our own way. Forget the theory (well, maybe after exam, but anyway…), and start chasing our dream.
Mr. Wong Toon King said during the guest speaker: “Don’t chase after money, do what you really like, and money will start chasing you”. My take is “Don’t chase after your GPA, study what you really like, and make it a success story like Steve Jobs with his Apple”.


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Seah Chee Yong

Enjoyed most about the course

What i enjoyed most about the course is the interaction/discussion session with the professor. During the interactive session, we are able to voice our doubts and questions the assumptions that were made. It helps too that we can clarify concepts. Through these sessions, we developed our critical thinking skills, a skill that will be immensely helpful in our future career. Moreover, it allows us to interact within the class, allowing further construction of our ideas.

What objectives have i met?

I met my objectives of being more confident to speak up during class. I feel that that is the very essence of SMU lessons - class participation. I felt that through weekly presentations and interaction sessions, it forces me to speak up and contribute my part to the ever growing pool of information.

I have also learn to fluff or should i say presenting myself properly, to impress onto my audience my style through my dressing and action. I think it is important to stress upon this. I am lacking in this too.

Takeaways

The major takeaway i took from this course is the set of entrepreneur skills mentioned at the guest seminar. The speakers are very inspiring. Their experience and knowledge adds on to the deadly combination of success. Personally, my dream is to set up a business. In SMU, i have met a bunch of passionate peers and these skills learnt from the speakers and during class has helped me in planning to set up the business. With these insights, it will enable me to better plan my business.

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Tan Wei Rong Joshua

by Joshua Tan
(Singapore)

Final Analysis

Final Analysis

Personally, these 13 weeks of TWC has been a fruitful and interesting one. I look forward to each lesson because I am exposed to new insights outside the textbook, and these has indeed increased my knowledge on technology and my general knowledge as well. For me, what I enjoyed the most is that Prof Pamela is able to share with us how she started up her company providing trading platform services to brokerages and stock exchanges, the challenges that she faced when she was running her own business. This “no-holds-barred sharing” has been very insightful, and I feel that her experience is more valuable than the content covered in our TWC textbook. For example, she told us that a company can have never enough cash, because it is the bloodline of running a business. I am able to relate most of what she has told us in class, the life lessons and the common pitfalls that she has encountered during her days when she was running the business as I have a burning passion for business as well. I always think of how to make more money and how to improve my cash flow. I was running an online business before I entered SMU, but my business of much of a smaller scale selling ladies clothes via the blog, providing consulting services (I charge people for it) and giving tuition during my free time. However, I have been asking myself how do people succeed and my findings are they all have done something that they are specialized in. I have stopped by blog business because of studies, and I hope to do something more large scale in future, for example introduce a differentiated product or service for my business and constantly improving it. I have not found my niche area and expertise yet, but I hope to find it soon through exposure in my career or through my experiences in SMU. Hence, whenever Prof Pamela mentions about her business, I will always listen intently because I find her experience valuable, picking up the salient points to apply it to my business in future.

Reflecting on my first journal, I am pleased to say that my objectives have been met. I set out the objectives to understand how the dot com bubble formed and how it burst, and this knowledge was gained through one of the group’s presentation of this topic. I am more confident to participate in discussion whenever people bring up the issue of the dot com crash. Also, I better understood the steps to file a patent through one of Prof’s class discussions, and the types of types of patents we can file to protect our intellectual property. Lastly, after 13 weeks of lessons, I have a better understanding how technology plays a part in innovation and how the evolution of technology has changed our lifestyle and the products we use.

My key takeaways are the knowledge attained through the breakout sessions as well as the project that my group has worked on. For example, my group worked on the Apple iPod, and through the research, I came to realize that Apple merely took the best parts of each component to assemble into the iPod and not manufacturing it. To keep abreast with technological changes as well as product continuity, they have incremental changes on the iPod so that consumers can constantly purchase new ones. All along, I thought Apple’s secret to her success was her ability to manufacture all the best parts, making the iPod a winning formula. Now I know better. Also, my research on Amazon.com, the various government funding initiatives available to us if we are to start a business has improved my knowledge. At least now I know where I can proceed if I want to raise capital next time for my business. Through the breakout sessions, I have also learnt how to work well under pressure, and presenting our findings at an impromptu setting. These experiences of impromptu presentation as well as the Q&A sessions after the project presentation has indeed improved my presentation skills as well my ability to think on my feet when a question is put forth to me.

All in all, this journey has been very enjoyable for me, and I thank Prof for her words of wisdom. I personally enjoyed the forum session as well, as I have picked up knowledge not only from books, but also successful entrepreneurs. I enjoyed this TWC module very much, and this journey will definitely be one of the nice things to reminiscence when I think about my SMU journey in future.

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Phyu Phyu Khin

by Phyu
(Singapore)

My memorable TWC Class experiences

“I give you 25 minute break to discuss with your group and come back at about 10:45 to present,” said Prof. Pamela Lim. Right on my first day of class, I was shocked. For me, it always takes about a day to prepare for a presentation, researching, making slides, coming up with scripts and even reciting script. So, obviously, I was nervous in my first presentation. Today, I present impromptu but with confidence. Why am I changed? How has I changed?

Every day of Prof Pamela’s class has in-class group research and presentations. In no day, we can slack by just listening to lectures. Although it seems that we are repeating the same process all the time- research in groups, then present to class- the theories we are learning never overlaps. I feel lucky as I can learn technology and innovation in an innovative approach. Not only the concepts of technology, but more importantly, the applications of these concepts are also enlightened to us. Most of the times, the learning atmosphere is lively and interesting with real-life stories of successful innovators. Students also class participate a lot and ask questions that I learn to know many technology things like lightsaber or Kidde Ladder, that I only heard of or I won’t otherwise try to know. Also surprisingly, I find myself much comfortable raising questions and discussing in class. Although I don’t get all what was mentioned in class, my previously shallow knowledge about technology has certainly increased. So, I believe that I meet my objectives to enjoy myself in class, achieve technology-related understanding, and improve presentation skills.

Unexpectedly, at the same time, I enjoy much working in my group. Apart from researching in class with them, I honestly acknowledge that I learn so much from my group mates while doing guest speaker event management. It was really not easy to prepare such an event successful since we needed several meetings within our group and with other guest-speaker inviting groups, liaisons with external people, having a conclusive logistic list, yet the final success still depended mainly on the actual event day itself. However, as the event went well and the guest speakers gave very nice impressive speeches, we had really enjoyed ourselves. Didn’t our guest speakers also mention that we need a really good team to support us? Also, isn’t one of the sources of innovation corporate findings which is group work?

Therefore, by this chance, I would like to thank you, prof, both TAs and my dear group mates, all of who shared me lights to the success of my TWC journey. I now feel a bit sad to leave my teammates, classmates and prof. Anyway, I am comforted by the belief that I will meet prof Pamela Lim and most classmates again in next class. The best insights I takeaway are that “Innovation can be everywhere” and that “Believe yourself and go for the kill if you truly want to be an entrepreneur.”

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Shaun Kumar

When i first entered this course, my intention was to broaden my restricted view of the role of technology in today's world. After thirteen weeks, i did manage to achieve my initial objective.

Beyond everything that i have learnt about technology and innovation, what I throughly enjoyed was the guest speaker seminar. It is rare to be able to learn from such experienced and learned individuals already immersed in the world that we are studying about. I was able to glean some insight about what it takes to see that entrepreneural dream materialise. The life lessons and tips shared really made the experience an enriching one.

Another part of the course i throughly enjoyed were the moments when Professor Pamela Lim would share with the class her experiences such as how she was the best saleswomen and "ultimate closer" in terms of closing deals and eventually how she became a CEO.

Before this course, i was oblivious to the difficulties entrepreneurs faced in setting up a business. Now, i have come to realize the importance of having the right support structure and business model to become a successful entrepreneur.

Furthermore, my knowledge of technology and innovation in particular has grown tremendously as well. I am able to conceptualize the theories and apply them to the real world to aid me in my future endeavours. The invention of a new product is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to actually developing that idea into an innovation. Theories such as innovation theories, innovation processes and business strategies help to provide a better understanding of the complicated nature of technology and innovation and how you can move along from an invention to realising its potential via commercialization. However on a pragmatic note, I know how to approach entrepreneurship because of the cases on various successful individuals.

Moreover, another objective i had was to be more perceptive in looking at issues as well as participating in discussionsin class. I can firmly say that I have succeeded in doing so. Not only am I more confident of speaking up in class, I am able to analyse issues more in depth and think of possible solutions or alternatives.

In conclusion, this technology and world change module has been an extremely eye-opening experience for me. I feel that i have genuinely grasped not only the theoretical aspect of technology and innovation, but also the practicalities and experiences of entrepreneurship in the real world.

The distinction this module taught by Professor Pamela Lim has, is that it exposes you to individuals in the field(including herself) and it is this exposure that helps to reconcile concepts learnt in class and brings the subject to life.

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Foong Tai Yong

by Foong Tai Yong
(Singapore)

When I first bid for this module, I was expecting a rather bland course. After all, how interesting could a uni core module be? The first lesson left me looking forward to the next few classes. I think the lessons were conducted in a very refreshing manner. Student participation is highly encouraged and in-class presentations help to sustain our level of interest. I liked it that the class was very hands-on.

Another thing I really enjoyed was the ability to come into contact with real entrepreneurs. It was a very enlightening experience when the prof brought her own real-life experiences as a technopreneur to the table. It made the whole lesson come alive, listening to her relate her struggles in the business world. This has given me a whole new perspective to how it's like as an entrepreneur.

Another thing I really liked was the fact that we got to interact with 3 real-life entrepreneurs. In fact, I got to benefit from firsthand experience with one of them, Dr. Ting. I was part of the group that went down to his office to invite him down for the guest speaker seminar. I got to talk to the CEO of a multi-million corporation face to face. The discussion was very candid.

Of course, one of the greatest takeaways that I have from this course is the fact that I’ve made many new friends. Come to think of it, the breakout sessions enabled me to get to know my groupmates a lot better. We would often go for lunch after TWC. Over lunch, our table’s discussion would resemble a TWC discussion. I think this proves that the course was able to stimulate our minds. It made us excited and active about our learning, rather than passive in our approach to learning.

So in conclusion, what I’ve gained from this course is practical knowledge and experience. I’d expected pure theory, but what I got was an academic subject brought to life. In leaving this class, I feel a great sense of satisfaction, rather than a sigh of relief. I would seriously consider bidding for Prof Pam Lim’s other classes.

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Sandeep Patel

by Sandeep Patel
(Singapore, Singapore)

I came into this course having already taken an "innovation" course at Carnegie Mellon. That course was taught by a prof with PhD in engineering, so it was very much guided from an engineer's perspective, it delved deeper into the innovation theories, and technical theories of where innovation occurs in organizations and nations, or what makes a strong innovative environment.

The perspective was also very much US-centric, though towards the end we did discuss Taiwan, China, and Japan.

So, I enrolled in TWC looking for an Asian perspective of it, which... I was surprised to find not that different from the US-centric view. All too many examples were of US firms.

What was more significant though, is that TWC was taught by an entrepreneur, and so it was very much taught from a business perspective of actually how to grow an innovative business. Though, only very little was touched on about how to innovate within an existing business, this actually makes sense since the current innov. ecosystem supports innovation in large firms should be done through acquisitions or partnerships with small firms.

I was hoping to learn more about theories behind technological change, and unfortunately I feel that that wasn't entirely met in this class. Some of the theories we studied, I had already heard of, but was disappointed by the lack of depth in their study. Even with theories I haven't heard of (such as the K-cycle), they weren't truly clarified and all too often things were left as "its up to interpretation, and in the end they are just theory or guideline". this was often followed by "oh hey lets see this theory in practice!" and then a 10-min background of a company followed by some way to squeeze in the theory.

I do understand the prof's goals in asking the class to teach the theories, but I felt that the groups might give an inaccurate or inadequately specific description of the theory, and then in the end we end up with a very shallow understanding.

I guess I can be a bit biased since i've taken a similar course before.
In that class, we had required readings for every class from the academics who wrote the theories. Then in class, the professor would require the class to discuss (otherwise she would let the class stay silent) followed by 3 papers throughout the semester, putting the theories together. I feel, i gained a solid understanding of the theories, because of the required discussion.

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Ng Shuwei

by Ng Shuwei
(G10)

I was fortunate to have gained valuable insights and knowledge throughout this semester for Technological World Change (TWC) under Professor Pamela Lim, where she proactively shared her past experiences as a successful Technopreneur.
She will also arrange for different groups to present at the start of each lesson and engaged active discussions among our peers, to further stimulate our learning and understanding towards Entrepreneurship. There was also a guest speaker session, where successful entrepreneurs shared with us their experiences and advice, which they enlightened us with their golden advices, which can never be found in our curriculum.
These will be extremely useful to me as I aspire to see myself as a technical entrepreneur when I graduate from SMU.

Long before my TWC course, I am already a risk taker as a domain name reseller. I have spotted potentials in Internet landscape in the late nineties, that there will be demands for short and memorable domain names. This trade allows me to learn about negotiations skills. There comes a time where time and luck plays an important role. Like what Toon King said, seize the opportunity or it will be gone forever. I managed to sell off a domain “pets.biz” for 8 times the price I have bought within 3 years period. If I was greedy and turned down the offer, I would have miss this chance as .biz tld Internet landscape isn’t really well adopted by the society nowadays. Dot Com is nevertheless the king.

Due to the recent fluctuation of prices, I was unable to keep up with the pace of buying in cheaply. Internet is still at its infancy stage and there are countless opportunities waiting out there to be exploited by upcoming wave of entrepreneurs with fresh ideas. Developing my virtual assets prevent companies from reverse hijacking or initiate Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) against me. Prof Lim inspires me on how she flipped her technological firm in exchange for a substantial sum of money. I am determined to follow her footprints of success, on becoming a Technopreneur, by starting up an Internet-content firm, to provide innovative next-generation web applications to cater to needs of Internet users. I will not hesitate to go for Prof Pamela Lim’s “Technological and Entrepreneurial” course on my next semester to deepen my understanding and have a go at what it takes to run a business.

Establishing my own startup Internet-firm requires large flow of capital and it can take up to a year to see breakevens as compared to other industry. Other than getting funds through bootstrapping or venture capitalists, I was overwhelmed on the types of funding our government has offered where we can depend on as a startup. I feel extremely fortunate to be living in Singapore where government is fully supportive of new startups, unlike United States. I will certainly leverage on the government funding when opportunity arises. On the other hand, I respect how Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com transformed his business into a multi-billion empire, with just bootstrapping initially in his early entrepreneurial days.

Lastly, I would like to end this journal by thanking Professor Pamela Lim for her dedication and passion towards nurturing new entrepreneurs.

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Leanne Teo Zhelin

by Leanne Teo
(SMU)

Prof Lim's class has been nothing short of an exponentially progressive learning scale. From understanding the very basics of innovation and entrepreneurship to being educated on how best to realize our own ambitions towards becoming business leaders, Prof Lim is undoubtedly one of the rare professors who commands respect, in both the competitive business world as well as the academic sphere.

When I first started the course, I wondered very simplistically about what I could learn from a course on technological innovations. While I was hopeful, Technology and World Change seemed too far outside of my interests to have life lessons that I would appreciate. Yet, Prof Lim expanded my perspective about Technology and World Change, a topic I falsely assumed to largely revolve around engineering, and aided the depth of my understanding to the workings of businesses in Singapore.

One of the best parts of the course was the guest speaker seminar, and Prof Lim's regaling of many business issues she encountered on her own journey. The experiences were poignant and best of all, from a very personal perspective. I learned so much more about actual entrepreneurs in Singapore and how they achieved or did not achieve success. Their sharing provided foundational lessons to me (and most of the class, I'm sure), lessons I could apply both in my social and working life.

I now know better the importance of solid business plans, financial management and the difference that marketing could make to a business. I also realize the ease in which I can set up a business in Singapore- but without care, could lose it all.

There is no doubt in my mind now about why Technology and World Change is a core module in SMU, and I believe that Prof Lim has taught it the best way it can be taught.

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Surprisingly Pleasant

by Jillian
(Singapore)

At the start of the term, I thought TWC was going to be boring, but I ended up enjoyed it a lot. Part of it was to do with my group, which was very friendly and easygoing, but the other part was the way Prof Lim taught with short mini-lectures and a lot if interaction and personal sharing. I really appreciated her stories about real situations in the corporate world, and I think a lot of us felt like those were the real lessons we came to class for, because they were the most practical. And after all, we are all here to prepare for what's out there.

Of course, the actual teaching was very engaging too, mostly because it was not done boring lecture style. Instead we were forced to think about things (and of course Prof mixed in a few stories) which kept me mentally present all the time.

From this class, I have gained invaluable advice from a successful entrepreneur and a deeper appreciation for technology, which I used to classify as 'boring', 'geeky' and mainly for men. Prof Lim has changed my views on technology, its power and its accessibility.

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Tang Wei Li Jonathan


I enjoyed and was extremely encouraged during the guest seminar event during the course. This allowed me relate to real-time entrepreneurs and apply concepts learnt during the course into reality. Also, it was during this time when my traditional mindsets of entrepreneurism were challenged. Contrary to what I thought, there are some entrepreneurs who do engage in it not purely for monetary benefits but also for societal good. This has encouraged me to be a social entrepreneur in the future.

I laid out three objectives earlier during this course.

First was to understand the extent technology has changed the way we live and how it continues to change our lives. I have met this objective only partially. Although we have examined various technologies during this course, there are still many different technologies out there. No doubt, my understanding has improved, but there are still areas for further exploration and discovery.

Secondly, I wanted to develop a critical mind. I think that I have achieved this, through the different breakout sessions and group presentations. Even during the guest seminar event, I was challenged intellectually and this helped me develop good skills in evaluating.

Thirdly, I wished to develop confidence in public speaking and be able to convey ideas succinctly and effectively. I have definitely become more confident during this course. However, I think that I can still improve in expressing ideas clearly. This course has surely honed my presentation skills in various ways.

All in all, my greatest takeaway was to pursue my dreams and passions. Money is only a temporary motivation. Passion and dreams will continue to persist and spur me on in uncertain times. Surely, through this course, I aspire to be a social entrepreneur in the future.

‘Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.’
Henry David Thoreau

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Tan Ai Zhu Christabel

Throughout these 13 weeks of my TWC journey, I can definitely see that I have grown in many areas, and have picked up new skills. Through Professor Pamela Lim’s in-class presentations, where groups have to come up with a presentation and present in 20-45mins of preparation time, I’ve certainly been forced out of my comfort zone many times. With the limited time, it trained us to make decisions fast and to carry out our research very efficiently by delegating the work amongst members. These presentations have definitely trained me in terms of knowing how to be a team leader and player at appropriate times. I believe that these skills would be extremely crucial when I’m in the working world and am placed in stressful situations with limited time.

In-class presentations have also helped to increase my confidence and spontaneity. After many weeks of being made to present without a script and a 3-slide PowerPoint presentation, I believe that I have better learnt how to think on my feet, to try out different ways to engage the audience (and I realize that humor works best!), and to generally have fun presenting.

Besides developing better team-playing and public-speaking skills, these in-class presentations have also helped widen my perspective of the world. Through researching on all sorts of different innovations and entrepreneurs, I have certainly developed a deeper interest in the background behind the great “innovations” that we sometimes take for granted. For example, the success story behind the iPod, and how Apple actually outsourced the manufacturing of its various components instead of inventing everything from scratch. Background knowledge such as this has helped me gain a better understanding of how successful companies work, and provides me with ideas on how to better manage a company in future.

As my parents are businessmen with their own companies, I have found that these TWC lessons are extremely applicable to my life. Having quite an entrepreneur for a father, as he’s created and sold all sorts of businesses from a soya bean chain in Indonesia, a bubble tea chain in Singapore, and is currently managing two ongoing businesses in Singapore, it was exciting learning about how a good idea isn’t enough, but that it requires good marketing. That my father is not merely selling products, but that he should be selling an idea that the market wants. With the knowledge gained from TWC, it’s always fun sharing them with my father and thinking about ways to further expand his businesses.

All in all, this TWC journey has certainly taught me much, with regards both to the world around me and about myself. With these new skills and knowledge gained, I believe that I’m better equipped to tackle the working world! :)

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Dennis Laurentius

by Dennis Laurentius
(Singapore)

What I Enjoyed the Most about TWC Course
TWC course open my eyes to a lot of information and knowledge about technology that I have never known before, which is exciting.
I remember every time I look and stop to see an iPod and a Creative MP3 player, I was always impressed at how such a similar thing can have different story of success. But my question ended there. However, through in-class presentation and discussion among classmates, I get to understand that iPod is a mere copy of a 1970s model that is perfected and touched up only by advertising and their so-called features, which a lot of MP3 players also have.
I also get to learn about the innovation of a lot of things, and how the system works, e.g. toilet bowl, Disneyland, and also induction cooker. Furthermore, during the last class, I get to know more about a system which is called the RIFD, which is a chip that can be embedded to various platforms, including human, animals, and supermarket products, whereas we can detect the whereabouts of any object that is embedded with the chip. I have this interesting story about an old friend who became a member of the cult of Satan. He first met one of the cult’s members during a family gathering, where his hand was shaken by this cult’s member. However, after the hand-shaking, he felt that he was being injected by something. Since then, he was followed everywhere by the cult’s members and started to join in the cult. From our research, we found out that there are some religious cults that use RFID for their purpose to attract more members.
I also have the chance to find out about a new exciting technology, which is Tagit, software that can link various sources like banks and cinemas to your mobile phone. I like the way Prof Lim brings our group to find out about this innovation: by having us presenting on an entrepreneur which has strong source of funding. By then, choosing Tagit, we get to learn exciting new usage of Tagit in a lot of platform such as mobile banking and ticket-ordering service (in collaboration with SIA) and see how an innovation can bring about changes in various sector, esp. with Tagit, in Asia.
Lastly, I get to learn a lot from the guest speaker seminar. It is good to have not the Prof to outsource the speaker to you, but the class to find speaker, which can lead to them finding out more about the innovator and invention. I was most impressed by Wong Toon King who had an easy view at looking at life, but wise wisdom to share.
What Objectives Have I met, and Takeaways for the Lesson
I remembered when I was writing about my first learning journal, I was impressed mostly by Prof’s first seminar about invention and innovation. I remember how the class conclude that innovation is milking of invention, whereas a lot of processes are involved, such as marketing and also being a cost leader, to maximize net profit. I imagined the TWC class to be something like an introduction to how to develop technology and transform it into good business, which is basically what I write in my first learning journal.
Reading the first section, I am sure that Prof knows that my objective to learn more about technology and the business aspect of technology has been fulfilled. Beside knowledge about technology, there are some important takeaways I can take from the lesson. When Prof discussed about the things from the book, she always relate it to her experience as an entrepreneur herself. I also get to learn, that success of a product can be traced and categorized from its invention stage, until its mass production, just like what she teaches in the book.
To be honest, being an entrepreneur is not my goal in taking a business major in SMU. However, it is important to me later as part of the business world to see whether businesses can succeed or not. I may not be the entrepreneur, but I might work in a start-up that will generate a lot of profit. With framework given by Prof Lim, I do think that I can manage those things, if it happens, in the future. Furthermore, I could be a venture capitalist, and I can be on the verge of funding some of world’s greatest innovation. Who knows what the future might hold.

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Lim Jin Ru

The lesson have been truly engaging as you do not encourage rote-learning from the students but are always encouraging of questions and learning through participation. Through the presentations, we learn better as we had to do research and prepare ourselves to answer questions from fellow students. I have learnt a lot in the process of my preparations for the presentations. For the weekly in-class presentations, I learnt how to apply the concepts I learn in class and integrate with research to come up with good presentations. The questions for the presentations were very interesting and were usually based on real-life applications. One example of question is to find the type of bank loans available for entrepreneurs. I never knew that different banks cater for different types of companies; some banks had special interest rates for startups while others had low interest rates for more stable companies.
Professor Pamela Lim shares her valuable experiences with us and I learn many things that could never have been learnt from books or public publications. Being young and inexperienced, we may not know how to take steps to protect our innovation or how to defend ourselves against our competitors if we set up our own entrepreneurial business in future. However, Professor has given us much advice on the traps that lay ahead and how to be wary of our competitors. For instance, you taught us the importance of filing for a patent once we come up with an invention. I feel really thankful that I took your lessons as you could relate to the various entrepreneurial concepts and theories in the main text and give us examples of real-life applications. For example, for the topic on funding, you gave us two different perspectives on how we can start on our seed capital. Getting funds from family and friends could either be our first line of funding or our last since family and friends would always wish us to succeed.
Your lessons were really different from the other lessons I had. The most memorable lesson for me was the guest speaker seminar. I never knew that I could learn so much from real entrepreneurs and all the invited entrepreneurs were really generous in sharing their experiences and lessons with us. I was really inspired by the speakers as I previously thought that you have to either be extremely talented or extremely lucky to become an entrepreneur. But I realized that the most important thing is actually preparation. Dr. Ting talked about reading the newspapers everyday to study the changing trends of the world so that we can spot a new need or existing need that has yet to be resolved. The entrepreneurs and Professor also imparted in me a sense of alertness as competitors are always out to imitate or steal your ideas and in order to protect your ideas; you would have to be creative. Your example on how you drafted a letter to your client requesting him to declare that he would not steal your idea was very useful as it would help safeguard us in future.
I have also learnt the importance of commercialization in order to profit from one’s innovation. Marketing is an important element that cannot be neglected and I learnt the importance of giving good presentations so that clients could be attracted to your innovation and consumers will desire your innovation.
The learning experience has been wonderful with a real entrepreneur as my professor and I will keep in mind the many important life’s lessons imparted to me throughout this course. You really inspire my love for learning again when you said that you are not looking for the right answer but you value the thought process more. At many times, I get frustrated of not coming up with the perfect answer. But in the world of entrepreneurship, one has to be creative and think of new solutions for problems.

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Sanaya Sinha

by Sanaya Sinha

When I joined SMU I was told that Technology and World Change is one of core courses all SMU students are required to do. I did not know much about the course content and I presumed it would consist of learning about technology per se-that is, how to use the available technology to help us in our day to day lives.
The course turned out to be very different from what I imagined, in that it looked at the bigger picture-at how technology is shaping our lives as a whole. Nonetheless I enjoyed the course and did learn a lot from it.
The best thing about this course was it hands-on teaching method that Pamela Lim adopted. In one of our first classes she explained a theory in the field of education research, which is that students retain about 80% of the topic if they have to teach it to someone else. Ms. Lim successfully applied this theory through her method of group presentations in each class combined with class breakouts. I appreciated the fact that the traditional method of lecturing students was completely done away with.
The class breakouts helped me learn the most, because we had to learn a lot about a particular topic within 20 minutes and present it to the class. I still remember what we spoke about in all our breakouts, which shows that this is indeed an effective way of learning.
What I liked about the course content is that it included a lot of contemporary examples that fascinated me and helped me learn more about objects in my day to day life. For instance, we explored the iPod in depth starting from its creation till the point where it was marketed so well that almost everyone owns an iPod. Because the topics taught were related to items I am familiar with, it was not a boring course. What I mean to say is that the course could have explored something like computer programming (which did revolutionize modern life), but learning about computer programming would not have piqued my interest in the course.
A good thing about the course is that it went beyond technology itself and gave us the business perspective as well-learning how to set up a technology firm. This was great because it gave us a holistic view of the course and was not restricted to the development of technology.
I really enjoyed learning about the life cycle of technology. I have always been interested in history, and am particularly fascinated by the economic cycles in history. What amazed me was how closely the technology cycle mirrored the economic cycle, and it led me to wonder whether it was just a coincidence or whether the two are intertwined.
When I enrolled for this class, I hoped to learn more about technology and the influence it has on our lives. I was vaguely aware of the overwhelming influence of technology in today’s world, but I didn’t know WHY technology is such an important part of our lives. In this class I learnt a great deal about various patterns in developing technology, the life cycle of a particular technology, how it affects society, and how one gets an innovative idea to reach the market. With all this in mind, I can safely say that I met my objectives for the course.
My biggest takeaway from this course is that I have a much clearer idea of how the business world in general works. I have always wondered how people start companies and make it grow to be a multi billion dollar one, like IBM. This course gave me a crystal clear picture of what it takes to get your idea to the masses through a successful company. I love the fact that I now know more about the business world-previously my knowledge of this world was limited to how multi-national companies work, and what their employees do.
All in all, TWC is a course that I have learnt much from. In addition to this, I had a lot of fun along the journey which made it so much better!

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Tan Yan Cong

I still remembered my first day of Technology and World Change taught by Professor Pamela Lim. It was held on a Monday, early in the morning at 8.30am and on the first day of my school. Still in my “holiday mood”, I was shocked to learn that I had to present on something that I didn’t know about and with only a mere 30minutes to prepare for it with 7 new faces. What came after that was probably the best and my “most-look-forward-to” classes, even though it was on a Monday morning.
WHAT DID I ENJOYED THE MOST
What I enjoyed the most was the way Professor Pamela conducted the classes. Her candid and fun-loving personality made the class environment conducive, relaxing and fun. All these factors not only made me participate more in discussions but also enjoy the process of doing so.
I felt that the discussion done in Professor Pamela’s had a sincere and personal touch; it was almost like a “friend-to-friend” conversation. Her replies were also straight-to-the-point, without the frills. Unlike discussions that that I had in my other classes that were full of politically correct statements, discussions in Professor Pamela’s lessons were nothing of that sort. Instead, the Professor Pamela’s teachings were straight to the point, not afraid to deliver the truth to dreamy and naïve students like me.
One more thing I love about Professor Pamela’s class was that she allowed the class to provide directions for class discussions. Unlike other modules where professors will cut me off if I veered off their intended teaching agenda for the class, Professor Pamela allows the class to explore ideas beyond the text and fills in gaps with her own personal knowledge.
WHAT OBJECTIVES HAVE I MET
One of the objectives that I have met was to learn from the mistakes of others. I have always felt that life is too short to simply learn from your own mistakes. During the 13 weeks of Technology and World Change, real-life entrepreneurs were invited to share with us their experience and failures. I found it extremely enriching and have managed to learn valuable lessons from not only the 3 entrepreneur guests but also from Professor herself!
Another objective that I have met was to learn about the real world; how things really work instead of theories that appear in text which are often so different from what actually happens. For example, I was shocked but yet intrigued when Professor Pamela shared with us how she hired a Private Investigator to check if her competitors were copying her product.
Another objective I have met was to learn about technical strategies which a company could use to achieve their goals (whether is it to seek funding, commercialize new product, patent, etc). I have also understood the commercialization process, which is really mind-blowing when I use it to understand products that are in the market. I have also learnt how to classify products (whether if it is radical, incremental, etc). All these knowledge can help me to understand how I can position myself and market my product should the day come when I decide to start up my own business.
KEY TAKEAWAYS
Due to the short time allowance given for preparation of in-class presentation, I learnt how to work faster and more efficiently. I learnt how to sieve out relevant information quickly from the Internet – which has really a lot of information – and how to deliver a short and concise presentation like how an entrepreneur will do an “elevator-pitch”.

One of my key takeaways is my mind-set change. Listening to Professor Pamela and the 3 guest speakers has made me realized that a university undergraduate should not be afraid to take the leap of faith to pursue our passion and dreams.

Also I learnt that in order to succeed as an innovator, one must have patience, a listening ear and an unwavering determination.

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Ginna Divya

by divya
(singapore)

Divya's mood after every TWC class

Divya's mood after every TWC class

A wise man once said that " A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

By taking this course with you as the Prof, i feel that i have taken that single step towards finishing my thousand mile journey which will eventually lead to starting my own company.

Your concept of teaching was refreshingly original and it was what i liked best among all my modules. With less emphasis on exams and tests and more on actual learning, i realised that by watching presentations done by other groups and the ones done by my group, i have learnt more of my course material than i would have if you had just followed the usual lecture-ppt that most profs use. Till now i can easily dictate the 4 types of insight that we presented to the class that day!

With this module my expectation was to learn how technology has changed the world we live in and with the many examples and case studies discussed in class, i feel that my expectation has been met and exceeded. With the discussion ranging from hot plates to ipods, from cars to nano technology and thumbdrives and toilet bowls and finally my teams presentation on Ikea and FedEx, i have gotten many interesting takeaways as to how technolgy and really change the way we operate and do things in life.

In this day and age, with technology involved in every aspect of our daily lives, it is refreshing to learn from this module how and why these technologies were invented and then innovated to serve the masses around the world. And how we as budding entrepreneurs can tap on this ever growing market to produce the next technological wave that may one day, change the face of our way of life.

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Lin Weijie

by Lin Weijie

In my view, venturing into entrepreneurship is like boarding a ship with an unknown destination, with only a general direction to head towards. You may have a few mates on board but many a times you will be behind the wheel making the critical decisions. The elements are never kind, always resisting and the only certainty is uncertainty. I have always viewed upon entrepreneurship as something distant and colossal, something that I will not cross path with in the near future. After taking this course on TWC, this view has not changed. But what changed was my respect for these people who chose to board RSS Unknown and chose to take control of the wheel.

To sum up, taking this course was an enlightening, especially so when the course was delivered from the perspective of an industry expert instead of an academia. Professor spoke in simple terms in her explanations, was down to earth and approachable. Lastly, I would like to extend my appreciation to Professor. Thank you.

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Basil Teo

by Basil Teo

I really enjoyed the fact that the major project for this module was not some normal and cliche case study, but to invite a guest speaker and prepare for a technopreneurship seminar.

Meeting our speaker, Dr Ting, was a breath of fresh air and I was naturally excited to be conducting my first interview with an important and successful businessman.

The guest speaker seminar was very enriching and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there (except for the air con which was working too well!) I took home alot of pointers from the 3 guest speakers and even though I most probably would not be an entrepreneur, the business tips shared that night will be invaluable.

Also, learning about ways to set-up and fund your own business during the lectures was also enriching. I think I am now more confident if I had to start up a small business venture with a group of like-minded people.

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LI ZHEN

by LI ZHEN

In the course, prof Pamela’s unique teaching style impresses me the most. Instead of giving lectures in class, prof asked us to learn by ourselves. At the beginning of class, two groups will teach the text to the whole class and then after a brief wrap up, each group will assign several questions and later present the result to the class. I think it is the most effective teaching method I’ve ever experienced. We learn the knowledge not only from prof but also from peers and ourselves. After the presentation of the two groups, we are having a basic understanding about the concept. Then, the in class research and presentation give us a chance to have a better understanding about the concept and know how does it applied in the real life. Therefore, this class is not only an academic class but also about the real world. Prof also focuses more on learning process instead of just result. At first, I have doubt on prof’s teaching style. I wonder how can a student learn real knowledge if most of the class time is dedicated to presentations. However, after a few weeks, I find that while I’ve already forgot lots of things in other modules, I can still remember most of the knowledge in twc. I believe the reason is prof’s teaching method encourages us to learn by ourselves, so the knowledge becomes ours instead of prof’s. Thus, I enjoy this unique teaching method and benefit a lot.
I still remember when I first start the “twc journey”, I have questions about whether we need to learn this module and how technology change our life. Now I’ve got the answers. This module uses a macro view to evaluate the development of various industries. In addition, it’s also put emphasis on individual company, and how does it operate. Observing the relationship between technology and business from two different views, give us many useful insights and prepare us for the future challenges.
What I take away from the class is not just knowledge, but instead, the thinking process. What will help me in the future is not an answer of a certain question but the thinking process. Equipped with the process, I can deal with different kinds of problems. This is especially useful in the real world where the problem tends to be very complicated.
All in all, I believe this course is the most unique course I’ve ever taken. Prof’s teaching method will have a long term impact on me.

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Jonathan Long Jide

by Jonathan Long
(Singapore)

Firstly before I start writing about my learning and takeaways, I would like to mention a bit about all my TWC lesson experiences. Two words come to my mind when I reminisce the 12 weeks of lessons I have been through – “fun” and “interactive”. Personally, I feel that TWC lessons are always a joy to attend and it is probably the module which I most look forward to, and this is very rare considering the fact that TWC lessons are on Monday mornings.

Being a fun class is very important to me as I will be more keen and attentive to whatever information is taught in class. But what sets TWC apart from the other modules is that it constantly engages me. The level of interaction between the Prof, my classmates and me is so high and this high level of interaction really creates a very conducive learning environment where I can learn not only from the Professor but also my peers. Learning through class discussions or presentations is much more effective than lectures as the knowledge is definitely more easily retained in my brain.

This level of learning can be attributed to the class presentations that we have to present week after week. Other than learning about TWC, this module has actually given me a platform to constantly hone my presentation skills, something definitely applicable to my life. What I love about presenting in TWC is that the environment in TWC class is always light-hearted and friendly; you won’t have to worry whether what you say might sound stupid to others.

In my first learning journal, I set out with two simple objectives. Firstly, I wished to learn more about the theoretical aspect of innovation – Sources, Process and Funding. Secondly, I wanted to become more current and know about what is actually happening around our world and how technology is reshaping today’s world. I am proud to say that I have accomplished both objectives.

Initially, I thought that learning about the theoretical aspect of innovation would be something boring and irrelevant as entrepreneurship and innovation seem like something based on creativity and something that should not be confined to the four sides of a page in a textbook. However, I realized that these aspects are both interesting and relevant. Thanks to the interesting case study and presentations, I see how these theories are actually reflected in real-life examples. Seeing the uncanny similarities in the patterns from theory and that from real businesses is fascinating. These similarities reinforced the credibility of these theories and definitely I will rely on some of them when I start my business in the future.

These many weeks of lessons have actually really given me a clearer picture of what entrepreneurship is like in the real world. Using examples of people from the past such as Lotus’ Colin Chapman, to people that are current and close to us such as the SMU entrepreneur Keith Ng, I am able to see how different people with different ideas actually start a business. This large exposure to different companies allows me to see the wide array of businesses that have already been set up. This is especially crucial to me as I can hopefully slowly discover trends and unmet needs in the market which I can fill.

Having met my objectives, I also have another two major takeaways from this course. The first would be the lesson on Funding of Innovation. This course has really shed some light on the possible avenues of funding as prior to this course I had zero knowledge on how entrepreneurs actually find funds to start a business. Knowing the different types of funding methods from bootstrapping to VCs and even the practical steps taught by the groups such as looking around you for available resources has given me some insight on what I can do now to start preparing for entrepreneurship.

My second major takeaway would be the TWC guest speaker session experience where I had a chance to hear first-hand from some successful entrepreneurs. Hearing from the inspirational T.K Wong has really ignited the spark in me and motivated me to be bold and pursue my dreams (not just blindly studying), this experience is indeed something which I am really really thankful for.

All in all, I would like to deeply thank Professor Pam Lim and all my peers for creating such a wonderful and conducive environment for interactive learning. The lessons I have learnt and the memories I have forged will surely stay with me and applied by me for the rest of my life.

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