TWC - 2011/12 Term2 - Benjamin Peter Chia Sim Sen

When I started this course, I think I had some typical objectives on learning more about technology and its interactions with society and business. I certainly learned that, but it wasn't at all limited to that.

Not to put down the course syllabus, but I feel like it was the least of what I have learnt over this term. From the beginning, I already experienced a class environment and teaching style that is quite different from that of other courses, and for the better. Credit where it is due, Pamela Lim has a wonderful teaching style. Most courses require some form of class part, but none of them so far has given me the same sense of contribution to the rest of the class. The group presentations are certainly a great way to ensure we learn what needs to be learned. On top of that, the break-out sessions drill concepts and ideas into us probably better than most other methods by forcing us to work intensely on the topic. I feel like I have gained some skills and experience just from the planning of the numerous break-out sessions alone.

That leads to another thing I had hoped to take away from the course: presentation skills. As we have often been told, presentation skills are key in the working world. Although I did not have the opportunity to present as much as I would have liked (or was it that I was reluctant?), I did feel like I have improved in this area, especially thanks to the break-out sessions, which are practically impromptu in nature. In addition, it has been beneficial to see many others perform public speaking as well for reference. This is especially so for the guest conference.

Speaking of the guest conference, it was something I never expected before I took this course. If I had to say what was the most beneficial part of the course, this would have to be it. The speakers Jeffery, Jen Jong and Vincent all gave advice that I felt really resonated with me. How do start your own business? What problems will you encounter? How do you overcome them? What makes you so different from others? The latter, I feel, is especially important even if one is not looking to become an entrepreneur. I have never before felt more motivated to strike out on my own, and I never would have expected that feeling to have come out from TWC.

One of the last takeaways is probably the personal philosophy expressed by Pamela Lim herself. Pragmatic, yet she does not forget her first priority is with her family. I also recall her mention of giving up a vice-president position, because she felt it simply wouldn’t be right to accept its attached salary for the amount of work she would have to do (or not do). The stereotypical business-person is often portrayed as always being money-minded, having a lack of morals or simply being cutthroat. Pamela Lim proves that one can be better than that and be successful by one’s own standards.

I still have many things to work out, probably after the exams, about what I have gained and learned from TWC. It was certainly not just a run-of-the-mill course with typical content and takeaways. But I am certain out of all my courses this term, there is no other that I have benefited more from.

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