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Revised Biodata

Vivien is a year 3 Life Science undergraduate, specializing in Biomedical Science, with the National University of Singapore. Born in Hong Kong on the 1 of November 1987, she has been residing in Singapore for 17 years. She had been a netballer and held various leadership positions throughout her educational path. Her interest lies in singing and clinched first runner up in The Voice competition held in 2007. She aspires to make significant contributions to the nation with her acquired knowledge and skills.  A believer of the Mayan Prophecy, she feels that one's destiny lies in his or her own hands.

Final Reflection

Entering the last week of this communication course, I would say my understanding of the value of effective communication did not change. In fact,  I am more certain of its importance and significance now.

Drafting the job application letter made me realized the importance of effective written communication skills, as it is only with a well written application letter that I would be provided with the opportunity to be selected for potential interviews. On top of that, from the report that my group had accomplished, I have also learnt to put my points across in a succinct and clear manner. This is certainly an essential writing skills to be equipped with as it would contribute to the accurate delivery of my message to the intended recipient. This would also enhance the persuasiveness of my message too. I have also learnt to practice active listening during conversations, and indeed, I find it easier to comprehend and give meaningful responses to others now.

During the preparation for final oral presentation, I managed to apply the various tactics introduced by Ms Goh, such as the use of simple slides design, to enhance the quality of the presentation. Videos depicting good and bad presentations respectively also made me more conscious of aspects I need to take note of  in order to deliver a persuasive presentation.

All in all, I feel that this course would be useful for all undergraduates and should be make compulsory so that students would definitely reap a myriad of benefits by possessing effective communication skills. With these lifelong skills equipped, I am more confident of conveying my thoughts and opinions to others while avoiding common pitfalls of communication.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ms Goh for making the extra effort to go through the drafts of the our survey reports and the job application letters. Also, I’ll also like to thank Jean and Darren for being such wonderful teammates. (:

My personal biodata

Vivien is a year 3 Life Science undergraduate, specializing in Biomedical Science, with the National University of Singapore. She has been working as private tutor in her spare time since 2006.  Born in Hong Kong on the 1 of November 1987, she has been residing in Singapore for 17 years. She had been a netball player throughout her secondary school and college life. Her interest lies in singing and clinched first runner up in The Voice competition held in 2007.  She believes strongly in the Mayan Prophecy and that the world will ultimately end to start anew.

A better team player

Prior to this research project, I have always taken the role of a leader in my assignment groups. Being a perfectionist, I expect nothing less than the best from myself. While this might be an advantage to me as an individual, it has portrayed me as being domineering and overbearing to my group members. Due to the high expectations I have for the quality of my work, I find it hard to trust that my group members put in sufficient effort in their share of the project. Consequently, I've not only put unnecessary pressure on them, I have also caused myself a fair amount of stress. Although most of my projects have turned out to be relatively well done, at the end of each of them, I have exhausted myself and I have also strained my relationships with my group members.

The workload in year three has evidently increased from previous years, and I now have to spend more time on my core modules as they are more advanced in content. This has made it hard for me to find sufficient time for ES2007S. However, my two group mates have been very patient with me and throughout the course of this project, they have slowly allowed me to let go of my doubts and fully trust them with their work. We have been splitting up the workload for this project, and when we do come together, we have proved that we produce work of a certain standard and we have managed to come up with a substantial report.

As I have learnt to contribute more as a team player rather than a dominator, I found this experience to be much more enjoyable and fulfilling than in previous projects. Furthermore, the friendships that I have made in this course have also proven to be more lasting and pleasant.
My family employed a domestic helper, W, from Indonesia a couple of years back. One of her many tasks daily, would be to prepare dinner for the family. Though the handling of pork and its products is strictly forbidden under the Islamic law, W being a Muslimah, would still dutifully cook our soup and dishes with pork. However, she is extremely particular when it comes to the consumption of dishes with even the slightest amount of pork in them. For instance, if she had used a minute amount of minced pork to enhance the flavor of our fried rice, she would choose not to eat the rice and have bread for the night instead.

Although it has almost been a decade since W first came, my mother never fail to attempt to trick W into eating a dish with pork when we dine out. After falling for my mother’s lies for the first few weeks that W has been here, she learnt to politely decline my mother’s offers if she is uncertain about the ingredients of a dish and will not consume that particular dish. Yet, there are still occasions when tension arises as my mother persistently asks W to try out a certain dish that might very well contains pork. W would then stay silent throughout the meal.

Many times I question my mother of her actions and she would always tell me that she just does not want W to miss out on good dishes. She would argue that as long as W does not eat the pieces of pork, it would be perfectly fair for W to savour other ingredients.

I do believe my mother, that her intention is good. Besides, in traditional Chinese food, pork has always been one of the most common ingredients and has never been deemed as ‘unclean’. This would well explains why, to her, getting W to eat those dishes is not incorrect, what more a sin. In spite of this, I can understand where W is coming from as well. It has been deep rooted in the Islamic culture that Muslims are to strictly stay off meat of omnivores as they are deemed to be ‘unclean’. Being a devoted Muslimah, W merely wishes to adhere to the traditional ways of living of her culture without having to jeopardize her job as a domestic helper in a Chinese family. Therefore, I feel that this minor cultural conflict can be easily resolved if my mother was to know more of the Islamic culture and beliefs.

Cultural difference is something humans have to live with, especially in Singapore. Yet, being willing to compromise, just like W's willingness to handle raw pork, will allow the tolerance for such differences and allow people from different cultural background to live and work together.  

Proposal for Survey Research Project

Proposed title:

An analysis on the feasibility of a biannual collection service to encourage the recycling of paper amongst NUS students.

Research question:

What can be done to encourage the recycling of unwanted paper of NUS student?


The implementation of a biannual collection service will encourage the recycling of paper amongst NUS students.

Problem Statement:

The objective of this study is to analyze if the implementation of a biannual collection service can encourage students to participate in the recycling of paper. 

Targeted Audience:

Mr Joseph Mullnix (Chairman of the Campus Sustainability Steering Committee)

Potential Audience:

•    Other members of CSC
•    NUS stuff and students
•    Members of the Tertiary Institutions Council For the Environment (TICFC)
•    Other organizations that aims to play an active role in the recycling of paper

Tentative Purpose Statement:

The objective of the report is to inform the Chairman of CSC of the lack of effort of NUS student in the recycling of paper within campus.  Another objective is to convince the Chairman that this virtue can be encouraged by implementing a biannual collection service to facilitate the recycling of paper.

Methodology to be used:

•    Literature review
•    Emails
•    Survey

Changing Trends in Sexual Orientation

In the recent years, there seems to be an upward trend in the shifting of sexual orientation in the society; the number of people that identify themselves as non-heterosexuals has increased. One of the possible reasons for the escalation of individuals that are “coming out”, which means admittance to being non-heterosexual, might be attributed to the fact that there is an increasing number of Singaporeans who consider homosexuality as acceptable. This can be substantiated by comparing a survey conducted by Singapore Polytechnic in 2007, involving 200 individuals aged 15-29, in which half of the Singapore youths considered homosexuality acceptable to one of the findings from the Social Attitudes Survey 2001, where 71% of Singaporeans under the age of 30 still considered homosexuality as unacceptable.

Distinct groups, identified due to the various discrepancies between members of the nation such as religion, race and even degree of disability, are covered and recognized under the Singapore law today. Hence, as the group of non-heterosexuals is enlarging, it leads one to ponder if it is only fair that equal rights and protection under the laws of Singapore should be extended to them as well. This is rather mootable as while conservative-minded people may see same-sex marriages or civil union as a threat to the traditional family structure and thus, the society, others might believe that legal recognition of a homosexual relationship and other affiliated welfare given by the government are merely the fundamental rights that a homosexual couple receive. Therefore, whether or not equal rights should be extended to that of homosexual couples could be a good research question for the survey research project.

An attitudinal survey would be extremely helpful to solicit perceptions of non-heterosexuals and opinions and attitudes towards the legalization of same-sex marriages.  This is only essential as from the result of the survey, we would be able to know on which side of the opposing view are majority of the respondents leaning towards. In light of that, we would then be able to formulate the appropriate approaches and measures to take with regards to this controversial issue.  

An interpersonal conflict at home

This is not the first time they have gotten into such a heated argument. Venny and her younger sister, Mindy are quarreling yet again, over who gets to use the only desktop in the house.

Venny is a third year student, studying at a local university. The first semester has just begun, yet she is already feeling the immense pressure of acing for each and every module. Aside from her studies, she is also juggling with several tuition jobs. Compounded to the stress that she has to deal with, is the fact that her laptop is down due to a malignant virus attack. Instead of being able to use her laptop in her own room to surf the Internal for information and electronic journals for her various modules, she has to rely on the single desktop in her house when she is at home.

Mindy, the only sibling that Venny has, is in secondary three this year. Just like any typical teenager, she enjoys surfing the Internet while catching up with her friends on MSN. Ever since Venny got her laptop, Mindy has been the only one using the desktop at home, to a point where Mindy sees it as her personal computer.

Venny is irate as she thinks that Mindy is just making a fuss out of the issue of sharing the desktop temporarily. She also believes she has the right to the desktop as it is meant to be shared amongst the family. Besides, she reckons that Mindy’s need for the desktop is not as important as hers as it is solely for leisure purposes. In her opinion, being the youngest of the family, Mindy is spoiled, self-centered and is incapable of being considerate towards other resulting in all the arguments these days.

Mindy feels that Venny is being overbearing. Initially, she did not feel so repulsive towards the thought of sharing the desktop with Venny. However, the duration and frequency that Venny uses the desktop just keep increasing and Venny does not seems to have the intention of repairing her laptop anytime soon. Mindy thinks that Venny has always used the status of the elder sister to demand for what she wants. While wanting to be respectful toward her elder sister, Mindy just cant stand the fact that Venny is always so demanding toward her and does not consider her wants.

Being as objective as possible, what do u think this pair of sisters should do to avoid further disputes over the issue of having to share the desktop? What do u think they can do to salvage the strained relationship between them?
Transitioning from high school to university amplified the need for me to communicate effectively in every aspect of life. The increasing number of projects and the impending role of an employee further emphasized on the importance of the ability to deliver clear and concise messages to my desired recipient. This is so as these messages, taking many different forms such as emails, resumes and conversations, would be representative of me before the receivers. As such, poor communication skills would lead to misunderstandings, conflicts or even jeopardized my opportunity to qualify for a job in the near future.

Working with several others in a group instead of an individual requires me to not only be a good communicator, but also a good listener. Being a good and active listener, necessitates me to be open, non-judgmental and receptive instead of defensive when receiving feedbacks from others. This is especially salient for the amelioration of relationship between me and my group members and also the caliber of our project.

Cultivating effective oral and written communication skills will enhance my ability to present and deliver my opinions and messages to my future superior, subordinate or colleagues in a most succinct yet precise way. This will enable them to recognize me in the most polished and professional way.

Most importantly, I believe that being equipped with effective communication skills will greatly enhance my interpersonal relations.

Having realized that information and communication are different in nature, it is only necessary to make the extra effort to merge the two for the effective delivery of a particular message. It might be true that English is the universal language that enables the world to connect. However, it is still effective communication that would truly allow people to understand and relate to one another.