I’ve learnt quite a bit today. Found out that my English and Mandarin is much worse than my Burmese colleague, but that is besides the point. But some thing to note is that I really need to improve on my spoken English. Read a chain email from my boss’s account when he was browsing through his email in front of us and one of them was a joke about how we only hire Singaporeans who do not speak Singlish. As much as it was a joke, it is an unspoken truth. Everyone here speaks so well and eloquently!

Anyway, official training started today and I have come to realized how much I must push myself. We have got so much to prove to the rest in order to gain their trust since this is a new venture in Singapore. And we just realized that our American bosses and directors will all be going back to the States in 3 years or less, meaning to say that everything will be fully run by Singaporeans in no time. Day-to-day operations aside, to think about how we will be tasked with the role of instilling the strong and unique culture that my company and my department have to the new-comers is intimidating! For one, the screening process is insanely stringent. More than 200 resumes received for my position, more than 50 interviews with the manager and yet only 3 have been selected thus far. I don’t know how but in a few years time, we will be running the show (unless I fare too badly that I get fired but I am not intending to take this track, obviously. And I am assuming that I do above average so that I at least get promoted out of this position I am now). Thinking about it is scary but exciting at the same time. This independence and level of autonomy that is presented to us even at the very junior level is a gift that not all companies offer. I really have to maximize the time my boss is here (about 10 more months) and learn as much as possible and push myself out of my comfort zone (actually tdy he said that we should expect him to push us, but I gotta set even higher standards for myself). 

Had a session with the Director of this new office today and found out the story behind the Director of my department (in US where he built the 130+ member team in a few years). He overcame his near-death experience in his sport and came back to win college championships (which is a really big thing in the US considering that a large number of them actually turn professional after that). Don’t want to go too much into detail but it was truly inspiring and I finally understood why he empahsizes so much on positivity and hardwork. And I guess it definitely led him to have a slight inclination towards me during my interview with him as I highlighted a similar (but definitely pales in comparison to his) experience of overcoming injuries to fight back. I feel ashamed of even comparing that injury to his, but at least it led me to understand his motivation and drive to succeed. 

I feel that in my past 4 years I have somehow lost the drive that was in me. People used to know me as a a highly-motivated individual in the past but that just seem to have gone away along the years. I guess I am slowly finding it back now. And just to highlight, being motivated is different from being competitive… and that is because I see myself as my obstacle to success. I gotta take note of my strengths and weaknesses and challenge myself to excel (which reminds me that my Director kept emphasizing on EXCELLENCE and ATTITUDE… so Shin lol) and I am glad that my boss helps me with that. He constantly provides feedback and that is really helping. 

So far so good… looking forward to the next day of work (: 

It has been 2 weeks at work and I gotta say I really love my company. I love how my whole office bought lunch up to the meeting room and streamed American football to watch with our American colleagues today. It is really nice how some of them are directors and managers but yet interact with us so openly as if we are friends. In the past two weeks, my manager spent alot of time drilling me about the company’s culture and ensuring that we are all on the same page. No matter how operational our work is, they take alot of pride in what they do and are always super motivated and driven. 

Was invited to some gathering at a consultant’s (from my company) house today. I’m really glad I went cause I finally got to meet all the front office people (consultants and research associates) who are located at the other office. It was really quite awesome how there wasn’t this hierarchy that is normally evident in other financial institutions.  

I’m not sure if I will still love the company as much when the Americans return but i gotta do my best to ensure that such an awesome culture remains. 

With all that said, I gotta say that within these two weeks I have come to realize what I really need to improve on. My networking skills aren’t as good as I want them to be, my small talk skills are improving but still not as good as they should be. And… my English can be more perfect, especially when interacting with foreigners for an extended period of time.

After my first week of work, I have to say I love the environment and I love the people at my workplace. I love how selective they are and I love how much importance they place on certain behavioural characteristics that I personally value alot. I love how my boss constantly tells us that we are smart and talented. I feel it is a self-fufilling prophecy. The more he tells us, the more we believe in ourselves. The past week has been really enjoyable interacting with my American as well as Singaporean colleagues. My boss told me that he has interviewed over 50 applicants, looked at over 200 resumes but has so far only accepted 2 because he is not going to compromise on quality. And I can’t imagine the amount of effort they take to choose the right people… each interview takes at least 3 hours! It still amazes me today how much effort the company has put into attracting great people. And so it is really obvious I have been really happy the past week. This is somewhere where I feel I belong because everyone is so driven but yet not over-competitive. I love the flat structure of the organisation; how I am able to voice problems to my boss directly, how I can sit directly opposite the director of this office and have a conversation with him over breakfast and lunch. I find myself agreeing to so many things that my boss says to me, about how much he believes in the power of the mind, about positivity and just so much more. I never knew such awesome company culture existed. 

But…… I have been very bothered since my lunch conversation with new comers from the other department today. They confirmed what I have since pushed aside… that the company bonus suck. Suck like fuck. 1 month maximum. And for the whole of today I just couldn’t get that thought out of my mind. It is like I have been loving this place so so so much and eventually the thought of money just pushes all those previous happiness aside. The company’s educational policies are great, medical policies are awesome…. we have a brand new office with a cool pantry, high-tech devices (like the distortion of voices in the pantry so people outside can’t hear; white board that allows everything written on the board to be saved and printed etc) BUT it really disturbs me that the bonus suck! Ohmygod. I am really upset now knowing that no matter how hard I work or how much I put in, I am just gonna get that pathetic month of bonus. Rawr. At the end of the day it all comes down to money isn’t it. 

One month one month one month one month. OH GOD just get out of my mind. I need to get back to my previous frame of mind so that I will still be motivated. zzzz. At least it is the weekend. oh well. get over it. 

so insulting 

I know it is none of my busines but I’m still gonna blog about it. Just watching NTU vs NUS handball finals today led me to have so much respect for Shin and really disgusted about the NUS team. This is entirely my own opinion and I don’t give a shit if anyone judges me for this. I feel that by watching the different management styles alone taught me a lot about what kind of manager I want to be and what I want to avoid in future.

1) As usual I felt damn disgusted with the NUS bench, just like IHG since the RH coaches are the NUS coaches. As coaches I don’t think it is right to ‘oie’ at every single clamp that is made by the opponent. That really lacks sportsmanship and I may be bias but I’m not the only one who think this way. I know winning is very important but hellooo so old already, time to grow up? I’m sure we were like that some point in our life…but that was more like in sec school? Where’s the sportsmanship. Zs and Lp went today too and they were too in disgust by how the attitude of the bench.

2) More importantly, I feel that it is so wrong for the NUS coach to tell her players to not talk to the NTU players and not support them (even at other matches) cause they are their opponents. She said her ‘heart prick’ when they cheered for jy and poise on during the other matches. For a coach to say that shows how childish and closed-minded she is! And to micro manage her players to that extent is insane! Firstly, there you can be competitive but that doesn’t mean you cannot have sportsmanship. You dont have to hate your opponents to win them. And the players couldnt wish them good luck holy shit -.- Just too unprofessional already. Secondly, for her to feel betrayed that jy went over is just wrong on so many levels. As a coach, shouldn’t you look to promote the sport and respect your player’s decision instead of guilt treating her? And on the other spectrum we have Shin who goes to the NUS players to talk to them. Just such big contrast. And I am still at shock at how she reacted when mh, who isn’t in the team clapped for poise (and NUS was clearly dominating). Can you imagine your coach telling you that you cannot talk to your friend cause she feels hurt if you do? Seriously?!

3) Just too must respect for Shin. For her to lead her team to lose with so much dignity shows the vast contrast from NUS’ loss last year whereby they didn’t even bother having having a debrief. For NUS team to not give NTU credit or respect for their past successes reflect their lack of maturity (got some inside info before saying this btw). For her players to keep their heads up high till the end with so much spirit shows how good a leader she is. Just too amazing already.

Congrats NUS, you won your Sunig. But lost so much respect from some supporters, not like you guys really care since winning is everything eh. As long as you guys are happy lol. It works for some ppl but i’m just totslly against such management style. Today really showed me what kind of leader I want to become in future. Thank you for the lesson guys.

I realize how much the culture of the team I’m working with is important to me. I guess that’s why I always have so much to say abt the NUS handball team. Initially I thought I was sore cause I am no longer in it, but then again, why should I be sore when I can get in if I wanted to. Lol. I guess for me it shows how much I treasure the beliefs and attitudes that the team have. And I’m hopeful that after my interviews with my company, that I am on the same page as them. I think that to me having the same beliefs is more important than having a high pay. (WOW that coming from me). Really can’t wait to start work!!

I figured that the only way of improving my qualifications after my relatively useless degree is to take CFA. It’ll be a reaaaaaaly long journey with 3 levels but I guess my company’s sponsorship should I pass is a great motivating factor.

And so I am starting to study for level 1 and I intend to take the exams in June. Forums say that I’ll have to commit 15-20 hours per week studying all 5 books but I guess it is a consolation that I have a rough understanding of everything. I have been doing about 40 pages per day for the past few days and I am hoping to finish Econs by tomorrow. No big accomplishment considering it is the thinnest and probably the easiest book. Then again, how am I supposed to retain all that info? Will I have time to revisit everything and make last minute summarized notes? Oh my. I hope my colleagues (whoever they are) will be taking some examinations too. At least we can all motivate one another. Oh boy, the thought of studying after a long day of work is scary! Especially when the first month will just be filled with intensive trainings and studying sessions!

Hope to cover as much as possible before I start work! And may this motivation be with me till the end of my paper.

So now my laptop is really beyond repair.

Fuck it la I got no money to get a new one. And my phone seems like it is gonna spoil soon. And I’m gonna sign up for CFA. Where do I find 2200+800+1400?! Argh fuck it.

My options are:
1) Buy a new iMac. Cheapest costs $1900+ with AppleCare. I’ll need to add $200+ for Microsoft Office. So it’ll be about $2,300
2) Repair my laptop which is 2 years 3 months old
3) Live without a com

By the looks of it, it’ll probably be th third option. I’m just not gonna spend my entire first month salary on a freaking com and live in poverty.

Really need to readjust my lifestyle in accordance to what I am going to earn (which is below the NUS Biz Hons Mean guys, so don’t say it’s a lot kkk…although it is much higher than what I expected. On a side note, Biz salary range is really wide! Look at the difference between the mean and median!) Having not paid for anything for myself my whole life (oh gosh it’s so embarrassing saying this), I intend to keep a monthly statement of my expenditure (especially those on sub cards so that I can repay my parents) and monitor my spending. So BE WARNED I am gonna be ultra stingy from now on. Just too many monthly payments to make…like insurance premiums (god!) to rental of my house room to electricity bills. Ok let me start somewhere… Paying for everything except insurance and electrical bills for a start.

Whereas I have always been using my parents’ money my whole life, I think having a job MUST be the turning point for my financially-reliant lifestyle. If I don’t have enough money, I’ll just have to work fucking hard and smart and get promoted faster. So please guys, don’t mix up my parents’ success with mine. I am no one now so if I appear stingy, judge me for who I am independent of my family. My parents have helped me more than enough, it’s time I do something about it…..

Ok wait…I’ll have to sign my contract on Monday and get my first salary (end Oct) first. Meanwhile I should just keep track of my spending. My (1.3k) cam shall be the last item I allow my parents to pay for me. So now I am a regular, (soon-to-be) average-earning fresh graduate. So after saying typing all these, I hope it is clearer why I was so fucking pissed yesterday when I found out that my laptop died. I am determined to repair it if the price is not too expensive (no matter how much I know buying a new one is more worth it… But hey I can’t afford it) or live without one.

May I have the discipline to spend within my budget and save what I intend to save.

It’s so frustrating that something that I have bothered maintaining and ensuing it was well taken care of for the past 2 years just spoils like that. it’s just not the fucking money. it’s the waste of my effort to ensure that it lasted as long as possible. 

Fooling around when I was clearly annoyed and then resulting in a spill of drink on my Mac is just one step too far. Accidentally spilling it is one thing but doing sth I was obviously annoyed RESULTING in this is just another level. 

And I’m supposed to save money this month cause my dad just spent 1.3k buying a cam for me. Now I’ll have to repair (which probably means replace cause it’s always not worth it to repair) my Mac. Just gonna blow another 2k like that. And guess what.. since I’m prob gonna have a job already, I’m gonna buy it myself. Nice one…just blow my first month’s salary. So much for my intention to save at least 1k. 

Argh fuck it