University Sophomore: Year 2 Semester 2


Hello fellow schoolmates!

Hope you’re enjoying your 3-month break thus far! I just wanted to get this post up before the course registration period begins on 23 June so that you get a better idea of the course structure of those that I took in the last semester. This is already my fourth instalment and I’m really glad it has guided many of you with your decisions!

Contrary to my last sophomore entry, I didn’t take any NIE modules this semester because I realised I have cleared most of my UEs already (and also all of them clashed with my tuition timing)! I am actually reserving the remaining credits for courses which are relevant to my specialisation track. Speaking of specialisation track, I may be specialising in interdisciplinary concentration to broaden my knowledge since my degree certification would not reflect what my track is. So yeah, while I’m still in school, I thought I should learn the ropes of as many trades as possible to make myself more marketable in the working world (which is just 1.5 years away omg time really flies!) Of course, designing/advertising is still what I like best!

This semester I began life as a THIRD YEAR student in NTU because I had accumulated enough credits. But I’ll refer to myself as a sophomore to avoid confusion. For those who are new here, I was enrolled in 2012 which makes this year my second in NTU. I was one of the few in my cohort who stayed put instead of going on exchange to enjoy ourselves and meet new people in another part of the world. Moreover some seniors were also doing their internships thus the school was relatively quieter and emptier haha. But it was cool – I got the chance to meet and befriend many foreign students who were in NTU for exchange! Yay!

Now, on what I took this semester… I’m afraid this post wouldn’t be of much help to you unless you’re from WKWSCI because I only took 4 courses and all of them are offered by my school. Yes, 4. Was I underloaded? Hahaha.

BUT WAIT! Before you close this window, one of the modules was actually a GER-PE which ANY of you can take so uh-huh, keep reading, won’t you? 😉

1. CS2058 Integrated Marketing Communication (Major PE) 

Lectured by one of the nicest and most prominent professors (Dr Lee Chun Wah) in WKW, it was my only course with a final paper. Having said that, it was also one with the least workload for me with only a term paper and a set of powerpoint slides (with presentation) to submit for grading. All these were done in groups. You wouldn’t need to spend a lot of time on them coz Dr Lee loves information to be concise and straight to the point, and it’s only a 10-page term paper which can be easily done with 4 members in a group.

However both his early-morning lectures (1.5 hours each but they usually end within 45 minutes lol) made it really tough for me to get out of bed. It wouldn’t be that bad if I was still staying at Bukit Batok but I shifted in February to a location so remote that it would take me 1.5 hours to reach school -_- If this was Poly I would have already gotten my first warning letter for poor attendance lol. The number of times I went for his lectures can be counted with 2 hands.

Despite my irregular attendance, I was never worried for my finals coz I realised that whatever he lectured wouldn’t be tested in the end lol (nor were they used at all in our assignments which explains why the number of attendees fell greatly towards the end of the semester). I would say that the finals was a breeze coz the questions were given beforehand and all we had to do was to do our own findings and then vomit them out on our exam script (closed-book). Seems pretty easy but I’m sure getting an A would be tough. Moreover, the exchange students in NTU this semester really went all out!

2. CS4029 Advertising Creativity and Copywriting (Major PE)

My most time-consuming course this semester with an individual graded assignment due every week, or every Thursday to be precise, so I usually had to work very late into the night on Wednesday since ideas only come to me at the very last minute.

Assignments are usually ad mockups (90% of the time) or copy writeups and honestly they are not that difficult to do if you’re a naturally creative person (not implying that I’m one la). The instructor is also very nice and encouraging and he gives the most valid criticisms ever. Even though I suffered from sleep deprivation owing to this module (never failed to sleep at 5am before submission), I still enjoyed it coz there would be prizes awarded to the best designs picked by the endorsers (HPB and Infiniti in this case) which gave me the extra push LOL. Though I didn’t win any of them, the sense of satisfaction when the instructor commended my efforts was enough to make me want to take this course all over again!

I must say that the imparted knowledge from Mr Tim Clark had definitely improved on my advertisement designs over time. Now looking at my previous works I feel deeply embarrassed coz all of them look like crap lol. If you happen to be in his class, be sure to save all his lecture notes as I believe they will come in handy if you intend to pursue a career in the advertising industry.

These are some of the best works I’ve done during the course. Note that these are not the final version which I included in my portfolio assignment. The final product can be found under the Portfolio section of this blog 🙂

A random assignment for any fruits I picked avocado.

A random assignment for any fruits – I picked avocado coz I was craving for avocado fruit juice from Alexander Village. Actually writing about this makes me want one too -_- Anyway, I’m not gonna lie – this is my most brilliant idea LOL and the idea came to me after drawing like what, 7-8 rough sketches?! Everyone who saw it loved it. So glad so glad! Did a series of ads based on this concept! Do check out my portfolio as well for this 😉

For Health Promotion Board's Anti-Smoking campaign

For Health Promotion Board’s Anti-Smoking campaign

For an Infiniti car (a brief endorsed by the company itself)

For an Infiniti car (a brief endorsed by the company itself). Apparently this brand is one of the main sponsors for F1, which explains the use of an F1 car in the mockup.

Storyboard for Health Promotion Board. To view the rest, please view my portfolio! :)

(Group project) First part of the storyboard for Health Promotion Board. We were supposed to collaborate with film students from another course to have this shot but due to time constraint, the plan was abandoned. To view the rest of the storyboard, please view my portfolio! 🙂

As you can see, having basic designing skills and designing software is necessary for this course. If you can’t design for nuts… well, it’s not that difficult to learn a trick or two from YouTube 😉

Anyway, the assessment components for this course is 60% individual creative assignments presented in class (some of what I did above), 30% final portfolio submission (pick your best 3 ads and expand one of them into a campaign, making a total of 5 ads to submit) and 10% attendance and participation with NO written exam. There is a weekly 2-hour lecture and 2-hour tutorial, giving you 4 academic units upon completion.

3. CS8070 Creative Visual Experience and Design (GER-PE, LS)

This is for anyone who’s still looking for a GER-PE Liberal Studies course to take.. especially if you’re from ADM coz as the course title suggests, it values design. Or rather, the prof for this course appreciates anything with elaborate design. But he can be really stringent with ADM students as you know, they are more skilled in this aspect. Haha. So if you’re not from ADM but are good at making your report stand out in terms of packaging, this is definitely the course for you.

Yup, this course requires a written report (30% of total marks) on your experience in becoming someone you’re not (for my batch) and no, he doesn’t want it to be in the usual A4, bound in plastic binder kinda report (even though it’s stated on the requirements). He likes it to be in an unconventional form that would blow him away (25% Composition, 25% Creativity, 25% Design, 25% Presentation, mind you). One student even photographed his process and turned his pictorial report into a (thick) flip book OMG OK WAIT WHAAAT. Don’t say the prof la… I myself was also amazed. It must had taken him A LOT of time to do it so he definitely deserves an A. Everyone applauded when the prof showed his work. Good job guy, if you’re reading this (and he’s not from ADM ok. Power la!!!)

Besides the individual report, there was also a group assignment (40% of total marks). Groups were created randomly using the randomizer on Edventure and I was grouped with 4 other girls from other schools. We were given one of the 5 weird topics (Worthy Words) to work on and had to do our presentation in front of a lecture hall of over 100 students using a mic omg. Because everyone in the group was reluctant to present first, I volunteered myself as the first speaker although I have mild stage fright lol gey kiang. Being the first presenting group in a morning lecture, I had to set the tone and be all enthusiastic and chirpy when I was also quite sleepy myself. But THANKFULLY I overcame everything and didn’t choke on my saliva as I spoke hahaha.

Once you’re done with your group assignment (if you’re lucky enough to get to present first), you’re pretty much done with the course but you’d still have to be present for class as attendance takes up 20% of your grades. This course is a 3-hour weekly lecture.

4. CS4088 Advertising Practicum (UE)

Last but not least, a UE which I reckon can be taken by anybody. This is a new course and I was in the pioneer batch and class size was really, really small (barely meeting the minimum number to start a class) probably due to a glitch on STARS planner. Apparently if you try to add that course, the planner would prompt you to fulfill its prerequisite first (which I think is CS4029) when in actual fact, there isn’t any prerequisite at all. Thus I wasn’t registered to the course until I showed up on the first lesson and was manually added by the course coordinator (i.e. the awesome Mr Tim Clark). The course is instructed by a WKWSCI alumni, Alvin, who now heads an advertising firm called The Alchemy Partnership.

With just 8 people (4 locals, 4 exchange students) in the class, we were easily separated into 2 groups of four. In my team were 3 other fun ladies whom I absolutely enjoyed working with. We did so MANY crazy things together in the name of getting a good grade which you can see from here. In fact, I must say that the whole class was a joy to be with la! They made my Fridays the happiest day of my week!! (omg as I’m typing this at 4 in the morning, Alvin texted us through Whatsapp to inform that he misses us HAHA awwww I miss everyone too 😦 )

Throughout the course, we had been on 2 industrial visits to VHQ Media, a post-production, animation and visual effects house and Yellow Box Studios, a sound post production facility. Both were equally enriching and I only hoped there were more of such excursions. Haha.

Derping at Yellow Box Studios

Derping at Yellow Box Studios

Folks Like Us image!

Folks Like Us imagine!

Of course, we also had hands-on experience as we were given a chance to work on real projects with the guidance of Alchemy’s Account Director. Some of the brands we worked on were Makisan, Ford, Ben and Jerry’s and Red Bull.

Our final individual project was to produce a viral social media campaign for one of given brands. I chose Makisan’s Instagram campaign as it was something I thought was the most feasible (the rest were making videos, or interviewing celebrities O_O I cannot la) and this was what I did:

Makisan Instagram campaign

Makisan Instagram campaign. Do you see what I did there? Haha.

You can view the actual images here.

There isn’t really a lesson structure since it’s a practicum. All you need to know about this course is that it carries 4AU and has a 4-hour “tutorial” every week 🙂

On our final lesson (the week before Good Friday), we met up at one of the country clubs that Alvin frequents 😛 It was at ONE°15 Marina Club at Sentosa.

Tai-Tai moment with Atheena!

Tai-Tai moment: sipping those fine red wine..

With the only final-year student in the class, Atheena!

With the only final-year student in the class, Atheena!

Group shot! Loooook at the yachts behind us!

Group shot! Loooook at the yachts behind us! (ok you can’t really see but yeah they’re there)

Our very own groupfie

Our very own groupfie

With Fengjia

With Fengjia

With one of the exchange students, Toni, from the Philippines

With one of the exchange students, Toni, from the Philippines

With exchange student from America, Ariel who was also my groupmate :)

With exchange student from America, Ariel who was also my groupmate 🙂

With exchange student, Cody, from Hong Kong

With exchange student, Cody, from Hong Kong

And with Swede heartthrob (not mine but I believe many girls couldn't get their eyes off him on the streets LOL), Robert.

And with Swede heartthrob (obviously cannot say it’s mine coz boyfriend reads this blog but many girls couldn’t get their eyes off him on the streets), Robert.

Awww I miss everyone 😥 It had been an awesome 12 weeks! All of the exchange students have returned home and I sincerely wish them the best in everything they do! Really hope we cross paths one day 🙂

Okay that’s about it for this semester!

Good luck with your exam results on Friday, everyone!

Read also:
University Senior: Year 4 Semester 1 & 2
University Junior: Year 3 Semester 1
University Sophomore: Year 2 Semester 1
University Freshman: Year 1 Semester 2
University Freshman: Year 1 Semester 1

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2 thoughts on “University Sophomore: Year 2 Semester 2

  1. Hi Fiona, I was searching for information about NTU electives to take and came across your blog. I’m actually interested in taking either CS4029 Advertising Creativity and Copywriting or CS4028 Public Relations Writing next semester as one of my UEs. I was just wondering if you perhaps know anything about CS4028 (the workload, whether it’s easy to score, assignments etc)? Also, would you recommend CS4029 for a UE? I have some experience in Photoshop and ad mock-ups (it’s mostly self-taught, but I’m relatively ok with it) but I was wondering if the competition is really stiff in the course. Thanks!:)

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  2. Hello carayin, I haven’t taken 4028 (I think I might have exempted myself from it) so I can only give you advice on 4029. I took that mod in the semester when most of the people in my cohort were on exchange so there wasn’t much of a competition. It would be a huuuge bonus if you’re already very proficient in photoshop and illustrator but what matters most is your creativity. If you’re able to churn out new ideas in a short period, then this course would be a breeze for you 🙂

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