University Sophomore: Year 2 Semester 2

Hello fellow schoolmates!

PLEASE READ: Please direct all questions to the comments section below so that they will also be visible to other prospective students. Do note that I will not be entertaining any NTU-related enquiries through e-mail from now on. Thank you for your understanding!

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

Guide to WKWSCI Admission Interview

Hello everyone!

PLEASE READ: Please direct all questions to the comments section below so that they will also be visible for other prospective students. Do note that I will not be entertaining any NTU-related enquiries through e-mail from now on. Thank you for your understanding!

The time of the year is here again, when prospective students frantically scour through the internet for tips to ace their college/university admission interviews. I hope what I documented prior to my acceptance to NTU help shed some light on how the interview works. I have also received numerous e-mails pertaining to this so I thought I should share some frequently asked questions here for the benefit of those who’re too shy to approach me.

Please bear in mind that I’m merely a student of the school and not some ambassador who is authorised to speak on behalf of WKWSCI, so everything that is written here are merely my thoughts. It’s always advisable to seek second opinion before forming your own judgement 🙂

You can still e-mail me at askme@fionaseah.com should you have queries not answered here. I’m always very happy to help prospective students!

I also appreciate feedback about the accuracy and helpfulness of this entry! Do share your joy with me if you succeed at your interview as well! 🙂

Before I begin the FAQs, there is ONE thing you’d need to know about WKWSCI before you go for the interview because it’s one achievement that we’re so damn proud of and it’d be a shame if you don’t already know it:

According to the 2014 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings by Subject, NTU’s Communication & Media Studies is ranked 6th in the world…. NTU said the subject Communication & Media Studies jumped an impressive 17 positions within two years since QS started ranking this subject, to become No 1 in Singapore and in the Asia-Pacific.

Source: TODAYonline

Interview FAQs

1. I do not come from a Communication Studies (CS)-related diploma programme. Is my chance of getting accepted into WKWSCI slimmer?

I had received tons of emails about this which makes this the most frequently asked question. This is very subjective so my opinion on this is: yes and no. ‘Yes’ because you may not have relevant portfolio to show that you’re suitable for the course and ‘No’ because you MAY not need to even produce any portfolio (with exception of NAA), thus categorising you with the JC applicants who also have no experience in this field.

In fact, I think that people with CS background stand a slightly lower chance of getting in because they’d expect higher standards from us. When I went for my interview, I had to make a short impromptu speech on top of producing my portfolio which showed my designing AND writing capabilities even though I already expressed my interest in the advertising field clearly from the start. Some of my friends who graduated with Business diplomas on the other hand got it way easier – they didn’t have to produce any portfolio because the interviewers refused to see them so all they did was talk. Of course, a handful of my DBA (a Business course offered by Singapore Poly) friends briefly showed what they did to a different interviewer so it all really boils down to the one(s) interviewing you!

But if you want a definite answer, I think it’d be a ‘No’. I always have the impression that WKWSCI assesses every applicant fairly. They don’t shun people with no CS background nor do they only favour those who have. However, you definitely need to possess 2 sets of IMPORTANT skills in order to be considered, regardless of the specialisation you intend to pursue. They are writing AND public speaking. If you don’t have these skills, CS is probably not the course for you.

2. What should I do if I do not have any CS-related portfolio to show?

First and foremost, I recommend that you decide what specialisation track to pursue if you were accepted into WKWSCI as doing so makes you seem less indecisive. WKWSCI offers the following tracks to concentrate:

  • Journalism
  • Broadcast & Cinema Studies
  • Advertising
  • Public Relations
  • Communication Policy & Research
  • Inter-Disciplinary

 

For me it was, no doubt, advertising like duh… I spent my entire Poly life trying to perfect my advertising/design portfolio hahaha. I had no problem answering any advertising-related questions. What stumbled me was the interviewer’s request to view my writing because I had just too many design works that didn’t show my writing proficiency at all.

Having a track in mind makes your more focused on improving on your portfolio. You can modify it according to what you want to pursue. For example, if you want to be a journalist/PR, you should have more write-ups than anyone else to show your flair for writing. Or if you want to be in the advertising field, you should have some mockups WITH COPY (learn from my mistake). They DON’T have to be perfect/professional because if you’re so good, then why are you applying to University? You can start working already! FYI that was exactly what my interviewer told me -_- I was repeatedly shot down by him when I answered that my works were amateurish. “No no no! What is there to improve on? These are very good! You shouldn’t waste your time here! Go apply into SUTD or SIT!!!111”

Since having good command of English is what makes the cut, producing anything that shows your proficiency in the language should be sufficient in that aspect. Personally I think you can show reports you had done during your Poly course (or GP/History essays done in JC), or you can do a write-up/essay about anything that interests you. I believe the interviewer (typically a professor) will be interested to read about your thoughts. If you were part of a CCA in Poly that required you to write (a writer for the school magazine or something), you should also include that in your portfolio. Once again, it doesn’t have to be of top-notch standard and LONG but it has to be grammatically correct. I showed my copy for a newsletter (about 5 lines) and the interviewer seem pretty satisfied with it. Haha.

During the application process you would have already indicated your course of study in Poly, hence the interviewers would most probably know that you do not have anything really CS-related to show. Just show what you did during your 3-year course and if possible, select those that are closely related to CS (e.g. event planning, marketing plan etc.).

Always, always bring something to show to your interviewer(s) even though they MAY not look at them (it depends on how lucky you are). Going there empty-handed = bo chup, okay?

3. Since I do not have any background in CS, would it be difficult for me to keep up with the lessons?

NO OF COURSE NOT. You basically start from scratch in Uni and study the fundamentals of everything media before you choose your specialisation. That means you have to, at least once in the course, design a newsletter, write a press release, shoot a short film, study media law, study the history of media and other not-so-fun stuff. The only difference between one with CS background and one without is the ABILITY TO EXEMPT FROM COURSES and end your programme 1 semester earlier. But there are MANY people I know who came from Mass Comm in Poly who chose not to accelerate the programme because the graduation ceremony will be held on the same day anyway.

4. What were some of the questions thrown at you during the interview?

Okay I hope my memory doesn’t fail me. I am not feeding you my responses because if you guys are passionate about the course, you should have your own answers!

“Why did you choose WKWSCI and not elsewhere?” (elsewhere – if you get what I mean)

“What do you like to do?”

“Why do you want to apply into WKWSCI and not enter the working industry since you already have so much experience?”

“Why not SUTD and SIT?” 

“In WKW, we value good writing and public speaking skills. Do you have anything to show your proficiency in writing?”

“Now, give me a 3-minute speech about someone who inspires you or someone whom you look up to.”

And lastly… “If you can’t get in this year, try applying again next year okay?” to which I replied, “This is my second application.” He was a little dumbfounded. “Oh..”

5. What should I wear for the interview?

Anything not too formal, casual, fanciful and revealing. For girls, just be donned in a knee-length dress and for guys, short sleeves top with long pants should do the trick. Jeans are fine too.

6. How long must I wait for the interview results to be out?

I waited for close to 2 weeks but that was during the appeal period. If you had your interview before that, it should be faster.

 

Other WKWSCI-related FAQs

1. What are some essentials I need to have?

There are no needs per se because the school has almost everything. As long as you’re a student there, you get free access to the computer labs and printers (have to pay but through credits). Of course, your life would be much easier if you have the following:

  • Macbook
    … but I’m still coping very well with my HP laptop. Go Windows!!!
  • Adobe Design and Web Premium
    … Basically all you need from there are Photoshop, Dreamweaver and InDesign. Contrary to popular beliefs, it is not expensive to own the authentic Photoshop. You can get the Adobe Design and Web Premium at student price from mine.com.sg.
  • Final Cut Pro (FCP)
    … to edit videos but it’s only available for Mac. Windows users have to edit their videos in school 😦 The authentic copy can cost you thousands of dollars though so usually students get it by other *sinister look* means.
  • Sony Vegas Pro / Adobe Premiere Pro
    … Another alternative for FCP. Sony Vegas Pro and Adobe Premier Pro are also Windows-supported. Likewise, you can only get them by other means.
  • Microsoft Office
    … For report writing and creating presentation slides. MO isn’t that important now that we have Google Drive. But nowadays students also like to act cool and 一个 artsy fartsy and use Prezi instead for their presentation. Huh why? I find Prezi too complicated and error-prone. I have never encountered any group that managed to go through all Prezi transitions smoothly without exclaiming, “Oops!” and then clicking several times before getting to the right frame. I get massive headache just by looking at the slides zooming in and out in fast motion.

 

2. I missed the Freshmen Orientation Camp!!!!! O SHIT WHAT SHOULD I DO!?!?!

NOTHING. Relax and let nature takes its course. If you’re intending to stay in hall, you don’t have to worry at all. If you’re not, you can still meet nice people through group projects and elective classes! Or if you’re free, through clubs and other CCAs. Please always remember that you go to school to study okay, not to be the most popular person or something. Life will still be equally awesome with just 432 Facebook friends and 3 likes on your statuses LOL. Life will still be equally fantastic even if you have to eat, travel and study alone sometimes.

To read more about my friend-making process, click here.

* * *

That’s all from me 🙂 I will update this post as and when I have new questions but please don’t ask me about FASS because I don’t think it’s fair for someone who know nuts about the NUS/FASS to answer them.

Thanks for reading!

Some useful WKWSCI-affiliated links:
WKWSCI Official Facebook
WKWSCI Facebook (student-run)
Wee Write (campus news)
Wee Shoot (compilation of videos shot by the Wee kids)