Oct 2014

E + E: The internship adventures of Elaine and Eve

The following blog post was written by Elaine Tan and Eve Lock, final-year students from the Diploma in Communications & Media Management. This post recounts their internship experience at the Public Service Division’s Communications and Strategic Relations (CSR) cluster. Photo credits: Public Service Division (PSD).

Elaine and Eve’s final reflections
30 Sep 2014

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September marked the close of a six-month adventure for final-year Temasek Polytechnic whizzes Elaine Tan and Eve Lock. As interns with the Communications and Strategic Relations (CSR) cluster of the Public Service Division (PSD), the pair spent an invigorating (and exhausting) six months involved in a host of content production projects. Check out the inimitable final-day reflections of these self-described “partners-in-crime.”

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Kaboom. Here it is – the last day of my six-month internship with PSD. Though I feel the same as I did on my first day – paperwork panic mixed with a tingling sense of excitement, with a hint of reluctance – I’ve learned so much here, and will leave with many fond memories.

As an intern, I produced content for PSD’s social media platforms, from videos and posters to infographics. These projects took me all over Singapore, visiting many different public agencies and meeting a variety of public officers with interesting stories to share. I’ve seen the inside of Changi Control Tower, woken up at 2am to film the inspection of poultry at Tuas Checkpoint and seen precious, 100-year-old national artefacts. However, it was the public officers’ stories – their passion, words of inspiration and hard work – that left the deepest impression.

“…it was the public officers’ stories – their passion, words of inspiration and hard work – that left the deepest impression.”

Someone once told me that when you’re young, time is all you have to exchange for experience and knowledge. The time I’ve spent at CSR has given me a treasure chest of experiences. It was an eye-opening journey and I had the privilege of working with many talented individuals who were generous with their feedback, motivation and snacks! I’m very grateful for their warmth and helpfulness. They pushed me to expand my knowledge and become better at my work.

Thank you, Temasek Polytechnic, for giving me this internship opportunity. Thank you, PSD colleagues, fellow interns and supervisors, for guiding me and making this internship a memorable one. Finally, here’s a big bear hug for my partner-in-crime, Eve, without whom I wouldn’t have survived! – Elaine Tan

03 Eve Lock - Final

Ever since I was young, I’ve always liked listening to and documenting stories. These simple joys are very much tied to my interest in writing, photography and videography. Through my six-month internship with CSR, I was exposed to many memorable and eye-opening experiences that helped me to become a better story-teller.

The interns at CSR work mainly on content production. This includes video production, event coverage, writing, photography and so on. In a typical week, we may be out on shoots around Singapore or at our desk working on Final Cut Pro or Photoshop. In crafting our stories, we’ve met many inspiring public officers and visited numerous public agencies. We’ve walked on the airport apron, followed an inspection team aboard an empty passenger plane and even viewed protected national artefacts!

One of the memorable projects that we’ve been working on is a video series called P.S. I Love You (http://on.fb.me/1rzJDsL and http://on.fb.me/1rGorBG). It seeks to show the passion that public officers have for serving others. I recall meeting Mdm Faridah Hussain, a Student Health Advisor with the Health Promotion Board. Through our interview, I learned more about her sense of purpose and commitment to the Public Service. I love meeting people who are passionate about their work because they inspire me to try harder.

“I love meeting people who are passionate about their work because they inspire me to try harder.”

I’m also grateful for the opportunity to work with many creative individuals as well as with interns from other tertiary institutions. Here’s a special shout-out to Elaine, my fellow intern and course-mate from Temasek Polytechnic! Together, we’re like Tom and Jerry. We annoy each other, but we get things done. :P

My internship has helped me gain insights into the Public Service and enabled me to grow as a person. Thank you, PSD! – Eve Lock

The Public Service Division (PSD) is the central people agency of the Singapore Public Service. Its work impacts some 139,000 public officers working in 16 Ministries and more than 50 Statutory Boards. To learn more about PSD, visit www.psd.gov.sg and www.facebook.com/PSDSingapore.

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Jul 2014

A female Ronaldo in our own backyard

With the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil thrilling fans around the world, there is an emerging young crop of footballers who are hoping to rewrite history and make waves right here at home.

Yes, young local footballers.

No, not Irfan Fandi or Adam Swandi.

We’re talking about Nurul Khairiah. Our very own female footballer who has already been called up to the Women’s National Football Team and at the youthful age of 18, has represented Singapore for the past seven years across all age-groups.

National Young Women's Football Team (Nurul, Back row extreme left)

National Young Women’s Football Team (Nurul, Back row extreme left)

Ironically, Nurul, who is currently a year two AMS student here at Temasek Polytechnic, did not start off with football as the first sport she participated in.

She grew up being influenced by her father (Mr Azhar Bin Omar) and elder brother (Taufik Khairi) who have both represented Singapore at various youth age groups in tennis.

“My family’s background in tennis made me start playing the game since I was six-years-old but in Primary Two, I began to develop a strong interest in football.” said the affable teen. “Unfortunately, my Secondary School (CHIJ Katong Convent) did not have women football as a CCA and I went to join the Floorball team but whenever I had the chance, I would join the boys around the estate for football after school!”

Nurul’s love for the game saw her train hard and her talent was obvious. Her big break came in 2008 when the Football Association of Singapore held trials to form a team for their upcoming women’s tournaments and needless to say, the tenacious midfield made the cut and her first competition was the AFC Girls’ Festival of Football later that year.

National Young Women's Team

National Young Women’s Team

The midfielder who cites Cristiano Ronaldo as her football inspiration is one of the few success stories in the women’s football scene and has gone through the National Football Academy ranks from U13s, to her current team the U19s, who are currently preparing for the U19 AFC and AFF Qualifying Round later this year.

Despite her obvious footballing talent, the AMS student has her mind set on doing well in her studies foremost.

“I started playing football while sitting for my PSLE so I know how to juggle studies and football. I have learnt to prioritise my time and for me, studies comes first while football is a close second. I scored 11 points in my ‘O’ Levels and AMS was always my first choice. I’ve always been an aviation fan since young so this course is a dream come true for me.”

While she is doing well in the classroom, Nurul has been trying to put our TP Women’s Football Team on the map and with her help, TP managed to finish third in the 2013 POL-ITE tournament.

Temasek Polytechnic Women's Football Team (Nurul, front row extreme left)

Temasek Polytechnic Women’s Football Team (Nurul, front row extreme left)

Her hectic schedule sees her train six days a week along with her routine schoolwork and she knows just why she has been able to cope with all the mental pressure and physical fatigue well.

She said: “My mum (Mdm Zulaimah) and dad have played a huge role in my growing up years. They used to ferry me to and from school and training. The amazing thing is they have never missed a single local match I have participated in and I know I have their full support on the pitch.”

With another year to go before she graduates with a Diploma in Aviation Management & Services(T04), Nurul is likely to further her studies or look for a job with football only deemed enough as a hobby.

“I love the game a lot and the thrill I get playing for club (Eunos Crescent FC) and the national age group teams is something that I want more of. However, the womens’ game is not strong enough locally, so this will be a lifelong hobby for me but rest assured, I will continue to train as hard as I can and give it my all.” bemoaned the teen.

Nurul during her tutorial @TP

Nurul during her tutorial @TP

The midfielder’s words haven’t gone unnoticed as there have been many discussions in the media the past few weeks pertaining to the need to give more support to the women’s football scene here and if Nurul and her teammates are to turn professional one day, we all need to back them up and create a supportive environment for the next generation of female footballers to be nurtured in.

For all that it’s worth, we here at TP are proud of you Nurul Khairiah. And we hope your contributions on the pitch will not go unnoticed for long. Run along and become the next Brigit Prinz or Sun Wen!

Posted in Football, People, Soccer, Sports, Students, Uncategorized | 1 Comment
Jun 2014

Wine Aficionados in the Making!

If you, like me, always imagined that making wine meant stomping around barefoot in a bucket full of grapes crushing them then you’ve been sorely mistaken! A recent chat with third year students Ethan Ng and Javin Chia as well as Mr Tan Hsien Wei, Course Manager and Assistant Director/Temasek Culinary Academy from the Diploma in Culinary and Catering Management (CCM) has enlightened me about the intricate process that’s winemaking.


(From left to right: Ethan Ng, Javin Chia, Ms Mark Fong Kim and Randall Foo)

On 20th March this year, the two very lucky students set off on a 10-day trip to Margaret River to partake in the wine grape harvest and to try their hand at winemaking in Moss Wood located in the Margaret River Wine Region of Western Australia. This exclusive harvest, open only to working travellers and students on study trips, was met with enthusiasm by Ethan and Javin, both of whom were pursuing a module on Wine and Beverage.  They were joined by recent CCM graduate Randall Foo and Ms Mark Fong Kim, Section Head, Diploma in Culinary and Catering Management.

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A typical day at Moss Wood usually started way before the sun came out! Rising as early as 5am, the boys would wake up to prepare themselves breakfast before hitting the road for a short drive to the nearby Moss Wood winery. The harvest at Moss Wood, unlike other wineries, is not done mechanically. Going through rows and rows of vines with secateurs (pruning shears), groups of pickers would pick the harvested grapes by hand.

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Besides picking grapes, Ethan, Javin and Randall were tasked with putting out the buckets along the vines for the pickers, collecting buckets of grapes as well as the back-breaking task of tipping the buckets full of grapes into the pallets at the back of the tractors! This was all done before the sun came out while the weather was still cool as the sun’s heat would affect the freshness of the grapes which in turn would affect the taste of the wine.



After the picking of grapes, came the arduous task of plunging the open-topped vats so as to ensure all the bits of grapes were mixed with the wine fermenting at the bottom. “This was especially hard and required of lot of arm strength and effort” said Ethan. “It’s no wonder all the guys who performed this task at Moss Wood were so buff!” quipped Javin with a wide grin.

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The boys were also involved in laboratory work where they observed tests, examined the pH values of wine as well as sampled the juice of the grapes to decide if they were ready to be picked. “This process involved a lot of analysis, quite the opposite of the other tasks on the vineyard,” remarked Javin. In fact, these tests are taken very seriously at Moss Wood. The dates for harvesting the grapes are determined to a weeks’ accuracy during which the harvest has to be completed. “Rain is the enemy as it dilutes the quality of the wine, while the grapes will be plump and juicy from absorbing the rainwater, the wine will be flat” said Mr Tan. “The dates for the trip were selected based on the harvest season and as expected it poured after the last day of the harvest” added Ethan. Talk about planning to the tee!


The workday usually ended with a wash down of all the equipment and machines. Everything is sanitized and cleaned ready to be used the next day. The boys would then head back to the house they stayed at in Moss Wood’s Ribbon Vale Vineyard where they would wind down.


One of the highlights of the trip included a dinner party hosted by the CCM team to thank the Moss Wood crew for their warmth and hospitality. A day and a half was set aside to prepare for this feast which consisted of a Singaporean spread of Sambal Seafood, Thai Grilled Chicken, Chicken Curry, Bak Kut Teh and a Vegetable Stir-fry. Ms Mark also prepared Teh Tarik and served Bak Kua as a sweet end to the meal. All this food talk is making my mouth water! The meal was met with equal excitement from the kind folks at Moss Wood who not only brought along crates of wine to complement each dish, but also brought along vintage wines which were made the same year Ethan, Javin and Randall were born!

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Moss Wood also arranged for the boys to visit other wineries in the Margaret River region where they received tutored wine tasting. This experience allowed them to savour the depth and breadth of the wines and gave them a deeper understanding of the different wines in the region. The boys were also both amazed and impressed that the owners and staff at the different wineries had such an amicable relationship despite being competitors. Besides visiting wineries, they also went to some of the restaurants in the area to enjoy the local fare.

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Ethan and Javin agreed that their experience in Margaret River and Moss Wood was both an enriching and invigorating prelude to their foray into the culinary industry. “I would love to eventually bring some of Margaret River’s farm-to-table culture to Singapore in the near future” concluded Javin. We sure hope you do Javin, if the pictures are anything to go by then it sure looks delightful!

Moss Wood, Hai Choo Wines & Spirits and Temasek Polytechnic Collaboration

The students were picked for this trip through a rigorous selection process which included writing a wine-related essay, a blind tasting of wines and an interview. Two CCM students and one staff member have been making this trip since 2008 and this was made possible through the kind sponsorship of Hai Choo Wines & Spirits (Singapore) and the Moss Wood Winery of Margaret River, Western Australia. Hai Choo Wines & Spirits (Singapore) are the exclusive distributors of Moss Wood wines in Singapore. This is one way that TP tries to work with industry partners to “Bring Education to Life and Life to Education” for our students. 

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Jun 2014

Parental Guidance Seminar 2014 – We have a Solution!

“Alvin, which course are you choosing? Better decide now now now!”

“Melissa, what is the cut-off point for Communications? What you mean you don’t know!”

All ‘O’ Level takers must be waging daily battles with your parents who are like ants on a pan, hysteric about what lies ahead for the children.

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While we teenagers refuse to admit that our parents’ seal of approval and advice is important to us, we know deep down inside that their unwavering support and steadfast presence greatly influences some of the major decisions we make in life.


Mention the O’levels and you will immediately hear (witness) alarm bells go off! If we collected a dollar from every parent who enquired about a polytechnic education at TP, we’d have………… enough to construct another building on campus!

Okay, maybe not but you get the picture! And we have the perfect solution right here at TP!

So let us help them, to help you! The annual Parental Guidance (PG) Seminar is specially organised to quell your doubts and answer your questions about what happens after the O’levels and what TP has to offer.

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Parents, swing by and get all the information you need regarding a post-secondary education for your child.

Hear from our registrar Ms Sharon Soh who is in charge of all admissions-related matters about an education at TP, while TP’s senior academic staff and some parents of our students will be present to answer your questions. The session will wrap up with a guided tour of a TP school of your choice.




So if you’d like to attend the PG Seminar, simply register on the website here. And yes, admission is totally free. See you there!


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Jun 2014

Guru takes on Mickey and the World. OSIP Time!

*The following post was written by one of our writers, Kelvin Leong.

And so, another batch of students have headed out to the sunny shores of Florida in the United States of America for their Overseas Internship Program.


This time out, one of our TPTV hosts, Gurushan from AMS is part of the contingent and has shared with us his first two weeks out in the States.

From a long flight to a country unknown and meeting fellow TP students whom he may never had met if not for OSIP, Guru has had nothing short of amazing since boarding that plane some two weeks ago. These are some of the small adventures he has discovered along the way.

Hungry Hungry Hippos!

Being in the States means burgers, pancakes and fries will be a huge part of your staple diet. Guru’s first chosen meal was? DENNY’S! 24-hour joint which offers rostis, sausages, American breakfast and pancakes!

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His chosen form of poison was the awfully good chocolate chip pancake. Yes, you heard it right. CHOCOLATE CHIP PANCAKE! #fatdiehim!

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Apart from eating out, Guru and his newfound mates did some grocery shopping at Walmart which ended up with the ladies whipping up a gorgeous homecooked meal of ravioli with turkey breast and sautéed vegetables. Talk about Guru’s luck to have such amazing cooks in the same house. We reckon he should buy them all a big meal with his first pay check! #claimfromguruplease

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 Guru Guru what you see?

Most of the AMS students there are in the States for the first time and the sight and sound that Florida has to offer is like a breath of fresh air.

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Everywhere they turn, it was something different. The way the parking lots are, the bus systems and of course, Disney Land!

Before OSIP officially begins, the students went to the ginormous theme park to check out what it had to offer.

From the insane rides to the Loch Nest monster, it was a sight to behold. Once OSIP starts, things will change and they will see it from inside out. The daily operations to the way the most amazing theme park in the world markets and promotes itself to visitors.

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The best way for the OSIP students to travel around the city is the buses. So without delay, the ladies and Guru headed out to orientate themselves with the bus system and what not around their vicinity to get acquainted with their surroundings which they call home for the next three months.

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Where is home you ask? Well, the students stay at a residential area called The Commons, which is an apartment style block which is equipped with washing machines, dryers and other essentials that will enable them to be independent and self efficient. If you are in Florida for a visit, we are happy to note that Guru stays in Block 25 of The Commons(Which according to him is like walking from the TP Mushroom to Engin Block 23) while the ladies are in Block 14, much nearer to the entrance of the estate. 23 to 14, I think the ladies should be thankful that Guru is staying far away from them!

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Coz from what we heard, he is still jetlagged and has been staring at the ceiling wide awake due to the time difference. So imagine him yakking away and insisting on heading out for supper while the rest just want to rest?!

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So yah, this is what Guru and the rest of the OSIP students in Florida are up to in their first week or so. Our dear TPTV host has committed himself to writing a blog piece once he starts his official internship and share with us his deep dark secrets with Mickey Mouse. So travel safe OSIP mates! Enjoy yourselves but always keep a look out for your peers.

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