Issue 122 | Jul-Sep 2020

Special Feature: Here to Inspire

To the Class of 2020 – the road ahead may be uncertain and difficult. To cheer you on, here are some pearls of wisdom and words of optimism from alumni who also graduated in challenging times such as the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and the SARS outbreak in 2003. When the real world knocks on your door, a little direction and tradition will help you navigate your journey into the unknown.

Ms Deborah Chew (Arts and Social Sciences ’97) 
Chief Operating Officer, Emergenetics APAC 
Co-Founder, Project Happy Feet

As you embark on your new journey, be open to any opportunity that comes your way. Be open to learning, relearning and unlearning every day. Sometimes, learning opportunities in your job do not present themselves in ways you expect them to, so having an open mind and a growth mindset are important as these open doors for you to hone your skills to be agile, adroit and adaptable. These are important traits to keep, especially during times of crisis.
Never be afraid to try or to fail. Failure is nothing more than feedback for one to do better the next time round. So never stop being curious and being hungry to learn. But most of all, be grateful, be humble and be kind. Find ways to give back to the community when you can because what you get in return are life’s lessons that money cannot buy. 

Ms Valerie Chow (Arts and Social Sciences ’97) 
Assistant Manager, AXA Insurance Pte Ltd 
President, NUS Economics Alumni

Setting sail in the stormiest of seas may look daunting and challenging, but this is also the best opportunity to bring out your very best oars to ride out the storm. Take heart, grit and a positive mind and spirit to sail with you. The most profound journey of your life will build and grow you to become the very best of YOU! Know you can do it! From a survivor who graduated in two crises – the Asian financial crisis and global financial crisis – what doesn’t break you, makes you stronger. Set your sails and all the best!

Mr Xavier Chew (Business ’03) 
Founder, PHVillage Pte Ltd and C-Mart

Opportunities abound during times of crisis. Incumbent business models and practices are put to the test. However, being innovative and adaptable will enable you to emerge from these difficult times.Being new graduates, don’t be afraid to use your youth to try non-traditional jobs and ideas. Good luck — and as history has shown, we will survive this.
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