Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Talents@NAA Grand Finale

By Ho Khin Wai, First Year Diploma in Banking & Financial Services

(Left to right) NYP finalists Choo Xia Meng, Alex Shieh Jun Fa and Chon Hui Li
Excitement is in the air, as one student and two alumnus from NYP gear up for their one-minute “live” pitch in the hope to win ‘Talents@NAA 2011’, an event organised by the Ngee Ann – Adelaide Education Centre. ‘Talents@NAA’ is an island-wide talent search for polytechnic students who have the passion and aspirations to make a difference in their interested fields of study. The winner of the competition will be presented the grand prize of $3,000 study grant (or $1,500 cash).

After two rounds of nominations, three finalists remain for NYP.
They are:
Chon Hui Li, who just graduated with a Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism Management, and is now in NAA pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing).
Choo Xia Meng, a Year 2 student in NYP currently pursuing a Diploma in Chemical & Green Technology.
Alex Shieh Jun Fa, who was from the pioneer batch of the Diploma in Media Studies (now known as Diploma in Mass Media Management). Alex, who graduated in 2007, joined the NYP’s Chinese Orchestra (NYPCO) in 2004 and helped grow the CCA from a handful of members to what it is today- an orchestra with a strong cohort who are able to go on competitions and win awards for NYP.
Alex answering questions after his pitch

Here, they had to do a one-minute, on-the-spot “live” pitch on a given topic.
The Grand Finale was held at *Scape, Warehouse on Saturday, 11 June 2011. The atmosphere in the auditorium did not seem too intense. Pop music filled the hall and people were slowly streaming in. However, it was a different feeling backstage. I went to check our NYP finalists out and here is what they have to say…

“Excited, but definitely nervous!” exclaimed Hui Li.

“I just hope all my friends here today will enjoy the show.” said Alex.

Alex explained that he was encouraged by Student Affairs Officer to take part. “And since NYP had given me a lot of opportunities to grow in the past few years, I thought this is a good way to give back to NYP,” he added.

Next, I asked them the contents of their essays: which they produced during the semi-finalist round.

Said Xia Meng, “I want to be an environmentalist in the future. I also want to encourage others to follow my path and help the environment. In my essay, I talked about how I plan to educate youths to be “green ambassadors”. For example, I wrote that I would make more money to set up a workshop specially to educate teens about it.”

“Why do you think you deserve to win?” was the next question I posed to them.

“There is meaning to my passions and aspirations. If I win the grand prize tonight, I would one step closer in reaching my goals to educate youths on the environment.” said Xia Meng.

I want to do the school proud by winning the grand prize. NYP has nurtured me to be a confident, outspoken and dynamic individual. Without NYP, I wouldn’t be able to get this far.” said Alex.

I then spoke to the judges, Ms Christine Sim, General Manager of LINKS Recruitment Singapore and Mr Aaron Lim, Director of Intune Music School on what they think about the contestants.

Do you feel the finalists have what it takes to meet your expectations?
We’ve seen their essays and we feel these are very real actualizations for their aspirations. Many of them are very clear and authentic. We’re really impressed with the variety of experiences they had.

Do you think the contestants should only focus on winning? What do you want them to get from the event?

They should aim to win, of course. But besides that, the valuable experiences that they had here and the friends that they make are equally important. This is truly a journey of self-discovery.
At 7.00pm, they presented their pitches. Our NYP students were really impressive!
Hui Li, Alex, and Xia Meng, after the results were announced

Alex won the grand prize of $1,500 cash, which he planned to use to have Father’s Day dinner with his family and give a treat to his supporters. The remaining amount would be used to nurture and expose more youths to the arts scene in Singapore.

In addition, Alex also won the Best Video Award (sponsored by Wawa Pictures), and our recent graduate Tan Chui Choon won the Best Essay Award (Sponsored by Pilot).

Congratulations to our three finalists for a job well done!

Photo credit: NAA and Tay Wan Lin from Klix Photography, m:idea.
Photo credit: NAA and Tay Wan Lin from Klix Photography, m:idea.
Photo credit: NAA and Tay Wan Lin from Klix Photography, m:idea.

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