Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Making IT Great is Just His First Step

By Kishen Van Anker, Year 2, Diploma in Business Management

Joshua Tan receiving his award from Mr. John Fernandes, Director, Business & Marketing Organisation, Microsoft Singapore
Diploma in Information Technology student Joshua Tan may only be in Year 2, but he was already made a Microsoft Student Partner in Year 1, which is a rarity. On top of that, he recently won the Microsoft Office 2010 Make-It-Great Ambassador competition and is now Singapore’s First-Ever Microsoft Office 2010 Make-It-Great Ambassador. We interviewed Joshua to find out why he makes the perfect Microsoft Make-It-Great Ambassador.

What made you take part in the competition?

I have always been a firm believer that Microsoft Office applications are not fully utilized and would like to educate people on how to use Microsoft Office to its fullest. It was undoubtedly passion that made me take part in the competition. It is also this burning passion for IT and computers that led me to pursue everything IT: the course, the competitions and certifications.

Why did you pursue the Diploma in Information Technology at NYP?

IT has always been my interest. I started developing websites since Primary 3. During my Secondary education, choosing the IT Club as my CCA was a natural choice and I was the Club’s president for 2 years.

I chose NYP because it is well known for their IT diplomas and I am happy with the exposure and opportunities given to me on various fronts. I have also been awarded the iDA Integrated Infocomm Scholarship upon starting my diploma studies in NYP.

How did you prepare for the competition?

I had to select a piece of work done which showcases the innovative and creative use of the Microsoft Office suite of applications. For this competition, I chose a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation which I created for the purpose of highlighting musical scores. After being shortlisted, I had to prepare for a video interview which required me to demonstrate and highlight features of Microsoft PowerPoint in an unconventional and creative manner.

Tell us more about the competition. How did you feel during the competition and what were its highlights?

There were many requisites that I needed to satisfy such as being able to use Microsoft Office applications creatively and having unique features in my entry. Other factors include the extent of social media coverage I garnered, and the quality of the metadata in the entry.

The entire duration of the competition was one month. Out of 50 participants, nine finalists were chosen for the video interview. They had to showcase the uniqueness of their chosen work which was created using Microsoft Office applications. Also, a Facebook ‘fanpage’ was created for all nine competitors.

A Microsoft ‘Back-to-School’ roadshow was organized for the public to buy Microsoft applications and accessories for their children who are heading back to school after the June holidays. Through this roadshow, the Make-IT-Great event was shared among the public and it also served as a platform for competitors to garner more votes through their Facebook fanpage.

Before the competition, I was actually eagerly waiting to see other entries after submitting mine. After being shortlisted, I was pretty excited about the video interview. Being an avid classical music lover, I used music as a theme for the video interview.

How has NYP supported you throughout the competition?

It was through Mr. Gary Lim from the School of Information Technology that I got to know about the competition. NYP has provided me with excellent training opportunities in preparation for the competition.

What have you gained overall in this competition?

I have gained insurmountable experience from my lecturers, peers and also from the business communities whom I interacted with during the course of the competition.

It was also a great opportunity to expand my social network. The competition has also further reinforced my understanding of the product (in this case, Microsoft Office 2010 applications) and with this win, it further fuels my passion for IT.

What does being crowned Singapore’s very own Microsoft Office 2010 Make-It-Great Ambassador mean to you?

It definitely means a lot to me. It is an inaugural event and I am glad to have won the title. This title will allow me to do more in sharing all the awesome features of Office 2010 with my fellow Singaporeans and people who want to optimize their time via the use of the Microsoft Office suite.

Through this win, it will provide me the resources and my first step will be getting involved in Microsoft Roadshows and other publicity campaigns in the coming months. I would also like to evangelize to people the features of Microsoft Office 2010 that are not commonly used.

A few words to all aspiring IT students who are interested in the competition?

Prepare to commit fully throughout the competition. Always understand the responsibilities needed as a competitor before, during and after the competition. Finally, if you have the passion, just go for it and Make-It-Great!

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