Monday, September 19, 2011

Students gain valuable experience with the Microsoft Student Partner Program

The NYP MSPs at the launch of the NYP-Microsoft Cloud Innovation Centre on 19th April 2011
Left to right: Joshua Tan, Koh Kai Wei, Eustace Zheng, Mong Yunheng
 By Kenneth Lee Bozheng, Year 3, Engineering Infomatics

NYP students have been an active part of the Microsoft Student Partner (MSP) Program since 2007.  The MSP Program was rolled out globally in 2006.  It is aimed at offering students with a passion for technology the opportunity to interact with the Microsoft academic community, access the very latest Microsoft software, reference materials and training, and privileged information about future career opportunities, including student internships and research programmes.

Since NYP’s inception into this program in 2007, it has been strongly anchored by SIT students like Koh Kai Wei and Mong Yunheng (both current Year 3 students in the Diploma in Information Security), Eustace Zheng (a current Year 3 student in the Diploma in Engineering Informatics) and Joshua Tan (a current Year 2 student in the Diploma in Information Technology).  All of them have contributed much to the success of the MSP Program in NYP and we will talk about their contributions to this Program later in this one-on-one interview.  They have also done NYP proud in many different areas, ranging from student competitions to ambassadorial responsibilities.

Today, we spoke to Eustace, Kai Wei, Yunheng and Joshua to find out how being a Microsoft Student Partner has impacted their lives, and how they were able to help others.

Please introduce yourself briefly.

Eustace: My name is Eustace! I’m 19 this year and I’m from the Diploma in Engineering Informatics at NYP – School of Information Technology. My hobbies include everything regarding IT, from software development to network configurations! I keep an open mind towards any new knowledge which I can pick up.  Apart from my academic curriculum, I also enjoy various sports and computer gaming as well! I am currently also serving as a NPCC Cadet Inspector for my cadets back at my alma mater, Clementi Woods Secondary School.

How did you get to know about the Microsoft Student Partner Program, and what made you decide join it?

Eustace: I got to know about the Microsoft Student Partner Program through Mr. Gary Lim, who is also the lecturer-in-charge of this Program in NYP.  I have always been intrigued by the innovative products that Microsoft has come out with and being a MSP enables me to get first-hand technical knowledge as well as to help NYP and Microsoft run student-centric events to spread the word  about Microsoft technology to the student community.

Can you share how the MSP program has helped you?

Eustace: I have been given plenty of opportunities in various areas! I have been involved in plenty of events held by Microsoft, such as the launch of Microsoft Office 2010 @ *Scape in June last year. I was given the opportunity to present the new features of Office 2010 in front of a live audience at Orchard Road! It was a fresh experience and definitely boosted my confidence of public speaking.  Being a MSP, I am also exposed to technical training conducted by Microsoft and through these sessions, I have honed my skills in certain key development areas such as building Windows Phone 7 applications and many more.  The strong foundation of our NYP IT curriculum has also jumpstarted me to contribute to the MSP Program technically through technology sharing sessions to the NYP students.

Kai Wei: The MSP Program has largely broadened my views. Seeing the world from a corporate perspective is very different from that of a student. Through the MSP Program, I had the opportunity to interact with people from different polytechnics and universities.  This has sharpened my knowledge of how life is like in different institutes of higher learning and excites me about my further study opportunities.

As a MSP, I have undertaken the responsibilities of telling my fellow peers about the merits of Microsoft technologies. It is truly beneficial to me as I get access to the yet-to-be-released tools and technologies from Microsoft and then put them into practice by teaching my peers. I have also participated in several competitions that have utilized Microsoft technologies. With this edge, my team emerged as Champions in the recently concluded Code::Xtreme Apps 2011 and X-Site Competition 2011.

Joshua: Being a MSP has proficiently armed me with Microsoft technologies and skills. With these, I actively use them in my web and mobile application projects, and competitions such as InnovateIT. I strongly believe that the knowledge and skills acquired through the various activities in the Program, and strong foundation of the IT curriculum in my Diploma will definitely help me in my pursuit of an exciting and sterling IT career in future.

The MSP community also provides a collaborative platform to allow its members to freely voice their opinions and have their say in shaping this global program for the benefit of the IT community.

Microsoft Student Partners during a recent get-together @ the School of IT
Eustace, Yunheng, Kai Wei and Joshua are currently mentoring the new MSPs from Year 1
Yunheng:  As a MSP, one of our roles is assist in the organization of events and programs set up by Microsoft, as well as organize these within our own campus. Having the chance to partake in these events have been invaluable learning experiences, it brings about the exposure to event management as well as the chance to meet and network with many new people.  One of the major events which I had the opportunity to play a lead role in was the recent mega Microsoft TechFest 2011 held in our very own NYP Auditorium.  This mega event drew over 1,000 attendees.  Apart from events, I have taken part in Microsoft-related student competitions such as the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2010 and 2011. 

The MSP program has also helped me a lot as a student. We have access to most of Microsoft’s technologies and guidebooks through the use of the MSDN Subscription provided to us. MSDN Subscriptions provide many references and software that we can access during our course of studies to further our knowledge through the database of books and the MSDN professional community.  We also have access to MSP communities worldwide, where we can meet like-minded technology enthusiasts. This awesome community can answer almost any questions we may have – and these are not just limited to technical details but also marketing and other business proposals.

With the knowledge and skills attained through my Diploma programme and strong support from Microsoft, I also managed to garner the international 2nd Runner Up in the Imagine Cup 2011 competition in New York City.  During the competition, I also managed to network with MSPs from around the world attending the worldwide finals and it was a good exchange of information and friendship.

Please elaborate in one or more ways of how you were able to contribute back to your school or society.

Eustace: With my proficiency in Microsoft technologies, I have also taken the opportunity to lead my alumni back at my alma mater in the IT field, spearheading IT initiatives for the alumni community. I hope to put my knowledge to full use to give back to my alma mater and make an impact.  Closer to home at the School of IT, there are many platforms for me to contribute, such as events like the Microsoft TechFest and student seminars.  With these, I most certainly took pride in sharing my technical knowledge with all my juniors from the various diploma programmes!

The Microsoft Student Partner Program is currently extending its recruitment for all students from all schools in NYP. If you are keen on using your enthusiasm and knowledge to lead and interact, we welcome you to join us in this exciting and challenging journey.

As this Program is coordinated through the School of IT, please feel free to contact Mr. Gary Lim from the School of IT @, if you are game enough to take up this challenge!


  1. I want to have a diploma in IT. please give me some suggestions.

  2. Thank you for the info. It sounds pretty user friendly. I guess I’ll pick one up for fun. thank u

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