Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 1



27 November 2005

Interview Hall

Champion E

Confessions of a teachers pet


HAVE a confession to make. I was a

teachers pet. Well, the teachers never
really knew I was their pet but I deluded
myself into believing so. You see, Im half
Singaporean so kiasuism is rather thick in
my blood anyway. Which proves that my
need to engage in other activities while in
school was genetic.
Even from primary one, I was already participating in storytelling contests, and as the
years went by, I got more and more involved.
Im not really here to brag about what Ive
done but I could never understand what
the fuss was about in my last few years of
high school when it was compulsory for students to participate in at least one sport or
uniform squad.
You see, as far as Ive always been concerned, engaging in these extra-curricular
activities was not just fun, they allowed me to
explore so many things.
You know, how as young kids, or even until
our late teens (and early adulthood), were
never taken seriously as people this was
my way of making my mark.
As I think back on my days in high school, I
still remember the notice board that was put
up because I volunteered to give everyone the
daily temperature and rainfall, and the mural

that my classmates and I painted on the staff

room wall (talk about bodek-ing). Who
knows, 10 years on, it might jolly well still be
Or when I saw the ad for the BRATs in The
Star way back in, ahem, 1995. While I have
always enjoyed writing, I never knew I had
the talent for writing, or that writing would
end up being my career of choice. The programme also helped me realize that there are
adults who are willing to listen to young people, and that I, as an individual, matter. How
good for the soul is that?
Besides the BRATS, when I went to college,
I found a whole new area to explore.

Assignments allowed us to go out and talk

to actual people in the industries and I took
the opportunity to try out everything I could.
I guess what Im saying, and to you sceptics of
extra-curricular activities, is that there are so
many areas to explore that there is bound to
be something that interests you.
For me, the kiasu-ism rang loudly, and I had
my hand in almost everything. Even when I
went over to Australia to pursue my studies, I
took the opportunity to show those mat
sallehs that even Malaysians are capable of
doing anything.
So I ran in elections, participated in
protests and drafted and signed numerous
petitions. I volunteered with NGOs, sold
chocolates for charities and even took the
opportunity to get really beaten up playing
competitive hockey against people who were
three times my size.
If I got nothing else from doing all this
(although I did get lots), it was the fact that I
made lots of friends. Sure, I could go into the
whole doing all this is like a journey of selfdiscovery, its made me more confident, I can
take on the world better now blah blah
The point is I had fun.
The best thing though, is that this fun
comes with great benefits. I have, since I
graduated, found myself in managerial posi-

tions which required me to sit in during interviews and made decisions on who to hire for
the company I was attached to. Sure, the education is important, but I found myself gravitating towards applicants who had a longer
Dont believe, for a minute, when people
tell you that employers have so many applications to go through that they never really
read resumes.
Think about it this way, employing someone is like making a long-term investment.
No employer wants to hire someone and fire
them after three months and go through the
whole interviewing process again. Why
wouldnt they make the extra effort to find
someone really suitable?
I have known employers to hire people
whose background is not even in the area of
the job they applied for. Why? Because the
person has experience working in that area.
If I had a journalism graduate versus another graduate in another field who has actually
done some media work, or done things to
give them the relevant contacts, why wouldnt I hire the latter?
Different people get different things out of
doing this stuff. Some get better jobs, some
make new friends, others get self satisfaction.
As for me, I got all of the above and then