Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Evaluating Intercultural Behaviour

I have an interesting story to share about an intercultural situation I witnessed during my trip at Country X (which I shall not name for good intention.)

Imagine this, you are running towards the elevator which is closing and you yell out: “HOLD THE DOOR PLEASE” but the person decides to press the 'close' button anyway. This is a behaviour that many of us will find rude and disrespectful. However, after what my local X friend has told me, I realised that it is actually a perfectly normal gesture to do. That is, letting the elevator’s door shut in someone’s face.

Like you, I was surprised yet amused to learn about it as well. However, in their culture, time is precious and the pace of life is very fast as people are always rushing from one place to another. Therefore, it is equally rude to hold the door and keep others in the elevator, waiting. Hence, explaining the reason behind their ‘unique’ behavior.

Indeed, different values affect different norms in behaviour. Behaviours that we find distasteful or rude do not necessarily mean that members of another culture would perceive it likewise. In fact, like in the case for Country X, they consider what we see as disrespectful, as normal or even an act of courtesy. Similarly, foreigners coming from different culture and background might find our culture unacceptable or downright crude.

In such situations, it is prudent to understand the intercultural differences of people in another country before being judgmental towards one’s behavior. This act of consideration will help to minimize misunderstanding and also prevent any unhappiness from escalating into a conflict.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My Personal Statement

My name is Emily Lee Hui Ling and I enjoy taking up challenges as they not only make life exciting, but enriching as well. Being a highly motivated person, I am driven to excel and take pride in everything I do. I aspire to inspire and perceive learning as a continuous process.

I am currently a second year undergraduate in the National University of Singapore (NUS), majoring in Life science and concentrating in the field of biomedical science. Being part of this curriculum, it has allowed me to participate in research and gain valuable techniques and hands-on experiences across the whole spectrum of the life sciences. Besides that, laboratory work has instilled in me attitude of determination and discipline as I continue to persevere even when I do not get the expected experiment results. I believe that this is an important trait that all scientists and even aspiring ones, like me, should possess.

In NUS, I value all opportunities that can help me acquire knowledge as well as experiences to develop as an all-rounder person. Constantly, I explore many ways and channels to enhance my interpersonal communication, correspondence and leadership skills. As such, I do not restrict myself to science related modules and challenge myself to take up modules outside my comfort zone. I am presently taking Professional Communication as I hope to become a more effective and articulate communicator, maximising my self-esteem and confidence. Indeed, I have explored in depth the 7Cs of effective communication, meeting, job search and oral presentation skills. These are transferable skills applicable to my workplace and everyday life.

Besides studying, I am actively involved in co-curricular activities in NUS as well. This has helped to expand my social network and also challenge myself to take on responsibility in any club or society. As a marketing manager of Science Club, I have organised and planned events which required me to engage my team mates in discussions and draw up proposals to raise funds and sponsorships. Truly, this participation has provided me opportunity to hone my leadership abilities and to train up as a person of initiatives.

I am certain that with my experiences and skills, I will be able to play an important role and make meaningful contributions to any company I am in.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Internship Application Letter

The link to the internship advertisement is as follow:

Emily Lee Hui Ling
Blk 1
Holland Village

Singapore 623456

2nd September 2009

Dr. Jacqueline Tan
Internship Program Coordinator
Internship HR Office
Lonza Biologics Singapore Pte Ltd
11 Tuas Bay Link
Singapore 637393

Dear Dr. Tan,

Application for internship programme

I am a second year student of Life Science at National University of Singapore (NUS) and writing to express my desire to be attached with your organization for a 10-weeks internship opportunity.

In order to gain practical experience in a research environment and insights to graduate school options, I wish to work alongside scientists in a research laboratory, and would like to request for a vacancy as an intern in your laboratory from May to July 2009.

My research indicates that your company, Lonza, has a deep involvement in science discipline fields of biomedical science, life science and many more. I believe that it can provide an opportunity for me to be part of the research team, where I hope to use my creativity to share innovative ideas, and help bring the company to greater heights.

During my studies in NUS, I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenges that my science courses have provided, particularly in the study of molecular mechanism of the immune system. I find it interesting on how immunity in our body can be induced against viruses by using some manipulative technique. I came across your laboratory while reading the article on Human Immune Complement 96 StellARray™ qPCR Array that is published by your research group.

Therefore, it has motivated me to write to you as I am eager to participate in work on a similar subject.

My internship with Lonza will allow me to fully make use of my analytical skills and reasonings learnt in the classrooms. As NUS is a research-driven school, I am convinced that the comprehensive teaching approach has equipped me with strong fundamental knowledge on biology. This is complemented by laboratory courses that I have from semester one onwards. In addition, I have also worked as a research assistant in Professor Tan Cheng Tong’s lab for 3 weeks to gain some additional experiences.

Given the chance to work in your team, I am sure that I would be able to contribute positively as my past trainings and enthusiasm for the subject can be put to good practice.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I have attached my CV for your viewing and if necessary, please call me at 93365491 to further discuss about my candidacy.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely,
Emily Lee Hui Ling (Miss)