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Making A Mark Through Sheer Perseverance
Bachelor of Arts (Sociology) graduate Chris Soh earned his degree from the University at Buffalo.
Armed with a wealth of exciting experiences, Chris Soh who currently works as an Editor at The Smart Local (TSL) shares on his memorable journey in SIM GE.
His time in SIM GE
“SIM GE's exchange programme allowed me to travel to Berkeley, one of the best public colleges in the world, where I took modules from interesting lecturers. For example, one of them was doing breaking research, pushing for California to recognise the clinical benefits of some banned substances in America. SIM GE's partner universities around the world are incredibly diverse, and the opportunity to go on a Summer Exchange programme is one that I would absolutely encourage everyone to take up.”
Best piece of advice received
“One of the best pieces of advice I've ever received was from an instructor from the University at Buffalo (UB). He said that a degree should be used as a lens with which you can see the world, not as a means to get a job. That single piece of advice shaped how and why I took on challenges in school, joining the SIM-UB Student Council, making friends there that I still keep in contact with.”
Most memorable experience
“It would be in one of the first classes of Sociology 101 by Ms Lim Lan Yu. At this time, I was still a complete freshie who was a few weeks into school with no idea of what to expect. My instructor gave a short talk about social norms and then, she encouraged us to go out and break them.
“Some of my classmates held ‘guards of honour’ along the corridors, clapping whenever people walked through, some went into the elevator and sat in it. Others just went around enthusiastically shaking random strangers' hands. It was a memorable introduction to the craziness that Sociology modules would offer me for the next three years.”
Landing his dream job
“I've always enjoyed reading TSL's articles, because they've always been positive, fun, and interesting so I applied after graduation when I saw an opening for an internship. I didn't get it.
“A few months later, I saw an opening for a full-time position and applied. I didn't get the position then either, but a few months after that, I was asked if I was still interested as the person who took the role decided to take on other opportunities. In short, despite being rejected twice, I landed my dream job. Keep at something, and you’ll be rewarded someday.”
Being well-prepared for his current job
“Sociology required a lot of reading, and that's something I do on a daily basis at TSL. Also, there were leadership lessons that I learned in my time in the Student Council that I incorporate on a daily basis.
“An example was from EQuip camp in 2012, a leadership camp for Council members. Someone was forced to do a dare, and we were all cheering for it. Then suddenly, the tables were turned and someone "volunteered" our Council president to do the dare instead. He did it sportingly, then returned to his seat in front of me and said, "If you're okay with asking someone else to do something, you should be ready to do it yourself." That advice stuck with me.”
Advice for prospective students
“If you're going to enrol, take advantage of everything SIM GE has to offer. Don't just go for classes. Take up SIM GE's internships on offer, apply for overseas exchanges, and be part of the CCAs and make more friends. Talk to your seniors and find out what you can and cannot do, because they're the best information resource you can find.”
Chris Soh (pictured in red) sharing good times with his friends at the University at Buffalo’s 2013 Pageant.
Posted online, 08 June 2016