NOC Coming to an End

The journey has almost come to a halt. The joyfulness that I originally pictured while leaving Stockholm seemed to fade away as I lie on the horizon between bitterness and sweetness. 2014 has been unkind and rude to me. As I endure the tough lesson that life has put in place for me, I came to the realization that 2014, though unkind, was one of the best things that had happened to me. I would like to conclude my life as an NOC intern exactly 2 weeks before its official end.

My Travel Grounds
Not uncommon to an NOC student, our professors strongly oppose our dream of travelling for fear of the compromise in work quality. Once again, it is not uncommon for their advice to fall on deaf ears. I made it one of my priorities to travel far and wide for a more fulfilling year. This obstinate mindset brought me to places that I would only dream of in the past, such as visiting the fjord in Norway and immersing in the vibrant startup community within San Francisco. Along the way, I lost my passion for hiking and photography while developing a stronger appreciation for food and people. I call it a zero sum game. To add colors to this blog, I decided to upload one of the most representative experiences of each visitation I made.

London, England, United Kingdom

Burger and Lobster, I chose Lobster.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Inverted island imagery resulted from the setting sun.

Aarhus, Denmark

The landmark of Aarhus.

Abisko, Kiruna, Sweden

Impending snow storm.

Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Asian family turns Dutch.

Paris, France

Family reunion in Paris.

Tour du Mont Blanc, Chamonix, France

Hiking Tour du Mont Blanc

Preikestolen Cliff, Forsand, Norway

Famous cliff formed during ice age.

Malmo, Sweden

Beach near Malmo.

Székesfehérvár, Hungary

Finally, I’m jumping off the plane.

Budapest, Hungary

Night scene in Budapest.

Gotland, Sweden

Sitting on a Lapras.

Mora, Sweden

Crackling fireplace in the wild.

Auschwitz, Nazi Germany

Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland.

San Francisco, United States

Met up with my food and exercise buddy!

My next destination? Iceland for the northern lights.

Learning from Mistakes
Learning from mistakes is one superb takeaway I had from NOC. I faulted much in the company that I interned with, from screwing up client services to having emotional outbreaks. Those moments were hard to withstand, but when it’s over, it has an absolute closure and I walked away growing a new inch of maturity. To learn from our own mistake is a blessing, but to learn from others wrongdoing is akin to adding on to a personal life cheatsheet. Over the months, strict scrutinies and overwhelming workloads were no strangers to me. There is no felony in that, but simply a culture misfit. A culture that has less rigorous regimes and more employees welfares may appear to be on the losing end, but perhaps motivated and grateful employees would turn the tables around. Ironically, there is no right or wrong, but only trial and error. It is human to err. As long as we are aware of the mistakes, take the courage to acknowledge them and make a change for the better, we continue to grow as individuals.

Best Batch Ever
Lastly, I can never emphasize more how cool and cooperative NCST18 is. Our appreciation dinner was a blast, thanks to the great sense of responsibility publicly displayed by everyone.
Claire oversaw the entire event. Matthew sourced for a fitting venue with delicious food. Dong Xing purchased and decorate the gifts for our respective Swedish companies. Yew Wee designed the introductory slides. Marcus set in place a great program for the audience. Sarthak managed the guest list. Darwin took up the double role of finance and logistics. Yen Yu is a talented director and camera man. I put together the video clips. The synergy between us sparked off the best appreciation dinner ever (or so we thought).
I am so proud of NCST18 that I beseech you to check out NCST18’s homemade video for their beautiful faces.

Coming together as strangers, we are now one big family. As we return to our rightful place in Singapore, I hope that we continue to stick together as a bonded and motivated group.

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