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CNYSC Alumni Homecoming 2018

BY NG DEWEY

There’s nothing like a place we can call home. For all CN Yang scholars, CresPion halls is a place which all scholars have called home at least once. On the 2nd of February, scholars from past batches were invited to come “home” once again, gathering at CresPion function hall for the CN Yang Scholars Homecoming event. The event, held annually, was organised by the 10th EC Outreach portfolio. It provided a platform for the newly minted freshmen to interact with senior batches to find out more about the programme, as well as allowing the seniors to catch up over some good food and drinks.

The atmosphere was really chill, especially since it was a Friday evening – a perfect way to end off the week and kickstart the weekend. Photos of the club and its past members lined the walls, alongside balloons which kept the mood light and jovial. On each table was a classic tin of Redondo wafers, every scholar’s favourite EWP snack, as well as a set of interesting questions in case anyone had left their icebreakers at home. There was even a photo booth set up for the scholars to take photos and bring back some keepsakes. All that was missing was some good background music, but it was nothing a little chitchat couldn’t solve.

Current undergraduate scholars and alumni chatting

The night started off with a scrumptious dinner, complete with desserts and drinks. The scholars happily mingled with one another as they tucked into the delightful food, having good laughs and reminiscing about times past. My favourite dessert was the fruit tarts, which I had at least 3 of (shhhhhh). Before we progressed further into the night, Dr Goh, the Head of Research for CNYSP delivered the opening address. This was followed by an update of the happenings of the past year by Kai Xin, the Vice President of the 10th EC.

Personally, I got to talk to Edwin, a really easy-going person who shared his many experiences as a former CN Yang scholar. I did not know it at the time, but he turned out to be the Head Progs for the Freshman Orientation Programme (FOP) for his second year, and he is also the current president of the NTU CNYSP alumni club, which was really cool. It’s rare to see 3 generations of FOP Head Progs within a one-meter radius of one another. That amount of brainpower.

Edwin and Kirk Ming, Head Progs FOP 2012 and Head Progs FOP 2017

Once everyone had their fill of food, Yi Heng, the emcee for the event, wrapped up the programme at the function hall and proceeded to usher the scholars into the various seminar rooms for the sharing sessions by the seniors. There were 4 sharing sessions, each geared towards different interests of the scholars. The speakers ranged from PhD students to a Senior Head of Higher Education Policy in MOE. They shared a great many things about the working world, from interviews to expectations, as well as bountiful bonuses that companies gave out.

Benjamin shared his experiences from his time as a CN Yang Scholar, as well as in his current position at Singtel

Towards the end of the night, all the seniors gave a brief introduction of themselves so that the freshies could approach them should they be interested in any of the jobs/PhD research areas that the seniors were specialising in. This was especially helpful as it allowed us to approach the right people for advice. One of the seniors working in the aviation industry even confirmed our long-held suspicions that the prices of flight tickets were manipulated. That drew a pretty intense response from the audience, no doubt.

Overall, the event was an enjoyable one, food, company and all else. Kudos to the Outreach team for planning the event from start till end, and I will definitely be back again next year!