1314T2g1 South Korea/Participant Information/Teo Jie Ting/PreTrip
Today was the first day of the class! Everyone reached class promptly and occupied the whole of the right side of the SR - it was Agurz's idea hahahah. Everyone was talking away as most of us knew each other prior to class. Prof Ben came in after awhile and everyone settled down to go through our first lecture slides for TSM.
Prof Ben told us about the academic requirements for TSM, the course objectives and even gave us an interesting recap of the previous TSM trip to Korea! My, they looked like they've enjoyed and learned alot from the different company visits during the trip. During the class, Prof Ben also mentioned that we will be going to Japan too! Wow, that's 2 countries in a trip! How fun would it be! I'm pretty sure we will be able to learn even more from the companies located in both Korea and Japan due to the difference in culture!
After going through the lecture, we begin our trip discussion and planning - where to go for F&E, which companies to visit, etc. Everyone is divided into 2 per team and my partner was Jeremy! We were assigned to look for companies located in Japan and after some initial round of research, we settled for Wantedly and Brackets.
Everything was done and allocated pretty well and everyone had a rough idea of which companies they're going to approach by the end of the class.
Well, as we do not have TA for this module, everyone was allocated a role! My role is the Finance in-charge. This means I've to be very very very sensitive to the 1s and 0s! Luckily I've 2 really awesome helpers - Jeremy and Lee Jin! They're such a nice pair to work with, always soooo readily helping out in any way they could!
Oh, we also took individual photos and group photos for the new TSM Family! :) Here’s the picture that our photographer Glen did up for us!
I really can't wait to travel with this bunch of people. :D
2nd lesson for the module and we have our fellow peers (Wah Chun, Clinston, Melissa, Jocelyn and Yan Xin) who participated in last year TSM taking their time out to share their experience with us. Thank you so much!
Trendy, new glasses, face masks party, fried chicken and beer were the hit of their trip! They also went to Lotte World to have their R&R. Prof Ben told us that the glasses there were really cheap and nice. He even recommended us and said that it’s a must-go for our trip this time round! He also shared with us the time where he went to a saloon in Korea and had a haircut. They seem to have really enjoyed themselves during their trip last year!
Not only did they shared with us the fun and interesting stuff they went / did during their trip in Korea, Melissa, Yan Xin and Jocelyn also shared their internship experiences at 2 of the Korea companies - Hanintel and VCNC.
They shared with us the working culture in Korea, how much they have to bring over and how much they paid for their living expenses at Seoul during their internship stint. The working culture in Korea was very much different from what I know (from dramas). They’re all very warm and friendly, willing to listen to any feedbacks, thoughts or comments from the interns! They even showed us how fun it is during work, with countless of Korea tidbits and treats!
They also gave us some little reminder about getting our VISA ready if we were to do an overseas internship with Korea or Japan. Thanks for all the tips and sharing!!
We proceed with our trip planning during the later half of the class.
First up, we had the entertainment team presenting to us a list of places they have spent time researching. As there were toooooo many interesting things and places to do, we had to do some voting. :( The entertainment team has to then liaise with the itinerary team to try and fit everyone’s preferences and interests into the trip within the limited time we have!
Being the finance in-charge, i’ve to gave a brief finance breakdown and expenses allocated to each components. It’s really challenging to fit all our trip’s expenses with sufficient buffer to play around with. Luckily everything went well for budget presenting. Prof Ben gave a real interesting comment, “You’re the finance in-charge, you tell them how much they have.” Gotcha, Prof Ben.
Up next was the lobang team as they provide the class with a list of possible stuff we can get for our team identity. The whole class also gave suggestions as to what we can get for the companies we are visiting as our token of appreciation. As the class suggested Bak Kwa for the Korea companies, I volunteered to liaise with one of my friend, whose family opens a Bak Kwa shop in Singapore too! This might be a cheaper alternative to Bee Cheng Hiang Bak Kwa. :))
Finally, our talented designers had come up with 4 logos in total for the class to choose as the official TSM logo!
The logos were so nice and it was really tough for the class to decide which one to use!
Prof Ben also gave us a sample template we can use while liaising with the companies. He also told us to be tactful so as to not over promise them! We are told to be fast too! Time to send out our emails to our companies! :D
Though we did not have class for the past 2 weeks, but everyone was busy liaising with their companies. Here are some updates to the companies we’re liaising on:
We contacted Bracket via the online contact-us form on their website: http://bracket.co.jp
However, there wasn’t any replies from them for the past 2 weeks and we know we have to source for another companies. We also tried to approach Samurai Incubate Inc but wasn’t very successful with them. :(
On a bright side, we got a very very favourable response from Wantedly! Nozomi was the contact person for Wantedly and she informed us that Wantedly’s founder, Akiko, would not be around during our proposed date. However, she was willing to give us a talk about the company with the other team if we wanted! Not only that, she offered to help us liaise with other Japanese companies as part of our trip down to Wantedly!
Nozomi proposed for us to sign up an event called Open Company. Open Company is Wantedly's one-day event which will allow us to not only visit 5 companies but also provides us the opportunity to interact with Japanese students! What a great experience it would be! To add on, transportation and translator will be included. All this are at a cost of $62 SGD per person!
To further bond the class together, the Entertainment Team proposed for a team bonding lunch on Week 6, the 3rd lesson of TSM!
Everyone gathered promptly at 12pm at SIS Basement. While waiting for everyone to reach, me and Lee Jin made use of the waiting time to collect the $1200 and their receipt for finance filling purposes.
Once everyone reached, we moved off to the Crossing Cafe for our team bonding lunch! :)
Not only did we have our nice lunch over at Crossing Cafe, we also discussed and clarified some matters to tie up the loose ends. After discussing with the rest of the class and Prof Ben, we’ve decided to take up Nozomi’s suggestion and went ahead with the Open Company event. This would be great as we will be helping Elezar, Nicholas, Janan and Xiangrui to secure a company as their emails to multiple companies were not fruitful.
Here’s the happy us at Crossing Cafe! :D
Throughout the 4 weeks, Jeremy quickly worked on liaising with Nozomi for more companies! We informed Nozomi of our preferences based on the list found on Open Company website. However, they were either uncontactable or turned us down! :(
But the nice Nozomi continued to approach many different companies and eventually managed to help us to secure 5 companies in total! How amazing! :) Both Jeremy and I could tell that she has put in a lot of effort in helping us (even though that’s not part of what she has to do). Thank you Nozomi!!
Finally, we’ve settled on the companies as below:
|Wantedly||Jieting & Jeremy|
|Trippiece||Jieting & Jeremy|
|Freakout||Eleazar & Nicholas|
|Hachimenroppi||Elezar & Nicholas|
|United JP||Xiangrui & Janan|
Nozomi also specially created a website for us so as to recruit more Japanese students to join us for the event! What’s a better way to learn the Japanese culture from the Japanese students themselves! Click here to know more about Open Company: Open Company!
As we have 2 companies in-charged for TSM, I’ve split up the research with Jeremy. Jeremy will be researching on Wantedly while I will be researching on Trippiece.
Here are the research that we’ve done:
- Wantedly: https://wiki.smu.edu.sg/is427/Very_Good_Wantedly
- Trippiece: https://wiki.smu.edu.sg/is427/Very_Good_Trippiece
Here’s our presentation slide:
We’re really fortunate to have CEO of BnBHero, Mr Park YongSoon down to join us for our presentation! He’s such a nice gentleman who’s ready to share his thoughts with us. :))
Despite everyone’s busy schedule, the presentation by each team was rather well done! It gave all of us an insight of what we can expect to learn from the companies and gave us a little knowledge about the companies too!
Some companies that i am particularly interested in:
What really amazed me is the ability of the team behind Smart Education, who’s able to identify what captures the attention of children (which I think it’s pretty hard), what convinced the parents to even download the application for their children and what the children really need! As my FYP startup project is related to students, it would definitely be a great learning experience for me!
I’ve also tried out one of the application developed by Smart Education and I do think there’s some features they can look at implementing to make their already interesting application even more fun and exciting! :D
I was really amazed by the RTB business model and went to looked up a little about it on Wikipedia. What made me curious was how they managed to stand out from the competitions (other form of marketing platform / ways). Being one of the longest established company among the other 5 companies involved in the Open Company event, I’m pretty sure they have a lot of experience and interesting journey to share with us! :)
Of course, all the other companies are as interesting - for example, Cybernoids from Team Oishi! successfully invented and developed a technology called “Live 2D”. They’ve even worked with familiar brands like Konami & Bandai Namco Games!
Can’t wait for the trip to begin and start learning from these entrepreneurs! :D
After a long hiatus, the TSM family met again @ Kallang’s Trampoline Park for our video taking. Though not everyone was able to make it due to other commitments, we had a total strength of 14 / 20! :D
As we only had 1 hour to spare, our directors (Glen & NIc) quickly set up their equipments and gave us instructions while the rest of us did a quick warm up by jumping up and down on the trampoline and jumping into foam blocks. Well, here’s some pictures to show you and summarise the fun we had together! :)
Trampoline Park @ Kallang!
It was empty when we first reached and hence, we had the whole park to ourselves.
Look at everyone's tired face just from the warm up!
The trampoline park's website mentions that a consecutive 10 min of jumping is equivalent to 30 minutes of run! Indeed, look at everyone's tired face just from the warm up!
Our official filming is starting! Check out our 2 main leads in the video! Can you guess who's the villian? ;)
After 1 hr of playing, here's our TSM family who went to the trampoline park!
After the FYP Poster Day, we had a short pre-trip briefing. We were lucky to have founders from listr.fm to come down to SMU to give us a short introduction of their application.
After which, we got down to work - updating itinerary changes, wrapping of company gifts, giving out itinerary booklets & bags etc..
When all things are finalized, we all left to exchange our SGDs to Korean Won & Japanese Yen. We're ready to go!