ECE Student Life was set up under the Office of the Deputy Head for Undergraduate Programmes and Student Life in 2012 with the objective of providing a rich and holistic experience for ECE students beyond the classroom learning experience. The goal is to transform ECE students into mature, well-informed and confident all-rounders to thrive in the working world after graduation.
To this end, ECE Student Life has been organizing various social events and leveraging on social media (specifically, Facebook) to promote greater interaction and engagement between students and ECE faculty. In addition, ECE Student Life works closely with industry partners, alumni and the NUS Centre for Future-Ready Graduates to create more industry exposure and internship opportunities for ECE students. Industry visits and talks, alumni and internship sharing sessions, and an enhanced industrial attachment fair are some of the events that ECE Student Life has organized. More recently, an Undergraduate Student Council was established to assist ECE Student Life in its mission.
The ECE Undergraduate Student Council (USC) was set up under ECE Student Life in 2014. The USC primarily comprises of year 1 to year 4 EE and CEG cohort representatives, ECE scholars, and the presidents of three student clubs, namely, the ECE Club, IEEE NUS Student Branch and IEEE HKN NUS Chapter. The USC Executive Committee comprises of the USC president and vice-president, secretary and treasurer. Guiding the USC are four staff advisors, namely, A/Prof Marc Armand, A/Prof Prahlad Vadakkepat, Dr Qiu Cheng Wei, and Ms Nicole Phua.
One of the objectives of the USC is to serve as the voice for the undergraduate student body to make a difference in their University experience. They will work closely with the Department’s management to address student concerns, opinions and suggestions as well as be involved in some of the Department’s decision making processes.
Another objective of the USC is to provide a rich and holistic experience for ECE students through a wide range of activities. The USC will bring the presidents of the three student clubs together to work collaboratively and synergistically, and will provide checks and balances as needed. The USC will also engage ECE students in engineering-focused community projects. Through these activities, students get a chance to apply what they have learned in the classroom to develop ECE solutions to real-life problems, and are reminded not to forget others who may be less fortunate than them in one way or another. These activities will also help create greater awareness about ECE technologies and hopefully attract future generations of students to study ECE. In addition, Student Life activities previously organized by the Department such as the Freshmen Party, will be organized by the USC in future with the aim of making these activities more consistent with the interests and aspirations shared by the student body.
Given the challenging demands of the EE and CEG programmes and the possible distractions and difficulties that students might encounter along the way, it is not uncommon to see students stumbling and falling along the way. Hence, another objective of the USC is to provide an extra safety net for ECE students with its team of student counsellors who will be trained to identify and understand at-risk behaviours, listen actively, and so on.
The inaugural USC Initiation Ceremony took place on 19 September 2014 at the Engineering Auditorium. It was a proud moment for a very special group of students, as they stepped forward to take up their roles in the USC as student leaders, to serve the student body. The USC President, Alexander Toh, led his fellow council members to recite the USC Oath, marking their formal entrance into the NUS ECE community.
The USC Leadership Workshop Series is a Department initiative designed to help members of the Undergraduate Student Council (USC) realize their potential as leaders, and develop the qualities that are essential to good leadership. The workshops enable the student leaders to explore their strengths and enhance their leadership capabilities through the new knowledge that they acquire, which includes strategies for effective communication and principles of team management, project management and event management.
The first two workshops in this series were held on 5 December 2014 and 7 February 2015, respectively, and were conducted by Mr Benjamin Loh, founder of Speaker’s Flare Training & Consultancy.
The first workshop focused on effective communications skills with the following learning outcomes:
The second workshop emphasized project management essentials with the following aims:
All in all, these workshops were insightful, engaging and inspired our student leaders to strengthen their leadership skills.
The Undergraduate Student Council (USC) organized a lunch-cum-dialogue-session with A/Prof Vivian Ng and A/Prof Marc Armand on 20 March 2015 at T-Lab, level 7 foyer. Aptly called “Meet the Bosses”, the event provided an informal platform for students to have an open conversation with two members of the Department’s management about various aspects of our curriculum and their student life experience in NUS ECE. In addition, the USC shared about their upcoming plans to provide a more holistic learning experience for ECE students.
About 35 students gathered at this event to share about the challenges they faced and voice out some of the things they hope to see in the future. It was an insightful session as the needs and wants shared by the student community surfaced.
The first Undergraduate Student Council (USC) Retreat was held on the morning of 10 December 2014. The retreat was specially organized by the Department to provide the council members an opportunity to get to know each other, in addition to creating unity within the group. It also served as a platform for the council members to clarify their individual expectations of the USC’s mission and hence come to a consensus of the same. In the process, the council members brainstormed for ideas for the semesters ahead.
The retreat was conducted by Ms Nicole Phua, the Department’s senior executive for Student Life. The retreat started off with a relaxing game of neck massages to break the ice between council members. This was followed with an energizing teambuilding game of “Sketch a picture”, whereby the council members were divided into groups and at any time, a member of each group would have the opportunity to view a picture (pasted behind a board) for a minute and then report back to his respective group to sketch the particular picture on a piece of paper. It was a meaningful activity that helped the council members appreciate that planning and communication are crucial in a team.
The student leaders had loads of fun interacting with one another over lunch. The second half of the retreat focused on resolving the differences between individual member’s expectations of the USC’s mission and come to an agreement on the set of goals to be achieved. It was indeed a fruitful day with new friendships forged, old ones strengthened and a unified sense of purpose instilled in all.
An Alumni Sharing Session was organized by the ECE Club and supported by the department. This event was held in the evening of 20 March 2013. 6 distinguished alumni from different industries were invited to share their personal insights into their industries and give practical advice on student’s career development.
Student Life Sharing Sessions, organized by the ECE Student Life office, gave students an overview of the range of readily available services within the University (e.g. counselling and psychological services, career advising). In particular, one of these sessions was on “Be what you are: Discover your career path through the secrets of personality type”. It reinforced that work will be satisfying if it interests one and allows one to do the things one enjoy. Even though work can be interesting and enjoyable for one, it may not be suitable for another due to people’s differing personalities.
Internship Sharing Sessions were organized by the ECE Student Life office. The first event was held in the afternoon of 18 October 2013. 9 ECE students who have interned at different industries were invited to share their valuable working experiences in these industries and encourage the juniors to start planning for their career as early as possible.
The first PhD Sharing Session was organized by the ECE Student Life office and took place on 12 September 2014. The Deputy Head of Research & Graduate Programmes, Prof Lim Teng Joon, kicked off the event with a talk on the value of a PhD, following which was a sharing session by several PhD students who shared their thoughts on the same and what they do on a daily basis in their journey to discovery. The event gave our senior undergraduate students the opportunity to explore their suitability for an academic/research career and discover how a PhD can catapult them ahead in such a career.
A Movie Night was organized to welcome the students back to the new semester in AY2012/2013 sem 2. This was held on 6 Feb 2013 at Shaw Foundation Alumni House. Our students interacted with one another, chill-out and relax over superb dinner before the computer-animated fantasy comedy film, Brave, was showed in the theatre.
Each year from 2012 to 2014, the Department held a Freshmen Party for ECE freshmen at Town Green, University Town. The aim of the ECE Freshmen Party is to promote interaction between ECE faculty and students by providing the opportunity for our freshmen to be introduced to their academic advisors in an informal setting. The evening at the party has always been enjoyable, thanks to an eventful programme packed with games and musical performances put up by students and ECE professors. Moreover, everyone is treated to a sumptuous dinner with wonderful treats. Many just had loads of fun mingling and making new friends.
The Department held its second year end party in the afternoon of 9 May 2015 at the Tembusu College dining hall to celebrate the hard work that ECE undergraduate students and academic staff had put in over the past academic year. The party, which bore the theme “Super Hero”, was organized by the ECE Undergraduate Student Council (USC). Over 140 students and staff turned up for the party, ready to let their hair down and mingle with one another.
The afternoon was filled with a series of enjoyable and entertaining programs. The event kicked off with a welcome address by Deputy Head (Undergraduate Programmes & Student Life), A/Prof Vivian Ng, followed by a sumptuous spread of lunch buffet treats. Midway through the lunch, the audience was entertained by various performances on stage which included a beautiful acoustic guitar performance put up by EE4 student and President of the USC, Alex Toh, and a high-octane performance by a rock band comprising one EE1student and four students from Ridge View Residences. The two musical performances got the audience charged up for an interesting game of charades in which professors were pitted against the students. A/Prof Ganesh Samudra and Dr Rajesh Panicker courageously came on stage to act out the different super heroes. After a fun and lively battle between the two faculty members and students, the students, not surprisingly, emerged victorious. Part of the afternoon’s highlights was a portable photobooth which was highly subscribed by students and professors alike. Everyone had a good time snapping photos that were printed on the spot for them. The party drew to a close with the song, “Gravity”, sung beautifully by Yi Ran from Ridge View Residence.
All in all, the party was a fantastic way for the students who were there to say “Good-bye” to NUS ECE for the year 2014/15.
A Student Life Corner is created to provide a conducive environment for students to work and interact. It also aims to provide a social gathering point for students and staffs to strengthen the relationships between student and faculty and amongst students. It will serve to catalyze social interaction, serendipitous meetings and impromptu conversations. Students are welcome to utilize this conducive space for interaction and work at any time.
A few seniors set up a Facebook Cohort Group to help freshmen ease into University lives quickly and smoothly. These seniors, who are also the administrators of the Facebook Cohort Group, will act as resource people whom freshmen can approach for valuable and useful pieces of advice. This platform provides great opportunity for freshmen to form new friendships with seniors and peers. This Facebook Cohort Group system has been running for 2 consecutive years already.
For 2015/16 intake, you can join the group here.
For 2014/15 intake, you can join the group here.
For 2013/14 intake, you can join here.
For 2012/13 intake, you can join here.
Every year, the Department organizes a streaming talk on the different specialization areas within ECE to assist year-2 students in their selection of technical elective modules to be pursued in their third and fourth year of study. As part of the streaming talk, exhibits from the different areas are showcased to help students better understand the sort of developmental work that an engineer with a particular specialization could be engaged in. This year’s streaming talk was held on 27 March 2015.
Running in parallel with this year’s streaming talk was our very first ECE Career Fair, jointly organized by the Department and the ECE Undergraduate Student Council (USC). The career fair, which was held at the EA foyer, provided a platform for ECE students of all years to meet and network with HR personnel and engineers from the industry such as Centre For Strategic Infocomm Technologies, DSO National Laboratories, Lantiq, Micron Semiconductor Asia, Panasonic Singapore Laboratories, Rolls-Royce Singapore, Seagate Technology, Singapore Power, ST Electronics and Xilinx Asia Pacific. The participating companies were carefully selected so that there was equal representation across the different areas of specialization.
Year-2 students, who were in the midst of exploring the different module concentrations, had the opportunity to interact with engineers from the participating companies after the streaming talk, and hence gather more information about the different specialization tracks. On the other hand, final-year students gained a better understanding of the different kinds of jobs they could look forward to after graduation, while other students explored the various VIP/IA opportunities offered by the participating companies.
The first Enhanced Industrial Attachment (eIA) Fair was held on 5 September 2014. The eIA programme is a new and exciting programme which students can embark on in Sem 2 of their third year of study. In this programme, they will work as an intern in a company for six months, with the possibility of extension by another six months, during which the work that they do will constitute a Final Year Project (FYP). During the period of extension, students will, in addition, be permitted to return to campus one day a week to read some modules. The first eIA Fair showcased 7 electronics MNCs and offered ECE students the opportunity to explore and discover internship opportunities that are right for them.
Several industrial visits and tours were organized by the Student Life section of the department. In the past two years, students visited Continental Automotive Singapore Pte.Ltd, Exxon Mobil Plant Tour, Singapore Semiconductor Industry Association (SSIA) Industry Site Visit and Schneider Electric. Students were able to catch a rare glimpse of the work at these companies. It was indeed an opportunity for the students to find out more about the company.
Several talks were organized by the Student Life section of the department. Talks with these companies, such as DSO National Laboratories, Inphi Corporation, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited, Institute for Infocomm Research- A*Star, Open Compute Project for Facebook, FMC Technologies, Schneider Electric, SEMI South East Asia, SIA Engineering Company and ST Electronics (Satellite system), occurred though out the academic year. This gave the students a chance to know more about these companies and the work lives in there. Students were encouraged to interact with the employees of these companies before applying for positions offered by them.
With more than 90% of recruiters filling positions using LinkedIn, a professional networking site, it is clear that a powerful, polished profile can pay dividends to those willing to invest a little of their time on their profiles. LinkedIn not only gives one an opportunity to build his/her professional connections and learn about job opportunities, it also allows one to showcase his/her skills to potential recruiters. Ms Ho Wing Yee from the Centre for Future- Ready Graduates was engaged by the ECE Department to conduct a hands-on workshop on LinkedIn on 12 May 2015 at the Engineering Active Learning Room. After an intense and interesting session, students participating in the workshop were able to connect and communicate with others on LinkedIn, as well as explore the different job and internship opportunities advertised there. All in all, it was a fulfilling and rewarding learning experience for them.