October 14, 2014, by Deepa Kumari Veerasingam
Postgraduate Welcome Week 2014 – Day 2
The second day of the Postgraduate Welcome Week began with a ‘So What’s It Really Like’ session or better known as SWIRL, where we had 3 current Postgraduates, in different level of PhD studies, who shared about their lives as Postgraduates. Wilson Ho, a 3rd year PhD student from the Faculty of Engineering, gave a heads up on the life of a PhD student by highlighting how lonely and stressful is the journey. He opted to socialise with other Postgraduate from different faculties as it has helped him to share with other people as well as developing his skills. He shared how his supervisor reminded him that choosing a topic for PhD is more important than choosing a partner in life. The qualities that he discovered to be crucial during the PhD journey are consistency and patience as the PhD journey is very demanding.
The winner of Research Showcase 2014, Lim Phui Cheng, stressed on the importance of being consistent as it is a lot easier than waiting until all the work piles up at the very last minute as PhD involves a lot of work. The time during the PhD journey is very flexible, therefore it is very important to take advantage of that by managing time accordingly. Cheng had participated in a lot of competitions organised by the Graduate School and she mentioned it is because competition is a platform for her to network, develop her skills as well as contribute to improving her research.
The session was later joined by Mohammed Reza Ketabchi, a current 2nd year PhD student from the Faculty of Engineering. Having to spend most of his time in the laboratory, Reza said his motivation is that he believes the hardwork will be translated into his publication. Being a strong believer of work-life balance, Reza encouraged his fellow Postgraduates to take a really good care of themselves by giving attention to their physical health and diet.A part from working on his research, Reza also works part time in the Library as well as a being a hall tutor. Having a lot of things to juggle concurrently, Reza never forget to socialise and exercise as these activities have helped him to manage his stress.The session continued with a presentation by Dr Lee Jiin Woei, a former PhD student from the Faculty of Engineering who is now a Research Training Development Manager at UNMC. Jiin highlighted the importance of having a good relationship with supervisors and gave some very useful tips on how to effectively communicating with supervisors.
In the past few years, Graduate School organised a Satay Night, a networking platform for Postgraduates, during the Postgraduate Welcome Week. However, this time around, Graduate School organised a Networking Lunch where Postgraduates got together during lunch and just mingle among themselves.
The programme was then continued with a session by Postgraduate Network, meant to introduce the students on how Postgraduate Network can be of help to them. Zain Taha, a representative from the PG Network, gave an introduction of the PG Network and highlighted the significance of such network within the Postgraduate community.
To end the second day of Postgraduate Welcome Week, the Graduate School organised an ice-breaking session, which was the Game of Thrones, with the intention to create a bonding platform among the Postgraduates, to familiarise them with the Campus as well as introducing them to the key support staff that they will liaise with in the future. The games involved were Jenga, Snake and Ladder, Scavenger Hunt, and Congkak (a traditional game, widely played by local Malays) as a bonus game. These games were chosen as they instill teamwork, creative and critical thinking through strategising the game plan, and tons more. The participants were divided into four groups, namely the House of Arryn, House of Stark, House of Tyrell and House of Lannister. In the first round, House of Arryn and House of Lannister went against one another in the game of Snake and Ladder, while House of Stark went against House of Tyrell in the game of Jenga. For Snake and Ladder game, House of Lannister scored 1 point, while it was a draw for both House of Stark and House of Tyrell. The groups later proceed with Scavenger Hunt, where they were given maximum freedom on how they want to conduct the game. Through this game, House of Stark and House of Tyrell scored the highest points and went against one another, again, for Congkak. 1 representative from each House was chosen for the final round. Throughout this game, the group members continuously support their representative while helping them out through strategising their game plan. Finally, the House of Stark was awarded the overall winner of Game of Thrones.