Learn From People that Work with you 

On November 20th, 9:30 am, I embarked on my first SYC hiking trip. My purpose for joining this hiking tour was multifold.

Firstly, I wanted to meet new people and learn from them. This would not only furnish me with new knowledge/information, but it would also develop my interpersonal skills. Secondly, I wanted to de-stress and catch some downtime. I had learnt this lesson of valuing systematic idleness (downtime) from Cal Newport’s book, “Deep work”. He explores how systematic idleness is required to get deep work done. Thirdly, I wanted to get some exercise and improve the functioning of my body as the body and mind are one. This was my first attempt at “networking” and thus, I experienced a flurry of emotions ranging from nervousness to elation.

The hiking tour started off with an introduction of the mentor (Sir Eugene), SYC committee members and other people joining the walk. The credentials of all these people, but more so, their willingness to share information and join this walk, impressed me.

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Throughout this journey, I was paired with multiple people and we would walk in groups of 2. I really enjoyed this one-to-one personal conversation as it allowed me to familiarize with the other person on a deeper level.

Initially, I was paired up with Michelle, a trader at Virtu Financial. Our interests were aligned, and we had a very interesting conversation. I aspire to work at her current job position and delve into the intricate yet fascinating world of algorithmic trading and high-frequency trading. I learnt how one should try different career fields and build an open mindset from her personal journey. She also shared tips regarding preparing for the interviews with banks. I gained inspiration from her strong work ethic and how she was constantly solving problems at her job.

Thereafter, I was paired up with an IB student. I, myself, was an IB student who graduated on May 2021. I was happy to share my IB journey with him and provide him tips on how to excel in IB. One thing I learnt from him was having a meaningful hobby that broadens your scope. He was interested in Chinese Literature and his reasons for reading this were profound. I understood the importance of learning Chinese and will slowly start learning this language.

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While conversing with him, I talked to sir David as well and gained one important insight into networking. He mentioned building relationships boil down to two things: performance and trust. This profound insight has changed my perspective on networking, and I will use this characteristic for my upcoming networking sessions.

Subsequently, me and my mentor, Sir Eugene Ng, were paired up. Since he is the CEO of Chevron China, I wanted to gain a broad understanding of the different areas of the various business areas. This would help me in my long-term vision of creating a startup. I asked him questions regarding market insights & strategy creation, sales, supply chain & distribution, crisis management, people management, etc. His answers were logical and contained a course of action, which I appreciated. He demonstrated qualities of a leader, like having a mix of EQ and IQ, one trait I wish to possess.

What was special about this hike was definitely the people, coupled with the route/scenery. In this 10 kilometer hike, we walked from Stadium to Marina East to Marina Barrage to Keppel Marina, making a return trip back to Stadium.

The scenery was spectacular. Particularly, the tall office skyscrapers at CBD. Looking at this visual lullaby makes me thrilled. It is my dream to work as a trader in the offices of these MNC’s. When I see these buildings, I get inspiration. Inspiration to work hard, pursue my dreams and make them no longer dreams.

The hike lasted for 2 and a half hours, but for me; it lasted only a minute. I was completely engrossed in communicating and learning from other people. I bid my newly met friends goodbye, and that marked the end of my first SYC hiking trip.