Friday, September 24, 2010

Intercultural Behavior

This an exciting topic for me since I am from a multi-cultural country, Malaysia. One of the intercultural situations that I think most of you might be interested is the Malay's eagerness in receiving 'donation'. This sounds ambiguous. Let me give you a specific example from my past experiences.

It was in 2007 when I was sent to serve army for the country. The camp was named 'Padang Hijau', which means green land in English while the dorm I was allocated to in the camp was named  'Delta'. That was a huge dorm with capacity up to 30 people. In Delta, we had about 20 Malay, 4 Chinese and 1 Indian trainees. What happened was that Chinese trainees brought a lot of storable food but Malay trainees kept taking food from Chinese. In fact, when they saw our food, they would come to us and request the food. Specifically, for my case, a few of them asked for Milo drink from me. I gave them some packets. A few days later I found that the whole sack of Milo had become empty. I swore I didn't drink the Milo at all. Well, why didn't they help me throw away the plastic bag? =.= However, I felt that I was quite lucky because my parents didn't buy me as much food as my other Chinese friends did. One of them bought 3 months stock of snacks but the luggage went empty within 3 days. (Hahaha...)

Frankly, I was quite upset with the situation. However, the Malays trainees were indeed friendly and caring to all of us. In particular, they respected our religion and believes. Besides, they would lower down their volume in conversation when they found Chinese trainees were sleeping. Since it was all of them kept taking food from us, not just a few of them, it showed that their action of requesting food from others was nothing more than a culture.

Hmm... you might think that they were from some poor families. Tell you what, some of them possessed some electronic gadgets that I couldn't afford to buy while some of them played instruments like guitars and they did own the instruments. In addition, they could afford the cigarettes which were smuggled into the camp and sold at a very high prices. In short, the reason that they requested so much food from Chinese trainees was not because of their financial problem.

It really surprised me but increased my cultural sensitivity. Their action might be annoying but it is common to their race. I was not so sure whether my observation was accurate but thereafter, someone told me that Malays appreciate and like to receive any offers from others. My experience in the camp might be giving you a negative impression of them however, this kind of altitude is indeed noticeable on them not only on physical desires, but also spiritual desires such as loves, cares, trusts etc and not just food.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Feedback on Peer Teaching Session 4: Designing survey questionnaires and interview

Dear all,

Thank you for paying attention our peer teaching on Friday. We hope you had learnt some techniques to conduct surveys or interviews from that session

Feel free to give us any comments you have here. All comments are greatly appreciated!

Have a nice recess week! :D

Min Hau, Riyan, and Sheila 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Application Letter

DBS Banking Internship

When you become a DBS Intern, you'll get to learn about our business, build your network early and benefit from the diversity of opportunities we have.

The commitment we seek
For at least 8 weeks from May to August or November to December, you will be assigned to either a Business Unit or Service Unit.

Invaluable learning opportunities
You will gain hands-on experience in our business operations and have the opportunity to observe, participate and contribute in meetings and other business events. Throughout your internship, a mentor appointed by the Business/Service Unit will provide you with career coaching, guidance and feedback.

What we need from you
Apply for the DBS Internship if you :
* are currently studying in a university.
* have excellent academic results.
* active extra-curricular records.
* have an innovative and enterprising mind with an international outlook.
* have leadership qualities and good team working ability and communication skills.

September 6, 2010

DBS Bank
6 Shenton Way, DBS Building Tower One
Singapore 068809
1800 111 1111

Dear Sir/Mdm,

I am writing to apply for the internship advertised at If you are looking for an intern who has experienced a hardship whereby trained him to possess leadership qualities and good team-working ability and communication skills, I would be one of the most ideal candidates.

How do I have team-working ability and communication skills? I took part in some activities as mentioned in my resume which required the participants to work as a team for a long time. There were many obstacles which I could only overcome with a persistent belief on “teamwork makes success”. After going through those activities, I have learnt to have effective communication skills to maintain harmonious relationship with team members. I believe that all the skills I have gained from these activities will help me to become an excellent intern in the Business Unit or Service Unit.

As a mathematics student, I have been developing logical thinking and problem solving skills. Besides, with half a year working experience as an office attendant, I am aware of the etiquette to work professionally at workplace which is similar to the Business Unit or Service Unit.

In my point of view, dealing a business relies on how skillful we manage a relationship with people around us while providing satisfying services to a client depends on how efficient we communicate with people. I have been in many activities that provided me opportunities to develop such an ability. With this particular strength in my hands, I will do to my best to contribute to DBS.

Please see my resume for comprehensive information on my personal data.

I can be reached anytime via email at or my cell phone, 9xxxxxxx.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you about this internship opportunity.

Ong Min Hau