Dear Pharmily,
We are pleased to announce that the following candidates are running for the role of Welfare Director!

They are:
Albert Lin Yen Po (Pharmacy Class of 2025)

Jee Jia Jun (Pharmacy Class of 2025)



We have attached their nomination form and video below.

Feel free to leave comments and questions for the candidates in the comments channel.

Thank you!

4 Comments

  1. Ng Wee Kang

    Reply

    Hi Albert, Jia Jun and Rebecca! Thanks for expressing interest in the role of Welfare Director. Here are some questions that I have for all 3 of you!

    1) With the Houses coming under the Welfare Director’s portfolio, what are some plans you have for the Houses?

    2) Houses have traditionally been a committee that organizes a multitude of events for the students. It is expected that some events will have better attendance than others.
    (a) In your opinion, how important is it to have high sign-ups rate?
    (b) How will you improve the sign-up rates of House events?
    (c) How will you manage the morale of Houses should they be affected by the low sign-up rate?

    3) What are some areas that you would like to improve on from the 61st Welfare committee?

    4) Leading the Welfare committee is definitely not a one-person job. You will require the assistance of your trusted Vice-Director(s). Who do you have in mind currently and why? How will they support you and your plans for the committee?

    5) Describe 1 personal, 1 professional and 1 managerial challenge/obstacle that you foresee happening if you are elected. How do you plan to overcome them?

    6) What do you hope to learn from your stint?

    Do let me know if you require any clarification about my questions! Thank you and all the best 🙂

    • Boey Jer Qi Rebecca (Welfare Director Nominee)

      Reply

      Hi Wee Kang, thank you for your questions!

      1) Now that things are opening up again, I would like to work with the Houses to organise more physical events in order to build House spirit back up! Ideally these events would cater to a diverse range of interests to encourage students to sign up and connect with other like-minded people within their respective Houses. I also think the Houses could benefit from more inter-House events, even if not all 5 Houses are necessarily involved in every inter-House event; one of the limits of intra-House events is that students might not have many friends within their Houses (especially for the earlier cohorts where TBL groups do not share the same House) and might be reluctant to sign up alone, so inter-House events could help to mitigate that problem and give students the opportunity to meet more of their fellow House members.

      2) High sign-up rates are certainly important for house spirit and morale; based on my own experiences in my House committee, it could be very disappointing when we put effort into planning House events only for two or three people to turn up! That being said, I think the ultimate goal of House events is to help students to forge friendships which will last, and while high sign-up rates may make it easier for participants to find more people to connect with, other factors such as the nature and quality of the event are equally if not more important.

      As I briefly mentioned earlier, creative ideas for events which cater to various interests would be one way to increase sign-ups and make sure that there is something for everyone; for instance, members who are not athletically inclined might be more willing to sign up for other non-sports related events such as trivia nights. Interesting publicity on the Houses’ social media platforms could also help to encourage sign-ups, and advertising attractive prizes for events with a competitive element might also motivate students to participate. For some of these events, Houses could also try to provide an incentive for people to sign up in their TBL or SJP groups, especially for events nearer the start of the academic year when House spirit and sign-up rates may still be low at first. A strategic timeline would also be important to improve sign-up rates; while we want to have enough events to keep students engaged and maintain House morale, we would also want to avoid having too many events crammed into a short period of time, and it would be wise to avoid the periods when students are likely to be busiest.

      Given that House spirit is still somewhat low at the moment and students may be burnt-out from the virtual events in the last two years, low sign-up rates initially would not be surprising; it would be good to remind the Houses of this so that they are not too discouraged, and motivate them to press on and continue experimenting with different ways of planning and publicising House events.

      3) I think the main improvements I would like to make would be to improve bonding amongst the welfare committee members, and to allow them to get more hands-on experience with planning and executing events! While the 61st Welfare committee’s events and initiatives (such as the welfare packs, encouragement messages and microgiveaways) were very well-received by the student population, as a member of the Events subcomm, I would have quite liked to be involved in more of them; for instance, the Events subcomm (which included 6 of us) was split into two to organise the events for encouragement messages and welfare packs. As such, since I was working on the welfare packs, I didn’t have much of an opportunity to work with the other subcomm members who were in charge of the encouragement messages, and these two events along with the inter-house event in December were the only welfare initiatives which the Events subcomm was really involved in. I do understand however that it may not be very efficient to plan a proposal when too many people are involved, and as the two events took place on consecutive weeks right before reading week, it would have been quite taxing for all of us to plan both events; in future, I might suggest spacing out these events (eg having them in separate semesters) and perhaps having different subcomm members plan each event, but having the entire subcomm work together in carrying out the plans – this would give them more opportunities to interact with each other while also solving problems regarding any manpower shortages which might arise. I would also suggest having more small-scale welfare initiatives throughout the year; this would be another way to involve the welfare comm members more actively, and more importantly it would increase our presence in NUSPS and give students more opportunities to seek welfare – after all, school can be stressful even when we aren’t preparing for exams yet! That aside, I think the 61st Welfare committee did well under the patient guidance of our director and vice-director!

      4) One of the people I have in mind for vice director at the moment would be Mikki Lee, who was a member of the logistics subcomm in the 61st Welfare committee; when I got to work with her during the inter-house event and the distribution of the annual welfare packs, she was warm and dependable, and I am confident she would be a dedicated vice director. She is also a member of Scheele’s house committee and a pharmaceutical science student (whereas I’m a pharmacy student), so I am sure her insight on the needs of the houses and the pharmaceutical science cohort would be very valuable in allowing us to explore a wider range of perspectives when we’re bouncing ideas off of each other, and ensuring that the entire student population is well represented.

      5) One personal challenge I foresee would be managing my time between school and my duties, especially since I have evening classes sometimes which might make it more difficult to coordinate meetings. However, with proper planning and consistent, disciplined effort, I think I can fulfill my responsibilities without falling behind too much in my studies.

      A professional challenge might be planning engaging events which students will want to sign up for; while the possibility of hosting physical events again is exciting, physical lessons also mean that students may be more tired especially if they have to travel a significant distance to get to school, which may make it difficult to convince them that signing up for events is worth their while. As mentioned in my response regarding sign-up rates for House events, experimenting with various approaches and social media engagement methods might help to overcome this problem; the feedback which the Welfare committee receives from students (either through casual conversations on the ground or through surveys linked to microgiveaways) could also help to shed more light on what students need or expect from Welfare and the Houses.

      As for managerial challenges, coordinating between multiple groups of people can be challenging sometimes, whether it is while communicating with the Marketing committee or while organising inter-House events; where there are many differing views present, conflict may be more likely to arise. I hope that my previous experience in Marketing comm, Welfare comm and House comm will allow me to better understand the perspectives of all these committees so that I can help them to find solutions which will best suit all of our respective needs!

      6) I hope to hone my leadership skills and learn to step out of my comfort zone more during my stint as Welfare Director; as someone who can be quite introverted at times, I would like to practice stepping up and voicing my opinions more confidently. I would also like to learn more about working with various groups of people and mediating any conflicts which might arise between them, and to get to know more of my colleagues along the way!

  2. Albert Lin Yen Po (Welfare Director Nominee)

    Reply

    Hello Wee Kang! Here are my answers:

    1. From my observations during Pharmacy Orientation Week (POW), the house spirit is at its all-time high! In order to continue the spirit, we should take this opportunity to further strengthen the bonds between house mates by having more house events. Firstly, having more small scale house events such as hiking, barbecue and group study sessions will be a good start for members to get familiar with one another within the house. With the relaxation of the COVID restrictions, we could be more ambitious in planning for larger scale events, such as an inter-house sports/games day. Personally, my priority for the houses will be communication and teamwork among the houses. In the past, house heads work independently of other houses and each house only plan for their own events. I would like to introduce more collaboration in the form of joint-house events and to get the house heads to work closely with one another to plan together as a team.

    2. To me, it is important to have high signup rates. This is because we want to provide welfare to as many students as possible. A high signup rate will also attract more people in attending future events or simply be more willing to join since their friends are taking part as well However, it is not compulsory to push too hard into getting high signup rates as I understand that people are busy and have other commitments such as CCAs etc.

    In order to improve the signup rates, I would rely on the existing system of TBL groups, Orientation groups and Senior-Junior pairing to pull more people into attending the events through these connections. It is easier to get people to participate in groups of friends or people they are familiar with! Furthermore, by introducing more joint-house events (combining multiple houses) there will naturally be more people signing up!

    In the case where there is low signup rate, I would encourage the house heads to change the direction of the events. For example, the sports day event did not do so well, we could change topic to board game session or group study sessions. The best way to fight off setbacks and low morale is through constant encouragement (could treat them to some good food HAHA!) and just keep trying to improve our programs!

    3. I would like to improve on the inter-house communications and collaborations between the house heads. Due to the COVID restrictions, we could not hold larger scale events such as inter-house events or having two to three houses partnering one another for different events. I would want the house heads to work together to plan more events together instead of working individually. This will not only allow the team to be more bonded and work better together, but also can allow students to know more people from other houses. Furthermore, I would like to initiate a clean-up of the NUSPS room for everyone to enjoy and have a comfortable place to relax and work in.

    4. From my working experiences in both POP and my TBL group, there are many trustworthy partners and friends that I have already worked with for the whole of last year. Personally, I believe that Hwee Teng will be a great fit for the Vice-director role to assist me. This is because she was already part of the welfare committee in year 1, thus she had the relevant experiences on the programs that they had last year. This allows us to learn from past experiences and adjust/improve our programs accordingly. Hwee Teng and I are good friends since we were the Procurement Heads for POP together last summer and know each other’s working style well!

    5. Personally I am currently working as a part time tutor during the semester and have lessons on certain weekday nights, it may pose a challenge to manage certain events that are happening at night. My teaching schedules are highly adjustable and with better time management I would be able to make it to all the events!

    Regarding professional challenges, I foresee the communication issues between different committees in the NUSPS. For example, the welfare committee will have to work closely with the marketing committee when it comes to sourcing for welfare packs. It may be a challenge to involve different and multiple committees.

    Lastly, the biggest managerial challenge will be the moral issue for the event signup rates among the house heads and the committees. I believe that by forming a personal relationship, encouraging and working alongside my committee members, it will be able to boost their morals and overcome any challenges together as a team!

    6. With the inclusion of the houses into the welfare committee, there would be a need to work with various parties, stakeholders and even external sponsors. There is a lot of communication and coordination required to work with many different people at the same time. This will be a great opportunity for me to not only learn how to lead and organise larger scale events, but also allow me to get to know my friends and colleagues in our Pharmily better!

  3. Jee Jia Jun (Welfare Director Nominee)

    Reply

    Hello Wee Kang! Thank you for your questions and here are my answers to them:
    (1) Firstly, I would definitely try to bond with the fellow house committee members more since we will all be working together for the year. Forging friendships and building chemistry among one another would definitely make planning and discussions much easier.
    Secondly, having a well bonded house is important, as such I believe intra house events are extremely essential. As houses are smaller and can be considered as a closely knitted family, bonding within the house would be the beginning of building a closely knitted pharmily. Therefore, I believe that the foundation of building a strong house spirit is key before achieving this vision of a closely knitted pharmily. However, building friendships across houses is fairly important as well since we will all essentially be working together in one way or another.
    Hence, I believe we should have both intra house and inter house events. In terms of inter house events, it does not have to involve all 5 houses. Even it being among 2 houses would be sufficient as building friendships in a fairly large-scaled event would not be easy.
    Lastly, as mentioned in my election video, I would like to hold a larger scaled inter house sports event during the winter holidays which includes all 5 houses. However, this would be more of a tournament format where we can all compete to be the best house.

    2(a) I believe having a high sign-up rate is not the priority, but having fun during the event is the main goal. If one signs up but did not enjoy the event, it would have just been a waste of his or her precious time and may lead to the further dampening of his or her spirit in joining other events.

    2(b) I believe the publicity team, house committee, TBL mates and peers in the SJP programme play a significant role in this aspect. With an eye-catching publicity post, people will definitely be more entailed in joining an event. I also personally believe that TBL mates are one of the closest friends we will make in the department of pharmacy, and participating in events with them would make these events much more fun and exciting. Regarding the SJP programme, I do not look at it as a senior-junior relationship, but a new friend made. Despite providing academic support whenever needed, bonding and having fun is definitely important as well in university.
    In the event whereby sign-up rates are low, we should enquire about the NUSPS members’ interests and the reasons that deterred them from signing up for such events. This would then allow us to further improve and plan events that would cater to the interests of more members.

    2(c) Having low sign-up rates definitely do not mean that the event is boring, it might just be that the event was not catered to the majority of the members. Being discouraged would be inevitable, but I believe that this would allow the house committees the opportunity to brainstorm and further improve on their events, which can better attract even more members and bring the level of excitement to the next level. Thus, this then helps to boost the overall morale in the house committees.

    (3) As part of the 61st Welfare committee, I believe that the committee did a great job. However, the pandemic definitely had a huge impact on the committee’s plans. Thus, with the lightening of current pandemic measures, more physical events can come into play and thus giving us more opportunities to provide better welfare to the NUSPS members. I personally felt that the welfare committee previously only existed during the holidays and finals period. Thus, I would like to have more welfare events throughout the academic year, such as giving out items more often or organising more fun activities. The welfare committee should not only step in when one is faced with high stress, but instead be someone that constantly provides care throughout.
    Furthermore, with the gradual revival of the house spirit by the 61st Welfare committee. I would like to further strengthen it by requesting for more house events. This would help to further boost the house spirit with no chance of it going back to the pandemic days.

    (4) If I am elected, Mikki Lee Jie Ning will definitely be the first person I have in mind when considering for Vice-Director. She is an experienced and all rounded fellow 61st Welfare committee member. With her vast experience and leadership skills in many areas, she will definitely be of great help to me in the committee. She is currently in the logistic sub-committee of the 61st welfare committee, the publicity head for Scheele house, and even the volleyball captain for her current hall. With her experience in the welfare committee, I believe she is well familiarised with how the welfare committee works and better able to identify what the committee is lacking and further improve on these flaws. Furthermore, with her experience in the house committee, she can help provide insights and identify challenges faced within houses. I also believe she will definitely be of great help and cover whatever I am lacking with as well.

    (5) Personal- With a limited time of 24 hours a day, an increase in commitments would entail that the time available for each commitment being significantly reduced. As such, I foresee time management being a personal concern. I believe this can be overcomed with proper planning and time allocations. Working smart and effectively would be the priority as in doing so, the time needed for a commitment can be shortened.

    Professional- Rejection of proposals are bound to happen and this may dampen the spirits of the committee, and even the houses. However, as mentioned above in question 2(c), I believe that rejections instead provides us with a second chance to come up with something even better for everybody, and thus should not be discouraged by it.

    Managerial- If there is a group of people, there will definitely be conflicts. Thus, having to consider everybody’s ideas and suggestions would be tough. I definitely do not think I can come up with the right answer and solution to these conflicts by myself. Therefore, together with my trusted vice directors, I believe we can all come together and decide on the best solution to every conflict, bringing the committee to greater heights.

    (6) Some things which I hope to learn from this position would be to improve myself speaking in front of a large group, and learning to write good proposals and emails. Speaking in front of a huge audience is something I have always shun myself away from. With this experience, I hope to overcome this obstacle and further improve my public speaking skills. Additionally, writing proposals is something that one would usually not pick up, and therefore I hope to learn and improve on this skill of writing good proposals as well.

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