Hey y'allll; So I've started work and I'm telling ya... it's quite a different world here.  1) Workplace environm...

Media to Biz - big transition


Hey y'allll;

So I've started work and I'm telling ya... it's quite a different world here. 

1) Workplace environment

Firstly, yes, the workplace environment is different of course. Wifi is fast FORTUNATELY, because my boss installed fiber optics, so I'm actually sitting on the staircase outside my workplace to tap on the wifi. Today's a weekend lol. I went to a fast food place that had wifi earlier in the morning and it was SLOW AS HELL. So I'm squatting it out right now. 

Here's how my office looks - we gotta walk barefooted around while we're in it:

Yeah it's pretty legit haha. The New Zealander intern and I were talking about how we came here not knowing what to expect coz it's Myanmar. Him and I are the only interns around and I'm super glad to have him because I have someone to talk to in the office easily. He's fun too so I reckon we'll be hanging around a lot. Esp weekends like today.

Another reason why I'm so glad to have him is because....


2) Projects & Assignments

I've been assigned a project to research about the International School scene here and wow... I realise how I'm not equipped at all with Business skills. My boss asked me to project - by drawing graphs and tables - the increase in International Schools here in Myanmar and omfg, without Jonathan.. I wouldn't have been able to calculate the percentage increases and draw graphs on excel. Wahlau eh. So he calculate, I write haha. 

Felt a bit handicapped and made me wish I remembered all my econs stuff I studied back in JC. I scored an A leh but I don't remember nothing man. Which sucks, so I really am thrown into the deep end and I've to learn all things business. My boss even said, "eh media school never teach you anything ah!" Waaaaahniaooo eh. Demoralising leh. But aiya I think I'll learn on the go - I'm sure my comm skills won't be put to waste in other areas. 

But what's interesting about the job is I'm researching about the Myanmar scene and I'm given this project on International Schools. It made me think a lot about how Singapore progressed to where it is now and I FEEL SO BLOODY THANKFUL FOR MY EDUCATION. SERIOUSLY. I attribute it to good governance and leadership. You know, Myanmar doesn't have proper LAWS you know? They're being drafted right at this moment so there are plenty and plenty of grey areas. Take the education system for instance. The quality is so bad that a university degree amounts to probably an O levels cert of sorts. And there's now a crazy influx of international schools coming to Myanmar and demand for them is high because they offer curriculums from overseas. However, the question is: How legit are these schools? To add on to that, there hasn't been ANY regulation at all. The regulation law is being drafted right at this moment and was supposed to be released by end of June. Look at where we are at now? July. Their Government is completely lax and inefficient. 

As for Singapore? The British handed down their system very well and our leaders built on that legacy. Many SEA countries wanted to get rid of the colonial legacy and therefore don't have good education infrastructure. Our leaders on the other hand, built on that legacy despite being called dogs of colonial masters. Good decisions made on our part.

So yeah, even though the technicalities of the job is hard, I'm learning quite a lot. Interesting stuff. Super stressed about performing up to expectations though haha since I've no business background and I'm someone who wants to perform well at work. Give me some time and I believe I can do it! 

3) Burmese colleagues

My colleagues are slowly opening up and I really like them!!! Super friendly. I'm closer to two of my Burmese colleagues - Shine and Yee Mon. They're so nice :') Shine brought me around our area on my second day and Yee Mon TREATED me to dinner two nights ago. AHHHH!!!! So nice. I kept insisting on paying but she didn't accept. We spoke in really simple English but understood one another so that was nice : ) Both parties cannot give up and must be patient. Sometimes need to repeat a few times. Still, we could laugh, smile and nod during conversations.

What I learnt about Burmese culture is that you really must be emotionally equipped with reading in-between-the-lines. She actually asked me what I'm going to have for dinner and I replied ah, I'm gonna just walk around and see if there's anything. But I knew she was going to have dinner because she told me earlier on. So I had to read that as an invitation if I would like to join her for dinner and so I said, "Want to go for dinner together?" and she said yes! So... I think it takes a bit of reading here and there haha.

4) Singapore Association of Myanmar

I attended a SAM dinner last night because my boss being Singaporean, asked me to join in. I mingled with my fellow Singaporeans (who are damn upz lah? Ambassador was there as well) and had sumptuous Singaporean food at the Shangi-La hotel. I knowww.. Shangri-La siah.. it's really damn posh and awesome. Myanmar is seriously booming. 

This was the view from a lounge at the top of the hotel: 

Can you see the Shwedagon Pagoda?? (shwe means gold. Myanmar loves all things shwe) That's the most famous landmark in Yangon, which I absolutely must visit during my stay here.

Anyway, this was taken during an interview by Thai media when my boss was asked to speak about the fast-food industry in Myanmar.

Yeah the picture's dark coz of the exposure but if you can see the journalist and camera person working.... THIS WAS WHEN I FELT MOST COMFORTABLE???

I was so media-sound that I could tell my boss beforehand whether there was enough room for the tv crew (I even crafted a list of qns for him to answer ok). It was so obvious to me that there'd be backlighting. And I could talk to the journalist because I told her I worked at CNA before. So I was totally in my zone during this interview. 

Guess my comms background came in handy eh? ; )

This Thai media interview happened on Thursday and the SAM dinner was last night. So... yeah... I unexpectedly have a lot of things going on in my first week and it's been exciting!!!! But challenging of course with my lack of Business skills. 

I'm sure there are more things to come -  I still have so much to blog about. Maybe I'll schedule some of my posts : ) Internet's a bitch but I'll do my best.

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