Resolutions have always been important for me, yet this year – having amassed 25 years of experience, primarily in Singapore, and thinking about ambitions for the years to come – they are even more crucial.
1. To publish a book on simulation conferences.
Having handed over the UNASMUN preparatory conference and its training programmes – after five years at the helm – I will work to write and to publish a book about Model United Nations, Model ASEAN, and simulation conferences in Singapore, with the inclusion of a broad range of perspectives. These would include teachers, older students, and past members of the UNASMUN organising committees. I have three aims in mind: first, to document the expertise and knowledge of teachers and experienced delegates; second, to continue reaching out to new schools, so as to expand participation; and third, to encourage more to take up responsibilities as trainers and as volunteers.
2. To volunteer as a researcher.
Volunteerism and community service have been key features throughout my life, yet this resolution to volunteer as a researcher with non-profit organisations in Singapore stems from my earlier dissertation on performance measurement and management of charities, from my recent interactions with social work professionals, and from the recognition that there are data needs I could potentially plug. Approaches to a few organisations have been made, and a constructive next step would be the assembly of a team.
At the same time, the volunteer stint with the ever-expanding “I Am Talented” should be sustained, together with a talent management project at the Asia Philanthropy Circle, where I interned over the summer.
3. To continue with “a book a week”.
This endeavour is an extension of the personal book club I started on this blog when I was completing my National Service, and it was tough to keep up in the beginning, especially since I was not accustomed to such discipline – given the many commitments I had to juggle – or to reviewing books on a weekly basis. But learning to religiously stick to a routine has been productive, and in the second half of last year I would various ways to switch it up: alternating between fiction and non-fiction texts, going back to my favourite detective fiction novels whenever I needed a quick read, and getting recommendations from friends, bestseller lists, and the occasional book review.
Within this endeavour, I will also seek out books with more diverse subject-matter, covering areas or themes I am not familiar with
4. To continue blogging and writing.
While my blogging has been more consistent this year, with the regular letter to “The Straits Times” or to “TODAY” every other week, the same cannot be said of my commentaries in “The Middle Ground“. Many, many busy phases – in the second half of the year, in particular – meant that I was not as active a contributor, and did not pay close attention to news developments in my own country. The weekly global roundup will also continue, though I aim to write at least one piece every fortnight for “The Middle Ground“.
And on this blog, a revamp is in order: a new layout for a better reading experience, a weekly newsletter featuring digestible news summaries, and more information about my research projects.
5. To prepare for my next phase.
I graduate in May later this year, and what happens thereafter remains unclear – for the time being. Graduation into uncertainty has been a persistent concern, so in the past few years internships have provided some clarity, and in the past few months I have also sought out different opportunities. Knowledge of my personal passions is a good starting point, and whether it is further studies in graduate school or a career in the non-profit sector or even in the public service, I resolve to do my best, without letting go of my commitments in the community, beyond my academic or career trajectory.