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NTU EEE Graduate Student Ms Shilpa Manandhar: Huawei’s “Seeds for the Future” Programme

 

Late last year, NTU EEE graduate student Ms Shilpa Manandhar participated in Huawei’s “Seeds for the Future” programme. It is the company’s global corporate social responsibility (CSR) flagship programme and is also their most heavily invested CSR activity. Initiated in 2008, the Huawei programme seeks to develop local ICT talent, enhance knowledge transfer, promote a greater understanding of and interest in the telecommunications sector, and improve and encourage regional building and participation in the digital community. Through the programme, Huawei does the following: works with universities and other local organisations to provide some training on communication technologies; provides scholarships and internships for top students; and offers a work experience to selected students. 

Our PhD student, Ms Manandhar, got to take part in the unique 15-day programme from 14 – 28 October 2017. We find out more about her background and exciting eye-opening experiences!

Give us some background details about yourself. 
I am from Nepal. I did my Bachelor’s in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Kathmandu University, Nepal. Currently, I am pursuing my PhD’s in NTU School of EEE. My research is in the Remote Sensing field. 

Also, I am an active member of NTU EEE Graduate Students Club (GSC). For academic year 17/18, I am elected as the club’s President.

What is the Huawei “Seeds for the Future” programme really about?
The Huawei “Seeds for the Future” programme is a really nice platform provided by Huawei Technologies Co to deserving students from different countries and nationalities. This programme goes on for many times in a year! This time, during our turn, other than us Singapore-based students, there were also students from Kenya and South Africa. The programme focuses on giving students the hands-on knowledge of different communication technologies. Also, it gives students the chance to learn the Chinese culture! 

I came to know about this programme via email in late September. The email was circulated to all the graduate students of NTU EEE with communications background. Generally, undergraduate students are recruited for the programme. But this time, postgraduates were lucky, and the programme targeted us! We just had to apply via the online application form. I found the programme really interesting. It highlighted 1 week of stay at Beijing University, and promised new language and cultural experiences where they would teach the Chinese language, calligraphy and painting. The programme included another week in Shenzen (Huawei Headquarters) for the interesting technical experiences such as about 2G to 5G technologies, and setting up of the network and troubleshooting. 

Most importantly, students get the chance to exchange their cultures with youths of other nationalities. We got to make new friends from Kenya and South Africa! For a few days, it took us time to open up to one other. But after multiple interactions in classes, during lunches and dinners, we all became good friends. Personally, it was my first experience to make friends of such nationalities. We got to experience how they learn things and react to things. We had gone to the Karaoke night together and sang lots of songs and enjoyed ourselves!

How has your time in NTU EEE prepared yourself for the programme?
I think the host of technical and theoretical knowledge that I gained from being part of NTU EEE (as a current graduate student) was really helpful for this Huawei programme! The programme was focused on 2G-3G technologies, network setup and all that. Although the teacher for the programme provided a full overview of the contents, my prior learning in NTU EEE added much value. Apart from that, NTU EEE also motivates students to take part in different networking and team building activities! For example, recently, NTU EEE organised a networking event where students were encouraged to present their ongoing works and discuss about them. NTU EEE also organises many seminars which give students ample opportunities to keep up-to-date not only in your own field but other fields as well. This has helped me to build confidence about my work and myself, and which was really helpful in representing Singapore in the programme.

What other similar programmes have you taken part in before? 
This was the first time that I’ve taken part in such a dynamic programme! Before this, I was just participating in the usual conferences and networking programmes.

Any other interesting details of your experience? 
During the closing ceremony of this Huawei Seeds for the Future programme, representing students from all 3 countries (Singapore, Kenya and South Africa) had to give reflection speeches and introduce our various countries’ unique stage performances. 

I had the opportunity to go up and speak. I really enjoyed sharing my experiences and my speech was well-received. I basically summarised our (Singapore students’) stay in China and thanked the programme’s organising team for giving us the opportunity. I feel proud that after my speech, the delegates from Singapore were really happy. I remembered how they appreciated me and said “Singapore’s the best” in our common WeChat group. 

Also, all 8 of us who represented the Singapore team, performed a dance together. The eight of us, we all actually come from different nations, from Nepal, Russia, China and India. We wanted to perform something which would best represent Singapore. We all knew that in Singapore, people from different cultural backgrounds live in harmony. So, we came up with performing dance steps to songs from all the 4 nations! This concept worked well and the audience definitely appreciated our performance! One more interesting detail was that our group had 4 ladies and 4 guys. The 4 guys could hardly dance. Therefore, we thought of using pom-poms to cover up. Thankfully, it worked! We all enjoyed ourselves a lot and received really nice feedbacks from the audience at the end. 

Another interesting experience of note is that in Shenzen, we were taken to shopping places, as Shenzen is considered to be one of the shopping hubs. One can get anything there at very cheap prices. And the clincher is you can even bargain! The bargaining experience was awesome, mostly because I tried to bargain in Mandarin. We had learned a few words like “hen gui (very expensive)”, “pian yi yi dian er (make it a little cheaper)”. And I used them all the time! I helped my friends to bargain as well. One of the coolest things that I bought was a drone!












Info Credits: Huawei Seeds for the Future programme


Published on: 26-Jan-2018 ​​​

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