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NTU EEE Student and NTU Runners' Club Business Manager: Lau Sien Cong

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The NTU Runners’ Club recently held their annual university X-Campus Run for the first time at NTU’s brand-new sports hall, The Wave, on 11 October 2017. NTU EEE final-year student and scholarship holder, Mr Lau Sien Cong, is one of the Business Managers of the Runners’ Club. He tells us more about the preparations for the run event this year, and how he has adeptly managed his time between school activities and classes as a NTU EEE student.

The annual NTU X-Campus Run is a signature NTU run event. How much time do NTU Runners’ Club members put into preparing for it?
The annual NTU X-Campus Run occurs during the first semester of every academic year, in the month of October. Usually, preparation starts from May. However, this year, preparation started from January to prepare for our club's 10th anniversary. This gave us ten whole months to prepare for X-Campus 2017!

On a side note, X-Campus is also part of the inter-school staff sports games (ISG).

This year’s running route for NTU X-Campus Run is 5.5km and starts at The Wave, instead of the traditional longer route seen in the past years. What were the measures prepared to ensure a smooth running experience for participants? 
The X-Campus is NTU Runners’ Club’s flagship event and is very well-established. We have been organising this event for the past 10 years, and have always put safety as our priority. We prepare for likely accidents and any possible hiccups. For example, we hired ambulances, and well-trained first-aid personnel whom we had much confidence with. 

Additionally, for this year, we incorporated the school's new sports facility, The Wave at the Sports and Recreation Centre (SRC) into X-Campus 2017. With the support from SRC, we were very positive that the race participants had a refreshing running experience. Our entire EXCOM, had planned the event down to the very last detail with the participant's experience in mind! We organised the event for runners, being runners ourselves who appreciate a well-organised run. 

We planned most of the running route on the university’s blue running track around our campus. This track is well-installed and safe to run on. It helped in ensuring a smooth running experience for all.

What activities and programmes took place for the NTU X-Campus Run 2017?
For X-Campus 2017, we had multiple activities and running incentives for the runners! 

Firstly, we hired a street magician to provide entertainment for the runners. This encouraged them to stay for the whole duration of the event and to enjoy other exciting performances. 

Secondly, we planned for energy replenishment items such as bananas and Red Bull drinks for the runners as incentives, giving them a much needed boost. 

Thirdly, we had food booths. There were cups of corn, Thai-flavoured popsicles and muah chee (glutinous rice balls) on a free-flow basis! All race participants were entitled to these foods once they had completed the run. 

Fourthly, we included band music performances right before the prize presentation. This gave the runners a good “winding down” after the run. 

Finally, we prepared as many as 10 items for the lucky draw! These included an iPad, an adult scooter and $150 Takashimaya vouchers.

Every year, the NTU X-Campus Run participants receive a goodie bag and T-shirt. How are the sponsors for this year like? 
This year, we had a total of sixteen sponsors on board with us! I am very pleased that our team of business managers this year had put in exceptional amounts of efforts to secure these sponsorships. 

We had corporate giants like Puma, Red Bull, and SME companies like Tiger Balm, Eversoft, Compressport, St Games, YOUC1000, Honsei and Goh Yeow Seng Pte Ltd. 

Our previous partners, Nutrition Park, D&G SoldierTalk, Forest Anion, and Stegayoung continued their sponsorships with us. Government bodies like the Public Utilities Board, National Youth Council, and Central Narcotics Bureau also supported us with meaningful sponsored items. We are very thankful for all these supports from our sponsors, both old and new. 

Race participants were entitled to three items: a race pack, a goodie bag, and a race tee. The race pack was a drawstring bag sponsored by Compressport and which contained a Compressport towel. Additionally, we included a PUMA branded LED shoelaces and bracelets, a sample-sized Tiger balm and a sample-sized Eversoft facial cleanser. 

The Business Managers team had spent their vacation time preparing the event proposal! A lot of time went into sending out emails, liaising and negotiating with the sponsors. Therefore, our X-Campus goodies were made possible with consistent efforts from the team!

Could you share your experiences as a Business Manager (BM) for the NTU Runners’ Club?
As I did not have prior experience with business oriented tasks like marketing, negotiating, and liasing, I “grew” a lot after taking on the role of a BM. One important lesson I have learnt is to demonstrate professionalism at all times! From the sponsor's perspective, I represent NTU. It is very important that I represent NTU with professionalism and pride. My numerous meetings with various sponsors and the soft skills I have honed are things that cannot be learnt in lecture halls. 

In addition, I am immensely proud to have PUMA as our official club sponsor, providing members with running clothing and shoes. Finally, this year, NTU Runners' Club is recognised by the Sports and Recreation Centre, and every committee member will be issued an official NTU Spirit shirt. 

The NTU shirt is issued to all members of the NTU Spirit team, a group of NTU students who represent the university to compete in various sports competitions. Rarely, a non-competitive club such as the NTU Runners’ Club receives such an honour. Being issued the shirt signified the recognition of our hard work.

Tell us about some of your significant achievements as a student of NTU EEE. 
I am currently a final-year student specialising in Microelectronics. This year, I managed to achieve the Singapore-Industry Scholarship (SgIS) and will be working for my sponsoring organisation, Micron Seminconductor Pte Ltd, under a 2-year bond after I graduate next year. 

I had also achieved a scholarship from the Institution of Engineers Singapore (IES), the IES-SG50 Golden Jubilee Scholarship last year. 

As a NTU EEE student, I was a special project officer under the IES club – NTU Student Chapter. Additionally, I was involved in the NTU EEE orientation camp, Efinity, as a business manager this year. 

The most memorable experience that I have attained as a NTU EEE student was when I embarked on an overseas exchange programme to the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, UK. That was my furthest trip from home. Throughout the entire exchange programme, I met so many good people and travelled to several great places such as the entire UK, Spain, and France. 

Personally, I came from challenging circumstances. I was once a technical stream student in secondary school. I experienced what most people would say, “an impossible task”, to be going through different schooling streams and to be where I am right now, a student of NTU. I was also living in Malaysia while doing my studies in Singapore. Therefore, for the past 10 years, I woke up at 5am every morning and spent around 3 hours to travel from my home to schools. I believe tough times don’t last, a tough man does.

How do you manage your school activities with your classes?
Time management is the key. Also, living in the school’s accommodation has helped so much. Lastly, you need to have strong self-discipline because it is the consistent effort that counts.

Do tell us what are your favourite quotes or mottos that you strive for.
“The way you do anything is the way you do everything.”
“A dream is only a dream if you do not have the courage to take the first step.”
“It is always about that little bit more; that little bit more of effort, that little bit more of hard work, and you will never believe how much it will benefit you in return"

 
NTU EEE staff members who participated in X-Campus 2017. There are quite a number of NTU EEE professors here!
 
These two photos were taken just before the race started. We had around 500 participants this year!
 
More staff members
 
L-R: NTU Runners’ Club president, Shi Xuan, the Top 5 male runners, GOH Mr Lee Khim Song, Director of NTU Student Life Policies, President's Office.
 
The three of the top five female runners are exchange students!
 
Our Red Bull sponsors
 
NTU Runners’ Club business managers team
 NTU Runners' Club


Published on: 3-Nov-2017 ​​​​​​​​​​​​

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