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NTU EEE graduand (Class of 2018): Gayathri D/O V Narkunan

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NTU EEE graduating ​student, Ms Gayathri D/O V Narkunan, is part of our Class of 2018! From participating regularly in the thrilling Inter-School Games and helping the School earn a respectable 4th placing last year; to embarking on a really memorable and unique overseas volunteer programme, we find out more about this NTU EEE graduand’s interesting and participatory experiences in the School!

What were some of your favourite activities in NTU EEE?
“My favourite activities would be the Inter-School Games (ISG) and EEE Club’s overseas Youth Expedition Project (YEP) to Nias island in Indonesia last year.

ISG is an annual sporting event in NTU collaboratively organised by EEE Club and other school clubs. Through ISG, I have represented NTU EEE in various sports for the past few years and met some great friends from other faculties! On the other hand, YEP Nias was a service-learning project in partnership with Youth Corps Singapore. It provided me with the opportunity to work with organisations and communities, both local and overseas! Through this project, I broadened my perspective of the outside world and experienced valuable life lessons that cannot be taught in the traditional classrooms.

I am not much of a technical person so I tend to look for activities that provide me with experience and soft skills such as teamwork, leadership and communication. I believe that these are the skills needed to prepare me for the workforce, besides the technical knowledge from my NTU EEE degree.”

What do you like about NTU EEE?
“I have loved unmanned vehicles since I was a kid and coding is my hobby. In short, being at NTU EEE was the fusion of these 2 of my interests!

I like the wide range of specialisations in NTU EEE. The School encompasses fields like biomedical to digital media. Therefore, NTU EEE allows you to explore other interests and fields of study together with engineering.

Apart from that, I would say the vibrant community in NTU EEE. We have friendly staffs and even cleaners around.

Not forgetting some of the passionate NTU EEE professors that will really inspire and lead you all the way to success. Special mention to 3 staffs who have helped me throughout the years. Firstly, Prof Lim Meng Hiot, someone whom I have known since year 2 and worked with for my DIP and FYP. His valuable advices, patience and support encouraged me to put in more effort in my academic work. Secondly, Mr Tan Peng Chye, Technician from the Water & Energy Research Laboratory, for his technical guidance as well as advices on life. Lastly, Alison from the Student Affairs Office for her motivation and never-ending support of EEE YEP projects.”

What are some of your experiences as an NTU EEE student?
“YEP Nias. The project where a team of 16 students from NTU EEE installed a solar panels system in Nias, Indonesia. The duration of the project was a quarter of my 4 years in NTU EEE! It was the best experience I have had in NTU EEE and one that has impacted me the most.

I had the opportunity to liaise and work with various organisations such as the National Youth Council Singapore (NYC), Youth Corps Singapore (YCS), HOPE Worldwide Indonesia, NParks, sponsors and of course, the NTU Student Affairs Office. I went through leadership training to pick up some relevant skills and was certified as a YCS-YEP leader. My team and I faced a lot of obstacles, from financial issues to shipping the panels. Eventually, overcoming all odds, we made our way to Nias. However, our job to better the locals’ lives became a test on our perseverance and mindset when the panels were delayed at the Indonesian Customs.

It was the locals’ encouragements and motivation that kept us going. We continued the project and carried out all other possible works. Eventually, we had no choice but to leave with unfinished works as the panels never came while we were there. It was twice the disappointment and double the pressure as we would have been the second group to fail consecutively in this project. However, as soon as we landed in Singapore, my team made the resolution to fly back again to complete the project at our own expenses. The panels arrived in Nias 2 days later and we flew back within that week to install the system.

On the surface, YEPs might seem like students are giving a lot to the overseas community but what we fail to understand is that we take a lot more than we give. This is one experience that has built my character and shaped me into the person I am today. For this, I would like to thank the EEE Club for the opportunity!”

What are some of your achievements while being an NTU EEE undergraduate?
  1. Achievements from YEP Nias
    The director of HOPE Worldwide Indonesia was touched by the work we had done for YEP Nias and informed YCS about it. As a result, my team and I were awarded the “Faces of Youth Corps Singapore 2017”. NYC shared our story with various media outlets such as Millennials of Singapore, Straits Times IN and The project was also mentioned during the “Committee of Supply 2018” debate by Senior Minister of State, Miss Sim Ann. Apart from all these, I feel that my greatest achievement from this YEP was being part of such a great team!
  2. EEE achieving 4th position in ISG 2017
    Being the Sports Secretary of the 36th EEE Club, I have come across many comments or rather stereotypical comments of NTU EEE students, that we are viewed as only being able to achieve in the academic area. This was proven wrong in the ISG 2017 where we achieved an overall position of 4th out of 17 teams, finishing just behind schools like NIE, NBS and SPMS!

What are your plans after graduating?
“I will be joining the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority of Singapore. It will be a meaningful and challenging career that requires me to possess leadership capability, decisiveness, mental agility as well as courage and integrity. It feels great to know that I will be playing a direct role in border security and contributing back to society.

Apart from career, I am still volunteering with the YEP Cluster under Youth Corps and would also love to go back to Nias Indonesia to revive the project, and contribute even more to the people there.”

What do you have to say to current and future undergrads?
To current undergrads:

  1. EEE is one of the toughest course in NTU, and also consists of heavy contents. My advice would be to study smart instead of studying too hard and burning out too early. Be clear of your goals and priorities of the degree and work towards them! Also, talk to the seniors to find out more about the “killer” modules.
  2. Do not forget to give back to the School by participating in school events and joining EEE Club or the EEE student bodies! Keep the EEE pride going.
  3. Take every opportunity to participate in an exchange programme. The EEE schedule is tight with FYP and Internship so start planning early! It may also well save your GPA (speaking from experience).
To future undergrads:

“Our School, NTU EEE, was ranked 1st in Asia and 6th globally in last year’s QS World University Rankings. If you’re unsure about which engineering course to join, choose us. EEE is not always about power and wiring. You will be exposed to various different engineering disciplines in your foundational years and given sufficient time to choose which one to specialise in!”

Published on 29 June 2018​​

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