life update: hello, march

(felt incapable of typing in full sentences because of how much writing i’ve done recently so i’m going to do a list—throwback to my 2017 freshman fall list, Things I Love, teehee)

  1. started interning on Jan 11 at the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) Strategy Group CSF — my first ever public service/government internship! summing it up in two words: interdisciplinary, intellectual. i’ve gotten exposed to many different frameworks of thinking, delved into new topics (e.g. blockchain lol), and acquainted myself with the role of a “futurist,” which i didn’t even know existed as a career.
  2. applied, applied, interviewed, interviewed (x10)… thought long and hard about what i really wanted in a career and workplace apart from doing what i love (writing and ideas). i’ve realized i really value career growth, including whether i can envision myself at a company in three to five years’ time and what i’ll be doing then. i’ve also discovered that interviewing—even for random roles applied to on a whim—can be very revelatory about both the interviewer (what kind of trajectory they took to get here and how they figured out their career choices) and myself (explaining my own choices and my thinking spontaneously illuminated whether i meant what i said). the takeaway is to use interviews as a two-way selection: even as the company is evaluating you, you are also learning about the industry, the interviewer, the company culture—in short, asking good questions matter.
  3. if you ever feel lost in a job search, i would like to console you with the sheer number of industries/roles i applied to:
    • Journalism
    • Public Affairs/Government Relations/Public Policy
    • Strategy — Brand/Business Development/Content
    • Think Tank Research
    • Product Policy
    • Public Relations
    • Content (VC, Tech)
    • Entertainment
    • Marketing
    • Trust and Safety
  4. compared to the existential crises that plagued me in past years, this year’s internship search delivered clarity. whenever someone asks, “what do you want to do after college?”, my answer has always metamorphosed every few months—maybe it’s just capriciousness, but i’d like to think it’s growth. navigating the process this time, i had the chance to interrogate over and over again what i wanted at this stage in my life, made some tough (but blessed) choices, and ended up with the summer internship i wanted the most. YAY!
  5. celebrated Chinese New Year with my mom and dad, who flew back from his business trip and then flew off again after the festival—missing you, daddy ❤
  6. slowly edited my novel… i’ve never edited anything this long in my life (100K+ words). turns out, the writing was the easy part. editing is excruciating because i’m often overcome by self-doubt. a paragraph that i would’ve been proud of five months ago now reads either like awkward pretentious purple prose or primary-school writing. but on some days, i read what i’ve written and just enjoy the sentences washing over me. when the entire manuscript reads like that, i shall feel complete. Amen.
  7. explored food hunts in Singapore on the occasional weekend, including hawker food (From A Foodie: Singapore Chinatown Hawker Adventure!!!) and Peranakan cuisine (my new favorites are beef rendang, ngoh hiang and chendol) – YUM!
  8. played more tennis in these few months than in my whole life (credits to KW, who is the biggest sports-enthusiast i know). thanks tennis buddies hehehe
  9. celebrated Taylor’s Grammy win (HOORAY!) by re-listening to “folklore” (a late-night love letter to taylor swift’s folklore), which ages like fine wine… cardigan and august somehow sound better with each passing month.
  10. didn’t read as much as i wanted. started many books and then stopped halfway: Kudos by Rachel Cusk, My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh, Infinite Detail by Tim Maughan, American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins (recommended by Z~). somehow have fallen into the bad habit of starting too many books. whenever it fails to grab me even for a page, i move onto the next title on shelf/app. i’ve opened at least twenty books this year and couldn’t go past the midway mark. my resolution is to read more after i finish edits for the manuscript. self-diagnosis: maybe i’m just not in the mood because i keep comparing each author’s writing style to my own and feel despair/envy/overly critical.
  11. hopefully i find something to blog about before the end of march
  12. how’s life, folks?


2 thoughts on “life update: hello, march

  1. kwyoke says:

    I thought you would maybe blog a wrapup after your internship ends hahaha
    Oh right it ends in april then your march quota cmi LOLs

    Wahhh i didnt know you applied for so many places, and i didnt know people could actually find out so much about the interviewer just during the interview? Im just perpetually scared of interviews, i think also because I dont like people asking me about my values my plans, what i did in the past… Cos i dunno myself. But really happy for you that you got a lot of things figured out :))) And congrats on getting your favourite internship, you can give me a crash course on business and markets stuff hahahaha

    Also atb for your manuscript!
    And hope next few months theres more sports and food sessions :)))

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sel says:

      ME TOO i used to be really nervous/reluctant to do interviews unless necessary… but i had a mindset shift haha: turns out, the more interviews you do, the more they become conversations with interesting ppl that you won’t otherwise meet and less so like stressful evaluations
      here’s to more food and sports with you YAY :))) you’ve single-handedly quadrupled my exercising quota HAHA

      Liked by 1 person

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