3 questions by NTU Mentorship Community

My first year as a OBS Trainee Instructor

I recently signed up for the mentorship programme under NTU CAO in order to give back to NTU, who have supported me over the years while I completing my bachelors. I was posted these three questions and I thought it might be interesting to share.

Is there something you wish you’d known starting out in your field? Or is there something you wish you had done differently starting out?

When we phrase the question using the term “your field”, it seems to imply that we have a field. The world is shifting towards a multidisciplinary approach considering the complexity of today’s problem. Jobs that are highly in demand shortly might not even be known today. Hence, I do not think about “being in a field”, but rather about how I can best develop myself as an individual.

As for the second question, whether there is something that I would have done differently, Hindsight is always 10/10. There is no point in thinking about decisions made in the past because even if it had ended in a bad outcome, taking the other route might still be worse. As an individual, I have taken a unique journey in life, partly due to choice, partly due to circumstances. And this journey, while it has its bad points, also allowed me to gain perspective not apparent to others who took a conventional route.

If you could do it all over again, would you choose the same path for yourself? If not, what would you change?

I thought about this question quite a lot. For example, I took a total of 9 years pursuing my degree, and I almost did not make it through since I had to work full time and study full time, taking three modules per semester for my last five semesters. Had there been insufficient support from my bosses at work or home, I would likely have dropped out. But well, with a stroke of luck, I managed to finish this journey, but it could well end up the other way.

Sometimes, we overestimate the choices we have. Occasionally, the circumstances that we are in bounds us, with the maturity that we have then. And when you look back with a higher level of maturity, knowledge or better circumstance, it might seem like you have made a wrong choice. But how would you know? And without making these decisions, you might not even end up with the maturity to look back and reflect on your choices.

In summary, would I have done the same, given the same circumstances with my limitations at that time? I would because it is the best decision to be made then.

What do you like most about your work?

The part I like the most is where we see the transformation in participants who, on the first day, seems reluctant, isolated and incompetent, to the last day where they are bonded, motivated and effective. Being an Outward Bound Instructor, we have the power to change lives in participants, especially those who might think for their whole lives that they are a failure, that there is more in them than they know.

To sign up as a mentor, visit – https://ntu.jobkred.com/mentor

If you think you are up to the challenge of being an OBS Instructor and you want to make a positive impact on the community and youths, sign up here.

For more articles, visit my website at sgben.com

Categorized as Thoughts

By ben@sgben.com

Hi, I am Benjamin. I am a Singaporean son, born and bred. I came from a modest background, just like most Singaporeans and went to mainstream schools like most middle-class Singaporeans. What makes me different is my unconventional choices and journey in life, giving me more profound insights. Entering a secondary school infested with secret societies in the earlier days exposed me to a different side of Singapore. I graduated well despite having a volatile phase. I chose one of the youngest polytechnics despite having a score good enough for JC, even as others tell me it is not recognised, and I would not make it into university through that path. During my National Service, I also went through a difficult phase of rediscovering the purpose of serving. My university was another defining chapter, spanning over nine years, involving many adventures and endeavours. As you can see, I seldom bother myself with dogmas. I strongly believe in Steve Job's speech at Stanford University. I hope to lead others by example, inspire them to do the same and empower the decisions they have to make in their lives. Reach me at sgBen.com.

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