Tag Archives: National University of Singapore

Alvin Wang, a different kind of appeal.

In the last 2 days, there have been a hype towards Alvin Wang, a poly graduate who was rejected into his selected course in NUS, and he created a website which caused a lot of buzz amongst the netizen:

Awesome stuff. Makes one wonder, what were you doing when you were 20 years old? Because of the buzz on the website, he was offered 10 job offers according to TODAYOnline. If you dig deeper, he has also built quite a few websites. Amazing guy.

Shall go back and work on my exams!

Excerpt from TODAYOnline

SINGAPORE – It was never his intention to become an overnight Internet sensation.But that is exactly what happened when polytechnic graduate Alvin Wang (picture) showed his friends the website he created as an online appeal for entry into the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Computer Science programme.

Mr Wang, 22, had posted the link to his website, which showcased his final-year polytechnic project, on his Facebook page and Twitter account at 8pm on Thursday night. In less than 24 hours, his website garnered 8,000 “likes” and has been trending on the Internet.

The Ngee Ann Polytechnic graduate, who holds a Diploma with merit in Information Technology, has also received at least 10 job interview requests from companies, ranging from start-ups to international firms.

In his website, Mr Wang said his application to pursue a degree in Computer Science was rejected. Urging netizens to help him with his appeal by “giving me a thumbs up and sharing this page”, Mr Wang outlined his interest in programming and said: “I am starving for this opportunity.”

Mr Wang, who was instead offered a course in Information Systems at NUS, is hoping to use this website as part of his official appeal to the university. The official appeal calls for students to send in a write-up, of up to 1,000-words, stating the reasons for their appeal.

Speaking to Today, Mr Wang said: “What started off as something fun has opened up more options and provided me with more insights about my future.”

Members of the public, including Computer Science graduates, have given advice and well-wishes. Many told him that he can still gain a footing in the computer industry as skills can be learnt on the job while others professed their admiration for his spirit to act on a problem.

Mr Wang, who does not intend to enrol in university should he fail in this appeal, said: “To me, it is not so much about just grades or getting that paper qualification. If I simply enrol into any other course, I am not sure how that will benefit me.”

“I know what I want to do; which is to be involved in work related to programming and design. I believe that getting a degree is not all it takes to succeed. There are options out there,” he stressed.

Mr Wang is not wrong, it seems.

Two employers, who have expressed interest in hiring Mr Wang, said with or without a degree, he stood out from the rest.

Instead of using social media to simply gather “Likes”, “Alvin managed to speak from his heart and this is why he caught everybody’s attention”, said Mr Stefano Virgilli, director of visual media communications company VoxLab.

With the number of graduates increasing worldwide, Mr Virgilli added that the “only way to stand out will be to demonstrate brilliant creativity (and) Alvin did so”.

Mr Daylon Soh, founder of CuriousCore, a local start-up in the creative industry, said: “Even without a degree, he already has a commercial portfolio of clients. His appeal clearly shows that he is passionate about his craft.”

Still, there are detractors who feel Mr Wang’s actions were uncalled for. Some netizens critisised his “childish” ways to seek attention while others questioned his tactics to “ride on the influence of social media”.

In response to Today’s queries, NUS said admission is based “on academic merit and open competition among the applicant cohort”. Applicants’ academic and non-academic strengths are evaluated “to ascertain whether they are suitable for the courses they have applied to”.

Last year, 370 were students admitted into the school of computing, which includes computer science and information systems courses.

The spokesperson said the number of polytechnic graduates admitted depends on the applicant pool and suggested Mr Wang submit an official appeal between May 23 and June 3.


Startup Weekend Singapore

Wrote a post on e27 and as some of you might know, me along with a few other friends are organizing the next startup weekend. So here’s my post on e27:

Perhaps you have heard some chatter over the various social media channels about something exciting coming to town in mid March. Entrepreneurs, this will definitely be good news for you, because Startup Weekend Singapore is happening! This time round, it will be organized by a group of students from the National University of Singapore Overseas Colleges Alumni (NOC Alumni), bringing in a different perspective and fun element into the fourth Startup Weekend in Singapore.

What is Startup Weekend

Startup Weekend Singapore is a 54 hour event which will begin with open-microphone pitches on Friday, where participants share their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday, teams will focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing Lean Startup Methodologies and building a minimal viable product. On Sunday evening, teams will demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts. During the weekend, experienced entrepreneurs and mentors will explain the challenges involved in being an entrepreneur, provide tips on starting up a company and share their experiences. An expected 150 participants will attend Startup Weekend Singapore, with approximately half having technical backgrounds and the other half having business backgrounds.

Attractive Prizes to be won

In addition to this entrepreneurial experience, the participants of Startup Weekend Singapore 2012 have a chance to win attractive prizes. There are four prizes to be given away to the four best teams at the end of Startup Weekend. Prizes include a chance to participate in the next season of Angel’s Gate (A reality television show to be broadcasted on Channel 5), incubation spaces at Plug-In@Blk71 or Garag3 NUS, as well as a scholarship to the Founder Institute.

What is different this time round

According to the organizers, Startup Weekend Singapore 2012 aims to give as much exposure to students in Singapore, and there will be an even mix of students and industry professionals. This will allow students to be exposed to an environment of collaboration with professionals, before entering the working world. “One of the things that made my experiences in the Silicon Valley so much greater was the fact that I was forced to go out of my structured academic curriculum and be immersed in a real world work environment on a daily basis. This taught me to think critically about how to approach my studies in order to better prepare myself for my time after graduation, and we want to bring this element into this edition of Startup Weekend,” said Ritesh Angural, one of the organisers and an NOC Alumni.

The team behind Startup Weekend Singapore 2012 also prepared this collateral in conjunction to Valentine’s Day. So if you want to spend an awesome weekend with entrepreneurs like yourself, register now on the Startup Weekend page. Early bird ticket prices end on 17 February. The registration page can be found athttp://singapore.startupweekend.org/ or swsg2012.com

Event Details:

Date: 9 – 11 March, 2012

Venue: The School of Business, National University of Singapore