by Melissa Ong (SGP)
To be honest, I took this module up after finding out that it does not consist of a final exam. I was expecting to float and dream my way through 13 weeks, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. With the endless presentations and deadlines, TE has got to be one of the most challenging modules I have ever undertaken in my entire SMU life but it also happens to be the most fulfilling.
I really enjoyed the classes as they were highly practical, unlike textbook-based classes. It was interesting to hear of real-life examples not only from Prof Pamela Lim, but also from my fellow classmates. It was great that Prof Lim was so open to having students “teach” a big part of her classes as it made everything more personal. Situations just seem more real and relatable when the people who experienced them are just students, like me. Of course, this wouldn’t have been possible without wonderful spontaneous classmates who are always so eager to share and help one another out!
In addition, Prof Lim also made all the content must easier to muster by putting everything in layman terms, instead of throwing incomprehensible jargons at us mere mortals 🙂 The TA, Andy, was also the most involved and helpful TA I have ever met in SMU. His concern for each group and the effort he put into ensuring each group is keep their heads above the water is very admirable. With so many teams in class needing the professor’s attention, having him around was a great help.
Although I absolutely dislike presenting (and there was SO MUCH of that), I felt it was actually a really good way of motivating us to keep pushing on in our businesses. With presentations almost every week, I felt a constant pressure to do something about the business to show the class that my team has progressed. Soon, this pressure just became something pretty natural. The project stopped appearing as a mere dreary project, but just something that was always at the back of my mind. Seeing how the other groups progressed with each week also gave my team the motivation to keep working on our business.
There was much to learn in class; however, I felt that I learned the most out of class when running Shopaholic Remedy. Being a seasoned shopper and having had a jewellery blogshop before, I expected it to be chicken feet. However, I forgot that the market has changed drastically from the time I was a blogshop owner and expectations are much higher now. I had experience in setting up blogs, but a website… zero. Being a semi-tech-idiot, I had to read through various forums and work into the wee hours of the night just to learn how to set up a website. Being anal about appearance, I also wanted to ensure that the website looked good and spent hours working on the nitty-gritty details. The absolute horror happened when I screwed our website up the night before submission, made the website disappear completely and had to build it up from scratch! Even the operational aspects were tedious, we had to create invoices for every possible situation and it ended up as an eleven page long word document. Way more effort required than I expected.
Unfortunately, the business didn’t take off as magnificently as I had hoped for and it was slightly demoralizing. However, I believe that it could have done much better if the business model was tweaked a little. Sadly, Shopaholic Remedy will not be continued, but I feel my team’s efforts have not been wasted. In consolation, from running Shopaholic Remedy, I have learned more about myself and have even found out that I actually enjoy writing articles on fashion, beauty and lifestyle and have plans to venture into that for leisure 🙂
I have definitely learned so much from this experience that I would not have given up for a better letter grade from any other course. So for this, thank you Prof Lim, Andy and my lovely classmates! 🙂