31st May 2016: NUS Asean Undergraduate Scholarship Interview

It’s my fault for postponing the scholarship interview till today, because of the sickness. 😦

I searched all the way for the NUS ASEAN Undergraduate Scholarship interview questions or experiences but very less results obtained. So I will post my experience here, as for the references of the future applicants of NUS later on.

My senior had also attended this interview during Academic Year 2015/16, but it’s from Nanyang Technological University instead. She told me to have mental preparation because from her experiences, the interview will be TOUGH. The panel asked her about the things related to her choice of the university course.

I had no clue on the scholarship interview though. But I read from a website saying that I need to prepare a passport photo of myself for the interview. So I just did some general research on typical scholarship questions and questions related to chemical engineering before then.

My father and I arrived at NUS UTown at around 7:30am, while the scheduled time is supposed to be 9:40am. It was far too early ==. But actually we had a hard time finding the Office of Admissions (Where the interview will be held) because most of the students didn’t know the location of it until I showed them the letter. Then they was like “Oh, this building……”

I had my breakfast at UTown cafeteria. I didn’t order their special dim sum because I still haven’t fully recovered from my illness. Urgh. I bought sandwich at $1.60 and a cup of tea at $0.80. The price is quite reasonable actually, inside the campus. I saw a few students and professors are having breakfast at there too.

I was fascinated by the atmosphere of the UTown NUS! The environment was so nice and suitable for studies. Furthermore the residential colleges are just walking distance from UTown so if I can get into any of the Residential Colleges, then I am able to enjoy the facilities!

We took a tour of the UTown consisting of Study Resource Centre and Stephen Riady Centre.

9:15 am. I went down to the Office of Admissions and saw there are already people sitting down inside the room. Immediately I took my belongings and went into the office.

Out of my expectation, there were only 3 persons who will be interviewed, including me. And that’s it. D:

The person-in-charge asked me to hand in my IC and Passport-sized photograph. Luckily I prepared the photograph. Then shortly after a girl, it’s my turn for the interview.

Unlike scholarship interview from NTU, there was only one interviewer, who is the director of scholarships and financial aid. (If not mistaken haha) So it’s a one-to-one interview session huh?

Then the interview started. These are the questions and how I reacted to them. It’s not as hard as my senior said before, but it was definitely challenging for me.

So you are Shu Ching from Malacca High School? Where does your school located?

Malacca High School is located at the heart of Malacca Town, where historical buildings like A’Famosa is located too.

(Should have say more, but I think my answer should be precise and simple right…??)

Oh, I love travelling to Malacca too. I was a frequent traveler, in fact.

(Umm, should I ask him back questions like ‘how do you think of Malacca?’….?)

You are a vice president of Creative and Innovative Club right? So as a vice president, what type of activities that you organise?

My job as a vice president is to promote creative and innovative thinking in every members. We did handicrafts most of the time, out of recycled materials, both practical and designing purposes.

(Actually my club rarely did these things because most of the time, we were just discussing on what to do for the next meeting………and I ended up quarreling with the committee instead.)

Well, I think you should add ‘to promote the importance of 3Rs in daily life’.

Yes, I agreed.

Oh okay. So you studied at Malacca High School during your high school time. So can you tell me your greatest achievements that you had achieved there?

The biggest achievements that I ever accomplished is my academic studies. I had received awards from school for my outstanding achievements in academic studies…

(A BIG PUNCH AT MY STOMACH. Well the question is one of the typical scholarship questions, but honestly, I don’t think that I have any really significant achievements except for the academic side…)

Besides academics achievements, what else do you achieved?

(Oh shit)

I was great at sports as well. During the field and track event, I succeed in gaining silver medals for both 400m and 4x100m run. 

(I can only say about this, because there’s limited chance for me to actually take part in co-curricular activities, since the rule where ‘form six students are only allowed to take part in form six clubs’ had applied.)

So you are good in both academics and sports. What had you learnt from your high school?

(Another typical question that I expected) If I am to say, the biggest lesson that I gained from my high school life is determination and not giving up is a key of success. There are setbacks and failures in our life as a student sometimes. I learn to learn from my mistakes, and overcome the failure eventually. 

(Seriously, during my form six life, I had learnt a hard lesson on that.)

Oh. Can you give some examples about that?

During my third term exam, I did unsatisfactorily on my chemistry subject. I was expecting to get an A but I got B instead. I was disappointed with myself… 

(I can quote more examples actually, where I experienced my first failure in monthly exam…)

What? Unbelievable! Just got a B and you are disappointed? Do you know that there are students who got C but just laughed their way out?

Yes, but I had set high hopes on myself and I will always thrive for the best, as much as I can.

So after that I learnt from my mistakes during the third term exam and finally got an A.

(I know you want to say that my answer is naive, but actually I just quoted the most recent example of it -_-)

Well, tell me what do you plan to do when you got into NUS?

Actually I knew that there’s various activities that I can take part in NUS. I will join various cultural clubs and societies and I will join the volunteering program as well, as my contribution to the societies.

Oh. So you said that you want to be NUS Ambassador and participate in Students Exchange Program as well. Where do you plan to be an exchange student?

I want to be an exchange student at Japan.

(It’s my DREAM, but I had to temporarily forfeit it because of my unfavourable health conditions)

Why? What’s so special about Japan?

Japan is unique with various cultures and their attitudes towards work and study. So I would like to have more exposure on that and if I can, to implement or apply them for the future of NUS.

(Should have add – advancement in technology, otaku’s dream world, and country of TOMATOES. Or its entertainment industry is like a replicate of Maplestory job classes like Cygnus Knights= Hello! Project, XXX48= Heroes huh? XD)

Actually you don’t need to go to Japan to experience such things. We have basically what you want in NUS. 

I proceed to the next question. So you have chosen Chemical Engineering. What does a chemical engineer do?

A chemical engineer usually involves in Oil and Gas Industry, Energy and Resources and Pharmaceutical Industry.

(What I knew from the Internet. LOL.)

Yes, a chemical engineer does did all of them. But the list is not exhaustive. Do you know chemical engineering also involves in COSMETICS INDUSTRY?

(Yes, but I did not plan to work in cosmetics industry. =.= , and I said ‘usually’.)

Ps: F***A**. I am a HUGE HATER of that, if I can I want to get rid of that for my whole life. Say a word of that again and I will make **** out of that. 

(Suddenly there is a scene where women from all over the world threw eggs at me)

Most of the engineers actually work in Finance Sector. Do you know why?

Most probably because the engineers are trained to be all-rounded so that they can adopt themselves into any field.

Yes you got it right, to be precise, because engineers acquired problem-solving skills during their studies. You are good in other subjects so why you choose Chemical Engineering?

I chose Chemical Engineering because I prefer to apply theoretical knowledge of Chemistry for the benefits of industry. Furthermore, chemical engineering integrates knowledge in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. I believe that Chemical Engineering is more appealing to me.

Okay. So who is your role model who inspired you to success in life?

The deceased Taiwanese singer Teresa Teng. Not only she has a sweet voice, she actually determined ans strive hard to achieve her goals, which is to be a famous singer in the world. Her spirit and passion is what I sought for.

(As I expected. Shinoda Mariko? Teresa Teng? Tsugunaga Momoko? KEI? Mano Erina the TOMATO? Which one to choose…… Teresa Teng is the best because I can say more about her…… sorry I am really not interested in talking Issac Newton or Albert Einstein or any other else because probably it’s too common?)

Final question. What will be your biggest challenge if you study in NUS?

The biggest challenge would be the pressurized and competitive study environment. 

(I have to be honest here because I am worried about this as well)

Are you able to study under pressure?

Yes that’s a no problem for me. Because I am used to study under pressure. During my high school, everyone was fighting to get academic awards, so we were not only friends, but also rivals as well. 

And yeah, the interview ended. As usual, I thanked the interviewer and the person-in-charge. It’s so long! I think when I got out of the interview room, half an hour had passed. The another interviewee from Kuala Lumpur just had her interview done in less than 10 minutes! O.O

Actually, after reflecting through writing this blogpost, I found out how bad and naive my answer was in some of the questions asked! Maybe the impression given to the interviewer is not too good either… T_T

But there was no negative questions given like ‘What would you do if you failed to get the scholarship’…… So I can assume the chance of getting it is… not too low?

Nah. I was giving too much confidence to myself. Just have my fingers crossed and hope for the best.






6 thoughts on “31st May 2016: NUS Asean Undergraduate Scholarship Interview

  1. AHH I really feel the pressure reeking from those questions.
    Don’t feel so down, I think you did an awesome job 😀
    Hope you get the scholarship.
    By the way, thanks for posting this!!!


  2. Hi! Congratulations on your success 😀 I’m also applying for NUS this year. May I know how was your STPM results? 🙂


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