keeping the dreams alive

Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

just because

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there is always a kid in us…


A friend, D, from my previous workplace is here for a whirlwind work trip. So, R (his intern) and I showed him around Canberra on Sunday afternoon. It was good fun, and I am really glad to be showing anyone from Singapore around Canberra.It will be good to have YW in ANU sometime in the later part of this year.

We covered a fair bit of ground just by walking around. We went around the City, around ANU, my office to take shelter from the rain, around the lake all the way to the National Museum, had dinner at Pancake Parlour, and chilled at Knightsbridge, which really is by far my favourite chill-out place in Canberra (apart from cafes). Yes, that was a lot of walking we did.


Written by Jasmine

March 21, 2011 at 08:45

that restless feeling

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Over the past one month or so since I submitted that thesis proposal, I’ve been feeling very restless and somewhat lost in my research. I’ve been asked to work on my code to make it converge, which I managed to do so. Next, I’ve been asked to work on the literature review to narrow down the question for my first paper even further. However, I’ve been stuck on reading, with not a single word written. I’ve been largely uninspired. I don’t know why. I’m somewhat a really “hands-on” person, which I suppose makes me an applied macroeconomist/econometrician.

Part of that restlessness in me is probably due to other matters in life such as just starting on two tutoring jobs, still auditing a few courses here and there, and so on. What I need is to learn to prioritise, work harder, put in more hours, and cut out the unnecessary things in life. I am still trying and let’s hope I have more productive weeks from this week onwards. I can still make this work, and have my first paper done by end July.

I know I am putting a fair bit of pressure on myself. But, I honestly would like to submit in June 2013 as a deadline.

From now onwards, I am going to try to stay in the office till around 9 to 10pm everyday, and get more work done given how much time is lost to tutoring and stuffs.

Isn’t it funny how I crave for company here in Canberra, yet I really don’t have the time for it? I still feel lonely in Canberra from time to time, and crave for company and good meaningful conversations. At the same time, I just don’t have the time for social activities. I still have my social activities, but just not really the ones I want. It’s here in Canberra that I realised that I do like dancing from time to time, apart from running. It’s in 2011 that I realised that I am actually over and done with going to clubs and pubs, and alcohol in general. It’s also in 2011 that I realise the side of me that enjoys meaningful conversations over coffee, and just chilling out with one or two others still exist. I’m glad, just when I thought I had undergone a huge change here.

I suppose I will just leave things as they are. Almost certainly, people around me are going to start seeing less of me, particularly in college. I’ve gone to my fair share of events this year, trying to know new people. But, to be absolutely honest here, I’ve been really lazy in knowing new people. It’s just too much effort, particularly when I know each and everyone of them are going to graduate before I do. People come and go, and I will still be here.

These days, I also find myself trying to remind myself of why I am here in Canberra – to complete my PhD.

That restlessness in me is making me lose sleep. I was so tired that I crashed and slept for 3 hours in the evening out of sheer exhaustion.

On another note, we have started Autumn really cold. It’s currently around 7 degrees. It’s a little too cold for an Autumn night. I sure hope the weather warms up a little. I am not ready for a bitterly cold winter. For a place that doesn’t snow, Canberra does get really cold in Winter. I remembered we hit -5 degrees on a couple of nights.

This has largely been an incoherent post.

Written by Jasmine

March 7, 2011 at 02:14

Posted in PhD, Research, Work

all signed off…

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With everything signed off on the clearance form, and most (except one or two) work related stuffs handled over to the appropriate colleague, I left the Treasury yesterday without the laptop and PS card for once. It was bittersweet.

Since graduation in end-2005, I have only worked for nearly four years. Yet, the last two years felt like the most productive in learning and work. While I was only at MTI for less than two years (four months short), that really does feel like a long time. I felt a sense of belonging, and so much more pride in what I do at MTI than at my previous work place. Sure, there were the necessary gripes and complaints about work. But, there were also the opportunities and fun as well, interesting ones to boot – whether it was following SM on a trip to S.Korea (which really was quite an eye opener…given how I am always amazed by how politicians think), on the Hong Kong study trip, dealing with inflation, growth, output gap, QES/AES issues, or communicating with colleagues from other divisions/ministries. Each issue came with its challenges and new insights. Admittedly, I haven’t handled all issues all that well. Yet, all that were learning experiences. Looking back, I think there were differences in how I handled work issues through 2009, a stark difference between Jan/Feb 2009 and in the second half of 2009.

On the whole, I would like to think that I have matured and mellowed while working at MTI. I would like to think that I handled work issues (that I didn’t really like working on – we all have them) better, while looking forward to those I was really passionate about (the research, the econometrics).

The colleagues (and some turned friends) at ESD made work enjoyable, even during times when we all felt burnt out. I had a wonderful team – we talked about geeky and frivolous stuffs, joked, worked as a team in most of the things we do. A common topic in ESD these days seem to revolve around “who are the married ones, the singles, and the dating ones”. That said, you have to agree with me on this – nothing beats a conducive and happy working environment, where people are busy doing work, and yet have time for some fun from time to time.

A week or so back, a colleague/friend from another division wrote me a little note, reminding me of how I “fretted away on making the ‘big’ decision between Forecast or MTI”. I certainly forgot about how I fretted away back then, so much so I even drafted a pros/cons list, which really is so typical of me in most major decisions I have made so far. She was right. That was one decision I did not regret.

I am not great with thank yous, and farewells.

So, thank you, my dear colleagues/friends at work. See you later.

Written by Jasmine

January 8, 2010 at 18:10

Posted in Contemplation, Work

just thinking out loud at Gloria Jean’s

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Here I am, seated at Gloria Jean’s at Raffles City, caffeinating myself. At the same time, I am trying to figure out what exactly did I do to get the 2 regression results I have here. This isn’t the most conducive environment to do so. I will leave that to tonight instead.

A conversation going on between the potential boss/employee at the next table got me interested. Thus far, the potential boss has remained relatively silent, commenting and explaining when asked. The potential employee seems to have taken the upper hand, questioning away. The conversation goes on…

I have plans of going to Germany or the US in future…

So, how do you plan to train me should you hire me?

I am intrigued. All the interviews I have had in my life so far were mainly panel interviews. The largest panel interview I had so far would have to be the one with the Ministry, with 6 or 7 on the panel.  Yet, the most inefficient HR recruitment process I have ever come across would have to be the one with the Ministry too. I am sure that doesn’t come as a surprise. 🙂

In all these interviews, there were always opportunities for questions from my part, mainly involving the usual questions and often involves me throwing in the necessary (or at least I think it is) question: “What’s the likelihood that I am going to be hired?” Well, let’s cut the chase. That said, I haven’t really encountered a situation where the employer appears to be grilled by the potential employee.

Back to the conversation…

The potential employee appears to have extremely high hopes and expectations of the work he is going to do.

It reminds me of myself. Sure, I still have overly high expectations of what I want to do at work. But, I think I have mellowed over the years, and have learned the art of  “giving and taking”.

I learned that it is not just good enough to be humble, but to also show that you are humble. (I think I appear to be otherwise at times when I really am not.) There is a need to prove myself as a way competent (both knowledge and work experience wise) economist, always be willing to learn anything and everything before I am going to get to where I want – to use economics to help others. Right now, as it seems, it is all about facilitating understanding and honing my own skills.

Written by Jasmine

January 5, 2010 at 17:34