Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Back to Monash again!

I finally got round to updating my sidebar thingy with latest bits of info of what I'm actually up to. Hehe. I kinda wanna change my scroller message at the bottom, but I'm still too lazy to think of something stupid to write. Any suggestions are most welcome. :P
Anyway, I found out that there is no opening available for me at the Singapore Zoo, although the research and conservation officer I was corresponding with said she would keep me in mind if a position became available. I don't know if she actually will, but I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that soon they will call me in for an interview. In the meantime, I've decided to work part time with one of my Monash lecturers, a very nice environmental management lecturer named Dr. Cathy Yule. I know I'm gonna enjoy working with her, not only coz' she's nice and allows me to come and go for work whenever I choose, but also coz' her kind of research is the kind I'm most interested in - research on the environment. This Wednesday, I'll be going with her and another fellow research assistant, my buddy Yong, to visit the Kuala Selangor peat swamp to collect water samples containing insect larvae. Then we'll have to sort out the insects and identify them according to genus and hopefully species, and probably even find some new species along the way. If I can find a new species, she might get it named after me... so there will be a species of insect out there in Kuala Selangor peat swamp named Carolinus or something like that. Haha! As if. Anyway, I think working for my lecturer is gonna be good coz' it would be something nice to put on my CV, and I get research experience while being PAID for it, whereas if I do honours, I do a heckuva lot more work and have to pay Monash to do honours. Of course, I don't get a nice piece of paper saying I graduated with honours, but bleh, having work experience is probably just as good as having honours anyway. And since it's not full time, I still have time to bum around and play video games, as well as continue my job hunting too, of course. :D Of course, the down side is that I have to go back to Monash AGAIN for my work, which isn't a very exciting prospect considering I've been in that place for the past four freakin' years. Oh well, I guess I'll survive another few more months....

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Waiting, waiting, waiting...

It's been a week since I sent in my CV to the Singapore Zoo, and I still haven't gotten a reply from them yet. I called them up last Thursday and asked to talk to Charlene Yeong, the research and conservation officer to whom I emailed my CV to, but she wasn't available at the time. The person who took my call did, however, inform Charlene that I called, and I got an email from her later the same day saying that she had sent my CV in to the director of R & C and Zoology. So now I'm waiting for the director guy to look through my CV and decide if he wants to call me in for an interview. I did also apply for a job in another place in Singapore - the Tropical Marine Science Institute, but they told me there was no vacancy. Although they did say they would pass my CV to other researchers around and let me know if anyone was interested to hire me.... which is probably gonna be like never. So I shall continue to wait for the response from the zoo people with fingers crossed. I suppose I should apply to other companies while I wait in case it doesn't work out, but I'm really banking on this job at the zoo and I don't wanna go through the whole long interview process with other companies first until I know what my chances are at the zoo. Besides, when I apply to other places, I have to make myself out to sound like I'm the right person for the job and totally want to work there. If I get interviewed and they decide they wanna hire me, and I ask them to wait while I think about it (which would actually be me waiting for the reply from the zoo), the employers would be like "Hmm... guess she's not so into the job after all" and they might think I'm not the best person for the job. And thus my chances to get that job would be reduced if the zoo thing does not work out. And another reason why I don't wanna apply anywhere else just yet is coz' if my parents know I got job offers from both the zoo and a biotech company, I'm quite sure they'd pressure me to go for the biotech company instead. But if I had an offer from the zoo ONLY, then they might be more willing to let me work there, especially since I didn't get any positive replies from the other places I applied to - or supposedly applied to. Kakaka, yes yes, I know, Carol is a conniving little bugger... But if I can help it, I'd much rather work in a place where I know I have some passion for my work, and that would be working with animals. Besides, Singapore Zoo is a well established place that gets lotsa money from donations and such. I'm sure my pay there wouldn't be pathetic like my parents might think. And after a few years, if I work hard enough, I could get promoted in the R&D department as an officer myself, and make even more money! That would make my parents happy I bet. Would make me happy too, coz' I'd actually love my work. So everyone would be happy!
There is one thing though that makes me hesitant about this job. If I get it, I will be living in Singapore. Which I would be leaving CBC. Sure, I could come back once or twice a month to visit my church on weekends, but it's not quite the same. And I definitely cannot serve as what I'm doing now. I can't play on the worship team (unless I practice the songs myself in Singapore and come play on the Sundays that I'm back. Haha!) and I can't go visit the children's home, and I just joined the children's ministry, so I can't even do that anymore too (unless, again I only do that on the Sundays I'm back). And I'm actually feeling pretty crappy about that now that I think about it. On one hand, I feel like a change of environment and forcing myself to be independant might be a good thing for me. On the other hand, there's a heap of stuff I'm committed to at my church here, plus all my friends are here too, so maybe I should stay. Bleh, dilemma dilemma. Of course, I did pray about it, and of course I know that God knows what's best for me and where I should be. So even though I really want this job at the Singapore Zoo, I told Him that if He wants me to stay, then let me get a negative response from the zoo people and I won't apply for any more jobs in Singapore. But if I get a job offer, I will go. Simple as that. So I guess I'm not just waiting now for a reply from the zoo, but a reply from God? Ooohh, the suspense is killing me. :P

Monday, November 14, 2005

Work at Singapore Zoo?

I sent an email to Singapore Zoo last week asking if I could apply for a job related research and conservation there and it took a couple of days before I got a reply from them. My email was forwarded to a lady who is a research and conservation officer there, and she replied by asking me to send her my CV. Already just having that invitation to send my CV got me so excited, coz' it meant I actually have a chance to get a job there. I was practically jumping up and down with glee for a while, I calmed down and got to work on my cover letter and resume. Does anyone know how much work it is to write a really good resume and cover letter? I looked through a bunch of websites that give tips on how to write good resumes and CV's, and all of them said I have to make them more personalized and highlight my qualities and achievements that are relevant to what a prospective employer would want. Can't just write one CV and one resume and send it out to bunch of different companies, especially not for a science person like me. Every biotech company have different agendas, and so does every environmental conservation organization. So I'd have to do research on every company I want to apply for, find out what they want and doctor my resume and CV so that I sound like exactly the person they need. Bleh. Finding a job is really a job in itself.

But anyway, I spent quite a bit of time working on my CV and resume, making sure I sounded professional and there were no grammer mistakes and typos, and wondering what I should highlight about myself and what I shouldn't. I just send in my CV and resume yesterday, along with my Monash academic transcript. Now I just have to sit and wait for a reply.

In the meantime, I also have to think about how to break the news to my parents if I do get asked in for an interview. They're expecting me to be applying for some jobs in big time biotech companies and my dad is always telling me to go discover something big like a cure for cancer or a way to increase hair growth or something like that, so that I can patent it and make big money. But every time I even think about applying to a job to such companies, I think "Ugh". Stuck in a lab for the rest of my life. And if I ever discover anything useful, my boss would probably take my idea and reap all the profits for himself. Not an uncommon story I hear in such companies. Same thing happened to Rosalind Franklin when she discovered the helix structure of DNA, and then Watson and Crick stole the glory from her and got the nobel prize for it. Anyway, my folks are the type to think working in a zoo will never bring in the big bucks. And maybe it won't . But I know it's something that I will love doing, as if I enjoy my job and do it really well, I will move up the career ladder. And Singapore Zoo is a pretty darn good zoo, which even has it's own t.v. show (or so I hear from my friend. :D). They've won like a gazillion awards, and their zoo is really nice and nowhere run down with starving animals, which is what I hear is going on in Malaysia's Zoo. Poor animals. Of course, Malaysia Zoo definitely needs more help than Singapore Zoo, but I'm pretty sure the pay there would be crap compared to Singapore Zoo, and then I'd really get into trouble with my folks. So I'm thinking best to get some work experience at Singapore first, then if one day I decide to come back to Malaysia and help bring its zoo out of the muck and the mire, I'll have more resources and experience to do it. And more money, which would make my folks happy. Now I just need to convince them to let me go for this job. Arrrggh! I want this job!!! God help me!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

A tribute to Ying Shien and other miscellaneous things

Well, it's been quite eventful since the last time I blogged, which was about 12 days ago. Within that time, I finished my final exam last friday and have since been mostly enjoying myself and occasionally doing some job hunting. On the 'enjoying myself' part, been mostly busy playing a new DDR (Dance Dance Revolution, for the uninformed) game I bought to play on my bro's PS2 the day before my final paper. I got the dancing pad ages ago to play on my computer, but the game I had for the PC sucked so I couldn't really play. Now everyday I'm happily jumping around in front of my television to techno music and looking like a blady fool until my brain spazes out and I can't tell the up arrows from the down arrows anymore. FUN!

On the 'job hunting' part, I haven't really gotten much done and still busy looking for good companies to apply for. I've actually become interested in applying for work in Singapore, even though before this that was the last place I wanted to go to coz' I hear working life there is super stressful. The place I'd really like to work in is Australia....but since finding a job there is going to be tough considering I'm a fresh grad with no working experience, I guess it would be better to get some work experience around here first, preferably in a reputable place like Singapore (sorry Malaysia, patriotism definitely ain't in my blood. :P Might help if perks were distributed based a person't merit instead of their race! You did NOT read this). Would be the best if I could fnd a Singporean company that sends their employees to Australia or some other overseas place for training! But that's certainly easier said than done.... Plus if I can get a job there, I'd earn a lot more than what I'd get here, and still can come back to Malaysia to enjoy all the good food and buy cheap stuff unlike if I wre in Aus. Then maybe one day when I'm more employable, I can find a job easily in Aus and haul my @$$ there for good. Hehe, but right now I first need to worry about finding a good job. Bleh. Dreams are so much harder when you have to work at them. -_-'

Anywayz, just yesterday I went for a funeral service for a young girl from CBC Puchong, which is the same church as me but different branch, so I didn't know the girl at all. Her name was Kim Ying Shien, and she was only 15 years old when she was diagnosed with acute leukemia last month. Over a span of a few short weeks, her condition deteriorated so quickly, even with chemotherapy, that she passed away on Monday this week.

I don't know what compelled me to go for the funeral of the girl I didn't know at all. I suspect a combination of nothing better to do, plus curiosity of what a funeral would be like in my church since I'd never experienced a CBC funeral before, had something to do with it. Which I guess sounds like dumb reasons to go for a funeral, so sue me. :Þ Anyway, I quickly found out that it was quite unlike any conventional funeral. Amidst all the crying and touching eulogies about what a wonderful girl Ying Shien was, how she was willing to bear the blame of other people's wrong, how she was didn't complain at all throughout the pain of her condition and chemo, the family of the girl and the youth of her church also played several worship songs. To most people, it would seem silly, for the family to still praise God after a sudden death of a loved one. It would be difficult for most people, even Christians to even think of praising God after something like this. But through their sorrow, they could still sing praise to God.... and after several people explained the events that led up to Ying Shien's death, such praise didn't seem so mind-boggling. Her father and several church friends, including the youth leader, told of how throughout the weeks from the time of her diagnosis to her death, they prayed very hard for her to recover. But over time, they said, God spoke to them and told them it was time to let her go. The father also said that he had a vision of his daughter being carried by Jesus throughout the time of her leukemia. He was helping to bear her pain, which was why she didn't complain once throughout her condition and after chemo, which I hear is a pretty painful process. I think somebody else had another vision about Ying Shien being with Jesus when she died, but I can't really remember the details. :P All I know it the family is rest assured they know where their daughter and its the best place she could ever be in. And even though most of the family was still in tears, the father looked quite joyous. After seeing his daughter suffer for weeks and praying desperately for her to be healed, he had learned that healing was not meant to be and he learned to let her go, knowing she would be going to a better place. A time of sadness and joy at the same time for him I guess.

Well, I didn't know this girl at all, but she was definitely loved by many. Anyhow, one day whem it's my turn to go up there, I guess I'll have my chance to get to know her. Kekekeke. Hope I can bring my DDR along with me. :Þ