I am willing to adapt and change to what the situation requires and to step out of my comfort zone to confront challenges. While challenges are uncomfortable, I am willing to put myself in uncomfortable situations because it’s the only way to grow.
News & Events News & Events News & Events Highlights A hot spring bath, participating in a religious festival and meeting a popular chef- these were just some of the highlights of Zayar Aye Mon’s exchange programme. He reveals more about the valuable lessons he learned on his trip. Fill in the blank with the adjective that describes yourself best: I am adaptable Please elaborate on why you chose the adjective above. I am willing to adapt and change to what the situation requires and to step out of my comfort zone to confront challenges. While challenges are uncomfortable, I am willing to put myself in uncomfortable situations because it’s the only way to grow. Why did you choose to pursue an international business degree at SIM GE? SIM-University of Birmingham offers local and international studies and exchange programmes where I could learn in Singapore as well as many other parts of the world. This was the critical factor for me because I wanted to go on exchange programmes and experience cultures of different countries and immerse in them. What was your exchange programme experience like? I went on exchange programmes at both the Birmingham Campus in the UK and Kyoto University in Japan. It was one of my biggest takeaways from the International Business programme. Not only did it diversify my experience inside and outside of school, but the exchange also provided me with invaluable insights of different cultures and management practices in a foreign society. Birmingham Campus was truly breathtaking. The university is red brick, and has history and heritage that you will not experience in Singapore. Walking through the Campus felt like as if you're in a British film setting! The exchange programme to Kyoto University was especially an eye-opening experience for me because I initially thought that the Japanese are conservative but that was not the case after I took time to understand how they communicate (mostly through alcohol!) What were some of the highlights of your visit to Japan? In Japan, I got to meet with a bunch of ojisans (uncles) at a regular gym, joined them for a festival carrying a religious totem that was 1,000 kg. I ate wagyu beef and enjoyed a hot spring bath. The ojisans threw me a farewell party at the end of my exchange programme. I also met with Motokichi Yukimura- a chef of the famous omurice restaurant Kichi in Kyoto. I visited his restaurant thrice during my stay there. On my last trip there, I asked if he would like to visit Singapore and he gave me his business card. This gesture is usually an indicator of establishing a relationship in Japanese culture. He eventually came to Singapore and I took him around to enjoy local delicacies. On his last day here, he came over to my house and hosted an omurice session for my family and friends. He even bought me an iron pan and let me in on how to make his famous omelette! Tell us more about your current job. I am currently a Business Development Manager at The Pet’s Couture. It is a pioneer pet’s lifestyle brand that specialises in creating handcraft accessories for ‘fur kids’. I take up various roles such as trend spotting for our future collections. I organise events and use social media to reach out to people from all over the world. Did the exchange programme experience help you in your work? Yes, I was able to apply what I learned such as the use of language when you communicate. Your tone, your pitch and intentions are very important when communicating. I was also able to adapt to the requirements and perspectives of different customers. What is your advice to students in SIM GE who are going on an overseas study exchange programme? Be open. Have an open heart to understand the culture of the country deeply and study everything (e.g. how they wash their hands and the way they present their dishes on the table). Lastly, be inquisitive as it will help you gain knowledge of many things. #IChoseTheSIMPathway #ThisIsMyStory Click here to learn more about the programmes awarded by the University of Birmingham. Posted online, 02 May 2019