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The Importance of Engaging People

28 Nov 2016

Engaging people is important

Teo Yi Xin makes a business pitch for a revamp of the Hua Song museum, situated in Haw Par Villa, to boost visitorship. Photo credit: Broadrick Secondary School

At Broadrick Secondary School, students glean valuable insights into the working world from industry leaders, as part of the Education and Career Guidance programme.

The Education and Career Guidance programmes run by schools – from primary to post-secondary – are tailored to the specific needs of students at key stages of their lives.

When children go on to secondary school, they start discovering their interests and strengths so this is when teachers and counsellors step in to help them understand the different courses of study available next.

Work-ready skills and values

Prepare a business proposal to revamp a museum which had shut down due to low visitorship. This was the task that Secondary 3 students from the Entrepreneurship Club at Broadrick Secondary School had to complete in two months.

The group visited the site and conducted surveys to find out what would appeal to the public. They came up with several possible solutions and finally pitched their ideas to a group of CEOs.

The project is part of the school’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation programme, which is available to students from Secondary 1 onwards. Students also have the opportunity to learn from industry leaders during dialogue sessions.

Mr Lim Shi Hao, the school’s Head of Department (HOD) of Innovation & Enterprise says: “We’re not forcing all of them to become entrepreneurs. We’re exposing them to the spirit of entrepreneurship so that they learn to be resilient, open and willing to engage people, and are able to solve problems.”

And this, he believes, are the traits which will put his students in good stead when they enter the working world.

Teo Yi Xin, 16, a Secondary 4 student at Broadrick Secondary, spent two months working on a business proposal to reinvigorate Hua Song Museum. She shares her experience.

“Not many tourists visit Haw Par Villa because they find it boring. We thought adding something new to the museum [which was located within the Haw Par Villa grounds], would attract more people. So we proposed to set up a rooftop garden with an alfresco dining area.

At the end of our pitch, the CEOs told us that our presentation wasn’t sharp enough. They wanted to have a forecast on the revenue from the revamp and were looking for a new vision.

I used to think business was all about talking and knowing how to sell your idea. Now, I realised that it’s also about interacting with your clients and finding out what they really need.

This experience taught me the importance of engaging people. As my ideas become more refined, I learned how to improve my product so that it would sell better.”