14 Programming courses to help you become a wizard in syntax

Technological skills are in high demand these days, and coding is now one of the hottest on the list for rather obvious reasons. (In fact, that’s probably why you’re here). Aside from our country’s Smart Nation initiative, which will open up a lot of IT job opportunities, programmers are needed everywhere in every industry — as long as anything needs software, you’ll find coders! Just how much demand are we talking about? According to a commentary in The New Paper (by Francois Lancon, the senior Vice-President of Oracle (Asia Pacific)), research commissioned by Oracle Academy has found that “70 per cent of the fastest growing skills and 26 per cent of the highest paying skills in these fields are related to computer science”! Many of these skills involve proficiencies in coding languages such as Java and Python. One specific area where coders/programmers will be put to work is the app industry. In a mobile app forecast by market researcher App Annie, the app economy alone could double to a cool 101 billion globally. So, if you’ve wanted to learn to code for interests’ sake, or to acquire this valuable skill, here’s a starter list of courses you can look at! Do note that programming only tends to take up a portion of any computer science degree, and you’re often expected to spend time outside the curriculum to further your knowledge or pick up a new language. We also recommend you check out the free resources and courses online to see if coding is for you — and what kind, Java programming? C programming? — before investing in a paid one.  Happy learning! *All course fees are for 2023/24’ intakes and are subject to changes depending on the school; fees do not include misc. fees. All fees are in SGD unless otherwise stated.

Short Courses (online)

Programme Duration: Self-paced Curriculum: Covers programs like HTML, Python, CSS Course Fees: Free! Prospects: The course description reminds its takers that the goal is to bring you from “beginner” to “comfortable”, so don’t expect to be ready to jump into a programming role right after completion. The general opinion we’ve gathered, however, is that this is one of the better places you can begin with! Programme Duration: Self-paced, typically pursued across 12 weeks (6–18 hours per week) Curriculum: Topics include abstraction, algorithms, data structures, encapsulation, resource management, and the languages covered include C, Python, and Javascript. Course Fees: Free! Only pay if you want a verified certificate of completion. Prospects:  Again, this is a good introductory course to see if you really want to explore programming as a career/in greater depth. If you take the CS50 Introduction to Programming with Python, you will complete the Computer Science for Python Programming Professional Certificate Program.  This is one intense programme: the Web Development Immersive has no exams and grades but plenty of individual and collaborative projects so you can build up a portfolio over time, as well as put theory and knowledge into practice. Class ratios are kept small at 1:6, so you’ll get the attention you need. General Assembly also provides career support/networking/coaching, and alumni opportunities! Programme Duration: 12 weeks, full-time. Remote courses are also available. Curriculum: Programming Fundamentals, both Front and Back-end Web Development Course Fees: 15,822. If you are Singaporean and eligible for IDA’s Tech Immersion and Placement Programme, receive subsidies of approx. 70%. You may also be eligible for other subsidies: do write in to enquire. Prospects: The General Assembly course comes highly reviewed, with many successfully transiting into a programming/IT career after taking it. Another reminder, however, that results also depend on your own initiative and efforts! Lithan Academy is a Digital Skills Accelerator with 6 campuses in Asia, and helps train and recruit IT talent for enterprises. Aiming to prepare students to be future-ready, the courses they have range from digital marketing to software development. Programme Duration: For non IT-graduates, 6 months full-time (virtual bootcamp) followed by a 6-month paid internship. For IT graduates without work experience, 3 months full-time (virtual bootcamp) followed by a 6-month paid internship Accreditation: Lithan Academy is EduTrust certified Curriculum: Please enquire with Lithan Course Fees: USD $300 at the start of the program and 9-12 instalments of $100 per month, followed by 15% of your 2-year salary after you have found a job Prospects: Please enquire with Lithan This is a career conversion course that offers unlimited interview preparation, such as resume and portfolio reviewing, and networking with tech leaders and peers. It has achieved 100% job placements. Before enrolling for this bootcamp, you must have taken the 6-week Coding Fundamentals course. If you have prior coding experience, however, this requirement may be waived. The technologies covered in this course include GitHub, JavaScript, AJAX, SQL and more. Programme Duration: 4 months full-time, 8 months part-time Curriculum: 4 core modules, comprising Frontend App technologies and algorithms, Full-Stack App (firebase and express) technologies and algorithms, and a capstone project Course Fees: 7,999. There may be discounted rates when applying as a group. Prospects: Become a full-stack software engineer. According to Rocket Academy, 100% of the course’s graduates found software engineering jobs within 6 months of graduation. Taught by the folks at SG Code Campus, the Professional Certificate in Python Programming is awarded after its 6 modules are completed in sequential order (see below). Programme Duration: 3 years (maximum duration). Classes take place on weeknights and Saturdays. Curriculum: Modules comprise Basics of Python Programming, Data Structures in Python, Advanced Functions and Data Structures in Python, Object-Oriented Programming in Python, Basic Data Wrangling in Python, and a Capstone Project in Data Analytics Course Fees: 10,386, as low as 1190.40 after maximum funding Prospects: This course is part of the Advanced Diploma in Python Programming and Applied Data Analytics, and the Advanced Diploma in Python Programming and Machine Learning. You can consider furthering your upskilling journey.  Conducted live via Zoom, this course is open to both students and working professionals. Course finishers will receive a Certificate of Completion from NTUC LearningHub. Programme Duration: 3 days, 24 hours Curriculum: 4 modules comprising 1) Foundations of Python, 2) Functions and Control Flow, 3) Object Oriented Programming Concepts and Working with Files, and 4) Python Libraries, Web Scraping and Dealing with APIs Course Fees: 186.00 for Singaporean Citizens aged 40 and above, 486.00 for Singaporeans and PRs aged 21 and above, 1,620.00 for international students. This course is eligible for Union Training Assistance Programme (UTAP) and is SkillsFuture credit claimable. You may also be able to offset the costs through your PSEA account. Prospects: You will be able to code simple programs in Python  



A niche degree, this one is for the ones keen on a career in the video game industry. Offered by DigiPen, an institute known for its rigorous curriculum and intense workloads, stuff you’ll learn how to do include programming real-time 2D/3D applications, optimising high-level language programs, and the necessary mathematical concepts such as calculus and linear algebra. Students will also have to complete a number of projects and go on a mandatory 3-month immersion trip to DigiPen’s home campus at Redmond in the USA (exciting!) Programme Duration: 4 years Accreditation: The DigiPen Institute of Technology Singapore is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (“ACCSC”, or “the Commission”), a recognized accrediting agency by the United States Department of Education. Curriculum: The degree will cover the programming languages C/C++, motion dynamics, game implementation techniques and computer graphics, just to name a few subjects. Course Fees: With tuition grant: 43,320 for locals, 84,000 for Permanent Residents, 114,360 for international students Prospects: Some positions graduates can expect to fill are game scripters, software engineers, artificial intelligence programmers, technical writers and technical program manager. Check out the full list at DigiPen for more careers! NUS’s Computing department can trace its roots all the way to 1975 and is one of the leading computing schools in both Asia and the world (#6th internationally, QS Rankings by Subject 2023). The department offers courses in computer science, information systems, computer engineering. business analytics, as well as information security. One of the modules that caught our interest is the CS1101S Programming Methodology module, which has been ‘gamified’, where students “take on challenging missions to level up and occasionally meet Sumobots, Jedi Knight and Darth Vader” (NUS 2017 computing brochure). Sounds cool. Programme Duration: 4 years Curriculum: There are 10 focus areas for NUS’ Bsc in Computer Science. As such, students will take modules that revolve around 1) Algorithms & Theory, 2) Artificial Intelligence, 3) Computer Graphics and Games, 4) Computer Security, 5) Database Systems, 6) Multimedia Information Retrieval, 7) Networking and Distributed Systems, 8) Parallel Computing, 9) Programming Languages, and 10) Software Engineering. Course Fees: With MOE tuition grant: 8,200 per annum for locals, 11,500 for Permanent Residents, 17,550 for international students. Prospects: Expect opportunities for entry-level positions such as software developer, database administrator and data analyst to be open to you. Some of NUS’ computer science students/grads have been reported to have secured internship opportunities/jobs at Silicon Valley companies. For those interested in furthering their knowledge, NUS also offers a Master’s in Computing with a Computer Science specialization. Young but strong, SUTD’s ISTD is very much a computer science degree with an engineering slant. Students studying this pillar will be taught the programming languages Python and Java in their formal classes and have exposure to the others through short courses or internships. Aside from ‘traditional computer science’ subjects like algorithms and database management systems, students can also study Computer engineering modules like Microelectronic Circuits and Devices. Programme Duration: 3.5 years over 8 terms Curriculum: Take modules on topics such as blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, and computational data science, as well as introductory modules to probability and statistics, as well as information systems and programming. Course Fees: With tuition grant: 13,500 per academic year for locals, 19,350 for Permanent Residents (PRs), and 29,900 for international students Prospects: SUTD ISTD graduates have reportedly found jobs across various industries in companies such as DSTA, KPMG and IBM. They also have a 100% employment rate (2018). PSB Academy has been in the news recently for its new campuses and dedication to providing students with top facilities and studying environments, and students taking up this degree will most likely study in their new campus at Jackson Square! Course intakes happen during March, July and November. Programme Duration: 16—24 months, module exemptions possible Accreditation: PSB Academy is EduTrust certified. Curriculum: Take modules delving into software engineering, Android application development, and open source development. Everything will culminate in an individual project during the final year. Course Fees: With exemptions: 25,833.60 (locals/international). Without exemptions: 38,750.40 Prospects: Expect opportunities for positions such as IT consultant, network engineer, systems analyst and multimedia programmer to be open to you. With its beginnings in 1988 as the School of Applied Science, NTU’s School of Computer Science and Engineering (SCSE) has come a long way. Today, it ranks number 11 internationally for Computer Science and Information Systems (QS Rankings 2023). Classes are taught through lectures, tutorials, and hands-on practice. Programme Duration: 4 years, Part-time available Curriculum: Modules such as Net Centric Computing, Computer Graphics and Visualisation, Advanced Software Engineering and Data Science and Analytics Course Fees: With tuition grant: 8,250 per annum for locals, 11,550 for Permanent Residents, 17,800 for international students. Without tuition grant: 33,050 Prospects: 90% of SCSE grads obtain jobs within 6 months of graduation, and according to MOE’s graduation employment surveys, have consistently been NTU’s top earners. Kaplan is one of the largest private higher education providers in Singapore, so it’s quite unlikely that you haven’t heard of them! Their Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, awarded by Murdoch, is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, and workshops and is recognized by the Australian Computer Society (ACS). One of the pluses of this degree is its flexibility: students can customize their own timetables to accommodate their schedules. Programme Duration: 16 –28 months Accreditation:  Kaplan is EduTrust certified. Curriculum: Modules include Software Architectures, Data Structures and Abstractions and Operating Systems and Systems Programming. Course Fees: Please enquire with Kaplan Prospects: Expect careers as a Computer Network Architect, Web Developer, Information Security Analyst or Computer Programmer, just to name a few. This is SMU’s first SkillsFuture Work-Study Degree that includes a 52-week apprenticeship in a software development team, with one of the course’s anchor partners (currently UBS, GovTech and NCS). The degree’s syllabus is co-developed and co-taught with industry partners. Students who do well may be able to pursue a second degree. Programme Duration: 4 years full-time Curriculum: Modules include Operating Systems & Networking, Enterprise Solution Development, Collaborative Software Development, Foundations of Cybersecurity, and Data Management Course Fees: 11,500 for Singaporeans, 16,050 for Permanent Residents, 24,850 for internationals, 45,600 without subsidies. These figures are per annum. Prospects: Expect careers as a DevOps Engineer, Software Quality Engineer, IT Consultant, Full-stack Software Developer and more.   Again, we reiterate that the list is by no means exhaustive. If you have a course that you’d like to recommend, do drop us a comment so the Digital Senior team can add it!

11 Free Counselling Avenues in Singapore

Counselling offers a safe and confidential space for us to explore their thoughts, emotions, and experiences. Most of us could benefit from a few sessions, but the costs can add up! If you’re in need of a professional listening ear, we invite you to check out these avenues available at no (to low) cost. Remember, you are not alone! Offers: Online counselling services for individuals above 18 that face marital, divorce and parenting difficulties The CPH team comprises qualified counsellors from the Strengthening Families Programme@Family Service Centres (FAM@FSC). To register for appointments, create an account and speak to the team via live chat expressing your desire to speak with a counsellor. First-time users do not need to book appointments. If you require further sessions, your counsellor will schedule them with you. Hours: Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm (excluding public holidays) Location: NA Contact: NA Offers: 5 counselling sessions (valid for 3 months) Do note that IASH.SG charges a $20 administrative fee IASH offers online counselling sessions from intern counsellors that are fulfilling their practicum hours. You can fill and submit the form on their website, and a counsellor will be assigned to you. As the counsellors are not fully-fledged, you may be referred to more experienced professionals if your case is complex. If all you need is simply a listening ear, IASH offers a Hear Buds service! This pairs you up with peers trained in Person-Centred Psychology who will listen and guide you to find solutions to your challenges or concerns. Hours: Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm (excluding public holidays) Location: NA Contact: NA Offers: Helpline (toll-free) AWARE’s hotline is run by women for women, and is manned by trained volunteers and staff. They are able to take calls in English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil. The organisation also offers affordable counselling services, chargeable at 2% of your salary if your pay is $3,000 and above — or at a flat rate of $35 if your salary is below that. Hours: The helpline operates from Mondays to Fridays, 10 am to 6pm Location: NA Contact: 1800-777-5555

Silver Ribbon Singapore

Offers: Free Zoom, face-to-face, or phone counselling services Silver Ribbon Singapore offers complimentary counselling services in English, Mandarin or Dialect (Hokkien, Cantonese and Teochew). You can register for the services via this form. The organisation requests that all clients be on-time, as there will be no extensions. Sessions will last for up to an hour. Hours: Mondays to Fridays, 9am-5pm (excluding Public Holidays) Location: NA Contact:, 6386 1928 Offers: Free counselling for individuals or families (fees by donation) SAMH has been offering counselling services since 1981, and you will be counselled by experienced mental health professionals with a Master Degree in Psychology and/or Counselling. Each session is approximately 45 minutes to an hour long. Hours: Mondays to Fridays, 9am – 1pm , 2pm – 6pm (excluding Public Holidays). Evening counselling sessions are available for existing clients (by appointment and subject to counsellor’s availability) Location: NA Contact: 1800-283-7019 (to arrange for appointments) Offers: Family Counselling for families with at least one Singaporean or Permanent Resident family member Fei Yue’s services are supported by the Ministry of Social and Family Development, and family counselling services are available at its FAM@FSC (Fei Yue – Choa Chu Kang) centre. The centre serves families living in Bukit Batok, Bukit Panjang and Choa Chu Kang. Hours: Mondays to Fridays, 9:30am to 6:00pm Location: Blk 281, Choa Chu Kang Ave 3, #01-348, Singapore 680281 Contact:, 6235 5229 The following are counselling services open only to each university’s students.
  • SMU Mrs Wong Kwok Leong Student Wellness Centre
Offers: Individual and group counselling, workshops and seminars You can make an appointment online via the SMU website. Hours: Mondays to Fridays, 9.30am to 5.30pm (Closed on weekends and Public Holidays) Location: Li Ka Shing Library Concourse, #B1-44 (next to OCBC FRANK Bank) Contact: 6828 0786,
  • NUS University Counselling Services
Offers: Short-term individual counselling, talks, workshops Description Location: University Health Centre, Level 1 (20 Lower Kent Ridge Road) Contact: +65 6516 2376, NTU (University Counselling Centre) Offers: Professional counselling services NTU students can find out more about the services available (and hours) via the school intranet. Location: Level 2, University Health Service Building (36 Nanyang Ave) Contact:
  • SUTD (Wellbeing Services)
Offers: Professional counselling services, self-help psycho-educational resources, talks, workshops and training for personal growth, life skills and mental health and wellbeing SUTD Wellbeing Services offers current SUTD students counselling at no charge. Sessions are conducted face-to-face. Hours: Mondays to Fridays (closed on weekends and Public Holidays) Location: Building 1, Level 5, Room 1.517 (near Lobby C) Contact:
  • SUSS (C-three)
Offers: Counselling, life coaching, and workshops SUSS’s C-three Centre is home to a team of professional counsellors, psychologists and life coaches, and its services are open to both full-time and part-time SUSS students. Appointments are offers online and in-person appointments can be made online, and any cancellation or rescheduling requests must be made with at least 24 hours’ notice. Hours: 9.00am – 9.00pm (Mondays to Thursdays) 9.00am – 5.30pm (Fridays) Closed on weekends and Public Holidays Location: Blk A, Level 3. Room 3.05B Contact: +65 6248 1600 (Mondays to Fridays, 9.00am to 5.30pm), If you’re facing emotional turmoil, anxiety, or relationship issues, remember that reaching out for help is a courageous act of self-care. Don’t be afraid to try out one of these services and invest in your mental health!

My experience working a 6-month HR Internship



As my 6-month internship is coming to an end, I wanted to share my experience to give some insights to current university students interested in working in Human Resources, more precisely – Talent Acquisition. For more backstory, I am about to enter my 3rd year of university during the upcoming semester. If you have read my previous article on ‘The Consequences of Overloading in University,’ I mentioned that during the first semester of my second year I pushed myself over the limit. Hence, I was unable to study properly, and my health took a turn for the worse, which led to me deciding to take up my credit-bearing internship early, and for 6 months, as a break from school. I am a Philosophy Major, which I hope to talk more about in a future article. To keep it short and simple, being a Philosophy major means that I have a broad range of study, and it is related to other disciplines that I can explore in school, such as Psychology or even Sciences. However, since Philosophy is so broad and abstract, there isn’t a definitive job tied to it unless I were a lecturer or an academic researcher. Those often require a specialization on a philosophical topic and either a Master’s Degree or PhD. Therefore, it took me a while (and a lot of research) to figure out what I could do for an internship. I had some background in Mass Communications, but decided not to pursue it after studying it during my gap year because it did not cater to my interests as much as philosophy and research did. Furthermore, after researching, I found that philosophy students could go into any area if they had the required skillset. However, I was not well-versed in coding, nor do I have much marketing background. Moreover, I was in competition with students who studied these topics in university. While I had some background in Mass Communications, and interests in Politics, it makes more logical sense to hire students that were more well-versed in those topics than me. However, I was lucky as I was scouted on LinkedIn based on my previous portfolio at a company to be their Corporate Affairs Intern. That was when I decided to look into more internships within the corporate sector and found that I could fulfil the requirements of being a Corporate Affairs Intern, Public Relations Intern, and HR Intern. It did not matter to me that I did not have a strong background in either business or mass communications. After all, it never hurts to try, and if I do not get it, then the right person did. There is no harm in trying and learning, especially as a university student who is still trying to figure out what they want to do in the future. After a few applications, interviews, and rejections, I was offered the position of HR Intern (Recruitment Marketing) at my current company, Versuni, or maybe you would be more familiar with its former name – Philips Domestic Appliances. Many people may be unfamiliar with what recruitment marketing is, but it is essentially talent acquisition where we scout and help fill different positions in the company. Sort of like the middleman between the hiring managers and the candidates! Moreover, it also has some marketing aspects regarding how we can improve promoting different roles with how we post them on sites such as LinkedIn, or even designing a few banners here and there. Thus, the start of my 6-month internship.

My Job Scope:

I will not bore you with the specific details or job descriptions they put on LinkedIn, but I will try my best to simplify what I did for you, the readers. I started my role as a Talent Acquisition Intern for APAC in December and will leave in June. At first, it was a bit confusing: as with any internships, I joined early to do the handover with the previous intern and got to know the team. There was a lot of information to take in, and I am glad I had the previous intern to guide me for a couple of weeks before she left. One of the main things I was doing was helping my supervisor schedule interviews for different roles across APAC, such as Singapore, Malaysia, and Korea. However, my main job scope was to help scout local university students for our different internship positions. I looked through the pile of applicants and essentially scrutinized their resumes to see if they were suitable for the role based on the job description, then forwarded their profiles to the hiring managers. Afterwards, I will heed the hiring managers’ feedback and schedule interviews with the selected candidates. There were other things involved, such as calling up the candidates to get to know them a bit better – such as finding out more about their previous experiences or interests with the role before the interview, and basically being the line of communication between them and the company. Of course, I have also helped handle some full-timer roles, and I must admit I was very slow when I first began. There is a specific format to the emails and communication with the candidates, and since I was new to talent acquisition, it took me a while to acclimate. However, I surprisingly enjoyed my work more than I thought, and was able to take up even more projects as time went on.

Why did I choose Talent Acquisition?

Apart from the reasons I shared earlier, another reason is because I love communicating with others. Whenever I attend an interview, I always get asked: “How does this job relate to Philosophy?” and you would probably think that this is a killer question since most people think Philosophy is about figuring out the meaning of life. Well, there is more to Philosophy than just theories, there is a lot of practicality in the subject that I could apply to daily life, and because it is so broad, I am able to connect the study to anything. I remember answering something along the lines of how ethics comes into play with ethics that I studied. A very broad understanding of ethics includes the theory of utilitarianism, which entails that a choice is to be made that benefits the majority. When it comes to recruiting, there’s this responsibility of scouting for the candidate that will benefit the company the most. While the eventual choice is not ours to make, we are the ones screening who the hiring managers see. Furthermore, it also helps me practice critical thinking and reasoning, when deciding which candidates are a good fit or if there are any subtle ‘red flags’ to look out for. However, I also chose to do TA because I love to interact with people. While I consider myself an introvert, I find this fun. I believe that TA helped me expose myself to people of different ranks within the company and develop my communication skills based on who I talk to. Other than that, I also find it quite fruitful since I am essentially helping them find someone they need. It’s like a metaphorical version of corporate matchmaking where I see who the best fit for the role is and the team and try to match them together.

My Experience:

I find that company culture really impacts your experience working an internship. If you’re in a stressful environment, you may be motivated to work harder, but over time it takes a toll, and you might burn out. I am not saying that we did not have any busy moments, but it’s the company you keep around you during such moments that make it more bearable. My previous internship was kind of a high-stress environment to which I did not cope well in, and that’s okay because there are people who thrive in that environment, and some that don’t. Fortunately, I had a very good team to accompany me throughout. There were two other interns in my department, and we all grew close with the rest of the team. When I first arrived, the previous intern guided me through the different processes of what we needed to do, how emails should be formatted and just taught me the guidelines we needed to adhere to. I was fortunate that one of my co-workers had also recommended me to the TA Lead in Netherlands to support in possible projects alongside her which were a bonus from my original job scope. Moreover, I was also trusted by the HR Lead in Singapore for a secondary project. I had so many opportunities in developing my skills for TA, and was fortunate enough to be handed different projects, which I believed strengthened my appreciation for HR. However, not everything was smooth sailing. There were times where I had encountered the occasional bump in the road, such as struggling to find suitable candidates for the different roles available, as well as the rare instances of miscommunication between me and some of the stakeholders. For example, there was an instance where I struggled and felt guilty because I was having trouble finding a suitable candidate for a specific role, and mishaps including those that were scheduled to be interviewed kept happening – such as, having no-shows for interviews or last-minute rescheduling. I guess in a way, it also taught me how tough the job can be despite only being an intern. I would say that my experience was just a tiny crack allowing me to peek into the world of HR. For example, my knowledge of HR was quite basic, thinking that it was essentially like the team that handled all internal affairs, such as employee welfare, payroll, etc. While that is a part of HR, I was able to understand more of TA, and how TA is more of the external affairs related to HR. It helped me gain more respect for the work done by both the people in my team, and others working the same discipline. Furthermore, since I was involved in other projects, I was also able to tap into my creativity and develop my marketing skills with some of the tasks assigned to me. Of course, there was a lot of trial and error done since it was something new for me to try. Other than that, I also felt some pressure being assigned these tasks with thoughts of “I’m just an intern, why was I assigned to do this? Or to be the lead in this?” because I was overwhelmed. However, just because I had these thoughts does not mean I wasn’t grateful. I was able to develop my own proposals and plans for the different projects, and gain feedback. Hence, I believe that this internship taught me more than what I had expected to learn. I came in thinking I would do ‘saikang’ work only related to TA, but what I was able to participate in, and achieve were so much more than that.


To end this, I would like to thank my team once again for being so kind and supportive towards me throughout this 6-month internship. Furthermore, I am so grateful to have stumbled into this opportunity, and I would recommend those studying HR or TA to apply for that internship because you don’t know how much opportunities to explore would fall into your life. For those considering HR, I would also recommend you try it out, possibly through an internship or asking people you know around you what it is like because it could be completely different from what you expect. Good luck to everyone doing their summer/semester internships during the upcoming months! Have fun and take the time to enjoy and learn as much as you can during that time.

7 Tips and Tricks for Apple Mac Users

Apple fans, where you at? We don’t have to share the pros of using an Apple device or owning the entire Apple ecosystem. The brand has a loyal fan following that knows this very well. Instead, we’re sharing some useful tips and tricks to maximise your MacBook or iMac. (If you already know them all, kudos to you!)

1) The Clock App

I can’t live without my phone’s clock/alarm app — it takes care of everything from morning alarms to recipe timings. I also use it for office naps (sanctioned ones!), but on the lowest volume level for fear of disrupting a colleague who is “in the zone”. One day, to my surprise, I discovered that the newer MacBooks and iMacs (those running on macOS Ventura) have a Clock app too! It has the same features as the iPhone’s Clock app, so using it will be a breeze. This is handy for when your phone needs to charge in a different room or when you need to stash it away for maximum productivity. The best part? You can plug in your earpieces and be alerted instantly when the time is up!

2) The “Stacks” Shortcut

 Save everything onto your desktop out of convenience? Finding things a little too messy? If you’ve been manually shuffling everything, you’ve been doing it all wrong and “Stacks” is here to save the day! Through this shortcut, you can automatically organize files into neat, categorized stacks. Here’s how to use it:
  • There are two ways to enable Stacks. The first is to go to your desktop, then click on the “View” menu in the menu bar. From there, select “Use Stacks”. Alternatively, simply right-click on the desktop and choose “Use Stacks”.

Before Stacks

  • Once enabled, your files will be automatically grouped into different categories based on file types. To view the files within a stack, simply click on it, and it will expand to display its contents!

After Stacks

Want to hide the stacks temporarily? That’s doable! You can collapse them by simply right-clicking on the desktop and choosing “Collapse Stacks”. Handy, isn’t it?

3) “Floating” a Note on the Desktop

Most of you may know this hack, but we’ll share it with those that don’t! When researching for an assignment, or taking notes, you may find yourself toggling frantically between your notetaking document and the webpage. Apple has a way to solve this! Open a fresh note in your Notes app, and right-click to open it in a separate window. You can then select Window -> Keep on Top from the menu bar. Your note will now remain above other open application windows, even if you switch between apps! This won’t apply when you have an app in full-screen mode, however!

4) Find the Emojis

Need the perfect emoji for a reply or a text document? Sure, you can find it easily in the relevant social media app with a quick search or on emoji dictionary websites, but there’s another way! The “Command + Control + Spacebar” shortcut pulls out an emoji keyboard. Clicking on the icon on the top right expands the keyboard to reveal helpfully categorized symbols such as the em dash (—)! You will no longer need to search the Internet!

5) Spotlight(ing) Convenience 

Did you know how easy the Spotlight Search feature makes things? Apart from its search and app launching capabilities, it also doubles up as a dictionary, currency converter, unit converter, weather reporter (for any country), simple calculator, and temperature converter! Don’t believe us? Give it a spin. You won’t have to open multiple tabs or interrupt your flow of thought any longer!

6) Locating a Missing Cursor

Sometimes your cursor gets lost amidst a sea of documents or items. If you need some help finding it, here’s the solution: just wiggle your mouse or finger back and forth rapidly for a few seconds. Your cursor will soon make its presence felt by increasing in size!

7) Quickly Hiding Windows

Need to share screen on Zoom or show your friend/colleague something? If there is an irrelevant window or one that pops up all of a sudden, don’t get flustered! Just use the shortcut “Command + H”. You will not quit the app but only hide the window. When you need it to make a triumphant return, just click on the app’s icon on the Dock!   There you are: seven small but mighty hacks that will make your work and study life a whole lot easier! How many did you know before reading this article, and do you have any to share with us? Let us know in the comments so that we can learn, too!  

Nuggets of Wisdom from 9 Inspiring Business Leaders

We face many challenges as we navigate our careers and work towards our goals. Fortunately, many have walked the paths before us! There is a wealth of wisdom and insight to be gained from successful business leaders and inspiring figures who have overcome obstacles, achieved great things, and failed terribly themselves. Here’s some wisdom from nine of them.

1) Ben Horowitz

Co-founder and General Partner of American venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz
“In my experience as CEO, I found that the most important decisions tested my courage far more than my intelligence. Every time you make the hard, correct decision you become a bit more courageous, and every time you make the easy, wrong decision you become a bit more cowardly.”
Courage becomes the driving force behind the most important choices in life. It enables us to step out of our comfort zones, overcome fear and doubt, embrace change and risks, trust our instincts, and embody our personal values.

2) Oprah Winfrey

Media executive, talk show host, and philanthropist
“Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.”
Often, we find ourselves doing things that may not align perfectly with our ultimate goals — goals which could also change as we grow in life experiences. Through these experiences, however, we gain invaluable skills, knowledge, and insights that contribute to our personal and professional growth. These provide a foundation for building a successful future, allowing us to gather the resources, connections, and expertise necessary to transition to what we truly want to do. So, while it may not always be easy, or immediately gratifying, always try making the most of where you are now!

3) Warren Buffett

CEO and Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway
“The best investment you can make is in yourself.”
You’ve probably heard this from just about everyone, but hear it from one of the most successful investors of all time too! You are the only constant in your life, so why not pour more energy and effort into yourself? You will enhance your confidence, self-worth, adaptability and resilience. This also benefits your career and overall well-being and fulfilment. It’s one of the hardest things because improvement will not be visible overnight, but keep at it, and one day you may find yourself where you hoped to be years ago!

4) Indra Nooyi

Former CEO and Chairperson of PepsiCo
“You have to be constantly reinventing yourself and investing in yourself.”
While this quote is similar to Warren Buffett’s, we are including it because of the truth it holds in today’s fast-changing world. The most sought-after jobs and skills can seemingly change overnight, and technology will always keep us on our toes. Here’s another great quote from her!
“The distance between number one and number two is always a constant. If you want to improve the organization, you have to improve yourself and the organization gets pulled up with you.”
Change begins within and with you!

5) Bill Gates

Microsoft co-founder, philanthropist  
“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”
Bill Gates warns against becoming complacent: success can lead to overconfidence.
“…life isn’t a one-act play…You probably feel a lot of pressure right now to make the right decisions about your career. It might feel like those decisions are permanent. They’re not. What you do tomorrow – or for the next ten years – does not have to be what you do forever.”

You’re not signing your future away to your first role!

Not long ago, he also shared this valuable piece of advice to graduating students at the Northern Arizona University commencement ceremony. Life is a long road, and what you choose as your major or first career is only the first step. During this same speech, he also reminded them to spend more time with their loved ones.

6) Jeff Bezos

Founder of Amazon
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Jeff Bezos is the founder of Amazon and one of the most successful entrepreneurs in history. He believes that success comes from consistent, deliberate practice and the development of good habits. Excellence is not an act but a habit because it requires consistent effort, continuous improvement, high standards, building trust, and creating a positive feedback loop. By making excellence a habit, we embed it into our daily lives and work, allowing us to perform at our best and achieve remarkable results consistently.

7) Sheryl Sandberg

Former Chief Operating Officer of Facebook (now Meta)
“Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.”
  Sheryl Sandberg reminds us how careers are not a linear path, but rather a series of ups and downs, twists and turns. You’ll need flexibility and adaptability in order to succeed.

8) Steve Jobs

Former co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple
“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.”
Did you know Apple, now one of the most valuable companies in the world, actually faced numerous challenges and setbacks? It struggled in the late 1980s and early 1990s, almost going bankrupt, before the introduction of innovative products like the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Even large and successful businesses face obstacles and setbacks along their journey: what more us? Persistence, resilience and many minds brought them to where they are today. Interested in more of such stories? Check out Walt Disney and Starbucks!

9) Irene Rosenfield

Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mondelēz International
“I talk a lot about taking risks and then I follow that up very quickly by saying, ‘Take prudent risks’”
  (Mondelēz International is home to big brands such as Oreo, Halls and Ritz) Prudent risks? Irene Rosenfield reminds us how #YOLO is sometimes not the wisest idea. When taking risks, you should still make the most informed decision you can. Remember to have contingency plans or strategies, and make sure that you’re fully aware of what you’re getting yourself into! Prudent risk-taking recognizes that not all risks will lead to success, but also how these serve as valuable lessons for future decision-making. This way, we can work toward continuous improvement and adaptation in the face of changing circumstances!

Makeup courses in Singapore: 9 courses to take for a career in strobing and contour

  • Love makeup?
  • Love coming up with new looks in your spare time?
  • Love testing out new products at Sephora?
  • Love watching Youtube beauty bloggers and their tutorials?
If you’ve ticked every box above, you’ve probably considered becoming a makeup artist at least once in your life. While you can be self-taught, thanks to the internet and the wealth of information available online today, there are also courses you can take to acquire a stronger foundation. There are even Diplomas/certifications if you desire to go even further. We’ve put together a starter list of professional make up courses in Singapore that you can check out right below:

Course list

*All course fees are for 2023 intakes and are subject to changes depending on the school; fees do not include misc. fees. This is only a list and not an endorsement of the courses listed, so please do adequate research of your own before choosing any! The School of Make-up was founded in 1999 and is headed by make-up guru Peter Angel Wanneck, who has more than 20 years of experience in the make-up industry. The school, located near Tanjong Pagar, has facilities such as Hydraulic Pump Adjustable Chairs and two full-mirrored classrooms. Aside from make-up courses, you can also take up hairstyling courses here. Check their portfolio out here. Accreditation: The School of Make-up is registered with the Committee of Private Education Duration: 3 days Curriculum: The course will go through make up basics, such as Foundation Application and Lip Shaping, before teaching students how to do three makeup looks (casual day make up, sophisticated evening make up, as well as bridal make up). You’ll also learn a few hairstyling techniques/dos’, like the classy semi-up! Classes involve demonstrations followed by hands-on sessions. A starter kit will be provided. Course Fees: SGD 1288 Prospects: If you’re still keen to learn more, you can enrol in the Certificate of High Proficiency in Make-up Artistry course. More make-up looks and hairstyles will be covered, these including bridal accessories placement (hair) and B&W make-up. One Academy is run by Taiwanese makeup and hairstyling mentor Ivy Chen, One Academy offers both personal and professional makeup classes. The Academy has done makeup for events like Liang Wern Fook’s Charity Concert. The Advanced Professional Makeup Artistry Course has a small class size of 4-8 people. For those looking to start from the beginning, the Academy also offers a Basic Course. Accreditation: The school is currently not accredited by CPE. Duration: 10 lessons. 3 hrs per lesson Curriculum:  The course covers content such as doll-like make-up techniques, stage make-up, bridal make-up, and so on. Course Fees: SGD 1500 Prospects: You will be equipped with the skills to start out as a freelance makeup artist. Tracy Immanuel is a makeup artist with seven years of experience, and she has worked with Mediacorp celebrities, brides and more. She offers courses for personal and professional makeup. Accreditation: Tracy Immanuel MakeUp is currently not accredited by CPE. Duration: Please enquire with Tracy Curriculum: Please enquire with Tracy Course Fees: Please enquire with Tracy Prospects: You will be equipped with the skills to start out as a freelance makeup artist. The 4-day concise makeup course is the first and only makeup course in Singapore that does not make use of concealer! The course is mentored by the school’s founder, makeup artist and consultant, Liren Neo, who has over 20 years of professional makeup experience—some of the work she has done includes corporate makeup for Fortune 500 companies and SMEs. Course notes and cosmetics will be provided. Accreditation:  The school is not certified with CPE. Duration: 4 days, 6 hours each Curriculum: Makeup fundamentals, how to create the double eyelid effect, day and evening makeup, wedding day makeup, taught through demonstrations and hands-on workshops. Course Fees: SGD 1,800 Prospects: Improves your skills and opportunities to do freelance makeup work in Singapore. The school does offer other courses such as a Bridal Make-up course that will teach you Bridal Make-up skills, and a WSQ competency-based makeup course. The Bloom Pro Academy offers a Professional Hair and Make-up course that can be taken full-time or part-time, for those interested in bridal makeup and hairstyling. Class sizes are small, and kept to 1–2 pax. All students will receive a free professional luxe 8-piece BloomKIT brush set, a Bloom Pro Academy Certificate of Completion, and 24/7 WA support. Accreditation:  The school is not certified with CPE. Duration: 64 hours Curriculum: Theory, bridal makeup, bridal hairstyling, full bridal look Course Fees: $4500 for one-to-one class, $3500 for two pax class (per person). The academy also offers three-month instalment plans. Prospects: Improves your skills and opportunities to do freelance makeup work in Singapore. The school offers trial classes if you are unsure about committing. AESTA is made up of Artemis Beauty, a homegrown boutique providing professional semi-permanent makeup services and Esta Hsu Makeup, one of the leading makeup artists in Singapore. They offer a range of makeup courses, from personal makeup courses to professional makeup courses, as well as Master courses for the experienced. You will be provided with a Certificate of Completion after the course. Accreditation: The school is not certified with CPE. Duration: Please enquire with the school Curriculum: Please enquire with the school Course Fees: Please enquire with the school D’Rose International Beauty Academy was established in 2020, but the makeup studio has been offering makeup courses since 2014. The professional course has been designed with current trends and demand in mind. Class sizes are small and according to the studio, the class can go toward International Baccalaureate diploma credit. Accreditation: The school is not certified with CPE. Duration: 50 hours (10 sessions, 5 hours each) Curriculum: Use of cosmetics and tools, daily makeup/work makeup/dating makeup, Basic Hairstyles, current fashion makeup, makeup and styling of Japanese and Korean girl groups, Chinese makeup for stars, bridal makeup, Chinese style and ancient style makeup, Xiuhe suits bridal look Course Fees: $2,680 Prospects: Improves your skills and opportunities to do freelance makeup work in Singapore. The Asia Beauty-art-Experts Association (ABEA) started in Korea and, today, has branches and offices in Asia, South East Asia, Europe and the Americas. ABEA’s Makeup Masterclass comes with an artist make up kit, an ABEA Member Certificate and a Badge of Recognition, student consultation and support, and lifetime support from the association. Group and one-to-one classes are available. Accreditation:  The school is not certified with CPE. Duration: 4 days Curriculum: Makeup application and tips, photoshoot and modelling makeup, Korean Water Dew makeup Course Fees: Please enquire with ABEA Prospects: Improves your skills and opportunities to do freelance makeup work


The Institute of Makeup Artistry offers a newly-launched course that, according to the school, is chock full of content and support for students. Written and taught by industry-leading makeup experts, they not only offer comprehensive learning materials and direct contact with a personal tutor, but also access to an exclusive Facebook group and a free website portfolio. Accreditation: The school has received accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (US), and is a member of the International Accreditation and Recognition Council. Duration: Self-paced, 24 weeks on average Curriculum: 12 modules and 12 (graded assignments). Modules will cover theatre stage makeup, special effects makeup and character makeup, just to name a few. It will also teach you some tips and basics on how to be a freelance make-up artist. For more information, please download the course prospectus. Course Fees: SGD 1099. Payment in instalments is available. Prospects: Be equipped with the skills to work as a freelance makeup artist. Taken any of these courses? Share your feedback with us below, or drop us a comment if you have any to recommend!

Applying for university? 5 tips that helped me during the application process

Are you excited to embark on your educational journey at university? I bet you are! As a current undergraduate student, I know how daunting it can be to deal with all the application processes. Having gone through the nitty-gritty details, I will explain the university application process and the importance of taking your time to understand the respective course offerings. Let’s dive right in: here are five tips that helped me during my university application process!

Tip 1: Start early

It would help if you started as early as possible as early as possible, especially since there are so many courses to look through and schools to compare against. Many students overlook the importance of getting started early, or some are too overwhelmed to know where to start. Firstly, create a timeline of the important application dates of the prospective universities you are aiming for. Log them into your Google Calendars or your phone’s calendars and turn on a reminder one day before. Secondly, make rough notes of the potential courses you are interested in and those you want to learn more about. Having a clear to-do list while course searching is beneficial to not miss out on any information you need! Thirdly, ensure that you check the respective university requirements. Speaking from personal experience, I did not prepare my CCA Transcripts and Recognition Letters until it was one day before the deadline! So do not be like me and check all the necessary documents that you would require for the respective school’s application process.

Tip 2: Research universities thoroughly

Researching all the available universities is crucial before applying. I know many of us make a beeline for the university our friends want to attend, the one offering our favourite course, or even what is deemed popular in society. It’s okay to narrow down your scope, but your first step is to acknowledge what other courses are out there. Open up a blank Word document or write them down in a notebook that you always use. List all the factors to consider, such as location, programs, campus culture, and student body.

Tip 3: Know your strengths and interests

It’s important to know what your strengths, weaknesses, and, most importantly, your interests are. The million-dollar question everyone asks is, do we follow our passion or what earns more? While there isn’t a wrong choice, make sure the decision is solely yours and not one instigated by external factors. After identifying what you want to pursue, start researching programs that align with your strengths and interests.

Tip 4: Make a strong application

You only have one shot to impress your interviewer and definitely don’t want to mess it up. For every strong application, make sure you include the following: This list is not definite, and I strongly urge you to check against the respective university’s application requirements. How to create a strong application: Now comes the part where everyone gets overwhelmed: crafting an amazing application. Some university applications require applicants to submit a 500-word personal essay on a specific topic. Start practising your writing and interviewing skills weeks or even months before the deadline. Your university application essay is a chance to show the admissions committee who you are, what you’ve experienced, and what you’ve accomplished. To start, make sure you read the essay prompt carefully and brainstorm ideas that reflect your strengths and interests. Be bold and use specific examples to illustrate your points and create a story that flows well. Remember, practice makes perfect! So, it’s a great idea to start practising your writing and interview skills well before the application deadline. You can set aside time specifically to work on your essay and ask for feedback from teachers, mentors, or peers to help you improve. Don’t worry about revising your essay several times to ensure it’s polished and truly reflects your best self. It’s normal to feel nervous during the application process but try not to let it overshadow your talents and accomplishments. Remember, the admissions committee is interested in getting to know the real you, so be authentic and honest in your essay. You can do this! The university application process can be challenging and overwhelming, but with proper organization, you can make it a manageable journey. Keeping track of deadlines is crucial to avoid missing out on admission to your desired university. Utilizing tools such as spreadsheets or calendars can help you prioritize tasks, allocate your time efficiently, and manage your workload effectively. In addition, it is important to take the time to research universities thoroughly, identify your strengths and interests, and make a strong application that showcases your abilities and achievements. By following these tips, you can make the university application process less daunting and increase your chances of success. Remember that this is an exciting journey towards achieving your educational goals, and by staying organized and focused, you can make the most out of this experience. Take your time, get feedback, and show off your unique qualities to increase your chances of getting into the university of your dreams. Good luck!

10 Public Speaking courses for adults and kids to command the stage

Public speaking is the art of designing and delivering a presentation live before an audience, and it gives many of us the jitters.

This you most of the time? I can relate.

Like it or hate it, it plays a major role in many people’s lives, both in one’s career (this includes school!) and personal life. From presentations to speeches, good public speaking skills help us to:
  • Come across as more knowledgeable of our subject material
  • Look confident and stand out from our peers
  • Lead better by being able to communicate effectively
  • Better position oneself as a thought leader
  • Improve our critical thinking skills (from having to organise the flow of speeches, for example)
If you’d like to brush up on your public speaking, consider taking a course! Public speaking courses help you learn from professionals while giving you a chance to polish your skills in the classroom in front of a ready audience! Of course, classes like these will only achieve maximum results if you continue to practise even after they’ve ended. Here’s a list of places in Singapore where you can take a public speaking class!

Course List For Adults

* All fees are in SGD unless otherwise stated and are up to date as of May 2023. This is only a list and not an endorsement of the courses listed, so please do adequate research of your own before choosing any course! 1. Knowles Training Institute – Ultimate Public Speaking Skill Mastery Course in Singapore Knowles Training Institute focuses on delivering corporate training, with past clients including the likes of Mediacorp and ST Engineering. Their Ultimate Public Speaking Skill Mastery Course has a class size ranging between 5–20 participants and provides a lot of materials to enhance learning. Materials comprise a Public Speaking Skill Learner’s Guide, Key Takeaway Notes, an Essentials Ebook, course handouts, a 30-Day Action Plan, a MindMaps Pack, copies of the course’s PowerPoint slides, a Long-term Memory Flash Cards Pack, an E-Learning Course, an Online Video Course, an AudioBook, and an Infographics Pack. All participants will receive a Certificate of Completion. Duration: 2 days (9am–5pm) Fees: $889 What you’ll learn: Taught via blended-learning, course objectives include learning how to identify various public speaking methods, how to identify your audience before a speech, how to create an outline of your speech, how to flesh out your speech, how to deliver your speech and overcome nervousness, as well as how to handle difficult questions and answers. 2. Public Speaking Academy – World Champion Certification Programme (Level 1) Founded by Darren Tay, the winner of the 2016 World Championship of Public Speaking sponsored by Toastmasters International, the Public Speaking Academy offers a variety of courses from kid to adult level. The World Champion Certification Programme is a regular group training class with a small class size (15 students max). Practice is intense; students will get to spend up to 70% of class time putting into practice the theories and techniques they have learnt. Participants will receive printed handouts and video recordings of their own speech deliveries so that they may perform an evaluation of their performances at the conclusion of the course. Duration: 3 months (weekly lessons, each lesson being 2 hours long) What you’ll learn: Body language, Language Skills, Impromptu speaking techniques, Interview skills, Powerpoint Presentation skills, Emceeing, Persuasive Speech, Informative Speech, Advanced Linguistic skills Fees: 240/4 lessons, 720 total (nett, optional exam fee at $60) 3. British Council (Singapore) — Effective Public Speaking Workshop Established in 1934, the British Council is the UK’s international cultural relations and educational opportunities organisation. They offer English and Corporate Training Courses, and their Effective Public Speaking Workshop is open to anyone interested in becoming a better public speaker. Participants will learn how to develop and deliver a speech on a topic of their choice and will receive feedback from fellow participants and their trainer. Classes are held at British Council’s Toa Payoh Centre. Duration: 2 days What you’ll learn: How to plan, build, and deliver a speech (examples of topics include using frameworks and rhetorical devices), giving impromptu talks, and managing emotions. Fees: 1,049.00 (excluding GST) SkillsFuture Claimable: Please enquire with British Council (Singapore) 4. Be The VOICE Academy – Presentation Skills Program Be The VOICE Academy is a presentation skills training centre that believes speaking well is an art which can be learnt. Founded by Brian Lee, who got a taste of teaching voice training when coaching the emcees of the Singapore Armed Forces for the National Day Parade, the Academy offers a range of corporate, individual and educational programmes. Their clients include organisations such as SMU and Shell. Their Presentation Skills Program is a program catered to individuals that covers the finer details of what makes a successful presentation, such as body language and ways to control the fear of inadequacy. Duration: Please enquire directly with Be the VOICE Academy. What you’ll learn: How to overcome stage fright, presentation secrets and skills Fees: Please enquire directly with Be the VOICE Academy. SkillsFuture Claimable: Please enquire directly with Be the VOICE Academy. 5. SIM Professional Development – How to Speak with Greater Confidence, Purpose and Impact The executive education arm of the Singapore Institute of Management, SIM Professional Development, currently offers over 500 executive and business programmes. This programme is one of their spoken communication offerings catering to Administrative and Support staff, Supervisors and Managers (both emerging and new), as well as executives. It will be led by Tan Teck Huat, a professional speaker, speech and voice trainer, and all participants will receive a dictionary to take home and aid their learning with. Duration: 2 days What you’ll learn: As per the course outline, participants will learn how to prepare and write their speech’s text, manage stage fright, vocal expression, voice production and clear speech, as well as articulation and pronunciation techniques. Participants will also go through an individual speech and voice analysis. Fees: $690 for non-members, $600 for SIM members (pre-GST). An early bird fee of 540 is available, and non-members are welcome to sign up for membership to enjoy the discounted rate. SkillsFuture Claimable: Please enquire with SIM Professional Education. 6. Speak Sell Succeed – Presentation Skills & Public Speaking Course/Workshop Speak Sell Succeed offers their public speaking courses in two formats: a 2-day workshop and 8-session course. Participants will be provided course materials, refreshments, and post-course support in the form of unlimited review classes and consultations. For the 8-session course, each week revolves around a presentation or public speaking topic. There will be opportunities to practice speeches and presentations during each session, with feedback and suggestions provided Duration: Choose from a 2-day workshop or an 8-session weekly course What you’ll learn: non-verbal communication tools, verbal communication tools, your speaking habits and behaviours as well as how to improve or rectify them, and more Fees: $650 SkillsFuture Claimable: Yes

Course List For Kids

  1. Public Speaking Academy – Speech Excellence Programme 
The Public Speaking Academy also offers classes for youths and teens! Everyone will be divided into three age groups (Lower Pri, Upper Pri and Sec & Teens) so that they can focus on developing the relevant communication skills. Monthly themes help students hone their skills in the different types of public speaking, which range from persuasive speech to interview skills. Duration: 1-year syllabus, with a minimum commitment of 3 months Fees: $260–290 for four lessons, depending on the age range What you’ll learn: Foundational skills (such as body language), communication skills (such as interview skills) 2. MindChamps Académie of Stars – Champion Communication programme  The Champion Communication Programme aims to teach students the 7Cs of communication, these being confidence, clarity and conciseness, collaboration, content, critical thinking, creativity and lastly, a champion mindset. According to the school, exercises will be tailored to address each kid’s learning goals. Classes are available for students aged 4–16, with younger students taking the preparatory course. Students will be exposed to communication modes such as storytelling, vlogging, hosting, and news reporting. They will be able to obtain certifications from Trinity College for Communication Skills and Speech & Drama. Duration: 90 minutes per class Fees: Please enquire with the school. What you’ll learn: Speech techniques and more 3. InspiGenius Education Centre – Public Speaking Training Course This course is for those aged 6–18 and is conducted online in small class sizes (1 to 5 students). There will be group discussions, simulations, and an edutech platform to help your child/you learn better. Duration: Please enquire with the school. Fees: Please enquire with the school. What you’ll learn: Questioning techniques, empathy, emotional intelligence, how to interact with people, body language, how to tailor speeches to audiences and more. 4. Helen O’Grady Drama Academy – Public Speaking Course for Children The public speaking course offered by the Helen O’Grady Drama Academy offers a uniquely structured curriculum where no lesson is the same. Classes are conducted in small groups of no more than 12 students and centred around topics and themes relevant to these age groups. If you aren’t ready to commit to a longer course, they also run holiday bootcamps! Classes are conducted for two age groups: Primary School and Secondary School. Duration: Classes take place weekly, and each session is an hour long. There are 10 lessons per term, for a total of four terms, but students are welcome to join any time. Fees: Please enquire with the school What you’ll learn: speech writing, verbal and non-verbal communication skills, how to engage audience, ad-libbing and more   We hope you’ll grow to be unafraid of public speaking with the help of these courses (or some practice facing a mirror, whichever is best)! May you stand bravely and own the stage. Best of luck!

10 Free Productivity Tools for University Students

If you’re a university student, chances are, you’re trying to get that 5.0 CAP or 4.0 GPA, stay involved in your CCA and leadership roles, maintain your family and social life, and even work part-time for extra pocket money. If you’ve ever felt like you’re trying to squeeze 60 hours into 24 hours, these different productivity tools are for you! While they cannot help you time travel like Hermione Granger’s Time-Turner, they help you organise your life efficiently and maximise your productivity. Here is an overview of the 10 productivity tools and their features:
ToolKey Feature(s)CollaborativeComplexityConnectivity
NotionNote-taking, project and task organisation, scheduling      ComplexSyncs across app and desktop
TrelloTask organisation      ModerateSyncs across app and desktop
Google KeepNote-taking, task organisation, reminders      EasySyncs across app and desktop
TodoistTask organisation      ModerateSyncs across app and destop
CanvaDesign posters, presentation slides, diagrams, and more      EasySyncs across app and desktop
MiroDigital whiteboard mind maps, flowcharts, diagrams, and more      EasySyncs across app and desktop
Google JamboardDigital whiteboard for mind maps, flowcharts and diagrams      EasySyncs across app and desktop
When2meetCollate availabilities of a group of people      EasyNA
Google CalendarScheduling      EasySyncs across app and desktop
ZoteroReference management, in-text citations, bibliography generation, and note-taking      ModerateSyncs across app (only iOS) and desktop

All-in-one organisational tool

1. Notion

Credits to:
Notion is a versatile tool that can help you keep all your university-related information in one place. You can create pages for different classes, projects and assignments, and even share them with your classmates. Notion is especially great for collaborative projects, as it allows you to assign tasks and track progress. Unique functions:
  • Customise according to your needs — from simple to-do lists to more complex project management systems
  • Use available student templates such as Student Dashboard, Grade Calculator, Cornell Notes System, and more!
  • Create Teamspaces where you can organise content and collaborate for group projects
To-do lists

2. Trello

Credits to: Trello
Trello is a project management tool that uses boards, lists, and cards to help you organise your tasks. You can create different boards for different classes, and add cards for assignments, readings, and study sessions. Trello also has a mobile app, so you can stay on top of your tasks on the go. Unique functions:
  • Clear visual interface, which makes it easy to see what you need to do at a glance
  • Collaborate with teammates and organise tasks, delegate tasks, as well as monitor the progress of tasks
  • Satisfying drag-and-drop functionality for moving tasks up and down in the same list or between lists

3. Google Keep

Credits to: Google
Google Keep is a simple note-taking app that lets you jot down ideas, make to-do lists, and set reminders. You can also add images and voice memos to your notes, and they’ll sync across your devices. If you’re looking for a simple platform for short notes, to-do-lists, and reminders, this is a great option! Unique functions:
  • Clear visual interface and simple to use
  • Colour-code your notes to categorise them and keep them organised
  • Google Keep is integrated with other Google apps, such as Google Drive and Google Calendar, making it easy to access your notes and reminders anywhere

4. Todoist

Credits to: Todoist
Todoist is a powerful to-do list app that can help you stay on top of your assignments and deadlines. You can create different projects for different classes, and set due dates and priorities for each task. As with the previous organisational tools, Todoist allows you to collaborate with other users on shared projects. Unique functions:
  • The “Today” view shows you what you need to do each day
  • Todoist’s gamification features, such as streaks and karma points, can make productivity feel like a game (albeit a very serious one)
  • Use labels to tag each task, such as the importance level of tasks, the nature of tasks, estimated time taken for tasks, and more!

5. Canva

Credits to: Canva
Canva is every graphic-design-challenged student’s best friend — whether it’s posters, presentations, or infographics, Canva’s got you covered with a wide variety of templates. With the help of the graphic design tool, you can create professional-looking visuals in no time. You can also create mind maps, timelines, flowcharts and more! Unique functions:
  • Very beginner-friendly for those with no designing experience!
  • Versatile and can be used for different subjects — from chart elements for data visualisation, to mood boards and visualising frameworks
  • Wide variety of free templates for you to choose from

6. Miro

Credits to: Miro
Miro is an online whiteboard for visual collaboration — be it brainstorming and ideation, mapping and diagramming, or strategy and planning. Business students might find some of the available templates handy, such as elaborate customer journey maps, campaign planning timelines, and matrix frameworks. This suits visual learners who want to make their projects stand out. Miro also lets you work with your classmates in real-time. You can create digital whiteboards, flowcharts, and mind maps, and invite others to contribute. Unique functions:
  • Infinite canvas — you can create digital boards as large as you need and include a lot of details — zoom in and out to see the big picture or go into important details
  • Versatile and can be used for different subjects
  • Wide variety of free templates for you to choose from

7. Google Jamboard

Credits to: Google
Google Jamboard is a digital whiteboard that lets you sketch out ideas and collaborate with others in real-time. You can add images, sticky notes, and even post-it notes to your board, and share it with your group mates. Google Jamboard is perfect for brainstorming sessions and group presentations. Unique functions:
  • Simple and easy-to-use interface for simple brainstorming
  • Laser function comes in handy for presentations
  • Google Jamboard is integrated with other Google apps, which means that you can easily share your board with others and access it anywhere

8. When2meet

Credits to: When2meet
When2meet is a simple scheduling tool that lets you find the best time for a group meeting. You can create a custom calendar with available time slots and share it with your group mates. When everyone has filled in their availability, When2meet will generate a schedule that works for everyone. Unique functions:
  • Simple and straightforward website to visually identify common time slots

9. Google Calendar

Credits to: Google
Google Calendar is a no-brainer — it’s a simple yet powerful scheduling tool that helps you keep track of all your classes, extracurricular activities, deadlines, and more. You can create different calendars for different aspects of your life, and colour-code them for easy reference. To coordinate schedules with classmates or even your friends and family, simply share your calendar with others to view each other’s schedules and common free slots. Unique functions:
  • Schedule recurring events such as classes or meetings for a specified timeframe
  • Colour-code your calendar for easy visual reference
  • Google Calendar is also integrated with other Google apps, such as Gmail and Google Meet
Writing & Citations

10. Zotero

Credits to: Zotero
Zotero is a reference management tool that can help you keep track of all of your sources for papers and projects. You can create bibliographies and citations in various formats, and Zotero will even automatically capture information from websites and PDFs. Unique functions:
  • The Zotero extension allows you to save sources from your browser in one click.
  • The Zotero word processor plugin assists you with in-text citations and bibliography generation.
  • Share folders with group mates to collaborate on reference lists.
So there you have it: 10 free productivity tools that can help you manage your busy university life and collaborate with classmates. Don’t underestimate these humble tools – they can potentially save you lots of time tracking sources and writing bibliographies, help you to overcome the inertia to organise and manage your tasks, or even bring your projects up a notch with impressive and engaging visuals!

Got time? Help these 17 organisations through some meaningful volunteer work!

Looking for a meaningful way to spend your time or just something to do? Why not consider volunteering, then? Committing our time and energy might seem intimidating to most of us, but it really shouldn’t be the case—especially if you find something closely aligned with your interests and capabilities. There are plenty of volunteering opportunities in SG, and you can help in a huge range of capacities!  We’ll get the ball rolling by starting you off with a brief list.


Is the library your second home? Lend your assistance to NLB’s various initiatives! Volunteers can help with programme facilitation and curation, library and patron support, or event management. Some cool opportunities include the chance to create book displays, help with the indoor garden, and film digital storytelling videos. Ad-hoc volunteering opportunities are also available. Want to spend your time meaningfully while meeting like-minded peers? Youth Corps Singapore offers volunteering opportunities that are Service-based, Event-based or Skills-based, all with various commitment durations. There’s just about something for everyone. If you are an avid crafter, you can help out in painting activities for the elderly. If you enjoy the company of elders, you can take part in bonding sessions with seniors at GoodLife! Makan. Passionate about helping fellow youths? Join the Dolphin Befrienders Programme, where you’ll help facilitate weekly mentorship sessions for youths at risk! Each opportunity may have different requirements; do check their listings for more information. If you’re a Computer Science student or just a whiz at the Python/Scratch programming language(s), Code in the Community is one way to give back! A Google-sponsored initiative that aims to teach 3000 young Singaporeans from less well-to-do backgrounds basic coding skills over three years, the programme welcomes volunteers to contribute as instructors or assistant instructors. You must be willing to commit for at least six weeks. Before volunteering commences, you must commit to a mandatory check-in session and 6–8 hours of independent e-learning (materials will be provided). An Institute of Public Character (IPC), New Life Stories is a non-profit organisation which works toward providing children of incarcerated mothers educational assistance at the preschool level. The organisation seeks volunteers to be Learning Friends (reading volunteers) to children aged 3 to 12. As a volunteer, you will befriend your young friends through conversations, English storytelling, creative activities and play. The minimum commitment level is an hour weekly, for a period of six months. If you’re above 18 and are looking for a slightly different kind of volunteering, the Singapore Police Force has the Volunteer Special Constabulary (Community) vocation you can sign up for. Training is spread over six months (you’ll pick up Police procedures, Police defence tactics, as well as first-aid), and you’d be required to perform at least 16 hours of patrol duty monthly. Shifts are typically after office hours, with an hourly duty allowance of $4.60. VSC Community officers are deployed in Neighbourhood Police Centres and will not carry arms. An independent registered charity, Playeum works closely with children from at-risk backgrounds, and children with disabilities, to provide them the space and time to play creatively in a safe social environment. They also organise public festivals to showcase the power of creative play. So, if you’re great with children or full of creative spark, this could be right up your alley! You can either sign up to be a Creative Practitioner, Creative Facilitator or Programme Volunteer. The Food Bank Singapore needs a variety of volunteers to help them with their operations. You could choose to assist with their operations, marketing, R&D or advocacy efforts. Roles range from delivery assistants to event planners and food bank ambassadors. Most voluntary roles allow for flexible timings. The organisation also requires warehouse volunteers to help sort, take inventory, and pack food donations. Slots open one month in advance, and each session is three hours long. IRR is an organisation that aims to improve migrant workers’ lives in Singapore by fostering understanding between Singaporeans and workers, providing supplies and encouraging conversation on important issues, and hosting them for a meal, amongst others. You can sign up to volunteer for their in-house programmes, which include workers’ English virtually, or sign up as a youth volunteer! Kindlespark is a registered social enterprise connecting tutors to students who require academic assistance, regardless of their socio-economic background. You can sign up to be a paid or pro bono tutor, with the former being paid SGD10–20 hourly depending on student level, and assist with ad-hoc homework questions on the group’s Telegram channel. You are advised to commit until the end of an academic year to minimise disruption to your tutee’s studies. You must be at least 17 years of age.


Did you know that the Esplanade has volunteering opportunities? Available roles include Welcome Ambassadors, Festival Assistants (with opportunities to be part of trial audiences!), CARE Buddies (assisting with community engagement programmes and helping guests with diverse needs) and skill-based ones (emcees, technical, artists, speakers). Do fill in their form if you have a fondness for the Arts! Passionate about the Arts? If so, be an NAC Art Volunteer and spend even more time being exposed to what you love! NAC has a range of volunteer roles that will appeal to all groups of people. Common roles listed by NAC include Arts Befrienders, Photographers, Skills-based Volunteers, Artist Liaison Officers, and Venue Managers. Different roles and different events require varying levels of commitment. Volunteers will be briefed, and having an arts background is not compulsory. Enjoy visiting museums, or do you sit on the other end of the spectrum thinking that what lies within is too inaccessible? Whichever end you’re on, a volunteering stint at the museum could be what you’re looking for! The National Museum of Singapore recruits volunteers annually to help out with Front-desk support duties/support to visitors with additional needs/other support and volunteer services. You must be above 18 years old, be people-oriented, and be able to commit for at least two years. You must also be a Friends of the Museums (FOMs) member.


Love animals? You can apply to become a Docent or Conservation Ambassador with Mandai Wildlife Reserve! Docents must be above 21, and Conservation Ambassadors must be between 15–21 years old. Both roles require you to undergo training and commit to a monthly duty of 2 hours per session, for at least a year. Docents will need to pay a donation fee of SGD150, and Conservation Ambassadors a training fee of SGD30. Have you seen the charming feline friends over at Keep C.A.T.S? If you haven’t, the time is now! The animal welfare organization helps to rescue, rehome, and sterilize stray cats (pst, they also offer paid pet photography!). Ways to volunteer abound, including becoming fosterers, transporters, designers or photographers, and so on! You could also choose to become a sponsor, too. If you are a cat lover, confirm plus chop, we think this volunteering opportunity couldn’t get any better. Love Kuching Project allows ad-hoc volunteers (requests must be made at least five days in advance due to size constraints) for their Play/Clean sessions. They’re exactly what they sound like: help the foster kitties maintain a clean dwelling while getting the chance to play with them! The best part is that the sessions are usually held daily in the evenings so you can pop by after work/a tiring day at school. A no-kill animal shelter that’s home to around 700 dogs and cats, Animal Lovers League welcomes both ad-hoc and long-term volunteers while gently reminding interested parties for the latter to be prepared to commit to less than glamorous tasks. Volunteer work includes showering, walking the dogs, and cleaning the shelter’s facilities. There is no pressure if you’re not ready to be in it for the long haul. You can help ALL in their ad-hoc events (booth manning and dog handling, for example) or help them with writing/photography/design-based tasks! SoSD has a variety of volunteering activities you can participate in, but if you like interacting with humans and/or having a dog, why not consider the Healing Paws programme? You can sign up as a dog-handling volunteer or an AAA (Assisted Animal Activities) assistant and participate in regular weekly sessions conducted in several institutions. Do note that dogs will have to undergo an assessment to ensure they’re a fit for the programme.

Found something yet? We hope so!

However, if nothing on this list is hitting the spot, you could try downloading the SG Volunteers/SG Cares app!
How the app looks (Apple/Google Play)
If you’ve wanted to volunteer but are unsure how to start, the SG eCares app is an easy way to find opportunities! If you’ve been intimidated by the idea of volunteering, let the app’s stories and inspirations tabs help you out with that, too. (: Happy volunteering!