When was the last time you embarked on a creative project and what is it?
About a year ago, as part of my positive psychology module, my friends and I had to come up with a multimedia project based on a topic we have chosen – reducing burnout among special education (sped) teachers in Singapore. We decided to film a short inspiring video that would hopefully rekindle the passion of these educators. In the film, I got to act as a passionate sped educator who worked tirelessly to help a boy with autism discover his ability to learn. It was an exciting experience coming up with the storyline for the film and unleashing my acting skills for the first time ever! My professor even mentioned we had the potential to film something similar to the “CNA Insider” videos found on online channels these days and hearing that gave me an added sense of affirmation.
Would you rather have more time or more money?
More time! I would like to have more time to retreat from the hustle of daily life to simply recharge while by myself. I think it is difficult for introspection to occur when every waking hour is spent fulfilling the demands of the different roles we play. With more time, perhaps I could go out into nature more and reconnect with the environment in solitary. Even having more time to sleep each night sounds good in fact! On the other hand, I think the pursuit of money can be represented by the analogy of a hedonic treadmill. As flawed beings, humans will never find content in the amount of money we have. Regardless of how big the sum is, we will always desire more wealth and so having more money does not make one better off in my opinion.
If you could have 3 wishes granted, what would they be?
First, I wish for the restoration of physical and mental health of those around who are ill. Next, I wish for the restoration of broken relationships.
Finally, I wish that everyone will have bigger hearts to love those around them
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
“God never wastes an experience” – As life goes by, there are at times encounters which lead us into questioning “why am I even doing this?” or “how did things turned out this way” but I believe that indeed, none of the experiences set in our path were encountered as a coincidence. Each of them plays a part in shaping who we are made to be, although we may not see that that is so at the present moment. Therefore, we ought to always embrace what comes along the way!
Why did you want to intern at The Red Pencil?
In one study on arts engagement and holistic wellbeing among Singaporean seniors, it was found that the benefits of arts participation were comparable with the use of anti-depressants, physical activity and psychotherapy.
As a Psychology major, the findings from that study sparked my belief in the power of arts as a form of psychotherapy. While traditional forms of therapy such as psychoanalysis and cognitive-behavioural therapy have proven to be effective, they may never empower us the way art has the potential too since the ability and desire to create (art) is one that is innate in all of us. At the same time, I had a sensing that the local community here in Singapore has yet to fully embrace the effectiveness of arts in therapy for individuals going through difficult circumstances. That is why I was keen to intern at The Red Pencil when I discovered that there is such an organisation locally that provides arts therapy to the vulnerable within our community.
“While traditional forms of therapy such as psychoanalysis and cognitive-behavioural therapy have proven to be effective, they may never empower us the way art has the potential too since the ability and desire to create (art) is one that is innate in all of us.. “
“Although I was initially intimidated by the use of WordPress to design our web pages, I am proud to say that I am now quite confident in my ability to do so."
Describe the most creative thing you would do with a red pencil.
On our 10th year, I would have each existing staff of the Red Pencil (Singapore) write a letter to The Red Pencil with the red pencil. These letters are to contain our hopes and dreams for the organization. Together with the pencil, these letters will be kept aside safely in a time capsule till our 20th year where we will open up the letters to read and appreciate the growth of The Red Pencil over the past decade.
What are some of your responsibilities as a marketing and communications intern?
One main responsibility involves producing The Red Pencil’s main collaterals. This includes copywriting and visual designing of both online collaterals such as social media posts and offline collaterals such as flyers. Another responsibility I held as a marcoms intern was the updating of our website. Although I was initially intimidated by the use of WordPress to design our web pages, I am proud to say that I am now quite confident in my ability to do so (yay!). As a marcoms intern, I also assisted our Monitoring and Evaluation coordinator in doing data entry upon the completion of our clinical sessions.
What did you like most about working at The Red Pencil?
Probably the view of the Singapore River from the balcony window I sit right beside each day haha! But on a more serious note, I like that each of the co-worker in our office are constantly giving their best for the development of The Red Pencil. Everyone works towards meeting their deadlines, are open to receiving constructive feedback in their area of work, and continually develop new ways to lead The Red Pencil to achieving its next milestone. I would definitely want to work in an environment with individuals holding such an attitude towards their work when I enter into the workforce full-time eventually.
How has the internship been beneficial to your personal and professional development (so far)?
On a personal level, this internship taught me to be open to the opportunities that come my way for growth to happen. When I applied to The Red Pencil for an internship, I did so with the intention of working directly with beneficiaries as I hope to become a direct practitioner in the industry in the future. I was a little bumped to find out during my interview that the internship position would not provide me the chance to work with our service users yet I decided to accept the position anyway with the belief that my experience in marcoms will be valuable for my own career in the future. Each time I reflect on how a task at hand serves a greater purpose or benefits me in terms of learning, I am thankful for this opportunity that was made available for me despite my lack of experience in this area of discipline (marcoms).
On a professional level, receiving hands-on experience in copywriting, visual designing and webpage designing has helped me hone my communication skills. Although I may not be entering into the field of marcoms after this internship, I believe that the skills I have gained will prove to be valuable in whatever work I do in the future. Additionally, this internship has led me to see the value of marketing communications for non-profits. Although non-profits may not be marketing their products and services for profit, it is equally if not more necessary for such organisations to create a unique identity of their own within the sector through their marcoms strategy. Creating brand awareness via branding will ensure a better fit between the services that the organization provide and the beneficiaries who are seeking services.
Why do you think The Red Pencil’s mission is important?
The Red Pencil’s mission is important because in the face of devastation, words may never be sufficient as a tool of expression. Instead, tapping into the innate ability of humans to create through the use of arts therapy may bring to light one’s deepest heartaches, fears, hopes and dreams. By extending our mission to the world, we are recognising that vulnerability plays out in different ways across the world. Yet, whether it is a life-limiting disease, a natural disaster, a refugee situation or a family crisis, we long to bring restoration to the lives affected and to be the light of hope in the darkness.
“I like that each of the co-worker in our office are constantly giving their best for the development of The Red Pencil. “
“Although I may not be entering into the field of marcoms after this internship, I believe that the skills I have gained will prove to be valuable in whatever work I do in the future. “
“…in the face of devastation, words may never be sufficient as a tool of expression. Instead, tapping into the innate ability of humans to create through the use of arts therapy may bring to light one’s deepest heartaches, fears, hopes and dreams. “