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Higher Learning

Higher Learning Resilience, Love Yourself and Just Relax.

Each
weeks
event
this
occurred
term,
every
promoting
different theme each time round.
two
a

Increasing Stress in SMU Students
Our events had helped to create awareness
within the student body, and we have been
seeing more students going to the SMU
Wellness Center.
We interview University Counsellor Timothy Hsi to find out why
MICHAEL NG WAI TING is difficult to isolate one from the other. students on average are more highly Q: What plans do the SMU Peer
Helpers have for the next term?
Q: Is it true that student stress levels
in SMU are on the rise? A: Watch out for the emailers and booths
this coming term! I’m sure the Peer
A: There have been various reports that Helpers will be at their best organizing
students are complaining that school events which raises our awareness to
life has been very tough for them. Local positive mental health.
exchange students from NUS and
NTU have also expressed that SMU
student life is much tougher than they
are used to.

There are more cases of students with
stress issues, insomnia and depression.
This might lead to secondary issues like
break down in relationships, mental issues,
or in some cases suicidal tendencies.


In fact in this term alone, there have been
62% more students going for counseling
assistance than the whole of the previous There have been 62%
academic year. more students
going for counseling

“ There have been 62%
PHOTO: PEER HELPERs assistance than the
whole of the previous


more students academic year
going for counseling Students could also be facing issues strung; they work very hard and face
that do not originate from school. immense pressures. This trend has been
assistance than the After all, most students in SMU are observed in other business schools like students to even talk to anyone - friends,
whole of the previous at the age where they undergo various Harvard or Wharton. It has been observed peer helpers, or even staff. We certainly do


academic year psychological and emotional changes. that these students are much more self- Q: SMU has a Wellness Center. What not want students to bottle it up and keep
driven and carry a different mindset from role does it play in all this? it to themselves.
Q: Has there been any the rest of the students in other schools.
research done to determine As of now, the only information available A: The Wellness Center is like a “7 Eleven” Q: So what have the SMU Peer
Q: Could you explain the rise in the underlying issues in SMU? to us is through students sharing their for students who need a break, face Helpers been up to for the past term?
counseling assistance? own anecdotal experiences. In SMU, emotional or psychological issues. The
A: As of now no research has been there is a need to carry out a proper wellness center is manned by the SMU Peer A: In previous years, our focus was mainly
A: It is still not known what is the true conducted to determine the causes. research to find out the underlying causes. Helpers who assist their fellow students on raising awareness using the concept of
cause to this increase. There could be a And only then, the university is able to through talk therapy. We want students to Total Wellness. However, the focus this
rise in the students requiring aid, or that However, it is observed that students in respond with right information and data. feel at ease and be more open talking to the term was on raising awareness of mental
students have become more open to the business-oriented schools (like SMU) peer helpers about their issues. Our peer health –titled “Treasuring Your Mind”.
concept of seeking counseling help, or seem to be relatively more driven than helpers on the other hand, will provide a
even a combination of both. As of now, it students from other schools. Business good listening ear and provide support Six events were organized - Making
when it is needed. In fact, we encourage Friends, Be Active, -Be Happy, Building

Page 16 • Issue 4 • The Blue and Gold The Blue and Gold • Issue 4 • Page 17
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Worldscope

Worldscope J. Walter Thompson - Job haven?
Student shares his internship experience at a leading advertising agency
Good Tidings for the New Year NIVEDITA VENKATEISH

To work out of necessity is
JWT had its share of “Wacky Ad people”
who skulked around all day fiddling on
their computers, only to yield the most
The current financial crisis has been described as the mother of all crises in the modern world. Will commonplace. To work for impressive ad campaigns on dead line
day. There were others, however, who
passion is rare. Neo Sans
2009 herald new hope? chose to sit at tables and brainstorm over


endless cups of coffee. My fellow interns
The workings of a fiscal injection can be broken This is the mantra that almost all and I chose a novice way of going up
The promise of the layman down as such – National income of a country employees at J. Walter Thompson (JWT) to the Recreational Room and thinking
being able to breathe easy is put as C + G + I + (X-M). The government’s emulate and is something I came to value over some Pool.
may not take place that injection signifies an increase in G and thus, most in my 8 week long internship at the
an overall increase in NI. The increase is aimed second largest ad firm in the world. No matter what your strategy, it was
quickly if the banks at spurring increase in national output, which the end result that mattered and in that
are slow to react to the affects employment and inflation. A very simple Being a novice to both advertising as well aspect, JWT showed no compromise. Any ad


example can be seen where in times of recession, as interning (this was my first year), JWT strategy you came up with needed at least
government’s proposal. a lot of public buildings and facilities suddenly seemed like a daunting place to take baby 10 alternatives. It should be “different” yet
seem to spring out. steps. In retrospect this fear seems both “thought provoking”.
ESTHER YEO SHU XIAN their breath and waiting to see if the things will unwarranted yet simultaneously very
dramatically change when he takes office on 20th The promise that the various packages bring accurate. JWT has a name in the business and they
The old saying used to go, “There is a silver lining January. Will this coming New Year be a Happy vary. The US package aims to restore confidence are unwilling to compromise on it for
in every cloud.” For many, it seems like silver New Year? to the financial industry and give a little The uniqueness of JWT lies in the anyone or anything. Even as a novice, I was
lining disappeared along with the collapse of the breathing space for consumers who are mired ambience, the people and the climate they made to stay till 10pm in order to complete
financial industry, which was marked in a huge Merry Christmas Came Early in debt. The Chinese one leans to building create. If you are looking for a straight assignments that my boss thought needed
way with the collapse of Lehman Brothers. If you have been listening to the wise words of more infrastructures, which hopefully can white collared job from 9 to 5 JWT isn’t the improvement. Brain Freeze was no longer
your parents and the government to save as much bring up the standard of living in China. place for you. I came dressed in formals a word in my vocab, instead it was replaced
While it is true that the financial industry was as you can, your Christmas would have been only to be told every day was Casual by Work Harder. However working hard
long in crisis before Lehman Brothers was denied packed with bargain steals, from the stock market The layman however may find the promises vague. Fridays. The glass building on the outside sadly was not a definite quantifier to
the lifeline from the Fed, the layman (no pun that is. Citigroup, America’s largest and most well It is well-known that fiscal stimulus are bogged certainly misled the amalgamation of results. Often time’s ads which had gone
intended) felt its impact sharply when a trusted linked bank in the country and the world, saw its by time lags, which means that the promise of the music blaring from every side of the office, through rounds of fine tuning went to
bank of years suddenly went down and overnight, share price tumble to around US$3 a share. As a layman being able to breathe easy may not take with Led Zep posters vying for attention the recycle bin thanks to a client’s taste.
the various investments they had with the bank well-known columnist put, with $5, you could buy place that quickly if the banks are slow to react to with Britney. With high execs sitting cross- This resulted in wiping the slate clean
were rendered worthless. The well-reported anger one share and still have leftovers for something at the government’s proposal. More infrastructures legged on mats in the middle of the office, and starting afresh time and time again,
of the masses in Asia was only one example of McDonald’s. Friends have been kicking themselves such as roads being built may not mean anything it certainly was a far cry from the average something that could be very frustrating.
more to come. for not getting the shares, which have since risen for the man who worries about losing his job at the corporate office.
to more than twice the $3. (Then again, it does factory. It seems that the tidings brought may not In conclusion, it may have only been a
With the election of Barack Obama as the 44th not take much to get a share price above $3, right?) be that good after all. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of JWT couple of months of my life at an agency.
President of the United States, people are holding For those who do not have the capital to play the would be their work mantra. As a creative But it did serve as an experience of


market, there is always the Christmas shopping agency, they give every one a shot at a lifetime. To work with passion and
to do. With sluggish sales forecasted for the year, Wishes for a Happy New Year coming up with new ad campaigns. Even if dedication on a moderate salary, may not
The promise of the layman retailers in Singapore and everywhere else are The turmoil in the financial industry may have you start off as a novice, you are given the be the life for most. But for those who love
being able to breathe easy desperate to get rid of their stock with mega sales impacted the lives of many, but the cheering of opportunity to come and follow up with an their work, and I have seen many of those,
announced. The 100 metre queue at the cashier’s a new year should still go on. After all, the day ad. And based on the work you produce, JWT certainly is a rewarding place.
may not take place that at the Club 21 sale is but a testament to this. seems the darkest just before the dawn as cheesy as more and more ads are offered to you.
quickly if the banks it sounds, but it might possibly be that the dawn Hierarchy takes second place to creative
Good Tidings We (the government) Bring of the new year is just what the dark year of 2008 genius and this was something that struck
are slow to react to the


The news reports have been chocked with reports needs. me as both unique and admirable.
government’s proposal. on various governments employing drastic fiscal
measures to stimulate the economy, with the Happy New Year everyone. Coming up with these creative ideas
various injections amounting to billions of dollars. however depended on numerous factors.

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