TUESDAY, 24 MAY 2011 (Session 4)

Members of the Board of Governors,

Mr. Tan Hang Cheong, Principal, Singapore Polytechnic,

Distinguished Guests,

Parents and Graduands of the Design School and the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


A very good afternoon to you all.

    hen I was asked by Singapore Poly to give this speech, I wasn’t told there would be so many people.


  • Nor did I realise I would have to wear a suit.

    It was only after I accepted that I learned that it was time to be serious.

    And so, it should be, because I am not just giving a speech to you.

    I am here for the very serious honour of welcoming an exciting, hungry, new infusion of talent to my world of work.

    So, to the new graduates of Singapore Polytechnic it’s now time for me to say ‘hi!’

    And on behalf of companies out there, to welcome you to a new world – and a new life.

    So now, let me hear you say ‘hi’ to them all too…

    C’mon – show us you’re ready – say ‘hi’ loudly...!


    Now I know just what you’re thinking…

    Who is this old dude?

    The answer is simple…

    You’lI be working with me, or someone like me, very soon.

    25 years ago I was you.

    The only difference is that I’m older, I’m wiser and I have more friends at work.

    Now, I’d like to introduce you to my oldest friends at work.

    I call them Crumple & Chuck.

    And they’ve been with me from the very first day I started working.

    And they’re with me every single day.

    In the beginning I didn’t really notice them

    But when I think about it, I realise that they’ve helped me get better every day with lessons in real-life.

    They’ve taught me 5 lessons after I left school.

    1. be hungry to keep learning
      • the world is your university
      • everyone is your teacher
      • life is your exam

    2. be unashamed to mimic
      • work with people more experienced than you
      • learn from them – then go beyond
      • ultimately you will find yourself

    3. be silly enough to make mistakes
      • doing what’s never been done has risks
      • do it their way – then do it your way
      • so what if people laugh at you?

    4. be ready to enjoy working with others
      • nobody makes it to the top alone
      • being nice attracts opportunity
      • 30 years is a loooooooong time

    5. be brave enough to push yourself
      • go beyond 9 to 5
      • get out of your comfort zone
      • you’ll never be perfect – but it’s fun trying

    Thank you – and welcome to our world – it’s your world now.