13 Mar 2015

Spirit of Enterprise Best Student Interviewer 2014 award

Since 2003, the documentation of local entrepreneurs’ success stories has been crucial for the Spirit of Enterprise (SOE) secretariat’s decision-making process as he/she selects the year’s SOE Award winner. The SOE award is given to outstanding local entrepreneurs to recognise and promote their stellar entrepreneurial spirit.

21-year-old Kelyn Tan did such a remarkable job capturing the success stories of local entrepreneurs that she won the SOE-Charles & Keith Best Student Interviewer Award 2014. As part of her award-winning work, Kelyn conducted in-depth research on and interviews with three companies including Gushcloud, a platform that connects brands to social media celebrities.

Kelyn’s interview with Gushcloud’s CEO and co-founder Vincent Ha helped her understand the drive behind Gushcloud’s birth. Vincent told Kelyn, “We understood that social media celebrities, or influence marketers, are a core part of brands’ digital marketing initiatives. We help companies grow their social media presence through influence marketers’ participation in these companies’ Facebook pages as well as through their own blog posts.”

Gaining More Than an Award

Kelyn’s astute ability to capture her interviewees’ responses not only led her to receive the Best Student Interviewer Award, but also the opportunity to join the SOE Board as an observer. She shares, “It was an opportunity to learn from key players of the industry and expand my network.”

Kelyn, who is currently an SIM-University of Birmingham student in the Bachelor of Science (Honours) Business Management with Communications programme, also dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. Her award allows her to form a network of valuable relationships early on and is certainly a boost of motivation as she continues to march towards her dream.

In fact, her interview with Vincent allowed her to gain insights into the intricacies of social media, something she had always wanted to achieve – evident from her decision to pursue a degree with a Communications component at SIM. “Communication plays a big part in various internal and external aspects of a business. It is a useful skill to have in any career and one we must continually hone,” she says.

A Wide Perspective

Global exposure is also important to any entrepreneur and which Kelyn has already enjoyed through her regular interaction with lecturers in school – her lecturers at the SIM campus hail from University of Birmingham’s flagship campus in Birmingham, England.

She muses, “Our horizons are widened when lecturers share their worldly experiences with us. Apart from allowing us to adapt to a different teaching style, learning from them enables us to gain insights from foreigners, something that is extremely important as we compete in today’s globalised business environment.

A Believer in Seizing Opportunities

Kelyn has also created the Gap Year Guide (gapyearguide.wordpress.com) for young adults who are taking a year off after finishing their polytechnic or Junior College studies before entering university. This resource aims to encourage youths to spend their gap year wisely by seeking out and seizing opportunities for self-improvement.

In looking to the future, Kelyn’s immediate goal is to gain experience in the communications industry through internship or temporary opportunities in a public relations firm or an organisation’s corporate communications department. Ultimately, she hopes to found her own business and follow in the footsteps of the successful entrepreneurs she admires. “The lives of successful entrepreneurs are so full of adventure and passion. Their life experiences inspire me to chase after my own ambition,” she rounds up humbly.