The Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology (SWITCH) just wrapped up. The cool thing about the event is it follows a “plug and play” model.

This is fairly unique because it involves a plethora of different companies from Southeast Asia coming together to form one complete picture.

Organised by National Research Foundation Singapore (NRF) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG), along with 3 event Organisers, SWITCH had a total of 47 Partners and 17 Events.

And I was at the front line of it all, being heavily involved throughout the event

My name is Shernice Lum Xue Qi and I was one of e27’s employees most directly in charge of running SWITCH. I found this experience to be a rich and fulfilling one, even as a 22 year old still in the midst of completing my studies.

The responsibility was immense but thoroughly amazing as well as challenging and I have learnt a great deal that I will definitely remember when I venture out to the workforce full time.

What did I learn through my journey till the end of SWITCH?

After just completing our flagship event, Echelon Asia Summit 2018, which ended late June, I was on-boarded to SWITCH 2018 (about 2 months before the project).

At the beginning I felt very overwhelmed just at the size of the project. I never knew how HUGE of a project this was. It was also my first time working with the government. That being said, I was definitely excited as running / helping out with events has always been a passion of mine.

As the project got going, my biggest challenge was managing the communications from all nine partners at the same time. I had to navigate different expectations and requests coming from various angles. I overcame these hurdles by being more strict with myself about writing down every single request on a common platform where answers can be easily found.

PS. I’m a little OCD too so that helped me out.

Even though I was new to this, the partners were all so patient with me. They allowed me to grow and learn along the way. This leads to my “hindsight is 20-20 wish”. I wish spent more time with all the SWITCH Partners. Now that the dust is settled, I think I could have better understood each and every single one of the pain points, so that I could help make their event even more successful.

However, I am just one woman so maybe that is a bit ridiculous.

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On a positive note, I love how all of the startups are so eager to thrive and grow. They are trying their best to let the world know about their product and idea, trying their best to be the next big thing.

Even if a lot of them don’t succeed, the energy and support of the community is palpable, which is important to help people stay motivated as they pursue what is a tough business.

During the experience, I have learnt that, no matter how difficult something becomes, we should always deal with it with positivity. Treat it as a form of motivation to strive for the better.

Becoming negative makes problems spiral, it becomes harder to approach an issue with the calmness and clarity necessary to actually solve it. If you are able to take criticism seriously, but also allow it to roll-off your back, it will go a long way towards improving your ability to climb mountains.