Joel Chong and Jessie Yap are two familiar faces for anyone who’s been a part of the Convocation teams for 2015 and 2014, whether you were a performer on stage or making sure everything ran smoothly behind the scenes.

Referred affectionately by his team as Hot-stuff Chong, Joel was the student producer for Convocation 2015. In 2014, Jessie led the team as student producer, with Joel as the assistant show caller. Jessie’s experience with Convocation dates back to 2013 when she was part of the stage management team.

For both Joel and Jessie, the fulfilment in their first Convocation experiences led them to step up and commit to leading their teams as student producers in 2015 and 2014 respectively. That’s surely something you do only with experience under your belt and single-minded clarity and focus.

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A team is a collection of many different personalities, so it was a challenge managing the ups and downs.

What works for one person may not work for the other. “Things get thrown to you from everywhere, so it’s wiser to learn how to manage them instead of deflecting them one by one”, quipped Joel. “At least know what’s going on, and gather the appropriate people for the task, rather than trying to manage everything on your own and end up fumbling it.”

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Joel chose to take a backseat and probe his team along only when needed. Jessie, on the other hand, likes to guide her team along. “Let your team know what they can improve on immediately rather than leave it for de-brief”, shared Jessie. “This saves us from lengthy debriefs. When what is discussed is still fresh in our minds, everything is easier to digest.” 

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Keeping spirits up was really tricky. “It’s not easy to ensure that your team is happy, well-rested and energised when they have to be on the ground for up to four hours straight. A lot of effort needs to go into making sure everything goes well.” “Also, all the packing up after rehearsals will definitely lead late into the nights causing them to go home late.”

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When the show ended, and the halls emptied out, that was the most satisfying moment to us.

Our motivation lies in finishing what we do well. “The whole Convoc team coming together to the front of the stage, congratulating each other on a job well done, sums it all up perfectly. It was heartening knowing that we did our best.”

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Do what you like, do what you really want to do, even if it is not related to the career you’ll eventually be in.

Nothing brings meaning like pursuing your interests and passion. “You’ll be happier, much happier.”

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SMU Broadcast & Entertainment provides backstage and emcee support to live events both within and outside of SMU through its five arms: Artiste Management Team, Campus Radio, Campus TV, Events & Backstage, as well as Marketing & Communications. Find out more about their work on their website and Facebook!

 

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