SITizens Taking Charge: Rising to the Challenge
SITizen Pauline Lee shares how she juggles multiple leadership roles and run SIT’s first E-Sports League.
This week on SITizens Taking Charge, Criminology and Security graduate Pauline Lee, who won the Outstanding Student Leader (Female) award, shares her story on juggling multiple leadership roles and running SIT’s first E-Sports League during the Inter-Cluster Games 2020.
Tell us more about your roles as the President of the University of Liverpool (UoL) Student Management Committee and President of the Inter-Cluster Games E-Sports League. Why did you take on these roles?
I took on the role of President of the UoL Student Management Committee (SMC) as a personal challenge to myself, encouraged by my peers. Previously, I served as the Vice President of SIT Silat club in 2019. As the President of the SMC, my main role was to chair committee meetings, liaise with SIT Student Life Division (SLD), and work closely with fellow SMC members to plan and execute student engagement programmes. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, I had to check in regularly with students on their well-being as well.
I was in my second year when I joined as a committee member of the Inter-Cluster Games (ICG) 2020 with my friends. We thought it would be a good experience to create shared moments in our university life. I was the Vice President of the ICG 2020 that was supposed to take place in February, but the event was cancelled one week before the start date due to the pandemic. When the committee members decided to turn it into a virtual event, an E-Sports League, I took over the role of President as the previous President – a final-year student – had to step down due to academic commitments.
Back then, I thought, “Why not give it a try and learn from the experience?” After all, it was my first time planning a large-scale event like the ICG. That convinced me to do my best and have the confidence in leading the committee.
What was it like running the first virtual ICG, the E-Sports League in SIT?
Converting the physical ICG 2020 to the virtual version, E-Sports League, was a very challenging experience because the entire committee had no experience in E-Sports. We had to learn how to host the games and how they work. Thankfully, we had the help of Gamer’s Guild (an SIT e-gaming Club), who taught us how to configure the games and provided technical support. Furthermore, the committee had less than a month to plan and execute the entire event. This period also clashed with our examinations and assignment submissions period. Thankfully, we adapted quickly and hosted a successful, virtual ICG 2020.
Personally, the biggest challenge I faced was juggling everything at the same time. From adapting to home-based learning, attending meetings, to completing assignments that were due two weeks before the event. It was no easy feat, but I am extremely grateful for all the support I received, especially from my peers and fellow committee members from the virtual ICG team and SMC. It definitely boils down to being resilient and rising above adversity!
Pauline (top row, centre) with participants from the Infocomm Technology cluster during the DOTA 2 competition in the E-Sports League.
What have you learned from these leadership experiences?
I have developed people management, project management, and communication skills. I have also become more adaptable and resilient. One of the SIT-DNA traits sums it up best – “Able to learn, unlearn, and relearn”. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I had to adjust to the ’new normal‘ and cope with the changes, such as switching to online lessons and events. I had to unlearn old habits such as procrastinating, and search for new ways to cope with the changes in my daily routine. It showed me that I can do a lot of things within a day, if I plan my time well.
How do you balance these leadership roles with your studies?
I am grateful to have had the support of my fellow committee members with the workload. My academic advisor also taught me how to use Google Calendar to plan my day, so that I could allocate time for different activities within a day. For example, I would set aside at least four to six hours a day to write essays and revise my work. These hours were then further divided into shorter durations with a 30-minute break in between. The rest of the day was spent in school attending classes and meetings, as well as some personal time.
Pauline (in yellow) helping to distribute welfare packs to UoL students at the start of the pandemic.
What advice would you give fellow students who aspire to take up leadership roles?
Rise to the challenge. When I was nominated to be a student leader, I had no prior leadership experience. It was during my time as a student leader that I learned several life skills which are applicable to my personal life. I have gained confidence in my communication with others, such as talking to SLD staff, executive committee members and my school mates. I am now applying some of these skills at work too, such as having the confidence to speak in front of a group, managing people, and communicating effectively.
Time management is very important because your top priority should be your studies. Take time to reflect when considering if you are able to take on the role. If the answer is ‘yes’, plan your time well to avoid being overwhelmed. If you are not ready yet, find out how you can better manage your current commitments.
If you never take a step forward, you may not be near where you intend to be. Take the opportunity to learn about yourself and use the experience to your advantage. Who knows, you might inspire future batches of student leaders with your story!
In your own words…
I would like to end it off with a quote:
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” - Simon Sinek