This week is the last week that we get to work on our projects. On Friday, we also presented and wrapped things up. This whole journey has been pretty fun and it was great working together with everyone here on all sorts of projects. On this final week, we worked together to make the final presentation as perfect as we could.
On Monday, we presented to our professor again to seek his feedback and to hear his opinions on certain aspects of the project. At that point, I still had not practiced much and did not have a finalized script. As such, the presentation was quite lacklustre, and the professor told us to work on our presentation skills. The professor also recommended that we put less emphasis on the working mechanism behind the project as the audience would not be interested to listen to the overly technical details but also, it gives us more time to elaborate on the reason why we are embarking on this project. It also gives more leeway in terms of adding little jokes as well as helping our audience understand the big picture of our project. Another good point that was pointed out was the length of the presentation. When I presented to the professor, I took up a good 15min. However, for the final presentation we only had around 15min for the 2 groups within our theme. As such, I had to reduce my presentation to around 7.5min that also had to include showing the video we made as well as a short demo on our product.
The following few days, I had focused on restructuring our presentation as well as fixing up a finalized script. Many a times, I would present to my roommate or to my groupmates to seek their feedback. Then again, fixing up our presentation with their feedback. This process repeated up until Thursday when we met our professor again to present to him. This time, it was much better as the professor looks more impressed compared to on Monday. He also did not have much feedback other than telling me not to shake around too much when presenting as well as to emphasize on certain unclear sections of the presentation. We took his advice and changed things on the spot before going down to the actual venue to test our presentation, video and demo. On the actual venue, the screen brightness caused much of our colours to seem much brighter compared to on the screen. As such, we had to change the colours of the presentation to suit the venue. This taught me that it is very important to test our devices on the actual venue before the actual event. There were also some typo on the video which we spotted when testing which allowed us to edit before Friday.
On Friday, the day of our presentation, everyone came into the venue with a little nervousness. Everyone quickly settled down and the presentation started promptly. I was definitely nervous, with my palms and feet sweating right before my turn to present. However, the casual atmosphere set up by my schoolmates helped me calm down a bit and looking at the cool, indifferent face of my fellow presenter Xu Liang helped me calm down much more. I do not remember exactly how I presented, that part of the memories was pretty hazy, but I remembered I gave my all and that the audience reacted somewhat to my presentation. That was a good memory and I am glad that my preparations for this presentation paid off.
Following the presentation, we all went over to a hotel for dinner. It was a 5 star hotel and the dinner provided was pretty fancy. Each theme had a specialized table, giving us a last chance to interact with our professor and teaching assistants. We also had a little afterparty where a good number of us went to support our schoolmate Zai Xuan, who was DJing at a bar outside of school. It was a fun last official day of DATE and I am glad that I came here to ZheJiang for this program.
The 13 weeks here has been very eventful. From the many projects to the CIP here, to travelling all around China, I enjoyed them all. I am thankful for the friends here that stuck with and accompanied me throughout this program, for looking out for me and for making working here so much more fun than what I expected it to be. The professor and teaching assistant here for their guidance, where we initially had intended to work on a Twitch project focusing on the technical details, they encouraged us to change that and work on the Taobao project which definitely has a more convincing problem statement as well as a larger market. I am thankful to SUTD for organizing this program giving me a chance to come here to study and experience the China culture. I am also thankful to TFi for providing me with the living expenses here as well as encouraging us to do CIP and to spend some time every week to reflect on our week. This program was really fulfilling and if I had to choose again, I will choose to come here again. Thank you.