Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Formal Introduction to SIE2016

Subject: Formal Introduction

Dear Mr. Blackstone,

My name is Jonathan Gan and I am writing to give an introduction of myself in my background. As a stepping stone into a new academic year in Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), I felt energized and motivated as I looked forward learning new skills. I am currently a year 1 student pursuing bachelor in sustainable infrastructure engineering (building services) at SIT. Personally, I am more of an "adventurer" which I tend to find ways around my passion. I take joy in meeting new people and ideas by reinterpreting these connections and adapting to changes. Aside, I have a great interest in rock-climbing.

Unlike most of my peers, I do not have an engineering background because I graduated from a science diploma. However, I was given an opportunity to work with a German company as an intern on the specialization in bamboo as a substitution for building materials. It was a fulfilling 8 months attachment and I have gained valuable insights. Highlights of my experiences there include researching, designing bamboo proposals for compatibility and collecting data. Initially, I faced a communication barrier with my German colleagues. I recognize the importance of communication in gaining better relationships in the workspace and having strong work ethics. Thus, I took the extra mile to immerse myself in the German culture. Subsequently, over the duration of my internship, my interest for understanding mechanics and engineering of buildings grew which led me enrolling into this course.  And of course, I do look forward in picking up new experiences through the Integrated Work Study Programme (IWSP) in the coming years.

Surrounding myself with different cultures of different people, I discovered that my strength in communication lies in being an active listener and actually enjoying the interaction. I love being around with people as it provides me opportunities to expand my social network and building stronger bonds. Another strength of mine is that I have the tendency to observe one’s nonverbal cues. I pay greater attention to the speaker's outward appearance and their tone of speech during a conversation as it will give away their level of interest.

As for my weakness, I face difficulty speaking to a large crowd. Firstly, I need to gain confidence in myself, where I worry about what others think about what I speak and how I portray myself in social settings. I felt that my voice wasn't loud enough to project and the contents became unclear. Therefore, I need to rehearse on my speech beforehand to transmit the correct message to my audience.

Embarking on this journey with you, I am eager to learn to converse better conversations and to pick up good writing skills to be ready for the diverse community in the industry. Given this opportunity, I am glad to set foot on this module to brush up on my communicating skills.

Yours sincerely,

Gan Jin Sheng, Jonathan

//edit 10/09/2017
//edit 13/09/2017
//edit 17/09/2017

Read Zi Rui's blog
Read John's blog
Read Ronvin's blog
Commented Zi Rui's blog
Commented John's blog
Commented Ronvin's blog


  1. Great to hear from you, Jonathan. Thank you for being one of the first to post this assignment. It's good for us to learn something about you, and I look forward to reading your classmates' responses. I'll get back to you later.

  2. Hey Johnathan,

    Reginald Goh here. I enjoyed reading your self-introduction! I am envious over the fact that you had the opportunity to work with German engineers. I look forward to talking to you about the experience. I, too, have an interest in rock-climbing.

    Firstly, I would like to cover the flaws of your self-introduction. The salutation, “Dear Mr. Brad,” is incorrect. Usually, it is either, “Dear Mr Brad,” or “Dear Mr. Brad”. There are a couple of grammar mistakes such as, “I grew a greater interest in a….” and “I tend to have difficulties”. Instead, you could rephrase it as,” my interest for understanding mechanics…..grew which led me to” and “I have a difficulty in speaking to a large crowd”, respectively. Lastly, the use of “Besides” in your first paragraph is a little too informal for a formal letter.

    Nevertheless, your self-introduction is detailed and easy to read. The pace is comfortable and the transition between each paragraph is smooth. Also, looking out for nonverbal cues is a useful passive skill to have.

    In conclusion, I enjoyed your self-introduction. Despite a couple of grammar mistakes, it was smooth, intriguing and all in all a very informative introduction of yourself. Keep living life to the fullest adventurer!

    Best Regards,
    Reginald Goh.

    1. Hi Reginald,

      Thank you so much for your comprehensive and kind comments. I will take into account of your pointers. I hope that we will be able to learn more about each other in the next few classes!


  3. Overall, the structure of the formal introduction letter was good and paragraphed well. Claims made are also backed up with very vivid experiences. However do take note of some minor errors made in the letter.

    My name is Jonathan Gan and I am writing in to give an introduction of myself in my background
    -- remove "in" from "writing in"

     I felt energized and motivated as I looked forward learning new skills.
    --Sentence could have been in present tense, I feel

    As for my weakness, I have difficulties speaking to a large crowd
    --"have difficulties" could change to "face difficulty"

    Very nice knowing you and look forward to working with you in future projects.



    1. Hi John,

      Thank you for your reply and comments on my blog! I will definitely make changes upon it. Look forward working with you in class!

      I wish you a wonderful week ahead!


  4. The introductory letter was detailed and paragraphed well. Every point of strength and weakness is supported with examples which allow the readers to understand you easier. I do notice a few minor errors in the letter.

    "I am writing in to give an introduction of myself in my background"
    i suggest changing the "in my background" to "about my background"

    it provides me opportunities to expand my social network and building stronger bonds.
    You can change to "it provides opportunity for me"

    Look forward to working with you in class.

    Ong Xun Qi

    1. Hi Xunqi,

      Thank you for the comments and I had made the necessary changes as mentioned. I look forward working with you in the future lessons!


  5. Hi Jonathan,

    Zi Rui here. After reading your posts, I feel that it is well-written and concise. And I noticed that you used vocabulary to elaborate on how you feel, which is good. Also, the examples you gave to support your strengths and weaknesses are very detailed.

    However, I realise there are some mistakes in the post.

    "specialization of bamboo as a substitution for building materials"
    the "of bamboo" can be "on bamboo" because you specialize on something. Correct me if I am wrong.

    Also, "Highlights of my experiences there include " it should be includes as it is a plural.

    All in all, I enjoyed reading your post and it was very detailed and concise. All the best and I look forward to working with you in near future!

    Zi Rui

    1. Hi! Thank you for the constructive comments and I have made the necessary changes. Look forward working with you in class!


  6. Thanks once again, Jonathan, for presenting this highly detailed introductions. You address all the topic areas, and you provide concrete supports in the way of fine examples and explanations. I'm particularly impressed by your experience working with a German firm with a focus on using bamboo as a building material. (Was that in Germany or here in Singapore? How long was it?) It is also interesting that you enjoy rock climbing.

    As far as your communication strengths and weaknesses, you provide clear detail as well. You are also very open about your need to improve. To start that process, here are a couple sentences that need revised:

    1) Personally, I am more of an "adventurer" which I tend to find ways around my passion. >>> (wrong use of relative pronoun) ?
    2) I take joy in meeting new people and ideas by reinterpreting these connections and adapting to changes. >>> (phrasing)
    3) Aside, I have... >>> (wrong transition word) ?

    This critique should not eclipse the good job you've done with this letter. I look forward to reading more from you this term.


    1. Dear Brad,

      Thank you very much for your valuable feedback. I will take note of the areas you have highlighted on and continue to improve in my communication and expression.

      My internship was a collaboration with ETH Zurich which was located at CREATE Tower at NUS. It was a duration of 8 months and was a continuous research study from my final year project. It was definitely a great takeaway experience!

      I look forward to learning more from you as well!