Pop quiz, networking contest test mettle
THEY had previously been "cocooned" in workshops for several weeks, highlighted only in newspaper articles and promotions.
But the 20 My Paper Executive Search contestants finally got to emerge from the cocoon and "spread their wings" on May 12, when they were "showcased" before a crowd of 150.
The crowd at Outpost Bar & Bistro, a new, cozy live-music venue at St James Power Station, comprised family, friends and sponsors, as well as staff of Singapore Press Holdings, which organises the annual contest.
But the showcase was not just an evening of fun as the contestants had to "work" during the evening's challenges, which comprised a pop quiz and a networking contest.
The judging during the showcase counts towards the contestants' final scores.
Still, despite the stress of having to "perform" in front of a large crowd, some of the contestants said that it was an exciting learning experience.
"It was nerve-wracking but I learnt a lot," said Shima Abdullah, senior project analyst at Standard Chartered Bank.
"During the pop quiz, I was really satisfied by the teamwork I showed with my partner in answering the questions, even if we didn't get everything correct. I'm also glad I didn't choke up during my self-introduction."
Willis Lau, executive life planner at Great Eastern Life, added: "It was really good for us to show what we can do in an informal environment.
"Although we weren't actually facing the public as entry to the showcase was by invitation only, getting to know the other contestants' close friends during the networking contest was very interesting."
Alumni from previous years hailed the introduction of the pop quiz and networking contest, a first for the competition which is now into its seventh edition.
"The new format is really interesting and different, compared to previous years," said Geargina Tan, a finalist in 2012. "The finalists are really engaging with the audience and also being tested on skill sets essential to executives, for example, knowing how to mingle with crowds."
The final is on Saturday, with the winner taking $10,000, among other prizes.