By Kee Ming Lin
I participated in and graduated from Hatch’s Dec-18 batch. I first heard about Hatch from my caseworker after finishing my O-Levels. He knew that I had a general interest in tech and asked if I wanted to try out Hatch’s training and job-matching program. Of the two tracks available, the UI/UX Design track appealed to me more as it included some elements of coding, so I decided to give it a shot.
I was initially very nervous when I first met the people in Hatch. However, once I got to know them more, I realised that they are very friendly so I slowly came out of my comfort zone and started talking to them.
The one-month training by Hatch taught me the skills that I needed for my three-month internship, and also allowed me to understand how work is like. Workplace communication is one of the most important skills Hatch has taught me, as one will meet many different kinds of people at work. We visited companies in Singapore every Friday afternoon and interacted with the employees to see how the skills that we learn during the program are applied in real work life.
At the end of the one-month training, we had Demo Day, a graduation plus project showcase to our loved ones and Hatch’s partner companies and community organisations. The UI/UX youth presented our suggestions for a real life problem that one of Hatch’s partner companies faced.
We were tasked to create a Family Feature for WhiteCoat, a tele-medicine app. This proposed new function will allow users under 18 to easily use the app, and to upgrade their accounts once they are of age. On Demo Day, I presented a mock-up Adobe XD app interface for under-18s. It had functions that users need, arranged in a logical process flow. The WhiteCoat people who came for the Demo Day liked my solution and invited me to meet them for an interview. They offered me an internship after that.
I faced many problems during the one-month training. The first problem was not knowing the basic shortcuts in a computer, like the shortcut for copy and paste (and a lot of other ones as well). Another problem I faced is my own attitude, I did not have the patience for precision and did not feel that being precise in work brings about any difference in the result. My trainer, Louis, told me that for an experienced eye, the difference of one or two pixels is very obvious, and the companies might think that I am a sloppy person which may reduce my chances of getting an internship. When I was working on my project for Demo Day, I needed to think of a solution for the problem for most or all of the scenarios. It is a new challenge for me as I normally only solve my own problems, now I need to solve the problems of others which I normally do not.
I did my best to explain my idea and showed them the prototype app that I made when the visitors came to my booth to see my portfolio. My portfolio template was taken from Wix, but I hard-coded the rest of the website myself. I faced some difficulties when coding my portfolio, but I managed to solve the problems with the help of Google, my friends and my trainer.
When my internship first started, I did not know what I was expected to do, so it was good that WhiteCoat had arranged projects for me. For the areas that I did not know how to do, I was nervous to ask my supervisor, but as soon as I overcame the fear and asked her, she was happy to tell me what to do.
When we are going out for lunch, my colleagues introduced me to the places that sold good food around the workplace. They were very patient with teaching me the things that I did not know, and gave me time to hone my skills to try to achieve their level.
I was quite sad to leave them when school at polytechnic started. They threw a farewell lunch for me and wished me the best of luck for my studies and invited me to come back whenever I have the time.
Throughout the whole program, Hatch paired me with personal mentor to give me advice on the problems I was facing. My mentor is Amos, and he has a UI/UX background. I consulted him for ideas and solutions for the problems that I faced during my training and internship. Even though I am currently studying now, I can still go to him if I needed to talk to someone, as a friend.
I overcame many challenges during my time in the Hatch program. I felt that I have grown after every challenge that I have overcome, and made a whole lot of new friends.
About the author
Ming Lin is a graduate from the Hatch Dec-18 Immersive program, from the UI/ UX track. He can eat an incredible amount, which greatly amuses and astounds everyone. Ming Lin enjoys reading Chinese wuxia novels. He is currently studying IT at a local polytechnic.
It has been a privilege supporting and journeying with Ming Lin through his individual milestones. The youth we work with have their individual stories, but they all joined Hatch to pursue a career that they are interested and motivated in. We find this process extremely rewarding, and we want to continue our work and extend our impact to more youth.