I'm very honored to be chosen as the service provider for ITE College Central's inaugural Student Icons (SI) programme. As its name suggests, the Student Icons programme is part of ITE College Central's efforts to reach out to secondary schools and the wider community. Specially selected student icons were recruited from the student population throughout the different ITE colleges to descend onto the MacPherson campus for two days - 7 & 8 Oct 2010 to be immersed in this programme. Being the special chosen one, they will be the future student ambassadors to help 'sell' ITE at the roadshows and talks.

ITE has long shed its image of being second-class with inspiring stories of how its educational programmes have given the students a literal second lease of life and equipped them with life-long skills to carve a niche for themselves in society. If there's anything the ITE students should be lauded for, it's their ability to be more vocal in expressing their views.

Having designed the syllabus to address the issues of confidence, image and personal branding, the students were brought along a grooming journey with me for two days. No stone was left unturned, no doubts remained and no one was left behind. Fun was the order of the day as the students knew under my watchful eyes, they had to participate in all activities. 

If you think only girls were conscious of their self-image, think again. The guys in the class were equally concerned about their appearance. That largely explained why many eyes lit up when I shared my DIY beauty routines and skincare secrets. And to add some icing on the cake, I also gave them some fitness tips for those wanting to buff up.

But it wasn't all about the dress and the style. The students also learnt about voice projection and most importantly, personal branding (which I had fun recording on video). Nerve wrecking each time the video was switched to the 'ON' mode, all went through it gradually like a pro and lived to enjoy the experience. This, I'm sure will serve them well in the very near future when they undertake their new responsibilities as Student Icons!

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Taking body measurements to determine one's body shape

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Discussion time

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Examining the colour of his eyeballs

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Is he more of a summer or winter guy?

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Standing upright like a man should

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All the guys did the 'runway show' to demonstate their walking posture

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How should a guy sit?

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One group photo for keepsake memories :)

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I'm back today at Jurong Junior College (JJC) to train another batch of JC1 girls. Every workshop holds special meaning for me as the needs of the participants are uniquely different. 

The students are really lucky these days as their college (or school) actually organises such enrichment programmes for them. I was just thinking aloud of my own junior college days and how things might have turned out differently for me had I learnt the importance of creating a positive first impressions. Hiring a style coach to give tips to the students back then was almost unheard of. Yet it is so common nowadays for schools.

Well back then, I was truly a scrawny, sickly, bespectacled hermit living in my own little makeshift world...thinking back, it's so sad but so true...But now here I am, completely transformed into a style coach and helping others shed that dowdy image to up their own image quotient.

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It's never my style to just talk and talk for the entire three hours. Even if the girls wouldn't mind my voice, I certainly wouldn't do that too as having a workshop means much more than just the trainer speaking. I firmly believe a workshop should constitute a two-way communication between the trainer and the audience. There should be a lively engagement of ideas, discussions and sharings. That makes a workshop really come alive! Plus, the participants will also be having fun while learning. We learn best when we are most relaxed. Not when we are inundated by endless talking by the trainer. 

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I bet the girls didn't expect me to get them up to stretch and massage each other after the first segment of the grooming workshop was over. Stretching and massaging help us learn better too as we get rid of any lingering tiredness in our bodies and prep ourselves for the next stage of the self-discovery journey, starting with skincare, an evergreen popular topic among everyone, followed by fashion advice and personality styles.

I especially enjoyed the full-on participation by the girls today which brought many smiles to my face. Thank you JJC girls for the beautiful memories!

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