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A Taste of Innovation Competition

Kok Jia Xuan

Being able to participate in the 2016 Zone Sabah Innovation Competition was
like a dream came true. Since I first came to this institute, the honour winning the
competition oftentimes sparkled and dazzled in my eyes. I had always hoped for the
opportunity to participate in this competition since I first came to this institute. Finally,
at semester 4, I took the initiative to participate and gratefully, I got the opportunity to
advance to another level.
I was elated that my product, Tephon had been able to grab the eyeballs and
attention of the juries. I got the chance to represent Kent Institute in the individual
category. Being given the opportunity made me feel anxious and excited at the same
time. Anxious because it was the first time I had ever participated in this competition
and have zero experience in it; excited because it will be a new learning experience
for me. I was informed that the date of the competition, which is 28 th April 2016. I got
into the preparation for the competition during the 2015 year-end holiday.
The process of preparation was not easy. It was excruciating with all sweat
and blood and not as glamorous as many of us had thought when we first came
across with the idea of winning the competition. During the holiday, I brainstormed on
several possibilities on how my product can be improved. I planned to equip Tephon
with an educational phone application to further improve learners pronunciation
when they are using the phone. However, many of the ideas were impractical. Thus,
I only managed to change to a smaller size and make the buttons more flexible.
Before the Chinese New Year holiday, I was informed that I need to produce a
report on the feasibility of my product supported by data and analysis. Every single
detail about my product has to be recorded in the report. Hence I have to do my data
collection during the practicum and continue my report in the midst of course works.
Semester 5 was a really busy semester. At times I was having too much on my
plates and therefore I have to stop working on my innovation project and focus on
the more urgent things, such as my course works which were nearing the deadlines.

When things were slowing down a bit for the semester, which was after the
Sports Day and Language Arts drama staging, I tried to catch up with my innovation
project again. By then it was two weeks left to the day of the competition, I was too
late to start. Of course, I was nervous and extremely anxious. There were still many
things unfinished. My report was still not complete. Plus I have to design the banner,
prepare the brochure, the display and analyse the data all on my own. It was a tough
time for me. I slept for only three hours per day during the period, waking up at three
o clock in the midnight to complete my unfinished work. There was only on thought
in my head, I have come this far, I cannot give up.
With the help of my mentor, Miss Sophia Tsen, I managed to come up with
everything before the deadline. It was a real challenge to me since those are things I
have not done before. Handling everything on my own without a team to back up on
me was not something I was familiar with. I got help from my friends, Sze Miin, Mei
Yi, Irene and Poh Ping who extended their warm hands towards me when I was
breaking down trying to piece everything I need to prepare for the competition
together. The night before the competition, I only get one hour and half of sleep with
a half-practiced script.
However, I woke up the next morning feeling refreshed, ready to rock and roll
for the days competition. I was the first to present my product, and have all day
watching other participants. There were butterflies in my stomach when I presented
my product, but I felt good. It was what I worked very hard for so many days, it
wasnt easy, but I managed to do it. Before this, I was worried about the results.
However, after I finished my presentation, I felt that it doesnt matter anymore. I have
tried my best.
I ended up getting the silver prize for the competition, which is the third place
out of four IPGs. I was humbled by the creativity of other participants and the way
they presented it. It was a great experience for me. I hoped that in the future, more
talents from IPG Kent will be able to participate in the event and bring glory to the