Humans of IHS: Si Min Wong

Humans of IHS is a mini-portrait series that features the people who make IHS a unique place. Many of the urban professionals with common roots at IHS, often describe it as a very welcoming, familiar space, where they not only acquired valuable knowledge for their career, but also formed solid ties and friendships with their peers. This is what drove us to create this mini-series: the wish to give others a glimpse of the amazing people that make IHS special.

Si Min just graduated the Strategic Urban Planning & Policies Master track at IHS, Erasmus University, and is an urban planner at Singapore's Housing & Development Board. She derives joy and satisfaction from her work while tackling complex and challenging urban issues with her colleagues from various government agencies and seeing how their efforts impact people's lives in a genuine and meaningful way. "Being part of something greater than myself also keeps me grounded and humble, knowing there is always more to learn from the people around me and different perspectives that I have yet to explore."

If she could solve an urban issue, Si Min would create a more cohesive society with greater mutual understanding and respect between people.

"To create a socially inclusive society is a never-ending journey. From time to time, circumstances could stress pre-existing social fault lines, or new ones could emerge. Singapore is no exception to this challenge, with class, race and nationality being some of the recent hot button issues."         

Her favourite memory from the Netherlands is experiencing snow during wintertime. "As the Netherlands doesn't get to enjoy long periods of snow during wintertime, my classmates and I would make spontaneous outings whenever it starts to snow." Her favourite moment at IHS was meeting her classmates since the classes were reduced to their 13" laptop screens and small video boxes on Zoom. "We decided to organise a picnic in Kralingse Bos and finally got to see one another 3D, life-size, Ultra HD and unmuted!"

"I appreciate the diversity of the IHS classroom. Meeting people from different parts of the world and listening to their experiences and perspectives was eye-opening and enriching for me." She also enjoyed the breadth of subjects covered under the Master programme. It exposed her to the different aspects of urban management and challenged her to think deeper about these issues in her country's context.

One thing she couldn't live without in the Netherlands is the Buienradar app. As the weather in the Netherlands is somewhat unpredictable, it's good to check the weather forecast and plan activities around it.

"While life is about "learning to dance in the rain", it's still good to equip yourself and be prepared for the rain. (Yes, we are planners to the core.)." Si Min also enjoys some Dutch delicacies every now and then." Hot snacks such as patat, kibbeling, kroket and bitterballen are great for cold weather and stroopwafels, and oliebollen are a must for lazy evenings."

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