Guiding Light





Shop at Velvet


Shop at Velvet




Massimo Dutti



You work in the healthcare sector—share with us a little more about what you do.
I work in the public health sphere, which emphasises on improving and protecting the health and well-being of the public—my role is to keep the public active anytime, anywhere. We do that with the use of wearable technology, gamification on a mobile app and theories on behavioural change. It’s an exciting area of work and I feel very satisfied seeing the campaign come to life—like taking notice of citizens wearing our device with the campaign logo when I used to take the train to work.

What’s something people often misunderstand about your work? 
When people hear that I’m from the healthcare sector, some would naturally assume that I’m either a doctor, nurse, or psychologist. To be honest, till this day, my parents don’t have a good idea of what I do. They tell their friends that I do admin work near a hospital, since my office is located next to Singapore General Hospital (laughs).

How has your perspective towards your job changed since COVID-19? 
COVID-19 has changed my perspective about the public sector in general. When the pandemic struck, I personally witnessed the copious amount of selfless hours and hard work every officer had to put in. (To my teammates who happen to see this feature, I’m proud of all of you!) It also reminded me of the importance of public health education, such as personal hygiene, because you aren’t just protecting yourself but also your loved ones and the community at large.

You’ve also published a research paper—tell us more about what it revolves around. 
The influence of parenting in your adult life—I embarked on a research about this four years ago when I noticed a lot of literature on how parenting influences one’s academic outcomes, but not many existed about social relationships. Life isn’t all about academic outcomes and material success, right? Building relationships, especially romantic ones, are normal and important milestones for any young adult, and it was interesting to find out more about how their behaviour is shaped by different styles of upbringing.

Did you make any surprising discoveries during your research?
In Western research spheres, authoritarian parenting is often portrayed in a negative light because it’s characterised as high control with less warmth—but we found that ‘control’ could be a way for parents to convey their support and concern for their child, and these children grow to have healthy relationships with their partners.

We noticed you also run a zakka store on the side: tell us more about how the shop got started. 
My parents have been running a local gift and souvenir store for close to 40 years, particularly for Japanese tourists visiting Singapore. As their eldest daughter, I felt the impetus to do something to help them out so I took it on as a weekend hobby.During my parents’ time, growing a business was primarily by word-of-mouth but in today’s climate, we needed to have some digital presence which is why I decide to create and run the Facebook and Instagram platforms for Chosan Zakka.

Share with us what you enjoy the most about about running the zakka store:
During this process, I had to get in touch with my parents’ long-time customers and they’d share old photos that they took with my parents. I’ve never seen them before, so I found them really cute! I enjoy the process of seeing our customers turn into friends and creating that personable connection.

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