Meet Darren, our 22-year-old intern from #SMU

Meet Darren, a 22-year-old #SMU undergraduate who is spending his summer break interning at the farm. Part business student, part frog wizard, and all passionate about life, hear why he choose Jurong Frog Farm to learn lessons beyond the classroom.

I had to first identify the good and bad of the previous website, finding out what worked and what didn’t for the company. I then re-structured and organised content into different categories, such that navigating through the website was more seamless. Taking reference from other websites that are commonly used as models to learn from, I sieved out the key things that could be applied to the company’s website. Once the content was uploaded, I approached a number of people to feedback on what could be improved and what needs changing. This allowed me to better suit the user experience to a wider audience. When on-site, I realised that the pricing of certain products were not benefitting the company. The sales of one product was cannibalising the sales of the other. I brought up the situation to my superior and we had a change of pricing. This led to an increase in sales of both products. The product was also sold as a package that encouraged returning customers. Collecting images was the first step to improving on the visuals for the company. I’ve had some experience with photography and put that to use. Along the course of the internship, I picked up photoshop and learnt as I edited photos, creating pictures and graphics that could be used for our website, brochures, social media account and all marketing related items. I’ve also sought help from a social media company that the company later engaged and went on to improve on my skills to fine tune what I could offer to Jurong Frog Farm.

I’ve learnt that executing plans aren’t usually as smooth as I’d thought they’d be without proper planning. Time has to be allocated to a certain project and the success of it depends on the execution as much as it does on the preparation leading up to it. I’ve definitely witnessed excellent planning and experienced poorer ones. These occasions have given me great examples on good planning and provided me with a model from what can be improved on when it comes to my own planning.

Not all plans go well and more often not, we do experience failure. What’s important is not to forget about these failures, but to figure out what went wrong and to prevent them from occurring again. Jurong Frog Farm was very welcoming to interns and gave me a chance to demonstrate my capabilities whilst pointing out what I could improve on. They weren’t afraid to give me bigger tasks and valued my opinions which provided me with more opportunities to further my growth. 

I would strongly recommend Jurong Frog Farm for future interns looking to grow themselves.

2-month Internship @ JFF – by Wan Aliff

Hello! I am Wan Aliff, the latest addition to Jurong Frog Farm. I am currently an NIE undergraduate under the NTU-NIE Teaching Scholars Programme and on a track to be a Science/Mathematics teacher. As part of the BUILD (Building University Interns for Leadership Development) programme, I will be serving a 2-month internship at JFF with the objectives of learning leadership and operational skills from an industry apart from education as well as to value add to the company through means such as projects.

It’s only been my second week here and already it has been one huge experience. Set in a remote, opposite end of Singapore, it takes me about 2.5 hours of public commute if I am travelling from home. However, there is no reason to complain as the foreign workers on the farm wakes up diligently at 6 am every single day to wash and feed the frogs. Who knew running a farm could be this busy? Every single person on deck is responsible in ensuring that the farm runs smoothly.

Initially, I had some trouble memorising the content as well as delivering tours for preschool students as I wasn’t used to interacting with students of that age group. I had the privilege of having Zheng Xun and Jackson to occasionally provide tips for improvements during the tours. Although I had some experience conducting tour groups at the Sports Hub last year for older students, this was a completely different experience. During my first few tries, I made many assumptions based on the content given to me. For example, once I was telling the pre-schoolers that most of the tadpoles do not live to be an adult frog due to cannibalism which was not entirely true. Zheng Xun, the Froggy Guide who was observing the tour was quick to correct me and explain that tadpoles die for many other reasons too such as diseases, predators and often naturally.

Once, I had the chance to try out deboning the frog for a day. It took an entire day to completely debone them for me as compared to the workers who can do it in half a day. It left me with sores and aching legs and by the end of the day, I crashed on my bed and slept dead as a log by 9pm in exhaustion. It got me to reflect however. Not all jobs are ever pleasant. There I was silently complaining of the stench and the back-breaking work but at the end of the day someone must do the work. This had only been a day’s work for me and I could only just imagine the workers who had to debone the meat for the past few years. Also, I would not have been able to complete deboning the frog by the end of the day without the help of Jen and the director of JFF, Chelsea. Yes, that is right, sometimes even the boss must get her hands dirty to get the job done. To run the company, you must understand what each of your workers are doing. This was a very valuable lesson for me.

What I was really impressed thus far is the passion by the people working here for the farm. From young we were taught that Singapore’s economy had to evolve from agricultural to manufacturing and now towards high-value added technology to stay competitive. Little emphasis is thus given to understand the small agricultural scene here. The struggle to remain relevant and to preserve this rich heritage of Singapore is evident through the daily operations on the farm. You need passion. You need innovation and you need perseverance to keep a farm running in Singapore. Jurong Frog Farm is open come rain or shine through weekends and public holidays. The people here are always ready to welcome anyone to the farm with a smile and I think that is what makes the place a magical one.

Ribblette’s Final Hop!

My favourite picture while I was working here! 🙂

Ribbit ribbit! Ribblette speaking! This is my last week of internship and it has been a wonderful 4½ months here as an intern!

Personally, I really love frogs at a young age and I was excited when I got accepted by Jurong Frog Farm as an intern.

During the first week of internship, I was assigned with many different tasks such as retail operations, managing of social media, packing of stocks and even conducting tours! At first, it was really challenging for me because of a number of different tasks I am given. However, as time passes, I was able to adapt to the working environment and was able to handle the tasks with confidence!

Of course, there are still times where I did not perform well during work but my supervisor, Zheng Xun, and my manager, Jackson, was there to lend me a helping hand! They were friendly and patient with me throughout the internship.

In this internship, I learnt many valuable skills and one of the most important things I learnt is to not make any assumptions. There were times when I made assumptions at work and it caused a few miscommunications and affected the workflow. Thus, instead of assuming, I decided to ask my supervisor and manager whenever I am unsure about certain issues or questions.

I also had lots of memories from my experience at Jurong Frog Farm such as the opportunity to meet many different celebrities from Mediacorp, participating in JFF’s 35th Anniversary, selling our products at events, celebrating Christmas and gift exchange with JFF, counting down to 2017 with JFF and so much more!

The experiences I have experienced here is really one of a kind and nothing will be able to replace these memories and experiences.

Last but not least, I am really thankful for Chelsea, Zheng Xun, Jackson, the Bangladeshi workers, the housekeepers and also Uncle and Auntie (Mr. and Mrs. Wan) for all their help with work and food during my internship!

Hopping off,

Ribblette AKA Kayleen

Azrul aka Frosch, your new helpful froggie guide hopping into Jurong Frog Farm!

Hi! My name is Muhammad Azrul aka Frosch, your helpful and hopefully (going to be) amazing froggie guide who has just hopped into Jurong Frog Farm! Frosch is a German word for Frog and also a character name of a cat disguised as a frog from an Anime series ‘Fairy Tail’. The reason why I choose that because the attributes of the cat is positive and happy-go-lucky like me!

My first week as an intern here can only be described as busy! I was kept occupied as there were just so many aspects of the business to learn. It was tiring and scary at first but I still keep my spirit up.

The first few days I felt pressurized with the amount of work needed to be done and especially afraid on conducting the tour all by myself. When I did my first dry run of the ‘Gabbe’s Adventure’ with Mr. Jackson at the “hands on the frog” station, I felt relieved and in fact quite proud that I have stepped out of my comfort zone with this public speaking challenge!

I was even tasked to explain about the parts of the frogs to the kids of Swiss School in Singapore. From that experience, I was sure I’ll be a better frog guide/host for future tours! I also learned about more different things in the retailing sector where I got to learn the use of the cash register and the website systems used to manage online orders and tour bookings.

All in all, the week was productive and I was greeted with smiling and friendly customers who were patient with me knowing that it was the first week of my internship!

Frog Boy’s last cycle

Hey everyone! Frog boy is here to share his thoughts!

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Today is my last day of my internship as 5 months have just flew by at the blink of an eye! This is the last post where I will share my experiences in the farm!

When I was informed by my lecturer that I’m assigned to Jurong Frog Farm, I was confused! “Does Singapore even has a farm??” My friends were equally surprised when I told them where I would be having my internship. Some of my friends even laughed and joked that I could eat frogs every day. I was stunned at that point of time where it got me thinking what would I learn by being a farmer.

However, a week into my internship at Jurong Frog Farm changed my preconceived impression of how a farm work. I thought that being a farmer was to just take care of the frogs, grow them and sell them that’s all. But I was wrong, by being a farmer is definitely not as easy as I thought as we not only have to make sure that all frogs are in good condition and have no sickness. There are also many areas of work like hosting of educational tours, office work and also updating of social media which can keep a new age urban farmer busy 24/7!

I have learnt to create invoices for purchases & tour bookings made by customers. It was a challenge replying to emails back then as I am not trained to replying emails in a formal manner. With the guidance of my intern supervisor Jackson, I have improved on my email writing. I was tasked with another huge challenge as I have to come up with a promotion and also to promote it through social media and to design a poster to be placed in the retail shop to advertise.

I remember the first day when I was being attached to the farm and one of my tasks was to catch a frog. It is like Fear Factor to me as I was very scared. Somehow, I managed to muster my courage and carry one although I was still afraid of it. When the frog moved, I dropped it and this was still an incident I felt bad for. Frogs were yucky and slimy creatures to me back then. Now that I have gotten used to them, they are actually cute and friendly.

I can also still recall the jitters when Jackson told me to get ready to conduct my first tour. Although I was given many dry runs and practices, I was not comfortable and confident being in the centre of attention. To make things worse, that particular tour group required a mandarin speaking tour guide. My mind was a total blank and I almost threw in the towel. Jackson helped with the first segment which was the presentation part and that was the hardest to me because all the slides have to be interpreted from English to Chinese.

After the first segment was done, it was my turn to do the hands-on-frog segment. I was very stiff as I was too nervous. Fortunately everything went well. Although I was a greenhorn in this field, I was fortunate to have Jackson as my supervisor as he is a very patient person and gave me time to learn.

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Throughout the internship, I felt that I have learnt many life skills and also through the on the job training, built up my confidence which I didn’t have back then. I am now able to host tours more coherently and confidently now. I am also able to reply emails more professionally. Marketing a product is much easier for me now as back then I thought that I would never be able to sell anything! 

 

I would like to thank Jackson again, for being so patient and guiding me slowly although I have screwed up most of the times as I can be sometimes very forgetful and miss deadlines!

 

Jurong frog farm has taught me so much and also given me an amazing and unique experience! I was also advised that these skills that I have learnt can be applied in my future working life. I wouldn’t mind to keep working at Jurong Frog Farm as I find farming is a very interesting job despite the challenges.

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Oh, and lastly , I would like to thank Jackson for organising a farewell BBQ for me. It was an enjoyable get together with all the past and present JFF crew.

 

 

 

 

 

So, as for that last day as an intern, this is Frog boy aka Joseph saying farewell.

New member here, Sgt.Frog!

Greetings everyone, this is Sgt.Frog reporting in!

So why Sgt.Frog? This is due to me liking the anime Sgt.Frog! Another name for it is Keroro Gunsou, so try watching a few episodes of it!

Anyways, I’m a student from Republic Polytechnic that has been posted to Jurong Frog Farm for training!

So I’ve been starting my training on 10th March before the commencement of the actual internship, and just so happen on that day there were already two schools visiting the farm! So my first duty was to be familiar with the content of the tour!

So for the first tour I was to be an observer. I shadowed Charlane, another employee here that has been conducting tours for a long while so she was experienced in it. Watching the person leading the tour was easy. Leading the tour on the other hand was much more harder.

The first time I tried conducting part of the tour which was explaining the history of the frog farm was… well let’s just say I was rattling too fast and getting nervous. Luckily Chelsea the lady boss saved me and the children on the first day of my internship were more attentive and listening to my presentation after that. They gladly followed me about to the different parts of the farm to see the frogs.

Towards the late the evening, another group entered into the farm, except this time they were celebrities from Hong Kong performing in a TV series called “Travel with Mom” where the celebrities will travel to different countries with their moms to find fun and interesting places. The celebrities were Sidney 雪梨 (Mom), Edward 徐偉棟 (Son) and Erica 徐頴堃 (Daughter)! After their filming with the frogs, they were treated with some home cooked gong bao frog legs, deep fried frog legs and the dessert Hashima!

Then over the next three days more children from schools came over to visit and join the tour, which I was give the task to help conduct them! So I started out with getting familiarised with the history of the farm, not easy especially when you are explaining history to kids! So with the advice and pointers from Chelsea and Charlane, I learnt a few tricks like getting them hyped up so they’ll be more attentive, and showing some firmness to actually get them to pay attention to me instead of talking about!

Ken

In just four days I’ve already helped lead tour groups that total up to 632 children! Some first week in the training programme huh?

And during the weekends I met a local celebrity Ben Yeo! Couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take a pic with him! Also,
I learnt to cooked deep fried frog meat and crocodile meat as well! So do come and visit during the weekends, I can let you try my cooking skills!

Ken & Ben

So if you wanna know more about my experiences during my training in the next time (or about my challenges) stay tuned for more updates!

ANNA’s ‘Metamorphosis’

Hi peeps,

I have officially concluded my internship with JFF. Looking back, 4 months have passed by in a flash but the memories I have made in this time will stay with me forever.

I still vividly remember the first 2 weeks of internship – challenging would be the word I would use to describe.

Firstly i had to adapt to the company’s work culture and learn the basics of a frog’s life.

Secondly, I thought I had to meet up to the expectations immediately but Chelsea gave me time to learn without putting too much pressure on me because she knew my strengths and assigned the work to me based on this.

I believe few people actually know of the existence of farms in Singapore. Sure there may be a handful of curious and adventurous ones who would know, but that’s about it. Truth be told, farming is somewhat elusive knowledge to us city folk.
However,after working in the farm, I’ve changed my perspective on farming. Many of us think that it is a lowly job but I think that we should not look down on farmers; it takes tons of hard work and perseverance to manage the land and raise the livestock!

It was a good experience working in such an environment, away from the city.
Working on the farm, I didn’t just learn things about Frogs, Ive also learned to speak to the public. Conducting a tour of 5 is easy but not to a group of 50-70 people and there is definitely a lot more to look into besides just conveying the froggy message to the group.For me I think that having the group focus their attention on you is the most important thing to do. Once you lose their attention, they will start to wander on their own resulting in the need for crowd controlling and that, to me, is the most challenging part.

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Other than tours, I also did administrative work, retail sales, taking orders from customers, replying to emails, selling frogs, and handling customers’ inquiries.
The most important thing I learnt from Chelsea is to NOT ASSUME ANYTHING when we are working in a company. Never ever assume because it can really cause a lot of miscommunication which will end up disrupting work flow. So I will never allow myself to have any sort of preconception get in the way of my work in the future.

I’ve had lovely memories from my experience here. Hitching a ride by the road, going into other people’s farm to pluck fruits (with permission of course!!), selling our products at the inaugural Farmers’ market, meeting nice people along the way, solemnization happening in the frog farm, applying qin chao oil on an injured duck’s leg, plucking mangoes with the Bangladeshi workers, going to a Pre-U Seminar in NUS with Chelsea to see JFF being showcased by a group of students etc… All sorts of funny and interesting things.

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This experience was really special and I feel lucky to have been able to go through it.
Thank You Jurong Frog Farm for taking interns and allowing them to experience such a unique working environment.

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Winner of a Frog Lookalike Award!

Richard Chai, from Republic polytechnic, is one of the cutest intern we have received here on the farm. Within 2 weeks into his 4 months long stint, he realized how frequently he has been commented by little children on how similar he looks compared to a frog!! Below is his testimonial.

“Firstly, when i heard it’s a farm, i thought i would have to do more manual work. However, when my internship started, it was a totally different experience from what i have expected.

The job scopes were slightly more than expected, because i thought i only have one job scope however, when i started working there, the job scopes i have to cover includes admin work, retails, tour conducting, etc. So it was kind of tough for me because handling so much different type of work at the start of the week, i could not adjust to it. However as time passes by, the job scopes i have to handle were actually kind of fun because they kept me from being bored.

It was totally different from my expectation and my experience while working over there was actually quite fun! The hospitality of the company was good and the rules were easy to understand. I had an enjoyable time working there as an intern, unlike what my friends shared about what they experienced from their internship.”

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1 week stint at JFF

21 year old, Ms Ong Yi lun, was assigned to JFF by SP as a special project observer. This stint includes a 1 night stay at the farm. Read about her exprience below!

“The short stay at JFF was a fun & an experience of a lifetime. Instead of hanging out with friends on the weekends, i was surrounded by the croaking frogs~ Getting my hands and feets dirty, wadding in the pond catching the frogs proved to be no easy feat even for a 21 year old!
What’s so interesting about this farm? You must be thinking… What else? Of course it will be FROGS! That’s right! FROGS are everywhere! In the ponds, shop, magazines and even on your plates! But then again, not only do they sell products on frogs, but actually CROCODILE meat and VENISON! Can you believe that? That’s definitely something new & worth a try. ^^

Ok. Enough of the frogs~ The other thing that one cannot miss will be the friendly, helpful, young lady boss & her assistant! Their cheerful & outgoing personalities really brightens up every single day. Along, comes their loyal companion dogs, Bobby & Puppy with their energetic barks & playfulness. 😀