Wei Lin (Fro)’s First Week Experience @ JFF

Hi! My name is Cheng Wei Lin, I’m a new intern at JFF. I’m from Republic Polytechnic’s School of Applied Sciences, currently studying under Environmental Science.

When I first came in, I thought that there would be lots of running like checking up on the frogs and catching the escaped frogs. Turns out the frogs can handle themselves very well, and their pens are hard to escape. I wanted to try and see if I can condition the frogs, but unlike Pavlov and his dogs, frogs are a lot less responsive (it’s not like I can see them salivate).

The hard work was to be expected, but it’s not any harder than helping out at my parent’s minimart. There are different products and different customers than what I am used to, but I feel that I am adapting ok here. Sure, it can be hot out, but nobody expects you to stand under the sun the whole day. Even the tours are conducted where it is sheltered! We understand that the customers don’t like the heat just as much as we do! But if it’s really hot, that’s even better! It means that I can tempt more people to buy our Hashima desert and local ice cream with a higher success rate. Mosquitoes? No worries, we have Bioactive Collagen Moisturizing Mosquito repellent. Every single person that walks into the store front is a potential customer which is why managing the store front is a good way to practice sales pitch, within the first minute you will know whether you have an interested customer or a tourist here to learn and experience. For someone interested in buying, they will usually have an upper limit for spending and certain target items they may want to buy. Those usually I will elaborate more on the products they are interested in, and tossing in a few other items to widen their choices selection. For those interested to learn and experience, I will usually start with fun facts and interesting information, including how it is sourced and handled to form the product they see before them.

Of course, there are sometimes the difficult customer that throws in a curve ball. One time a lady asked me on how to cook crocodile meat. I had to Google the answer, but luckily my supervisor Jackson saved me. That experience only thought me how little I actually know of my products. That very day I went home to ask my mother how to cook crocodile, venison, snakehead, tilapia, hashima and frog meat. That was also when I learnt that frog + bitter gourd soup is good for fighting dengue fever. I mean, I knew about the ‘frog meat is good for helping with skin issues’, but the dengue fever part was a real ‘WAIT, WHAT?!’ moment.

This is a professional business, so I can’t scare people with a villainous cackle, but I can’t wait to release that bit of information and watch their faces change. Muahahahahahaha~

With lots of love,
Fro

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

The Performance Series #5 “Farm Race”

Does it sound like a dream marathon to run from one farm after another in Singapore??

Dream no more as the first “Farm Race” powered by The Performance Series #5 is happening right here at the Kranji Countryside next Sunday, 18th Dec 2016!

Participants can anticipate lush forestry and farmlands as a beautiful backdrop and perhaps some resident dogs of the countryside to run alongside. For the participants, some sweet deals await you!

JFF partners the run organisers to bring you a good promotion on our newest anti mozzie, beauty product- Collagreen Mosquito Repelling Moisturising Lotion Fortified with Bioactive Collagen. This is a product that PROTECTS, HYDRATES and MOISTURISE at the same time and keeps out mosquito bites and stings! Best part of the story, don’t worry about the sweat washing out the essence of this lotion. Our bioactive collagen has strong binding properties to your skin giving you that UV protection and skin hydration, without clogging your pores, while you sweat and do what you got to do!

Per 100ml bottle: $18 or 2 bottles for $30
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Not only that, fancy a nice cold dessert after the race – Health and beauty benefits aside? We will be selling our popular Traditional Royal Hashima Dessert exclusively for all participants at only $5/bowl at the end point!
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The icing on the cake – Hop on the free shuttle for the farm visits after race! We’ll be looking forward to seeing you at the Kranji Countryside in another week or so!

Riblette hops into JFF!

Hello! My name is Kayleen aka Ribblette The reason why I chose this nickname is because frogs go “ribbit, ribbit” so, I decided to add in “lette” to feminize it! This is my 2nd week in JFF as an intern. I chose this internship because I am not afraid of frogs and I like how I get to have lots of social interaction with not only frogs but also the tour participants. I am an extrovert and I love to soak in the energy mingling with people! Besides the above, I hope too that my time here as an intern in JFF would help me to discover more about myself and apply what I would learn here for all my future endeavors.

I look forward to the opportunity to be hosting you around the farm!

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!

Sgt.Frog is Hopping off the Farm!

Hi everyone,

Sgt.Frog here!
So this will be my last blog post here in the farm.

I have been on the farm for my internship for four months and now it’s time to share my experiences here.
The first time I heard my teacher said that I was posted to a frog farm, all my friends already starting joking that I’ll be eating frog porridge everyday!

So in my head when realized being posted to a frog farm, sweating under the hot sun and being surrounded by hundreds of frogs.

The Bullfrogs

So what did i learnt from this internship?
Learning to communicate way better than I ever did. Before the internship, I was shy and only open up to friends that i know well.
But now I’m able to talk to visitors and customers confidently on the spot and assisting them!
Also I’ve learned to react to unexpected situations calmly and appropriately. I have to say I have messed up at times during the internship but fortunately Chelsea was a forgiving person.

The first few weeks of my tours were supervised by Chelsea in case I froze during the tour.
She was friendly and patient with me throughout the internship, helping me with my flaws and teaching me the correct ways to conduct a tour and my other job scopes. It includes admin work and taking care of the shop during weekends.
I was a slow learner, so it took me a longer time before Chelsea felt that I was able to manage the tour by myself.
But before the internship started I never would have thought I’ll be able to lead a guided tour around the farm by myself!

Having my internship here at the farm was definitely one of the best experiences I ever had.
I have definitely learned many new things and improved my skills that can be applied during my future working life.

Frog riding a Beetle
(Picture by Indonesian based wildlife photographer Hendy Mp)

And with that, this is Sgt.Frog saying farewell.

Froglette’s Last Day of Work

Hi everybody! Froglette here, and it’s my last day of work already!! Here are my thoughts after being at JFF for 4 whole months.

Being assigned here for my internship has taught me a lot and gave me a once-in-a-lifetime experience that not many people can have. Who gets to work in a farm just like that?

I thought when JFF was assigned to be my place of internship, I would be taking care of frogs every day, checking on their health, etc. But my job scope didn’t have much to do with the care of frogs! Instead, it revolved around events like tours, office work, online work and many more. Also, definitely not MY kind of desired work (especially giving tours) since I’m quite a soft-spoken and shy person. However, the facilitators at my school have spoken, and I have no choice but to have my internship here in the frog farm.

And I don’t regret not rejecting my facilitators.

The 1st week of training was for me to get familiarised with how everything works at the farm. To be honest, I think I learnt (or rather, memorised) the content of the tours rather fast, and I gave my very first tour just that week. Chelsea was with me to help me along if I met with any difficulties, and sure enough, I did. In the very first portion of the tour which is the ‘history of the farm’, I blanked out. It was most probably due to nervousness from talking to a big group of people (10 people was considered big to me at that time) because I’ve never done tours before! But the both of us finished the tour nicely, and the tour group offered me lots of words of encouragement to boost my confidence level.

As the weeks went past, my confidence level in giving tours went up as my knowledge of the content became more drilled into me and also as I become more used to talking to large groups of people. About 1 month into my work, I could give tours to large groups of 40 people without flinching a limb or batting an eyelid. I could safely say that at that point of time, I was a much more confident girl than I was 1 month ago.

All in all, never did I think I would EVER work in a farm for slimy and green amphibians which brings screams to squeamish girls terrified of these lovely creatures. It truly is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I’m sure I will exit this place an entirely different girl than from 4 months ago.

 

Signing off,
Froglette 🙂

First post by hmm…Froglette?

Hello everyone, Froglette here!

So, how did I come up with this nickname for myself? I don’t particularly LOVE ‘Smurfs’, but actually got the idea from the female Smurf’s name: Smurfette. So there we go! Froglette joins the JFF family for the next 4 months, or maybe even longer.

There were a total of 3 tours that I conducted today (some together with my colleague), and I’m still getting the hang of it. My first tour group consisted of people my age, and I was honestly very anxious throughout the whole duration of this tour. But they were very nice, and a few of them standing closest to me were telling me that I shouldn’t be nervous because they won’t eat me! For my last tour of the day, it was the Gabbe’s Adventure tour, and I conducted this to quite a big group of primary 1 kids. They were very cute! I had lots of fun speaking to them, but at the same time, they were very hard to control. Crowd control is a skill I would have to pick up very soon, if not I’ll easily get overwhelmed. I’m actually very nervous about conducting tours because I have never liked talking to, or interacting with big groups of people. But maybe there is a purpose for me in coming to JFF for my internship, and hopefully by the end of my internship, I would be a more outgoing person, more willing to initiate conversations with all sorts of people, and be a changed person overall.

I’ll probably be writing more in the near future, so look out for Froglette’s posts! Bye for now! 🙂

Hi I'm Felicia (Froglette)!
Hi I’m Felicia (Froglette)!

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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