My Experiences with Project Firefly by Samuel Chao

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Samuel Chao's picture

Hi Guys,

Firstly, thanks for the well-wishes and the congratulations. Your comments have been very encouraging. It occurred to me that it'd be suitable to share some of my thoughts on the AIC, so here goes.

After attending 4 days of Credit Suisse’s AIC with the Project Firefly team and the other contestants, what struck me most deeply and still lingers today is the acute sense that I have not experienced enough of the world beyond the shores of Singapore.

The speaker line-up was incredible and I think the conference keenly illustrated the global reach that a multinational bank like Credit Suisse possesses. It was a privilege to be given the opportunity to attend interesting and at-times humorous presentations by eminent thinkers like Dr Zhu Min, Sir John Major and Mr Andrew Garthwaite. I was positively surprised by the way these leaders balanced incisive commentary with candour and wit to deliver thoroughly engaging speeches. I never would have thought these stern leaders whom we ever only read about in the news could be so forthright and conversational. Truly, it was a lesson for me about the importance of being able to express my thoughts fluently in more than one medium.

But perhaps my most personal take-away from the entire experience was the chance to interact closely with the members of Project Firefly and the other contestants, Stuart and Charles. It was interesting to see how our views diverged and converged on a vast array of subjects, from monetary policy to the US-China political relationship to trivial topics like movies. I distinctly remember noting to myself how their deep interest in the politics of their nation lay in stark contrast to how most undergraduates view politics in Singapore. It is this manner of interaction and exchange of ideas that convinces me that Project Firefly has a genuine value proposition. I imagine the platform growing from strength to strength once network effects set in and more students hear about it. (Unfortunately or fortunately, I guess that’s also the point where competition becomes much stiffer!)