Is creativity encouraged in schools?


Recently, I received my email business correspondence assignment. Although I scored well-above average, there is something that caught my attention about being creative and thinking out-of-the-box. At the end of my email, I included my company’s address, website URL and office number.

I was deducted 1/2 a mark because of that. Reasons: Students may be dumping all contact information without thinking and to keep an email simple, extra information should be omitted.

I went to consult my tutor and I explained why I included these “extra” information. Reason being, including a company’s address allow the recipient(a fictitious CEO) know where my company is located. His organization was supposed to send their trainees to my company for game testing, etc. Moreover, to include a physical address gives a sense of security that this company is real and reputable. I told the tutor I thought for a long time before including the company’s physical address. I searched over the Internet to get some advice and I was convinced by several sites that said it will be good to include because [reasons cited above].
One argument I gave was what if the CEO or his staff wanted to come by my company to take a look? Besides, while working with some real companies, I do see their physical address! So why not? To add on, it may be a requirement for a company’s staff to have pre-formatted email signatures for consistency and be aligned with company policies. Are you going to penalize the company who included its business address in their emails?

Will an email signature overwhelm the reader with information? I don’t think so. Whenever I see the line “Yours sincerely” in an email, I know it’s the end of given information. Whatever information after that signing off is purely extra and optional. So what do you mean by keeping a simple email simple?
We are in a very competitive business environment, every bit of extra information(necessary of course) is important in sealing a chance to meet-up with your prospective or a deal with the recipient’s company.

I know I had presented a fairly well argument and I do not expect my tutor to award the 1/2 a mark back. Although my tutor was convinced my argument was sound, in order to be “To be fair and consistent”, she couldn’t award me the 1/2 mark. Yes I agree. What can I do yes? I am not offended anyway.

I just want to comment that academic results may not reflect the entire full potential and value of a student or a graduate. Academic results are largely end-results. My favorite lecturer in NUS, Dr Irene Woon once told me that there are students who do not participate in active learning and yet they score very well in their exams by being exam-smart. What people are missing is that value creation is progressive and not an end-result.

Before you chuck out that resume with an undesirable CAP/GPA, read his resume and find out if he put in effort in his resume, practice picking up adjectives; hobbies and achievements that speaks otherwise of his academic grades. I read a book (I forgotten if it’s from Malcolm Gladwell) that suggested how a person packs and tidies up his room is as good as reading his resume or his psychological profile.

An experiment was done on above assumption. Strangers were given a checklist of personality traits and were told to enter a room. Based on observing the room, strangers were told to tick the attributes of the room owner. This includes how he tidied his room, what books he reads, what music he listens to and how he placed his furniture, etc. To the author’s surprise, the traits the strangers ticked were almost identical to the professional psychologists’ assessment of the same room owner.

Why this experiment worked? Looking at a person’s room in its most natural state can tell a lot about a person. However, crafting a resume and using nouns and verbs skillfully can be deceiving. I believe it is not uncommon to see interviewees being asked to attend dinner functions or play some group games in order to assess the person.

All I have to say is, “I am still proud of advocating for the underdogs”. No matter what the world view is, I like to add in my own view. When the majority says it is conventional and ‘safe’ wisdom, I would like to confound. How the world condemns and define “losers”, I would like to resurrect and shame “world” wisdom.

That’s my USP (Unique Selling Proposition). I hope you enjoyed my USP views so far. haha.

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