Written by: Zachary Low
Edited by: Celine Yeap
Our writer takes a trip down to the F block lounge for a chat with the JCRC Financial Secretary and ‘sexy beast’ of KEVII, Mitchell Yeo. A Year 3 Math major, Mitchell also plays squash for KEVII and enjoys running in his free time. Due to his being the Financial Secretary, Mitchell is often seen surrounded by people during dinner, leading him to remark to his friends that ‘I’m a busy man’. Today, we find out what makes this intrepid character tick.
Z: Let’s take a trip in the Tardis, back to the year 2010. Whatever made you decide to join the JCRC?
Mitchell: In 2010, the 54th JCRC President approached me after Orientation. KEWOC was my only CCA then, and I thought I would need a new CCA to continue staying in hall. Moreover, I was confident that if I took up the post of Financial Secretary, I would be able to dispense my duties with due diligence and competence. Also, the people who made up the JCRC were a big part of it.
Z: Do you think it is a tough job?
Mitchell: Initially when I first started, it was difficult. I had to learn the ropes by myself. But routine made it easier over time, and collecting receipts, photocopying, and reimbursing became a habit over time.
Z: And what makes you take up this appointment again, knowing full well the weight of responsibility it entails?
Mitchell: Well, this year I was helping a friend. Also, because of the late formation of the 55th JCRC, I knew that someone had to step up to fulfil the role. Even if I wasn’t the Financial Secretary, I would still have to coach the new Financial Secretary. It’s also out of a sense of duty – I’m doing it because I know I can do it. That said, we’re looking for an assistant Financial Secretary!
Z: What is the one quality that you think a JCRC member must possess, above all others?
Mitchell: Integrity. Because as a JCRC member you attend hall leaders’ meetings, SCRC meetings… and you know the internal workings of the hall. There are some things you can and cannot say, especially when you’re dealing with sensitive issues like money. People want to know how much budget is allocated to them, and why, and you have to be answerable to them. For me, it’s about making sure every cent goes where it’s meant to go.
Z: Don’t you ever get tired? What keeps you going?
Mitchell: Well, it’s better than studying (laughs). It’s a matter of routine. I like systematic and orderly things like processing receipts. When I’m stuck at tutorials, I work on JCRC stuff, and then I know that I am accomplishing something. After that I go back to my tutorials. But at the same time responsibility is a big part of it. I know what I got myself into, and so I must do it!
Z: What do you think of your nomination as a contestant for DND?
Mitchell: To say I expected it is wrong. Let’s say if this happened when I was still in Year 1 – I would have done it then. I’m not going to take part this year though, have to give the freshmen a chance.
Z: That’s the kind and gracious Mitchell we all grow to know and love. Thanks for your time.
Mitchell: What? But I was just getting into the mood. Ask some more questions!
(This actually happened and can be corroborated by eyewitnesses who were also in the lounge at the time of the interview. The following questions were formed out of spontaneous combustion and were not planned.)
Z: Alright. Recently, the phenomenon of KEVIIans calling you the ‘sexy beast of KE’ has spread to both East and West Wings, and has even intensified. What do you think of people calling you the ‘beast’?
Mitchell: It’s a very interesting nickname, whose origins are lost in the sands of time. Perhaps you could ask the interviewer. The name is growing on me though.
Z: But do you think ‘sexy beast’ fits you?
Mitchell: More of the first part than the second. But ‘beast’ is becoming part of my personality, especially when I go for squash training, or dinner in the dining hall.
Z: I know, I’ve seen that side of you manifest during dinner. As the undisputed beast of KEVII, what is some advice that you would give to freshmen?
Mitchell: Don’t be afraid to try new things. Hall is a place where opportunities are everywhere and new avenues abound. Play a new sport, learn something new from the culture side, go on an overseas trip for CIP, or perform on stage. You might even find your lifelong partner!
Z: Which leads us nicely into our next question: have you met any potential lifelong partners in hall?
Mitchell: (resoundingly) YES!! (laughs) If I said ‘no’, maybe someone would come and look for me. But in all honesty, the special someone has not yet made herself known in my life. (This is followed by disbelieving looks from other members of F Block who are also in the lounge.)
Z: I’m sure with your newfound reputation, you will need to give out queue numbers soon enough. Any last words?
Mitchell: I just want to enjoy my last year in hall, and make more new friends. And I’m always glad to help KE Press raise its profile. Read the hall blog more, everybody.
At this point, Mitchell’s good friend, CK Chiu, was asked to describe Mitchell in one word. CK replied with no hesitation with this adjective:
The writer would like to thank his friend Mitchell Yeo for being such a good sport and agreeing to the interview, despite the fact that he (Mitchell) had to cut his lunch appointment with two girls short in order to accommodate the interview schedule.