Apart from a short stint as a marketing representative with computer giant IBM, where he was top 10% trainee in Asia, Robin has spent most of his working life as a journalist.
For seven years, he wrote for national paper The Straits Times, entertainment magazine 8 DAYS and a global financial wire news agency, since bought over by Thomson-Reuters.
The bilingual reporter has written on diverse subjects on the Home, Crime, Life! and Translation desks, covered Chinese entertainment, filed regional commodities reports and travel pieces for these and freelance publications.
Since 1997, Robin has been preparing FMS students for careers in journalism. He supervised its flagship publications: campus newspaper NPTribune, entertainment magazine hype and a popular lifestyle e-zine he founded called theurbanwire.com, which, at its peak garnered more than 3.6 million hits in a month. The e-zine celebrated its 10th anniversary in August 2012 at Zouk.
His student team, TriMedia Publishing, is commercially viable and produced several issues of hyper, the polytechnic’s outreach magazine that was mailed directly to 38,000 homes.
Awards and Innovations
Robin was conferred the Public Administration Medal (Bronze) by the President of Singapore at the National Days Awards 2014 for his work as Deputy Director in FMS.
The creator and organiser of Singapore’s, if not the world’s, first online charity gameshow, S.M.A.R.T.S, Robin has also won the following awards from Ngee Ann Polytechnic:- Departmental Teaching Award (2000),- a postgraduate scholarship to Northwestern University,Chicago (2001) where he earned his Masters in Journalism in New Media,- the Dr Hiew Siew Nam Distinguished Teaching Award (2003),- NP Community Service Award (2003),- NP Staff Excellence Award- Innovation (2005)- NP Academic Award (Development ) (2010/2011)
In 2008 he created and launched the UWtimate Download, a unique and universally available privilege programme primarily targeted at youths, based on a free mobile phone download. This pre-dated the widespread adoption of phone apps for this purpose.
An FMS team led by Robin won the NP Academic Award (Development) in 2011, for his creation of m:idea, Singapore's first student-run media conglomerate (http://www.fmsmidea.com). The unique entrepreneurial media convergence unit produces media products (events, advertising, radio and TV programming, corporate videos, design, photography and copywriting) for both in-house and external customers, giving students and recent graduates a chance to run viable media businesses.
Robin also conceptualised and edited Above & Beyond with former colleague Desmond Kon. The coffee table book featuring photographs and anecdotes from staff and students throughout NP was launched to commemorate NP's overseas programmes in conjunction with the school's 45th anniversary.
For Ngee Ann's 50th anniversary in 2013, he led a staff and distinguished alumni team that conceived and produced AWE50ME, the polytechnic's commemorative book done in the unique style of a travel guide. A limited edition copy of this was presented to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the Guest-of-Honour at the Anniversary dinner.
Contributions to Local Industry
Since 2010, Robin has designed and run a 5-day Professional Certificate in New Media Communications course, jointly offered by Ngee Ann Polytechnic's FMS and the Civil Service College. Corporate Communications and Public Relations senior managers and executives, as well as lecturers from other polytechnics, have formed the bulk of professionals trained by his 2 associates and him in the 5 runs of the programme.
Robin was also invited as a panelist for Ogilvy's inaugural DO debates in Singapore in Dec 2011, a platform for businesses to talk about ideas and creativity.
He has also been interviewed by national media on several topics including citizen journalism, blogging and new media.
The Deputy Director (External Relations) of FMS was invited to present a paper at the Broadcast Education Association conference in 2007 in Las Vegas on FMS’s model of media study trips.
With the experience of having led a journalism study trip to New York and Boston in 2005, Robin led another team of students, with his colleagues, to pre-Olympics Beijing in 2008, and then Manila in 2009.
He encouraged his student editor, Jeremy Boo, to submit a piece written from this Manila trip for an international young reporter competition (http://jeremyboo.wordpress.com/2011/01/15/why-i-wrote-a-story-about-slums-in-manila/). Jeremy was the only Asian to win the prize and earned a 2-week attachment in Georgia to do further reporting, which was then presented in Geneva. The story was repurposed and ran across 9 pages in the special report section in The Straits Times in Jan 2011.
Robin is honoured to be the only non-American to be invited to sit on the judging panel of the Editor & Publisher's 21st EPPY Awards held in Las Vegas in 2010, to recognise excellence in websites run by news organisations. Seasoned journalists, senior news management and respected academics from ABCNews.com, ESPN, Dow Jones, Financial Times, The Associated Press, New York Times Regional Media Group, Nieman Journalism Lab, Harvard University, Columbia University and University of Texas at Austin Judges-4-.aspx) sat on the various judging panels. In 2014, he was on the judging panel for the fifth consecutive year.
To look after his health better, Robin has opted to work half-time and has stepped down from his position as Deputy Director and has stopped teaching since Oct 2014. He continues to share his experience with colleagues in matters of innovation, outreach, publicity and alumni matters.