The New Paper
Oct 4, 2016
Hazel was born and raised in Brunei by her Singaporean father and Bruneian mother.
She moved to Singapore after completing high school and pursued a degree in Mathematical Sciences at Nanyang Technological University, followed by a Masters of Science in Financial Mathematics at the University of Chicago.
Even with all these academic achievements, Hazel confesses that she is not a mathematics whiz, and that to her, intelligence is the new sexy.
What is one cause you would champion if you become Miss Universe Singapore 2016?
I would support the I Am Talented (IAT) programme. IAT helps students discover their talents in non-academic pathways, which is meaningful to me because, academically, I was a late bloomer, and I took some time before becoming interested in my studies. IAT is a great social empowerment initiative for youths to not only discover their strengths, but also hone their talent and overcome challenges.
What is your greatest asset?
Perseverance. I have been told "no" many times, but rejection only makes me work harder and become a stronger person. I was bullied in school for my tan skin and awkward height, but now I think (they) are advantages.
What is one food you cannot resist?
I cannot resist cheese, even the strong ones like blue cheese. I've always loved a variety of cheeses since I was little, probably because the texture is so creamy and delicious.
What about you is Bruneian?
My most Bruneian aspect would probably be how much of a homebody I am. Brunei is a dry country without any clubs or alcohol, and so I spent a lot of time with my family, and also hosting or visiting my friends at each other's homes. That's still something I enjoy and do a lot of even now.
What is it about coding that attracts you?
There is something relaxing about isolating problems into little categories and solving them one at a time, and I experience that a lot when coding. The longest time I've coded non-stop was for six hours and that was to debug an error in my code.
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